The Musings of a Secret Agent Writer at ICON16
I’m sitting in a room with hundreds, if not thousands, of entrepreneurs at ICON. We’re listening to three small business owners share their stories about their success with Infusionsoft.
Let’s be real here, I’m not an entrepreneur – I’m a writer. As such, I feel like a secret agent right now.
I’m spying on the people I’d like to work for. I’ve infiltrated their walls and I’m on the inside track.
I’d like to say that I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve created a business, which failed. I’ve toyed around with creating my own content marketing agency. Yet, at the end of the day – I write words for cash on the Internet.
It’s inspiring to hear the stories of these three small business owners. They’ve grown by leaps and bounds by using different techniques and methods made available by Infusionsoft. Their companies are known within their industry.
Apparently this Infusionsoft service is the magical engine that powers their businesses.
My corduroy pants, untucked polo, and ponytail might be exposing my cover. These people are dressed like they work in offices. I’m dressed like I work wherever my laptop sits.
As a speaker tells a heart-wrenching tale of childhood health issues, the room goes silent as he underscores the unexpected life events that can interrupt a business. Investing in automation saved his business when health issues took their toll.
Suddenly my secret agent status seems less relevant, as health issues recently interrupted my ability to write. Maybe I’m not so different from these entrepreneurs.
I’m wondering if the people behind me are reading this as I write it. If so, hello.
“If you’re thinking about doing anything for your business, in one year, you’ll regret not doing it today,” says one of the small business owners. I’ve felt that about growing my career, and it is advice I’ll take to heart with other aspects of my life.
“Commit a block of time to think,” she continues. That’s just good life advice, too.
As a reclusive technology writer, I’m wondering if people will try to network with me. I certainly have never attended a conference like this, and I certainly don’t do any networking. I don’t know how I feel about being networked.
“We all have access to the same tools – we’re no different from anyone else in this room,” states another business owner who is raking it in. I’m feeling a little more inspired to start up my own business venture after hearing their stories.
I look around the room at the flurry of devices, ranging from laptops, to tablets, to smartphones to phablets. What were these conventions like ten years ago when we weren’t always connected? Better or worse? Either way, I’m contributing to the sea of screens.
My day began with a nervous shower and a protein shake. I battled rush hour, got lost in the parking garage and met the CEO of Writer Access.
Now, I just completed an ice-breaker exercise in which we all massaged each other. That’s how you get people to loosen up!
“Nothing of any significance was ever accomplished by one person alone,” says the keynote speaker. How true that is – not even this blog post would be written alone.
It depended on the fine team at Writer Access to bring me here. It depended on my family and friends for supporting me as a writer. It depended upon the medical team that resolved my health issues in time for me to attend it.
“It only counts as growth if you don’t want to do it,” he continues. Entrepreneurship seems a lot like a self-help book sometimes.
“It’s the conversation that you don’t want to have, that you gotta have. That’s when you grow. It only counts as growth when you don’t want to do it, but you do it anyway.”
I had expected to learn more about Infusionsoft services, not validate my recent difficulties in life. I’ll take it.
“Most people are either wasting time, or not utilizing time properly.” I do believe I manage to do both at the same time. “The allocation of your time is the most important thing to growing your business.”
“If you do not track and measure your time, you cannot make it be used better.” This dude is dropping wisdom bombs for just leading an effective life, business aside.
He elaborates that you need to understand what times of day, week or month that you’re not being effective. Where are the gaps? What are the trends? How do you fill those gaps with quality things?
“You need a Shizuka,” he says mysteriously, intentionally not defining the word.
Turns out it’s a name – Shizuka was the woman who he hired to handle all of the cooking and cleaning in his house. His point is that if you’re worth more than $20 per hour, you should pay someone that much to help you with your life.
Outsourcing from a different vantage point. Outsourcing your life instead of outsourcing elements of your business. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a butler now that I think about it.
“Don’t be doing stuff that’s urgent, be doing stuff that’s important.”
If he’s trying to sell me on hiring a butler right now, he’s succeeding.
“When you get home, you need to make new decisions and take new actions. If you don’t, then you’re wasting your time here.”
Fine, I’ll hire a butler for my one-bedroom apartment. Scott Harris is the speaker who just convinced me that I need an Alfred.
The remainder of his talk took a highly motivational turn on the verge of being spiritual. I enjoyed seeing people feel the vibe, but now I’m ready to move on to more practical matters. With my khaki laptop bag in hand, I packed up to move on to the next event.