Create Your Laptop Life Podcast

Ep. 104 Stupidly Simple Way To Strategically Plan 2022

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I want to talk to you a little bit about strategic planning, big picture planning for your business for 2022, which we will ignore the fact that 2022 is just on our doorstep, because holy heck, that was a fast year. However if you are like me, you’re probably sort of neck deep in planning mode for 2022. So I just kind of wanted to take you a little bit into my process. You may have heard me talk about this before, but this is really how I set intentions for the year.

First, I like to think in the context of 3 P’s, promotion, process, and production. So I always start with promotion first, because I know that there are going to be launches throughout the year or features, or things that I’m going to want to be promoting or getting out there. So I start with the promotion category, and I look at the 12 month calendar and think, “Okay, what am I going to promote in 2022? And where? And when?”.

So for most business owners anything more than four large promotions per year is probably going to be hella exhausting. Some people only do one big promotion, some do two, some do four. So at Funnel Gorgeous we have two launches of our signature program, Launch Gorgeous, a year. It happens in the spring and the fall. So the first thing I do is I pick the date of the launch, and I pick sort of the season of fulfillment, the season that we’ll actively be coaching. I can’t be in content creation mode if I’m actively coaching. So I pick those out. For us it’s April and September.

And then I look at the season I think, “Okay, well as a spring and a fall promotion, what about a winter and a summer promotion?” and this winter we have our Marketer’s Heart event in February, so that’s a pretty big promotion. Both selling the virtual tickets, as well as selling the offer at the event, which is going to have some fulfillment. And then in summer, I don’t usually do a big promotion. We do sometimes smaller promotions. So I think about, “What’s going on? What have we just launched? What have we just finished? What hasn’t gotten a lot of attention?” and we plan out a promotion there.

This doesn’t mean we’re not actively promoting our products other times of year, but it gives us a really good focus to start with.
Now here is the danger. If you are an entrepreneur who really likes to hustle and grind and set goals and do all that kind of stuff, you make go through this sort of exercise that I just took you through and feel like you’re not doing anything. It’s just very, you know, boring. “Just four promotions, what am I going to do? Sit on my hands, eat bon bons all year?” We need the other two P’s.

So the second P is process. And process is all the stuff that you have to continually do in your business. So if you’re an agency, you’re fulfilling for clients, if you’re a coach, you’re doing coaching calls. Customer service, social media marketing, your YouTube, your podcast, this is a process in my business.

So you look at all of those processes, and you go through the 12 months, and you sort of block out time. So let’s say for example, you are a solo-preneur and you really want to do YouTube. Okay, well that means that either once a quarter or once a week you’re going to have to create your videos. So you’ve got to build that process in. Maybe you also do a Q&A hour, maybe you have clients. So start to block some of that in, even if you don’t actually have the clients yet, or you don’t actually have the call, block the time. And again, I’m doing this all in my calendar. My calendar is really sort of my over-arching planning tool. Google calendar allows you to make a million different calendars, as many as you want, so I have one for Funnel Gorgeous and I just start blocking this stuff out, blocking all the Launch Gorgeous calls, blocking out the Q&A hour, blocking out when I’m going to work on presentations for the Marketer’s Heart event.

So it’s these process things that happen in the business day in and day out. So now, once you do that, now you’re getting a little bit more of a crystal clear picture, and if you are a content creator in your business you should block out 4 or 5 hours a week just to create content, to start to show your brain, “Hey, yes maybe I only have 4 promotions a year, but look at all this other stuff that I’m doing.” Do you want to block out time for admin stuff, for email correspondence, etc, etc.

Now I should mention before I keep going, that if you are sort of a boot strapping entrepreneur, you are a solo-preneur, you may want to actually start with your family calendar first, and block out when you’re going to be away, when you’re taking vacation, so that you don’t actually double book yourself, so you could do that first.

So we’ve done promotion, we’ve done process, and now we’re going to look at project. Project means it is a set period of time to create something. It’s not like an ongoing process. For example, Marketer’s Heart event, we’re going to have to create the content for the program we’re selling. So that’s a project. What I have to do is plan out where that project is going to go. AM I going to do it in February before the event, or am I going to start working on it in March and pre-sell and fulfill it later? So I have to start blocking out that project. And if I’m launching in April for Launch Gorgeous, now I really just have one month to get that project out the door, if I’m doing it in March. Or I have to do it in January.

