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Planning Your Must Attend Events
In this subject, I want to talk a little about how to avoid the constant bombardments. This is very easy to do. People get overwhelmed all the time. If you’re anywhere close to me and I know you’re probably getting a ton of emails and a ton of posts. When you’ve been marketing or posting yourself out there, especially on LinkedIn or other groups, I’m sure you’re bombarded with a lot of distractions like, “Here’s the event. Here’s my webinar. Here’s the conference. Come to this thing. Come to that thing.” It can be distracting. It can keep you from having a lot of success in your business. Especially when you start adding in all the Facebook groups and all the meetup groups and things like that. Your email is bombarded. Sometimes you want the noise to stop, especially when you’re trying to be focused. You don’t want the outside distractions, but it’s very easy to get distracted by outside influences. We can all agree with that. I have enough coming at me I’m sure you all do as well. What I thought I would do is spend a little time on this episode talking about some of the ways to help you slice through the distractions to find things that make sense for you and things that don’t make sense.
First things first, you have to be focused on something. You’ve got to be focused on probably one thing at the most. If you’re one of these people who love to go to every type of training, every time of workshop or all across the country and different things, you’re never going to achieve success. Flat out, you’re never going to find success. This goes back to my background when I first got into real estate investing. I was fortunate enough to go and attend a lot of events as a vendor where I was getting business from my mortgage company. We were traveling every other weekend to a different a convention, especially the Ron LeGrand Convention series where it would be anywhere from 500 to 1,500 people at an event. That was our one focus is going as a mortgage company.
I would see people signing up for the Master’s program that Ron has provided, which would be like eight workshops over eight educators. Once you went through, you’ve got your Masters in real estate. I have met different speakers along the way. If you signed up for this package, you’ve got all these workshops. As I started coaching with people working with other investors, I would see people like, “I’d spend time with them. I’ve got to go. I can’t even stay on Friday because I’ve got to go to this other workshop. We’re going to go to this workshop on trust. I’m going to this workshop on flipping or this workshop on wholesaling. This workshop on notes or this workshop in asset protection.” Workshop on how to use my IRA. First and foremost, education is always a great thing. That’s my first caveat.
Use Your Calendar
Secondly, if the stuff that you’re learning on is not helping you immediately with what you’re trying to get focused on, it’s only going to defer your success. In the book, Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill, he talks about how the devil loves to distract those that are successful and caused us to drift. We all drift. Everybody drifts. I’m guilty of it. I guarantee Steve Jobs was guilty of it. Everybody’s guilty of drifting from it at some point. It is what it is. The more you can be focused and the less that you drift, the more positive things are going to happen. The more you can work on things taking place. I drift from time to time. There are things I get more excited about the podcast. I get more excited about the events. We drift. My biggest goal is I try to use my calendar to help me stay focused on my goals, my KPIs, my annual goals. What I want to accomplish in front of me as that carrot dangled in front of me to keep me going the right direction.
Years ago, I remember this conversation in late 2009. I was doing a variety of other things. I was going to some Meetup groups, trying to go to workshops. I finally had to go, “Calgon take it away. Save me from all this distraction,” because I was doing everything else besides finding success. One big thing that I focused on I said, “Let me do this one thing and let me stay focused.” I started a challenge. I started a blog, it was called $100,000 in 100 days. My channels make $100,000 for 100 days. I got so busy being focused on that one thing. Going and doing real estate, going and looking at notes. Going and making offers on things and focus on it. I wrote up my success or what I focused on my good, the bad, the ugly, and my wins, my losses at the end of each day in a little blog or a video blog and started posting. Every day was a new day, day one, day 50. By the time I got to day 45, I was so busy with being bombarded with investors wanting to work with me or deals. I did not have time to do the blogging. It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done. What’s funny is that helped me stay focused on what I needed to get done.
Choose Your Event
I know at that point I was divorced, no kids. I had a great call with Melanie Jacobs, I have to give her and Phil a lot of great credit. We’ve been closing her first deal, calling me for questions, call me for coaching, always glad to do that. She was like, “Scott, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with all these different things that are popping. All these events and that we feel like we have to go to. We’re all into it.” I was like, “Here are the events you need to go to and what else were you going?” “We went to this. I went to that.” I said, “Do yourself a favor. If you’re gung-ho one thing, stick that one thing. Don’t add twenty million things or don’t look at your schedule and add so many other things.” I’ve always been a big advocate of going to your local real estate club. I still think that’s a valuable aspect to go into your local REO meetings and networking with your local audience. That’s phenomenal. In some parts of the country, you could go to a different Meetup group every night like in Houston or Dallas. There’s a Meetup going on almost every day of the week.
