It was my third event in the Tony Robbins Life Mastery series – Business Mastery. The event took place in sunny Palm Beach Florida, though it wasn’t so sunny the day we arrived. Palm Beach was getting hit hard – 10 inches of rain that seemed to be pouring down from every angle.
If you haven’t been to a Tony Robbins event, there are several things you should understand:
- They are long – most days are over 12 hours and you only get one break. You better bring plenty of snacks and water, or risk missing out on some nuggets of information… or a massage. This isn’t your typical seminar that starts at 11 and ends with cocktails by the pool at 3 PM. It’s a marathon.
- You will dance. Yup, everyone dances at some point, and most dance at every opportunity; even a business seminar. If you’re one of the few people that have ever seen me dance, you know this can be disturbing, but when you have over 1,000 people shaking their groove thing, it’s a lot more palatable. [thank you to the business owner in front of me for making my dance moves look good!]
- You will be entertained. Tony makes a good point in that we learn best when we’re being entertained and “playing” full out. I found this to be true as well. Tony and his team utilize music not only to get people moving (remember, you’re in there for over 12 hours, so you need something to keep you going), but they use it strategically to anchor in key points neurologically. There’s a method to the madness.
As the conference kicked off, I noticed that the majority of the people in the audience of 1,000 were either in suits or dress business casual. Not the typical uniform of comfy warm clothes you see at a Tony Robbins event. By day 5 of the conference, there wasn’t a suit to be seen. Everyone had shed their business clothes and most had donned a costume to answer the challenge Tony had set out to see which team of 6 people could deliver the most value and energy to the rest of the group.
When I say costume, I mean bright neon shirts, fake purple mohawks, crazy hats, and Spartan Esq costumes. If you weren’t there at the beginning and just walked in, it looked like a freak show – something one of the speakers Guy Kawasaki had called “the most unique audience he has ever spoken to”.
This wasn’t just a motivational, pump you up the conference, however. Although Tony started by stating that 70% of business is psychological and only 30% mechanical, we spent a lot of time on both. There were billion-dollar businesses represented and people still looking to jump ship and start their own company. Some of the topics included:
- Strategic Innovation
- Financial and Legal Analysis
- Corporate and Business Culture
- Accounting (yes, accounting, but accounting that everyone can use and understand)
- Effective Communication
- Vision and Goal Setting
- Strategic Ways to Grow a Business
- … and a lot more. It was 12+ hours for 5 days!
I’ll be breaking down many of these items, the way they apply to me, my businesses, and the businesses of my clients in future blog posts and my Mastermind Groups. For now, I’ll share with you five major take away items that I got personally.
Master the Businesses Finances
There were multiple sessions on the topic of business finance. The two that I am using right off the bat are the 3 Ways to Grow a Business and Keith Cunningham’s method for looking at a business’s overall health.
Tony shared Jay Abraham‘s 3 Ways to Grow a Business and spent some time going into the details and ways to implement the program. The three ways are fairly obvious:
- Increase the number of customers or clients.
- Increase the average transaction value (how much you charge).
- Increase the number of times someone buys from you.
These seem simple enough, and like most great things, it hard to take a complex formula and make it seem so simple. Jay’s method is to increase these numbers by a minimum of 10% each, thus giving you a 33.1% total increase in revenue for the business. This is something any business can implement right away. Tony gave us many other methods and showed us how we can utilize these in our businesses. I, of course, chose the most aggressive and challenging method presented – that’s just me and many didn’t.
Keith Cunningham spoke for four hours over two days. Keith’s subject was accounting, BUT Keith did so in a fun and informative way. Even the finance guys in the audience were impressed with the way he took the accounting lingo and made it easy to understand. Keith started his talk by throwing out American football terms, which everyone in the audience understood and said that they felt comfortable following the game. He then switched gears and started throwing out terms for the sport of cricket, to which only a handful of people had any idea what he was talking about. Keith then went on to say that this was similar to accounting in that most business owners, and executives, stress about accounting simply because they don’t understand the language. After he was done, it all seemed easy and less stressful. If you can’t speak the language, you can’t play the game.
According to Keith, accountants have three primary report cards for a business: a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a statement of cash flow. But what do these mean and how do they work together in real life? Keith showed us a new report card that ties in all three documents and makes it easy to decipher what’s going right or wrong in any business and how to know which areas need help.
Hire a Manager
Tony Robbins spent some time talking about the difference between being an artist, manager/leader, and an entrepreneur. Tony is an artist or someone who is skilled at what they do. Artists are also the keys to almost any business, but a successful business needs all three. Now, one person can be all three for a little while, but the pain in a business comes from doing the role you don’t naturally fit into for too long. I am an entrepreneur who also can play in the artists’ realm, but has been forced to manage in order to grow my businesses. No more. This isn’t something I’m good at and certainly isn’t something I enjoy.
I’m not actively seeking out someone to fill that manager/leader position. I’m looking for someone who enjoys managing people and projects. Someone loyal, driven, and who enjoys the details. In fact, I’m off to a meeting in 10 minutes to meet with someone who I hope can recommend a few candidates.
CANI stands for Constant and Never Ending Improved. I’ve spent more time managing our businesses and less time working on the marketing. When we spent 5 minutes writing down marketing ideas, the man next to me could only come up with a few (he was a manager/leader). I, on the other hand, filled the page and could have kept going. I enjoy marketing and need to get back into it to ensure our team can continue to help more and more people on their path to their dreams. I’ve slacked on this and that won’t happen again.
Learn my Staff’s Values
Although we didn’t spend a lot of time on this topic at the seminar, we did learn a lot at one of Tony’s other seminars, DWD. It has become very clear to me that all of us are motivated by different things – some are motivated by helping others, some by money, some by ego, etc. Of course, most of us are motivated by a combination of these things, but there tends to be one or more that really drive our desires and none of them are “bad”, they just are who were are.
I want to learn my staff’s values so I can create an environment that is not only productive and fun but one that meets their needs so they can continue to grow and thrive. I think of this and finding the perfect mixture of sun and water for a flower so it can grow and thrive, not just survive. I hope that by doing this, their lives are not only enriched, but they will have the energy to enrich the lives of others around them naturally.
I’ve drank the Tony Robbins punch – I’m all in. I had my doubts along the way, but I’m sold. After attending Business Mastery, as well as his other events, I can only say positive things and express how much I’ve gotten out of them. I’ve run into people along the way who know the man personally and have worked with him, all of whom say great things. If you are a business owner, or executive, or if you run a department within a business, I highly recommend making the investment in your business and yourself and attend an event.
I will share with you my journey through this site – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Now I’m off to find my manager…