World Summit 2020

Coach Rob
4 min readOct 6, 2020

Along with chess, one of my other constant pursuits and huge loves is personal growth and development. I’ve read countless books and attended a number of seminars and I find that even when I’ve heard material before and I’m familiar with it, I always learn something new or come away with some new distinctions.

What I didn’t realize until this past weekend is that events like these aren’t really about the knowledge at all, but are more about the people and the connections you make.

My goodie box for the first ever Virtual World Summit!

I’m not sure why it took me so long to see that, but after many, many years on this earth I finally have come to understand the phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”


Don’t get me wrong, there was incredible value in the content delivered at this event… We were lucky enough to be continually inspired by hosts Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi throughout the weekend-long event. Plus, we got some amazing nuggets from Jenna Kutcher, learned the story of It Cosmetics from its incredibly inspirational founder, Jamie Kern Lima, got to know former NFL’er Trent Shelton, learned about the power of people from Pete Vargas, and so much more from so many talented people that it just didn’t seem fair to anyone who wasn’t there to experience it!

There were breakout groups (little pods of 3–4 people working with each other, collaborating their knowledge and efforts), and some of the attendees who submitted questions to the speakers and the hosts received one-on-one attention and coaching in front of all 8,000-plus participants to get help breaking through on their path to success.

But in addition to the people who graced the stage this past weekend, there was another group of people that really touched me and made the entire event that much more enjoyable.


When you have 8,000 people on a Zoom call, it can get pretty crazy keeping track of everyone! Sometimes I have trouble teaching a chess class with just seven students! Technology happens, chat boxes freeze, microphones accidentally get unmuted… and to help mitigate that, the event was separated into a bunch of separate rooms, each holding about 250 people. Well, I can’t say about any other rooms, but our room had about that many.

My group was the lifeblood of the event. I was a part of Room 4, which was quickly dubbed “FAB 4,” and for good reason! Everyone was so helpful toward each other, so caring and giving, so open with each other and supportive; and everyone seemed willing to enhance the experience for the others around them, as if they knew that was the way to gain the most out of the Summit.

We even have a new Facebook group to stay connected afterward and continue to guide, mentor and coach one another, and to help hold each other accountable as well!


See, when you attend an event like this in person, you might be able to exchange notes and talk about the material and the speakers with a handful of people — the ones who are seated around you. Usually this is about 5–10 people, or maybe a few more if you’re a real extrovert. And I’ve certainly made some lasting connections through attending personal growth seminars in the past.

But while the speakers are on and you’re watching and learning, you aren’t able to just get up and wander around the room talking to other attendees to find out what they think, or to catch up on what so-and-so said was number 3 on his list of 5 things every businessperson should know about XYZ… It’s just not possible to do. For one thing, even one person doing that would disrupt the experience for others and would become a major distraction. I imagine they’d be asked to leave. I don’t know because I’ve never seen it! It just doesn’t happen.

Our virtual room was like sitting next to 250 people! Our chat was a place where we shared opinions, ideas, thoughts, breakthroughs, challenges, support, contact info and so much more. All of us! That can only be done in a virtual environment — and one that is extremely well managed, at that.

The Hulk took on a new significance for me at the 2020 Virtual World Summit. I guess you had to be there!


This past weekend changed my entire life. Not because I heard Russell Brunson talk about a value ladder for the 50th time and not because I heard Tony Robbins say some of the same things he’s been saying since I began studying his work in 1992.

It’s because of the people I met and the connections I made. People from all around the world, literally, who I’m quite certain I never would have met under any other circumstances and who I am now proud to call friends.

As I wrote earlier, I finally understand what it means to know the right people and while I’ve always been a guy who genuinely appreciates connection and quality time with those I care about, I feel amazingly blessed to have made these new connections I made over the weekend.

I’ve come to care about these people like I never thought I could care about anyone I’ve never actually met. I hope at some point I can meet each and every one of them!

If you’re interested in personal growth, or just want to open a dialogue and connect with me, drop me a line at: I’d love to hear your thoughts!



Coach Rob

I’m a chess coach who works with kids of all skill levels to teach chess by connecting the material so it can be rapidly put to use. Visit: