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14 Ways To Build The #1 Meetup In Your City

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Running a Meetup event can be hard work and building an audience can be even harder. To make life easy I decided to interview Dom and Karina McKenna who have the number one Meetup in Melbourne called “The Entrepreneur Club.”

There are currently more than 6000 members, and the Meetup has become very well known in Australia. Dom is also the co-author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller “Defining Moments Of Courage,” which has an introduction written by Jack Canfield.

Together, Dom and Karina are what I consider to be a power couple, and they originally met on the Gold Coast in their early 20’s after both making the decision to live a sober life. Before they met, they were both struggling from drinking too much alcohol and were sick and tired of being sick and tired and not being able to break out of that lifestyle.

They applied the principles of the slight edge, which teaches how your habits run your life. They realized they were either getting better, or they were getting worse, so they decided it was time to take the fork in the road and embark on a journey of personal development.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation which I rebuilt my life” – JK Rowling

The two of them are one of the most amazing couples you will meet, and they have overcome alcoholism to go on inspire others through their events and youth programs. They believe that sometimes you have to do things that don’t serve you, but that serve others. This is the whole reason Dom and Karina do what they do.

As they began to rebuild their lives and learn to grow again, their business and their Meetup event also grew with them. The Entrepreneur Club now attracts the likes of Scott Harris – who delivers Tony Robbins programs – to Paul Sidoroski, who made it onto the BRW Rich List with his company Sidcor.

Dom and Karina were drawn to running a Meetup around entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs play life at a higher level, are open to new ideas and have a creative mind.

Below are Dom and Karina’s fourteen ways to build a number one meetup in your own city. 

 

1. Don’t make your Meetup too niche

Before doing anything, pick a category for your Meetup that resonates with you. When you’re coming up with the name for your Meetup don’t make it to niche for example “Yarraville Sunday Morning Bike Club.” Ask yourself, how many Yarraville residents are going to be around on Sunday that also happen to ride bikes.

There might be a few, but the audience will be too small. Keep the name of your event broad and like ‘The Entrepreneurs Club,” which is very broad. A name like that will capture anybody who has any sort of entrepreneur desire or is already an entrepreneur.

There might be a few, but the audience will be too small. Keep the name of your event broad and like ‘The Entrepreneurs Club,” which is very broad. A name like that will capture anybody who has any sort of entrepreneur desire or is already an entrepreneur.

“Treat your Meetup like a business. The Meetup is about your audience not about you”

 

2. Let the audience build

Dom and Karina have seen people that have Meetups where they only had 80 or 90 members and out of that, only ten showed up. The organisers of these Meetups are shocked, and Dom says to them, “you need to let the numbers build and this takes time.” In the case of The Entrepreneur Club, they had 400 members in 2011, then on March 2013 they had 1300 members and now they have over 6000 members.

Like anything you will learn in success, you have to just start doing something and the same goes for Meetups – just start. Karina said that when they only had a small number of people coming she often wasn’t sure what the point was, but both of them learned to have patience and keep persisting.

The audience at Ruslan Kogan interview with Dom McKenna

The audience at Ruslan Kogan interview with Dom McKenna

3. Stay consistent

Once you do your first one, you just have to keep doing it and see it for what it could be not what it is right now. When people RSVP to a Meetup, only 30-40% will actually show up. Your Meetup should go for around two hours, so it’s not too long, and you should always give people the option to leave after they sign in so they don’t feel locked in.

To stay consistent, you need to be looking at either monthly or fortnightly events.

 

4. Think about a combination of free and paid

Using Garry Vaynerchuks philosophy of Jab Jab Jab right hook, don’t charge too early into running Meetups and provide value first before taking a right hook and asking someone to pay. Try having your event free most of the time and just having the odd one where you charge $10-25.

Once you have done this, you will gauge what people are willing to pay and what affect it will have on audience numbers.

From here you can decide how to proceed. I find that most Meetups these days are free. If you decide to start charging at some point, it’s a good idea to find ways to add more value to the audience like paying a speaker or two to get some bigger names now and then.

 

5. Structure your marketing

Once you list an event on Meetup, it will push out the details to the members of your group. As you start listing events after that, it will do reminders at specific times to help maximise your attendance. Two weeks after you list the event it’s a great idea to do a scheduled message to your group to do a bio on the upcoming speaker at the next event.

For each Meetup, you should be sending out a total of around three to four messages to your members. Most organisers don’t do this, and that’s part of the reason they don’t get the same numbers as Dom and Karina.

To supercharge this further, create a Facebook Page and get an at home photographer to take some photos. Photos will help to create that social proof that your event exists and people come to it. After your event upload the photos to your Meetup and social media platforms.

