26 Lessons From Thrive 2016

What I learned from a life changing event.

During the last 3-days, I’ve had the pleasure to attend one of the most well run and value driven events I’ve ever been to in San Diego, CA called Thrive: Make Money Matter.

I’ve been to tons of events since the ripe age of 20, always seeking alternative ways of educating myself and growing — whether it was fitness oriented, entrepreneurship, spiritual and everything in between.

Hands down, I can say Thrive is one of the best events I’ve been to and although it’s hard to describe why, I can sum it up with one word:

Integrity.

Integrity seeps as a core value from the creator of the event, Cole Hatter, to the 26 speakers — the vendors and every attendee.

You can both see and feel it, and these days — real, authentic integrity is hard to come by.

In this post, I’ll be sharing 26 take-a-aways from the event.

NOTE: While there were 26 speakers, I won’t be referencing each speaker, rather — a collection of what I learned throughout the event.

1. Make Money Matter

When I heard the theme of the event, I thought it was original yet didn’t understand the scope of what it truly meant.

Thrive is about creating the success and freedom in our lives and businesses so we have the capacity, resources, time and energy to give back.

This starts from the top with Cole Hatter and his unquenchable thirst for creating a meaningful impact on the world and trickles all the way down to every attendee.

I’ve never been to an event that was so intently focused on giving back, in fact — we were able to fund a school for Pencils of Promise to the tune of $35,000 during the event.

2. Create An Impact Right Now

While the above is powerful in its own right, many people, including myself will say…

“Well, let me hit my financial target of [Insert Financial Or Business Goal] and then I’ll give back.”

That’s not how this works, and you and I have an ability to give back right now and make it part of our current business model, even if we are light years from our targets.

3. Saying Yes To Something Always Means Saying No To Something Else

In life, we often say yes to things we don’t really want to do — usually based on social conditioning patterns to seek approval and be liked.

Yet, when we say yes, we’re automatically saying “no” to something else, many times — ourselves.

Imagine for a moment you added up all the times you said yes to please others, yet during the process were letting down the most important person in your life — yes, that’s you.

That doesn’t feel quite as good, does it?

4. Schedule Play Time

Preston Smiles and Alexi Panos had an unbelievable presentation with so many gems, but I loved the part about scheduling “play” time.

As entrepreneurs, we can get super serious about the tasks we have to do and forget to you know, live life.

I know this from experience when I was a young business owner and thought “more time working” meant more income and success, yet realized I was missing out on life.

The paradox they discussed was that when you schedule more play time, you come back to your work more focused, more creative and with an even better perspective — win, win!

5. What Bores You Can Be A World Class Solution For Others

JJ Virgin dropped a knowledge bomb that few noticed when she spoke about how what bores us can be a world class solution, business or service that helps countless others.

She was discussing her book on food intolerances and how she didn’t think it was a big deal — yet she had an incredible bestseller that shifted her career and helped countless others across the world.

We all have these areas of life where we’ve pursued mastery level knowledge, yet brush it off because it’s so embedded into us that we forget how powerful it can be to others.

6. Train Your Brain For Peak Performance

John Assaraf brought the heat to the stage and reminded us why we do what we do — combining psychology, human behavior and neuroscience to determine our actions and ultimately, our fulfillment in life.

The truth is, our brains are designed to save as much energy as they are able to, so it can focus on you know — the important stuff. We can either use this in ways that serve us (bring us closer to what we want to be, do and have) or push us further away.

Which are you choosing?

7. Help Others And Give Without Expectation

So many times in life we feel entitled when we give and always expect something in return.

You and I have done this before, whether it’s holding a door open for someone and expecting a thank you or going out of our way for an employee and feeling like they didn’t acknowledge it enough.

When we feel entitled to receive back, we become selfish instead of the original, abundant point of giving: being selfless.

8. Success Is A Decision

You and I can choose to be successful today — first, we have to examine and truly ask ourselves what our definition of success looks like.

Then, we can simply decide to operate in this space and live a life based on design around this vision, not default to what others think success is.

9. Have The Balls To Be Yourself

You’ve heard this before, but how often do you walk into a room and dim who you are?

There’s only one you — stop trying to fit in, or to cater to your perception of what other people may be thinking about you.

Be loud and proud of who you are and never apologize for your fire, intensity and uniqueness (embrace your weird, as Pat Flynn said.)

10. Write A Letter To Yourself

Nick Unsworth spoke about how when he finally committed to deep and long lasting change, he wrote a letter to himself and now uses it as a practice every month.

This letter is written in the future tense coming from the end in mind, as if he has achieved his goals, which he calls “future pacing” and he reads it every day until the goal is accomplished.

11. So, What? Vs. Me Too

I forget who spoke about this, but when we’re telling our story or connecting with others — we want to be relatable because that’s when a connection happens.

And that’s why we want to make sure we craft our message in a way that allows our audience to say “me too” instead of looking at us and saying “so, what?”

12. The Power Of Moonshot Thinking

You can spend all your time and energy trying to create incremental progress to the tune of 10%…

Or you can take this energy and shoot for 10X the growth, results and impact in your life and business.

