Last week I attended the Archangel Summit in Toronto that featured some of the brightest minds in marketing, networking, business, and personal growth.
Since I spent a pretty penny on my ticket and there were many valuable lessons, I wanted to share what I learned.
JJ Virgin – 110% is Non-Negotiable
JJ Virgin gave one of the most compelling talks.
She shared the story of her son, who stormed out of the house one evening, only to get hit by a car and airlifted to a hospital.
The following months and years were not easy; in fact, easy would be an understatement.
From the moment the accident happened, JJ’s goal was to have her son recover 110%.
Doctors insisted that this would not be possible as the injuries were too severe. Yet JJ insisted.
She recounted the numerous times she had to take matters into her own hands. From her controversial decision to have her son airlifted, to feeding him fish oil to assist with brain recovery, to taking him off hospital grounds to a nearby swimming pool to accelerate his rehabilitation.
During this time, JJ was also launching her book, The Virgin Diet, and was having a difficult time financially. She vowed that the book was going to be a success.
All her actions were aimed at either helping her son have a 110% recovery or turning her book in New York Times Best Seller.
She would always ask herself, “Is what I’m doing right now either helping my son recover or making my book a best-seller?“
If the answer was no, she changed her actions.
This is the level of commitment you need to have towards achieving the success you desire. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me achieve the business or lifestyle I want?”
If the answer is no, change your actions.
When this becomes your non-negotiable filter on the world, you gain clarity on what you must do and what you must not.
Gary Vaynerchuk – Only Talk About Things You Know About
Gary Vee talked about the power of the words, “I don’t know.”
For a man known for dominating stages with his dynamic presence and the host of the popular YouTube show #askgaryvee, this may seem counterintuitive to his public persona.
It shocked me when Gary shared that he would sit through entire dinner parties without saying a single word.
When Gary finds himself in a discussion about topics like healthcare, science, or politics, he stays quiet.
Too often Gary says “We offer up advice on shit we don’t know. The best advice is shut the f*ck up. If you don’t know, you don’t know.“
Gary says doing this during Q & A sessions has increased his credibility. By choosing to answer only the questions he is knowledgeable about, it makes his answers more compelling.
If you want to improve your credibility and sound more confident, start by only talking about what you know. Stay far, far, away from the rest.
Seth Godin – You Can Not Make Fear Go Away
For a man who has published 17 books, two of which are New York Times best sellers, it was comforting to hear that even he struggles with fear. His greatest fear is letting his fans down.
Godin stressed that getting rid of fear is an impossible goal. Rather it’s something you should accept as a part of the process.
He says every artist experiences writer’s block or an inability to create. Cultural norms lead us to believe that writer’s block is a magical spell that falls over us, paralyzing us from creating.
Godin dispelled this saying, “Writer’s block is a combination of bad habits and rejection. The key is to keep creating even when you don’t want to create.”
He encouraged us to “Merely Do It,” toying with the famous Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”
Godin, says artists and entrepreneurs always complain about not having enough good ideas. The truth is they don’t have enough bad ideas.
Start having more bad ideas.
Natalie MacNeal – Take the Barnacle Leap
The Barnacle leap is best demonstrated in this two-minute video.
For anyone who doesn’t have enough time, or is too lazy to watch the video, I’ll give you a description.
You see that cute, little adorable gosling above? About the size of your hand with soft, fluffy feathers, the kind you would snuggle up with at night?
Next, picture a 200-foot limestone cliff with jagged and sharp rocks sticking out from the rock face, with more jagged, pointy rocks at the bottom. Basically the kind perfect for committing suicide if one was so inclined to jump.
Now imagine that cute little goose you would cuddle up with throwing itself off that cliff.
This goose has no ability to fly or out maneuver the oncoming obstacles, so you watch it free fall for several seconds before it smashes off the rock face. It starts tumbling down amongst the sharp rocks before coming to a halt at it’s parent’s feet.
It sounds rather brutal (and is painful to watch) but it’s quite miraculous. The goose does survive!
So what does all this mean?
Well, that’s the feeling of becoming an entrepreneur; starting something that you have no idea whether it will work out or not. Yet you throw yourself off the cliff and hope for the best.
The goose jumps because the odds of surviving the jump are better than those of staying in the nest.
The same holds true for us. Staying in our current position may turn out to be more dangerous than taking on a new opportunity.
Take the leap, says Natalie MacNeal, creator of She Takes on the World, it never gets easier.
Gretchen Rubin – The Power Hour
You know all those silly little chores, the tasks that you have to do, but they’re so annoying and frustrating? Like getting a new driver’s license, dropping off a letter or driving across town to pick up your prescription.
These little tasks weigh us down. They stay cluttered in our mind.
Gretchen Rubin says that we get a disproportionate energy surge from completing these tasks as opposed to other more challenging ones. She suggests that once or twice a week, stack all your random, miscellaneous items together and get them done in one power hour.
Create an hour to get these tasks done and you will boost your energy, create space for higher priority tasks, and stay up to date with your miscellaneous tasks.
Jayson Gaignard – Be Your Own Talent Scout
This had to be one of my favorite tips from the conference.
Everyone is trying to get in front of the Gary Vaynerchuk’s and Seth Godin’s of the world. This is not the solution says Jayson Gaignard.
Stop competing for the most desired attention, rather focus on the attention that is available to you.
Start scouting your farm team of talented people. The same way that Warren Buffett buys undervalued companies, your networking goal is to invest in undervalued people.
Become their biggest fan and as they rise, you can rise with them.
The more you support them in achieving their dreams, the more they’ll repay you down the road. Start investing more in your networks.
Robin Sharma – Lead Without a Title
Robin Sharma says to lead without a title. We can do this with big or small actions; the most important thing is to do it.
He showed a video of a man in a South African airport, who is a custodian in one of the men’s washrooms. In the video, the man illuminated energy and passion for his ‘office’ – the washroom. He keeps the place spotless, greets everyone who comes in, and can shift people’s entire moods with his enthusiasm.
This man is not going to win an Oscar, a Nobel Prize, or receive any fleeting recognition for his attitude. And that’s the point.
Sharma said the key to leading without a title to focus on the activities you perform when nobody’s watching. It’s easy to be a leader when the spotlight is on you… but what do you do when no one is there is the challenging part.
Kobe and Michael Jordan were both known for putting in the endless hours of practice.
We accomplish greatness in the moments when the stadium is empty. For all the leaders of tomorrow, know that it begins today when nobody’s watching.
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