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Connect, Learn and Grow Whether You’re a Baby Boomer or a Gen X-er

Written By: Allie Moreno Life Lounge San Diego Promotes a Cross Generational Business Community
Photographer: Luis Lopez

It’s not uncommon to find yourself at local networking events, mastermind groups or business seminars these days. But every once in awhile, if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble across something really special. Life Lounge is one of those events. Founded by Tim Owens, Life Lounge is a group that strives to bridge the gap between generations (baby boomers, millennials and gen X-ers) of entrepreneurs, influencers and leaders.

Q: How did Life Lounge come about?
Tim Owens: It started by accident really—just a casual thing. There were only 12 people at first. Later, we rebranded and started to grow.

Q: What are the most common misconceptions about generations of people?

TO: There are a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes and studies. Age doesn’t really matter. Millennials are perceived as lazy or entitled, and it’s not true. Millennials work really hard and a lot of them really care about causes when it comes to the work they do. Most of the time, they’d take a job with a cause over better pay.

Q: How do you select speakers for Life Lounge events?
TO: We look outside for speakers—they aren’t necessarily members of Life Lounge. We look for someone with notoriety but also someone who has a great story. Everyone here has a story. Life Lounge attracts a broad range of people not just varying by age, but also by industry. There are bankers, non-profit organizations and restaurant owners. One of the most notable being Brian Smith, founder of Ugg.

Q: Hey Brian, what are you doing these days?

Brian Smith: I’ve just written a book called The Birth of a Brand about how I built Ugg. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of speaking events.

Q: What do you enjoy about being a member of Life Lounge?

BS: I’ve been a member since it started. I love the quality of the business people here. It’s much more about relationships than anything else. You get to be around like-minded people. They are such a vibrant group.

Q: What are you learning from younger generations? And what are you teaching them?
BS: You know, the best part is that most of my new friends are in their 40s. I’m in my 60s, so they’re keeping me young and relevant. What I provide to them is wisdom; I’ve been there and done it. I’m a mentor to them.

Greg S. Reid, the keynote speaker of the night, is a bestselling author and motivational speaker. He was also handpicked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to carry on the legacy and philosophy of “Think and Grow Rich.” Reid walks into the room and you instantly know he’s important, and not just because he rocks a blazer in a bold firetruck red. Reid says he became connected to the Napoleon Hill Foundation through a mentor. “I thought I might be the most unqualified person to do this but I was there at the right moment, ” says Reid. “I took that and I owned it.”

Reid’s talk dove deeper into his journey to success. He attributed much of it to surrounding himself with the right people, emphasizing the notion that you are your associations. However, with success will come struggle—he admits to receiving 268 rejections by publishers for his first book, but went on to publish 56 books in 45 countries around the world. His key lesson is a quote from John Schwartz: “The successful seek counsel; failures listen to opinion.”

The night was filled with interesting thoughts and conversations. Lisa Orr, the catering manager from Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group, kept crowds around tables with her fresh pizza and platters of bruschetta. Skip Coomber of Coomber wines, and new member of Life Lounge, expresses his love for animals by putting his pets on all his labels and donating 5 percent of their revenue to charity. Giving back is a big theme for Life Lounge—Tim Owens partners with a non-profit organization called Room to Read. Leora Langs, who runs the Room to Read San Diego chapter, spoke briefly to the group about the organization’s dedication to literacy and gender equality.

If that weren’t enough to entertain you, maybe a tour around the Life Lounge venue would. The space was a $26 million La Jolla home gorgeously decorated and staged by Exotic Interiors. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by representatives from Tesla Motors who would happily allow you a test drive of one of their vehicles. From beginning to end, Life Lounge is an experience unlike any other. It’s an event that is full of life and full of people who are passionate, driven and truly support and care for each other.