Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I always felt like I was on the outside of the great artistic revolutions of our time. I missed the Impressionists and the Expressionists of the late 1800s. I missed cubism, pop art, and the Beat Generation. I missed the births of rock and roll, psychedelia and punk rock. But lately, I realized that I am part of a bigger revolution, and I got an inside view when I attended VenturePOP! in New Orleans.
The revolution I am referring to is a creative revolution. It is the waive of artists, makers, designers, writers, developers and idea generators who are done answering to corporate america so they are designing their own future. They are taking hold of their destiny and creating their own path.
This is what I loved most about attending the VenturePOP! conference. It was a conference for me, designed by people like me. They were real people, with real dreams and drive. They had real struggles and opportunities to overcome -- just like me. And they put together a line-up of truly inspirational speakers who taught actionable, relevant information to help my business get better. Though I'd love to give you a detailed description of every speech, I'm only going to share with you my a-ha moments.
Improving my speaking presentation has been high on my list for some time now, so hearing Chantelle speak about using storytelling as part of your business was perfect. She taught us the blueprint for building our story and why it is effective in selling our products and services. But I think the most impactful thing she said was to make your WHY bigger than your fear. If you do this, you can do anything.
As the president of Provenance Hotels, Bashar knows how to make people feel comfortable and at home. The same is true in his speaking style. It didn't take long to get wrapped up in his stories about creating each of his hotels from scratch, getting to know the people in the city before even developing the concept. Bashar said your audience will tell you want they want. It is all about the human connection. Show up to learn and put yourself out there. Get to know your audience, listen to their needs and they will create your product for you.
Starting his first business venture in middle school, Joah is an entrepreneur through and through. His latest venture, Localeur, is growing at an explosive rate, which he credits to making strategic decisions in his life that gave him access to influencers and their networks. If there was one word to describe Joah's working style, it would be persistence. This was evident in the way he described continually pitching, and providing proof of Localeur's potential to the same people over and over until they had no choice but to invest with him. But the biggest takeaway from Joah wasn't even part of his speech. He said the web 2.0 was about identity, and web 3.0 is about belonging. And he's right.
Full disclosure - this is the second time I've heard Cyndie give this speech. And, it was just as amazing the second time around. This speech was a gamechanger for me. It was what made me decide to stop letting my own insecurities dictate my actions in life. Cyndie explained that competition comes from a place of fear and collaborating makes us stronger - as long as there is a mutual win, of course. The major a-ha moment came when Cyndie began to facilitate collaborations right before our eyes, urging us to be bold and to commit to asking someone to collaborate with us. And we were all terrified. But, she asked us what would change if in our business if they said no. To which, of course, the answer was a resounding, "Nothing!"
So if being surrounded by true creative entrepreneurs who are on a quest to change the world is important to you, make VenturePOP! 2016 top on your list. I know I will.