Did you notice? Are you envious? Are you scared?

Vanessa Van Edwards did not skyrocket to success, she hustled like crazy

Photo by Armosa Studios

On my way to attend the 2017 World Domination Summit last Friday, I had an interesting small world experience. Due to an accident ahead of us on the track, the light rail train I was riding on was stuck at a station and significantly delayed. A woman next to me decided to get off and have her husband, who drove for Lfyt, give her a ride. She asked a few of us around her if we wanted to join her. In the car ride to Portland, we chatted. I mentioned that was on my way to WDS. She said that one of her friends, Vanessa Van Edwards, was going to be a keynote speaker the next day.

Vanessa Van Edwards is a behavioral investigator who runs Science of People, a human behavior research lab in Portland, Oregon. In other words, she is a professional people watcher. She is the author of the recently published book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People.

Key lessons I learned from Vanessa’s WDS main stage presentation:

1) Notice more of what is going on around you

Photo by Armosa Studios

During WDS registration, Vanessa and her colleagues from the Science of People replicated an experiment. Vanessa shared a video of the experiment. They had a registration table staffed with one person who asked registrants to fill out a survey. After handing the person the survey, the registration staffer would say they dropped the pen. They would then duck under the table. Another person hiding under the table would pop up and hand the person the pen. The vast majority did not notice that they had just interacted with two different people. Afterward, all the registrants were told what had just happened.

My take-away: I am now going to make an effort to make eye contact and use the person’s name (if there is a nametag), whenever possible.

2) Don’t be mislead by effortless swans

When you see a swan, you see the beautiful swan swimming effortlessly on the surface of the water. Under the water, the swan’s legs are swimming like mad. The same is true for successful people we envy. What we don’t see is the often years of hustle it took them to get to where they are today. Vanessa, for example, shared that it took her 11 years of hustle to get where she is today. During this time, she wrote over 2,000 blog posts and created over 400 YouTube videos. She encouraged entrepreneurs to focus on finding the right people for their business rather than the most people.

My take-away: I am going to keep on hustling and have patience in my business.

3) What is your tower?

Vanessa shared a video of people who were paid to jump off a high dive tower. The video shows how various people handle their fear. Some people jump after psyching themselves up. Others choose not to take the risk. Everyone has their own version of the tower. The important thing is to acknowledge the tower and figure out how to overcome that fear.

My take-away: My tower is the fear of not being perfect. I am going to focus more on taking action and getting things out there instead of waiting until things are perfect.

I cannot wait to read Captivate to learn tips on how to connect better with other people backed by science.

(This post is the first in a series about my first time attending the World Domination Summit in July 2017.)


Kelsey Cleveland is a Desire Map facilitator who helps women in transition figure out how they really want to feel. In addition, she fuels her desire to feel creative as a freelance writer who writes articles, essays and blog posts. View her portfolio to see more of her writing.

If you liked this piece, please click the heart below to keep it spreading. (Thank you!)