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I attended the RISE 3-day conference earlier this year and when they announced the RISE Live full-day online conference (Hosted by the Hollis Company) last month, I was beyond excited and signed up right away. Well, I spent the whole day (8 hours of programs) online yesterday and I must admit, it’s been the best weekend learning experience in the last 30 days! While this is not a comprehensive summary of the conference, I hope to share some key points that inspired me.

The theme of the conference was “Courage”. We had 8 different speakers: Rachel Hollis, Dave Hollis, Ed Mylett, Eric Thomas, John Maxwell, Donald Miller, Jen Hatmaker, Brit Barron who shared powerful content. There was also fun music played by DJ Ahsohn Williams and warm-up by Chris Chandler.

The conference was framed around four pillars of courage. 4 things you need to work on to build courage: Mindset, Confidence, Consistency and Leadership.


Rachel kicked-off the conference sharing the importance of mindset and how our past experience and perspective shapes our mindset. She talked about the importance of having a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. I loved the example she shared- imagine a lump of clay while you are making a clay pottery, you get to mold it in any way. Once you stop molding it, shaping it- it no longer changes and if you leave it like that for a few days, it solidifies and can no longer take a different shape. She compared this to a fixed mindset. If you continue to mold the clay, you continue to grow. She provided some powerful exercises to do to overcome limiting beliefs. One such exercise is to take one thing you are afraid of and flip it to challenge yourself to see what if it can be for you. For example, if you are worried about losing a job, then think about what if you do lose your job and what that might mean for you. It might mean that you will explore a different career, start a business or use the time to spend time with family.

Ed Mylett shared some powerful messages around this topic. He shared how the quality of your thought shapes the quality of your life. He shared the technique of observing our thoughts and asking ourselves some thought provoking questions when a thought doesn’t serve you : 1. Is it true? 2. What is it teaching me? and use it to re-evaluate and re-calibrate on what’s important to you.

Donald Miller had some great insights on how to be the Hero of your story. He shared that all 4 stories: victim, villain, hero and guide are within us. The victim role makes the hero look good and villain look terrible. The victim is someone who feels they have no way out and attracts a lot of resources. The problem with the victim is that they have a hard time facing reality and never transform. The villain tends to have the backstory of pain in their lives. The attitude of a villain is that if they experience pain, they want others to experience it as well. They attract negative energy and we never want to be the villain. Hero stands up and faces the challenge and acts in faith. This is where we want to spend most of our time- to learn, grow, transform and come through better. They act in courage. The ultimate goal should be to act as the guide.This character in the story helps the Hero find a path forward. Guide tries to help people. Donald sums it up by saying Courage is playing the hero, so you can become the guide”.


Dave Hollis shared awesome information and resources on building self-confidence. He talked about starting with self-reflection and identifying who you are?, what you believe in, what do you stand for? and most importantly, where do you want to go? Once we do that, we should acknowledge where we are with grace and chart out a path forward. Once you have the picture of where you want to go, he encourages us to assume the new identity of the future best-self. He also shared how confidence can be built by working on our “if/then relationships”. He encouraged us to write down our goals in an if/then format. For example, If you want to run a marathon, then you need to train daily for 60 minutes. Both Dave and Ed talked about how “you are the 5 people you spend the most time with”. So, one tip to boost confidence is to surround yourself with people who inspire you to be the best version of you.

Ed Mylett said it best on this topic: “Self-Confidence is never breaking a promise to yourself” He provided some great tips on how to boost your self-confidence – making small promises to yourself and consistently keeping them. For outstanding self-confidence- do it one more time. If you workout for 30 minutes, do the workout for one more minute, If you make 10 sales calls, make one more call..you get the point. He shared how there is a direct correlation between how you deal with uncertainty and how happy you are in your life. To navigate uncertainty, we need to have a structure in our lives: he shared the idea of structuring your day like 3 mini-days (broken into 3 blocks of 6 hours in a day) – and evaluating/reflecting on how your mini-day went to stay focused on your goals in all aspects of life.


Rachel went deep on the topic of consistency and creating habits that serve us. She started with the definition of consistency. “ The way in which a substance holds together”. She urges us to create new habits or routines during these challenging times. The idea is to start with one habit and really make it stick. She also gave us an exercise to dig deep and create a leverage by understanding our why behind the habit. The idea is that if you have a strong enough reason, then building consistency around habit becomes more natural and you don’t need motivation all the time to be consistent. The 5 to thrive challenge is also another way to build consistency during these inconsistent times.


Britt Barron kicked off by saying how we need leaders with courage and how courage is not the absence of fear but it’s simply not allowing fear the power to have the final say and how through your fear, you can find courage. She shared how Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream”, March of the Washington Speech was not in the initial script and how Mahalia Jackson shouted “Tell them about your dream, Martin” and pushed Martin Luther King Jr. to share his dream. She shared how we need to be supportive, remind people about the dreams they shared with you and that its OK to have certainty about your dreams even in uncertain times. Her key message was to keep moving forward, investing in yourself and working towards our dreams.

Jen Hatmaker talked about parenting with courage. Her key message was that growth comes the most when we struggle, fail, take risks and manage unmet expectations. We should strive to offer a similar environment to kids where they can experience failures and struggle to build courage. She also shared how vulnerability in parenting can help during these challenging times.

Eric Thomas shared how this is a season for leaders as he sees challenging times as an opportunity to develop courage in face of adversity. He shared one of my favorite quotes…” Courage isn’t always a Lion’s roar. It’s also the silence of ants working patiently, persistently and never giving up”

My favorite speaker on this topic, John Maxwell, shared how we need courage to continue everyday- courage is like a door, the door knob on the inside, can be opened only by you. We need courage to change even if it’s difficult to do so as courage requires action- it’s like a muscle that grows by working it and using it. He made a great point by saying courage kicks us out of our comfort zone. We all know that growth happens outside of our comfort zone right?

Last but not the least, Rachel covered extensively on the topic of leadership and how we can build our leadership skills to be strong enough for them (your team). We need to start with identifying the leadership qualities we admire and then write down the best qualities we possess and figure out a way to bridge the gap. Some tools she shared to lead well right now are:

1. Be a servant leader – listen well, practice empathy, create hope and use your strengths

2. Communicate the hard things – be intentional with what you want to communicate, set clear expectations, model behavior.

3. Lean into skills and strengths of others– create opportunities for your people to use their unique strengths, praise often and teach well, create an atmosphere of learning

Courage is not having all the answers, courage is that you are afraid and you show up anyway. How are you building courage and supporting others to share their dreams?


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