3 Incredible Lessons I Learned From Being Around 120 Talented World-Changers For Two Days

If you know me, you know I’m addicted to growth. Addicted to learning, adapting, and maturing as fast as I can. But you'll also know that I'm not the best people person.

In fact, I used to be scared to death of people.

I was so shy and quiet as a kid, that some people thought I couldn't talk. As a junior in high school just a few short years ago, I barely talked to anybody unless I was first spoken to. I had no confidence. I thought this was my life, just who I was, and I'd always be this way. But I was wrong. 

I'm no longer that shy kid. I'm more confident in myself today than I've ever been, and I'm still growing every day. It's not always easy, but people no longer scare me.

So recently, I got the chance to spend a few days in Bend, Oregon with 120 brilliant leaders, entrepreneurs, and family men and women, and I had an absolute blast. I got to spend time with so many people who are changing the world with their passions and talent, in multiple different industries. I learned so much in my time there, so I thought I'd write an article sharing a few things that stood out to me, and can hopefully be valuable to you. 

Without further ado, here are 3 lessons I learned from being around 120 world-changers and business leaders for two days

1. Storytelling changes people.

Scott Harrison shared the story of how he went from NYC night club promoter, and getting people drunk for a living (in his own words) to starting Charity: Water, the non-profit organization that has given almost 7 million people in developing countries access to clean drinking water. And the way Charity: Water has been so radically successful in shifting the culture around charities and raising million of dollars for clean water, is through the power of storytelling. 

Because stories move people.

Think about any good movie you've seen. The basis behind all good movies is a good story. They draw us in, and if the story is a good one, they have the power to truly change us.

And then think about the power of story in branding and marketing. All of the most successful companies tell a story through their business. Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Disney, TOMS Shoes, and more. They all tell a story, and we love to share stories. Stories spread fast.

So whether you're telling the story of your business or your personal life, using the power of storytelling can transform the way we see you, and the way we think about you. And the power of story ties directly into the next point...

2. Authenticity is the only path.

We love authenticity. We love real. We love vulnerability. We even expect it from others, both in real life and on social media. Authenticity is attractive. 

And we love those who are real with us. Who show the messy and broken parts of their lives with us. We feel connected with them, like we know them as a friend. But we're all scared to death of being vulnerable and authentic ourselves.

And the only way to establish trust is to be authentic.

This means being fully you. Showing the messy parts of your life. Unveiling your weaknesses and faults. Not hiding behind your ego all the time. This is true strength.

So we must humble ourselves and allow the less perfect parts of our lives to shine through. We may get hurt by opening up, but this is far better than living life feeling like no one truly knows us. So whether you're having a conversation with your best friend over coffee, or sharing a part of your life through social media, I encourage you to be real. It's so attractive. Never easy, but that's exactly why it's so powerful.

3. People matter, period.

Over the course of a few days, I got to meet and connect with some amazing people. And the more connections I made, and relationships that started to develop, the more I realized this one thing:

People really matter.

As I shared earlier, I was never truly comfortable dealing with people growing up. And that's a miserable life. People make life fun. Exciting. And worth it.

Having great people on your side is the difference between winning and losing. The difference between leaving a legacy and nobody remembering your name. And it's also really hard to make good memories all by yourself. You need people.

Without the right people, you won't go anywhere exciting. But with the right people you'll go farther than you could ever imagine.

Practical Next Steps

See if you can share something with someone this week that makes you really uncomfortable. Open up about something that makes you feel awkward. Because that's the only way to establish trust in relationship.

Did this post challenge or encourage you?

If so, I would really appreciate it if you would share it with a friend. Just use this link (copy and paste): japhethmast.com/blog/lessons-from-startupcamp-summit

Remember, life is short. Make it awesome.