The World Domination Summit (#WDS2013 on Twitter) is an inspiring conference for entrepreneurs, artists, innovators and students trying to make a dent in their world. The experience was remarkable by every measure. After reflection, I noticed there were themes repeating to help WDS’ers build a remarkable business. I’d like to share the 7 biggest lessons to dominate your world from #WDS2013.
If you apply these lessons yourself, I’m confident your business will grow too. Please leave comment below if you’ve applied any of these lessons or have others to add.
1. Lead through stories
Here are the facts. On June 26, 2013 my little brother left the classroom.
Here is the story. Only two weeks ago, my little brother shut the door on his life as a boy to begin his first summer as a man.
If you want to change the world, learn to tell a story. If you want to sell and launch your product, you’ll need a story that resonates with your target audience. Nancy Duarte outlined a fantastic storytelling model that your business can use to communicate ideas and motivate your customers. You can see Nancy’s TED talk here.
2. A great brand is pure emotion
A logo is but a symbol of the emotion created by an organizational culture.
The shuttle to the opening night welcome party at the Oregon Zoo was tastefully covered in logos. The next day, attendees picked up their nametags, tickets and swag each with WDS logos. The main speaker stage was one big logo. Breakout rooms, displayed the works of local artists who’d transformed the WDS logos into masterful wood sculptures. Each point where the WDS logo met attendees was mindfully crafted to transfer the emotional experience of joy, inspiration and passion to the logo.
The WDS brand is not their logo, it’s merely a symbol of awesomeness created by people bound to it. The world shaped WDS logo serves as a uniting tribal calling card to restore and transport each of us to those incredible days.
3. Meaning makes money
Bob Moore from Bob’s Red Mill told an inspiring story about the importance of putting people before profit. At over $200M in annual revenue, 40+ years in business and one of the lowest employee turnover rates anywhere, I’d say he’s got some clout. Bob’s pioneering values based approach to put people before profits is not an anomaly.
This model was implemented with great success by companies like Zappos, Semco, Patagonia, Gore-Tex and Google. Not surprisingly, companies like these have proven that employee happiness and engagement are cornerstones to success.
Do you have any other examples?
4. Gratitude is attractive
Tess Vigeland had it all. She was a nationally syndicated radio talk show host on top of her game. Then, as Barry Sanders did when he left football, she decided to leave while on top. Her wish to leave the game was greater than her want to stay. Without a net to fall into, Tess took a leap of faith to graciously and openly explore new opportunities.
Tess’ gratitude to the WDS audience had a profound impact on me. After she left the stage, I couldn’t help but notice the same character trait from every other presenter. Each of them tremendously successful dominating their own world. Each of them have earned attention from large audiences. Each of them are humble and full of gratitude.
This observation challenged my character, I know I’ve got work to do. Do I really appreciate my opportunities or am I thankless for them? Do I appreciate the greatness of others or am I held back from jealousy or envy?
What about you? Are you more often grateful or thankless?
5. Create action
Over 600 WDS attendees set a world record for the longest floating human chain. This special feat deserves notice for three reasons.
First, organizers used creativity to solve an old problem. Chase Jarvis, gave a compelling speech about the need to scale creativity. Given all the unsolved Wicked Problems in business, I couldn’t agree more with Chase. His free platform createLIVE is a great tool for business inspiration and innovation.
Second, there was action. Ideas without action are just ideas. But, innovation is the sum of ideas and action. Innovation is what leads a business to a new cash cow. Innovation is the iPOD, Netflix, Post-It note and Gmail. Every business that hopes for sustainable growth needs to balance both efficiency AND innovation.
Third, they set a world record. Beauty, eh!
6. THIS, is the bonus round
Steve Schachlin should be dead. Diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1996, Steve was knocking on death’s door. He began blogging and writing a musical to document his illness. Then he won the lottery, literally. Steve’s name was randomly selected as one of 1200 HIV/AIDS patients to receive medical treatment for the incurable disease. Steve got a second chance. He lives every day as though it was the bonus round.
Are you (or I) really that different?
What would our lives, choices and businesses be like if we lived each day as a bonus?
7. Ignore the pursuit of perfection
Perfection is impossible. Perfection, like rejection, is a matter of opinion. Thanks Jia Jiang.
Take the shot.
Almost a year ago to this day, I took my shot. I quit my job to pursue an idea that I could build a remarkable business and lead a remarkable life. A year later, I work on both every day. While I’m not quite there, I can say that the change didn’t kill me. I didn’t have to sell my house, buy a van and move down to the river. My family still loves and supports me. I’m proud to say I did it. I’m proud to say I took a chance on me. I’m even more proud that I’ll be able to look my kids in their eyes and tell them their dreams are worth chasing too.
I still have lots of work to do and I’m grateful for any suggestions.
What’s your next move? Is there anyway I can help?
With deepest gratitude,