On The Lucrative Society today, I talk about lessons learned from my recent Lucrative Speaker Summit.
As I mentioned on social media, it was:
- 3,365 attendees 😍
- 24 speakers 🎤
- 7 days 🗓
- 5 sponsors 🙏🏼
- 1 dance party 💃🏻
- 0 times actually putting on real pants 👖
If you’re planning any type of virtual event, I share what worked and what could have gone better. I needed a huge mindset shift in the middle of this one!
Plus, I talk about how it’s essential to stay true to what is best for YOU… Not what the experts, or gurus, or anyone else says, but what is true for you.
Enjoy the show!
Hey, hey, Mindie Kniss here. I thought for this week’s episode, I would give you a little behind the scenes tour of the virtual event that I just did, talk about some lessons learned and also touch on one of the themes that continuously came up during that summit. So just last week, I was running the Lucrative Speaker Summit. We had over 3300 people attend. We had 24 speakers, five sponsors, and as I joked on social media, zero days of actually putting on real pants. My M.O. was to put on a nice top so I look at least somewhat public up top and then basically wear pajama pants, and it was great. I have to be honest, I could continue to work this way. It feels really cozy, comfortable being at home. I of course, as many of you know, am a huge introvert so that works for me. And it was really great but let’s talk about some of the things that did not go as planned. Where I got stuck, and I didn’t find this out until pretty much most of the way through the summit. So if you are planning some sort of virtual experience for your people, pay attention to this sooner than I did.
I kind of went into this event thinking of it as a live event, just online. Reason being, Sean and I had done this as a live event, it used to be called 10K speeches. We did the live speaker training event every year in Scottsdale ever since 2014. So we’ve done it for the last six years and it’s always been a great event, really good time. This year going virtual, I kind of just had that in my mindset, like, “Okay, we’ll just kind of do the same things, but it will be online.” Here’s where I went wrong in that thinking. My thought was to make it easy and convenient for people that each day of the five-day summit, I would just send out an email and people could watch the speakers for that day. So there were about four or five speakers each day. Everything was pre-recorded, which I do recommend because then you’re not worrying about the technology failing like when it’s live. So that part I actually did appreciate. And I would say a lot of the feedback that I got people said they loved the format. They loved the structure because they had the freedom to watch those whenever they wanted to watch them up until the summit ended, and then, of course, they could upgrade for the all-access pass if they wanted to keep their access to it. But here’s what happened.
So a lot of the kind of fun engagement type stuff that we normally would have done with a live audience like raffle drawings, or Q&A’s with the speakers or anything like that, I thought, “Okay, no problem. I’ll just put them in a Facebook group, and we’ll do it all there. So that essentially will become the live version of that experience.” What I hadn’t counted on though, is that a lot of people just don’t want to be on Facebook, which I 100% understand, and they’re just not willing or not interested enough to get engaged in that aspect of it. So while I was thinking of this as a live event, just online, really what I should have gone into it with is just a straight-up virtual launch type event, and I’ve done those other things before. I’ve done online launches that are for online courses. Totally different mindset, totally different way of going about it, and looking back, I would have probably done it better if I would have been thinking of it in that capacity because here’s what happened. When I would send out and say, “Okay, we’re going to do a live Q&A with so and so featured speaker, we’ll be in the Facebook group.” A lot of people just were not engaged in the Facebook group, which then as you can probably guess, makes it a whole lot less fun to do those things. The whole point is for engagement. Even raffle drawings or daily recaps that I did, it was all cool, but it definitely did not have the engagement that I was anticipating and by the end hoping for.
So I think here’s what would have worked better. And like I said, if you’re planning something like this, take this into account beforehand because I ended up having to do a big mindset shift right at the end. What may have worked a little bit better is by still pre-recording – I still like that I did it that way – but essentially almost forcing the issue of being on Facebook and while that’s maybe not the best option, because still there just going to be people that don’t want that, or won’t do that, but you could set up specific times as watch parties in your Facebook group. So then at least everybody that is going to be engaged will be at the same time. And it still allows for the flexibility of if somebody misses it, that is then recorded and placed in the Facebook group. So that actually would have been better because then I think the engagement may have gone up. A lot of people at the beginning of the summit were emailing me and they didn’t really understand the format of just open content. So they would say, “Well, what time are the speakers?” or “What time do I need to be in front of my computer?” I’m like, “No, that’s not how it’s set up. It’s set up that every day at noon, you will get an email and it will say, ‘Hey, here are your featured speakers for the day’, and you can watch them at your leisure up until the doors closed on the summit.” And I think that’s just maybe different than a lot of other people had run their summits. Best case scenario would either be to go almost fully live, except online, and that is, have specific times. Maybe even do the things live, or pre-record them but have set times that people need to be engaged with you. Or just run the whole thing like a normal online virtual launch. Because trying to kind of find a pathway through the middle of those two different types of experiences, that’s where I pretty much got messed up. And like I said, it wasn’t until the very end that I’m like, “Shoot, I need to literally turn this into just a straight-up launch for a virtual product as I normally would for those things and not be thinking of this as a live event.” So just a few words of warning in that capacity.
