TL;DR – If you just wanna see some of the slides from my class on getting and keeping clients and customers, scroll on down. For the slightly more daring, read on.
Greetings from Driftwood, Texas, in the hill country just outside Austin. I’m writing this to you in a tower guarded by lions.
The past three days, had you passed by the tower but—fearing lions—avoided entry yourself, you might have simply seen business owners from across North America learning how to get and keep clients and customers.
It would have made me sad, though, to think you feared those lions, or worse, saw only statues because then we would know you are not in the business of adventures.
You would have recognized the names of a few students or at least their companies… household names and bestselling authors… but here, in this special place, they sit side-by-side as students with those whose names you know not yet. Our code keeps us all from naming names. Here, we are all students. Here, we are all friends. Here, we are all wizards. To miss this idea is to miss the point entirely.
Fear not. There’s still hope for you.
Once inside the tower, you’ll learn not from the Zig Ziglars or Jeffrey Gitomers or the Tony Robbinseses, but from the saints and poets, the neuroscientists and child psychologists, the teachers, preachers, and other sordid windmill tilters who see big ideas in the littlest of things in everyday life.
Mostly, though, we teach you to believe God already put everything inside you that you need to be amazing… IF (and it’s a Texas-sized “if”) you’re willing to follow three rules:
- Throw out conventional wisdom (which is typically for more convention than actual wisdom) and Bravely disregard best practices (which if followed, by their very definition, can only possibly lead to you being like everyone else).
- Do the research. Do the work. Believe in the compounding wonder of exponential little bits of progress.
- Shimmy out to the skinny end of the branch where the wobbles make your throat clench and your armpitters itch, but you can see the world differently than you’ve ever seen it before.
Some call it madness. We call it flying.
On Day 1, I showed the students why most mission and vision statements were so terrible, and also why they never needed one but needed something much, much deeper if they wanted to get and keep clients and customers. With the exception of two, the questions I gave them to begin this journey didn’t come from business leaders.
Many of them, they’ve heard before, but never for this purpose or this context. Isn’t that what creativity is: Looking at old things in new ways? In a moment, I’m going to share a few of those questions with you, too. What you do with them is entirely up to you. WARNING: It might seem kinda weird to you.
On Day 2, I shared a simple story about a complicated journey that led me to understand everything I thought I knew about communication was wrong. It took a young man with a communications “disorder” (normies call it that) to open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to true connection.
I showed them there are many different kinds of minds and what a wonderful thing that is. Here’s what I shared with them. WARNING: It might seem kinda weird to you.
This morning, I got to introduce the class to one of my heroes. To lion-fearing normie muggles, Richard D. Grant, Jr. Ph.D. is a consulting psychologist who has helped the largest companies and trickiest humans all over the world.
But… to us… on occasion, in this magical tower in the hill country outside Austin, Texas, Mr. Rogers springs back to life to teach the rebels and misfits, the square pegs and outsiders of business about… themselves… and serving instead of selling… and kindness… and leading with love.
I hope someday you’ll come to Austin and meet him yourself. Look to the hill country outside Austin. You’ll see crazy successful business owners and courageous entrepreneurs walking into a tower and, always by its side, a wedding chapel. In the shadows of dawn, they look like a pair in search of adventure.
Oh, and PS – In addition to Dr. Grant and me, our third instructor has an extraordinary TED talk about expectations, experiences, and the placebo effect. I am thankful Ray Seggern is my colleague. I’m even more thankful he is my friend.