The Power Within is a day long event with a variety of different speakers aimed to inspire, motivate and teach. In Montreal, I attended the conference on April 3rd, 2007. It was well worth the price of admission (app. $220).
There were 7 speakers in total, each one accomplished, successful and worth seeing. Some brought total, unadulterated motivation, others brought a quieter, more pensive approach. They were all excellent speakers in their own way – standing in front of 5,000 people is no easy feat – although for many of these people it’s par for the course on a regular basis.
Mike Lipkin started the day off with an ear-blasting, hair-raising presentation on motivation and persuasion. It was a great way to start the day, and if you were looking for a little pick me up, Mike was the guy for you. I took the most notes from Mike (maybe cause it was at the beginning) and he may have inspired the most future blog posts as well.
Two points of Mike’s presentation really stuck with me:
- Back yourself completely; and,
- Invite your fear in.
I’m a strong believer in both, and do fairly well with them most of the time, so I spent a good chunk of time nodding in agreement as Mike spoke.
Mike also said, “Everyone is fascinating,” which struck me as interesting from the perspective of a blogger. It’s quite the blanket statement, but it resonates strongly when you’re putting yourself out there as a blogger, writing and publishing your thoughts and connecting online with as many people as possible.
Terry Savage is an expert on making money. And that’s a great thing to be an expert at! Terry’s got a very calm, matter-of-fact approach, and although much of her information was fairly basic, it was still a good reminder. Invest your money. Invest early. Invest diligently. Keep investing. You’ll be rich when you retire.
Terry’s job isn’t to make you cheer and sing, it’s to remind you how important it is to manage your own finances. I contacted my financial adviser the very next day to get a move on some things.
Irshad Manji is author of the best selling The Trouble with Islam Today. Aside from the fact that the lights went out during her presentation, it was great. She’s as courageous as they come, and a wonderful public speaker. Animated, excited and dedicated to her mission in life. Irshad’s focus is on religion and culture, but there were many lessons to take away as an entrepreneur as well…stuff I hope to write about in the near future.
One of her best points, “Courage isn’t the absence of fear.”
I was looking forward to seeing Mitch speak since he’s a personal friend of mine. He did not disappoint. Mitch focuses on personal branding. It’s something I haven’t dedicated enough time to talking about on this blog, but it’s something I’ve focused on for myself a great deal in the last year. Personal branding is strategic and requires effort. It’s about shaping each and every communication and interaction you have with others in a positive way for yourself. It’s about cultivating a good image and backing it up.
Sadly, I don’t think everyone “gets it” when it comes to personal branding. Although Mitch provides concrete steps people can take, I got the impression that people weren’t totally clear on the concept. Mitch also delves into connecting online, which drew a few blank faces around me.
He ended his presentation with a video about the “Free Hugs” guy, Juan Mann. I hadn’t seen it before, but it was great.
Who doesn’t like ice cream, right? Jerry Greenfield is half of the dynamic duo of Ben & Jerry’s. Extremely relaxed and casual on stage. Jerry’s not going to pump you up with ra ra speeches; he just tells his story which is incredibly interesting.
I didn’t take any notes while Jerry spoke – it wasn’t so much about learning lessons as it was about enjoying a great success story from a guy that comes off as genuine and incredibly friendly. I’d love to meet Jerry Greenfield in person.
The Ben & Jerry’s story is quite something; a true, entrepreneurial success story with all the elements of craziness, luck, innovation and hard work. The key to their success was definitely innovation. Jerry might think it was luck, but listening to what Jerry and Ben did – how they tackled competitors, marketed, bootstrapped…it was all about innovation.
Tony Robbins is insane. I don’t think there’s any other way of explaining him.
His presentation is wild. You spend most of the time standing, and a good portion of the time cheering and interacting with others around you. For some, they might find it overwhelming. I wasn’t feeling well, so the jumping made me woozy.
Tony focused almost exclusively on emotions as the ultimate driver and resource of everything we do in life.
Keep asking that question and you always get down to an individual’s emotions.
Intertwined with his message of “emotions rule all” was a recognition of how our nervous systems and bodies regulate and manage so much for us. The state we’re in – physically – affects us emotionally and drives us positively or negatively. It’s not about whether you’re healthy or not (although that’s definitely important), it’s more about your physiological state at any given moment in time.
In the end, Tony Robbins gave me a lot to think about, although I did find the cheering a bit much. Call me a cynic…(I’m not though, honest!)
President Clinton didn’t speak long enough, which is a shame. He’s a master at it. He has a completely different style than Tony Robbins (no surprise there!) but he’s got a commanding presence.
Clinton’s focus was on everyone’s ability to do more to help others. He talked about the state of the world, the environment, politics, economics…
You didn’t have to take notes, you just listened. Clinton was absolutely correct in his assessment of how effective the Internet has been at mobilizing more and more people (including people of lesser means) to give more money to worthy causes. I still remain a skeptic of so many charities – how much of my money really goes to help people? And I also question how effective the money is at really helping? Clinton touched on both points very briefly. He said that they know how to spend the money and how to do so properly. I want to believe him, but I’ll admit that it’s tough.
I do donate money to those charities that are important to me, and I particularly like concepts such as Kiva.org where you give out microloans instead of handouts.
The Power Within was a great experience. The mix of speakers provided a lot of variety in styles, topics and approaches. I enjoyed each one, although my money is still on Mike Lipkin for the best speech of the day. It might be that what I needed that day is exactly what Mike was serving…but when you combined his wild South African accent, dynamic demeanor and inspirational content, it just worked.