Thoughts from Kick.Start.Smart

Image via Collective Hub

Image via Collective Hub

I’m not usually a conference-goer, what with all the forced networking and a few too many speakers preferring the ‘reach for the stars’ rhetoric over real-world learnings, but the Kick. Start. Smart. conference was definitely worth the time! Not only because I got to visit Sydney, one of my favourite cities in Australia, as well as eat a whole lot of vegan food, and spend some time with my amazing mentor, but the content was also the perfect combination of inspirational and tangible.

I thought I’d share some of my key take-aways from the event, and how I’m going to be putting them into practice here at Deane & Co!

Lesson 1: The platform is irrelevant. The vision is unwavering.

Lisa Messenger, the event’s ‘patron’, shared this, and I loved it. Don’t be too attached to what it looks like, and always check in – does what I’m doing align with my vision?

Lesson 2: Information is cheap. It’s not how much you know, it’s what you do with what you know.

Phill Nosworthy, Director at Switch Inc. is right about this, and my first takeaway is that we’re going to be reviewing all of the lessons learned at the session at our next Deane & Co. team meeting, and brainstorming how we can turn what I learned into packages, tools or experiences for our clients.

Lesson 3: Price yourself based on value.

You don’t pay a plumber for the 30 seconds it takes to fix the tap, you pay for the 40 years of learning which tap to fix.

Lesson 4: Ideas come in waves. You need to show people (investors, bosses, potential clients) why you care more than anyone else who has the same idea.

David Rohrsheim, the Australian GM of Uber shared this gem, and that it’s vital to share with people why you passionate about fixing this problem, and why you will keep fighting when things get bad.

Lesson 5: Verbal fluency is the ability to articulate the intelligence you have.

Rebekah Campbell of Hey You! shared the results of an MIT study that asserts that 85% of sales pitches can be pre-predicted by your. body language. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it!

Lesson 6: Understand who you help your customers to be.

Dan from The Impossibles Project was my favourite presenter of the day. Stay tuned for my blog on his session over on the Homeroom blog.

Lesson 7: Let the competitors come.

I’ve always believed in an abundance mindset, that there is enough work out there for everyone. The girls from Spell Byron Bay and the team from Gelato Messina agree, sharing that they forget the competition, as they aren’t putting in the hard work to do what you do, so they can’t really replicate what you do or be as nimble as you.

Lesson 8: The person who is uninvested is the person who is not committed.

A big one for me – do one thing, and do it well. Don’t spread yourself too thin. The one thing that Andy Lark, founder of Xero, always asks in a pitch meeting is ‘what else do you have on at the moment?’ If the response is that the person seeking investment has other irons in the fire, they are not fully committed.

Lesson 9: Ask permission to share feedback with people.

Julie, founder of Stylerunner, and my mentor, shared a tool that she uses to give feedback to her team. She always asks for permission to share feedback, which takes away the feeling of being attacked. Use this script: Can I share some feedback with you that I think will help you become even better at what you’re doing?

Did you attend the Kick. Start. Smart. Conference? What were your takeaways? I would love to hear! 

- Claire