How My First IKON Changed My Life. No Kidding.
I’m so looking forward to next week’s Keap’s Partnerkon and IKON next week. It’s great for connecting with old friends.
IKON events, in particular, are special for me. My first infusion, that’s what they used to call it, ten years ago was life-changing. I’m not exaggerating.
I bumped into Infusionsoft in 2010 from a prospect that needed some help with it. I stumbled around in his account and having done a lot of email marketing, was determined to learn more. The infusion user conference seemed like a good way to learn, but I never would have predicted that it would be so critical in the success of my business eight years later.
Getting to InfusionCon back then wasn’t easy. I used frequent flyer miles to pay the Miami/Phoenix airfare. I scrounged together a few bucks, ones I didn’t have, to pay for a seedy hotel near the PHX airport, expenses, and a very "interesting" rental car.
On day one, I heard Micah Mitchell speak about his InfusionWP membership site building tool. It definitely piqued my interest. I even mentioned it in my 2011 blog article (https://larryjacob.com/infusioncon-day-2-im-committed/).
The evening of InfusionCon day 2 got me to what I thought was an evening mixer. I attended a lot of these tech conventions and thought, “Worse case, I can get a free drink and a bite to eat.”
They held it in a room with a stage. It was a pitch for an Infusionsoft Mastermind memberium group run by:
- Bob Britton, the previous year’s winner of Infusionsoft’s Marketer of the Year
- Micah Mitchell, who I mentioned earlier, and
- Greg Grant, a proven email list builder.
Their credentials were great, but one line of theirs, in particular, stuck with me, “Do you have time to piece together through trial and error what the three of us combined can teach you?” I was having a hard time getting my business started. It was slow going. I had a day job and worked evenings, late nights, and weekends on my business with no time to spare. They had what I needed.
I was thinking, “I can’t afford to do this.” I didn’t have the $798 monthly they charged. I drove away deflated for a cheap KFC dinner, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I’m not the obsessive type, but I could NOT let it go.
I called my wife and shared this crazy jumble of ideas spinning in my head. It wasn’t a long conversation, but she heard me, a very suspicious and cynical buyer, describing something I know I needed. She got me to do it so I went back and joined. (Funny thing: She later told me she thought it was a one-time $798 and not a monthly.)
The first thing the group helped me the address was how to find good team members. I was teaching at a local college and was depending on students that were really sharp, but unreliable. Bob connected me to fellow mastermind member Matt Prada. Matt introduced me to ODesk, now renamed Upwork and that’s where I found Danica Louwe from the Philippines. She started as a graphic designer and she worked with me for six years. She became a super Infusionsoft membership site builder. She’s off building membership sites herself today. I’ve run a virtual team ever since with team members in Spain, from the Philippines to Bangladesh.
Micah Mitchell was telling me I could really be successful building Memberium sites. I didn’t see the opportunity. I didn't see it. I did it anyway trusting him and moved forward. Am I glad I did? Over 80% of our business is in building membership sites for Infusionsoft users. And the majority of those project Micah’s Memberium membership tool
The group became my community of fellow business owners. We got to know each other well and we were all knew Infusionsoft. We took an interest in each other's businesses. We served as sounding boards. It often led to us getting some needed and sometimes painful feedback. I remember a painful Sunday hot seat in Las Vegas where the group challenged me to answer, “What is it you want to do?” I was skirting their question over and over again, but they forced me to see that my lack of focus was killing my business. I cried the whole flight home to Miami but drove me to take really specific steps to change. I wouldn't have seen that without them.
I appreciated the members that were closest to me. Among them are Sarah Laws, Jeff Johnston, Tony Bonafacic, Don and Tyler Smith, Betsi Bixby, Gus Cawley, and Eric Gordon. I am so grateful to them.
I am 100% convinced that running your business without a community doesn't make sense. I’m pretty sharp. I'm hardworking. I definitely have what it takes, but I am no match for the power of community. It makes what I have even better.
I encourage you to do the same. It will be that additional special sauce that will make a huge difference in all you do.
Hope this helps!