I’ll be honest. I’ve been to hundreds of conferences and speaking engagements in the last 5 years after embarking on a life long journey to figure out how to do this thing called life the best way possible. Some have been good, some have been a waste of time, but a rare few have fallen into the category of lifechanging for me.
I moved from New York City to San Diego September of 2016 simply because I had an overwhelming feeling I couldn’t shake to do it. That same feeling happened when I was suggested by friends to attend a pretty new conference called Thrive, launched by entrepreneur Cole Hatter in 2015. When I saw the lineup of speakers, there was no doubt in my mind I had to be there. I couldn’t have predicted the value I was going to receive, but I was compelled to create this article to share some of my top takeaways from the leaders we learned from at the event.
These 10 lessons from the super achievers who presented at this years Thrive event can help you define and attain the type of success you are looking for in this new year.
1. “Your success is your ability to relate and connect others.” - Jordan Harbinger
In Jordan’s talk we learned an important acronym for relationship success: ABG (Always Be Generous). This year try to give more and help more without expectation. This leads to opportunities you could never see otherwise. Get people emotionally involved in your success by helping them achieve theirs. And remember that if you aren’t asking for help too, then you are missing half of the equation. Networking is a muscle, so develop it in your weekly calendar to keep relationships strong and opportunities high.
2. “Are you interested in your goals or are you committed?” - John Assaraf
John taught us that interest leaves too much excuse for failure, while commitment leaves no other option. To commit, you have to know how to activate the motivation to see it through.
John teaches the following motivation success formula:
1. Focus on your vision and the big why behind it.
2. Feel what it would feel like to experience the joy of achieving your vision in the present moment.
3. Focus on overcoming any foreseeable obstacles.
He also teaches that in order to commit you have to take your ingrained beliefs and make sure that it matches your vision. if the two are opposing you will have neuro chaos, so it’s important to create powerful coherent beliefs with want you want.
Finally, John shared a few daily rituals to practice for a winning mindset:
1. Start with gratitude
2. Reinforce new beliefs and habits
3. Manage emotions
4. Celebrate wins
Alexi and Preston gave us the 5 secrets they’ve used to create a life that is meaningful and abundant in all areas.
1. The Glass. They asked us to look at our glass (our life) and ask ourselves if we see it as full, empty, or somewhere in between. But then, they threw us all for a curve when they asked us if we were simply grateful to even have a glass. Woah, talk about a perspective change. Their point was, that the glass is you, and that it’s time to be grateful and get excited now that you even have a glass you can fill. Preston ended this point with a powerful quote: “Play the cards you were dealt like they were the ones you asked for.”
2. Schedule Play. One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves, says the duo, is to schedule time to just play.
3. Have the audacity to be yourself. Alexi and Preston remind us that we are given a gift of having no other human around that is exactly like us. They challenged us to stop trying to be just like our favorite coach, author, etc. and start simply being more like ourself. We can all learn something, but only we have the ability to deliver or act upon an idea in a way that is uniquely us.
4. It’s not about you, so stop making it about you. The duo reminds us that our vision has to be bigger than both ourself and our fears to be motivating and inspiring enough to work towards.
5. Be here now. We were given a grounding ending to remind us that all that really exists is the present moment. The more we live in the moment, the more joy, more fulfillment, and less anxiety our life will have.
4. “Everyone has a gift to uncover. Your job is to find it, understand it and give it away.” - Philip McKernan
Philip taught us to really ask ourselves honestly if we feel aligned in what we are doing. To find alignment, and ultimately more joy, connection, aliveness, and impact, we need to figure out what are gift is. To do this we have to ask questions that allow us to get to know who we really are, outside of what we do.
Philip’s talk was one of the most powerful for me, because instead of giving his planned talk, he decided it would be more powerful to do live coaching sessions with members of the audience. One session in particular was extremely powerful.
A man was unhappy at his current job and wanting to quit. So Philip asked him how badly he wanted to get out (on a pain scale of 1-10). The man replied “8” and said it was excruciating. Philip replied that he needed to get that pain point to a 12, to which the man disagreed. Philip then asked, “How many years have you wanted to get out?” to which the man shockingly replied “14 years.”
This means that 14 years of erosion happened on this man’s soul and confidence. Philip then asked “What is the impact of you going to work doing something that you don’t love on your children?”
The man replied emotionally that is was an unfair question, to which Philip said, no, it’s a real question. The man holding tears back replied “My kids will have to witness a dad that is not fully alive.”
The point of this exercise was to uncover and truly understand the cost to your soul when you are not in alignment with what you are meant to do.
A few other powerful takeaways from this talk include:
- We spend time wanting so much that others have, but often never stop to see that just maybe it’s already here.
- Get to know your fears instead of trying to get rid of them.
- When you live in your head you are using intellectual answers for emotional challenges.
- Stop going from book to book and give yourself enough time to transfer knowledge into wisdom.
5. “Raving fans are those fans that simply can’t imagine life without you.” - Pat Flynn
Every business person needs to understand how to reach and connect with your audience. Pat Flynn helped us understand how to take that one step further at turn members of your audience into what he calls “raving fans”.
Pat first breaks down what he calls the Affinity Pyramid: At the bottom are casual fans. The next step when they become more involved with your message is active. After this, they become part of your connected community when they are not only engaging with you often but also other members of your community. And finally, a fan hits raving fan status when they consume your content daily and simply can’t see a world with you and your message in it.
