By Aimee Stern President, Brave Now PR


Inspiration is all the Rage at Virtual Conferences

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) held its annual meeting virtually this week. I missed it but decided to ask participants on the executive committee which speakers they recommended leaders listen too. The two cited most frequently had recent TEDX talks – and they were of the “make me feel good, I can be better too,” type. 

Both speakers discussed creativity, inspiration and how doing good is good for all of us. They created businesses  out of what inspired them. Go watch and listen.


Too Much of Marketing is One-Way Communication

Duncan Wardle spent a couple of decades at Disney doing what sounded like one of most fun and challenging creative jobs on the planet – marketing its theme parks.

Wardle began by discussing how marketing and advertising campaigns are still talking at people not engaging with them. And then he told an iconic story about Walt Disney and how he became the customer experience leader before anyone knew it was a thing.

The year was 1940 and Disney wanted his new movie “Fantasia “to be the Christmas movie, an immersive, unforgettable experience in theaters that would wrap movie goers up in the company’s aura. Disney wanted to send heat into the theatres, to create winter wonderlands. But the movie theater owners turned him down saying the expense wasn’t worth it.

So Disney decided to take his characters outside of the screen and make them three dimensional beings with people playing the characters. Let’s create a different land, he said and kept saying over the next 15 years. In 1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, CA.

Wardle goes on to tell his own Disney stories.


Don’t Bury Your Dreams, Live Them

At the lowest point in his life, Ben Nemtin ask himself a very important question: "If anything was possible, what would I do?"

He raised the question with friends, and they came up with bucket list items like Kiss the Queen, Walk in Space, Play Basketball at the White House with Obama. It could have been just a bunch of guys making a wish list. But they decided to go on a road trip across Canada and for everything they crossed off their lists they pledged to make someone else’s dreams come true as well.

As they talked, they came to an understanding that each of them buried what they really wanted, what they dreamed about, because life got in the way. So, they created the “Buried List,” those incredible moments that would give their lives more meaning if they could find the time to make them happen.

The friends spent a couple of weeks on the road trying to check items off their “Buried List.” One of the young men wanted to be a medieval knight for a day and walked around a town doing what he assumed a knight would do. A little boy came up to him holding a plastic sword and he knighted him. A photographer happened to be close by and his picture made the front page of the newspaper. That’s how his company got started.

As a way to give back, they helped Brent, a homeless man who had begun to turn his life around and start a business, deal with the fact that his delivery truck had died and he could no longer work. They went out to a local used car lot and convinced the owner to sell them a truck for $500 to get his business going again.

Nemtin’s point is stop and think about what’s important to you? That’s your Buried List. But don’t just make it about you – make it about helping others fulfill their dreams too. Learn more here.


By Aimee Stern
President, Brave Now PR