So you start to see that all of these promotions actually have a pretty significant project timeline, both before the promotion and after the promotion, if you’re actually creating content. So by the time you get to the project P, you now see that your 4 promotions a year actually taking 8 months because you’re bookending the promotion with these projects, and you’re also trying to fit it around all the regular process stuff you do.

So I’m just going to add that fourth P, the personal, which is the first one, the personal vacations. What will happen is by the time you get to the end of this 30,000 ft view, you’re going to realize that possibly 4 promotions is a lot. And it will help keep you on the straight and narrow if you start to get some idea and it happens in let’s say, March of 2022 and you’ve got your whole year planned out. Well, you can totally do that new idea, but it has to displace something else. So that’s the theory of time replacement instead of time stacking. And most of us who get in over our heads and have too much to do, we time stack, we just keep smushing the same multiple activities, multiple things to do in one time slot, instead of saying, “Okay, well I want to do this cool thing, so I’m going to remove the time slot for meetings, and I’m going to put in the time slot.” Right, there’s the replacement.

So that is pretty much the basics of how I plan out an entire year. So I do it all on the calendar, let’s start with personal, then we move to promotion, then we move to process, because that’s the day to day stuff, and then we look at what project is going to, what projects are going to need to be built.

Now some projects have nothing to do with your promotion. Some projects are very systems based, like “I’m going to move to Google drive, or I’m going to create a new customer support, I’m going to migrate from my gmail inbox to Help Scout.” Those kind of operational projects, you’re going to look and say, “Maybe we don’t want to do this during the launch. Maybe we want to do this on a off month.”

So hopefully that helps, hopefully that gives you a nice simple framework to plan out 2022. Appreciate you, talk soon.

Ep. 103 13 List Building Ideas

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I’m going to give you 13 of my favorite free list building ideas. And I know I’ve talked about this before, but if you are stuck on this idea of an irresistible freebie and you want to build your list, you should pay attention to this podcast episode.

So first things first, when you create a free offer, you really want to create it with this irresistible curiosity. You want people to be like, “Ah, I want to know what’s in that.” So I actually recommend you write the headline and the tagline of the lead magnet before you actually create it. Make sure that it’s really curious and that it’s going to do well on a landing page, and then go build the thing that you talked about. So it’s a little bit reverse engineering, but it’ll help make that lead magnet convert higher.

Alright, so let’s dive into 13 different ideas. First, one of my favorites is called a swipe file. A swipe file is basically something you’re already using in your business, it could be an email template, it could be a script, it could be something that you, some sort of standard operating procedure, something that’s already in use, that already has social proof and credibility that you are going to give away. So if I said to you guys, “I’m going to give away my swipe file of all the emails that I use in my Digital Insiders Application funnel.” That would be considered a swipe file.

The 2nd option for a free lead magnet is a checklist. These are just quick downloadable guides that help people get something done. It has a lot of details and parts. If you are a beginner and haven’t, you know, don’t have a ton of expertise, you can do checklists of like roundup style. So it’s like, “50 of the top YouTube channels for X, Y, Z.” And you can just round up the content and make that a checklist as well. So you don’t have to create all the original content, you just do the curation of it, and put it in a checklist.

The 3rd lead magnet idea is of course outline. If you have a big course, did you know that your outline in and of itself, is a handy teaching tool. For example, we have a free course called Move to Gorgeous, and it’s basically step by step how to migrate from one automation tool to the next and the strategy. And we could give the outline of an entire migration series and that person would download it and be able to understand the high level steps of everything they have to do. So of course outline, a book outline, anything that’s outline-ish would work well as an irresistible freebie.

The next one, the 4th one is a Facebook group. You can create a free community. I love this one, because you technically don’t even need a lead magnet funnel, you can just set up a group and then ask for the email address when they join, and if Facebook likes your group and sees that there’s a lot of activity, it will show it as a recommended group, and Facebook will do the advertising for you. At one point I was generating about 500 leads a week from a free Facebook group that I didn’t even go in. It was craziness.

