What Gary Vee, a CNN reporter and a National Geographic climber have in common

SXSW Day 1 - Daily Wrap Up

Tina Tower Matt.JPG.jpg

This conference is amazing! I came for the first time last year and vowed I would be back every year because I was so knocked off my feet by how much value I got from it and varied the speaker sessions were. Day 1 was no different! 

The overall theme today from all of the speakers seemed to converge around honesty and acceptance of both your self and those around you. Here are my top points from each speaker. They're in short hand but hopefully there are a few there that may help you out. 

Hustle - Jonas Koffler

Tina Tower Jonas.JPG.jpg

Self confidence and finding your tribe 2 most important things to be able to hustle.

  1. Do something that moves you

  2. Find and seek opportunities 

  3. Take action and complete 

Make consistent persistent movement towards a goal


  1. Betray yourself to stay true to yourself: throw out the old self to move forward as your new self. 

  2. The perils of perfection: be an imperfectionist so you can gain momentum and learn. Perfectionism parallises you from doing anything

  3. Small doses of pain: take the right sized risk. Repeated exposure to small stresses actually helps you because it gives you adaptive resilience. 

  4. 10,000 mistakes and madness mastery: bullshit. You're going to be good at some things and others will be good at some things 

  5. Experiment: Whoever tries the most things wins the most

  6. Manufacturing luck 

  7. Obliquity: success isn't linear. We project that it should be linear but it's a mess.

Build on your proof: your reputation, your record of success, your luck.

Gary Vaynerchuck

Tina Tower Gary.JPG.jpg

I have never been a real Gary Vee fan but I went because my friend Sel is a super fan! I was lucky enough to sit front row and he knocked my socks of in this Q&A session with loads of truth bombs and great tips:

There's a huge advantage to not having baggage and knowing about your industry. There's been 8 years of good economy and it's going to end, you need to make more money than you lose each month. You're not a superstar entrepreneur if you lose more money than you make, no matter what your funding or valuation is. Your advantage for moving fast is to focus on brand not locations. Focus on the marathon not the sprint. 

Write content, audio content or video content. Make video content to build awareness. The most underpriced tactic is Facebook video. Just use use your phone. Target your market on there, it's the most sophisticated. Instagram influencers are grossly underpriced if they'll do it for free in exchange for product. 

Be obsessed with brand! It's all about marketing. Everyone should have a monthly podcast talking about your niche. Act like a media company and produce valuable content not like an advertiser. Become the voice of the market. People are claiming to be experts when they don't have anything to say. Make sure you know what you're saying. 

The people that care less about what other people say about them are the ones that have the best life. There's a fine line between self esteem and delusion. But don't worry about people closest to you say when they put you down like parents, older siblings. Only worry about what people who you value and respect and respect you in return are saying. Take the jump into the pool that you're scared to swim in. Lose your insecurities. Insecurities lead to behaviour and poor decisions. Be the person you want to be so you feel good about who you are. Creative is still the variable of success. You need humility balanced with ego. It's all about listening. Unabashedly "I'm gonna sell shit". Be patient & pay attention. For everything you do well, there should be 18 other things that you've failed at because you're trying. Those things don't matter, the only thing that matters is your upside and what you learnt. No one gives a shit about banner advertising and pop ups. Don't do them. 

Social media is negative as fuck. It's like emotional dodgeball. Manage the amount of time you spend on there. Keep your positive viewpoint. This is the greatest era to be alive. Look at what people in history have been in. Completely on the offence of positivity. Get loud in your happy because negative people are loud. Way louder. It's our responsibility to live out loud. If you get fatigued, take time out. You will lose money when you do it and that's ok, it's better to make $6 million and be happy than $11 million and miserable.

Things happen a lot slower than innovators think and a lot faster than consumers think. 

How do you balance work life? Communication! Only worry about your spouse and children when it comes to getting your balance. We're all trying to do the best we can and live up to this god standard fabricated by the current political correctness. Don't suppress who you are. If you're hungry and climbing, you need to be who you are. Your family will want you to be the best you can be because that's when they'll get the best of you. 

Time is the asset. Be wary of what you're spending your mental time on. 

Entreneurship has become to rock star status. It's encouraging too many teenage impressionable kids to think it's the only way to go. Too many people are thinking everybody wins and people are committing suicide because they feel like they can't live up to the hype without realising that the successful Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and snap chat are only a few out of tens of thousands of attempts.

Losing is attractive to purebred entrepreneurs. Too many people would be a great number 2 or number 4 and they want to be a number 1 and they don't know how to handle the pain and the relentless effort of starting a business. Be self aware and do what's right for you. 

If your ambitious and you want things to happen, not one social media is better than the other, you need to be on all of them. 

No business succeeds long term without driving top line revenue. You can't do everything equally. If you're doing multiple projects or businesses just control one of them. The rest have to be ran by other people. Have quick meetings. Value your time. You can't run three businesses at the same time. Have side gigs to keep you creative. 

If you don't love the process of what you're up to, get into something else. Being underestimated is fantastic. Figure out if you're shit or awesome. You have to be entertaining or know what you're talking about for people to listen to you. When you have both, that's success. Find your media - maybe you're a writer, a podcaster, a videographer...

Offence is always the best defence. 

You don't need to know what the next disruptive thing is, you need to react when you see things happening. The good thing about being a salesperson is that it always plays out.

Be patient! You don't need to have your eureka moment right away. 

Too many people think they're influencers before they actually are. Put your head down and focus on producing good content. The people that are the best win. Not the loudest or the best relationships. Be ambitious and you'll win. Don't give a fuck about what anyone else has, focus on yourself and your own life. Spend time doing instead of dwelling!

Tina Tower Gary2.JPG.jpg

Cory Richards

National Geographic photographer and got to the top of Everest with no oxygen.

The reality of the human condition- we are capable of so much. 

War does not determine who was right, but only who was left.

As we acquire more, it takes more to sustain life.

How many things do we have to lose, before we accept a new way forward? 

The point - How many times do we have to relearn a lesson? 

Through honesty we can disarm our own judgements. We have to demand honesty of ourselves and those around us. 

Don't take anyone's advice to get from point a to point b. You will find your own way and everyone's is different. 

Jake Taper

Tina Tower Jake.JPG.jpg

Chief Washington Correpondent for CNN

I went to this one to learn more about American politics as it made no sense to me that Trump was elected... still doesn't...

Dissecting the election. Looked depressed.

Didn't know whether to laugh or cry. 

Truth doesn't mean anything... 

Amazing that he was elected and I still don't understand how. 

Susan Scott

Fierce conversations 

Our lives succeed or fail gradually then suddenly over time

It's the missing conversations that are most costly.

After Conference

A great dinner with friends from last year and of course stopping at the weird shit I only ever see in America - a vending machine with a car in it! I did win a model car and some sunglasses though :) Until tomorrow... 

Tina Tower