 

6. Keep an eye out for feedback

The Meetup platform has a rating system, which Dom and Karina take very seriously. The better the quality of speakers, the more likely you will get higher ratings. Before people go to a Meetup, they tend to check out your ratings to see what other people say.

One thing that Karina does is making sure she is interacting at the event and getting the feedback as it happens. This allows her to make changes in real time and address any concerns so that it doesn’t get to the point of someone feeling like they have to give negative feedback to be heard.

Karina says that when she and Dom are calm, people don’t tend to stress out as much if anything does go wrong.

 

7. Secure a venue at no cost

Try to have a venue that you usually use and a few backups just in case. Most venues have a minimum spend in order to have them booked for a Meetup so you need to remind people that are attending, if they could politely purchase a drink or some food, it helps to keep the event going.

“Being a lean startup is cool but being a lean tight-arse is not” – Dom McKenna

If you run your event well, you should almost always meet the venues minimum spend but there are times when you may have to pay the gap out of your own pocket so be prepared for that. The easiest way to get a venue at a low minimum spend is to pick a time of the week when the venue is open but has a very low number of people like a Wednesday night after work.

 

8. Attract draw card speakers

Dom and Karina will often run into prospective speakers at other events. Their philosophy is people recommend people, which can sometimes be considered to be the old school way of networking nowadays. Once you have had a speaker make sure you ask them for referrals to other speakers.

It goes without saying that you need to let a prospective speaker know the value of them giving up their time to come along. Tell them that they will get to have their brand exposed to your database and interact with prospective fans of their business.

Dom McKenna Interviewing Ruslan Kogan

Dom McKenna Interviewing Ruslan Kogan

As well as the branding benefits make sure you play on the fact that speaking at your event will allow them to give back and inspire other people to follow a similar journey to them. Everybody loves to come along to something and speak about what they do – we all have egos even if we don’t like to admit it.If your Meetup is going to be run in a big city, then try to attract speakers from the area who have great stories.

When running a free Meetup event, the general expectation is that you wouldn’t pay for the flights and accommodation of the speaker. If you get a no because of this, the other avenue you could take if the speaker travels a lot is to line up the time that they speak with something else in their calendar that’s at a local location.

Expect that the more high profile the speaker is, the longer it will take to get a hold of them and lock them down for the Meetup.

 

9. Plan well in advance

Once the venue is booked, it’s then time to go to the speaker and confirm if they can attend on the date you have the venue booked. Having the Meetup listed as soon as possible is one of the most important things you need to do. A lot of Meetup organisers fail because they don’t give their audience enough lead-time between events.

Listing a Meetup today that is going to be next week, will guarantee you of failure because you can’t build numbers this way.The minimum lead-time you should aim for is 4-6 weeks before an event and ideally, for a big event, 6-8 weeks.

This allows people to log on, have a look, forward the invite and tell their friends – people refer people, and it takes time. On the night of the event, you should have a registration sheet that you can hand out so you can capture people’s information. A major part of the intellectual property of any business or event is the database.

 

10. Have killer sound

You must check with the venue what audiovisual equipment they have and whether they can have things like two microphones plugged in or a powerpoint presentation. Be prepared that a microphone might die and always have a backup if you can, or at least a spare pair of batteries for the wireless ones. Most venues should have a sound person so make sure you engage them beforehand and at least do a sound check.

The purpose of the soundcheck is to get the volume right and have their sound person equalise the room to remove any harsh frequencies that could create feedback through the mic. If you’re going to have music playing during the networking part, make sure that it’s not overwhelming, and people can hear their conversations. The choice of music should cater to people’s taste at the Meetup and not be too offensive.

 

11. Partner with sponsors

The idea of having sponsors can be valuable for your Meetup but one mistake organisers make is they don’t realise that you have to have a certain size audience before sponsors are interested. With 150 members, you probably won’t get support but once you have over a thousand you very well might have some interest.

When you are plugging sponsors in return for their sponsorship dollars, Dom says try not to plug them in every single message that you send to your members. You should have your sponsors logos on your site and maybe a tasteful banner at the event. Once a month it’s a good idea to do a mail out on behalf of a single sponsor to mention or promote what they do.

Monthly mentions of your sponsor will ensure that you don’t overdo it but that you are also providing value in return for their money.

 

12. Know when to provide food and drink

If you’re running a Meetup that is 90 minutes or less, then you are not really expected to provide food or drink but sometimes that can be affected by the culture of the country that you are in. If you are running a longer event, then it’s a good idea to consider having some food and drink but the catering will most likely need to be paid for by a sponsor.

