Hot tips from the World Domination Summit. Yes, it is really called that.

An Aucklander goes to Portland to learn business tips from, among others, an 11-year-old.

Steve Pirie, co-founder of business retreat company Nurture Change, is just back from Portland, Oregon, where he attended the annual, two-day World Domination Summit.

Credit: Armosa Studios

There he joined 3000 others – from Facebook lead engineers, to bloggers with massive followings, to the head marketing guru from legendary sweaty workout gear company Lululemon Athletica – for  strategy sessions, big-picture thinking, best practice, industry powerhouses and networking like you wouldn’t believe. (Oh, and there was green tea and hammocks in the event’s signature Highly Sensitive Person Lounge, though what that has to do with world domination is hard to fathom.)

Pirie’s blog for Idealog shares five things he learnt around World Domination.

1. The power of community and networking. Put 3000 like-minded individuals from across the globe – all coming together as part of a community that was started five years ago with 300 people – and the energy is incredible. The willingness for other people to share and help others within the community was something I’ve not witnessed before. From connecting me with people that can help with parts of my business that aren’t that crash-hot, to giving me constructive feedback on current projects and inspiring me through their stories – it was all powerful and business changing stuff. I’ve returned with access to over 1800 amazing individuals from across the globe that are willing to help each other. You could spend hours/days/weeks finding people to connect with that can help your business. Here, it happens in 48 hours.

Credit: Armosa Studios

2. You learn lessons from the most unlikely sources. One of my stand-out talks was from Kid President. Yes, that’s his name, and he’s an 11-year-old African American kid creating waves across social media.

He had some very simple, to-the-point take-homes, including: 1. Stop being boring and start being awesome to yourself and the people that you connect with. 2. Take the road less travelled and explore that journey. Even though “it hurts man – rocks, thorns, glass!” Watch his pep talk – 36 million others have!

3. Listen, don’t preach. My biggest lesson came from Derek Sivers, creator of online music store CDBaby, which he sold for $22 million in 2008… and gave all the money away. “Nobody knows the future” he says, so enjoy the journey and create something truly amazing that will help others do the same. “Ask instead of answer, learn instead of preach” was one of my biggest take-homes and that’s what I did over the 48 hours: LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to be able to gain knowledge to share on my return to New Zealand.

4. Travel gives you peripheral vision like nothing else. I find it fascinating travelling to new places and continuing my journey of “bisections” across the globe. I love that great dis-connection I have from my phone and how, when walking down the road exploring, my head stops looking at the footpath and instead I witness new things that open up my vision, creativity and mind to new and exciting thoughts and ideas.

Try it next time you travel to a new place. Ask a few “why?” questions to teach yourself something new in life and business. “Why does that coffee shop have customers serving their own coffee?” or “Why is that food truck so successful when it only serves two things?”

5. Being around smart, enthusiastic people with a purpose re-energises you. Owning or running a business can be a lonely thing. You might come across the same stumbling blocks as others, but without someone to talk about them with, you’ll remain stuck. Being among other clever people who have been there and done that and come out the other side victorious is huge. At these bizcation events, you don’t have to look far for inspiration and motivation. You just need to open your eyes and look away from your smartphone.

www.nurturechange.com