The (REAL) Truth About Business

This last week I was working with a private client, working on her strategy and brand story when we started reminiscing about when I started my first business.  I instantly recalled that the first person I went to was my father-in-law, Kimball.

I remember how, so ready to take on the world,  I valiantly puffed up my chest and announced that I was going to be an entrepreneur!

Kimball was a seasoned entrepreneur – the most successful business owner I personally knew at the time. And my ace in the hole was that I was married to his only daughter.  

So I was certain that he was going to let me in on every secret I needed to be a successful entrepreneur. The goods. The Glengarry Glenross leads. The mysterious secret glowing from the case in Pulp Fiction.

 

THE. SECRET.  

Big money, big money, no whammies!!

 

I was ready.  Here we go I thought…

He looked at me for longer than normal then softly said…

 

“It’s hard.  Business is hard.”

 

And my face dropped. That’s it? Business is hard?  I walked away feeling cheated. What the…?!

Disappointed.

 

If only I really heard what Kimball was saying.

 

Maybe I would have saved a lot of anguish and heartache. Maybe I would have not spent the equivalent of multiple Teslas on wasted marketing and sales efforts. Always in search of the easy “nitro” button.

Because after nearly 10 years as an entrepreneur and another 20+ years as something else that is still undefinable (writer? Hustler? Pitchman? Joke writer? Tell stories so people will give you money dude?) what I learned is that what Kimball shared IS the secret.

 

Business.

Is.

Hard.

 

And the sooner we all accept that reality the sooner we can do something about it.

 

Sales and marketing is hard.

Differentiating yourself from your competition is hard.

Aligning a team to scale is hard.

Knowing who we are at our core and turning that into revenue is hard.

Knowing how to attract customers that are crazy about you and your products / services is hard.

Knowing confidently what to say, how to say it and who to say it to is hard.

Knowing how to talk about yourself is hard.

Knowing what opportunities are right for your business is hard.

Staying fresh, creative, and innovative to beat your competition is hard.

 

And because it’s so hard most entrepreneurs and small business owners learn by trial and error.

They try something, fail, adjust accordingly, try something, fail, adjust… etcetera.

This is how I personally built my business for most of my years as an entrepreneur.

 

And I will tell you, it was hard!  To be blunt it sucked. Bad.

 

Until I found a better way.

 

What if, it was possible to learn from somebody else’s painful (and costly) mistakes?

What if, instead of wasting money and years of doing ineffective brand, sales, and marketing efforts incorrectly, you could invest a small amount of money and build alignment in your business that would create a strong buying desire in your target customers?  

 

A desire that would lead to massive and sustainable growth for your business?

 

What if it would make things, less of a struggle?  Give you and your team laser focus and clarity? Dare I say, it would make many of the current struggles in your business a bit… easier?

 

I’ve hired dozens of coaches and the best story teachers in the world over the years.  I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars learning (through trial and error) what works, and what doesn’t.

I’ve taken my Hollywood storytelling experience and combined it with my sales, marketing, and brand storytelling experience as a successful entrepreneur and delivered this as a battle tested service with private clients.

 

Now, I’m looking at putting together a program that will take you through the last 30+ years of my experience at warp-speed – and I really want to know if this is something you could benefit from.

 

This week, I’ll be opening up a few spots on my calendar to do marketing strategy sessions.

 

These are custom “breakthrough” marketing consults for business owners who want to harness the proven power of storytelling that will deliver team alignment, differentiate you from your competition, create an emotional desire in your prospects, drive  real revenue, and fast results…

I can’t guarantee how much longer any spots will be open, but I can tell you this:

 

If you want the next 2 months to look different than the last 2 months, and you see an opportunity in talking together, book your spot here before they’re gone.

 

I’m not sure if I’ll do this again anytime soon.

Talk soon!

– Marc

The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It

The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It

Kevin Rogers is a guy that gets Story. As a stand-up comic turned copywriter, he has worked with some of the most successful marketers in the world and now focuses his efforts on connecting business owners with copywriters through his company Copy Chief.

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kevin on his Podcast The Truth About Marketing where we exchanged notes about our separate Hollywood journeys, as well as going deep on some story writing and storytelling tactics. We start sharing about my time as a story editor in Hollywood with Disney and Oliver Stone.

