I thought the presentation was real and relatable. The concepts were presented in a way that made them feel accessible. It wasn’t nuts & bolts… It was more cerebral and more elegant a presentation. I loved the focus on relationship and human interaction. I could go on and on. My brain is buzzing.
— Stephanie Corfee
Last week, I finally — finally — hosted my first live event: The Art of Earning LIVE. Carrie and I had been planning it since August. Big decisions here, little details there: last week, it all came together.
In the first teaching session, one of the questions I posed to attendees was:
“How are you making your customers richer?”
Not just in terms money, of course, but overall wealth. Are you enabling them to live healthier lives? Are you creating stronger connections between them & those they love? Are you imparting knowledge that grows their stores of intellectual wealth?
It’s a question I’ve asked here before.
The possibilities are endless. There are so many ways to make our customers richer, to add real value to their lives. But it’s something we think very little about. It’s not just about money but about enabling more connected, more engaged, more meaningful lives.
Instead, we try to sell them on personal transformation (nope, no one believes you can buy that). Or we just keep our nose to the grindstone, working on what we’re working ON (not towards), and try to sell something.
Lesson: nothing is an easy sell except for the easy-as-1-2-3 things you don’t want to be working on.
Don’t get me wrong. An easy sell is great. That product that you know would be easy-as-1-2-3 for both you & your client is probably a great investment in your time. It’s probably a great buy for your customer.
But how long is easy-as-1-2-3 going to keep you interested?
Is easy-as-1-2-3 your greatest work?
What does this have to do with The Art of Earning LIVE?
It was a hard sell.
Let me say that again: it was a hard sell.
The people I planned it with said, “Oh my goodness! This is amazing! People will be fumbling over themselves to buy it!”
When the sales didn’t roll in right away, we thought about the variables: price, location, experience, curriculum, marketing… we made some pretty serious pivots. We changed our approach. We used contingency plans. We brought in extra help.
But in the end, I stayed true to my three touchpoints of You Economy business — the entire reason I planned a live event to begin with — and crafted an event that is already changing businesses in big ways. The Art of Earning LIVE was my greatest experiment, the biggest test of my entrepreneurial hypothesis, to date.
If, in the 21st century, people are looking for commercial exchange that delivers experience, connection, and meaning, I will deliver a product that encompasses all those things:
1) Experience: I wanted to create a true experience, from start to finish for those involved. I wanted them to feel pampered, supported, valuable.
2) Connection: I wanted those in attendance to become connected to each other. I wanted them to feel how their ideas, actions, and enthusiasm were inherently tied to every other person in the room. I wanted them to know that there were other people who cared about their success. I wanted them to reconnect to their own immanent value by seeing the value immanent in others.
3) Meaning: Perhaps most difficult to understand, I wanted people to know abundance. Attending The Art of Earning LIVE meant that they were a part of my abundance, celebrating their own abundance, and encouraging others in their abundance. Being there meant they were part of a growing movement of meaning-driven entrepreneurship.
I’m beyond proud to say that we accomplished these goals. Everyone who came to Philly – and even those who attended from home – expressed the sense of experience, connection, and meaning as I described.
We made our customers richer by providing a vessel for a supportive experience, personal connection, and abundant meaning.
Selling these ideas isn’t always easy. But that doesn’t negate their importance, their ability to transform, their capacity for long-lasting results.
It’s not that the value of connection, meaning, and experience is in question – when has it even been? – but it does need to be proven that they can be found in a commercial transaction.
This event was my attempt to prove that connection, experience, and meaning can be delivered on a grand scale. It was my boldest experiment to date. I’d say it was successful.
With each product I build, package I construct, or event I devise, the proof builds. Each time the proof builds, I’m able to further my mission and stretch towards my ambition.
Each new level, new offering, new pitch, there is a new element of uncertainty, a greater need for proof before purchase. This isn’t to be feared but embraced.
No, The Art of Earning LIVE wasn’t an easy sell. The next thing (and the next thing, and the next thing…) won’t be either.
My business is no longer on a slow & steady climb, it’s at the foot of the cliff face.
Will you embrace the uncertainty of the next level? Of gathering proof for your ideas & ambition? Will you embrace the hard sell but do everything in your power to move the product?
Or will you settle for the low hanging fruit?