Mindvalley University Tallinn 2018

Mindvalley University Tallinn 2018

by Kenneth Rayman on July 31, 2018
When I left for Tallinn, I had no idea what I wanted out of the experience. I had never taken a Mindvalley Masterclass, Quest, or Program but Vishen HAD moved me repeatedly with his keynotes, interviews, and his clips from his A-fests. I bought my ticket mentally to Tallinn when he mentioned the month-long program during an interview with Tom Bilyeu. During the interview, Vishen challenged convention that I questioned my whole life as well, but never could put in words, and it built to his idea to build a school of life, connection, and skills that didn’t fit the traditional “2+2=4, memorize this fact, test on Thursday” format to further challenge that convention. But I was also interested in Estonia given the “Singing Revolution” documentary I’d seen years earlier, the Baltic imagery built up in my mind of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia since, and of course the region’s history with Russia.

I wasn’t sure what I’d get out of the experience either because personal growth is just that, personal. Every person might be interested in different things related to it and not everything would work or appeal to me. One thing did however, anything on the program that had to do with comfort zones and pushing forward your creative vision to design your future. I’ve always described what I do with the blog and travel/history speaking events as a creative outlet, but my growth journey has opened me up to how I can grow my experiences and, in correlation, my skills, creativity, and earning power. I say, “I’m not an entrepreneur because I’ve never understood how you can fix a problem or a need without resources which, to me, requires you to work in the traditional sense to save and acquire first; I’m not a “wantreprenuer” because I’m not here saying I want to be something I’m not; I just have a creative streak that I know can help me go somewhere.”

On Entrepreneur Day at MVU, I learned entrepreneurial ideals, skills, and mindsets, to craft my speaking, ideas to pitch/network, and my growth as a creative that if my journey uncovers an opportunity I can think critically. Jason Goldberg’s talk set the tone with a “lost and on the couch” story that I won’t say mirrored my own but had asked the question of himself, “what do I want out of life?” which I did myself and connected with. Then I remembered, I HAD made the quick decision 3 years ago to move to Seattle with no assurances; I HAD made the phone call to the travel agent and committed to my first international flight to go see Russia last year. Where could I make the next great leap and add to my life? He also said, “Look at the difference between being ‘known for’ and ‘known for activating in others’.” Whenever I describe my talks I explain, “This generation of seniors grew up with a Russia only seen through a political lens, I did not and therefore I want to give them a new narrative and if one senior says, “I’ve never thought of it that way” I’ve done my job by giving them that narrative.”

I empathized with Kristina in that both her and I didn’t want to do anything entrepreneurial, were frightened of the jump, and (she would later reveal) sometimes struggle with self-image and projection in front of others. She also started out in government, which was my first interest project in professional life, and was from an Eastern Bloc country which has been my lifelong interest. Her stating that entrepreneurship had been a criminal offense added to that mystic and reminded me of the documentary, “My Perestroika” where Andrei the business man says, “Actually every job I’ve had would’ve been impossible in the Soviet Union.” Kristina had some interesting advice though. Try! Listening to her journey from government representative, to helping Vishen with Mindvalley while she couldn’t yet work in the U.S., to getting bit by the bug of entrepreneurship and wanting to expand Mindvalley to Russia, gave me a point of context to go with the question, “why didn’t I stop after that first senior community presentation?”

I got inspired for a potential exploration, and refining of my essay for my next Fulbright application in hopes of a European senior living executive exchange program, with Karoli Hindriks and her talk of her company Jobbatical. Though her company focuses on tech jobs, I finally had “a path” to my “digital nomadness” to experience more of Europe and expand on senior care. Sadly, she did tell me personally that she didn’t know of anyone doing that, nor did she do anything with healthcare with Jobbatical, but the groundwork was laid with ideas for a few companies in Seattle that I know want to expand overseas.

Rain Rannu gave me practicality, keeping me grounded, since I was reminding myself that I wasn’t an entrepreneur. His point, “Your initial idea is always shit” made me think of my first conversations about what I wanted out of the blog and freelance writing pursuits and I shuddered at how I used to sound. “Look to the intersections of passion, skills, and market” spoke to me of my passion for history and now of travel, my writing ability, and my interest in elder care. What could I do for the community, not just the residents of it? “Don’t go to Latvia” spoke of the path that people think is the next logical step but doesn’t serve them in the larger interest. In my case, don’t go full on into Life Enrichment because it’s not a strength. “When in doubt, build something silly” means the need for your idea to speak to who you are, not what you think they want to hear.

But the hardest hitting was the seven deadly sins of owning a business by Kristina. Her advice to have the proper mindset was the best piece of advice I could hear. It even made me say to myself, “don’t call yourself a freelancer from now on. It shows non-commitment.” She said, “Having a freelance mindset means you want extract from; having an investor mindset means reinvesting what you make to grow further.” That made me wonder what had been my goals with calling myself a freelancer? Was it because I didn’t want to be called an “entrepreneur” for its image? However, I realized, when I called myself a “freelancer” I got the same reaction that I feared as if I had said “entrepreneur.”

Confidence, practicality, and new frames of context and strategy were what I got professionally out of Mindvalley University, Tallinn.
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