Lessons About Resilience From #EONerve 2016

Going to an EO conference in Boston with over 500 CEO’s, business leaders, successful entrepreneurs is energizing and exhausting at the same time. I love meeting all the people I know and catching up. I love learning from the half a dozen speakers I heard from and getting inspired by the people who got up and spoke about the struggles they have been through.

 

The most exhausting thing for me is about the follow up. If there is one thing I have learned from going to conferences, it’s that unless you follow up with the people and the content, it’s a waste of time.

EO Member Selfies from Nerve 2016

I have 50 people that I need to follow up with about various conversations that we had. I also need to implement about half a dozen things into my company and into my family.

 

Here are some 10 ideas that I got from the conference.

 

  1. What are you really bad at? Ever ask yourself that question? As a positive person, I am constantly focusing on my strengths. I do not take the time to identify what I am deliberately bad at. Dr Frances Frei spoke to us about how great companies are great at a few things that matter to the consumers and they are deliberately bad at other things to stand out. How IKEA is really bad at quality, location and customer service but great at low prices and do it yourself mentality.
  2. Training your client is just as important as training your employees. We all know that training our employees are important. Many people do not realize how important it is to train their clients too. Manage their expectations, teach them how to communicate with you. Starbucks is great at getting you to learn their made up words so that you can practice on the line and not look like an idiot when you order. They created all this vocabulary to simplify their own needs to making sure that they can speed up orders and put the burden on the client to learn their language. It’s a powerful idea to teach your clients how to fit into your mold and make them appreciate your own personal competitive advantage.
  3. It’s impossible to be resilient if you do not look at obstacles as problems that you need to solve. The reason that people are able to overcome great challenges in life is because they have the courage to focus on what they are in control over. They understand that they will not be in control of everything. They do not blame or look for a an excuse about why it won’t work. Instead they think about what they are in control of and how they can change the situation. Changing your mindset to problem solving will help you get back up.
  4. For a startup to be successful you need to have a visionary and an operator to be able to have ruthless focus on finding a sustainable profitable market. The big problem with startups getting money is they spend it on fancy things like a nice logo or great furniture. What they need to be focused on is finding a way to make a sustainable profitable machine that produces profit from the market. 80 percent of startups go out of business in the first 3 years because they do not have this ruthless focus of finding this market. Once you find this market you can start having fun.
  5. Business if fun till you hit white water. At some point your business will hit whitewater, which means that the lack of systems and processes will cause havoc. Problems will creep and clients will not he happy. The visionary and the operator used to have FUN but they are now dealing with too many issues. So they get a processor to start creating processes for their business. Checklists and systems are being created and if there is not enough synergy they go from predictable success to the treadmill, where processes are more important than common sense and eventually go out of business.
  6. If the visionary leaves the business the operator soon follows. The operator needs the visionary to stay inspired and the visionary needs to the operator to be a ruthless finisher. The way that they succeed is they work together synergistically. Where the visionary does not share every single idea that pops into his head and allows the meetings to have an agenda. The operator is present and doesn’t always try to fight fires. If the operator is the firefighter, the visionary is the arsonist.
  7. Stop focusing on your kids weaknesses and start focusing on their strengths. When was the last time you ask your kids what they are BEST at? When was the last time you celebrated their islands of competence. That is the key to building up your children and helping them grow to be resilient adults. Discovering what they are best at, focusing and honoring their strengths will give them the courage to take those strengths and apply them with resilience.
  8. What charitable activities have you done together as a family? It’s important for families to do charitable activities together so kids become more grateful for what they have and end up being happier. We get so caught up in our day to day that we sometimes forget how important it is to help others. Studies show that people who mentor, teach, donate their time have a greater sense of purpose and live longer, happier lives. Volunteer your time, effort and energy to help others.
  9. There are three types of children, the easy child, the shy child and the difficult child. Every child needs to have a charismatic person in their life who they can look up to. Someone who they can draw strength from. How do you become that charismatic person in your child’s life? Build them up, accept them for who they are. Dr Robert Brooks spoke to us about his parents and how they had a file on him and his brothers that made him feel really special. That gave him the ability to bounce back and be more resilient in tough times.  Difficult children just want to be accepted and empathized with. The worst thing for a child self esteem is when they see disappointment in their parents eyes. Your child is born with a temperament which has nothing to do with you and your mission is to love them unconditionally. You will not get all your needs met from your kids. You need to love them for who they are and accept them.
  10. Use your right brain more by laughing and helping others. When you take the time to laugh, even if you fake laugh, you develop your right brain and have the capacity to connect with others and you feel more fulfilled. A young woman that had her left brain removed got on stage and Beth spoke to us about how she felt and how she got through it by caring about others. Thinking about others is the key to living a more fulfilled life.

 

I have so much more to say and there are so many more take aways, for now the key is to follow up and implement or get a ruthless finisher to help me do that.

 

What actions are you going to take today? What resonated with you the most by reading this?

 

Feel free to comment below.

 

Joe Apfelbaum

Ajax Union