The other thing that came up quite often as a theme, what’s always interesting, and this happened during the live event too, all of the various speakers, they don’t know what each other is talking about, so they just decide on a theme and a topic and that’s what they present on. But what happens every single year is that there’s so much resonance between what they’re saying. They may even be talking about the exact same thing, just from their own perspective. And I love when that happens because it just drives home and reinforces the point. One of the dominant themes in this year’s summit – and this has actually come up in our live events previous years as well – is just the concept of being you, like you do you. Every single year when I am teaching my Cor Coaching Academy, I’m like, “Look, I do not want you to be a little Mindie Kniss coach, I want you to be you.” And we would say the same thing at the speaker training. “I don’t want you to be a Sean Stephenson speaker. We want you to be you. How can you be more you? How can you show up more authentically, more vulnerably more real, more legit, and just be you?” Stop trying to copy the way somebody else is doing it or the way somebody else is saying it or most especially, this is something that frustrates me to no end, is telling other people’s stories. Tell your own stories. You have stories in your life that can make the points that you are trying to make, you just have to do the work to find them. I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit recently because I’ve realized some things in my own life. The funny thing is that I’ve even taught this, but it’s become so much more relevant this year in my life. I’ve realized some new things.
So what I used to teach was the idea of you have to go your own way, you have to figure it out for yourself, you have to do things in your own way. Now, that doesn’t mean learning everything on your own, you can definitely have teachers and mentors and coaches and guides to lead you. I’m not saying don’t have those people because I think you should – makes it a lot more easy – but you still have to navigate it on your own. I’ll give you the example that I used to use, the story that I used to tell. So those of you that have met me in real life know that I am less than five feet tall. So when I was younger, I used to rock climb a lot. I’d be rock climbing with friends or rock climbing with an instructor and they would say, “Okay, reach your right arm up to that hold, it’s right there or just pull your right leg up, and that next step is right there.” And often I would be able to see what they’re saying and I would say, “Yeah, that’s just literally not going to work for me because my arm doesn’t reach that far or my leg doesn’t reach that far.” I had multiple experiences with friends, and I tell the story of almost dying and falling off a mountain – I tell that story at HeartPath – but they would be like, “Oh, just reach, the next hold is right there.” And I’m like, “No, you don’t understand. It’s not that I’m not seeing it or don’t believe you or anything like that. It’s that my arm literally cannot reach that point that you are referring to.” So I have always had to figure things out for me, the way that would work best for me even with the guidance of people that had the best intentions. So I’ve always used that as kind of a navigating force, as like you still need to figure it out, what works best for you. And something that has come up much more recently and very much relevantly in my life, is sleep.
As you know, the standard prescribed method is get eight hours of sleep. We’ve heard that for as long as I can remember, and I always thought, “Okay, eight hours is what I will strive for.” What I found is that I don’t need eight hours of sleep. On top of the prescribed eight hours, in the business community, when people are talking about productivity and focus and success, most people are stating you have to get up early. You have to get up. But you know, there are people that have the 5 am Club and the 6 am check-ins and the whatever else. I don’t even know because I’m not part of those communities. But that’s kind of the standard thing – if you want to be successful, you better get up early. So I have tried that. I have tried that so many times over the years and what I found eventually is that I don’t need eight hours of sleep, that’s not fit for me. I pretty much need nine. And for a long time, I felt like “What is wrong with me? Am I just lazy? Am I sick? What is going on? Why do I need more sleep?” But here’s the thing, I’ve stopped asking those questions and started looking at the results instead. Because let me show you the difference of trying to get eight hours of sleep and attempting to get up early versus getting the amount of sleep that I need and getting up when I get up. I’ve spent the last 20 some years of my life – not including this year – with extreme, debilitating migraines. I had migraines sometimes one to two times a week, if not more, and this wasn’t just a headache. Now those of you that get migraines you will understand this. Those of you that do not get migraines, it’s hard to explain without having experienced it, but this is what would happen to me.
I would get so nauseous that I literally couldn’t do anything other than go get in bed with the lights out and attempting to block out any sound that was in the house. Because what would happen, any hint of sensation, whether that be sound, or sight, or smell, it would just bring that nausea level up so much that I would end up vomiting pretty much every single time. Now when you’re living with somebody who is not necessarily quiet – those of you that knew Sean, he was not a quiet person – this would be a big struggle between us because I would be so sick, and he sometimes would attempt to be quiet and sometimes he was just honestly pissed off at me being sick all the time. There was nothing that I felt like I could do about it and he probably also internally felt bad for me, like obviously he didn’t want me to be feeling sick, but was also just frickin’ annoyed, like pissed as hell that I was sick yet again. And then that impacted him because he didn’t drive, he wanted to be loud and play music and have fun and whatever else, so it was a big issue for us. And it wasn’t just when I was with Sean. I had this experience literally for like the last 20 some years. So for over two decades of my life, this has been my experience.