Pat shares that raving fans are created by moments you create for them over time. This is enhanced when you give people, small, quick wins with your content. Remember that if you want to change someone’s life, start by changing their day. Moments of surprise are also highly effective in creating memorable interactions.
Pat also enlightens us that if you can define the problem better than your customer they will automatically assume you have a solution.
6. “You don’t own your brand.” - Re Perez
Re Perez humbly reminded every entrepreneur that even though their company might be their “baby”, you don’t and will never own the brand behind it. Re said that our brand is simply a desired perception and that branding starts with WHO. Who is your target audience? What is the problem you are solving? Why should people buy from you? Why should they care about you?
Re also taught us that you can build your brand through events to create a more controlled perception, since you control the environment. It not only positions you as a leader, but can even be profitable.
7. “Be obsessed or be average.” - Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone was another talk that had a profound impact on my outlook. Grant says that you have to not only share your story but also become obsessed with it. He says that obsession is like a fuel that gives you the “can’t quit”, monster ambition that continues to grow regardless of age or circumstance.
Grant gives us the simple formula to embrace your obsession and deny anything that calls for your average, and your potential will continuously reveal itself.
One of the biggest take aways the audience received from Grant was “income is the holy grail”. Grant reminds us all that it doesn’t matter how much you have right now, what matters is what’s coming in continuously. To achieve this you should spend 95% of your time on income and 5% on outflow in your business.
A few other takeaways include: Never seek advice from a quitter. Get clear on your message through frequency (aka be omni-present). Your goals and targets should change daily.
8. “Become a master of personalities, especially your own.” - Tai Lopez
Tai Lopez is someone who is known to have an endless supply of great reading recommendations. His talk, however, focused on a particularly interesting angle of success through relationships by being able to understand and master personalities, and know who to connect with, and who to avoid.
Tai tells us that even just 1 insanely good connection surpasses everything when it comes to mentorship. He encourages everyone to actively seek mentorship, not only from books, but from those people who are already achieving the kind of success you’d like to achieve.
Tai also went through the types of people you will encounter when it comes to deciding your inner circle, and told us to be particularly wary of anyone who scores high in any category of a test called “The Dark Triad”, which tests for traits like narcissism and machiavellianism. (If you google the test you can take it online)
Tai also reminds everyone to judge people by their friends, and decide if that’s the type of life you’d like to see.
Of course, we couldn’t close out this lesson without a reading recommendation. To begin to master personality Tai recommends “The H Factor of Personality”, “Attached” by Amir Levine, and “The Quiet Power of Introverts”.
9. “Always give before you ask.” - Lewis Howes
Lewis Howes talked about something many entrepreneurs were interested in: how to write a book and hit the New York Times list.
Lewis shared his own journey to writing an NYT best seller and how he focused on adding value to as many people as possible before he even began writing his book. Not only did he add value to consumers through his podcast content, but he looked for ways to add value to others in the industry with a platform.
He did this by genuinely wanting to know what people cared most about and offer value back in that way. He did this for 2 years prior to the launch of his book, and found that when it came time to promote, many were willing to return the favor and offer him help in return.
Lewis also reminded the audience to create a book that is actually worth reading. He says that you have to be at the top of your game when you write it.
Two other strategies that worked for Lewis were a highly engaging and unique book trailer, and an encouragement to order books in bulk.
10. “Always focus on what you want, and give up focusing on what you don’t want.” - Jack Canfield
To try to begin to sum up the greatest takeaways from the legend, Jack Canfield, is quite a feat, but here it goes.
Jack shared that success is knowing the combination to the lock, and that if you have the wrong numbers or some are missing it won’t open.
He highlighted 3 key differences superachievers have:
1. Unusual clarity
2. Powerful success habits
3. 100% responsibility for their results and an action orientation
One of the pieces of advice that hit home for many was to stop complaining and take 100% responsibility for your life. To do this he asks you to constantly consider the question “what was my part in creating or perpetuating this”.
He even goes further and says that complaints shed light on the fact that there is a more effective option out there that you aren’t taking the risk to create. Woah. Stop and think about that one for a second.
Jack reminds us to always focus on what you want, and did a few real, on the spot examples to show that when we focus on success we actually get physically stronger. Your goal and vision become even more powerful when you also focus on how it will impact others.
A few other takeaways:
- Drop “I can’t”
- Get an accountability partners.
- Unconscious limiting beliefs stop us, so you must work to truly believe what you want is possible. You can do this through visualization + immediate actions.
- If you write down a goal it increases your chance of success by 1100%
A Bonus: “Pay attention to moments and decide if they are inconsequential or defining.” - Cole Hatter
I couldn’t end this piece without acknowledging this powerful lesson from the founder of the Thrive event.
Cole asked us to consider each moment, and be fully present to understand that a choice we make can have little effect, or a defining impact on the trajectory of our life. He reminded everyone to understand and recognize when these defining moments are present.
Cole shared that he created Thrive to help entrepreneurs find greater fulfillment through giving back.
And he also shared his top takeaway from the experience. Cole said, “My top take away from hosting Thrive is that there is a large and growing group of entrepreneurs that are thirsty for having meaning behind their work, and not just working to make money. More and more entrepreneurs aren't satisfied by only filling their bank accounts, they want to fill their hearts with their businesses as well.”