Review: Real Talk Summit 2017 Featuring Gary Vaynerchuk

Real Talk Summit

The first annual Real Talk Summit, presented by ManTalks, took place on March 18 at the Vancouver Convention Centre with just over 1,300 attendees.

Through real and raw conversations, this full day conference pulled back the curtain on entrepreneurship and what it takes to succeed in business, elevate your brand, and make a positive impact. Talks and panel discussions covered three core themes: Solo Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, and Big Thinkers.

This year’s Real Talk Summit featured American entrepreneur, investor, four-time New York Times bestselling author, and Fortune 40 Under 40, Gary Vaynerchuk.  Other speakers and panelists included inspiring leaders such as Danielle LaPorte, Keith Ippel, Connor Beaton, and many more.

Solo Entrepreneurship

Speaker: Danielle LaPorte, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Oprah’s Super Soul 100 Group


  • Jean-Pierre LeBlanc, Co-Founder & CEO, Saje Natural Wellness
  • Greg Smith, Co-Founder & CEO, Thinkific
  • Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO, O2E Brands


Social Entrepreneurship

Christian Cotichini is the Co-founder and CEO of HeroX. In his presentation, he touched on demographics and crowdsourcing. Millennials are now the largest portion of the workplace, the most educated and hardest working, but are the worst paid. Social entrepreneurs need to crowdsource people’s brains, not just wallets.


The Social Entrepreneur Panel consisted of Keith Ippel, Lotte Davis, and Treya Klassen. Here’s a small snippet of the conversation:

  • Introduction to social entrepreneurship

Keith: Thanks to Donald Trump, politics won’t change the world for the better, so we have to do that through entrepreneurship.  

Lotte: Start with authenticity. You have to be relevant as well so customers can connect.

Treya: Have everyone on the team committed to one vision

  • On leveraging social media

Keith: Go where the audience is. *Proceeded to tell a story of a man in Africa who sells fish on WhatsApp*

Lotte: Tell stories, be relevant, AND transactional. Find a vehicle for people to participate. We made a mistake not to.

  • One takeaway

Treya: Develop yourself.

Lotte: Innovate. Think differently.

Keith: It takes a village to start a company. It takes a village to turn someone into a leader. Here are two things you can do now:

  1. Talk to three strangers
  2. Ask “how can I help you?”


Big Thinkers

Connor Beaton is the Founder of ManTalks and Real Talk Summit. He began his much anticipated speech by telling an emotional and touching story of his mentor Mike, who was one of the first people to take him under his wing. Long story short, years after they stopped keeping in touch with each other, Connor received a rare phone call from his stepdad and found out that Mike had committed suicide. According to research, 30% of entrepreneurs suffer from depression. Connor hopes that more people, especially men, with mental health or other issues will start speaking out to someone. “The starting block is connection, not capital.”

Giovanni Marisco is the Founder and President of Archangel Academy. During his presentation, he walked us through his 10-step Superhero Marketing Formula:

  1. Define your dream
  2. Describe your ‘hero’ (dream client)
  3. Talent scout and co-create
  4. Define your ‘gift’
  5. Rejection marketing
  6. Brand the tribe
  7. ‘Give’ your gift.. literally
  8. Develop your ‘USP’ (unique superpowers)
  9. Build community
  10. Connect tribe members

Last but not least, was the keynote speaker of the day, Gary Vaynerchuk. We were all entertained by his unfiltered, funny, rich of profanity, not afraid of telling the hard truths, and saying it as it is on-stage persona.  He drilled in two simple points:

  1. Intent

Intent needs to be pure. There are many entrepreneurs out there who are “fake” and “full of shit”. For example, some people let the public know how much they’ve donated just to make themselves look good while Gary, and some others, never do that. One time, someone called Gary out on Twitter for not donating and being a good person like other well-known individuals, so Gary invited him out to Starbucks, made a trip to his accountant on the way there, and showed the flabbergasted Twitter user records of his charitable donations. Gary finished this topic off by saying “When you do good, you stay quiet about that shit.” Amen bro.

      2. Doing the work

To succeed, you actually have to do the work. Shocking, right? Too many entrepreneurs spend their time thinking of doing and planning the work, instead of buckling up and getting right down to it.

Gary’s way of summing up the two points together is, “do the right thing and put in the fucking work.”

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