In April of 2020, I hosted the New Normal Summit, a free 4-day event with 45 guest experts.

I had the idea for the event on March 17th and it was live 13 days later … and attracted more than 1,000 attendees. The feedback was incredible, with one woman saying it was like “business school on steroids.”

I co-hosted a virtual summit three years ago, but this was the first time I planned one alone. I handled all logistics and marketing myself, and attended every session live.

Hidden inside of the event were some pretty powerful mindset lessons that also apply more broadly to business and life.

1. Leap before you look If I had really considered all of the work involved in putting together this summit, I probably wouldn’t have done it. There were a ton of moving parts (see #2) and it meant a considerable investment of time and energy.

Boy am I glad I took action without thinking it through. The results were so worth the effort, but I might not have realized that if I’d only been focused on the effort.

Take risks. They usually pay off.

2. You can do more than you think First, I put this thing together in less than two weeks. Initial idea to event kickoff in 13 days.

I found and booked the speakers, made the graphics and wrote the messaging, set up Facebook group, promoted the event, fielded emails from speakers and attendees, watched every presentation, interacted with participants, and more.

I did it all by myself without help. Was it a lot? Sure. But I was a bit surprised by how easy it was to do everything because I was so motivated to do it.

Work feels lighter when it’s fueled by passion.

3. Make big asks It wasn’t long ago that I’d only ask a friend to speak in a summit. Now, I have no problem reaching out to anyone, even women I don’t know.

Of the 45 women who spoke in this summit, I only knew 15 prior to the event. People I didn’t know, inlcuding those with large followings, agreed to participate because I asked and because of #s 4 and 5.

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4. Community is everything Connection is one of my core values, so I spend a lot of time in various communities. People know that I show up and that I give as much as I take.

Thanks to my strong ties to community, women I knew trusted me enough to recommend me and the summit to women they knew. That opened doors to speakers and brought in many attendees.

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” Helen Keller

5. Do things with heart… … and people will want to be part of it. One reason people wanted to participate in and attend the summit was because they could tell I truly cared.

The event was fueled by my desire to help others during this difficult time. It wasn’t a list-building effort, there were no sales pitches, and I nor anyone else were paid.

We built this summit out of love and generosity. Anything done with integrity and gratitude is sure to be well received.

Passion is contagious.

6. People are waiting for leaders When COVID-19 reached our country, everyone wanted to do something to help. So, I stepped up and took the lead.

When people learned the summit would help others, they quickly said yes. They wanted to help, and were just waiting for someone to show them how.

This sentiment translates into all areas of business and life. You may be surprised to discover how many people (customers, collaborators, family) are hoping you’ll take the lead.

Someone needs to lead. Why not you?

7. Simplify, simplify, simplify A virtual summit can be an elaborate event with a lengthy sales page, special tech for hosting, loads of graphics.

It can be all of that … or it can be simple. I chose simple. No sales page, Facebook for hosting, just one copy/paste graphic.

We often avoid doing big things because they seem too, well, BIG. But maybe they don’t need to be—if only we can allow ourselves to be okay with good enough (see #8).

Less is more—if doing less allows you to actually get it done.

8. Let go of perfection and expectation If need everything to be perfect before you take action, you’ll never take action. And if you’re tied to an outcome, anything other than your expectation will be a disappointment.

Perfection isn’t possible; it’s just a fancy form of self-sabotage. It’s a form of control, as is clinging to expectations and outcomes.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but let go of control and you’ll accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Even better, you’ll have a heck of a lot more fun doing it.

“Don’t sacrifice the good to chase the perfect.” Emily Ley

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