Here’s what I would highly recommend that you do. Go to one thing a week, one Meetup a week, preferably the evening Meetup are going to be the more valuable ones for you versus the day. The reason why I hate going to lunch Meetups is that it takes so much time out of your day. It takes you time traveling there. It takes you hanging out there for an hour, hour and a half, and then you’ve got a half hour afterwards. Nothing ever ends. At least a two, two and a half hour part of your day that gets shot. The thing you got to realize is you’ve got to make sure you get the most out of what you’re going to. One of the things that we like to do is we have our calendar here. It’s going along and figuring out what we’re doing, what we’re going to do this year because there are a lot of events we get invited to. We get invited to Bob Zachmeier who had a great event in Tucson with his event. We were planning on going into it, but we were going to do different events.
What you have to start doing is you start growing, you have to start peeling back the other things that you go to. Start unsubscribing from things. I hate to say this, but you have to start managing your schedule because you’re going to be busy focused on doing deals. They’re going to Meetup groups every night or every day, you’re not getting any time to put any of what you’re learning into action. That’s the biggest thing. You’re paying money to go to a workshop, you come home and you don’t take action on what you learn. You pretty much wasted the weekend or wasted that money and that time. That’s the biggest tragedy. I’m very particular about things that I go to. I want to make sure it’s worth. One, this one is worth my time to go and learn something that’s going to be impactful on my business now. Two, I’ll be surrounded with people that I want to be surrounded with. People who are going to help me take my business to the next level. Over time, those events are going to change for you.
When I first started off in the note business, I was going to a lot of LeGrand events. I was also going to a lot of local up groups. I wasn’t going to any of the conferences. This is back of the time when there were only two conferences annually for the most part. You had a Paper Source put on by Will Mencarow. You had to NoteWorthy event out in Vegas put on by Jack Sternberg back in the day. Both were good events. At the time, Paper Source was a smaller event, maybe 200 people at the peak. Noteworthy was 800 people. NoteWorthy would change. They would either have a great content one year or do a pitch festival a little bit. Pitchfests aren’t bad because there are still plenty of people there. You can make it worth your time in networking, talking, to pick one or two things in and go from there. Paper Source focus on seconds, owner financing. It’s evolved. NoteWorthy has declined and gone away. Paper Source has grown. There are 400, 500 people at it.
You have Note CAMP that is what we do over the last years this popped up. Note CAMP is just under a month out November 15th to the 18th. You can go to NoteCamp.live. Get your tickets for $399. Three and a half days of content, actions, marketing and proper generating nuggets for you. That’s been a great event for people to go to because they don’t have to travel. They can do it online. They can do it in the comfort of their home. It’s recorded. We throw it on a podcast, which has about 10,000 downloads for a special event. Eddie Speed has popped up. Bob Reid passed on talking about the Note Expo and he puts out a good event that’s coming up November 2nd and 3rd. There are 200, 400, 500 people and a bunch of vendors. The biggest thing is when you look at your calendar, you could go to something every weekend. You could give to something almost every day or you can attend something every night, whether it’s a Meetup or a webinar. What you have to do more than anything else is figure it out what you’re focused on and get rid of the distractions.
There are things that are important to our business and there are two events that I go to that is very important to what we do in business here and that is our Quest IRA, one of our biggest partners on different things. We love to support them in anything they’re doing. When they have the Quest EXPO, we had no problem being there. Aaron Young, Megan Cole and everybody at Laughlin Associates are my biggest vendors. When they have a Magnify Your Wealth, we’re glad to be there any time I network with a hundred entrepreneurs to great capital raising event. I also learned every time I go something there, I learned something with attorneys that’s valuable to my asset protection as well with Kevin Day. Everybody else is there. It’s had a huge impact on our business and structuring. Those are two big things that we look out. What are those dates for those calendars or for those events? Let’s put them on the calendar and we schedule around those.
Another thing we look at too for our events is the marketing that we do. Part of the reason that we’ve gotten successful with the podcast, with our businesses is the fact that we know how to market. We spend more time at marketing conventions than we do in note conventions. Some people are like, “Is that ass-backward?” No. For us, our biggest thought has been to be smart in what we do. It’s great to go out and network with people and people that we know. We’re doing so much video and networking online and whether our Monday night webinars that we do, we get a lot of interaction from our tribe. For me to go out to New Jersey to this Mortgage Expo or going to California we go once or twice, but when it’s the same people, it doesn’t do me any good. Don’t get me wrong. I love my folks. I love our peeps. My time is extremely valuable. If I can leverage my time to help me exponentially grow my business or grow what we’re doing, that’s more valuable to me than going out and hanging out and being a good old boy.
