“If you want to make millions, you need to help millions.” – John Dumas
Some people love Las Vegas. Not me.
Some people intentionally average four hours of sleep. I don't.
Some people exhaust themselves with constant human interaction. Not this guy.
But in four tiring, purpose-filled, mass-of-humanity, exhilarating January days, I celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit at New Media Expo (NMX).
Yeah, I know. This still doesn't explain why dropping a grand and expecting a fatiguing Vegas experience was important enough to leave my family behind.
Hang tight. I'm getting there.
NMX presented an opportunity I simply couldn't pass up. Nowhere else that I know of – besides the World Domination Summit (WDS) – can I find my fellow entrepreneurial “right people” all gathered together, just waiting to start meaningful conversations about business, philosophy, ethics, and life.
So, what did all these NMX presentations, conversations, and relationships yield for us?
There were no book deals inked. There were no joint ventures proposed or accepted. But believe me, there was so much more than the exchange of business cards and shallow small talk.
Frankly, I went to NMX as much for you as I did for me. The greater my awareness of what's possible and the steps I can take to make what seems to be impossible actually happen, the bigger the doors I can open for you.
And that's what Value of Simple is about. It's about using all my resources and all our collective might to make ourselves and the world around us more simplified, organized, and money wise.
So I want you to feel the energy and excitement that experiences with tons of your “right people” can bring. There's plenty in it for you.
Price Is What You Pay. Value Is What You Get.
It's appropriate that I read The Essays of Warren Buffett (affiliate link) on the plane ride to Vegas. The greatest investor of our time reminded me yet again that “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
Initially, I found it hard to justify spending a grand on a discretionary event. After attending NMX though, the value that I got was far more than a thousand dollars' worth. Hell, I would have spent double or triple to have the experience.
Have you ever experienced a four-day constant drip of motivation that kept you lit up like Independence Day? NMX was like that for me.
From my first conversation with Brian Hogg about puppet shows, paleo, or simplifying to my last conversation with Hilary St John about international travel, ice fishing, or marketing, this was more than standard business talk.
I heard and learned a metric crapload more than the 38 experiences and stories I'm about to share, but my mind can only squeeze out 38 right now. It's hard to find time to take notes when you're always between moments like, “Holy crap! That was an awesome presentation! Oh wait…hello amazing person who wants to talk to me as I get up from my chair.”
My concept of what's possible has expanded tremendously because of NMX. Walk with me as I review the lessons, stories, ideas, and beliefs that made this so special.
Our 38 NMX Game-Changers
Dino Dogan, Chief Gardener of Triberr and wild enthusiasm spreader
1. Building polarity between you and everyone else in what you do, how you do it, and why it's done creates a human gravitational pull
2. The highest level of community loyalty is when people take action for the community to their own detriment. Yes, you read that right.
3. Be your own customer. Rick Calvert, co-founder of NMX, wanted to go to NMX in 2007…but a blogging, podcasting, and social media tradeshow didn't exist yet. So he created one for himself and for everyone else.
4. Give people status. It's a primal desire and, when done well, there is little to no cost. For example, it's no coincidence Facebook asks you for your “Update Status.” And what about the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts who move mountains for a badge and the immense pride of military veterans for the medals on their uniforms? Status.
Pat Flynn, Mr. Be Everywhere and Smart Passive Income dude
5. Free is magnetic. Everyone should use free (case in point from his presentation below and totally worth watching)
6. A free cupcake can only be consumed once. Free evergreen online content can be consumed infinitely by as many people who want it.
7. Free is not a business model. Free is an incentive for your business model. Trade free for reputation, social proof, or suggested contributions to a partner charity.
8. Small entrepreneurs shouldn't worry about the differences between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). Every transaction is now P2P (Peer-to-peer). Quoted from Chris Ducker.
9. Give your community the “full frontal” sometimes. Giving something valuable away without expectation of anything in return has amazing unexpected benefits.
10. It's human nature to give back when you get something for free. Pass free along and always think about reciprocity.
Here's the principle at work during NMX: Pat invited 100 people in his community attending NMX to dinner the first night. And he paid the dinner bill for every…single…one…of…us. This was an expensive all-you-can-eat dinner buffet by the way. But the reciprocation part? The next day I went to a breakfast meet up hosted by Dustin Hartzler – who was also at Pat's dinner – and guess who paid the bill for everyone? Dustin. Now guess who's an even bigger fan of Pat's and Dustin's? And if you think I'm not doing this when I have a chance to host a Value of Simple event, you're crazy.
Jaime Tardy, Eventual Millionaire and expert interviewer
11. Get people to engage and be accountable by asking them to pick among tasks (but not too many). Then let them know you will be following up to see if they've completed it.
12. Everyone has a relatable and human side, regardless of how “big-time” they are. Drawing out that side makes us realize we're not all that different, despite a level of success or influence that might suggest otherwise.
13. Preparation can be overrated. Jaime prepares very little for her interviews, doesn't write down her questions, and still rocks it.
Cliff Ravenscraft, Podcast Answer Man and deliverer of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows
14. People will listen if you offer hope and encouragement. Thousands of people listen to Cliff – even though they already know everything he's going to tell them – because he's always positive and explaining why they can do it.
