Yesterday I went to the Real Talk Summit, a conference dealing themed around business and entrepreneurship. I bought the ticket because I knew seeing Gary Vaynerchuk live would be worth it. I am happy I went. All the speakers were good and had lots of useful information to share.
A few people pointed out to me that it was unusual to meet a software developer who was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk. I never thought of it from that perspective though. I write software so I can make money. With this end in mind it seems natural to want to learn from people who have been successful with money, even though they might have a different path than me.
A primary theme of the conference was connection. There were various opportunities to connect with the people around you. Between some of the talks the audience was encouraged to talk with someone they did not know, and to open the conversation with answers to questions like “What do you want to give, and what do you want to receive?” or “What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?”.
I find when I think about these kinds of questions its very easy to overthink them with thoughts like “Does that sound too cliched?” or “Don’t I have another failure I am more comfortable with sharing?”. Luckily there wasn’t much time for thinking. You would talk to someone, say what actually came to mind first and realize its no big deal.
One of the points they emphasized is no business cards. If you aren’t comfortable adding the person on social media or putting their number in your phone then you aren’t forming a connection with those people.
The morning was themed around solo entrepreneurship. The first speaker was Danielle LaPorte who shared about how she got to where she is today. I never heard of her before this event, but she seems like an interesting woman.
What I liked most about her talk was that she equated business development with personal development. I think its important to look at these things holistically. People do better work when they are happy and not dealing with personal issues.
There was a panel afterwords. What stood out to me most was that one of the people on stage mentioned having a one page plan that he updated regularly helped him immensely. By referring to this page he would be able to know where his company was going and what was important for it. He would also be able to look at it for motivation, to remind himself of the vision that he was working for.
The other people of the panel agreed that having a one page plan helped them out a lot too. To me this means that its at least worth while to try making up a one page plan for an area of my life I want to improve at.
I can imagine how having a one page plan would be motivating for me, while being easy enough to change as not to be restrictive. When successful people all use the same tool its worth looking into, especially when its as simple as filling a sheet of paper.
The afternoon dealt with the social elements of business. Ultimately a business is composed of people to serve people. A business only makes money if people choose to exchange their money for the goods or service the business provides. I think its important to keep in mind that in order to make money we have to interact with other people.
I remember one of the speakers mention that entrepreneurs have a much higher chance of struggling with some form of mental illness compared to the general population. Learning stuff like this makes me think deeper about what I think success is. I find its easy to assume people who have money are doing well in other areas of their life, but this isn’t always the case. Having money isn’t any good if you can’t enjoy life.
The event ended with the headliner, Gary Vaynerchuk. His name was what made me, as well as many other people at the conference buy their ticket. I always enjoyed his energy from his videos and it was a pleasure being able to finally see him in person. The guy has a great presence and I can see why he has risen to be such a popular icon.
Gary is the kind of guy who can say “I eat shi*t” and agree with someone saying he will be one of the greatest entrepreneurs and you get no sense of contradiction. He is humble yet confident.
What stood out to me the most was how eager he was about the economy taking a down turn. Gary enjoys turbulent times and challenges, and I think that is a big part of what got him to where he is today.
Overall I was happy with the Real Talk summit. I felt like I learnt a lot of stuff and it was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday. While I would be able to watch similar talks on the internet, there is something about going to an in person event that makes the information more visceral.
The Real Talk Summit brought a lot of good speakers to help share their wisdom which would be widely applicable. Even though people might be involved in different fields there are some concepts that are apply to all these fields. I feel the conference did a good job at sharing these ideas and I am looking forward to future events like it.