While this may sound like a dream job with endless perks, keep in mind the biggest moment up until that time was when they gave me an LL Bean tote bag to carry around the 20 scripts I had to read every week before defending the most production-worthy stories to Oliver Stone’s team.

My biggest takeaway during that time is that the best stories aren’t always the ones that are most technically accurate regarding the grammar and pros, but the stories with the best ideas that lay underneath.

Before my time defending scripts to Oliver Stone, I thought the best movies were identified by how big the explosions were and how dramatic the actual story was. But in actuality, the more specific the story is, the more universal it becomes. When it comes to story, many people are afraid to be specific because they want to relate to as many people as possible. But in effect, this dilutes the story and makes it impactful to no one. As the saying goes, you can’t be everything to everybody.

In that vein, the power of Story comes from the specificity of the story, and that’s where the universality comes from as well.  We cover the topic of specificity and more on this episode. As well as…

  • The ONE thing likely missing from your tale that’s killing your connection with your ideal customer.
  • The single biggest question you absolutely must answer before you even think about writing your story… and it’s got nothing to do with your “hook” or “writing chops.”
  • The “something’s gotta happen” tactic to catapulting your story from “dull n’ dreary” to rolicking tale your audience never forgets —even if you’ve never told a story before.
  • Why I bolted from the Hollywood life despite working with big time players… and the ONE thing I wish I did different. (If you’re feeling “out of place” at your current gig… you’ll want to hear this.)
  • The “locksmith” trick to getting your client so invested in your work they’ll even fight for you when someone wants to change it… even if you barely know your client right now.

Listen to Episode 131: Marc Gutman - Better Storytelling..

https://copychief.com/ep-131-marc-gutman/

Just like the Hollywood story editor with 20 scripts to read through weekly, your story has many filters to get through before grabbing the attention of your customer.  The market is fragmented and it is harder than ever to resonate with a reader across the numerous mediums, platforms, and devices now at our fingertips.

I would love to learn more about your Story and help you make it amazing as well as accomplish the goals that you have in mind.  There is no bad story, but learning to tell it with authenticity and in a way that captivates your audience is where the magic happens.

Let’s set up a time to chat!

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

Download Our
Free Snapstory Guide

Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

Your Business…The Hero?

Your Business…The Hero?

I just had the chance to get interviewed on the Digital Agency Show Podcast by my good friend Brent Weaver and talk about two of my favorite things – adventure & storytelling.

 

My philosophy has always been to get in the middle of where you want to be and then figure it out.  Through persistence and hustle delivering films on the Disney lot, I eventually found my way to my dream job, working for Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone.

As a story editor, I experienced a crash course on story and I learned an important lesson on authenticity.  A big lesson was learned during the success of the movie American Pie (written by a classmate of mine) and I couldn’t understand how a “cheesy movie” had become the darling of Hollywood when I was striving to write what I thought was powerful and meaningful work.  But what I realized was, the storyteller was writing about what he knew, his life experiences and this created a clear path to success. **So, the movie isn’t “cheesy”, it’s authentic and universal. Much cooler than my so called “important topics”.

If you remember, Oliver Stone became famous for his amazing movie, Platoon. Platoon is based on his own personal experience serving the military in Vietnam.

Translating this to business we are in an incredible time.  People, your customers and prospects can easily find the ideal partner for whatever problem they may have. “Ideal” immediately implies you can do the job, but going deeper than that it means we can find people to work with that are like us. That have the same values. That have a story that supports our needs. No longer do we just have to work with the company that has the biggest ad budget or best name recognition. We are in the age of niche and specialization. We are in the age of personalization.  Our customers and prospects crave this connection. They expect it.  To meet their expectations, we need to have a true and authentic story.  Universally, we all want to work with real people who can be bigger than themselves and together we can create a story that is bigger than the sum of the parts.

I love to serve entrepreneurs who are stuck by showing them the power of story to transform their business. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the art of storytelling and how it affects your business you’ll want to check out this episode.  I give some practical tips on how to get started or improve your story, brand, and your business.

Here’s what we cover in this episode.