Number 5 and one we’ve seen a lot is a quiz or assessment. I recommend that you do this only if it really makes sense for what you’re going to sell on the backend. If you need to filter people and segment people a quiz is great. Otherwise, they are kind of a lot of work, and sometimes they’re not the most high quality leads. But quizzes and assessments can work. They can get cheap leads. So if you’re looking for huge amounts of leads quickly, quizzes tend to do that.

Alright, the next one, number 6 is a free course. Create a free course. It can be in a members area, where you can have the course and then like an image or a lock button that shows what they could unlock. It’s a great way to get people into your membership area and then wanting to buy whatever is there. You can also take a module from your course and make that free.

Number 7 is an ebook. That sounds overwhelming, it sounds like a lot of work, but if you are really wanting a good longterm evergreen freebie, I would encourage you to sit down over a weekend, talk about a topic that you love and have a writer take all of that audio and turn it into an ebook. In fact, the highest performing lead magnet I have ever created was an ebook with a 78% opt in rate, and it generated over a hundred thousand leads. I ghost wrote a book called Marketing Secrets and that one did amazing.

Number 8, a webinar or a video training. Now these leads tend to be more expensive, but they also tend to be a little bit more committed because you’re asking them to sit down and spend some time with you. A lot of these types of lead magnets, webinars, video trainings, you can actually sell on the end of them because by then they’ve really gone from cold traffic to warm traffic.

Number 9 is a work flow. This is a little bit similar to the swipe file, but many of you have advanced work flows in systems like Asana or ClickUp or Trello. Things that you do day in and day out that you could give away. A lot of these tools have a sharable link, so you can create a landing page, and then when they opt in, you can deliver that link via email and give away a system, an SOP, or an automation.

Number 10 is a challenge. Challenges are very, very good for selling something on the backend. Free challenges get highly committed people, sometimes the leads can be expensive, but they’re working with you over 5 or 7 days and then you can sell something on the backend. Challenges are great for buildup to a launch of a product.

Number 11, this one might be unusual, but if you’re an agency or a service provider, a pricing sheet or a pricing guide, or a detailed description of services can be a lead magnet. I remember being on a site once where I was looking for a designer and I could download their pricing guide, but I had to give them the email address. So using a pricing guide is a great free lead magnet and something that you really don’t even have to recreate if you already have it in your business.

Number 12 is a free trial. If you are doing any sort of membership, or SAAS company, a free trial gets that email, gets that lead, and then allows you to market to them later. This is one of the easiest ways to build an email list very, very quickly.

And number 13, which is seen oftentimes in the ecommerce space, but can be used in the digital space, is a coupon or a voucher. Get 20% off, put your email address in here.

So as you can see, these 13 ideas, some are more involved, some are less. But you should be able to get at least 3 or 4 ideas from this list. Go implement them and start building your list. Talk to you soon.

Ep. 102 How To Stop Procrastinating on Something You Need To Do

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Today I want to talk about how to get something done that you’re procrastinating on. This is sort of just Julie’s version of how to do something. I don’t say that it’s backed on science. This is just my unsolicited advice and opinion about how to get something done that you are procrastinating on.

So I have seen this happen in my life in multiple areas, and I would say that the first thing that you want to do when there’s something that you have to do that you’re avoiding, is to sit down and ask why you’re avoiding it. There could be some subconscious belief patterns you’re running that are creating that resistance.

So for example, let’s say you’re procrastination on writing a book, or you’ve been writing a podcast, writing a blog post or doing a podcast. In fact, I would argue that this podcast I’m recording right now, I was procrastinating on. So I look at why. Why is there resistance? Because once I’m in it, it’s actually not that hard, or I get into momentum. Usually there’s a belief system. So for me the belief system is I haven’t been consistent with my podcast, therefore nobody cares, therefore nobody is listening, it’s not going to do anything. Nobody’s going to be excited. You’ve lost all of your momentum. You should just quit.

A lot of us carry those belief systems around, now is it actually true? So I started to put myself in my customer’s shoes, and I thought, if I had a podcast that I really liked to listen to and then the person stopped recording podcasts, I would be sad. And if they started back up again, I would be excited, even if it had taken them a long time. It’s the same reason why when you watch a Netflix show, if it ends people are sad. But if you decide to come back and do another episode, people are super excited.

So I was like the belief pattern is not true. Right. So sometimes it’s belief patterns that are holding you back from doing something. So once I realized that, I was able to move into it.

