My Top 5 Takeaways from Thrive 2018, Las Vegas


Lots to Ponder: My Top 5 Takeaways from Thrive 2018, Las Vegas

I went to Thrive 2018 in Las Vegas with no expectations, but ended up with a bunch of takeaways and I want to share my top 5 with you.

Thanks to a generous friend, I received a ticket to Thrive 2018 . Luckily, I was already on the road (surprise) so it was a pleasant surprise and a small detour.

I’ve been diving into Conference-Land the past few years. It’s an arena and lifestyle I knew little about before, other than education training when I was a teacher and the occasional photography gathering.

This was way out of my normal circle, and definitely out of my comfort zone.

I only knew a couple of people attending, and the crowd was…different. I’m used to chumming around with artists and podcasters, so highly successful entrepreneurs was a shift.

If you know me, then you know I’m pretty sensitive to energy. When I walked in that first morning I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling: Intimidated? Self conscious? Out of place?

All of the above.

Typically I take headshots at conferences as a way to get to know people. Something told me that I should pay attention. So I left my camera behind. I decided to sit in the damn seat, pull out my notes, and take it in. And it was truly inspirational.

There is a saying I’ve heard in business circles that “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” If you have a teaching background like me, you are probably used to leading others most days, not learning from others. The idea is that to make big changes or achieve higher levels of growth you need to be challenged by others a few (or many) steps ahead of you.

I felt this message loud and clear at Thrive.

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Here are my top five takeaways from the conference:

Tim Storey

Tim needs no introduction, but if you’d like one, it’s here.

I went through a couple of tough years recently. I separated from my husband, had some family losses, and haven’t had a home (doing the nomadic thing for now). Some days were downright awful. The kind of stuff I hadn’t experienced before. Tim said something that stuck:

Turn the “mess into a message and the test into a testimony.” Reading this now I’m feeling a little bit of the cheesiness, but it’s close to my heart as a teacher. What is the point of enduring and learning if you can’t pass it on to others? I’ve woven many of the past years’ lessons into my current coaching and online courses.

Legacy Perez

He is one of the best dancers in the world. Seriously. Check him out.

But he’s also profoundly intuitive and our one-on-one conversations around the bar really shifted something inside of me. He reminded me that we all have tremendous power. Not in the gross political way, but in the subtle beautiful way where we can inspire, support, and transform our world and the people in it just by holding honest space. I’m grateful to him for that message.

Caleb Maddix

He was just plain fun to listen to. For sixteen years old, he’s already a master speaker.

His journey has been filled with hurdles and criticism, internet trolls and insults. But he keeps going and continues to inspire. Sometimes when I step out of my comfort zone (like now) in a blog or social media post and act more like me and less like the constructed-internet-version-of-me, I get nervous. I worry that I might be taking things too far out of the box. I might lose clients. It’s easier to play it safe. But what does Caleb say?

“If people don’t think you’re crazy then don’t expect crazy results.”

He follows that up with thoughts on going with what you know to be true for you. 

Sanja Hatter

She is one of the founders of Thrive and talked openly about having a huge fear of speaking. She used notes and stood still behind the podium. But her message changed something for me. It seems like a little thing, but applied to life daily, it changes everything.

She highlighted the difference between urgent and important things. We so often overlook, ignore, and bypass what is really important in our lives because of the illusion that things are urgent. Mostly they are not. Almost never. Unless you’ve been hit by a bus and need a doctor. Things are at our fingertips so we respond in kind. I gotta get back to this client. Have to post to social. Need to make this conference call. Urgent, urgent, urgent.

Not really.  

Your business and your life will not fall to pieces if you take one hour or one full day to hang with your family, take a walk, meditate, or do anything that is truly important. Urgency is temporary, but important things have a lasting impact.

Nick Santonastasso

This man. I can honestly say his talk, his 45 minutes on stage, changed my life. Please read his story if you have a minute.

He said, “The biggest disability you can have is a bad mindset.”

My punch to the gut. Because I know with every fiber of my being that it’s true. This is the shit I practice in daily medication, conscious action throughout my day, and as I work to build a better life and business.

Mindset is everything.

But this message has a particular acuity coming from someone with no legs and one arm. It makes me feel like, even though suffering is relative, I should be keenly aware of what is really a limitation and what is a crappy mindset. It seeps in. I choose everyday to be a little better. And it works. I’m happy and my life is full of incredible abundance. I created that shit.

Thanks Nick.


So that’s a wee recap of Thrive. Grateful for the experience and excited to take these lessons into 2019 and beyond.

Thanks to @grayduckstudios for this pic.



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