Typically you don’t charge patrons at your event for food and drink. You need to remember that if your audience are coming straight from work they probably haven’t eaten so providing a small amount of catering will help keep people at your Meetup.

Catering also helps people network because even if they are drinking soda water, the drink allows them to feel comfortable and can be a great excuse to leave a boring conversation and get another drink if required. Having said all of that, the content and the people should be the focus of your Meetup, not the catering.

 

13. Create a networking environment

Your Meetup needs to be structured in such a way that it allows networking. Karina says the best practice that they follow is to have networking at the start, a speaker in the middle for forty-five minutes and then networking at the end. You should build in fifteen minutes at the end of the speaker talking, for the audience to ask questions.

Once this is over it’s ideal if the speaker sticks around to network, which will help the shy people, ask their burning questions and make the patrons hang around longer. This is not always possible though because some speakers – especially high profile one’s – must leave straight after.

The Meetup shouldn’t be a Friday night at the pub where people only talk with their friends. As the organiser, go around and talk to people because that’s what people want, and they are there to network. It’s for this reason that Dom and Karina have two hours for networking and a speaker for only forty-five minutes.

If you see anyone in the corner not talking to anyone, try and get them involved in a conversation. Networking at a Meetup is not about trying to throw up on people with your business pitch, it’s about meeting people.

“The business relationship is built after the relationship so just slow down to speed up” – Karina McKenna

 

14. Collaborate with other Meetups

If your event fits within a particular niche try and collaborate with some other Meetups that are in the same market. Don’t see competitor Meetups as your enemy but rather as your friend. The easiest way to do this is to help promote their events to your members and vice versa.

This is an easy way to grow your reach quickly just make sure that their beliefs and values of the other Meetup align with your event that will serve the greater community.

If there is more than one synergy with another Meetup then try having them come to your event and interview someone, and then you do the same for them. If you lose the scarcity mindset, your competitors in the Meetup space can help you succeed even further

 

***Final thought***

Dom – Don’t underestimate the power of personal development within yourself and the potential that you have. People get so caught up in the small stuff. You need to keep a long-term view of where your life is heading.

Stay true to your values and continue to focus on your goals, serving other people and working on key relationships, and then your life gets better and better. That all starts with you and continuing to put the right input into your mind, which will result in you having a better life

Favourite Book: Jeff Olson – The Slight Edge

 

Karina McKenna Talking At The Inside Out Event

Karina McKenna Talking At The Inside Out Event

Karina – Be kind to yourself and be kind to others because your environment and your situation are really just a reflection of who you are and the person you are becoming. Just remember one thing, if you sit there and think about it the whole time nothing will happen. The only time anything will happen is if you start taking action.

Favourite Book: Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends And Influence People

 

Visit The Entrepreneur Club if you would like to know more about Dom and Karina’s Meetup.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ayesha Hilton

    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Hi Tim!

    Great interview. I’m a member of The Entrepreneur Club meetup, though I
    have yet to make it to an event. I live outside of Melbourne and it’s hard for me to get to an event on a school night as a mother of young children. But I do love being part of Dom and Karina’s community. They get a lot of amazing guests and are a real inspiration to other entrepreneurs.

    Cheers
    Ayesha

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thanks for reading Ayesha and glad you like their event. Maybe if their meetup is too far away you could create your own?

  2. Jon Lee

    Jul 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Tim,

    This was a great interview!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I’ve been a big fan of using meet ups to network and grow my business through speaking for a few years now, and I’d just like to add that in addition to collaborating with other meet ups, it’s a good idea to speak at other groups and invite the leaders of other groups to speak at yours.

    I’m gonna share this with my twitter followers.

    Best,

    JL

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 4, 2015 at 2:19 am

      Glad you liked the article Jon Lee and thanks for sharing.

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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referral marketing
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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ayesha Hilton

    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Hi Tim!

    Great interview. I’m a member of The Entrepreneur Club meetup, though I
    have yet to make it to an event. I live outside of Melbourne and it’s hard for me to get to an event on a school night as a mother of young children. But I do love being part of Dom and Karina’s community. They get a lot of amazing guests and are a real inspiration to other entrepreneurs.

    Cheers
    Ayesha

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thanks for reading Ayesha and glad you like their event. Maybe if their meetup is too far away you could create your own?

  2. Jon Lee

    Jul 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Tim,

    This was a great interview!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I’ve been a big fan of using meet ups to network and grow my business through speaking for a few years now, and I’d just like to add that in addition to collaborating with other meet ups, it’s a good idea to speak at other groups and invite the leaders of other groups to speak at yours.

    I’m gonna share this with my twitter followers.

    Best,

    JL

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 4, 2015 at 2:19 am

      Glad you liked the article Jon Lee and thanks for sharing.

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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