Attending events live in person is a game changer for business owners.

There is something magical that happens when you get together in a space with other people who have similar interests and who want to learn, connect, and support each other.

I’m super selective about the events I attend and you should be too.

When I heard about Arlan’s event last summer I wasn’t focused on the name of it, Your First Million LIVE.

If you know me, you know I don’t talk about how much money you will make if you work with me. The reason is simple, how much money you want to make is up to you.

More than the name of the conference I was focused on the person organizing it and the intention behind it, Arlan Hamilton. This description is from the event website: “Your First Million LIVE is an event designed to amplify underestimated voices and talent.” 

I first heard about Arlan Hamilton when I saw a story on TV about her at the end of August 2019. You can watch it here. I was blown away by her journey and the work she was doing. 

Arlan is the founder of Backstage Capital and the author of two books, It’s About Damn Time and Your First Million. This is from the Backstage Capital website: “Less than 10% of all venture capital deals go to Women, People of Color, and LGBT founders. Other VCs may see this as a pipeline problem. For years, we have seen it as the biggest opportunity in investment. Backstage Capital has invested in 200 companies led by underrepresented founders.”

Let’s talk about how to make the most of events and I’ll share a curated selection of the gems I collected at Arlan’s event.

First off, a sentiment that several speakers also echoed, is that the true gold wasn’t on the stage. It was the remarkable people we got to meet in the room.

I wholeheartedly agree with this and can say I met some really remarkable humans.

If there is an event app available, like there was for this event, be sure to use it. Introduce yourself and engage with people before the event. Then once you meet people on the app and in person, invite them to connect on Linkedin.

Of course there are loads of people you won’t have the chance to meet while you’re at the event. You can reach out and connect after the event as well.

And be sure to keep the stay in touch and build on the connection that was sparked at the event. Because as we know, relationships are built over time.

So remember when you attend events to connect with people, say hello, and focus on quality and not quantity. Everyone is in the same situation as you and loads of people attend events alone so this is not the time to be shy.

Here are some key takeaways from the event in LA a few weeks ago.

Asking for Help

One of things that many business owners struggle with is asking for help.

But as you may have already discovered, it’s impossible to do it all alone.

It may work for a while, but it’s not sustainable. And it’s not fun.

This is a short video clip of Arlan talking about this at the conference. 


Two books that were mentioned are, Buy Back Your Time by Dan Martell and Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz.  

I bought Buy Back Your Time a couple of weeks ago, will read it soon. And I bought Clockwork a couple of years ago because a friend and fellow entrepreneur told me it changed everything for her. Full disclosure, I haven’t read it yet. It’s on the pile of books that I plan to read.

Embrace All of You

Danielle Leslie was employee #27 at Udemy. In 2016 she launched her first couse and had 10k students. And she went from 0 to one million in her first 2 years and hit 10 million twice. She said she is an introvert and so she did a 90 min weekly webinar for one year.

She talked about owning your 1 of 1-NESS which is your unique story that shows all of you.

I’ve also talked about the importance of sharing your entire experience, read more in this post.

It’s Never Too Late

Sheila Johnson, America’s first Black female billionaire, told us to trust our instincts. That may not feel like new advice but maybe you need to hear that again from someone who has been so successful.

She also talked about how it’s never too late to start something brand new. She was 60 when she started in the hospitality business and created the Salamander Collection

Check out her book, Walk Through Fire: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Triumph.” 

Attention is the Asset

“Attention is the asset.” Gary Vaynerchuk 

Fun fact, he was 34 before he made his first video. Gary said that for the first time in history, the creative creates the reach.

He said that meritocracy on social media doesn’t currently exist and that blockchain will create a social media meritocracy.

Gary also said, “If you’re good at selling you’re bad at branding. If you’re good at branding you don’t have to be good at selling.”

He mentioned two opposite things to think about old school and new school:

1. Human connection – the whole game is human
2. Tech – post on social media (which won’t always be here)

Invest In Women

“This is a story that’s never been told. SHOW HER THE MONEY addresses how women are getting less than 2% of venture capital funding and demystifies what venture capital is.

Featuring rock-star female investors who invest in diverse women entrepreneurs with innovations that will change the world, Show Her The Money reminds us that money is power and women need it to achieve true equality.”

To Don’t List

Humble Lukanga was one of the most inspirational speakers at this event. You can find out more about this wealth manager here.

Humble said he gets confidence from repetition. This makes so much sense. Like anything, the more you do it, the more you believe in yourself.

Another big takeaway that my friend (who was also there) Naomi Hattaway captured was this.

“Show me someone who has achieved a level of success, and I guarantee you they have a long list of things they have stopped. Comparison to others, ridiculous shopping, social networks to stop logging onto, friends to stop associating with. What is your Stop Doing list? No tactical advice will work if you’re not mentally and soulfully ready.” Humble Lukanga

I’ve also talked about this in previous posts: Do You Have a “To-Don’t List? and How to Regain Focus on Your Business by Saying No


This fantastic initiative about consent was highlighted at the event. Education is prevention. Our lawyers teach young people about consent.

Let’s end with a quote from one of the speakers: “Dial down your ego and dial up your curiosity.” Dean Forbes 

That’s a wrap on my takeaways. There were so many amazing speakers and a deep and wide range of topics. So if you want more, I have good news for you.

Arlan recently made a surprise announcement that the entire event was recorded and available for purchase. So if you’d like to experience the entire event you can get it here (this is not an affiliate link) for $149.99/year. 

What is your favorite takeaway? How will you apply it in your business?

Leave your comment below, I respond to every single one.

Stephanie Ward

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