#BrandMinds2019 experience

An event that lasted 1 day and that will probably give me something to think of for a long while from now on.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Living below your potential is painful. -Grant Cardone

The overall atmosphere at #BrandMinds2019

Five days passed since the event I wanted so much to be in, #BrandMinds2019, and I still find it hard to wrap my words around it.

It was a boom of energy, a release of adrenaline, a feeling that I live my dream, wonderful energy being in a room among 4200 people from so many countries (36 more precisely), and lots of chills from my own enthusiasm and everybody’s else enthusiasm.

The previous night I had to travel 6 hours to reach the venue and even though usually I can sleep in any bus, plane, car or whatever I travel with, that night I couldn’t rest for at least 5 min. I thought the lack of sleep will affect my focus but how could it be in such an atmosphere?

After I registered at the event, for a moment I had a strange feeling of inadequacy.

I was analyzing the other attendees’ attitude and body postures that were screaming: self-confidence. Words, as CEO, founder, owner, on their badges, were underlining their attitude. I had to rethink who I am and why I went there and get into the atmosphere. Yes, I am a simple person with big dreams and urge to make something great happen!

Brené Brown couldn’t make it to the event and as herself said it on a Facebook post, “no matter how much we plan, life calls and we have to answer. Life might have different plans with us but we have to trust that we are in the right spot and we have to put time and energy into learning how to show up and lean into each other with grace.

In the following lines, I will try to summarise some of the great ideas from #BrandMinds2019. I will also highlight some of the quotes I liked a very bit of information about each keynote speaker.

Keynote speakers at #BrandMinds2019:

  •  Robert Cialdini
  • Grant Cardone
  •  Denise Jacobs
  •  Hitendra Wadhwa
  •  Guy Kawasaki
  • Yuval Noah Harari


  • Robert CialdiniThe power of persuasion and pre-suasion to influence change

Cialdini earned an international reputation as an expert in the fields of influence, compliance, and negotiation with over 30 years of research in the psychology of influence.

At #BrandMinds2019 he spoke about the 6 principles of social influence:


In sales and marketing these principles will convert into:

–  To succeed in business give the other the obligation to give back to you. Before asking the clients to buy from you give them something valuable (service, information, etc).

– People want to have more of the things they have less. Tell potential clients what they will miss/lose for not buying your product/service, not only what they will win. Emphasize unique features, exclusive information.

– Invest and build a brand that can be seen as an authority in its field. Establish position through professionalism, industry knowledge, credentials. Very important: admit your weaknesses first to bring down the uncertainty and build trust between you and your potential clients.

– Start small and build your brand and keep the initial commitments towards your clients.

– Offer genuine compliments to get goodwill.

-Emphasize your best products/ services and show testimonials and responses of similar others.

Cialdini also spoke about the power of pre-suasion that is the process of arranging for recipients/clients to be sympathetic to a message before they experience it.

In other words, we should focus the attention of our potential client on elements that will prepare him/her to take the action we want him/her to. Identify the precise goal of your message and temporarily change what people see as important via words, situations, images.

For instance, by putting on the landing page of a furniture offer images with cloud the clients will focus on the quality of the product and by putting images with coins the clients will think of price first.


  • Grant CardoneHigh performance in sales

In 2017, Forbes named Grant Cardone the #1 Marketing Influencer to watch and one of Richtopia’s Top 10 Most Influential CEO in 2016.

Cardone is an enthusiastic speaker that electrified the audience with his energy.

One of the main ideas of his speech was the importance of marketing your business. As he puts it: “all marketing works except the discontinuous marketing” emphasizing the importance of using social media and making your brand/your business visible.

There are 2 reasons why some businesses fail: either the potential clients didn’t hear about your brand or they already forgot about it. “They will kill you if you don’t market yourself”.

There are 3 commitments to Success:
1. Grow and think at 10X levels
2. Become a marketing genius
3. Sales make everything possible

Just doing enough or doing what we have to do, will eventually kill our dream.

Instead, we should take risks, make room for mistakes, invest money into the business to bring prosperity. Cardone gave as an example the big companies that are always investing in their growth and are lead by leaders with great vision that know the importance of spending money on expansion.

If you are satisfied with what you are doing you can’t change.

Don’t spend money on managing your business, grow your business.

The condition of your life depends on how many strangers you are willing to meet – network, network, network!


  •  Denise Jacobs Banish your inner critic

Denise is a speaker and author who keynotes conferences and consults that are teaching game-changing techniques for busting through creative blocks, cultivating collaboration, and up-leveling creative productivity.

Denise Jacobs spoke about the inner critic that blocks us from doing our best works.

She gave the audience a set of advice to help us show up in full power:

– Create a new whole mind-frame: start thinking different thoughts and the brain will rewire. It’s like choosing to walk on a different path into the forest than the one you usually walked on. The old path will be taken away by the grass and the new path will become clear.

– Transform your negative self-talk.

