Out at Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Live conference and had the opportunity to see Molly Bloom, author of the book and screenplay of Molly’s Game. If you haven’t seen the moving or read the book, go do it, great story.
I was fascinated because at her core Molly is a world-class athlete who had to stop competing due to major injuries, but it’s rare for anyone to become world-class in anything. She became famous because she figured out how to make a ton of money running private high stakes poker games for super wealthy people, which ultimately led to legal trouble.
Much of Molly’s legal troubles were because she refused to give up all the famous, rich, and powerful people who were playing in her games, which made her unique in not selling out to save herself.
I always cautious when it comes to ‘celebrities’ who are keynoting at a conference. For the most part, they are fairly entertaining and polished, but the substance is usually fluff. Molly Bloom was unlike any ‘celebrity’ keynote I’ve ever listened to, and I have a great idea she would be an awesome person to sit down within private over a glass of wine and just hear some amazing stories!
Here are some of the great quotes and ideas she shared from her life:
– “I’m always cautious about imparting advice…because I’m a convicted felon!” She said while laughing! I love the self-depreciation and awareness she had about her. She understands she’s famous because of a story where she got convicted of a crime. Not a situation to brag about, but she had great learnings from going through that life experience.
– “Anybody is reachable and everyone wants to feel special.” Molly understood the basic psychology of the world. We all want to feel special, and if you can make someone feel special you have true power. Also, if you really want or need to get in touch with almost anyone in the world, you can do it if you try hard enough – which she was able to get to a major Hollywood director to pitch her screenplay, with no experience in movies!
– “There’s no amount of money or freedom worth it if you don’t like yourself.” Molly exceeded every goal she ever had in terms of making money, and she wasn’t happy. She also was given the opportunity for freedom by ‘just’ throwing a bunch of people under the bus, but she couldn’t live with herself if she did that. So, want to be happy? Stop changing everything around and just focus on accepting yourself.
– “Everything comes down to relationships.” Molly was able to start and build the largest private poker game in the world with millions of dollars flowing through it each night because she made and established the relationships. Not knowledge. Not who her parents were. She made relationships and learned how to leverage their relationships.
– My favorite quote – “I didn’t succeed because I didn’t prepare. I didn’t succeed because I tripped over a stick that I never could have anticipated being on the course, it was random, and sometimes that happens in life.” We are told all we have to do is prepare and work harder and blah, blah, blah. If we do all that we will succeed. And then we do that and we don’t. That’s life! That happened to Molly in her athletic career and it was super hard for her to come to grips over that, but she did. Life isn’t fair and sometimes it’s going to suck, but you pick yourself up and you move forward. Love it!
What I really liked about Molly Bloom was her lack of polish around speaking. She made some mistakes in what she wanted to say and she would back up and correct herself and laugh at herself. She sometimes messed up her own story. But she seemed extremely real and transparent. That’s rare at a conference, it’s rare in most of our lives. But, it’s very cool to listen to!