I’m the smartest person around but being one of the smartest people in the room does not help me for the most part. I want to be one of the dumbest people in the room. Some people may take that as arrogant, it’s fine. You can think what you want to think, but I’m trying to make sure that what I deliver and what we deliver here at WCN when we’re doing with our deals is going to help impact you out there. It’s best that I’m going and honing my skills and being focused on where I want to be and where I want to accomplish. The same thing is going to happen to you. If you’re still working a full-time job, one Meetup a week might be the only thing you’re able to get to for two days or out of your ten hours. That’s a chunk of going out and networking and plug it in. There’s nothing wrong with that. When you’re brand-new at something, by brand-new I mean less than a year or something, I don’t think I would look at starting a group by itself that can take some time. It’s difficult to get people in speaking. It’s difficult to get scheduled in. What happens is it takes away from your main focus.
Start A Networking Dinner
What I would do is I would not start a local group. If anything, what I will do is set up a one night a week, we’re meeting somewhere for dinner, a networking dinner. That’s what I would do. I wouldn’t set up a full meet up group, “We’re going to meet for dinner here. Come on out. Let’s talk note investing.” Maybe go to Meetup.com. Set up there. Once a month have dinner and focus on that. Make it very simple. Make it casual. Make sure that you don’t have to put a lot of effort into it. Initially when you have a small group the cool thing is Meetup.com will help people attract to you. Set it up sometime that makes sense for you to go out there I wouldn’t do it on Monday night, I wouldn’t do it on Friday nights. I would do it on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening or maybe do it on Saturday. I pick a place that you can grow into a little bit. I’ll give an example. Bill Griesmer is doing one-on-one with his core group in Columbus, the Central Ohio Real Estate Entrepreneurs Group and he does it in a pizza place. They’ll be anywhere from 12 to 30 people there. We start getting above 30 people. He’s almost outgrown his spot there. That’s a good thing. It’s going to be a bit tighter than it is too big a spot.
Find something that you can go network with someplace, buffet or something like that that’s going to help give you a lot of flexibility, but do it once a month. I would not do it on a regular. I won’t do it all the time because you don’t want to spend more time on that than focused on your deals. Initially, you can plug in a lot of things online to do some things. Here’s another thing, learning to unsubscribe from things. When you start joining a lot of Meetup groups for your real estate business, find investors, find vendors, find people that will buy your deals. One of the best things you can to do is to unsubscribe from the email campaigns. Not unsubscribing from the group, but simply go change your email status or maybe where you get an email once a week versus once a day. People will go and post the discussion boards and bombard you with messages in it and it fills up your inbox. You may also want to do that with Basecamp group. If you’re a part of in our Basecamp group session for Note CAMP or the Virtual Workshop, you may want to go change your email settings where it delivers one email a day or one email a week for you. Take a look at your calendar because that’s what we do.
We look at our calendar. What are the big events that we want to schedule around? When do we want to have our Masterminds? When do we have our workshops? When do we want to do our Fast Track training? Before too long our schedule gets pretty rapidly filled in, to the point where like, “We need to take some time off for ourselves. We need to take some time to kick it and recharge or take a vacation.” That’s a big thing that I’d highly recommend you do. Pre-schedule your vacations. Go ahead and put them on the calendar. Take the time to go in and schedule them because if you don’t, you’ll forget about it. You’ll forget about it and then you’ll end up scheduling something over it. Always this time of year we were always talking about Halloween. I’m literally in two months, “Where do you want to go and plan it because otherwise, it’s going to get filled in? October is always busy.” For four years, I would almost spend the entire month of October in Las Vegas because there are multiple events we go back to back there. What I’m trying to get at here is take a look at your schedule, take a look at your Meetup meetings. Put them on your calendar. It will help you start a time block and see how much time you have in your week. People are doing things every day for the most part, but they weren’t able to get any work done.
Take a look at your month. Take a look at your week. Figure out where you’re going to. One of the things that I would highly recommend if you can, you want to try to plug in once a month with other investors. For me, my once a month thing is either speaking somewhere or attending something once a month. That’s a Meetup group with me speaking or me attending. The conference, that’s what I try to limit to. I’m trying here in the next year to be out speaking at least twice a month at different events or boost some stuff up. What has helped us tremendously is the podcast. Doing the podcasts on a regular basis has helped us increase our tribe where I don’t have to travel as much. We’re seeing business come in from us. Funding sources, vendors. I’ve had three phone calls with three different vendors who want to work with us or work with our students, which is great. It’s easier versus me having to go to events.
