Now that I’m back in my office, I can be honest here with you, dear reader. When I was invited to speak at Ken McCarthy’s internet marketing and business event The System ’06, talking about blogging, I was a bit leery. Twenty-five years of being in the research / publishing / consulting side of things has made me both reticent about making money online and about those folk who have figured out how to make money online. My expectation was that the presenters would be selling like mad and that actual useful information from their presentations would be minimal. I mean, everyone wants to sell their stuff, right? So, yeah, I was very curious how it would turn out spending a weekend in Chicago with hundreds of attendees and two dozen world-class internet marketing speakers.
I am delighted to say that I was completely wrong in my expectations and while most everyone who presented offered programs at the end so interested participants could learn more and gain deeper expertise, the presentations themselves were generally quite valuable and very informative.
I was also really pleased at the reception people had to my own presentation on business and business blogging: when I decided to spend time talking about “business 101” and how to recognize when you’re earning enough and should start balancing your work and life, I figured I’d be branded as the “anti-speaker” and people would walk out thinking “just tell me how to make more money” 🙂
Quite to the contrary, I am overwhelmed by the embarrassingly glowing plaudits I received from both attendees and other faculty members. That by itself affirms to me the value of Ken’s event: attendees are not only interested in learning how to be more successful with their online businesses, but they have a goal, and it’s not to make zillions of dollars, but to finance the lifestyles that they seek. What a great thing, and what a surprise to me!
And as for me, I have a nice long to-do list inspired by the other faculty members and attendees, and a huge stack of cards from people with whom I want to follow up with as soon as I can pry my kids off my leg. Really, the quality of the attendees was great, and I also know that I’ve gained at least three or four great friends from the weekend too, perhaps the best end result of all.
One phrase for you to think about, something that Ken repeated a couple of times during the weekend:
It’s a bit cliché and trite, but be honest, don’t you spend a lot of time trying to make things perfect instead of just pushing them into the marketplace to see what happens?
All in all, a highly memorable and splendid event and one that makes me think that maybe this Internet Marketing stuff isn’t quite as bad as I thought it was… 🙂
It’ll be a long time before Ken does another one, but you should check out The System Blog so you’ll know what’s coming up and while you’re there, spend a few minutes reading the testimonials from other attendees and faculty.