12 Most Sticky Thoughts from SOBcon Chicago
Sometimes when you go to a business conference you walk away re-engergized and ready to transform your work and your life. Then you get back to the office and suddenly all those inspiring lessons vanish as you dive into your emails, to-do’s, and the inherent resistance to change. And that’s really unfortunate considering the investment in money and time you and your company made in sending you to the conference.
SOBcon Chicago was a month ago and I thought it would interesting to list the key lessons that actually did stick with me.
1. You have to go deep if you want to create
Skimming the surface isn’t going to help you change the world. You have to immerse yourself in your work to make a difference. The beauty of this is that if you love what you do, it isn’t really work, and becomes integrated into your life and who you are.
2. A higher purpose is either your secret sauce or missing ingredient
Sure, you can just focus on making piles of money; it’s not bad. But does that alone change the world and fulfill you? What magic do you offer that no one can? The magic that makes you irreplaceable?
3. You don’t have to scale purpose but as you scale your business, you need to stick to it
How many businesses do you know that started out with such promise but lost their way in the pursuit of growth? It’s because they let go of their purpose. Set yours and revisit it as you grow. Make sure each new hire knows what it is and embraces it.
4. Treat people at the office as if they are guests at your home
This was from Tim Storm of Fatwallet.com. Imagine how much productivity and loyalty companies would create if they treated their employees as guests? What a simple, yet powerful concept. And one few companies will embrace. But you can.
5. There’s no weak position, only weak positioning
For every excuse there’s a positive. When you’re big, you’ve got deeper pockets. When you’re small, you’re more nimble. And when you’re back’s against the wall, you know there’s no one sneaking up behind you so hit the gas. This is the powerful concept Rick Turoczy delivered. I think about it every day.
6. Rediscover silence, Les McKeown tells us
There’s too much noise and clutter preventing us from listening to our second and third voices (internal/external). Silence helps us connect with our thoughts and find clarity. Try it for 30 minutes and note what surfaces.
7. Gary Goldstein told us that “relationships trump results — collect really excellent people”
It’s a key reason why I went to SOBcon and why you should too. It’s filled with really excellent people who care about each other. This has become my number one goal: seeking out people who inspire and push me to be a better person, and avoiding those whose mission is to pull you down to mediocrity.
8. If the reason not to do something is that it scares you, do it
This thought is from Steve Farber, and is a simple indicator to push you into action when you’re on the fence. Don’t over think it. Don’t let fear take hold of you. The fact that it scares you means you’re about to expand your world.
9. Productivity pro, Charlie Gilkey, pushed us to ask, “How can I better understand the ideas I currently have?”
Few of us are lacking new ideas. Rather, we’re skipping from idea to idea without seeing many of them through, keeping us from achieving our goals, thinking the grass is greener. Take that step back and explore the ideas you already have written down. I bet there are some special nuggets there waiting to be brought to life. I know I have some in the very Moleskin I brought with me to SOBcon. I’m just as guilty as you for not executing.
10. Understand the patterns in business — finding the areas you can master then mastering them will help you achieve predictable success
Through his work, Les McKeown has uncovered the model and signs a business takes as it grows and dies. It doesn’t really matter what field you’re in, there are some remarkable steps to sustaining success and avoiding demise. I now view my work through a different lens.
11. As a marketer, I chuckled at how Sammy Haroon distilled marketing down to two very simple concepts: Awareness — talk about my stuff, and Advocacy — buy my stuff
Now if it were only that simple to execute on this!
12. Get into the arena and engage
Don’t let your thinking keep you from acting. It’s easy to think, and then think some more. I do this a lot. SOBcon was all about taking action. What actions are you putting off? What are you waiting for, really?
SOBcon was intent on stoking the fire within each of us and getting us off our dime. I’d heard it was a powerful event and decided this was the year to go. I was not at all disappointed. I look forward to building deeper relationships with many of the people I met there. This may also be a conference that I return to again. It’s that good.
SOBconNW is coming up this September. If you care about making a difference in your life and your work, you should really go.
Featured image courtesy of loswl licensed via Creative Commons.