When I first heard about the Thrive Conference, I was skeptical. To be completely honest, it seemed a little far-fetched to propose having the likes of Gary V, Keith Ferrazzi, and Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec in the same room, let alone on the same stage.
But it happened.
The Thrive: Make Money Matter Conference in 2015 was a game-changer for me, and I don't use that term lightly. In preparation for Thrive 16 in October in San Diego, California, I thought I'd share some of my most memorable and valuable takeaways from last year's event.
I'm an introvert. So, when the event's emcee walked out on stage and had everyone stand up and shout “Ahhhhhh BOOM!” to get the event started, I was skeptical about what was to come.
Was this going to be another one of those all-hype-no-substance events?
Sometimes I just want to sit back and learn. I've never liked those high-energy hosts who make you stand up, shake and dance, and get your energy levels up. That's not me.
But this was different.
And, Thrive was different.
Cole Hatter successfully brought some of the biggest names in business and entrepreneurship into one place and onto one stage for one amazing event. As I said before, Thrive was a game-changer for me. Here's a little bit about why:
9 Business Lessons from Thrive (2015)
1: Think Long-Term
Gary Vaynerchuk took the stage to open the event and, as he does, immediately took charge of the room. He was awesome. Gary's overarching message was “think long-term.”
Legacy > Currency
He said that long-term success depends on practical and actionable information, that our legacy is greater than the amount of currency we make, and that the way we build our businesses is more important than our businesses themselves.
“The way you make your money is way more important than how much money you make.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
While Gary spoke, I asked myself this question:
“Does my short-term behavior help or hurt my long-term plans?”
I invite you to ask yourself the same question. If your day-to-day tasks don't get you closer to and align with your goals, change those activities.
The last and perhaps the most important thing Gary said was to stop trying to fix your weaknesses and to start betting on your strengths.
2: Build Relationships
Everything we do in life revolves around relationships. If we succeed in life, it will be due to our relationships. If we fail; relationships.
So, when the bestselling author of Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi, took the stage, I paid attention. Here are three of my favorite relationship building questions Keith shared:
- What kinds of people are you attracting to you?
- Between now and achieving your dreams, who are the 5 people you need in your life?
- Who are the people who are most critical to your success, and how can you take care of and help them?
Author, entrepreneur and speaker Shaa Wasmund (pronounced like “Shay”), who also took the stage, added to Keith's message by saying, “Relationships are the single most important thing you can have in your business.” And I agree.
3: You Can Make Money Matter
Before traveling to Las Vegas and attending Thrive, I'd never heard of a guy named Cole Hatter. And the odds are, you haven't either.
But one of Cole's life-long goals was to host a conference where he could talk about the power of money to do good in this world. And boy did he knock it out of the park! Thrive 1.0 was awesome!
$1 = 1 Option
Anyway, Cole introduced me to an interesting concept and a very practical way of looking at money. He said that money is a vehicle, that $1 = 1 option for trade. Therefore, the more money you have, the more options you have.
Something to think about…
But the most important thing Cole Hatter said was that you can make money AND make a difference.
In fact, if you have money, it's often easier to make a difference. If you don't have any money, it's hard to take time off to work in missions. If you don't have money, it's hard to give to charities or support someone else.
Money is NOT the root of all evil, the love of money is, so don't let making money or the idea of getting rich scare you away.
It's what you do with your money that will make the difference, and again, you can make money and make a difference in the world and make it a better place for future generations.
4: Solve a Problem
According to Dan Martell, there are three questions you should ask when building or growing your business. And, I think you should ask these questions before you create ANY new product or service.
- What wrong do I want to right? Ie, what problem do I have that I want to solve?
- What frustrates me?
- How do I fix it?
Every business and every product should solve a problem. You can't be successful if you don't solve a problem.
If you want the best resource for identifying your target market and determining what they need and how to serve them, you should CLICK HERE to download my client avatar worksheet.
5: Giving is a Gift
Dr. Bill Dorfman, aka “Dr. Bill” from Extreme Makeover, The Doctors, and other shows, shared an interesting concept. He said that he who gives receives the greatest gift.
Think about the last time you gave someone a gift that they really, I mean really loved. Did you enjoy giving that gift?
When we give, we change lives – for both us and for the person we give to.
And that's the underlying message of what Thrive: Make Money Matter is all about – the pursuit of money is a meaningless act, but you can give money meaning by doing good with it.
6: Share Your Story
I wrote about the power of storytelling and how to use your story to grow your business here, and Tucker Max and Jayson Gaignard talked about it from the stage.
Tucker said there are four reasons you should write a book (here's mine) and share your story.
4 Reasons to Share Your Story:
A: Makes your life better
B: Makes other people's life better
C: Makes your family's lives better
D: It can save our culture
I remember one time my grandmother and I decided to go to a Chinese buffet for lunch in Denton, Texas. I asked her about her life, some of her most memorable moments, and the craziest, sci-fi-est inventions she'd seen during her lifetime.
You know what she said was the most life-changing technology?
Scroll to the bottom to find out =)
But when my grandma shared a small bit of her story, it definitely made my life better and gave me an appreciation for how far our culture had come over the past 70+ years of my grandmother's lifetime. You have a story to tell, make sure you tell it.
“Stop wasting your wisdom. Write your book and share it with the world” – Tucker Max
“If you don't share your struggles, people won't buy your successes” – Jayson Gaignard
7: Use Video
Over the past few years, I've made small (but measurable) strides to bring more video into my content and marketing strategy. I know I have a LONG way to go, and I know it's time for me to make video a key part of my business.
Suzanne Evans, the owner of Hell Yeah Studios, is an advocate for using video in both content and sales strategy. According to Evans, videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.
8: Anything is Possible
Pencils of Promise founder, Adam Braun taught us that anything is possible. Adam shared the story of how he started his organization with almost no money, and now Pencils of Promise, who is the beneficiary of Thrive 2016, is poised to do amazing things.
Since it's inception in 2009, PoP has reached nearly 35,000 students in the developing world and broke ground on over 70 schools in 2015 alone. Last year PoP trained and supported 280 teachers and provided over 1800 scholarships.
The goal of Pencils of Promise is to provide kids with education with the underlying idea that where you start shouldn't dictate what's possible or where you finish.
With a positive mental attitude, a problem to solve and the network to help you get there, anything is possible.
9: Take Action
To keep the powerful moments and quotable quotes going, Shark Tank star, Robert Herjavec took the stage. As an entrepreneur, business owner and investor, Robert had some amazing wisdom to share with us
Here are some of my favorite Robert Herjavec quotes:
- No one can give you purpose
- Sales cure all ills.
- You can't be successful if you're resentful of the success of others.
- People don't want to be managed; they want to be led.
- The reason most people never succeed is they never get off the couch.
- Action is always better than inaction.
Most people fail to take action toward achieving their goals. They think now isn't the right time, they're not ready, or that they're either too young or too old. But it's never too late to start, but you must start!
The speakers for Thrive 2016 have a lot to live up too. My expectations will be high. But Thrive 2015 was, by far, the best conference I attended last year, and I couldn't be more excited to see what Cole and his team deliver in San Diego this October.
Will I see you for the Thrive conference in San Diego?
* My grandma said the craziest invention she'd seen during her lifetime was the cell phone. She could remember sitting on the neighborhood phone line and eavesdropping on what her neighbors were saying to one another, and it boggled her mind that we could do all that we could do on a cell phone.