I just returned from spending four days in Portland, Oregon for the 2014 World Domination Summit. You might wonder what an etiquette consultant was doing at something having to do with world domination. I wondered too when I arrived. Despite my friend Beth Buelow’s gushing about how wonderful the 2013 Summit was I was sure I had stepped into some sort of revolutionary cult – a cult of starry eyed young people full of naïve optimism about changing the world.
Why did that scare me? Well perhaps it was because I wasn’t sure I belonged. I’m just a 50 something etiquette consultant doing my best to help people be their best. But I’m not changing the world. However, after hearing the many inspiring speakers who are all impacting the world in their own big and small ways, I was moved to do the same. And I knew WDS 2014 was exactly where I was meant to be.
There were so many messages that resonated with me. Jonathan Fields, author and entrepreneur, spoke about how to tap revolution dynamics to grow your business and change the world. What stuck with me was when he talked about the traits that make a great leader – humility, vulnerability, being one of the team, leading by the desire to serve and truthfulness. His presentation was a good reminder of the importance of being humble and vulnerable; two traits I’m not always good at embodying. The perfectionist in me wants to be anything but vulnerable, and my insecure side sometimes overcompensates by being aloof.
I know that humility and vulnerability is especially important as an etiquette consultant – someone who seemingly has all of the answers and never messes up – so that people don’t feel intimidated by me. So, expect to read, see and hear more about the authentic Arden, the one who does mess up and makes mistakes and who didn’t come from a life of privilege.
Jadah Sellner, co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies, shared how she went from being $41,000 in debt with no college degree to creating a business where she was making $30,000 per month 18 months later. She reminded the audience that the key to a successful business is perseverance, belief and love for your product and your community. She encouraged us to write down our big goal or seemingly impossible dream – like making $30,000 a month when she was barely able to pay her bills – so that we manifest it. I know this has worked for me in the past.
So, I’d like to publicly state one of my big goals right now. I will finish writing my etiquette book this year! And it will be published in 2015 if not sooner. Hold me to it dear readers. I very much want to get this book published. I’ve written seven chapters so far so I’m in the home stretch.
Lastly, Michael Hyatt, author, speaker and former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers shared many important messages inspired by growing up with an alcoholic father. I jotted down some of his statements that really moved me:
- “How do I want to be remembered?”
- “What is important to me?” He encouraged us to make a list and rank them so that we get crystal clear on what matters most to us.
- “All of the important things happen outside of your comfort zone.” I know we hear this a lot, but I don’t think we can hear it enough. Growing a business, being a better coach, trainer, speaker – add your goals here – all of those mean pushing out of my comfort zone.
Michael’s vulnerability and openness as a speaker also motivated me to create an inspirational keynote presentation; one that shares my bumpy, not always pretty path to becoming an etiquette consultant, and why, after eschewing manners and etiquette for most of my 20s, I now espouse the importance of living a courteous, mannerly life.
There were so many inspiring speakers with important messages. This post would be very long if I included all of my takeaways so I will stop here. Suffice it to say it was a wonderful event. It allowed me to get out of the office, connect with others and get perspective on my life and business. I feel renewed, refreshed and excited about being a better person and a better etiquette consultant.
Thank you Chris Guillebeau, WDS Founder, author and amazingly giving person for creating the World Domination Summit and pushing us all to do great things! I have stars in my eyes.
Readers, have you attended a conference or presentation that really inspired you? Did you take action? Did you make any changes in your personal or professional life? What big goal do you want to accomplish?