3 themes from Expert Empires that will inspire your business

Inspiration from Steven Bartlett, Marie Forleo, Suzy Ashworth, Nick James and Paul Mort

Sometimes we can get so caught up in the day to day of running our businesses that we forget to take a step back and think about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I go to a few conferences a year so I can get out of my own space, meet up with business buddies, and be inspired.

This week I headed to Wembley for Expert Empires hosted by Nick James. The headliners were Steven Bartlett, Marie Forleo, and Suzy Ashworth. That’s quite a line up! In this article I’m going to share three themes from the two days which will inspire you to build your business.

1. Be more courageous

Paul Mort spoke at Expert Empires about being courageous. We often talk about needing to find our confidence but Paul flipped that idea and said it’s not that we need to be more confident but that we need to be more courageous.


You probably know where you’re going – you’ve set your goals, you’ve got your strategy and you know what your task is but you’re putting it off. I refer to this as my self-sabotage, knowing what to do but not doing it, or possibly even doing the opposite! You’re putting it off and putting it off and you need to get past this hump. Paul said what you need at those times is courage.


You have to be willing to make that leap. In Paul’s case, throwing yourself down a very big water slide at a theme park. When he did it he loved it, but getting to that point took a lot of courage. He said it’s the fear of what we are going to do that makes us procrastinate but actually taking the action often doesn’t turn out to be as scary as we imagined.

A high water slide at a theme park

What are you putting off right now? Does it include asking for help? Suzy Ashworth spoke about the Four Pillars of Infinite Receiving. One of those was infinite support. She said that “you can’t do it all if you are trying to hold it all”. You have to let people support you and that in itself involves courage. You have to be willing to ask the question, to let people in, or to hand things over to others and trust that they are going to do things.


The willingness to ask scary questions came up a couple of times during the conference. Suzy said that when Richard Branson was starting out he asked all kinds of things of people. Some people said yes and others said no but things happened for him because he was willing to be cheeky and ask.


A wonderful example of this in action was during the Q&A with Steven Bartlett. It takes a lot of courage to talk to a Dragon. When questions were invited from the audience, a lady asked him if he would appear on her podcast. Steven said let’s play a game and invited her onto the stage to play bottle flip by throwing a water bottle and trying to get it to land upright.

Steven Bartlett talking to Nick James on stage at Expert Empires
Steven Bartlett talking to Nick James on stage at Expert Empires

I love that the lady had the courage to put the question to Steven. That he had the courage to take a risk. That she had the courage to go up on stage and give it a go. As it turned out, Nick James’ son is very good at bottle flip and he played on her behalf. Again, it’s that idea of infinite receiving, she let someone else step in and support her and she won an interview with Steven. How amazing is that?!


I was struck by Steven’s openness and willingness to take a chance on people. He was happy to have conversations with people, to listen to people’s ideas, and to experiment and that leads me onto the second thing that I took away from Expert Empires.

2. Experiment more, regardless of the outcome

How often do you test new things? Do you give something a try not knowing whether it will work? Steven Bartlett revealed that he rewards his team for the number of experiments they carry out.


Steven said he and his team were obsessive about the 1%. They focus on the things you don’t see.


He said: “Everything you do is compounding either for or against you.”


We often think it is the big things that will make a difference. But rather than bet on one big action or event, Steven advised looking for 100 little things which will make 1% of difference. They are often easy to do but they are also easy to overlook so many people don’t do them. If you try doing things a little bit differently, that can have a greater difference than you imagine.


Steven encouraged us to try things, regardless of the outcome. He said doubt is just resistance. Do it anyway.


Steven said: “Conviction pushes you through failure and failure is feedback.” He encouraged us to celebrate when the experiment is done.


His advice was: “Be consistent, look at every metric and show up next day and be slightly less bad.”

There was a lot of talk about mindset at Expert Empires. That’s incredibly important when you are experimenting because you have to have the courage to actually start experimenting first – and  then you need to keep going, particularly if you’ve invested in something and it hasn’t worked out or perhaps you’ve changed course. You are allowed to develop your ideas and test things. But it can be really hard to keep going particularly if it feels like you are are doing things with people watching.


Seth Godin talks about doing work in public. I love the idea. As a journalist I had to do work in public all the time but nowadays I don’t do it enough. It can feel exposing to test things out and see if they get a response, whether people like them or other people hate them. You have to really believe in yourself to keep going with that.


Nick James said the most important reason why your business might be underperforming is your ability to manage your mental and emotional state. He said that if you can do that consistently and score yourself at 8, 9 or 10 then everything else is secondary.


Being able to tune out your negative thoughts and things that could knock you off course is what’s going to make the biggest difference to your progress.


Paul Mort said, “you don’t have to be perfect to have an impact”. Messy action is is the way to go. He also encouraged us to “share your little bit of insanity”. Tess Cope said that “where we stumble there lies treasure”.

Experiment, show the real you, and keep testing things. This will help you with the third theme that resonated with me.

“Everything you do is compounding either for or against you.”

3. Be prolific

Liv Conlon, who was incredibly inspiring (she’s 24, started her business at 16 and she’s achieved a tremendous amount in a very short amount of time) spoke about personal branding.


She encouraged people to be prolific. Now you might think that being prolific means doing all of the things all the time but that’s not actually what Liv was saying. She argued a prolific person:

  • “Invents new, unique ideas and frameworks all the time”
  • “Shares never heard before strategies or twists”
  • “Everything they say is unique.”
Liv Conlan's slide setting out the difference between being 'mainstream' and 'prolific'.
Liv Conlan's slide setting out the difference between being 'mainstream' and 'prolific'.

I loved her talk because I enable coaches and consultants to implement the ideas she was talking about by creating original content marketing. 


Being prolific benefits you and your clients in all kinds of ways. Nick James said that one of the reasons why your business might not be by might be underperforming with your ability to keep to get and keep attention. You have the ability to turn their attention into business opportunities but very often we stop short.


This point was picked up again by Darin Adams who said people need to hear from us at least 5 to 7 times before they buy from us – but most of us only get in touch with somebody maybe one or two times and then we give up. We know we should be more prolific but for whatever reason, we stop short and sabotage our efforts.

You don't have to be perfect to have an impact.

One of the complaints I often hear about content marketing is that it takes up too much time and is overwhelming. Marie Forleo spoke about taking control of your time. Instead of feeling like you’re constantly  overloaded and  overwhelmed with so much to do, you can slow things down for yourself. Imagine you’re in the Matrix and instead of things whizzing past you, you take control of how fast they are going and spot what you’re going to focus on.


Marie said you need to choose what gets your attention and what does not. She also advised us to simplify to amplify, which means focus on fewer things but do them really well. 

Marie Forleo on stage with Nick James at Expert Empires
Marie Forleo on stage with Nick James at Expert Empires

Be courageous, experiment and be prolific

What would that mean for you and your content? Since coming home from Expert Empires, I’ve started sharing personal videos on my Youtube channel charting my business and what I learn along the way. 


If you have lots of ideas but don’t know where to start, if you find yourself wanting to share your voice and way of doing things but stop yourself, and if you feel insecure or overwhelmed by content marketing then come and have a chat with me (or write my an email if you prefer). I help coaches and consultants like you to share who they are, what they do, and how it helps their clients through stories which let their personality shine along with their expertise. 

Related content

Picture of Rachel Extance

Rachel Extance

Award-winning journalist and blogger. I help service-based business owners communicate who they are, what they do, and why. If you struggle to talk about yourself on your website or your content marketing, get in touch with me.

Share this


Read more

One Response

  1. Thanks, Rachel, for sharing this article and especially in distilling the lessons you took from the conference. It has sparked lots of ideas for me and how I can be courageous in experimenting with some.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. The Story Cave Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.