  • What it means to “write what you know” and why it’s so important to be specific when describing your life experience.
  • Thoughts on how to create an ongoing relationship with people to get them coming back again and again.
  • Where a story should show up in your business and how you can leverage the power of storytelling in your marketing and sales.
  • The form (not formula) that you can use to put your story together.
  • Tips on connecting with the right audience.
  • Why journaling from your customer’s point of view can be an enlightening exercise.
  • The importance of developing a “move to action” as the first step toward creating your story.

I’d love to learn your story and help you get new clients by telling it.  

Let’s set up a time to chat!

 

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

Download Our
Free Snapstory Guide

Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

EO Colorado Host Artist Aaron Draplin [VIDEO]

One of the single greatest decisions I’ve made as an entrepreneur is joining the Colorado Chapter of The Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO). I could probably write a book about all the value I get but in short, it’s a group of like minded entrepreneurs trying to get better in every way: business, family, personal. I’ve been honored to serve as co-learning chair for the past two years. My job is to simply find one of a kind learning and social experiences for our membership.  This past October 2016 we had the pleasure of hosting world famous graphic designer Aaron Draplin from the Draplin Design Co.

In addition to hosting, my very good friends at The Public Works also shot and edited this great video highlighting our two day experience with Aaron. We hosted an evening keynote on Friday and then spend the next Saturday designing and building cool stuff in the shop at The Public Works. Not to overuse this phrase, but a weekend I’ll never forget and one that I truly treasure.

How to CRUSH Your Kickstarter Campaign

Okay, here it is!

Here are the “How do I crush my Kickstarter campaign?” goods!

I am truly excited to share this content with anyone who is thinking about funding a project on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or any other crowdfunding effort.  I am not joking that I get at least 1-2 calls a week from aspiring entrepreneurs asking “I’m thinking about launching my dream on Kickstarter. How do I make my Kickstarter campaign a success?”

inboard skate kickstarter campaignThese are some of my favorite calls and also some that bum me out. They’re my favs because I love the unbridled enthusiasm, optimism, and hope of each of these new entrepreneurs. They are ready to take that step, to launch a business, to put their money where their mouth is.  And this gets me jazzed up.  Jazz-hands up!  Then there are the entrepreneurs who I talk to that are woefully unprepared. Unprepared with their idea, unprepared to do the work.  And some just don’t know what they are getting into.

Well all that’s about to change. I come from an abundance mindset and believe that we all benefit in sharing. I’m here to share what I know – free of charge.  I often use the term “gold nugget” when describing a valuable takeaway. What I’m about to share is a treasure chest of gold or maybe even a whole Kickstarter campaign gold mine!

inboard skate, kickstarterRecently I had the opportunity to do a long form video interview with my amazing friend and client, Ryan Evans. Ryan is the CEO of Inboard Sports and one of those bright lights that makes everyone around him better.  We worked together on his Kickstarter campaign for their flagship, electric skateboard.  We eclipsed our goal of $100,000 in less than 48 hours and ended the campaign with nearly $500,000 in backer raised funds.  Inboard has gone on to raise several million in funding and is a couple of months away from shipping their highly anticipated boards — as backer #1 I can’t wait!

I can’t think of a better case study than Inboard to talk about how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Please let us know what you think and add to our conversation in the comments below.  If you have an awesome Kickstarter tip or insight please share it with us!

Interested in WILDSTORY launching your product in a successful Kickstart campaign?

Contact WILDSTORY

Camp Maverick – Summer Camp for Entrepreneurs Recap aka There is No Ceiling

Camp Maverick – Summer Camp for Entrepreneurs Recap aka There is No Ceiling

Truth is, I was nervous about camp.

Will people like me at camp?

Will I make friends at camp? Being the new guy at camp is hard.  What will people think of me when I get to camp?

All these emotions came rushing back to me like a young kid heading to their first sleepaway camp. Thing is, I’m not a young kid. I’m an adult heading to camp.

Let me explain. I was invited to attend Camp Maverick (billed as “Summer Camp for Entrepreneurs”) by my good friend Brent Weaver.  Brent is a member of Maverick 1000 and in our frequent meetups and experience share sessions Brent has been raving about the ideas, energy, and relationships he both gives and receives from his interaction with Maverick.

Don’t want to read this fascinating but admittedly long post?  Watch this highlight video from Camp Maverick 2015!