The second reason you might be procrastinating is because logistically there’s a problem in the way. There’s something that you can’t quite solve. So let’s say you’re procrastination on writing sales copy. And the reason you’re procrastinating is because you actually don’t know how to write sales copy. So you need help. You need someone to teach you how to write it.

Or maybe the reason you’re procrastinating is because you haven’t really done the work yet of identifying the offer and the market, so you always sit down and sort of stare at a blank screen because you haven’t done that previous work. So sometimes there are logistical problems in the way.

The third reason that people procrastinate is based on the idea of tyranny of the urgent. We’re always reacting to things that are squeaky and loud and urgent. And we’re not doing the things that are important and are going to move the needle. And I’m preaching to the choir because there are several projects that have been sitting in my task board that I say, ‘Oh, I’ll get to them later.” And then I never do because I don’t really value importance over urgency.
So my advice for this particular problem is that you have to create space where there is none. Because a lot of us wait until there’s space, and then there never is space. This is the same thing with planning vacations or date nights, or quality time with people you care about. You think, “Oh my gosh, my schedule, there’s no way.” But if you basically ignore the laws of time and space, and you force into your schedule a block for that thing, it forces everything around it to adjust. So it’s this sort of uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable for us to do this, but it’s forcing prioritization.

So let’s say that you are really wanting to write a book. You’re going to go on your calendar, and you’re going to block time off, even if there is no time, and you’re going to do it anyway. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to have to reschedule calls, or you’re going to have to change priorities, or you’re going to have to not attend meetings, or you’re going to have to do things that are going to be inconvenient because there’s stuff in the way.

But waiting for the stuff not to be in the way is the lie. So I would recommend if you are procrastinating on something, you start to look at these possible issues. Number one, the belief systems behind why you’re procrastinating, your own incompetence, or imposter syndrome. The second thing is that logistically there’s a problem that you haven’t solved yet, or something that you don’t know how to do that really is the precursor to getting that thing done. And the third thing is not letting the urgent overriding the important. And forcing into your schedule, things that are important, even when they don’t seem urgent.

And the last example I can give of this was back in the spring we needed some new documentation for FG Funnels, and it was one of those things that just sort of sat on the back burner. So I asked Nuno, who is our head of tech coaching for FG Funnels to come stay at my house for a week so that we could get this out in one week time. It meant he had to take time off from work, he had to leave his family, it meant I had to move a week’s worth of meetings and appointments, and get childcare. I had to move everything out of the way, and we got it done in that week.

So hopefully that helps you with your procrastination. If you pop off this podcast, go right to the thing that you’re procrastinating on, and ask yourself if it’s any one of those three issues. Appreciate you all, talk to you soon.

Ep. 101 What To Do If Your Offer Isn’t Performing

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Today I want to talk about what to do when an offer is underperforming. This happens all the time, we have offers that do well, and then they don’t. All of the sudden things crash. Or you may have an offer that you put out there and no matter what, just seems like it’s been a slog.

So what does it mean when we say an offer is underperforming? What we mean is that it’s not meeting your benchmark for units sold per month. And what that sentence reveals is that you have to make sure that you are in fact setting a benchmark. A lot of people don’t. They set expectations based on feelings, they set expectations based on what they see other people doing, without actually understanding what’s going on behind the scenes.

So if you’ve never set a benchmark before, that would the first thing I would recommend. And setting a benchmark can be done in multiple ways, but it’s important to know that until you have one, you can’t really claim that something is underperforming. All you can claim is that you’re having feelings about your offer, but we don’t really know what those feelings mean. You’ve attached meaning to them, but we don’t actually know.

So create a benchmark first, and there’s a couple of way that you can do this. Number one, you can do it based on how much revenue you need for that month, especially if you’re a coach or an agency and you really just have one core offer. You just decide, this is how much I need to make, so this is how many offers I need to sell. And if you have any questions about that, I don’t know if you know this, but there is a course called Future Fund that I co-created with my good friend and client, Aryeh Sheinbein, and he and I dive into understanding your core numbers for wealth building. And one of the things that we help people within their business is really kind of backing into that number. So that stops you right there, I would definitely say go get Future Fund.

Okay, a second way that you create a benchmark is based on the support infrastructure for the offer. You know, if you’re a web designer and you can only handle 10 clients a month, you can’t really set a benchmark past that. So you use sort of the infrastructure of what you business can handle and set a benchmark that way.

