Typing this one up from “inside the machine” at DCBKK 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. Been trying to keep up my morning routine and write every morning, which is a real extreme challenge here as this conference is action packed from 7am to midnight!
Just fortunate to have found this community and been able to stick with it for the years. Today I just like to reflect some of the things I learned and takeaways for my own business.
New Pre-DCBKK Event Meetups
Dan, Ian, and the rest of the guys at DynamiteCircle have just kept growing this conference! Now there are pre event meetups where you can come and get even more information!
I attended a few meetups, as many as I could:
* Growing your consulting business – main takeaway, find and qualify the right clients. If they are new to use marketing services, then they aren’t the right fit for you. If they also seem to be tight for money at the service package they have picked, suggest they drop down to a lower priced package. You don’t want to have them pressuring you every day as all of their marketing money is tied up.
* Drink / Networking events for web development companies – though I’m not in web development, I still enjoyed listening to owners of programming shops talk about the struggles and issues in dealing with their businesses. Like most service companies, the main pain point was finding and managing talent.
* Content Marketing – Felt I am doing this one right! Have been writing like crazy (mainly for Global From Asia these days) and hearing all the tips and tricks made me feel good I’m on the right track. Main takeaway, set a strategy and give it at least 6 months before you decide to keep it or can it.
* Sovereign Freedom – About half the attendees were Americans, and seemed we needed to break the group up into 2 sub groups. Just learning more and more the added complexities for Americans doing business overseas. Heard tons of stories, and scary ones, about people who lived in Asia and missed some paperwork. One story specifically was Paypal account closed and funds sent to US government.
* Managing People Effectively – Main point: do more 1 on 1s with the team. Each week, spend 30 minutes with each person you manage. Learn about them, hear their problems, treat them like a real human being.
* Fast Track Consulting – Email outreach, get them on an exploratory call, learn pain points, standardize. Don’t promise exact results but show similar case studies.
* Bitcoin Meetup – Basically I need to figure out if my Bitcoin is to be setup as a HK business account or in my personal USA account. Seems some issues.
* Running With China – Listened to Matt and Jamon share about China sourcing strategies.
* I hosted a Hong Kong business and banking meetup – about 30 people came. Intense questions about how to guarantee the bank account will be opened. Can they apply online, at what point in their business should they do it? Guess it basically told me there is a lot of interest for this.
After the meetups, the event kicked off with the Thursday night Junto. The wine bar was packed. I wanted to head over after the meetup, yet got sold to check out the “Club 7” (7-11) as a bunch of old timers in the group were hanging out.
All of this was done before the event officially even started! My brain was already overloaded and we had yet to begin!
Friday Full Day of Masterminds
For the last few conferences they have been offering an optional mastermind day. This is where you can come in and sit in a round table with other entrepreneurs and each share your issues and questions.
This was the first time I picked this mastermind option, wanting to try it all this year! Going in with an open mind, my mind was blown again! Just hearing other people with their online businesses sharing about their pains and struggles, hearing about 8 others in the table who had unique perspectives and ideas was amazing.
Dan said to be prepared to “rip the bandaid off”, and in a way that was how I felt. Yet it is healthy, when I shared about my business I got a lot of interesting insights and questions. Scrambling to jot down notes, I’m going to work on my call to action, my offers, and test some business models.
After the mastermind, we had about an hour or two before the kickoff party that night.
Yes, the official event still hasn’t started yet!
Opening party by the pool, felt like 200 people there. All passionate, hard working internet business owners. Just hearing the conversations, keywords such as:
* Facebook Ads
* Content Marketing
* Amazon FBA
* Product sourcing
* SOP and business processes
Man, the chat about businesses didn’t stop even at the poolside party. Loving it!
Hyper Networking Breakfasts
You would think maybe breakfast is a time when everyone is hungover in bed? Nope, getting downstairs at 7am and the place is packed with DC’ers talking business. This hotel must think we are insane! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the official DCBKK breakfast events, and each one I maximized as much as possible.
Though I had to admit, I sneaked out each time to write this blog post (and others) to stick to my daily writing habit. That was a tough one, as I really wanted to network more!
Some examples of breakfast chats – one member is a nomad investor and blogs about investment strategies in various countries. Gives perspectives and insights after spending a few weeks there. Another member owns a few vacation properties in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean Sea and is looking to maximize his ROI.
Honestly I was feeling a bit out of my league!
Saturday: DCBKK Day 1
Yes, I arrived on Tuesday and all that happened before the first official day of the conference. Trying my best to keep sharp and maximize things, I went right to the third row center of the conference. About 9999 people could fit in this massive conference room, all ready to listen to the keynote.
Ian spoke first, sharing about selling his product business. It is confidential, sorry. It was awesome to hear him put it all out there, tak about the good times as well as the hard times. Don’t think he’d mind that I share this: no one else cares about selling your business except you – not the broker, lawyer, or accountant. Its your job to keep selling and pushing forward.