 

Manik Silver opening Camp Maverick Photo: Maverick DNA

Yanik Silver opening Camp Maverick Photo: Maverick DNA

Maverick is the brainchild of Yanik Silver. Yanik is a well known entrepreneur who builds businesses, is an entrepreneur thought leader, author, adventure traveler, father, husband, etc.  His latest venture, Maverick DNA, is a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes Maverick 1000 (a private, invitation-only global network of the top entrepreneurs and industry transformers), Maverick NeXT (which is fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs), Maverick Local (local networking and support for entrepreneurs), as well as several additional components including philanthropy, family events, adventure travel and so much more that I don’t even know about.

Read this blog post I stumbled upon and you’ll get a sense of who Yanik is…  http://yaniksilver.com/returnpath/

From his website: His latest venture is Maverick1000, a private, invitation-only global network of the top entrepreneurs and industry transformers. This group periodically assembles for breakthrough retreats, rejuvenating experiences and ‘giving forward’ opportunities (to-date raising over $1MM+) with participating icons such as Sir Richard Branson, Tony Hawk, Chris Blackwell, John Paul DeJoria, Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos.com), Russell Simmons, and Tim Ferriss.

Yanik’s lifetime goal is to connect visionary leaders and game changers to catalyze innovative business models and new ideas for solving 100 of the world’s most impactful issues by the year 2100. Leveraging business as a multiplier for good…co-creating something great.

Most of the time when I read a bio like this and then meet the person behind it, I’m left unimpressed.  What I will say about Yanik is that he is a super cool, accessible, thoughtful person and his real life persona exceeded my expectations / pre-conceived notions.  He’s a great guy who truly is passionate about business, life, entrepreneurs, and trying to crack the code on how to have it all — and I don’t think he’ll give up until he figures it out.  He’s the real deal and if you have the opportunity to attend one of his events I highly recommend it.

Well enough of my man-entrepreneurial crush.

Back On The Bus

So there I was, sitting on the bus nervously tapping my feet. Most people think of me as a social person. Someone who easily fits into new situations and meets people easily.  But I was intimidated. I was a bit scared.

I had read all the bios of the “camp counselors” and some of the attendees. There was no question this was the “A” team.  No “B” players were in attendance. It was only about 120 attendees and as soon as we met at the airport I could instantly tell that all the Maverick 1000 members had a deep connection – they all greeted one another like family.

After about a 2 hour bus ride from Laguardia Airport to Connecticut we arrived at what was literally a summer camp.  Just what you’re thinking. Small, basic wood cabins, a lake, etc.

We were immediately greeted with a refreshing cocktail while we checked in and were assigned a cabin and bunk mates.  Campers were directed to an arts and crafts table covered with assorted beads. Each camper made their own name necklace which was to serve as the name tags for the event. Right away at the table, we were all giggling, displaying our entrepreneurial need for creativity, and making friends.

I spun out of the craft table to have my picture taken with an instant camera and my photo was posted on the “Happy Camper Board”.  I love this idea.  Whenever someone at camp made an impression, said something that touched you, or did something you noticed you could go over to the table, grab a little card that said things like “You make me a happy camper” or “You’re a hoot” and write a message to that person and drop it in their envelop.  I wrote many over the 3.5 day event and I even received some myself!

It’s All About The Details

Immediately I had sensed something about this Maverick Event.  Recently, I had been named to the board of my local EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization) board as the learning chair. Learning chair is basically social chair and I’m in charge of putting on large events for our chapter.  This new position has made me both very aware and very critical of big events like this. Entrepreneurs are crazy accomplished people. They’ve seen a lot. They are hard to impress.

When I think about what was most impressive about Camp Maverick it’s not the speakers (they were crazy awesome), it wasn’t the camp (which was phenomenal), or the food (which was top notch), it was the details.

If there’s anything you take from this post and apply to your business, personal life, etc. it should be this:

It’s all about the details.

This stood out so much to me on this particular event that I’m thinking about using this — It’s all about the Details — as a rallying cry for my own companies. It’s a differentiator that I appreciate and that is truly felt.  A differentiation that creates an emotional connection and elevates this event from many others.