Fast forward to this year, I get enough sleep for my body. I generally stay up late. I really love working late, I tend to be more of a night owl anyway. So I would say my standard bedtime, and this can vary, but on the usual, I would go to bed about midnight. Then what I do most of the time is I don’t set an alarm. I know that my earliest appointments are generally 10 am. And I get it, I’m in Pacific Time Zone so y’all that are in Eastern or in Europe, you’re like, “What the hell Mindie? Why can’t I schedule you at a normal time of day other than late?” But here’s why. Because I know that I’m not going to be my best. So generally, what happens, I go to bed about midnight, I’ll wake up naturally, I don’t use an alarm clock. Wake up about nine and then I get up, get ready for my day and ready to go by 10. When I do that, I have so much more energy, so much more clarity. I don’t feel tired throughout the day, I feel bright and energized and well-rested. And some of you may say, “Well, Mindie, your life circumstances have changed so much as well.” Yes, that is true. Sean died last year and so I no longer live with somebody who is loud. That is a significant change for sure. I don’t have somebody in my home now that wants me to wake up at a certain time or go to bed at a certain time or have sex at a certain time or eat at a certain [time]. I can do whatever I feel is best for me because now it’s just me. So yes, that contributes but I really feel like the bigger aspect is listening to my body and allowing it to dictate what is best for me and saying, “Who cares what anybody else thinks? Who cares what the standard is of you should get eight hours of sleep? Who cares what the typical business people say – you have to get up at 5 am?” No, what you have to do to be successful is figure out what works best for you. And while we are all human, we all have very different body compositions, body clocks, hormonal levels, all of these different things, which then contribute to it being different for different people.
So again, I’m not saying to not listen to anybody in terms of the coaches, mentors, leaders, etc., but take all of that advice with a grain of salt and check in with yourself. I’ve quoted this a million times and will probably restate it again and again because it bears repeating. Walt Whitman said it, “Dismiss whatever insults your own soul.” Because here’s the thing, If you don’t have your health, not much else matters. I don’t care if you have made a gajillion dollars. I don’t care if you have even the most fit body and look the best according to society’s standards. If you don’t feel good on a regular day to day basis, that sucks. I have been there. I have had those experiences with these migraines. And I’m happy to say this year, I haven’t gotten any migraines and it’s August. So that’s been a radical shift in my life and I attribute it to shifting up my sleep because I know that I need to do it my way, figure out what works for me and my body and I would encourage you to do the same. When I’m talking with clients or really anybody about this whole concept of a lucrative life, that’s a huge part of it. Feeling good is key to having a lucrative life because like I said, even with all the money in the world, if you don’t feel good, so what. You’re not going to want to travel and go do exciting adventures and all of the things that you can do with money or even without money. If you don’t feel good – and for me, it was literally being in bed in a dark and quiet room – that sucks.
So to wrap this up, your key takeaways for the day are if you’re going to do a virtual experience for your people, pick whether you’re going to do it straight up all virtual or as live as you can get it, just online, because trying to do both, swim in the middle of those two, that created kind of a mess for me so you want to avoid that. And more importantly, figure out what works best for you, throw out whatever doesn’t, and test it out. Because here’s the thing, some people don’t even know. I didn’t even recognize that my migraines probably had been caused [by] that whole sleep issue until I had the contrast, until I experienced it a different way and then said, “You know what, actually, this way works a whole lot better for me. I’m throwing that other way out.” And that other way was the way that was recommended by the experts and the leaders and whoever else. It doesn’t work for me. So I hope that you will test out these things and not just take them at their word. It’s not that they’re lying or they have any mal intent for you, but it’s just that, that it’s what works for them, and it may not work for you. So the best thing you can do for you is be more you, figure out what works best for you, and then continue to play that at such a high level that really, success is inevitable at that point.
And one final thing to wrap up this show. Before you say, “Oh, well, that’s easy for you, Mindie. You don’t have children, you live alone, you have an already ‘successful business’”, here’s something I want you to consider. Each one of us has some really, really hard stuff that they have had to go through. My recommendation to you is to never want someone else’s success because you would have had to go through the challenges that they have had to go through. And quite honestly, I would not wish someone’s spouse dying on anybody, especially when they’re 40 years old. So don’t wish for somebody else’s success because you would have had to go through all the things that they have had to go through and I guarantee you would not want that. You have your own set of challenges, we all do, and I don’t want anyone else’s challenges. I’ll take my own, that’s been plenty. Thank you very much. Have an amazing week and I will talk to you soon.