3 Of The Best Tips You Can Learn From Taylor Conroy’s TEDx Talk
Taylor Conroy is an entrepreneur, speaker, and activist, whose influence reaches around the globe. However, while many entrepreneurs seek to gain fame and fortune through their ideas, Taylor chose to focus on social impact.
His journey to becoming a successful social entrepreneur did not start as you may expect. Instead, Taylor’s impact came from his passion for social issues, hard work, and proactively taking social responsibilities on his shoulders.
Rather than jump into a training program or follow others’ business models, Taylor knew he had to land a TEDx talk to share his message with hundreds, thousands, if not millions of people.
Before his success, though, like most of us, Taylor had to overcome his doubts and fears. It wasn’t an easy process, and his journey was full of twists and turns. Nevertheless, his journey, culminating in a TEDx Talk that went on to help him impact the world, is one we can all learn from.
1. How To Overcome Self-Doubt
Whether you struggle with wondering if you’ll ever meet success, combat Imposter Syndrome daily, or fight to keep outside voices from discouraging you, it’s crucial to overcome self-doubt.
You may think you’re the only one to doubt yourself, but even some of the world’s most prominent thought leaders have to combat self-doubt now and then. Taylor Conroy was no different.
Rather than let his self-doubt dominate his thinking, habits, and lifestyle, Taylor chose to be proactive. Often, feelings follow the action. But, in this case, Taylor led his feelings into confidence.
The action Taylor Conroy took next would seem like a drop in an ocean of need, but despite any fear or insecurity, he would use it to create radical change. Overcoming self-doubt is not a one-time occurrence, but every small step leads you closer to confidence and clarity.
For Taylor, this looked like starting to change the way he lived, even while in less-than-optimal conditions.
Taylor Conroy’s Journey From Firefighter To The TEDx Stage
In 2003 Taylor started giving 10% of his income away to charity. It didn’t amount to much because he worked as a firefighter, lived in a rented basement suite, recycled the same three t-shirts, drove a truck with no reverse, and was in debt.
In 2005 he managed to transition into real estate, and by 2008 he was doing well enough that he didn’t have time to decide where to allocate his 10%. Instead, he found out about an organization in Uganda called Save The Children and decided to fly there to see for himself what type of impact he could make. He describes his experience as, “The first time I saw the world, not just my world.”
“The first time I saw the world, not just my world.”
Later, Taylor visited Kenya and donated money there as well. The money he gave was used to build a school for the children and a library that would impact thousands of kids.
“That feeling of changing the world for the better was something I can’t put into words.”
Taylor wanted people to give on their terms. So although he didn’t think himself worthy of giving a TEDx Talk, he decided to share his story on stage. He knew if he didn’t take steps now to get him closer to where he hoped to be later, his journey would never begin.
2. The Benefits Of Social Entrepreneurship
Taylor Conroy In Kenya
From the beginning, Taylor was interested in social entrepreneurship, but things began to change when he decided to make his passion more evident.
The more Taylor Conroy pursued public speaking, took to social media, and shared his passion for helping fix social problems, the further clarity he had. He condensed his findings on how to communicate the benefits of social entrepreneurship into what he calls the Five Motivators Of Giving:
- Focus on group mentality or team effort
- Create a tangible outcome
- Such as buying a goat, digging a well, or building a school
- Ask for micro giving
- Such as giving four dollars a day for 40 days
- Harness the power of personal connection
- We are caused-out but focusing on the relationship an audience has with individual changes their empathy for the cause
- Recognition ties a positive emotion to the act of giving, and recognition inspires others to give
The more Taylor communicated the benefits of giving to a worthy cause, the more money he raised to build schools. Additionally, individuals did not feel manipulated into giving to a cause they knew little about. Instead, they saw Taylor’s commitment and wanted to join in on his passion.
Many people want to help others, and they don’t understand the practicalities of how to do so. Taylor’s five-step approach articulated the need and how his audience could be part of the solution.
3. How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Taylor Conroy’s TED Talk displayed the power of getting out of your comfort zone. When he saw a need in Uganda, he flew to see it himself. But even more importantly, he did something about it.
It’s not just business entrepreneurs who can influence global change. Focusing on creating social good is sometimes as simple as saving 10% of your income to give to charity.
Saving that 10% may put you out of your comfort zone, but the more you broaden your comfort zone, the larger it becomes.
Taking the First Step
You don’t need to be a Duke University graduate or start a microfinance organization such as Grameen Bank to step outside what you’re comfortable with. Yes, this bank helps the impoverished by allowing them to make smaller-scale loans (with no collateral requirement), but Taylor quite literally only took two steps:
- He stepped foot in Uganda
- He stepped on the TEDx stage
Getting out of your comfort zone starts with that first step. For you, it may be:
- Setting aside 10% of your income as Taylor did
- Sharing your passion with a friend and your story behind why
- Stepping on a stage to communicate this passion with the world
Whatever it is for you, take the step.
How To Scale Empathy And Change The World
- Fund and build 400 schools
- Water projects
- Girls’ scholarships
- Anti-sex trafficking work
- And more
For Journey, scaling empathy starts with bringing groups of just 30-70 people on international journeys. On these trips they:
- Build homes
- Renovate schools
- Coach women’s collectives
- Aid refugees
This hands-on display of empathy transforms the communities they seek to help and the people they engage on their journey.
How Taylor Conroy’s TEDx Talk Positively Influences Your Life
Taylor Conroy’s TEDx Talk shows he is obsessed with building businesses that make a positive change. He has lectured at Harvard, Princeton, NYU, Cornell, and the United Nations on social enterprise and regularly presents to corporate audiences like Disney, Pfizer, and Lululemon, as well as social good events with audiences of 10,000+.
Whether you work with event organizers or are the main event yourself, keynoting for large audiences, Taylor’s TEDx Talk will influence you for the better. Despite his doubt, Taylor teaches you:
- How to overcome self-doubt
- How to get out of your comfort zone
- How to scale empathy to change the world
- The benefits of social entrepreneurship
Taylor Conroy’s social entrepreneurship started when he was in debt in a rented basement. Despite his doubts, he went on to:
- Work as a real estate entrepreneur
- Become a bodybuilder
- Explore every continent on earth (including Antarctica)
- Film mini-documentaries in the red light district of Cambodia to combat sex trafficking.
Whatever your first step looks like today, overcome your-self doubt, get out of your comfort zone, and change the world.
Maybe it looks like saving that 10%, or perhaps it’s time to share your story. The social impact you make could reach hundreds, thousands, and millions of individual lives. That’s a powerful statement and one to pursue!