Over the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to get invited as a VIP guest to a couple of TEDx events in New York. It was an honor as well as a humbling experience to be a part of these great events.
I also recently teamed up with a couple of friends and attended a TEDxAmherst event with the dual purpose of networking and enjoying the day with them. For all of you who are unfamiliar with TED or TEDx, you can see what it’s about on TED.com. A quick heads up, TED is not a big giant talking Teddy Bear or a person. It is actually a global set of conferences focused on spreading innovative “ideas worth spreading.” TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TEDx events are locally organized TED-like events put together by those who have been licensed through TED. As someone who is a public speaker, TED has been an invaluable source of inspiration and always taps into both the intellectual and emotional (limbic) side of the brain. It is a great opportunity to see what your peers are talking about and refuel your proverbial tank. But TED talks are really for everyone and anyone interested in learning and hearing new ideas. You can see the likes of everyone from Bill Gates, and Malcolm Gladwell to High School Educators from the Bronx. The talks are great array of talent, stories, innovation and ideas. In the TEDx events I recently attended, I connected with many of the great thinkers of our generation. It always an honor sharing ideas with innovative thinkers who are not afraid to push boundaries and the status quo. During the events however, I began to notice a theme emerging as we were sharing our ideas. There are three things that we all had in common, whether it was the speakers, entrepreneurs or innovators.
3 Beliefs All Successful People Have:
- Tell and Own Your Story- This applies to a public forum like TED or in everyday life. Our lives are a continuous narrative of the impact we make on people and the world. Be proud of sharing your story, ideas, accomplishments and perceived failures because it is the only way that ideas can catch on and spread. Nobody can share your experience, lessons learned, and “Wins” like you; and people want to hear it, trust me. If you keep your ideas to yourself and don’t allow for those ideas to impact others, what good are they? Tell it, own it and be passionate about your story!
- Networking is Everything- “All great work in life comes in teams.” Over the past few years, the ideas of tribes, networks and teams have been prominent in spreading creative ideas. If you are at an event, be the first to introduce yourself, say hi and extend your hand. Once your break that uncomfortable moment of uncertainty, the possibilities that arise from doing so are endless. My life has changed from doing just that. A five-minute conversation during a training break I attended a few years ago allowed me to connect with one of my mentors and has changed my life. Human connections are most powerful, so don’t miss the opportunity to network and connect with someone.
- Innovation Can Be Simple– Some of the quotes I heard were “Innovation is a by-product of problem solving,” “Lean, Earn and Return,””Ideas are Assets,””First You Deserve then You Desire,” “Play is a spirit that you can bring to everything you do.” All great quotes and ideas but also profoundly simple concepts. Often times, people think that their ideas aren’t good enough, smart enough or “deep” enough to share them. The answer is often found in simplicity. Remember Albert Einstein’s quote “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, your don’t understand it yourself.” All of us interested in sharing ideas and making a difference can’t forget that the purpose is for people to get it and be called to action.
So the next time you attend a conference, whether it is a TED event, work related or a personal development course, remember these three takeaways: Tell your story, network and keep it simple. You will be surprised at the connections you make, people you impact and ideas your spread.
Trust in yourself and great things will happen!