Last week I flew all the way from London to Atlanta to speak on the final day of Style Con, but most importantly to see what this event was all about.
I can say as I’m writing this, it was an amazing experience, and in this feature today I’m going to share the five lessons I learned from the two day event.
What Is Style Con?
If you don’t know what Style Con is, where have you been the last few years? Style Con is an event that has been put on by Aaron Marino of Alpha M and Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style. These two heavyweights combined to create Style Con.
Now Style Con has been running for a few years. I actually wanted to attend last year as well, but this year, I had the pleasure to speak to the Style Con audience.
The above image is from last year where the audience grew to over 100 men. This year it grew to over 200 men.
But there’s no better reason for me to fly all the way to Atlanta to speak about a subject that I’m extremely passionate about, and it’s something that’s extremely close to my heart, I told the audience my story, I highlighted the huge issue surrounding depression and the response blew me away.
But here are the five things that I learned from attending Style Con.
Prefer video? Watch below.
1. Depression Needs To Be Spoken About
The first lesson is depression needs to be spoken about. It really is as simple as that.
I truly was blown away by the response that I had from talking about depression, from talking about my dad’s suicide, and I really can’t get my words out at this moment because the amount of people that came up to me after me giving my presentation really did blow me away.
Everyone shared stories about how they’ve felt depressed in the past, they shared moments of adversity with me and also a few opened up about personal suicidal attempts of loss through suicide. A few people told me they felt like I was talking to them when I was speaking about my depression and speaking about my dad.
It truly blew me away, and it really did make me think that more and more people need to talk about depression. More and more people need to be open. They need to be honest. They need to talk more.
The above is a small comparison of back to when I just lost my Dad to suicide, feeling depressed to now.
The physical transformation is obvious but the internal development would not have been possible without me opening up and dealing with my depression.
Now the audience at Style Con of course made me feel at ease because they are men wanting to better themselves. They’ve paid a ticket to go to an event which is based around self-improvement, based around growing them as a man and their business.
These were guys that were open to be vulnerable. They were open, they were honest. It made sharing my story, something that’s still extremely raw for me easier.
So the biggest lesson that I learned from my presentation was depression needs to be spoken about more, not just to a room of 300 men that were attending, it needs to be spoke about on a global scale. It needs to be spoken about if you go to the pub with your friends, if you’re at work. This issue needs to be tackled hands on.
It shouldn’t be stigmatised. It shouldn’t be something that you don’t talk about and something you ignore because you feel it’s a weakness.
If you take anything from this post please remember that depression is ok. If you’re watching this video and you’re someone who watched my presentation and you came up to me at the end with your own story, I truly, truly appreciate you.
2. Don’t Be Afraid Of Vulnerability
The second thing is don’t be afraid of vulnerability. Again, this is something that I spoke about in my presentation and something that I’ve just recently mentioned, but you shouldn’t be afraid of being vulnerable.
Being vulnerable actually opens you up more connections, to more relationships. The more closed you are, the less people you’re going to attract in your life and the less opportunities you’re going to open doors too.
The more vulnerable you can be, the deeper the connection someone is going to have with you.
For example, I stood on stage and became extremely vulnerable. I spoke about losing my dad to suicide, I spoke about my depression, I spoke about other things that I’m vulnerable about.
Honestly, I can’t even put up a shelf. I’m useless at DIY. But I’ll be completely open and honest about that, and that’s me not being afraid of being vulnerable.
Now, the reason why I say people need to be vulnerable more is because if you’re in the audience and you’re listening to me open up and be vulnerable, it gives them the permission to open up and be vulnerable, too, but if I’m standing there closed off, not being honest, being someone that I’m not, they’re going to be closed off. It’s as simple as that, so be vulnerable more often.
A great example at the event was they had a grooming panel, and Eric who was hosting it said, “Come up if you want us to critique your grooming.” There was close to 50 people that stood up and queued up to stand onstage in front of everyone and get critiqued on how they looked.
That really put me at ease. I knew that the audience was open to be vulnerable, and that is something that I suggest to you.
If you’re reading this right now, don’t be scared of vulnerability. Being vulnerable will create a better connection with others and open doors to opportunities you won’t get if you stay closed off.
3. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Number three is an obvious one… Surround yourself with positive people. Luckily, I say luckily, at first I didn’t think I was lucky, I was the last speaker. I had the whole of Friday, the whole of Saturday and then I stood up to speak. At first this was a bit daunting for me, but it gave me the opportunity to speak to the audience, to work the room, to go and speak to people and find out their stories.
Now the greatest thing that I had from the event was simply just surrounding myself with positive people. I work from home, we can easily fall into our comfort zones by staying in the same environments we’re used too.
You want to always try and build your network, but most importantly surround yourself with the right people, because if you’re not surrounding yourself with the right people it’s going to be harder to grow.
If you want to improve as a person, go to an event with a room full of guys that want to improve. If you want to become successful, surround yourself with successful people. It really is as simple as that.
So the third lesson is surround yourself with like minded and positive people.
4. Action Outweighs Logic
Number four is something else that I mentioned in my presentation and that is action outweighs logic.
Now, the reason why I included this is because over the past two days, there was a vast amount of great speakers. You had Dan Lok talking about high ticket sales, you had Ryan Masters talking about fear and how to overcome it, you had people talking about YouTube, people talking about Instagram, people talking about grooming routines, me talking about depression… There were so many pieces of knowledge that you could pick up from the two days.
But what I’m trying to say here is the people that are going to succeed after that event are the people that actually act upon it. For example, if you’re writing notes throughout the whole event or any event that you go to and you try and act upon all of those notes, it’s going to be extremely difficult. But taking the few notes that stood out to you the most and acting upon them right away will help you achieve more than trying to do everything perfectly.
Whether that’s starting an Instagram account, whether it’s starting to face fears, whether it’s starting to be more open and vulnerable… whatever you got from Style Con or any event, you want to start acting upon.
The example that I used is self-help books. Self help books aren’t good for you.
That may shock you at first (as I’m an avid reader of self help books and even wrote one) but the logic behind it is simple. Self help books are useless if you read them and don’t act upon them.
If you read a self-help book and you put it back on the book shelf, you read another self-help book and put it back on the book shelf… you’re not applying any of that knowledge.
You really need to understand that action outweighs logic and you need to start applying everything that you learn.
5. There’s No Room For Arrogance
Number five, the final lesson, is there’s no room for arrogance.
Aaron is someone that I’ve known for a while, probably about five to six years. He did a sponsorship video for me back in the day when I owned Brighterman. Antonio again is someone that I’ve known for a few years. We’ve spoke on and off and I actually went and visited him in Ukraine, Kiev at the beginning of this year.
These two guys are heavyweights. These two guys have people looking up to them. They admire them. They inspire them. There combined audience is fast approaching 4 million subscribers on YouTube alone.
With all of this being said they are both just so down to earth. They have time for everyone. People were asking for photos, they gave them time. People were asking them questions, they gave them time. They literally weren’t arrogant in any way.
So many people when they hit a certain level of success become extremely arrogant, but Aaron, Antonio, all of the other speakers, everyone else in the room as well gave people the platform to speak. They gave me the platform to speak and share my story.
There was no room for arrogance, there was no room for ego, so at whatever level you think you’re at or you’re trying to get to, remember that arrogance is wasted.
You need to always be open to people, you always need to be giving time, giving value to people, because that’s always going to outweigh arrogance.
How can I end this? Well hopefully I’m going to be able to get the full presentation for you guys to watch, but Style Con has recently changed their name to Menfluential. I personally believe that’s a much better decision because there wasn’t a lot of style involved in the event and it’s always going to be very hard to do a two day event just based around style.
Tanner from Masculine Style did a very good presentation on style, you had grooming panels, you had Instagram panels, there were a lot of stylish guys there so you still are going to get a lot of knowledge in terms of style, but it was more about self-improvement. It was more about becoming a better version of yourself.
So Menfluential 2018 is now booked in Atlanta so if you get the chance to go, I highly recommend it.
Hopefully I will be flying out there again next year. (Get Your Tickets Here)
Hopefully we can catch up?
If you enjoyed these lessons let me know in the comments below and if you attended, let me know what your lessons were.
If you didn’t attend Style Con what events have you been to recently and what were the biggest lessons you learned?
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This post was originally featured on MFM. Read it here: 5 Lessons from Style Con 2017