In addition to the examples I’ve already mentioned here’s another.  Getting people to mingle and create “collisions” with new people at events like this is tough.  During the opening night dinner Team Maverick had everyone switch where they were sitting at least three times.  This forced everyone to meet new people and you never knew who you were going to sit down and meet next.

Cameron Herold Photo: Maverick DNA

Cameron Herold Photo: Maverick DNA

On the second switch I found myself sitting next to Cameron Herold and another dude who was very passionate about what he didn’t like.  Cameron is a coach to top entrepreneurs and CEOs and was basically the headliner of the speakers at camp.  People pay some serious bucks to work with him directly or have him speak to their groups.  And here I was having dinner with him.

I highly recommend his book, Double Double, and if you get the chance to hear him speak or spend time with him – do it.

The passionate dude turned out to be Tucker Max – yep, that Tucker Max — who has gone all entrepreneur and is now CEO at Book in a Box (check it out). They help you write a book in 12 hours. Pretty cool! You never know who you’ll meet or sit across from at Camp Maverick.

Camp Life

The next three days we got down to business.  And lots of fun.  I don’t know if Yanik and Team Maverick ever use this quote, but it’s one of my favorites and sums up what I believe their philosophy to be when it comes to Maverick events:

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play….”

It was an action packed three days and to chronicle it all would turn into a short novel.  The video above really recaps the event well.  However, here are some of the takeaways from speakers I attended and activities that stood out to me:

Shelby Larson

Shelby from Ember Dragon and Content Divas spoke about how to understand Google search (in simple terms!) and that search is all about INTENTION.  She showed many examples of how the future of search is heading in this direction and if you’re not thinking about Google in this way you’re going to be left behind soon.  Big takeaway: if you understand this you can use your content to work for you in ways that will pin point the buyers you want, lower your overall Google search budget, and lower your cost to acquire a customer.

Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold was the keynote the first day.  Two things that were gold:

  1. When asked to speak at an event only agree if you can be the first speaker or speak the first day.  Cameron didn’t share this in his opening keynote but he did a few days later.  His reason — if you speak first, everyone knows who you are.  Then you can spend the rest of the event having people come to you.  I really found this to be genius and a great way to make the most of any event.
  2. Vivid Vision – Cameron has come up with a format and way of entrepreneurs and CEOs to paint their Vivid Vision for their company. It’s a great way to put down on paper where you see your company going but more importantly once you share it with your employees and the world everyone will know where you’re going.  No questions.  I plan on doing this as soon as I can find time.  Here a couple of examples from Cameron if you’re interested:

http://www.kimbrubeck.co/portfolio/gongshow/

http://www.kimbrubeck.co/portfolio/savingdinner/

http://www.kimbrubeck.co/portfolio/bluegrace/

The Wild Entrepreneur Emotional-Roller Coaster

On the second day Cameron spoke about the wild emotional roller-coaster that all entrepreneurs ride.  He walked us through the different emotional stages we all could recognize and relate to.  This was super powerful and the takeaway was gold.

As entrepreneurs we hit all the emotional stages which include highs and lows.  But, the important thing to realize is what stage you’re experiencing and that it’s just a stage.  Like all things you’ll get through it.  Don’t fight it, just ride it out. His book goes into more detail and of course if you can get him in person he’s very passionate about this topic.

Author ready for the Spirt Animal Party

Author ready for the Spirt Animal Party

Entrepreneurs + Costumes = Crazy Fun

Apparently, one staple of Maverick events are costume parties. We were alerted prior to camp that we need to bring a Spirit Animal and a Hippie Happy Hour costume.

It takes me a little courage to get dressed up but when I do it’s on!  Back to the idea of forced collisions and interaction — there’s something about costume parties that really lets the guard down and amps up the fun.  

Spirt Animal Ugurus! These were my cabin mates...

Spirt Animal Ugurus! These were my cabin mates…

Silent Disco

On the third night after dinner we made our way down to the lake where there were two large DJ booths. One light up in blue and the other in green.  Upon entering the area we were each handed a pair of wireless headphones.  The switch on the side would let you tune into whatever DJ you wanted.  It was hilariously awesome.  Everyone was grooving out to the tunes of their choice at the volume of their choice. Then if you removed your headphones it was completely silent.  Watching people boogying to no apparent music was entertaining and you could talk all you wanted without the music overpowering you.

