I remember six years ago making a decision that would change my life and business forever. I decided to travel across the country to attend a marketing seminar. A few things about this were completely new to me.
1) The fact that I was going to spend over a thousand dollars of my own money to invest in myself. (And also maxing out one of my credit cards to do so – yes, things were pretty tight back then!)
2) Traveling across the country alone and paying for my own flight, hotel, ground transport, meals, etc.
3) Throwing myself into a new environment where I didn’t know anyone else.
I’m so glad I made that decision. Not only did I learn amazing information to help my online business (which was brand new at the time), but I met some folks who remain my friends to this day. And my investing in myself in that manner also sent a message to the universe that I was stepping up and “ready to play big.”
Today, I spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on continuing education, including attending live seminars and workshops. And it pays off TENFOLD!
Here are 5 reasons attending live events is one of the BEST ways to leapfrog your business forward:
1) Complete Immersion in Your Subject.
When my friend Jen was in college, she wanted to learn French, so she took the opportunity to spend a semester in France. She shared with me that by doing that she made progress faster than she’d ever thought possible. They call that learning by immersion, and it’s proven to be one of the BEST ways to learn fast.
Hey, I’m a big fan of home study – books, CDs, and courses – and learning in “bits”. But NOTHING compares to getting away from your office or home, spending a few days with teachers and other “students”, and completely focusing on learning new strategies to improve your business.
2) People Who “Get” What You Do.
When I first started my online business, I really didn’t have anyone else to talk with about it. My friends, while supportive and sweet, didn’t “get” what I was trying to do and of course couldn’t offer advice.
I remember walking into that first seminar and within five minutes realized I had hundreds of people to talk with who “GOT” what I was doing! We could exchange ideas, share resources, coach each other, and even cross promote. It was a whole new world and I could never go back.
3) More Business, More Leads, and more High-Level Opportunities.
It wasn’t unusual — even in the beginning of my attending live events — to come home with on-the-spot sales, more subscribers to my ezine, a few joint venture partners, and speaking invitations.
Another tip I’ll give you: The quality of the people at an event often correlates with the price tag of the event. I’ve found I generally meet more successful people at the events that cost more.
Case in point: In 2003 I attended a very expensive training (the deposit alone was $5,000.00) and for the four days there I sat next to a very successful marketer from Australia whom I got to know well during that time. Well, a few weeks later, he invited me to come speak overseas in Australia, all expenses paid and including a business-class flight! (I doubt that opportunity would have manifested so soon, had it not been for my being there live.)
4) Deals on Continuing Education and Coaching.
Many of the speakers at these events also offer home study courses or some type of continuing education. So it’s a great place to check everyone out and decide whose stuff you want to get and who you want to continue learning from. Plus there are usually special offers given there to encourage buying on the spot.
This is a smart move, and you should plan to invest in at least one speaker’s package while you’re there. I recently attended a seminar in Dallas where I happily dropped $10,000.00 on three different programs while I was there, because their content had just what I was looking for to help skyrocket my sales for the coming year.
5) Visit New Places and Have FUN – in a Tax Deductible Way!
Talk with your accountant about this one, but in most cases these events and trips are completely tax deductible. After all, you’re traveling there to learn, network, and increase your business.
And for many of us who work alone a lot, these trips are a great way to let off some steam and enjoy the company of others who are in the same types of businesses we are! Tip: Even if you don’t imbibe, hang around the hotel bar. You’ll find that’s where everyone congregates and deals happen. But be sure to get OUT of the hotel at least one night to enjoy the city you’re visiting!
BONUS: Access to the “Gurus” – in Person.
One more thing I forgot to add is that the speakers at these events are usually very accessible. You’ll find them hanging out in the hallways, in the lobby, and in the bar. You can catch a few minutes of their time to ask them a quick question or discuss a point they made in their presentation. This is an extremely rare opportunity – you can’t just call these guys and gals up and get them on the phone! This type of access is priceless and will also get you more exposure and credibility.
And When All Is Said and Done…
And when it’s all over, you’ll be dead tired, but you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm toward your business than ever before. Plus you’ll have new, powerful connections with people and proven strategies ready to implement!
© 2003-2009 Alexandria Brown International Inc.
Self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur Ali Brown is devoted to creating financial freedom for women globally through the power of entrepreneurship. To learn how to create wealth and live an extraordinary life now, register for her free weekly articles at www.AliBrown.com