A third way to do it based on funnel stats, especially previous ones. So if you don’t have previous ones, you can use standardized benchmarks, in fact our course Funnel RX gives you those standardized benchmarks. But if you know, “Hey normally I convert at whatever, 2% and I seem to be able to drive 500 people a month through my organic marketing efforts”, now that’s your benchmark, and that’s what you’re measuring up against. Set a benchmark even if it’s not perfect, and there’s also room for setting a few benchmarks, right. A minimum benchmark and an ideal benchmark, and a stretch benchmark. Now you have something with which to measure, okay, now I can tell if things are underperforming.

So if you set a benchmark for 30 units sold, and you only have 12, you would take 12 and divide it by 30 and you are only at 40% of your goal. Here’s my advice on underperformance. If you are significantly 50% or less, then I would categorize that as an underperforming offer. If you are hanging around 50-70%, you may want to ask yourself, “Is this really an underperforming offer, or was my benchmark off, or was my marketing plan completely not matching my benchmark?” You know, people who say, “I have a thousand dollars to spend on ads, but I want to sell 40 units.” Well, it sounds like you didn’t create a benchmark that’s accurate for your marketing plan, or you didn’t create a marketing plan that’s accurate for your benchmark.

If you’re consistently 70-90%, you might want to continue tracking to see if, you know, you’re just seeing the bumps in your marketing, or was it a bad month, did something change? And if you are within 90% of your benchmark, I would consider you technically nearing benchmark. And I would not consider that an underperforming offer.

So once you’ve done all that, and you are consistently under 50%, now you can say, “Alright, this offer is not performing well. What do I do?” And this works very similar to a tributary where a log is blocking the water. You have to stop at the top, because if you fix the top the water flows all the way down. And if you’re busy trying to remove a log from the bottom of the river when there’s a log blocked at the top, it’s useless. So don’t start at the bottom of your river, start at the top. Remove that block first, and if that changes everything then you don’t have to go downstream.

So there are four possible logs in the way of your stream. The first and the one that’s highest up is traffic, then audience, then funnel, then offer. So if you are not generating enough traffic and visitors to even get the amount of people on the page that you need, that’s what we would consider the log up at the top of the river. You first have to remove that log and get enough traffic before you can really make a full conclusion as to whether or not the offer is underperforming.
But assuming there’s not log up there at the top of the river, and the water is flowing down, the next log you want to look at is audience. Are you actually targeting the right people? Are your audiences correct? Are you on the right forums? Are you in the right Facebook groups? Because if they’re not the right fit, or you’re targeting an audience who’s not really ready for the offer that you have, that might be why the traffic is not converting, because of the audience, not because of the offer.

Assuming of course, you’ve got the right audience and the right traffic, the next log downstream is the funnel. And that’s looking at the funnel to see what objections, what friction is happening on the page. Is it the sales page? Is it the order form? Is it the copy? Is it the design? Is it the load time? What is happening on the page? Is it the marketing argument? Etc, etc.

And assuming that that funnel has converted before, so if you have good traffic, you have the right audience, and you know that in the past it’s converted at 3%, then the next thing to ask yourself is, ‘If this is not the problem, maybe I should go back and check my traffic source and my audience again.” Because you know it’s converted before. Otherwise you’re just going to go downstream and you’re going to finally go to the offer. And you’re going to say, “Hmm, is the problem solved urgent enough? Is the price right? Is it compelling enough to get the sale? Is the offer truly the problem?”

So you can make the judgment that the offer is the problem, if you enough traffic, the right audience, and you have a decently designed and copy written funnel, and it still doesn’t perform, then you would say, “Okay, this is truly an underperforming offer.”

I hope you guys enjoyed that, thanks so much. Leave a review, share the podcast, and I will talk to you soon. Bye.

Ep. 100 Behind the Scenes of The Disney Mastermind

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Today I want to debrief with you on the latest Digital Insiders Mastermind. This was probably the most ambitious thing I have ever attempted in my business, and it was a basically week long Disneyworld meets Digital Insiders Mastermind Extravaganza. So I’m gonna kind of go into the event and give you sort of behind the scenes.