I may be going to another expo. I don’t know yet. We still have not finalized. We’re working on finalizing some things here. If we get them done, great, then we’ll go. If we don’t, we won’t be going. What I’m trying to get at is if I ever do go for a Note Expo, I’d probably be going for a day to hit the vendors, to talk with everybody there and go from there. Meet with everybody and then come back. I’m not speaking so it’s okay. Just go plug in and then head back. That’s about all I want to do anyway for the most part. That’s the thing I want you to look at it, look at your calendar. Realize there are some valuable things that you should be going to. If you’re a part of your local Meetup group and your Meetup group is having a topic that’s not going to make sense for you, then don’t go. Maybe show up, say hi. Grab a few cards and leave. That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that because your hour is valuable. If you want to go home and spend the time with your wife and kids or your husband and kids or your kids and spouse or by yourself. Go get a little more work done or hit the gym, do that. Capitalize on that extra hour or hour and a half that you have. Be focused on where you want to go. Show up, make an appearance.
I know many people are starting to look at their calendar especially come January and February are always the biggest events for Meetup groups, especially real estate clubs because people are all gone home about doing something. Go in and you’ve got to expect to be going to a Meetup group at least probably six months straight, making an appearance there for at least three to six months before people will start recognizing you there. That’s the thing to keep in mind. We’re starting a local Note Closers group here locally in Austin. There are a couple little smaller groups officially for what we do with Quest offices next month in Austin. I’m pretty excited about that. We’re also leveraging the podcasts where some of the places that we go out to do a nationwide tour for the podcast and do some live events with audience interaction, some things like that. Trying to leverage our time and travel. We’re doing a podcast episode the day before or the day of a meeting or even after to help leverage that all out to bring people together to help you. I won’t want to say kill two birds with one stone, but it’s that philosophy. We’re trying to consolidate so that we hit two things at once versus an event here and event here. We’re trying to help us organize our schedule a little bit better.
One of our biggest things every week is Note Night in America. We’ve developed that. That has been one of the most valuable ways for us to reach out. When I first started doing webinars years ago, there would be five people on there or one person on there but I’m always presenting like there are 100 people on it. The reason I did that is that I always recorded it and I always put it out there. I always use that knowing it was going to be a 24/7, 365 day a year advertising for me going forward. What’s beautiful is that philosophy, that mindset of seeds that are planted are blossoming. That’s what you should look at. Look at what your schedule is, look at what you’re focused on. If you’re going to do something on a regular basis, stick to your guns and make it a priority. If you’re not going to do something on a regular basis, then network at something on a regular basis. Don’t be such a professional network that you don’t get anything done.
That’s the thing that frustrates me the most. I’ve talked to quite a few people they were like, “I’m interested in your coaching or your training.” I was like, “Do you want to get on the phone and talk about it?” They were like, “I’m in another event here.” When do you have time to do deals? If you’re constantly going from event to event, I don’t think you’re a fit for our program. I don’t think you’re a fit because you’re never going to get anything done. I don’t want people spending money on a coaching program if they’re not going to take the time and be dedicated to it and focused on what they want to accomplish. It’s not worth their time, it’s not worth my time. I don’t want money spending money on something. I don’t need that money for us. I’d rather that you put the goodwill somewhere else, but I don’t want to water down our Mastermind or coaching with people that aren’t going to take action on things. It’s a little bit different mentality than other people with their coaching programs. Many people are often, “Take my card. I’ll take your card anytime.” That’s not the way I think for the most part.
Once again, pick a couple of events. I would not be going to a major conference more than maybe twice or three times a year. I would probably focus on a brand-new. We go to probably about five or six a year. We go two, three for what we do in our business and then we go probably two, three for marketing or podcasting that’s a little different audience, which gives us some fresh ideas for what we want to bring back to you. We probably go to about six major conferences a year. If I were starting off, I would focus on two or three and then add from there or swap out. If you don’t go to Paper Source, go to Paper Source in April and some of the NoteExpo. If you’ve been to NoteExpo or at Note CAMP, great. Note CAMP is available anywhere, which is great so you don’t have to travel a lot. That’s why we keep it so affordable. The idea here more than anything else I want you to know is be respectful of your time. Be respectful that if you aren’t having time to market or reach out to asset managers or reach out to your investors, you’re probably out networking too much.
