Last year I attended Engage Today and witnessed some amazing speakers such as the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Brandson, Steven Covey, Eben Pagan, Michael Drew, Brendan Burchard, Garrett Gunderson… I could go on.
This past weekend, I traveled to Calgary yet again for Engage Today 2010. I must admit – I was a little less than excited as from what I knew in advance, as there was a lower celebrity factor planned. My excitement for these events builds when I have advance notice of the speaker line-up, the schedule for the event and the general theme. I guess that’s just my personality type. This event saves a lot of information until late in the game, so if you love surprises, this is your gig.
When packing, I grabbed my brand new book by Mary Ellen Tribby, “Changing the Channel”, as well as Les Hewitt’s book “Power of Focus”. I ramped up my excitement when I found out that author Michael Gerber, “The E Myth” was to be there. I must admit, working on my own book for the past sixteen months has accelerated my interest in meeting authors. I have never been an autograph hound, but it’s those few precious moments when you get a chance to connect with them, and share a few thoughts that are so valuable.
I want to share my experience in witnessing a session with the great Les Hewitt. His Power of Focus presentation awed me but did not surprise me, as his book is one of the valued treasures in my library.
Author Les Hewitt with Sharon at Engage Today 2010 Private Reception
He helped us all take a good look at the three biggest focus points which produce the biggest results for us in our businesses, and then list as many as thirty items that we spend our time doing every day. His message was simple – find a way to get others to do those low value activities and focus on the big three. I was fortunate enough to get my copy signed, and Les was equally happy to see how dog-eared it had become. We shared other conversation at an author’s reception Saturday night, and he agreed to cement my personal memory with this picture.
On meeting Mary Ellen Tribby, new business owner of www.workingmomsonly.com I mentioned that I too was a “Mompreneur” and had shared that same stage at the Hyatt in Calgary in 2008, while toting my four month old son. She mentioned that she had done the same while working at Agora Publishing, and that moms really understand the sacrifices and joy it would take to create a business and be a mom at the same time.
We had an authentic discussion in her “author’s corner” in the lobby behind the ballroom and I did not hesitate to join her newsletter. Her speech was awesome and her action guide was jam packed with lessons for all that need to learn about the value of the copy in their marketing. Any working mother, woman or marketer would immediately become her fan, if you did not already know her from days at Agora.
As a last mention for today, Michael Gerber shocked everyone in the room with his session. It took at least fifteen minutes before we took our jaws off of the table and realized that he was to share something so profound. At first it seemed that he had gone completely crazy!
His message was that if your dream for your business or in life has anything to do with you, you should SCRAP it. The message was that it had to be for someone else in order to be successful. This aligns with many of the most successful entrepreneurs today, who while creating unparalleled value for their clients, they became a hit. He urged everyone to forget about what they’ve been trying to create in their businesses, and start with a blank sheet of paper and use it to create the business of their dreams by tying it to their own unique purpose.
Not quite as much star power, but the line up was absolutely incredible and even more valuable to the entrepreneur. There was a distinct theme that was completely aligned with the speakers and their messages. I have never attended a conference where I recalled as much or immediately took action with the information so fast. That was their goal, and it was definitely a home run.