I’m writing this post on the plane en route back from spending the last five days at Business Mastery with Tony Robbins in Palm Beach Florida. It was the most intense conference I’ve ever experienced with five 12–15 hour days (with only one break per day) – I felt like I was drinking from a fire hose the whole time.
The reason for the long days is Tony believes in learning through total immersion so that you and 1000+ people leave knowing exactly how to take your business to the next level.
In this post, I want to share some key takeaways from the experience for you and some lessons I’ve distilled from it.
Many people know Tony Robbins as THE motivational guru and while he is that, he is also a very successful businessman worth over $ 500 million and owner of 20+ companies.
How much does it cost tho?
Prices can vary but we paid $5,000 for it the first time I went. I’ve been given the opportunity to go several times with Shopify as part of winning the Build a Business competition in Jan 2017 and 2018. More on that below…
First off, Tony Robbins is the most incredible speaker and storyteller I’ve ever experienced; I saw that at Unleash The Power Within (another event) and again at Business Mastery. It takes a true talent to have an audience of 1,500 people hanging on your every word for hours at a time. In fact, when he was on stage it was like time ceased to exist.
While he motivates the crowd to believe anything is possible, he drives home the fact that without discipline and hard work, you will not get anywhere.
A goal without a plan to get there is just a dream.
Your rate of success will not grow beyond the rate of your personal development which means the biggest chokehold on any business is the psychology and skillset of the owner.
The 7 Forces of Business Mastery
Tony breaks business down into seven key categories to achieve mastery:
- Creating an Effective Business Map – Knowing what business you’re in and what business you need to be in.
- Strategic Innovation – New ways to continue to add value to your clients
- World Class Marketing – Understanding your offer, your ideal clients and finding more of them.
- Sales Mastery Systems – Strategic and simple ways of increasing your sales, are the backbone of any business.
- Financial and Legal Analysis – Knowing your numbers and protecting yourself.
- Optimization & Maximization – Measuring KPIs (key performance indicators) and tweaking your approach for daily improvements to your systems.
- Creating Raving Fans – Apple has raving fans lined up and sleeping outside their stores before the new iPhone comes out. How do you cultivate them? The key is to do more for clients than anyone else is, consistently.
Tony recommends studying each area for 90 minutes per week to get you into thinking mode and working on the business. By looking into and improving just one area per week you will be ahead of the majority of the competition.
There was a handful of speakers that attended over the five days, here were my personal favorites:
Keith Cunningham (rich dad) – Financial Intelligence & Business Optics
Over 3 hours he broke down how to read balance sheets, understand cash flow and dig into our numbers. As someone who used to look at the profits and call it a day (like the majority of business owners) this was especially eye-opening.
John Paul Dejoria of Paul Mitchell Systems and Patrón
John Paul shared how he started Paul Mitchell Systems with only $700 while he was living out of his car. Later went on to create Patrón tequila and his latest project Rok Mobile.
While going high-level, he also shared some of the nitty-gritty tasks he had to do to make them successful through negotiating terms, presenting the product and getting distribution.
David Meerman Scott – Marketing
Great talk by David, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, about how people buy, content marketing and newsjacking.
Biggest Learning Principles
- Business is 80% psychology and 20% Strategy
- Business = Innovation + Marketing
- Profit is a theory. Operating cash flow determines the success of a business.
- Add more value for your clients than anyone else, consistently.
- If you don’t have an exit strategy you have a job
- Accounting is the secret language of business; success is a math formula
- Don’t get caught up with the tyranny of How? This is where most people fall. Focus on what you want without knowing how you will achieve it. The how will show up once you’re clear on your goal.
- People don’t buy products. They buy a feeling.
- Marketing is getting people to want to do business with you.
My 3–5 to Thrive
On the last day, we put together an Implementation plan with our “3–5 to thrive”. These are the key takeaways from the conference that we plan to apply moving forward:
1. Create a 7/7 Plan
One day per week I will be sitting down to spend 90 minutes working on the business rather than in the business. It’s called 7/7 as I will be focusing on one area of the 7 Forces of Business Mastery each week, at the end of 7 weeks, I start over.
- Week 1: Creating an Effective Business Map
- Week 2: Strategic Innovation: Products, Service & Delivery
- Week 3: Marketing
- Week 4: Sales Systems
- Week 5: Constant Anticipation: Financial Analysis
- Week 6: Optimization & Maximization
- Week 7: Create Raving Fans & Culture
2. Gain Financial Intelligence – a bi-weekly review of numbers
Accounting is an area that in the past I avoided like the plague until tax time. That changes from now. By gaining financial intelligence through knowing my numbers I can ask better questions within the business, see problems before they get too big and get clear optics.
Allen is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of BestSelf so ithe ’ll be his job to organize the data, control where the money goes and how best to move forward. However as CEO, I will be scheduling a time to review numbers on a bi-weekly basis, so I have the financial intelligence to know which areas to focus on.
3. Hire an Operations Manager – Becoming an Owner
There are three key positions in any company: – Skilled producer/artist – Manager – Entrepreneur
While we can be a bit of both, everyone at their core is one of these three orientations. My zone of genius is a skilled producer/artist followed by an entrepreneur. I like coming up with ideas, visions and bringing those to life.
An operations manager would be in charge of managing myself, Allen and our virtual team so that the day-to-day operations run smoothly. This is the key to getting out of the business operator role and becoming an owner. Want to learn more about this? Read The E-Myth Revisited.
4. Map out a 30/30/30 Plan
Implementing Jay Abraham’s three ways to grow a business formula through increasing three key metrics, the number of clients (customers), the average transaction value, and the frequency of repurchase. My 30/30/30 plan will be a 30% increase in the following things by the end of 2016:
- 30% more Customers
- 30% Frequency of Purchase (or referrals)
- 30% Average Transaction
All this only scratches the surface of what I experienced at Business Mastery. I attended the conference because learning is a key competitive advantage, and despite reading many books I find the immersive in-person seminars much more useful.
What happened next?
Often these posts don’t have follow-ups of what happened next, but as I was making some updates I realized I should share how I applied what I learned at this event and how it’s impacted my business in the last few years since 2016.
This post was written after attending the event in January 2016. In August 2016 we won the Shopify Build-a-Business competition which meant spending a week at the Gatsby mansion with Tony Robbins. I shared how I used the 30/30/30 plan to grow our business BestSelf.co which had just launched its online store on Shopify 2 weeks before attending.
Here’s a picture from that:
Due to winning the competition, all the winners of that contest were invited back to Florida to attend Business Mastery in January 2017 where Shopify announced an entirely new contest ‘Build a BIGGER Business’ with Tony Robbins.
Obviously, we applied, because why not. We ended up scaling the business almost 4X in the year and won that contest. We ended up going to Fiji to Tony Robbins' private resort with Tim Ferris, Marie Forleo, Joe Gebbia and the whole Shopify crew.
I don’t share this to show off, but to share how knowledge is only powerful if you learn and apply it. Every personal development book, course or conference I’ve attended has worked because I apply what I learn, experiment with what works and leave whatever doesn’t.
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