I did it. I am now a wizard of the highest magnitude, having studied at and graduated from the Wizard Academy, taught by marketing superstar and New York Times Best-Selling Author Roy Williams. It was a little irritating when I discovered that you didn’t get to pick out a wand or anything from the gift shop, but I will get over it. Instead, I left there with some knowledge that I am certain I would have never come across had I not made the pilgrimage to Austin, Texas for this event. Here are a few of the things I know will stick with me and are fairly easy to communicate. We also talked about “third gravitating bodies” and how to understand the first, second, third, and fourth dimensions better and how we might someday even get closer to understanding the fifth – tenth dimensions, but that is too much to cover here.
My five favorite takeaways from the academy:
- Experiment! It’s a great action word that you can use to sell your ideas or products. When you use this word, it tells your audience that there is a limited window of time, it is reversible, and at the end of it you are going to know something you didn’t already know. Too often we charge into selling our ideas, and the fear of making a mistake that comes with buying what you are selling prevents your audience from moving forward. If it is temporary, they understand that the downside is limited and manageable. WHEN you succeed, you have earned the right to ask for a bigger experiment.
- If you are selling something that will end up creating a transformational change for someone, they may need a night to sleep on it. The right side of your brain that houses the part that processes emotion never sleeps; it is constantly awake, working and processing information. The left side of your brain, the logical side, sleeps when you do. Remember that you drive purchase decisions with a consumer based on how successful you are in appealing to an emotional want or need. If you are going after something that is going to cause someone to make a transformational change for themselves or their company, it might be better if they sleep on it so they can marinate on what you are trying to convince them of. Our gut says to push for an answer and get them in the heat of the moment, but if you want their decision to favor you and you want them to be excited about it, allowing them time to process is the best way to go. Maybe a meeting late on a Friday is a good way to go so they have the weekend to think about it.
- We learn more of what we hear than what we see. I was in the car with my kids the other day listening to some classic rock and singing along with just about every song that came on. My kids asked me how I knew the words to so many songs. It’s because the brain processes information in a way that allows you to hang on to what you hear more than what you see. Think about it: If I were to ask you to remember something you wrote in school 20 years ago, would you be able to recall anything from that? NO, but I bet you know a lot of the words from “American Pie,” don’t you? Here is something for the guys out there. When your wife tells you something and you forget it minutes later and she starts to yell at you, just let her know that the part of her brain that processes sound is actually 38% larger than a man’s, so you are actually not capable of listening as well as she is, so BACK OFF! Okay, maybe stop short of that last part, but you can toss out that statistic because it is true. Remember, you can look away but you can not hear away.
- If you have to, fake it until you make it. “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!” I am actually not a big fan of this but thought I would include it because it is funny and very relevant in the mattress industry, don’t you think? There are a lot of people running in circles, faking their way through. If you have to do that on occasion, then so be it, but don’t make it a habit. Just watch the people that are following everyone, never innovating on their own, running in circles, to see where it takes them.
- My favorite learning from this event is to make sure that what you are doing today is important because you are trading a day of your life for it! Every day matters with what you do at work, in your church, and in your home with your family, so make it count. Don’t let people waste your time with the unimportant.
So there you have it. This was a great event and I learned a lot. Roy was a terrific teacher, but I learned a lot from my classmates, the Show Ponies. (Don’t ask.) Going there with my friends John Walsh and Mark Kinsley was terrific, but meeting these new people in my class and learning from them made a huge impact on me. So what have you done lately to sharpen the knife? Been to any good events lately? Share in the comments section!