Two years ago Ron Finklestein, a former corporate executive who transformed himself into a successful business coach, started an annual conference in Akron, Ohio, USA called "Celebrating Success!" I was fortunate enough to work with Ron on that first annual conference as one of the founding Board members, until time commitments forced me to limit my Board memberships.The premise of the Conference was simple: celebrate the successes of local small businesses.Small businesses got the chance to tell their stories about what has made them successful, before an audience of local business and community leaders. We also secured a media partner to ensure that each entrant had a chance for press coverage, including in-depth interviews of the five finalists.Usually it is large corporations that win awards and get all the accolades. Yet smaller enterprises form the backbone of the U.S. economy. This Conference was designed to be open even to the smallest, single-person businesses.We thought: what better way to support small businesses than to give them a venue to highlight their great accomplishments?Pulling off the Conference was a huge amount of work, but the results exceeded our expectations that first year. It has now become an annual Conference, I am happy to report.Then an interesting thing happened. Ron realized that the factors in the success of each business participating in the first Celebrating Success Conference could be distilled down into 14 factors. He collected them all, along with each company's story of its own success, into a book called "Celebrating Success! Fourteen Ways to a Successful Company."Steve Rucinski and I had the chance to interview Ron last week about the 14 lessons over at SMB TrendWire. So head on over and listen to what Ron has to say in the audio interview. You can listen online or download it as a podcast to your iPod or other MP3 player.Technorati tags: small business; podcast.