The Engaged Entreprenuer: More Profits, Clients and Time off… Really?

A week ago I attended the second annual Engage Today training event hosted by Greg Habstritt and Kourosh Assef from SimpleWealth. Upon my return home I began to tell my 2 year-old son Kian about the event. I could probably convince you that he was totally into our conversation (judging by the picture on the left) but in reality he wasn’t paying attention to anything I said. All he cared about was  his milk and trying to rip out the pages from the 250+ page manual I had received at the training event. So I decided to post some thoughts from my three-day learning experience in Calgary in attempt to find enthusiastic readers willing to open dialog. Whether you attended  the  training or not  please share your comments below.

This year, Engage Today served as an opportunity for some of the greatest minds, leaders and innovators in the areas of personal development, marketing, business and entrepreneurship to share their invaluable insights. The theme was centered around the Engaged Entrepreneur and how to get more profits, more clients and more time off to enjoy it. With all the challenges of today’s world, could Engage Today 2010 deliver on what the marketing message had promised?

After having spent more money than I’d care to admit attending several so-called trainings or seminars which were nothing more than glorified sales-pitches, I can honestly acknowledge and endorse the SimpleWealth team for their efforts to consistently deliver nothing but great content and provide a incredible experience at their events.

Engage Today 2010 was no different.

Greg Habstritt, who co-hosted the event with Alex Mandossian, set the context immediately by taking a firm stance on why the ‘magic pill marketing’ formula is no longer working. He also iterated how the underlying shift in the global marketplace is challenging us to change our ways of doing things if we are to be successful in life and business going forward.

Greg’s contention is that most people are focused on where they want to go, but have not yet accounted for where they’re at. He called it, “The Point A Problem.” I would agree that we take for granted our point A. I know I do it all the time. We’re so focused on getting somewhere we lose track of where we actually are. But consider what would happen if you tried to get directions on Google maps without inputting a starting point. It would be impossible. You might sarcastically be saying, “well gee Sherlock, that’s ground breaking.” But seriously, can you honestly say that you’ve evaluated your life or business to build that awareness of where you actually are, right here and now? Most people avoid this conversation so they don’t have to face the realities of the current situation. Are you one of them?

Greg concluded his opening remarks by introducing the seven principles of the Engaged Entrepreneur’s road-map and laid the  foundation for the entire event with what he calls the four pillars of profitability; mindset, marketing, management and money.

From sharing personal experiences, documented case studies and proven results of what is working to speculation on where the future probabilities of success lie each presenter touched on a least one of the pillars of profitability throughout the weekend. Below is a selected summary from some of the presenters in no particular order.

Presenters: Greg Habstritt, Michael E. Gerber, Don Campbell, Jay Niblick, Dave Crenshaw, Les Hewitt, Raymond Aaron, MaryEllen Tribby, Alex Mandossian, Phillip McKernan, Michael Drew, Jim Kwik, Vishen Lakhiani, Greg Mooers, Matt Mullenweg, Lisa Nichols, Rick Sapio.

Rick Sapio: Keep things simple was Rick’s mantra. A rather obvious nugget that most people consider just another cliché. But do we really understand the power of simplicity and use it to make informed decisions on a daily basis? Judging by the statistics of unhappy, overwhelmed and unproductive people in the world I’d say not too many people are leveraging the principle of simplicity. Rick’s talk focused on things like managing by objective, how to create a “Catalyzing Statement”, the new profit paradigm and evaluating people as assets, not liabilities. He concluded by giving a simple yet effective plan on how to greatly increase the probability of success in life or business.

Don Campbell: What stuck with me most from his talk was his comment, “No more seminar grads”. The idea is to not only give people who attend trainings real-world knowledge but a first-hand experience in implementation. Why this statement was so profound to me, is the constant challenge I have in trying to bridge the gap between the academic world and real world. More often than not what we’re taught and what we need to do are two fundamentally different things. Can you relate?

Lisa Nichols: She introduced the concept of the Pyrrhic victory – where sacrifice is too great for success. Evaluating the cost of doing something is most times overlooked. The reason is that most of us are not really aware of what it will truly take to achieve our desired outcome. We see those who have achieved the success we seek without really knowing their back-story of what they sacrificed to get their results. I believe the simplest thing we can do to ensure sacrifice doesn’t outweigh success is to make sure our core values are not compromised along the way to achieving greatness.

