August 29th, I entered a new decade. As mentioned in the previous post, the experience felt like making direct contact with rock bottom. It is a place I have been before and can I tell you, I hated it! Yet, the skill to climb out of the bottom and back to the top made me a more informed person on the other side of that valley. As you know, I turned the big four O. Here is a sidebar if you did not know this fact… Michael Jackson and I share birthdays!!! AOWW!
Now back to the story. In the months leading up to my birthday and even the months that followed, I began to assess my life and listen to the whisper asking the question, “What did your four decades produce for the next generation?” Ouch!
I knew there had to be a transition but I did not know how to get there. So, I stayed put in daily discomfort. Maybe I lacked the faith to leap. Or simply unwilling to drastically disrupt or subject my family to hardship. Or some might say, I did not take the time to figure out the possibilities. I would say, maybe all of the above.
The Yellow Brick Road towards my next chapter, like the one Dorothy and her friends travelled in the The Wizard of OZ, for me it came in the form of a conference. My best friend from high school gave me a ticket to “Speak and Write to make millions 2016” in downtown Atlanta. If you know me like she does, you know that this was the perfect gift! Why? Well, I love getting good information that I can apply. I love capturing stories. I love writing and I speak in images. I have a passion for these things, for as long as I can remember.
Before arriving at the conference, I assumed I would learn to write a book and find my voice for public speaking… the end. Little did I know, that it would be an experience of a lifetime! I learned later that the conference was designed to put the people in attendance, back in touch with themselves on a holistic level.
Not only did my girlfriend get me a ticket, she literally got herself one just to make sure that I attended because she had bigger dreams for me than I did for myself. She has been bugging me for years to write in my voice, just write a book. Baby steps, at least I started this blog. My girlfriend is also seeking transition. Her focus was searching for how to make a transition into entrepreneurship. “People have transitioned,” she would always say, “I want to do it and I don’t think it is necessary to reinvent the wheel. We find the person, we connect with them, and we will find the formula.” A smart girl right, yes she is worth keeping around.
On the morning of the conference, us girls carpooled 45 minutes to the beautiful Marriott Marquis. Inside, I saw a sign at the top of the escalator that was meant to guide us to the event. Instead, it stopped me in my tracks—there stood a large poster of a woman with prayer hands and eyes closed. She was African American with natural hair, but the sepia tones of her image exuded warmth, peace, and power. I knew nothing about her so I wondered, how did she get here? My girlfriend, on the other hand, follows her on periscope and other social media platforms. She secretly dreamed that I would meet this woman, but never said a word to me.
The Speak and Write to make millions conference is an annual event ran by the organization, Motivating the Masses. The woman on the picture I later found out is Lisa Nichols, the CEO of the company and a global transformational speaker.
At registration, we bumped into a sea of people and a sea of questions came rolling in my mind. What is attracting so many followers to her? Is she some celebrity I should know? Scanning the crowd, it had to be more than 500 people. So all these people think they have a story to tell? Hmm. Interesting.
When the doors opened, the crowd rushed in like the electric energy inside the hall pulled them in. My girlfriend and I found our seats. Every chair had a clapper. Like eager students, we had notepads and workbooks in hand ready to learn.
First thing on screen is an inspirational video about living your best life and inside your great big dream. Then came another video from prolific speaker Sekou Andrew about the power of speaking and writing. Here is a tiny excerpt of his spoken word:
“First you speak and write to make movement. Move your community to access their power! Move the mind of your students and crack open their visions. You must speak and write to make mindsets right!”
Can you tell, it started out with a bang? YES YES every word spoken served to motivate the masses to soar above challenges, systemic barriers, and even themselves! Next on stage was a live performance by Lakeisha Michelle who added the sweet syrup of her songs on already motivated hearts and minds.
I began to think, nice motivation, little did I know that it was only going up from there. YES, YES! All the way up! Next to grace us with her presence was the bubbly Susie Carder, President, and COO of Motivating the Masses. Right off the bat, she said, “This is the place to find your next business partners, next associate, next investor, next best friend.” I began to realize that clarity for our next level was actually on the agenda here. Susie shared proudly that her gift is making money and lots of it! Like, growing seven multi-million dollar businesses, with triple digit growth and selling her business for $15 million many years ago. And this current company she brags of it being one of the first African America female owned businesses to go public. You go girl!
It became very clear to me that this was not a fun and games kinda conference. In fact, thousands joined from all over the world on Livestream. Since she is the money woman, she began teaching us how to create multiple revenue streams and making sure a business is holistically mapped out to garner success. Every business she teaches needs to be armed with operational plans, financial plans, marketing plans, sales plans, in order to create a roadmap for success. We went pass Business 101, straight to Advanced Business. Literally, she presented every possible strategy to ensure everyone achieves his or her maximum success potential.
Can I tell you that blew my mind! Here I am sitting in the presence of greatness. People who are unicorns! People who are seeking nothing but success and the speakers are literally showing and telling us, how to achieve it? Are you kidding me? Who does that? Leaders who rise above their own bottom-line and share the successful pillars that built their company. What leader today shares real insider secrets and actually believes there is enough abundance for all of us, instead of fearing they will get less if we know the secret? I could not believe a tribe, a community like this exists.
Susie conducts a quick survey by asking the audience to raise their hands. In the room are entrepreneurs, college graduates, educators, accountants, leaders in corporate America, non-profit leaders, media people, aspiring leaders, and aspiring public speakers. ALL seeking clarity and the strategy to transition to their next level.
What about you? Where are you in the journey? Lost, confused, or completely clear, join me next week for more downloads from this amazing, life-defining conference.
Take this Self-Assessment.
- Where are you? Lost, empty, on routine or living in complete clarity of purpose?
- Do you see your future clearly? Like pictures and feelings are tangible in your mind.
- Are you seeing how the next generation is better off because of all that you have accomplished in the last 20 years of your life?
- Are your relationships full of life?
- Are you satisfied and content?
If not you are not alone, so no judgment here, I pray today that we will find the abundance that is available to all of us in this life. May every area of our lives be enriching, flourishing and bring complete satisfaction.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8)