Now in the “real” world, if I invite people out to dinner, I usually offer to pay… not the other way around. This is true of some of the most successful people I’ve met too. They want people outside the circle as that’s where growth comes from. But the wacky IM world works in reverse apparently, got to keep things inside “the family”.
But consider this a ” buy your favorite rock star a drink, and get to party with the them” hazing ritual. If you have something of value to bring, some good jokes/stories, AND you believe you can pull a JV that works out with these guys, $1-2K for 2 nights dinner is chump change. I’d say go, it might change your life, as has every conference I’ve attended even when I didn’t know why I was going (and still often don’t). I can say that strange amazing unpredictable things happen, but mostly OUTSIDE the conference…especially when it’s still going on.
Logistically the odds of getting these bonified IM gurus (and some false profit..er prophets) in the same place that you can actually talk to them is 1-2 times a year rare if ever, and when having fun and buzzed they are very candid and many will talk about anything you’ll never hear in a product. You get to see them off stage/camera and who are real and who are posing. While I have no doubt that next June somebody will likely find another reason to put on a event at the Hard Rock, but I’m reasonably confident it won’t be Magic Bullet put on by Amish and Jay, for reasons they will probably announce at the event.
If you can’t go it’s not the end of the world, it’s not impossible to talk to many of these people at any other time than the conference, when the groupies are after them…if you have something of value to bring to them.
However a more pragmatic question as to the whether or not it’s a good idea to spend the cash, is after the end of a long day or two or 3 of conferences, with libations (doesn’t take that many $1K attendees to keep it flowing all night), the creme de la creme of the IM mafia in town only for a few days…away from parental and family obligations…, if anybody is going to not be sh*tfaced enough to remember either of the nights or who you are ..or if you’ll remember anything either 😀
Going to these events tend to be sort of a high speed blur, even when fully awake+ caffeinated.
I got asked today by Christian (aka PPCNinja) about what I thought of the Magic Bullet Conference in San Diego this last weekend.
It’s been so busy this week that I haven’t really had time to think about it. This video (shown in the opening part) does convey the feel of it. Well polished, with So Cal hip hop flare.
Overview of the Magic Bullet Seminar San Deigo
It was my first major affiliate conference so had nothing to compare it to.
These sorts of events have a lot of elements to it. The content presented, the world class speakers with their various niches, the various gurus who show up to see them. The people of like minds who have spent $2k to use the software, live and breathe this stuff,
Personally It was a very worthwhile event. I enjoyed most all of it, except got about 13 hours of sleep over the days, and had to use an alarm clock, not used to that… but totally worth it
There could have been no talks and it still would have been worthwhile. I met SOO many people which I doubt I could ever meet on the web. The material I learned gave a good balance of stuff I can use right now and more importantly where some of the brightest minds see the industry -and us with it- are going.
The Magic Bullet Seminar Speakers and Material
The seminar covered the arc of from the very basics, to stuff so advanced you needed an NDA to hear about it. There were no punches really held back on some black hat sort of material that become necessary evils in parts of the game to succeed.
They started with a heaping of mindset, which bordered on new agey at times..clearly the Mind Movies are working. I found this interesting becuase it was not money focused, and also because for the creative and techy types I normally hang with, there is an intrinsic force mindset is almost never the issue. Quite the opposite, creative types, have no problem with drive it’s the pragmatics of doing the work which isn’t creative and fun.
Part of the intial arguments was just being “present” moment by moment. Here I also had a disconnect. I’m rarely present. I’d rather be thinking of where I’m going next, the possibilities, and my goals. Especially when I’m driving for 3hours stuck in traffic with 3 hours of sleep.
Here’s a good story and a snapshot into my life.
The Magic Bullet Seminar started on a Friday early, and went late Saturday (Party!). I live in Los Angeles and had planned on getting down to San Diego the night before as the hostel I stay at was a block away from the Hard Rock cafe. I like hostels as they are cheap, and I meet interesting people there. I don’t really understand spending $200/night at these sorts of events, if you’re not planning on being in the room at all.
Late night and bad morning
Anyway, I have been trying to start up 2 new businesses in the last couple weeks, one the Local Business on Web, and I had promised a demo video and proposition to my first prospect. The video was well done given I started on it finished it in about 3 hours all the way from script,. slides, image research and voice over. I got done with that about 2am.