15. Constantly educate. Cliff doesn't just ask people to subscribe to his podcasts. He educates them on the benefits and doesn't assume they already know.
John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire and daily source of inspiration
16. If you want to make millions, you need to help millions
17. Ask people to help you inspire the world to get them behind your message and mission
18. Simple recognition and appreciation will motivate people more than other incentives. This works just as well for a shout out in your podcast to someone who left you a great review on iTunes as it does for anything else.
Jay Baer, Master of Youtility
19. Smart businesses focus on helping, not selling
20. For the first time ever, companies directly compete with friends and family for your attention on Facebook, your inbox, and tons of other places. Businesses that become a friend by being useful – displaying Youtility – no longer compete against your other friends for attention. Your friends and family don't buy radio sponsorships or Internet ads to get your attention…and neither does a business with Youtility.
21. Don't treat your customers like an eighteen-year-old boy on a date trying to close the deal (Gary Vaynerchuk)
22. How can you be more like McDonalds in Canada? Seriously. Their “Our Food. Your Questions” website will answer any question about their food with a detailed response. It's proof that you can be useful without creating content.
23. The average consumer in 2011 needed about five sources of information to make a decision and about ten sources in 2012. That's up double in just one year.
24. Your online content can create an information annuity. And it's half-life is much longer than direct engagement.
25. Use social media to promote Youtility first and your business second. “I'm awesome, click here” doesn't work.
26. Being useful is a process that's never done because people's needs are always changing
27. Nobody has a secret sauce anymore. Just tell people what you do, how you do it, and why it's done that way.
Leslie Samuel, teacher of how to Become a Blogger and gusto guru
28. Don't hold back if you have natural charisma and abundant energy. The risk of overwhelming people with your personality is worth it.
29. Do something unexpected when you have a chance to shine. Leslie turned his live presentation – with awesome audience participation – into a recording for his 100th podcast…and completely nailed it. Who does that?! Leslie does.
The Best of the Rest
30. Stan Slap: The biggest thing a brand can do is outsource sustainability of its work and culture to its customers
31. Leo Widrich: Repurpose your past for your future benefit. If you did or said something a while back, odds are people don't remember or weren't around when it originally happened.
32. Mike Vardy: Take analog notes. People don't know if you're ignoring them, sending tweets, or passively disrespecting them when you take digital notes.
33. Guy Kawasaki: “100% of people who want to hear from me actually do when I share on Google+. When I do the same thing on Facebook, (their EdgeRank algorithm ensures only) 10% of people do.”
34. Leo LaPorte: Relentlessly reinvest in your business if you believe in it
35. Leo LaPorte: When you invite someone into your house, they play by your rules (in business and in life)
36. Daniel Koh: Anyone can engage their community to create social, economic, and political change. The tools to revolutionize your neighborhood, town, state, country, and the world are all there for the taking.
37. Some dude named Joel Zaslofsky: Embrace serendipity. Sit down at tables with strangers and introduce yourself by saying, “Don't mind me. I'm just a random guy looking to connect.” Awesomeness can happen when you do.
38. Some other dude named Joel Zaslofsky: You can spend thirteen dollars a day – including the food you bring – while in Vegas. The rough equation is intermittent fasting + walking instead of cabs + generosity of others + good planning + minimalism.
Be Authentic, Believe in Abundance, and See Everyone As a Potential Friend
My business is me.
What I do for you and with you on the Internet, I also do for you and with you in person. I can't stop helping people simplify, organize, and be money wise whenever there's even a hint that they need it.
I'm ten months into being a solopreneur and I often feel like the picture of Grant up above.
Every day I think, “What should I do right now? Swim with the big fishes in the lake? Reflect on the abundance everywhere around me? Head inside to do something that's uniquely me?”
You know, I was going to summarize the four days at NMX in my own words, but then I realized someone already said it better than I could. I feel the exact same way that Scott Dinsmore did in his WDS 2012 recap when he said:
Every year I dedicate at least a few weekends and a few thousand dollars to being in the right place. To attending events with people who see the world in a similar way. In a world where most people encourage complacency, we need a sanctuary where people understand why all of us interested in living meaningful lives, do what we do. I go to belong. To be inspired. To find ideas I'd never discover on my own. To find people who hold me to a higher standard.
Because in that environment, magic happens.
We are hardwired to connect. Whether the crowd knew it or not, it's why we were all there. It's really the only reason I show up. After all, if it weren't for the people, everything else could be learned by spending the day in a dark room in front of your laptop watching TED talks. It's not about what you learn. It's about who you learn it from, the connections you create with them, and what you are able to do with it once you join forces.
I'll be at WDS in July with Scott, a ton of people I met at NMX, and a bunch of folks that I don't even know exist right now. Until that happens, NMX is my best experience to prove that some events don't require a calculated return on investment.
My financial capital may have temporarily dropped by going to NMX. But my intellectual, relationship, and entrepreneurial capital feel like they're about to explode.
I'd trade a thousand dollars for that any day.
And how about telling us the last time you experienced something like this.