Steve Harvey Smiling-001

In his book, Harvey motivates his readers to realize their gift is a calling and provides tools for how to discover and embrace their gifts. (Photo by Natascha Saunders)

By Natascha F. Saunders, Special to the AFRO

Aspiring entrepreneurs, speakers and community members from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia gathered at Hyatt Regency in Reston, Va. from March 6 – 8. There they heard Steve Harvey, Lisa Nichols, Nicole Roberts Jones, and others share strategies to accelerate success and to make their dreams a reality. Infusionsoft and Strayer University sponsored the event.

This was the first-ever ‘Act Like A Success’ Conference based off Steve Harvey’s current book Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success. In Harvey’s book, he motivates his readers to realize their gift is a calling and provides tools for how to discover and embrace your gift. Harvey shared his personal story, framed by these same tools, with an eager audience. “I came here to uplift you to let you know anything is possible. Stop reading all the success stories on the Internet and write one for yourself,” Harvey said.

Harvey framed success tips around his own story of being down and out, needing to borrow an iron from another comedian and asking to share a hotel room because he had no money. Harvey talked about losing wealth, living in his car, and being told he would end up back on the chitterling circuit. However, Harvey’s faith persevered. “You want to know how to be rich. Stop trying to think of how you can make a million dollars. Stop trying to think of a million dollar idea because it freezes you,” Harvey told participants.

He proceeded to share what type of idea they needed. “You need a 10 dollar idea. A 10 dollar idea you can work day in and day out. The answer to your success has been in you since you were born. God gave us one at birth. If you haven’t found your purpose in your career, it’s because you are not living in your gift,” Harvey said.

Stepping on stage to share a similar message was Lisa Nichols, CEO and founder of Motivating the Masses, one of the top training and development companies in the world, and the only self-development company to be publicly traded. Nichols is also a best-selling author of six books and one of the most sought-after speakers. Her participation in the law of attraction phenomenon, The Secret, propelled her popularity across the globe. Lisa has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Extra, Larry King Live, and on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning show, Starting Over.

Nichols shared her story of being a single mom with $11 dollars in the bank, looking at her son,  unable to buy diapers, saying, “Mommy will never be this poor again.” She continued, saying that while this may be where some are now, that is not our destiny, but just a moment. “I believe in a holistic approach, and being unapologetically successful which means I have nothing to hide, nothing to prove and nothing to defend,” Nichols said.

Referring to our gifts, she said, “We need to do it imperfect. Your imperfect could be my blessing. Who said your imperfect wasn’t right for me.”

This three-day conference did not just include inspiring keynotes, but breakout sessions that continued to motivate and inspire attendees. Nicole Roberts Jones taught one of the breakout sessions. Jones is a speaker, author, and empowerment coach. Jones has worked with women of all ages, helping them grow into their greatness. Jones is the director of the Personal Development Division of Motivating the Masses (a Lisa Nichols company).

“When the world gets me in all my brilliance, they get . . . ,” Jones said. Jones encouraged those in her session to move from fear and add what the world gets to the end of that sentence. She encouraged those wanting to be successful to do it afraid, and not wait for the fear to leave. She said find your perception, be unapologetic about your greatness, let go of process and take the limits off. “Your gift isn’t even for you,” Jones said.

For more information about ‘Act Like a Success, log onto or to learn more about Lisa Nichols and coaching visit