Embrace the Change That’s Coming
This year I was inspired to take massive action in an effort to be cured of my disease, Achalasia, in five years.
Phillip Stutts is founder & CEO of Go BIG Media, Inc., an award-winning media firm serving corporate and political clients around the world. He founded Go BIG Media on an ethos of service, excellence, and generosity, and with a mission to totally disrupt an industry. He recently shared an inspiring personal breakthrough that will help inspire you to take your own moonshot.
It was Wayne Dyer who said, “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” I’m reminded of this quote every time I receive an email from the exponential wisdom of Peter Diamandis and his talented team. Last month I was honored to attend Diamandis’ inimitable two-and-a-half day summit in Beverly Hills, “Abundance 360”. It exceeded even my lofty expectations.
You may know Diamandis as creator and Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, the incentive competition that paid $10 million for the first private sub-orbital flight. That’s just one reason Peter is among America’s top entrepreneurs and an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions, and commercial space. In 2014, Fortune Magazine named him one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”
There are many facets to the summit, from the plethora of exciting products that will be introduced in our future, to the scarcity we face if we do not adapt and grow, to the ability to impact our health and live thirty years longer (this is one of Peter’s “moonshots” — more on that later). Peter’s mantra is to have an optimistic and futuristic outlook on the abundance coming into our lives.
As I entered the ballroom to begin the summit, I realized how different this was going to be compared to other business seminars I’ve attended.
The people and the purpose set this summit apart. The attendees are not “lost” business owners. Peter describes his hand-selected attendees as “business owners ranging from $5M to $500M+ and are committed to turning their success into global significance.” He likes to frame this “global significance” as taking a moonshot approach. If you like learning from the top talent in the world, testing the products that will drive our economy for the next twenty-five years, and using health practices to turn yourself into bionic superhuman, then this is the place to be.
Peter did not disappoint as the conference led off with a fireside chat between himself, Steve Jurvetson, and Tony Robbins. Jurvetson is a Tesla Board Member, and an acclaimed venture capitalist. Deloitte named him VC of the year in 2012. Robbins is of course the serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist, and the nation’s #1 life and business strategist.
We soon learned that the world is on the precipice of disruption beyond recognition — we’re not just talking about self-driving cars, but automated airborne drones that will take you to and from work everyday. If you are in the parking lot business, your industry is about to be disrupted, and my advice is to think more abundantly.
Let’s get back to one of the central themes — moonshots. According to Diamandis, it simply means a “daring seemingly impossible mission. When most of the world is trying to go 10% bigger, a moonshot is 10x bigger.”
As Peter passionately described his moonshots (a term that comes out of Google X), I decided my moonshot was not going to be focused on my digital media company, but rather my health.
The past five years I’ve been dealing with a rare esophageal disease called Achalasia. It affects one out of 100,000 and skews towards an older population. The odds are a bit more “exponential” when you consider I’m forty-two years old. There is no known cure. I’ve had three major surgeries on it to date and I’m currently on a liquid diet for two meals a day. My doctors at the Mayo Clinic warn me that I am on a ten to fifteen year (at most) trajectory until I will have my esophagus removed, and thereby ingesting my meals through a feeding tube for the rest of my life. (I tell my wife that we should do that trip to France sooner rather than later).
No doubt, this diagnosis was a shock to the system. My doctors at Johns Hopkins, and now at The Mayo Clinic tell me how to medicate my disease (take certain acid reducing pills multiple times a day no matter the long term consequences and the fact that my “affordable health care” doesn’t cover the full extent of the prescriptions). The doctors cannot seem to identify the root cause of the disease or its cure.
Time is not on my side, but I’m also a happy patient who knows this isn’t the end of the world, just a new challenge. And after attending A360, Peter Diamandis’ abundant outlook to any problem gave me reason for hope…and action.
So I decided to disrupt my disease. My moonshot? I will be cured of Achalasia in five years. This isn’t just hope, or blind optimism. I have a plan, and I’m not going to let up. I will pursue and execute on my moonshot until I achieve it. It’s my massively transformative purpose (another Peter teaching).
It’s not every day you attend what I perceived to be a “business conference” and leave with a mission to cure a disease. I have that mission now. I see the abundance of “life happening for me, not to me” — a Tony Robbins teaching.
I’m looking forward to attending Abundance 360 next year, sharing my moonshot progress with Peter and designing new ones for the future.
This is the start of an amazing journey to disrupt the status quo and do the impossible, and I’m grateful for the visionary that planted the seed.
What’s your moonshot?
Originally published at www.inc.com on March 1, 2017.