So we decided to do something different for the 2021 masterminds because we had all been virtual for Covid. So back in 2020 I had the idea, you know we all been sort of sitting on the sidelines here, doing everything virtual, let’s go someplace amazing. Let’s go to Disneyworld.

So I contacted the event team, and I just have to give a major shout out to Disneyworld Event Team, they did a fantastic job, but also my team. Really, Jessica Foster was the machine behind all of this helping put all these logistics together. So we went ahead, picked the dates, got the room block, and basically I said to people, “You have got to book this now, come hell or high water.” Because you know, when you’re planning an event, it’s always a little tricky with the room block because they make you pay for whatever you don’t use on your room block, so that can be kind of financially scary. But the Digital Insiders were super, they were down. And we booked up the room block in just a couple of weeks.

So we stayed at the Grand Floridian, which is the flagship resort in Disneyworld. Amazing location, amazing views, just absolutely fantastic. We got a really good deal, normally it’s like $700 a night at that resort, but we ended up getting about $329 a night for a room and people wanted to share. So we booked that out pretty fast. Then what I did is I put together a Disneyworld Committee through the Digital Insiders just to get some feedback and some ideas on how to do it, because you’re combining play with work, it was completely different than any other mastermind.

So we met once a month for a couple of months. We talked about food, we talked about ideas, we talked about the blend of play versus work. So that was sort of a recurring theme as I was planning this event. How much play is enough? And how much work is enough? And with entrepreneurs who are very, very work focused, I was a little nervous that this would be a hard transition. And it turns out that it was a little bit, but it was also really, really good.

So a couple of things, number one, the way we ran the schedule is we did two full masterminding days from 9 to 4 on Monday and Thursday. And on both of those days we had hosted dinners. So basically the way the schedule worked is we Mastermind from 9 to 12, we had a 2 hour lunch break, and everybody went to various restaurants around Disneyworld. And that was quite a logistical feat that I had a Digital Insider help me with to get reservations, since Disney is kind of complicated. And then we had a nice long break from 4 to 7, and this was great because it allowed people to either go to the pool, or talk, or network, and then we had hosted dinners on Monday and Thursday night.

So those were the big mastermind days. Tuesday and Friday were half day mastermind days. So on Tuesday it was a 2 to 6, and on Friday it was 11 to 3. So on those days we had other things going on. So Tuesday morning we had people going into Magic Kingdom. And on Friday night we had people going into Epcot. So those days were really, really long. I thought they were going to be fine, but they were actually more tiring than the Monday/Thursday because of the switch from play to work, play to work.And then Wednesday, smack dab in the middle, was just a day of play.

So a couple of cool things that we did at the mastermind that I will never forget as long as I live. The first thing is that I rented out Animal Kingdom, after dark, after closing. So we got on coach buses, we got to animal kingdom, and all 80 of us walking into the park while everyone was walking out, was just something I will never forget as long as I live.

We went over into the Africa area, and we went to Harambe market where there was a West African band playing, a huge buffet, Raffiki showed up and we basically spent an hour and half or two hours just having a meal together. And then we picked up and walked over to the land of Pandora, which is all lit up at night. It’s bio-luminescent waterfalls, sounds. We went over there and we had 90 minutes access to the most popular ride on Disney property, which is Flight of Passage, although, I would say it’s probably the second most popular ride now that Star Wars is around. And we got 90 minutes to ride it, just us. And it was so unbelievably cool.

And then we had a dessert party with all kinds of desserts. I honestly can’t quite remember. So that night was just absolutely unforgettable. The next morning, Tuesday morning, about 40 of us got up to go do Magic Kingdom. So we were up late, and we were up early, and by Tuesday night we were just absolutely exhausted.
But it was interesting to see what happened, because some of the people who were a little bit less excited about the play part of the mastermind, noticed that once they were kind of pulled out of their regular environment, they were waiting in lines, they were eating meals, they were dancing, they were swimming, they were doing all these things, and ideas started to kind of bubble up to the surface. And that that need for play is so built into our DNA, and it’s the thing that really drives creativity.

So on Wednesday we all did a VIP tour. So I had got 6 VIP tour guides and each team, they were based on teams and they were named after different pirate ships, got to choose what they wanted to do for 7 hours. So some teams did one or two parks, other teams hit all four parks in 7 hours, it was nuts. But of course, with the VIP tour guides, you can get to the front of the lines, they drive you through the back entrances, they get your coffee for you, your ponchos, whatever you need. So it’s just such a luxury experience. And I cannot tell you, I will treasure for the rest of my life, all the pictures that came flooding in during that VIP day.