My other business is focused on amazon affiliate stuff and I have been in an excellent course from by SEO “free traffic” Keith Baxter who is one of my most favorite gurus. He was gave a presentation at the Magic Bullet seminar and gave a preview that afternoon on “stealth traffic system” or “self contained traffic system” finally understanding the power of his approach involving WordPress MU, I had a hard time not imagining the possibilities. I gave him some notes on his preview and he really seemed to like the changes I suggested.
3 hours came quickly. My roommate as cool and as absolutely brilliant as he is, is also crazy (as in institutionalized 2 times), and as I was trying to get out the door, asked if he could use my video camera and lighting gear..perfect timing. Grrr.
Getting to my car I find a parking ticket and then my car wouldn’t start initially and I was near out of gas.
I finally get on the road and about midway through Orange County I hit the sea of red lights of morning rush hour.
Amazingly none of that registered on my radar!
precisely as I wasn’t present. I was buoyed by the excited about the Seminar and meeting some people live I have grown to like, the mental freedom from completed many major milestones with a free slate the next few days and the euphoria of learning a powerful traffic source that I could use in any of my businesses. There was a whirlwind of what I wanted, being replayed over an over again blinding me.
During the open mic, they got a question about this from a guy who has the goal of making 50K a month and can’t really stay present.
I understood completely, and I gave him my approach,
A head full of info so much that you can’t decide isn’t always a bad thing.
I can’t tell you how many times that i’ve done something counter intuitive only to get there and find what something I wasn’t intending to do but needed to do in the first place
so often I trust my intuition.
In the end as long as you are moving forward to your goals, at a reasonable rate, then you win sooner or later!
I think of it like so, if you’re willing to sacrifice a few months or years to get freedom for the rest of your life, it’s okay if you don’t fully remember every waking moment of every day.
basically the first part was put by Amish eloquently: “Live it, breath it, see it, smell it, taste it, shit it“, to be get ahead of the average you have to be obsessed about this stuff.
They also pointed out that the best things happen offline. So get off your ass and go to live events. Networking and in particular the Media Buying is largely a negotiation game. The sales staff wants money, if they don’t know you they’ll charge you sucker tax/retail. If they like you the will charge wholesale…or even give you free.
I admit that negotiation isn’t what I consider fun. I was raised in a small family where bickering and bartering wasn’t a part of the culture. As an engineer I don’t think that way as Engineering frequently involves hard costs and hard constraints (e.g. budget bridges don’t stand up long) isn’t negotiable.
Business Mindset was next, primarily setting Smart goals
S = specific (e.g. having a campaign of $25/day each week, test 3 new offers each day, setup one campaign on TrafficVance and Yahoo every day)
M = measurable
A = achievable (obviously if your not signed up for TrafficVance that’s not possible)
R = realistic (no pink unicorns)
T = time for completion (e.g. when will you be done)
Here again I found myself disagreeing. Realistic? Fuck that. You need to have compelling goals to get you past all the shit that life can and will throw in your way. Entrepreneurs in particular have to deal with moving mountains and occasionally having them fall on top on you. It’s only after the price for freedom has been paid that a second life begins, one of immense possibility.
I’ve often remarked that being in business feels alot like a video game. Just when I think I’ve won the level, I was tired at step 8 of 10, and wasted at step 9, and I make it to step 10, some other big boss comes up on the horizon and I have to dig in even deeper to go to step 11. It’s only because I know that a few years in this game can fundamentally reshape every aspect of my life. Realistically what other options do you have to make such massive passive income and time, location freedom as net connected jobs?
Frank Kern – “Bad Muthafucker ” but retiring from IM.
This was a fun presentation. Frank could easily be a cult leader or a televangelist. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him on TV in the near future, if I actually owned a TV.
He said he was given the options of talking on 1) weed ‘n bitches 2) fancy cars 3) launches, but instead he decided to come clean and kinda say good bye to the IM world.
Some of his advice
“Thou Shalt Not Fuck Around”
“Don’t be Pussy” – e.g. if Adwords bans you get another account.
Setup your life so that you must succeed…if you fail you’re fucked. Which is exactly what happened to Frank quitting his credit card business, and when moving to La Jolla, having a $30K/mo morgage payment!
