Show Up to Blow Up

November 12, 2019
James Whittaker

Check out this episode on the Win the Day Podcast

“Fear doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.”

Naguib Mahfouz

During the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to attend events around the world, from Dallas and San Diego to New York and London, and it never ceases to amaze me how important gatherings of like-minded people can be, not just for our happiness in the present but to help us adjust our sails for what we want in the future.

In particular, the Pathfinder Mastermind in Austin, Texas (don’t worry—I’ll be sharing everything I learned at that with you very soon!) was a powerful reminder that the key to connecting the dots on our future is found in the conversations we have with others. The better our process of meeting new and interesting people, the quicker our route to making an impact will be—and the larger our impact will be.


Want to get your hands on a free signed copy of 'Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy'? Check out the YouTube or Podcast versions of this episode for details on how you can win!


If you work by yourself a lot of the time (or have a mundane routine)—which is a huge trap for entrepreneurs—it’s easy to feel increasingly rudderless without even realizing that it’s happening. Sometimes, simply attending an event can give you the jolt of inspiration and direction you need.

If you’re serious about your professional aspirations, the message is clear: you’ve got to show up to blow up. And events can be used as the ultimate forced multiplier for your life and business.

Let’s look at the three different types of events and how you can leverage them.

1. Attending events.

There are many benefits to attending events, such as:

  • Mingling with like-minded people who could potentially be a valuable connection for you, or you for them;
  • Helping you realize who you do and do not want in your life;
  • Learning actionable strategies from those in attendance, both on stage and in the audience; and
  • Observing how the most engaging presenters shape their speeches, from structure to tone, emotion and storytelling. (Modelling the actions of high performers in your own way is one of the best routes to becoming a quality presenter yourself.)

Wherever you live, there are probably hundreds of events happening each week. The key is connecting with one or two people who can help you pinpoint the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Then, show up!

2. Speaking at events.

One of the best ways to position yourself as an authority in your field is to speak on as many stages as you can. But remember, just like every good leader was once a good follower, you can only be a powerful orator when you’ve watched dozens of other leading speakers work their magic.

To this day, I love seeing how some of the world’s most renowned speakers, such as Janine Shepherd, Brendon Burchard, and Vinh Giang use the stage to tell their story in a way that excites people to make actionable change in their own lives. Some speakers would rather avoid being seen in the ‘audience’ but I sit attentively with a notepad and take notes on things that I can do to improve and make my next speech more impactful—we can learn from everyone.

Watching other speakers on YouTube is an okay substitute, but you miss out on the myriad benefits of attending in person. If you have any desire to be on stage at some point in your life, and you should—whether it’s a wedding toast, business presentation, or product launch—the best education is to:

  • Continually watch the most accomplished speakers
  • Prepare your own kickass keynote, and
  • Practice, practice, practice.

This year, I’ve spoken alongside some of my heroes, many of whom I now call my friends because of our shared experience at these events. That process has been enormously invigorating in itself, and never would’ve happened if I hadn’t made the decision to show up.

3. Hosting events.

Hosting events incorporates the previous two, since you’re not only an attendee but you’ll also act as the facilitator too.

While there are many different types of events, some of the most beneficial ones can be found in small groups. I really enjoy the format of having 6-10 people in a room where you spend a good amount of time on each person individually and then having some free time to mingle afterwards. Learn more about how to host masterminds that work.

Regardless of what service you offer, or what problem you’re currently facing (personal or professional), providing an environment for people with similar values, who are trying to solve problems for the same audience you have but in a complementary profession, is one of the most powerful ways to multiply your impact. Having a small group setting enables you to minimize costs while positioning yourself as a super-connector who can readily bring together interesting people.

Even if it’s just those with similar values, forging a meaningful connection with them will open you up to their entire network. If you’re looking to grow your business or network, this is an absolute no-brainer.

Better yet, if you’re hosting the event, it forces you to show up!

(Check out the YouTube and Podcast versions of this episode for some practical examples of how you can host life-changing events.)


Showing up to events might scare you—it does for most people, and it’s certainly uncomfortable walking into a room of strangers. But think again about the quote for this episode:

“Fear doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.”

Your best life is on the other side of that fear you’re feeling, so make a commitment to show up—time and time again.

And when you do show up, always remember that the best way to GET is to GIVE. Solve other people’s problems, and you’ll have an army ready to solve your own.

Get out there and win the day!

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

PS - If you’re not sure what events would be a good fit for you, just join the Win the Day group and post a comment with your location, area of expertise, and goals, and I’ll help you as much as I can.

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