Finding Business Inspiration at NAMS8

Finding inspiration for business success - conquer your fearsAbout a week ago I sent out an email to my loyal subscribers over at Business Content PLR sharing some of the little gems of wisdom I learned while attending the NAMS conference in Atlanta. If you’re not already familiar with it, NAMS stand for Niche Affiliate Marketing Systems. However, there’s FAR more to it than affiliate marketing (though they do provide free affiliate training). Actually, after all the feedback received at the end of this last one, David Perdew, who is the mastermind behind it, may have to change the name.

What I love about NAMS is the hands-on nature of the whole conference. It’s not just about listening to experts or finding business inspiration in order to be more successful. Instead, it consists of a series of workshops on a wide variety of topics, ranging from getting started out with a blog to setting up your own coaching or offline consulting practice. There were sessions on protecting your WordPress site from hackers, spying on your competition with Twitter, building your business through joint ventures, live reviews of sales pages with a copywriting expert (Karon Thackston), getting your first book published, and how to create a video using Powerpoint….just to name a few.

As you can tell, NAMS provides real-world knowledge for all different levels of expertise. I think there were around 60 sessions in all, plus pre and post-conference workshops. My head is still reeling from everything I learned. And I still have some of the audio recordings to listen to from sessions I wanted to attend but couldn’t!

In order to help me remember and implement some of what I learned, I thought I’d share some of the highlights from my notes. I take a lot of notes :).

Let’s start out with the business inspiration sessions. Most days start and end with one of these, so I’ll just give you the key lessons I gleaned.

From Passion to Profits

The first morning started out with a bang with an inspirational session led by Joey Smith from GrowingGiants.com. Here’s one of the most memorable quotes I wrote down from his session.

“Happiness is your best business model match.”

Joey’s message was that unhappiness can lead to stress, disease and death. If you’re doing work and tasks that are part of your genetic traits, things that you’re naturally talented at doing, then you’ll be happy. Trying to condition yourself to do too many of the tasks you’re not good at will lead to unhappiness.

It seems rather cliche to say “go do what makes you happy”. There’s always something you’re going to have to do that you’re not great at or you don’t love. The problem comes when you’re doing more things you don’t like than the ones you do enjoy. Go figure out what you’re really good at and don’t try to condition yourself to slog away at tasks that make you miserable.

Does that mean you should never push yourself out of your comfort zone? No. You won’t discover new talents you have unless you push yourself to try something different. You should always be seeking out talents that you didn’t know you had.

Kill the Elevator Speech

Moving on to Day 2, Felicia Slattery marched into the room and promptly told everyone to forget about elevator speeches once and for all. Ouch! I spent a lot of years including sessions on how to create an elevator speech as part of sales training programs. But when Felicia explained her way of doing things, I definitely started seeing these one-sided speeches in a different light.

Her point was that elevator speeches are impersonal, “verbal vomit” which people are trained to deliver as soon as their asked, “What do you do?”. Felicia’s approach is all about starting to build a relationship with the other person so that they’ll want to get to know you and vice versa.

Her recommendation was that you ask the question “How did you get started?”, instead of the usual boring one. This brings the other person back to a point in time when they were really excited about their business, and that excitement shows up in their voice.

You can also ask questions like “What’s the most exciting thing going on in your business right now?”, or “What’s your favorite part of what you do?”. You’re guaranteed to start having a conversation that’s far more interesting since you’ll be discussing something that the other person is passionate about.

The moral is:

“You want to be the one who’s interested, not interesting.”

Know Your Zip Line

There’s so much I’d love to share about Kathleen Gage’s session, but I’d have to copy it verbatim to convey everything. I can’t do that here, for obvious reasons.

Instead, I’m just going to share some of the great tips and one-liners that I wrote down in my notes for ongoing inspiration.

