Questionable Quote of the Week
"I wish I could have some superbowl level coaching and live training to help my business".
Have you ever participated in an event that inspired you so much you wanted to share it with everyone? What if unlike many events, after attending, your inspiration and confidence didn't fade but grew?
This was my experience when I attended last year's Infusioncon (this year its called ICON14).
In my opinion, ICON is the best "superbowl level" coaching and training conference for small business leaders.
Two goals for this blog:
First, practically speaking, the price of this year's ICON14 goes up February 7th from $399 to $499. If you are remotely interested in attending, I recommend checking it out and making a decision this week. FYI - Since I am now a Certified Partner of Infusionsoft, you can use promo code NEWSOME10 and you can get 10% off. Pretty darn incredible event value for $350.
Second, there are things we can learn as business leaders as well as individuals from principally the Infusionsoft culture behind their ICON event.
Are you like me and had your fill of conferences chock full of big ego talking heads who give inspiration without implementation help? Have you noticed how there is no shortage of good ideas but there is always a gross shortage of help in implementing those ideas? This is what made ICON stand out for me last year.
I tell people often that I did not buy software from Infusionsoft, I bought their culture.
One outcome of their culture is some pretty incredible software. Yes, I believe the software is a game changer for our time, but their culture, like Apple, is the source of the innovation. The quality of their annual ICON event (formerly Infusioncon) also is a great reflection of their culture. Infusionsoft is sincere and passionate about loving to see small business and more fundamentally, seeing people's dreams succeed. Sounds hokie and cliche right?
See if I can't prove to you that Infusionsoft is the real deal in terms of the old school value that profitability should be a result of first a culture of genuine service and care. Most corporate conferences I have ever been a part of centered around the hosting company. Company clients that address the main audience are obviously carefully selected by the hosting company. These clients know what to say and what not to after careful scripting and guidance by the host company.
Infusionsoft instead invites its clients to compete to show off their success at the annual ICON event!
Infusionsoft does not select their showcase clients but encourages their clients to volunteer to compete, unfiltered, to be showcased. Yes - there is money involved ($10K for the winner) but for these businesses this is "chump change" and clearly not their core motivator. What was interesting was how many of the audience members I ran into that were excited to share their success stories that were not formally competing.
ICON13 last year was great in that clients could get powerful high level or strategic "work on the business" ideas, but then in later sessions immediately go to work "in the business" to implement those ideas. Infusionsoft is committed to not only an inspirational event (last years speakers were outstanding and this years line up looks incredible) but clearly by the structure of the event, Infusionsoft also shows how they share accountability with clients for implementation and results. There was no added cost for these instructional implementation courses.
What I found interesting was how many of the courses were not delivered by hand-selected top company instructors (some were) but how many fellow business owners had volunteered to give the classes from their own raw experience. It was clear that these business owners had not been muzzled either.
I remember thinking to myself, I bet Infusionsoft management would not have appreciated that level of transparency in regard to some frustrating area of limited software functionality they shared and overcame.
This leads me to my second point. Infusionsoft does not try to hide their humanity and imperfection. While committed to making the most valuable software for small business, Infusionsoft also recognize that they don't hold a monopoly on good ideas or perfection. Infusionsoft welcomes, trains, and even incentivizes 3rd party developers to present solutions that Infusionsoft can not come up with or is not core to the Infusionsoft offering. Again, most corporate events highlight their own product development progress. The other highlight event at ICON for me was the Battle of the Apps competition. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the creativity and competition of Infusionsoft's top 3rd party developers.
What would we learn as a business and as individuals if we maybe were not so rigid and controlling of how we want people to view us? What if we let down our guard a little and allowed people in? What if we allowed people to help us? Are there business partnerships or friends you have stiff armed because they ruffle your feathers and tell you what you don't want to hear? Embrace those customers and friends. Verify their guidance with trustworthy and proven coaches you keep on hand.
Within this context, at a professional and personal level, I found ICON immensely refreshing. I have never been to a professional event with such an assembly of positive and productive individuals. Let me know if you plan to go to this years ICON14.
ICON14 is the closest thing to superbowl level business leadership coaching and training in a single event that I have ever experienced.
Giancarlo Newsome is the founder of G-Force Accelerated Marketing.