Forum One, day I. Carpe diem!

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4000 people in Arena

Last weekends I was taking part in the largest business forum in Eastern Europe called Forum One, which took place in Lithuania. I was really excited, as the event was supposed to be grand with many interesting speakers and guests. And despite the fact that on Saturday we left Riga at 5 am and I practically hadn’t slept the night before, I was full on energy by the end of that day, after listening to the inspirational speeches. If only I could share my experience with all of the people, I would certainly do that! But the key moment of the event is the actual, physical participation, so the only thing I can do is to share some thoughts, quotes and principles I’ve heard during the forum.

The day one started with presentation by Owen Fitzpatrick, an expert on communication from Ireland. His presentation was simple, yet meaningful. He managed to win the favor of the public and literally conducted four thousand people, while teaching us how to say “YES WE CAN”. That was funny, indeed. Especially because his accent reminded me of one of my favorite movies – “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”.

He said that leadership is about “influencing, inspiring and motivating” and it is necessary to use certain words and phrases in order to be a leader:

  • Word “YES!“;
  • “YES WE CAN!”;
  • Say people what they are already thinking;
  • Say negative first then “BUT” and continue with providing solution to the problem;
  • “BECAUSE” and “BECAUSE that is the way it is”
  • “So what that means is (for you)…” , because after these words people will listen more carefully;
  • Use repetition, contrast and framing to make your speech more influencing;
  • Finally, he said that a good speech has to be:
    • Simple and clear,
    • Value based,
    • Vivid,
    • Congruent.

The next interesting speaker was Mark Donnan, who is an expert in Internet Marketing. He said that there are 6 steps to succeed in marketing:

  1. Make your opportunities,
  2. Take massive action,
  3. Know your competitors,
  4. Know your customers,
  5. Get something back,

And he shared a link, where you can get a report about your webpage.

During the session of Inspiring stories, we were listening to Madi Sharma, a women who built her company from scratch, with no starting capital. She shared two quotes that I particularly like:

A woman is like a teabag – she doesn’t know her strength until she is dropped in hot water.

You must be the change you want to see.

Peter Vesterbacka, a creator of famous Angry Birds, was talking about his “Finish dream” which came true. He said that it is very important to keep trying if you have a vision, and provided his own example – Angry Birds was the 51st game he launched. And he added that it wasn’t the pure luck and behind this success was a lot of work, market research and attention to every detail.

If you don’t love what you do, maybe you’re doing something wrong

, said Peter and I totally agree!

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Angry Birds creator with Latvians.

I would like to say that despite he is a millionaire, he seems to be an open and friendly person. Thus, in the evening we noticed him walking down the street without any security and other pathos. And we even took a picture with him:)

Rudolf Schenker, the founder and musician of the Scorpions band, told why he created a group, being a qualified electrician. He said that meditations are very helpful and you have meditate 20 minutes in the morning and evening in order to clean your mind and be prepared for new ideas. He said:

Don’t follow the money, follow a crazy idea! And find the balance between your family and career.

Finally, the true highlight of the first day was Bodo Schafer. It was one of the most inspiring presentation I’ve ever heard in my life. He started with the story of his life, how he managed to climb out from the bottom of his life. I don’t know if it is a true story and to be honest I don’t want to think about it, because it affected me in a positive way, made me believe in myself. He said that once he had a coach, who helped him; and the first thing the coach asked Bodo to do is to write how much he would like to earn in three years. He wrote 100,000$ per month and guess what? He has earned more than that! (Mr. Schafer also asked us to put down on paper our numbers.)

Then he told a story about the priest and the village people. The priest tried to walk on the water, because he saw how village people was doing that. The priest tried several times, but he didn’t succeed. Afterwards the villagers said that he had a lot of courage, but he didn’t know where are the stones in the lake. So, I would say that the meaning is that no matter how string is your belief, there is still something that you have to know in order to succeed; at least I understood it like that.

Consequently, he said that there are 6 Lessons we have to learn:

  1. Think rich,
  2. Plan to be rich,
  3. Save,
  4. Earn more,
  5. Invest,
  6. Enjoy!

He also demonstrated that all our dreams can come true. He showed an empty glass and a jar that was filled with water. He said that the glass is our way of thinking, our personality and water in the jar – our dreams. Then he started to pour “dreams” into “personality”, but of course as soon as the glass was full, water just poured on the floor. What he wanted to show us is that you have to “think big” in order to fulfill your dream. What a nice metaphor indeed!

Some of his quotes that I remember and particularly like:

You can buy happiness by giving money to the poor.

Where is shadow, there is always the sun.

Life is too short to be of no importance.

There is only one way to predict the future: give the promise and keep that.

Don’t play not to lose, play to win!

He didn’t say what specifically you have to do so in order to earn desired money, but I think that there are no such rules. But what is important is that he inspired me and people around and made us think that everything in this life is possible! Carpe diem, he said and so I do.

That was only the first day of the Forum One and the second was as much exciting, probably even more!  After all, on Sunday Sir Richard Branson was the guest speaker; moreover, one my dream came true… I’ll write about it later, as there are too many things I want to say.

But what I want to say now is thank you to Leika, a company that helped to make this event possible and that invited me to be the part of it!

P.S. If you want to see speakers’ presentations, videos from the event and listen to the opinion of the participants – you are kindly invited on an after party this Friday.


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