How many business conferences do you attend each year?

I’ll admit I used to attend at least 2 per year. Since moving to Florida in 2017, however, I’ve become a bit of a happy hermit, cranking out books for my clients, recording my daily podcast, and enjoying my circus training.

But as much as I crave the quiet sanctity of my lake view home office (and the jumping fish!) I realize that as a business owner, going out and being around other entrepreneurs is a part of the job. In-person learning, growth, and networking are all uniquely valuable. 

So, earlier this week, I got dressed in something other than colorful spandex leggings, put on actual shoes, and ventured over to Orlando to attend the National Achievers Congress. 

Oh – and did I mention, one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Mr. Content himself, Gary Vaynerchuk spoke at the event? And that it was my first time seeing him speak live? Going to this event quickly became a “no brainer” decision! It was a great event, jam packed with entrepreneurs of all ages and from all backgrounds. 

8 Key Takeaways From National Achievers Congress:

From Shark Tank’s Daymond John:

1) One of the reasons networking is so valuable, is because your family and friends know you TOO well – warts and all! It’s easy for them to be blinded by this intimate familiarity, making it difficult for them to see your value in business and to clients. “Familiarity breeds contempt” – well in business, it breeds value proposition blindness.

2) If founders/entrepreneurs took the time to learn more business basics (financials, legal, IP in particular), many wouldn’t have to go on Shark Tank – i.e. give away too much equity in their business to investors. They would be able to raise the money, grow their businesses themselves, and keep their equity!

From Gary Vee:

3) “Post something on the Internet!” More accurately – 50 somethings a DAY (tweets count)! 

4) People that are hesitating in content creation, especially on new networks (like TikTok) or ones they don’t normally post on (LinkedIn) are doing it because of emotions & opinions about social media, rather than on actual data about its value in business. 

5) The opportunities are huge right now to communicate with more people than ever – and basically for free. We don’t need a printing press, a room full of multi-million dollar computer equipment, or to launch our own individual satellite or cable television station. Social media is a ridiculously valuable business tool and most people are massively under-utilizing it.

6) In addition to talking content, Gary also shared some of his trademark pieces of wisdom on subjects like empathy, gratitude and his BIGGEST message these days – happiness. I loved how he used this to breach the subject of mental health – ex. How distinctly “unfunny” statements like “I’d rather cry in my Ferrari” are, especially in light of the reality of depression, including in wealthy/successful people.

Observations from the 2nd row of National Achievers Congress:

7) Story continues to be the most effective form of capturing an audience’s attention! A well constructed story – with a clear beginning, middle, and end, rising and falling tension, humor, universal truths, and these days, honesty with a bit of an edge – is gold. While at one time in conference speaking, stories were “added in” to make points – now it seems to be the other way around… presentations are built entirely around stories.  

8) I noticed that almost all the speakers had published at least one book for purposes of education, credibility, legacy, speeches, and products/courses that aligned with their books. Dean Graziosi, a business partner of Tony Robbins, talked about how the “real” education these days is self-education. And it’s happening outside the walls of universities (and with significantly less debt) – in online courses, programs, mentoring, online communities, and of course, through books.

As an author, how will you be a part of this self-education movement in 2020? Don’t wait until January 1st to figure out what you want to accomplish as an author in the next decade – set your plan in motion now! I’m just a few clicks away, available to chat with you about your book writing plan.

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