So Thursday we went back to work, but there was like a new energy in the room because we had had all this play time, and Thursday night we had a party at the Grand Floridian. We watched the fireworks, we danced, we stayed up until 2 in the morning in the hot tub, and it was just an absolutely amazing, amazing day.

Friday was, Friday was a little hard. It was hard because it was sad because people were leaving. It was hard because we were exhausted. We did mastermind again, we had some great presentations, and then we went into Epcot and we did the food and wine festival and the fireworks. It was a full day. And we were all exhausted. But the takeaway from it was that play is as important as work, especially if you need creative energy for your business. It also is very obvious that people need connection, they need face to face human connection. And I saw that play out, and you know we know that the pandemic has caused a lot of hardship and social isolation. But watching the sort of sadness and crash after, just reminds me how much we need to belong in a community.

So if you’re thinking about putting on an event like this, number one I would make sure you have someone like my team. Jess and also Emily and Helen and Nuno, they were all really, really critical to pulling this off. I had Helen who was overseeing the virtual, because there were virtual about 20 people who couldn’t come, so we wanted to stream them in. Nuno who was sort of working the room and making sure everybody felt good and could belong. And Emily was sort of the liaison between the virtual and the in-person, she was also my gate keeper. And then Jess who was managing almost every logistic from you know, oh my gosh, the time and what to do if it rained. And we had a little bit of a snafu with our park tickets not being hoppers, and we had to upgrade them all, just little things like that.

It is definitely an expensive event, both for your clients and for you. This was triple the cost of what I normally spend on a mastermind event, and 100% worth it. I had a few people ask, “What’s the ROI on an event like this?” I didn’t sell anything, so I didn’t “make back the money”. However, I had spoken to Emily, who is my CFO about this when some of the quotes were coming in for these ridiculous experiences, like renting Animal Kingdom, or renting a ride, or VIP tours, all that kind of stuff. You know, I wanted it to make business sense, but at some point it didn’t. You know, when I’m normally spending, you $40 to $50,000 on an event where I’m not selling anything, it’s a fulfillment event, what is the reason for spending 3, 4 times more than that for an event?

So I knew in my head that experiences matter, not just for the sense of community, but for retention, but also because I knew that giving people an experience would help re-invigorate their business, and does that have an ROI? Yes, 100%. Does it have an ROI on my PNL? It will, you know what, because I don’t necessarily at this point in my business, worry so, so, so much about my PNL. My PNL is pretty steady and yes it will take a dip, but I know that the memories, that the relationships, the connections, the creativity, it is going to last far beyond the 2021 budget.

So again, I would say to you as a business owner, if you are planning an event, or thinking of attending an event, and you’re struggling to find the ROI in it, you’re not quite sure how it’s all going to work, take my story to heart and know that, it was funny, Emily got off Flight of Passage on Monday night, and you know she’s always the one watching my books, and she came over to me and said, ‘You know, half way through the ride I thought to myself, there’s really no better way to spend money than what we’re doing right here.” And it’s really true, like from a personal values standpoint, I don’t think I can think of a time in my life where I was happier than watching so many people I love have the time of their life. And you really can’t put a number on that.

So I would encourage you to think about experiences in your business, yes there are a lot of logistics and they cost a lot of money, but they are 1000% worth all the headache and time that they take to plan. And shout out to Disneyworld. If you have never done anything at Disneyworld, their customer service team is just unparalleled. It’s a business lesson in and of itself. Watching the way they run their company, the way they run events, the standard at which they hold themselves to, it’s something that Cathy and I at Funnel Gorgeous, and myself at Digital Insiders aspire to.

So I am still not recovered. There was a pretty bad dopamine crash after this. Of course I’m already thinking about when’s the next time we can do something like this again. And the takeaways just keep coming. It’s funny, I met with the Digital Insiders yesterday and we did takeaways at the event, but it takes some time to really let things percolate. And the stuff that’s starting to bubble up is really, really good.

So go find a way to play today, get some experiences, get outside of your comfort zone, and I’ll talk to you soon.