That was just part one of day 1 and my hands are getting tired so I’m going to wrap it up for now with a post I created earlier.
To summarize the affiliate side there was TONS of useful information. Lots of stuff I haven’t been exposed to, e.g. main stream double dipping, different pages for google bot and users. Going anonymous.
Matt’s Hayward and Matt Hill’s presentations were worth the price of admission. They are actually closer to the wavelength I operate on.
I feel like I’m name dropping, but really it was a small event 500 people of high quality people (think they had to spend $2K at the minimum to get in)
Many of the gurus live in San Diego and Jay and Amish are well connected to them. It started over bagels at breakfast on Friday and then went to the day after the late night party on Saturday night. It’s hard to throw a stick and NOT hit somebody important.
Here’s a list of some of the people I got to talk with.
Jason Moffatt – he was only there to see Frank as far as I know. We’re talking about getting him a surfing animation for himself.
Trey Smith(totally wanted to hear about the latest pranks planned…especially on John Reese)
Andy Jenkins (I got in on Video Boss and ran into him in the hall to tell him about some of the results I’ve gotten with Video Boss) and then later impromptu speaking lessons for talking to fast.
Keith Baxter – he’s one of my favorite “Gurus”, and first time meeting him live. I got a total kick out of him almost copying verbatim the suggestions I made on his presentation, and him even thanking me. I still can’t believe he used some of the gags I put in, intending to be goofy e.g. “the only thing I’ll be pitching here is baseballs”.. I’m actually working right now on getting his MU network in place, creating some blog builder tools to automate the process, of keyword ->silo-> blog network .very very excited.
Matt Trainer – he and I have similar backgrounds, and connected about me possibly helping him get his “Oh Shit” project scalable on the web.
John Jonas. – he and I disagree on several areas in outsourcing (I run a team of 7 for years and have had poor luck with my philopino fulltimers) but he gave a very rallying presentation and more people need to know about the option, outsourcing is key to my success. From talking to him now, I at least know more about why we disagree, and it could be that out of the 9 million philipinos, the 4 that I’ve hired and the 3 that I’ve fired doing my damndest just were bad apples. What’s odd is that I have so much outsourcing experience and such good rapport and productivity with my other teams I have had a hard time understanding what went wrong.
Jonathan Van Clute – he and I met over a year ago at Perry and Ryan’s conference. He’s a fun techy, even if he overcomplicates tracking pixels 🙂 Sitting next to Jon, at the hard rock party, I ended up meeting Ricky the CTO of keyword country and ended up geeking out about high end web scalability. Not often I run into software architects.
Eric (E2) on the MBS, very smart kid! and what an amazing position he is in to be have so much at so young, I really am looking forward to getting his presentation on video as he went so fast I couldn’t keep up with my meticulous notetaking, and also seeing what he does.
Also what impressed me is he actually sought me out after the event, gave me personal email to apology from the Magic Bullet crew about the multiple Andy Jenkins interruptions when I asked that question during the speaker Q+A. I got a similar sentiment from Matt Trainer. While ‘inconsiderate” I didn’t realize people felt so strongly about it.
Royce – the guy running the cameras crew. Been looking ahead at putting together an event in the next year, and turns out he’s in LA not far from me. FYI his crew created that cool opening MTV’esque video of Jay and Amish. I would have sworn that Frank’s video guy did it.
One of 3 or 10 or so affilates on CJ and Yahoo(?). I didn’t get his name as we were both pretty buzzed Thankfully I wasn’t so buzzed that when he left and I discovered his iphone on the bench I was able to run after him (through the crowd, jumping over security lines which got me scolded by security) and get it back to him, as I never got his full name so wouldn’t be able to find him and without his phone he might be hard to call.
Plus about a dozen other from all over the world. 2 From London, one from Germany. Australia, several in the US.
I have several of these people email addresses, I wonder if that would have happened if I hadn’t gone.
What’s possibly even amazing is I’m pretty introverted I rarely talk to anybody but close friends. I really had to go out of my comfort zone to talk so much. But isn’t that always where success lives? outside the comfort zone?
Exposing the seedy underbelly of the internet marketing world + Studying hard, and taking notes so you don’t have to.