The key distinction: going for 10x isn’t that much more work than going for 10%, so you might as well go all in.

Thrive 2016 #SquadGoals

13. Redefining The Definition Of Conventional Risk

Grant Cardone brought the house down with his energy, enthusiasm and hilarious delivery, yet flipped conventional wisdom upside down time and time again.

Staying at your current job instead of quitting? Risky.

Buying a home with a 30-year mortgage? Risky.

Not pursing your dreams, no matter how crazy they seem? Risky.

14. Success Is Not About The Volume Of Tasks

Productivity and time management are illusions and quite a paradox — doing more today actually means we have more to do tomorrow, not less.

With that said, it’s easy to focus on the volume of tasks which are usually urgent, yet not important.

The real visionary delegates these tasks and focuses on the big drivers of business that are important, yet far from urgent but will truly create an impact in business and life.

15. The 30X Rule

Rory Vaden spoke deeply about outsourcing the tasks that make no sense for us to do as entrepreneurs and hold us back from achieving the results and freedom we’re aiming for.

The 30X rule says you should spend 30X the amount of time training someone to do a task as it would take you to do that same task one time.

When you add up these tasks over a year, the time you’ve delegated away is absolutely mind-blowing.

16. Create Raving Fans

Pat Flynn broke down the way our audiences connect with us and how he’s been able to create raving fans by delivering endless value, being himself and getting feedback from his most loyal members of his tribe.

We’ve all heard the 1,000 true fans rule and finding easy ways to escalate the casual fans in our audience all the way up to raving fans can be strategically created no matter what business we’re in.

17. Be Open To New Experiences

Openness is powerful in life, yet we place ourselves in boxes and so often close off from new perspectives that could directly impact our results, fulfillment and joy of seeing the world through new lenses.

Being open involves dropping our ego and choosing to view life from someone else’s point of view and becoming a life long learner.

18. Be Ruthless With The Caliber Of People Around You

Tai Lopez talked about if we’re not being absolutely ruthless about the caliber of standard and values we use to filter the people around us — that’s our fault.

So many people complain of negativity and scarcity thinking in their lives, yet act like they haven’t chosen these relationships or even acknowledged the benefits they’re receiving from holding on to them.

We’ve heard this before but the quality of information and mindsets are largely determined by who we surround ourselves by and knowing we have the power to choose who we let in is crucial.

19. Stop Being Selfish

Living in our own cloud of doubt and insecurity and not sharing our gifts to the world is a selfish act, because if we have a deeply rooted why then it becomes our ethical duty to get it out to the world.

20. Shine Brighter

So often when we meet others, we’re amazed at what they’re doing and then play small when it’s our turn to shine.

We change our language, our tone of voice and act like we’re not doing something mind blowing or life changing, and that begins to create our reality.

21. Ask Better Questions

One of the best parts of the conference was the time in between speakers, at lunch or dinner making connections.

Instead of asking the cringe-worthy “what do you do?”, ask:

What inspires you?

What are you passionate about?

What gets you fired up?

This creates instant connection and allows you to go a few levels deeper out of the gate, differentiate yourself and cut through the fluff that no one really wants to answer.

22. Uncover Your Deeper Why

Our why is what drives us to continue to take the actions required to achieve our visions and goals long after the high of setting or declaring them has worn off.

Knowing this why and revisiting every day is the key to long term consistency when most others would have given up.

Know your why and put triggers all over your environment to remind you of it.

23. Be The Student And The Teacher

You and I can learn something from every single person on this planet because we all have a unique perspective and an innate wisdom to share.

When you’ve woken up one day and thought you’ve known everything you need to know, or only listen to those with a similar or higher “status” than you, you’ve killed off a part of yourself.

24. Be Here Now

You’ve heard this a million times, but so often we live our lives being two places at once.

We’re on vacation with our family, yet in our heads we’re at work.

We’re at a Thrive conference, yet in our heads we’re comparing ourselves to others.

We’re in a workout or yoga class, yet in our heads we’re thinking about what we haven’t done.

Inhale…exhale…be here now.

25. Your Journey Is Going To Be Messed Up

Story after story during Thrive was about life’s unexpected surprises, curveballs and challenges that brought people to a point where they could have easily chosen victimhood.

They could have easily given up, stopped and completely rationalized why they couldn’t keep going.

Yet, the resilience shown across the board in the pursuit of their dreams is a reminder that our journey is going to have ups and downs, periods of darkness and we’ll be questioning the whole damn thing.

26. Thrive, Baby

The last and final nugget goes back to the event name and it’s simply:

Thrive, baby.

In life, most people are walking around like zombies wishing, waiting, praying or rationalizing for “some day.”

Be the beacon, stand up and declare what you want and never apologize for being loud and proud of the life you’ve created no matter what others may be saying to your face or behind your back.

About The Author

Hey, I’m Tommy. I don’t have anything figured out, but I love the process.

If any part of this story resonated with you, I’d deeply appreciate a recommend and a share.

For more insights, lessons and action steps to create the life you’ve been dreaming of, listen Resist Average Academy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Web.

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