I’ll be R&D’ing this one!

Green Gong Show

Maverick alerted campers prior to camp that there would be a talent show, aka the Green Gong Show.  I was curious as to what we’d be seeing.  I could not have been more impressed. Acts ranged from singing a Bjork song, some clever original songs, spoken word poetry, comedy, and an Eminem cover.  There were others, but those are the ones that I remember most.

Camp Games

Mornings through lunch were typically reserved for learning.  After lunch was for play.  Games included inflatable bubble soccer where players wear a giant bubble (see video).  There was also a traditional camp color war with several challenges. I’m sad to report I lost my leg of flip-cup that would have given our team the win.  Yellow did come in second place.  Slip n’ Slide kick-ball was another out of the box game that had players and spectators laughing hysterically.

Me No Phoney

"Me No Phoney" button

“Me No Phoney” button

Campers were encouraged to unplug and turn in their phones for the day.  I’ll admit while I wanted to do it the entire camp, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my phone.  However, on the last day, I checked in my phone and received a “Me No Phoney” button in exchange.  After my hands stopped trembling it was an amazing feeling to be without a phone in my pocket. I had several false grabs thinking my phone was vibrating only to realize I didn’t have it.  Leaving the distractions of an electronic device behind, I found myself focusing on the present and connecting with environment around me.  I think we could all take a lesson from this and leave our phones behind more often.

There were some perks to going “Me No Phoney” and I was rewarded with some silly string. Another thing I learned — silly string is really only fun for the person spraying it. No one likes to get hit with silly string (*ahem* Brent Weaver) which also makes it really fun for the person spraying it!

Journaling

Yanik Silver led a breakout on the topic of journaling.  Yanik is a prolific journaler and his personal journal is a wild combination of thought, creative exercise, original artwork, lists, business notes, ideas for the future, and who knows what else.  Yanik was quite brave and even passed around his journal with the request no one read too closely! Super cool.

I’ve long gone in and out of journaling and you may remember a post I did on sketchnoting. While Yanik’s session was only an hour I got so much from that I can’t begin to detail it all here.  

One of the very cool takeaways was that even though your journal is serious don’t take it too seriously.  Let your kids do some art in the middle — you never know what serendipitously might come up or match down the road. 

Letting my 12yr old son get artistic in my new journal

Letting my 12yr old son get artistic in my new journal

Another big takeaway was that your thoughts are valuable — don’t skimp on your journal.  Yanik is very particular and likes a specific fine leather cover with specific artist quality paper. I too think that’s pretty awesome but after hearing his thoughts I went on a search for a really good journal at a good price.  I discovered a brand called Leuchtturm1917 for about $20 on Amazon or your local fine stationery store.  Paper quality is good, there’s a pocket in the back for business cards and stuff, I really like the blank table of contents and pre-numbered pages, and they include spine labels for when you’re done and want to label your journal on the bookshelf. The only shortcoming I’ve found so far is the elastic band that goes around the book seems to get stretched out.  So it’s almost the perfect journal.

Here are a couple of journaling prompts from Yanik to get you writing:

  • Write your bucket list
  • Write yourself a love letter (this is harder than you might think)
  • Journal what you’re grateful for
  • Make a list of what’s going really well
  • What would my 11 year old self tell me?
  • What would I do if money wasn’t a consideration?
  • If I knew THE answer, what would  it be? (great when struggling with a question)
  • What do I want to let go of?
  • Pull a random book off the bookshelf, open to a page and journal based on that page

Note from Yanik after publishing this post: “BTW – the journal piece you wrote ’11 year-old self’ instead of 111-year old self. I like 11-year old self too. I’m going to use that. ;)”

Other cool journal ideas:

  • Write ahead to your future self
  • Draw ahead — Yanik cites many examples where he’s journaling about something heavy and comes to a drawing he did way ahead and often finds a curious serendipity between what’s on his mind and the future drawing.

Evolved Enterprise

Yanik also gave a general session talk titled: Evolved Enterprise: Rediscovering the Path to Your Greatest Work and Falling Back in Love with Your Business…Over and Over Again.