You don’t want to go out and burn yourself out of traveling and then be upset because you spent all this money on travel, airfare, food, hotel bills and things like that and don’t have anything to show for it. That’s one of the big things too. If you’re going to an event, you always want to have some action plan. Here’s what my action plan has always been for years when I go to an event. When I go to an event, I look at two things. I either want to connect with people in the audience. I’m going as an attendee, not as a speaker, different totally different aspect of things. If I’ll go as the speaker, I’ll try to collect as many contact information from people as I can so I can market to them afterwards. I have the same philosophy when I come to as attendee. I want to try to connect with as many people means business cards or contact information. I always want to find one or two vendors that can have a positive impact on my business almost immediately. Whether it’s a service or it’s something or the vendor provides a tool that we can use.
Our biggest thing we use at our Traffic & Conversion Summit, Steph found an amazing company. It’s like the Canva for video. I’ve used it a couple times. I have not spent as much time on there because I need to, but it’s a phenomenal tool. We’ll be spending a lot of time on it here this next year. That was a great resource for me. Also, a great resource is finding something else to help us with some marketing. When I go to an event, I’m looking at the vendors. Who’s the vendor there? I want to talk with people to see what’s going on. Also, if you have a good vendor relationship, they also have a great networking. Also, they can help to market. They can help spread the word too. Vendors are one of the most important things that you want to buddy up with and friends and help them market and sing their praises. I had a vendor reach out to me and said, “I’m speaking in an event that I’m trying to speak in. Would you mind giving me a testimonial video?” I said, “Yes.” Two-minute little testimonial of him sent out to them. If I can help them because they’re helping me, It’s a win-win across the board.
Questions From The Audience
When you go to an event, I always pay attention to who’s asking questions. If you are going to a conference, you’re going to have a Q&A session. I always wanted to pay attention who’s asking questions because if I hear good question, it makes sense. I want to go to track that person down. I also do a lot of badgering on things. It’s who they are. What are they doing? Many of the big events will have an app. They have a mobile event app, which is great for the bigger events. That’s a great way to pull contact information, add people to your database too if people are like mine. I’ll get on the app and say, “Who’s in real estate or who is doing this?” I’ll post photos. Then those who respond or like it, I’ll connect with them either socially on the app or via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Just connect to expand my audience because that’s what this is all about when you’re out networking is expanding your tribe. You want to expand it with like-minded individuals, not people who aren’t going to waste your time. Not people who aren’t going to do anything. Those who are interacting with marketing, those who are asking questions are some of the most valuable people at an event to talk to.
Don’t get me wrong. You’re going to have your share of people that are time wasters or vampires that goes with the game. I’m always willing to give somebody a good 30 minutes talking to them about their business or our business and try to help them go from there. The thing is we started hanging around too many people especially going to meetup events on a regular basis that aren’t valuable to you. You’re going to run into like, “That wasn’t worth my time.” As I would like to say, be very mindful of what your hours encompass. Be very mindful of what you’re focused on. If you’re doing something that’s not going to help you raise capital, find deals or help you with marketing, it’s probably not worth your time unless it’s downtime. You’ve got taxes to take care of. You’ve got vendors. I hate doing paperwork, but that stuff has to be done. Those are the things that go in. Doing business is a part of that. Take the time. A lot of times I’ll wait to the end of the day and do the paperwork. I’ll do it all at once after 5:00. Sign off on a scan, whatever the contracts can be created, I’ll do those after 5:00 and go from there. I don’t like to do during the day unless I absolutely have to.
One of the most valuable things is schedule your vacations, schedule your trips. Take some time to recharge every quarter, every three months, every four months. Probably at least once a year, book something that’s nice whether it’s a cruise or a getaway. Book something nice with your loved one, your spouse. It will help more than anything else. I guarantee we all get in a habit of our nose in the grindstone and sometimes you’ve got to come up for air. This is why we like to do our Masterminds either in nice sunny Florida in a nice resort where people can relax, or around another event like we went to Quest Expo to help our Mind members in coaching students to kill two birds at one stone with one trip. Once again, you control your schedule. Nobody is going to value your time until you start to value your time. People will flake on you. People will show up late until you take control of your schedule and your time. That’s the best way to help you capitalize on your time. Too many times people will flake on you, not be focused. Those are the people that you want to try to avoid at all possible. Take control of your schedule, value your time, then people will start to value your time as well too. Go out and make something happen. I’ll see you all at the top.