Afterwards, learned how Green Back Taxes cofounders Carrie and David McKeegan scaled up their services business by hiring management. Pretty cool to learn how they started the business, and how their timing was right before the US got more strict for expats to file. Key takeaway is to manage people on outcomes, not on small pieces like goals or tasks.
Jesse Lawler came up next talking about brain hacking and smart drugs. A bit of a change from the business talks – I enjoyed hearing some tips on various supplements. The most key and basic one is to get enough sleep! Another one was to dial up your mood, that you can stand tall and wide and body posture should put you in a better mood. Wrapped up with the process of learning is:
1. Unconscious sucking, not even knowing you’re not good at something
2. Conscious sucking, knowing you’re not good at something and trying to improve it.
3. Conscious mastery, getting good at something, but needing to actively think about it to do it.
4. Unconscious mastery, being good at something without having to actively think about it.
This was all before lunch! Took about an hour and a half lunch. More networking, talking business. Caught a quick power nap.
After lunch was break out sessions. This is where you get to pick from 4 different sessions in the smaller conference rooms. Really tough choices.
I went to Travis Jameson’s Amazon optimization session first. Man, there truly is SEO in Amazon now. He was a great speaker who made it seem so easy. Listening to the questions, as well as a lot of people over the weekend and there was a ton of people making serious money on Amazon. Travis also has a software AMZtracker.com that has a lot of users and many were in that very room!
The second session was all about USA taxes for expats by Mr Hodgen. Pretty scary stuff, listening to all the various structures you can setup and what is required to maintain everything. Digging through form 1040 and 2555. I like how he ended the session with a quote from Peter Drucker: “The purpose of business is to create a customer”.
Sunday: DCBKK Day 2
Started off the second day with the breakout sessions. A new set of 4 awesome presenters made it difficult to pick.
I picked John Logar for round one on Sunday. He had an awesome meetup on Thursday about how to get clients. This was a gem! John is a natural salesman – and started out with getting us in the right mindset. To realize that we are expert internet entrepreneurs and we are way ahead of these big corporate clients. Need to just overcome mindset. That was enough of the woo-woo for him and we dug into tactics. Tons of frameworks for outreach to target corporate clients, how to pitch. My favorite part was he doesn’t sent proposals. He says he will not agree, and will walk away if they require it. Will show a strategy instead, and ask the client “where do we go from here”.
My next session of choice was Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers sharing on on how to build a website up for sale in 12 months. They had it in 4 parts, and three points each. Loved the sharing on noncompete contracts when selling, the terms of deals, and especially the case studies at the end of successful and unsuccessful sellers and why.
After these 2 breakout sessions, we got to lunch. So much information and tactics and ideas. The rooms were lit up with high energy and chatting. Met a few people going to the Canton fair in China and may fly back with them to Hong Kong, as we’re on the same flight.
After lunch we had the last set of speakers in the main conference room.
Jacob Puhl, who also had a great meetup on Tuesday, was on stage to share on his experience growing his business by leveraging marketing channels. He is doing internet marketing for dentists and actually wrote a hard copy book to giveaway to dentists. He met with dentists for months and found the pain points and the language in their answers. He showed how he re-built his site and message. Tons of ideas on how to hire interns and remote team to handle various marketing channels.
Up next was Patrick McKenzie – a programmer and internet marketer master based in Japan. He talked about conversion optimization past web design, and boy did he deliver the goods. Too much information, too many value bombs! Lots of notes and ideas for how to tweak website to capture email. One big action item for me is I am going to make a newsletter archive page. Also he even gave some sales tactics, which was shocking to me as he is definitely a developer by trade but has good sales as well. Amazing how he can be an expert across so many fields.
To close the conference we had Laura from Meet Edgar. I had heard her on Pat Flynn’s podcast and was cool to see her in person. She shared her years from a freelancer to a social media consultant to information product seller and then to CEO of social media software company Meet Edgar. Very cool story – and real. Like how she said you need a tech co-founder and you can’t outsource your core tech. Discussing on validation, and how she sticks to her guns on keeping a higher price point. I liked her tactic on asking for reviews.
She ended the conference with a quote
“Don’t Let your past Limit Your Future.”
I needed that quote. I think over the conference I kept thinking about the past and letting that hold me back for who I am now and where I am going.
Jeez, there was soo much networking! As a networker (or at least in my “earlier” life) I was overloaded. I knew from the last DCBKK I attended (2 years a go at DCBKK2013) that I had to prepare mentally for it.
Some had name cards, but its not a real DC thing to do, ha!
The DC Community Has Grown (And Matured)
Its fun to see that as I get older, so does the Dynamite Circle! Getting more married people with kids too. Some brought them along. For me, I left the wife and kid at home, maybe next year I’ll bring them along.
I am looking forward to next year’s conference for sure. Dates already set at Oct 14 – 16, 2016!