Team Elevator are extremely fortunate to meet inspiring and aspiring entrepreneurs on a regular basis. People who know their 'WHY', people who identify problems in the world and how they plan to fix them, people who want to change the world for the better - people who 'Make it Happen'.
Sometimes we are bowled over by what they have achieved already in their life, or how impressive their plans are at an early stage.
Meeting Jason Woods last week was no exception to this. An intelligent, driven and impressive 17-year-old, who with his fellow peers at Bridge of Don Academy, hosted an event at Elevator on the topic of Leadership, inviting other school pupils and business representatives.
Jason then attended the Elevator Conference 2015 last Friday, and when our Host, Gavin Oattes asked if anyone in the vast audience wanted to step up to the stage at the AECC and tell everyone how they plan to 'Make it Happen' themselves, jaws dropped as the brave Jason raised his hand and walked up to the stage to address the audience from the lectern.
Jason shares his experience of the Elevator Conference 2015 here with us:
Stuck in an elevator…
Have you ever been stuck in an elevator?
I haven’t, but I imagine that it is a pretty unpleasant experience.
Mind you, I was in an Elevator last week and I had a rather pleasant experience.
It may be helpful at this point to add that I was ‘stuck’ at the Elevator Conference 2015 at the AECC, not an actual elevator. I’ll also add that it was a very cool elevator.
When we get into an elevator we are usually hoping to get somewhere and fast. Sure the stairs are healthier and I do recommend you take the stairs over elevators in most cases.
Though last Friday was not the time for stairs, it was the time for ELEVATION.
Over the course of the day, there was a grand total of about 11 speakers up on stage. Maybe 12 if you count my short stint at the lectern.
Each one of the speakers or “Elevators” as I shall call them, had a very simple and familiar story. Of course the details were different, I’m sure not everyone has to dress up in a morph suit as part of their start-up experience, as David Kellock of Trtl Pillow did.
Despite this fact, all of the 'Elevators' did share one thing.
Their ability to elevate others to another level.
Regardless of whether they said we should focus on sales or being yourself or just going for it, they all inspired us. I think I speak for the entire 1,000 attendees when I say that the 'Elevators' were EXCELLENT.
They came in all shapes and sizes as elevators do. Sadly there weren’t any great glass elevators though given a few years, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the 'Elevators' we had on stage get to the point where they can take you to the moon and back.
In the lead up to the event, I was a little nervous. I had NO idea what to expect, I thought I was going to show up and everything was going to be particularly ‘business orientated’. Don’t get me wrong, there was obviously a focus on start-ups and entrepreneurship. However, the ‘spirit’ of the event in my eyes was more about having an entrepreneurial mindset and less about actually having a business.
It was about applying the lessons of these great entrepreneurs to live a better life.
Before I showed up, I half expected to be the youngest there and probably the most casually dressed. I was expecting a suit-and-tie type event. The truth could not have been further from what I experienced.
First off, I don’t think I was the youngest at the event and secondly, it was rare to see a suit.
There was actually a surprisingly large portion of ‘young’ people at the event. (I don’t like differentiating between different age categories because I believe it leads to people putting limits on themselves based upon how old or how young they are.)
Over the course of the day, I met a new me.
Around about this time last year I was out mountain biking in the Cairngorms when to my surprise, I got lost.
To cut a long story short, I made it home in one (relatively unscathed) piece. While I was lost in the woods I discovered a part of myself that quite simply won’t give up.
Now one year later I am moving on to another chapter of my life. A new beginning. A business. A new life.
The Elevator Conference 2015 changed me and from here I see some pretty big things happening.
I’m not sure what these big things will be, how they will unfold or if it will even all work out in the end. That both scares and excites me.
It excites me in that I am looking forward to this uncertain awesome adventure that lies ahead and it scares me, only a little. It’s about 97% Excitement, 3% Fear.
Don’t worry the fear won’t stop me.
Before we go on much further I want to share something with you that I haven’t shared with many people:
I used to be really quiet.
I was the biggest introvert you could imagine. My face was permanently glued to a book. No doubt it has helped me a lot and I wouldn’t be me today without that stage of my life.
During my relatively short life of 17 years, I have done some really challenging things. I overcame a fear of heights by jumping out of a plane at 10,000ft. I have run more miles than my feet care to count. I have run Spartan races and partaken in all kinds of endurance events. I have done 1,000 push-ups in a day. Next month I’ll be doing 3,000 burpees in a DAY!
I have pushed myself on a daily basis to become a better person.
None of that was ‘hard’. I’m not saying it was easy, but it wasn’t hard.
The hardest thing I have ever done is to develop more confidence in myself. The hardest thing I have ever done and do, to this day, is to put myself 'out there'.
Breaking the mould that says introverts don’t do public speaking is the biggest obstacle I have ever overcome.
Last Friday, when I got up on stage that wasn’t hard, the reason being I have been forcing myself to overcome ‘hard’ stuff for years.
I have developed the mentality of getting comfortable being UN-comfortable.
You too can overcome whatever challenges you face. Richard Branson had to overcome dyslexia. Stephen Hawking had to overcome the physical degeneration of his body and I have to overcome ‘shyness.’
Whatever struggle you are facing YOU CAN overcome it. I have literally 100% faith in YOU.
On Friday, I stood up in front of 1,000 people.
(it’s a shame numbers can’t be capitalised).
A year ago there was no way I would have had the courage to do that.
But last week I did! and I hope that I inspired at least 100 of you, if not ALL of you as that would be really cool.
Every speaker gave one key thing that they said was really important to successes. I know I wasn’t on the official schedule for the day, but I was up on stage, and I did talk.
So here’s my little golden nugget:
Don’t ever let others put limits on you. YOU decide what success means to YOU. Oh and as well as that, be nice.
I hope you all have awesome lives and if paths ever collide again I look forward to it. Now in the words of Kid President “Go out and Give the World a reason to DANCE and be more AWESOME.”
In Big and Friendly Strength,
P.s for more cool stuff from Jason 'Wrecker' Woods you can check out his blog here:
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