I just returned yesterday from Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery event in West Palm Beach, Florida. This conference was one of the top three I have ever attended. It was also the most intense—twelve to fifteen hours a day for five days straight with only one break per day.
The reason for this is that Tony believes in immersive training. At the beginning of the conference, he explained why. “How many of you took two or more years of a foreign language in high school or college?” Nearly every hand in the audience went up.
He then asked, “How many of you remember enough to speak more than a sentence or two?” Everyone laughed and only a few hands went up.
“That’s right. That’s why when the U.S. Military or State Department wants to train someone in a foreign language, they use immersive training. That’s what we are going to do here.”
Though I have been to several of Tony’s events (“Unleashing the Power Within” twice, “Life Mastery,” and “Wealth Mastery”), I went to Business Mastery at the invitation of two of my sons-in-law, Chris and Shawn. We were joined by almost one thousand people from thirty-eight different countries.
Tony is by far the best speaker I have ever heard. He is insightful, direct but compassionate, and, yes, highly motivational. He gets you to believe that anything is possible. His language is often coarse (one thing I wish he would reconsider), but you never doubt his commitment to you and your success.
And for the record, he is not one of those think-it-and-it-will-happen-to-you guys. While he does believe in the power of our stories and beliefs, he knows our dreams will not come true without hard work, discipline, and persistence.
Tony is particularly effective in his one-on-one interventions with audience volunteers. Over and over again, we watched him help people get unstuck, either in their thinking or their emotions, from things that have dogged them for years. His skill in doing this is stunning—and inspiring.
The premise behind the Business Mastery course is that business is a spiritual pursuit. Your business will not grow unless you grow as a person. If you want to lead others, you have to lead yourself first.
Or to say it another way, “The biggest chokehold on a business is the psychology and skill set of the owner.” If you can change that, you can change your business.
Though Tony was the dominant speaker—often speaking for several hours at a time—he was not the only one. We also heard from several others, including Keith Cunningham (my personal favorite just behind Tony), Guy Kawasaki, David Meerman Scott, Cody Foster, and Josh Jenkins-Robbins, Tony’s son.
I took pages and pages of notes. In reviewing them on the plane back, I circled several take-aways:
- It is not the facts that make you miserable; it is your perception of the facts.
- We are each multiple personalities. We can shift and manifest the personality that would best achieve the outcome we are after in any given situation.
- Life is not happening to you, it is happening for you.
- As a business owner, you are either an artist, a manager, or an entrepreneur. It’s critical that you know your basic orientation.
- You don’t have to solve all your business problems at first. In fact, you’ll go broke if you try.
- Constant innovation will kill you. You don’t need more innovation, you need strategic innovation.
- When people get stuck, it is often because they are playing a game of either/or. That’s a dilemma. If you think you only have one choice, it feels like a demand. If you have two choices, it’s a dilemma. But there’s always a third choice. Realizing this is what it takes to get unstuck.
- Most dreams die on the tyranny of how. The how will show up when you get clear on what you want. Focus first on what you want without regard to how you will make it happen.
- Proximity is power. Find a way to get close to the people who can help you in your life and business. Be intentional about your mentors and your peer group.
- It’s never about your resources; it’s about your resourcefulness. If you are resourceful, you will acquire the resources.
- Business is a game. Games have rules. There are winners and losers. To win, you must know the rules and the language.
- The financial goal of business is not to get rich. The goal is to get rich and stay that way. (You can get rich by being lucky, but you can’t stay rich by being lucky.)
- You can’t create sustainable success in business by becoming a better operator. Great business operators get tired. Great business owners get rich. [Note: This might lead you to believe the seminar was all about money. It wasn’t. That is just one aspect of success.]
- People always act on the basis of what they believe. If you want to change their actions (or your own) you have to change their beliefs.
At the end of the conference, Tony challenged us to create an Implementation Plan with our top three-to-five must-do actions. I came up with three actions I need to take now.
- Say No to additional business opportunities this year.
This is the year to build my foundation. Last year, my business revenue and profits tripled. I can’t sustain this kind of growth without having a solid foundation. Though I already have several new products in the pipeline, this is my year to say No to additional opportunities and focus on building the infrastructure that will support future growth.
- Hire a Chief Financial Officer by March 1, 2014.
You can’t play the game without a scoreboard. I need to ensure I am measuring the right things, so I can better manage and improve them. While I am good with numbers, I don’t have the time to focus on this like I should and lead the company. I need a financial partner to work with me.
- Setup a recurring weekly meeting with my team to work on the business.
We are often so busy working in the business that we don’t have time to work on the business. The plan is to cover one of the “7 Forces of Business Mastery” each week, rotating through each of them a total of seven times during the year.
There was so much more. This only scratches the surface of what I learned. Truly, this conference was a gift to me at this time in my career.
If you are serious about taking your business to the next level, I highly recommend you attend Business Mastery. It’s not cheap and the commitment is substantial. But it’s a whole lot less expensive than learning these lessons on your own.