Michael E. Gerber: He talked, more like ranted, about many things including ego-driven authenticity. His honest and bold approach gave us a lot of insight into many things we didn’t want to hear – especially around what we were doing with our time, what we were learning and who we were learning from.

Jay Niblick: Jay had put us through a great self-awareness exercise to help us uncover our genius. Brilliantly simple and equally effective the core purpose of the exercise was to distinguish between our natural talents and non-talents and determine how critical they were in determining our success. The idea, contrary to popular belief, is to spend more time on mastering our natural talents instead of trying to improve our non-natural talents.

Dave Crenshaw: From separating different types of ‘tasking’ to understanding why we can’t do two different things at once that require conscious thought, Dave shared his insight into the myths, lies and the high costs of multitasking. He walked us through an invaluable exercise that helped define our two Most Valuable Activities and create the proper order of offloading.

Jim Kwik: Being an avid fan of human growth who has studied various learning methodologies I was already partial to Jim’s presentation on memory and retention going in. It was a great to see him illustrate how powerful the mind really is and how we can be more efficient and effective to get more things done by training our own internal computer. The reading strategies were most insightful for me especially the left hand trick – since I’m a terribly slow reader.

Les Hewitt: Les broke down the areas of focus that produced the greatest results for our businesses. Then we compared that to what was actually done our business and where most of our time in the business was being spent. The take-away was to use the 7-day focus plan going forward to track what was being done, the results that were being produced and modify as necessary.

MaryEllen Tribby: founder talked about direct response marketing. In fact it wasn’t just a talk. It was a complete marketing system from the ground-up, including a proven 10-step testing method, on how to channelize your marketing message for explosive profits.

Phillip McKernan: The premise behind Philip’s talk was how to build a business that serves you, instead of you serving it. He gave some great examples of where most people get stuck in their life and business and went through a unique exercise that compared our ‘wants’ to our ‘haves’. After doing the exercise, astonishingly enough the results were much different than I expected. What hit home the most was not focusing on the how so much. Thanks Phillip.

Greg Mooers: As a person who loves to systematize things, this was one of my favorite presentations. Greg’s energy, intensity and knowledge epitomized the theme of engagement. He coherently defined the four stages of experience we go through; listening, awakening, knowing, and chaos and detailed the complimentary characteristics of each stage. This helped me define my point A very systematically.

Matt Mullenweg: Founder of WordPress talked about how he founded the most popular blogging software platform. One of the insights was that he was truly doing something he loved to do. Even though he’s had offers of over nine figures to buy WordPress, he asked himself what he would do if he had all that money. His answer was, “I’d want to do the same thing I’m doing now.” Even though you may have to endure a job that is truly not fulfilling continue spending time on what you’re passionate about. There is a market for almost any type of niche – even yours.

Michael Drew: He modified his highly acclaimed pendulum presentation to focus on ten actions that we could use to build a civic conscience organization. The power in the ten actions was the scalability of the number of instances where they could be applied, not just in building an organization.

I would have to say that overall the event’s marketing message was congruent with content provided. There were over forty items I had put on my ‘light bulb list’ (listing of valuable things I took away) in the action guide. Above and beyond were all the extras included. From the healthy lunches to the cocktail parties and the numerous networking opportunities with the high-quality attendees, the value once again was under promised and over delivered.

Judging by the number of attendees, the economic climate, and the marketing message I am somewhat surprised that there were less than 300 attendees. I understand first-hand what it’s like to put on an event of this magnitude having done it a couple times before. Besides all the logistics the biggest challenge is staying true to the content being delivered, yet proactively encouraging people with all the benefits of attending without screaming the hype.

I am encouraged that the training industry is starting to change, one from hype to help, albeit ever so slowly. Even though I have a particular bias for Greg and Kourosh because of our working relationships and great friendships their team at SimpleWealth is breaking new ground. They are challenging the old paradigm of teaching and becoming true leaders setting precedence  in delivering great content while providing world-class experiences. They have set the bar extremely high and have successfully delivered on what they promised once again. But is it enough to redefine an entire industry?  Join the community and spread the word. Please share your thoughts and comments below.

For more information on upcoming SimpleWealth events check out their website.

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