Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Fun Zone

I'm reliving the un-seminar... by editing the video.

I can't wait to share this with you. It rocks.

It's going to be the only complete training course you can buy that takes you from newbie to "Up and Running" in one course.

I'm about half-way through...

The Fun-Zone-

Some of my mentoring clients are working on an issue that, while it's not exactly "internet marketing" related, is an issue that most internet marketing professionals have to deal with: courage.

Let's face it. It takes courage to do anything of value. Stretching yourself is scary stuff.

Unfortunately, the only way to handle scary situations without facing them is to avoid them. You can always hide in your comfort zone. Keep doing the things you're doing now.

Of course, you'll keep getting the results that you're getting now.

To make something different happen, you have to do something different- and that means busting out of your comfort zone into the Fun Zone.

I wish I could say that I've conquered my own fears. It wouldn't be true. I can say that the things I fear now are much more interesting than the things I used to fear.

For example, I don't remember the last time I got stage-fright.

I do remember being 23 years old, hiding in the bathroom back-stage, while several thousand people waited impatiently for my band to open for Cheap Trick in San Antonio. My stomach hurt. I was hyperventilating. I was a small town kid just a year out of college, and way out of my comfort zone.

Eventually we went on. The show went fine.

A couple of years ago, I headlined a similar size show in Germany. The sea of people stretched as far into the distance as I could see. I had a blast. The show rocked.

My comfort zone had expanded quite a bit.

When I launched my first info-products, I had to deal with something very similar to stage fright.

I had a lot of questions: "who am I to think I have anything of value to say?" "who would possibly buy an ebook from me?" "what if my ebook sucks?"

What was I worried about? Were the "ebook police" going to come barging into my home in the dead of night and take me away to "ebook prison" if I wrote a lousy ebook?


It turns out that people liked my stuff, bought a bunch of it, and I've gone on to create a Portable Empire based on info-products. I've also got a side-business teaching other people how to do it. (click HERE to take advantage of my mentoring program, which is the best- and the best value- on the web)

I've learned that everybody has their own voice, and that some people like mine. Some people will like yours, too.

Of course, I've failed. It happens. The dumb idea that sounded smart at the time ended up being just a dumb idea...

A few times, I've failed pretty gloriously.

About a year after the Cheap Trick tour, we were headlining the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin. The show was sold out. A couple of guys from ZZ Top were backstage, and they had brought along a few models that had been featured in Penthouse magazine that month. Eric Johnson was tuning up his strat- he was going to play our encore with us. Our manager brought a case of Dom Perignon, which we were drinking straight from the bottle.

My father and girl-friend were in the audience. I wanted them as far from back-stage as possible. :)

At that time, I was a keyboard player, and I had a brand-new Moog Polymoog keyboard. It was expensive. It was a technological marvel. The only thing wrong with it was that occasionally it didn't work. It was a total crap-shoot from night to night, and the only reason I used it at all was because there wasn't anything better available. And when it did work, it was glorious.

About two-thirds of the way through the show it was time for my solo. The rest of the band left the stage. The lights went down, except for the spotlight on me. I hit the button on the synthesizer that would start the sequencer... and nothing happened.


Instead of a glistening stream of electronic sounds that would mesmerize the audience, there was a long, extended, fart-like blatt.


I turned the synth off, which created a massive CLICK through the Armadillo's huge PA system. Then I turned it back on.


It took a few minutes to power up.

I hit the button that would start the sequencer so I could do my solo...

Nothing happened.

Ulp, again.

I jumped up, knocking my stool into the crowd, ran backstage and hid.

Wouldn't you?

We eventually finished the show... and you know what? Nothing bad happened!

I was certain that the reviews would focus on my equipment malfunction. I thought it was possible that the "hip musician police" would haul me off and shoot me in some dark pocket of the forest. I was sure that the band would fire me the next day- if they waited that long.


The reviews focused on the music. Eventually, I got a keyboard that worked reliably. (Eventually, I switched to guitar and things got really interesting). My music career lasted another 35 years and counting... and nobody has EVER mentioned that particular failure to me since then.

Big drama in my head. Out in the real world, it really wasn't that big a deal.

I just promoted an Internet Marketing Seminar.

Boy, was that out of my comfort zone.

However, I've decided that my comfort zone is the most dangerous place on the planet. Staying in my comfort zone kept me broke and miserable for decades. So- I put on a seminar.

It was terrifying to ask the speakers to speak at my event, and I was absolutely dumbfounded when they all agreed. It was very scary for me to promote it... so I just sent emails to my list (they're an understanding bunch) to test the sales letter. And sold out the damn thing in six hours. Attendees signed up from Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada... and over a hundred more wanted to get in and couldn't.

I had a few freak-outs. The power went out while we were setting up the cameras. There was some alien interference with the wireless microphones. There was a misunderstanding with the hotel that cost me a lot of money- and is going to cost that hotel a lot of business...

By the time Joe showed up Saturday for his break-out session, I was a mess. Sleep deprived, nervous, and absolutely sure that the un-seminar was going to completely spin out of control, leaving me a fugitive from the "seminar police," who would come to my house in the dead of night and...

Hey, wait a minute. That sounds familiar.

Joe assured me that everybody he talked to was raving about how good the un-seminar was. All the speakers and attendees were enjoying themselves.

I pulled myself together and went about the business of running a seminar. At the end of the un-seminar, I got a standing ovation from the speakers and attendees. Since then, I've gotten emails from most of them thanking me for putting on the event.

As I edit the video, I'm amazed... I look confident. I'm full of BS, laughing, and professional.

Who knew? Not me.

And speaking of editing video- I'm on tape 7 of 36 right now.

Who am I to edit video?

I'm learning to edit video the same way I learned to engineer and produce records. I got some gear and started doing it. Do you think the "video police" are gonna show up in the middle of the night if I screw up?

Naw. They don't exist.

The reason I'm sharing all of this is to scare you out of being scared.

I could have stayed safely in my comfort zone... I could have walked out of the first big concert I played, and gone back to waiting tables. I could have not launched my first info-product. I could have not put on the un-seminar, and I could have not video-taped it.

That's scary. Me, at 51, waiting tables.

But, that's where I would be if I hadn't left my comfort zone for someplace much more comfortable.

Now, I'm trying to maintain a frivolous curiosity. I recommend it highly.

Go do something you can't do. Just notice your fear in passing and do it anyway.

Then, go find something else you can't do- and do it.

The real fun is just outside your comfort zone.


Post a Comment

<< Home