A few weeks ago, right after the Curious Courses Day 2014, I spent a week in Baltimore and Washington with Michael Port and about 60 other business owners from around the world.

The first two days were part of a public speaking training. The other three days of the week, we met to define our goals and create the strategies for the next 3 months for our businesses.

Michael Port hand picked about 15 people within the mentoring program to join a separate group called the “Brain Trust” to work on more advanced business strategies for scaling and business growth.

There were some invaluable lessons I have learned at this event, spending most of the three days with 6- and 7-figure business owners.


1. Surround Yourself with Exceptional People

I believe there are two parts to that. First, the most important characteristic of exceptional people is that they have an outstanding personality. They have a winners’ mindset. They are exceptional human beings.

The first part has nothing to do with wealth or size of business. It’s all about who the person is.

Since I have no intention of spending my days with naysayers and negative people, this is essential to me.

The second part is the page of business these people are at. I want to have people in my network who are a few pages ahead in the book of business so that I constantly get challenged and grow by spending time with them.

The “Brain Trust” delivered on both. Thanks to Michael’s Red Velvet Rope Policy, I was surrounded by outstanding human beings who strive to make a difference.

Since the “Brain Trust” is a group of business owners who have grown well beyond 6 figures, in some cases even 7 figures, they also met the second criteria. It was a defining moment in my career to be surrounded by them and hear about their goals and what they are up to.

There are a few things that happened in those three days just from listening to those exceptional people.

I got much more used to very large numbers. I also grew more confident that I can take my business to the next level and grow it massively while making a difference.


2. Life Changing Moments Happen Over Drinks & Dinner

The sessions during the day were amazing and the strategies we put in place will make my next 3 months a massive success.

However, what’s been even more impactful were the evenings out. We went for drinks and dinner almost every night and that’s where the defining moments happened.

That’s when we had the deep talks and uncovered obstacles and limiting thoughts that hindered us from living up to our full potential. That’s when we agreed on not buying any more personal development programs until we implemented the ones we already have. That’s when people decided to no longer settle for anything less than awesome.

There is something magical about dinner and drinks and I don’t think it’s the beer and wine. It’s about the creative space that happens when you are detached from business and have the time of your life with exceptional human beings you admire.


3. Why I Want “Things”

When I do goal setting, it regularly occurs that my personal development goals trump my “things” goals. I think that’s very good because it means I value myself more than random objects.

However, I’m not ready to settle for only one area. I want to have, do and be all the things I desire.

I had always felt that I wanted to have all the luxuries that the world has to offer. Traveling the world, driving a luxury sports car, chartering a Yacht and living in a mansion at the lake.

I talked to a coach in my mentoring program about my “things” goals and at some point I said “To be honest, I’m not that motivated by the cars, the Yacht and all the other luxury objects that are on my list. However, I do feel that I want them. Maybe I’m not inspired by them because I don’t know why I want them.”

I have always been fascinated by money and luxury objects but because I did not know why I wanted them, I told myself that I’m “too materialistic”.

Because of that, I denied my “things” goals, even though I felt this inner drive to have all the things I desire.

The coach and I talked for a few more minutes and suddenly I knew exactly why I want these objects. It was all so clear. I finally lighted up when I talked about the “things” goals.

I realized that I want all of those things to enjoy them with my family, friends, clients and business partners and have the time of our lives together. This fundamentally changed the way I look at my “things” goals.

Of course, that conversation happened over dinner and drinks.


4. Detaching from the Business

What the week in Baltimore did, was to get me out of my busyness to a spot where I can look at my business from 10’000 meters. It was like having vacation to work on growing my business.

I already felt the importance of this when I was in Philadelphia in March with Michael Port and the group.

However, this time I felt it more intense because we were working much more in peer groups to challenge each other’s strategies, brainstorm ideas and give feedback on how to implement them.

I believe being away from the business for a week every 3-4 months is essential to grow. It provides the space from the daily busyness and lets ideas flow freely.

I have come back from Baltimore with a suitcase full of new ideas that are actionable and implementable, not just clouds in the sky.

I can’t wait to head to Long Beach, CA and Scottsdale, AZ in October for some more life changing growth.


What makes an event life changing for you? Share it in the comments below or hit reply if you read this in an email.


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