– Self-distancing: speak to yourself to the 3rd person as a coach.

– Talk yourself through the process.

– Imposition mentality: pay attention to the words you use so that you will change your attitude.

Jacobs emphasized that we have a set of mental tools to help us banish our inner critic and these are mindfulness, neuroplasticity (the power of our brain to rewire itself by learning and thinking different thoughts) and self-compassion.

We are highly susceptible to criticism.

Everyone has an inner critic.

Our inner critic gets stronger as we take more leadership roles.


  • Hitendra Wadhwa – Inner Mastery. Outer impact

Wadhwa is the founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership (IPL), program which helps organizations develop their leaders, build high-performance teams, and transform their culture.

Hitendra’s speech, with incredibly valuable content, challenged the audience to find their purpose and strive to be true to themselves.

He gave as an example the situation in which Gandhi held a two-hour speech, without having any notes to help him structure his thoughts. Why? Because Gandhi’s words were in consensus with his true self, his feelings, values, and personality.

My purpose is to find my purpose.

The great leaders are willing to serve their purpose and they are on a journey of continual learning. Giving 100 percent of themselves and doing everything out of love helps them stay anchored in their inner core and operate at their best.

Hitendra spoke about the 5 pillars that are helping the great leaders bond their work with their values, their beliefs, their feelings, and thoughts. These pillars are purpose, wisdom, love, growth, self-realization.

According to Hitendra the greatest failure in life is to live your life as others wanted it for you to live it.

Sun’s core = 1% of its volume and 99% of its energy.


  •  Guy Kawasaki – The Art of Innovation

Kawasaki is the Brand Expert of Canva and of Mercedes and a fellow executive of the Haas School of Business. He was also the Brand Expert of Apple that enforced and maintained the Macintosh cult for years.

For Kawasaki’s speech, I would say just this: when intelligence meets the humor the audience is definitely conquered and fully committed to your persona!

Even though his speech could easily be mistakenly seen as superficial, due to all the jokes about Steve Jobs, Apple, Trump, etc, he succeeded in transmitting important ideas about innovation.

One of the main ideas was to jump to the next curve.

To succeed in your business you should always be alert of the changes that may impact the field you work in. As he said it, when you innovate in your business it’s OK to have some “crappy work” into it because even though you won’t have the perfect products, they would, however, be better than the ones on the market.

In order to be ahead of your competitors, you should create an offer “high and to the right” on the dial, meaning that your offer should be unique and valuable.

Another idea is to ignore the “naysayers” – the negative persons that will always say it shouldn’t be done!

You have to believe in your idea before you can see it happen and in order to succeed you have to make other people believe in your idea.

Some things need to be believed to be seen.


  •  Yuval Noah Harari – The End of Homo Sapiens

    With a Ph.D. obtained from the University of Oxford, Harari is the winner of numerous prizes and awards recognized for creativity, originality, and history.

Harari was the cherry on the top of the cake, closing the event as a modern Socrates: leaving the audience introspecting and questioning.

Questioning about the consequences of modern technology on humans, the human mind upgrades, and possible directions of human evolution.

Yuval Noah Harari spoke about the main technological upgrades and called them “the 3 roads to divinity”:

Biological engineering – genetical modifications that organic life might undertake, (few changes to Homo Sapiens might create a totally new structure),

Cyborg engineering – integrating technological features into the organic life (humans) will upgrade their capacities and abilities,

Non-organic engineering – creating technology with feelings and consciousness without the support of organic life.

Humans should be, though, careful because we have far bigger power of construction and destruction and might not know how to use it.

As we downgraded some species we might do the same to ourselves. He gave as an example of the milk-producing cows that nowadays are far less agile than their ancestors.

We learned to manipulate the world outside us without fully understanding the consequences, humans’ power making them prone to suffering due to their lack of wisdom.

He also spoke about the tale of the two brains: the organic and the bionic brain.

There are many mental states that humans and animals didn’t experience in the past because they lacked the “pattern” and in the future, those might be experienced by the bionic brain.

True, his speech was monotonously comparing to his fellow keynote speakers.

However, he succeeded in pulling some important signals of alarm and made the entrepreneurs reflect about their investments as this can change human evolution is the next 50 years.

By upgrading human beings we are actually downgrading them because the understanding of mind consciousness is missing.

Lessons learned:

  • If you put your mind to it, everything is achievable.
  • Life’s plans may be different than yours, but that’s OK, it’s important to trust the Life’s Bigger Plan.
  • Be your own friend, one of your closest friends.
  • Your inner critic can be tamed with self-compassion and the right wording.
  • Trust your guts, it’s a good indicator for success (outer and inner success).
  • Networking is the New Black and marketing yourself is the key to succeed in business.

Again, and again, and again – special thanks to Lorand Szasz for giving me the opportunity to be one of the 4200 attendees at #BrandMinds2019!

Were you there? Or a previous edition of this event? What did you like the most?