The main theme of this talk is that business has to be more than just making money.  That the best businesses make money AND give back to their community or the world.  Yanik truly lives this as his Maverick 1000 retreats are built around a 3x model: One day of learning, One day of adventure, and One day of giving back.

From Yanik’s website he describes the Evolved Enterprise:

The Evolved Enterprise™ is a way to go from simply a transactional business to a transformational one and even a transcending business.

It’s about creating a venture that authentically comes straight from your true essence, wrapped around a meaningful Cause (your WHY or impact) and then develops the Community, Culture and Creation itself.

Yanik has written a book on the topic to be released soon. I have a pre-release copy that I plan on reading and will review in a separate post.

Houdini Skills

Jason Hanson, an ex-CIA officer turned kidnapping expert, put on an awesome interactive session teaching us how to escape from duct tape, zip ties, and rope in the unfortunate event we should find ourselves kidnapped!  The session was full of laughs and next time you see me at a party ask me to show you how I can escape. It makes me feel cool.

Jason Hanson teaching kidnap escape tactics

Jason Hanson teaching kidnap escape tactics

R & D – Rip-Off and Duplicate

Cameron Herold shared that his grandfather used to tell him that “R&D” stood for Rip-Off and Duplicate.  I’ve heard this before so it wasn’t new, but it did remind me that the best entrepreneurs look at what’s working and find ways to duplicate it for their own benefit.

The best compliment I can give to Yanik and his team is that at almost every activity I was thinking to myself, what a great idea.  I have to do this when I get home. I need to bring this to my business, to my entrepreneurial group, to my family parties, etc.

So if at one of my next events you see a silent disco, a talent show, or Me No Phoney check in stations you know where I got the idea!

Just Say “Yes!”

Andy Nulman is an accomplished entrepreneur who gave a very authentic talk about the power of surprise. He said a lot of great things but looking at my notes these were the gems:

“Just say “yes”!  If you say no, nothing is going to happen.”  Think about that one. Simple but profound. Who want’s nothing to happen? Not me.

“Every niche on the internet is massive”

”When people don’t believe (in you or your idea), Believe!”

The concept of the “idea genie” — The idea will come to you. Don’t go searching for the idea. Open yourself to possibility and the idea will appear via the idea genie.

There is No Ceiling

IMG_0408Hearing a fellow camper say: “Before I joined Maverick I thought about raising the bar, raising the ceiling.  Now, as a Maverick, there is no ceiling!”  I couldn’t agree more. What an inspiring way to view the world.  I think most of us all had that view when we were younger but as we go through life and bump into some of the realities we start to box ourselves back in.  Put perceived limitations on what we think we can and can’t do.

Coming out of Camp Maverick, I felt inspired, motivated, empowered, and most of all, I felt that there is no ceiling.  My time at Camp Maverick reminded me that true explorers have no maps.  You can read a post I wrote on that topic here.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

All in all, the whole experience was like drinking from a fire hose. However, I’m happy to report that the take-aways and retention were plentiful.

Nervous No More

Looking back at that first day on the bus I can’t believe I was so nervous. Like many of the best things that have happened to me in life – when I get out of my comfort zone and try news things with new people amazing connections and experiences abound.  My fellow campers and I are bound by this experience.  Even if we really didn’t talk much and someone reaches out to me for a favor with the intro of “We were at Camp Maverick together….”, I’m there to help.  Camp Maverick is an instant qualifier. I know what you’re about. I know you’re a kindred spirit. That we think alike. And that you’re going to get me excited and interested in whatever you’re doing.  To all my fellow campers out there – thank you for sharing and being a part of my camp experience. I’m a better person and entrepreneur thanks to you.

Serenity by the lake

Serenity by the lake

I’ve already put down my deposit to attend next year’s Camp Maverick event.  If you’re interested in attending next year you can learn more HERE. In case you’re wondering I am not affiliated with Maverick — I’m not a member and I don’t get anything for recommending them. This is not an affiliate link — it’s just the word of a newly converted fan trying to spread a little of what Maverick’s call the “green pill”.

If you’re going to Camp Maverick 2016 or have any questions drop me a message and we can chat about it.  Feel free to ask questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer in a timely manner.
 You can always send us a message via our contact form or email me directly at: mgutman at wildstory dot com  Thanks for reading!