First, Kathleen told us her view of the things that will destroy your business:

  • Not knowing your market
  • Not knowing your expertise or being a pretend expert
  • Not doing your research
  • Arrogance

Not sure you have anything to offer? Here’s what to remember:

  • The world is in pain
  • People crave solutions
  • Your job is to figure out who needs your solution
  • You are the answer to their prayers
  • They have to know that you exist
  • You need to connect with others
  • Confidence builds the more you take risks and walk through fear

Now comes a big message that seems to go against what many of the inspirational gurus tell you:

“Business is NOT about living your life purpose.

Business is about generating revenue and turning a profit to create the space to fulfill your life purpose.”

As Kathleen explained, fear is the main reason we’re not successful. It’s what keeps us from connecting with others, which is downright selfish when you look at it from the standpoint of offering people the solutions they crave. If you’re still afraid to get past your fear, remember that:

“No one has ever gotten rich behind a laptop, they’ve gotten rich with a laptop.”

So, what did Kathleen recommend we do to conquer our fears?

“Focus on what you will GAIN not what you will lose”

Now we all have to go figure out what our greatest fear is that is holding us back. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I have more than one. One of them has to do with networking at conferences, so I think I did a pretty good job conquering that one at NAMS. It’s the perfect place for getting over any shyness.

I think I’ll end this particular blog post right there and save more for next time. I definitely want to share more about what I learned about email marketing, as well as my “business love potion”. You’ll like that one.

Anyone want to share the fears that are keeping you back?

P.S. If you’re interested in attending a NAMS conference yourself, the next one is on February 8, 9, 10 in Atlanta. I’d love to connect with you there in person. Here’s my link:

Click here for more info ==> NAMS 9

Hope to see you there!

 

Comments

  1. This right here – “…Business is about generating revenue and turning a profit to create the space to fulfill your life purpose” – is so spot on. I’ve always held the belief that the income I generate from my business will pave the path for me doing all the things I dream of doing in life.

    I’ve always dreamed about owning my own business, but you have to look at the ‘why’ behind that. Why would I put myself through this craziness? Because ultimately it will lead to me to the financial freedom I so crave. Then I’ll have the time and capacity to do some real life changing stuff.

    I had a bit of a chuckle at the elevator speech part of your post. My eyes always roll when I get asked the question ‘what do you do for a living?’, so I try not to ask that question to others. Your post just confirmed I’m on the right track with that one.

    • Hi Mena,

      That’s so funny that you said that about your “why”. One of the other things Kathleen Gage had said was that to conquer your fears and move ahead your “what” has to be bigger than your “but”. It’s really your “why” that has to be bigger, but “what” rhymes better :).

      And don’t you just love it when people ask you what you do and you have to try to explain what PLR is? I’m getting better at that, but it’s still difficult. Now I’ll just try taking a deep breath and side stepping the whole question. A little verbal tap dancing.

      – Sharyn

  2. I love these posts you’re doing after events! Thanks for the great insights. I am thinking so much about the direction of my business recently, so the ideas about passion are especially useful to me. I also totally agree with the quote Mena shared above. This is how I see my business too.

    • Hi Ruth,

      I’m so glad you’re getting something out of these posts too. Now you’re motivating me to write up more of my notes!

      I’ll be really interested to see what direction you start taking your business. You seem to be living at least some of your dreams now, so now I’m curious about what’s next (other than other countries).

      And congrats on the Kindle book series. Impressive 🙂

      – Sharyn

  3. I really appreciate your sharing the conference notes. I had the same reaction to the “Kill the Elevator Speech”. After I spent all that time getting it down to 30 seconds! Next time I hear on I’ll remember not to return the vomit. ;>

    • Hi Kater,

      Boy am I behind on updating my blog. Too busy working on PLR! Anyway, it’s really difficult to get away from the elevator speech mentality. I still try to rehearse one in my mind for people that ask me what I do. Now we just have to word it more as something to get the other person intrigued or talking. Mind you, that was the whole purpose of the elevator speech in the first place!

      – Sharyn

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