Invite to Apply for Napa/Sonoma Entrepreneur’s Retreat

Entrepreneur Retreat Napa title image

Want to hear something crazy?

Just 16 days from now, I’m co-hosting a live retreat at the Fairmont Sonoma in the heart of wine country.  

For 2 ½ days, a small closed door roundtable of 14 entrepreneurs will meet to share what’s working and to push through challenges.

If you’re ready to create breakthroughs in your business, the clock is ticking because the last retreat filled up, and this one will too.  

Now, we’re going to be doing something unheard of…

We’re going to have FOUR 8-figure entrepreneurs join us.

And they’re not just coming to party and then take off.

They’re going to be sitting right next to you, rolling up their sleeves and providing specific advice and feedback on YOUR trials, opportunities and challenges with YOUR business.

That’s not even the crazy part. (Wait for it…) 

We still have openings for the event, and were talking about how we could make this a “slam dunk” … and take out all the risk for you.

So we stayed up two nights straight drinking Monster Energy drinks and brainstormed the craziest “risk free” guarantee.

What we dreamed up is unprecedented in the “live event” space …

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How to Create Automated, Double-Blind Introductions

How to create automated

There are two kinds of people in this world…

The well-connected and the well… not-so-well-connected.

And before you bemoan your lot in life and complain about how everyone else seems to have high-level connections to A-listers in your industry (and you don’t), let me let you in on a little secret.

No one is born with a good network.

Unless your first name is Barron and your last name is Trump…OK, then you are born with a good network.

(And yes, Donald Trump really did name one of his kids “Barron.”)

But for the most part, no one comes out of the womb with a gold-plated Rolodex.

You need to create your network – and you can.

I’ve done this multiple times in my career – from Washington D.C. to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to building my reputation as a thought leader online.

Each time… I knew no one. I built relationships one at a time.

I know it is possible, and I know you can do it too.

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How I Tripled My Email Signup Rate using SumoMe

How I Tripled My Email Signup Rate

Quick question: would you spend $250 per year to make an additional $50,000?

Damn straight you would, right?

I’ll explain in a moment how that’s possible.

But first, listen up.

This blog is about how to build better relationships in business.

But it’s a new world. Our economy isn’t what it was 2 years ago, much less 20 years ago.

You can’t sit idly by and expect to coast in the same job from college to retirement.

You can’t expect the business you’re working for to always be there.

Heck, I had a so-called “stable” job in GOVERNMENT and then lost it because Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor.

(Still sounds kinda crazy, doesn’t it?)

So when it comes to building relationships, you need to use new tools. New technologies. New strategies. New ideas.

Your new client development strategy cannot consist of remembering to bring business cards to the next old-school networking gathering you go to (the same one you go to every month and get little results from).

It’s no longer enough to go to a cocktail party for some Chamber of Commerce business group once a month and call it a day.

You need to think differently.

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Crazy. Irish. Roadtrip.


Have you ever gone on a crazy road trip?

Like the kind in college where you hop in the car with friends and only come back when you’ve run out of money or gas or bail money or all of the above?

Back in the day, before I was an old Dad living with kids in the suburbs, you didn’t need to twist my arm to go on a roadtrip.

Like the time I went on a bachelor party to Whistler, Canada a few years back.

Because we were young and stupid, we decided to save $100 by flying from San Francisco to SEATTLE instead of Vancouver — for a weekend trip.

It turns out Seattle is nowhere near Whistler, so we had to rent a van for 10 of us and drive 8 hours north PAST VANCOUVER to get to Whistler.

Yeah, I know. To save $100.

Guys + bachelor party = stupid.

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How to “Scale Up” Your Relationships (in Changing Times)

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Do you ever wish you could make money while lying on the beach?

Sure… who hasn’t, right? That’s the dream.

Warm sand beneath you…

Wind in your hair…

Sound of the waves crashing against the beach…

Don’t worry – I’m the last guy to promise you can live the “laptop lifestyle,” turning your website into a cash machine without having to put in any effort.

And this blog isn’t just a cookie cutter site about how to start an online business and become a digital nomad. SBR is about building better relationships in business, which includes using digital tools to build more relationships at scale, faster.

But let me tell you a story about the blog post that scared the crap out of me.

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3 Books You Need to Read (Plus 1 Free Book)

Can you remember the last time you read a book that blew your mind?

I’m talking about a book that completely shifts your way of thinking.

I love that. Isn’t it incredible when one book can radically change your thoughts or beliefs?

That happened to me this year with a couple of books, and I wanted to share them with you (plus a free book you can grab below).

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

AbundanceFirst, there was Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think (referral link; non-referral link here) by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. If you haven’t read this book, you need to drop everything and rush out and get it.

In Abundance, Diamandis (who founded the XPrize and Silicon Valley’s Singularity University) and Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing, synthetic biology, and other exponentially growing technologies are enabling us to make much greater gains in quality of life today than we have ever before in human history.

Their basic premise is while headlines in mainstream media tend to dwell on the negative, in fact trend lines across multiple areas have moved towards much better quality of life for huge portions of the planet.

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How to Create a $50K Retreat

Nail Art

Have you ever dreamed about throwing your own live event?

Do you like the idea of getting paid by people to attend an event that you organize (and maybe get paid to travel too)?

If so, listen up.

Just 18 months ago, the idea of having people pay me to attend an event I organized would have been crazy.

I had as much chance of filling my own retreat as I did getting chosen in the first round of the NFL draft.

Flash forward 18 months and I recently got back from Austin, Texas where I organized — along with my amazing co-founder Jeremy Weisz — a sold out (actually oversold) 2 ½ day retreat for entrepreneurs that brought in about $50K.

entrepreneur retreat

I’m still on a high from the event. We had people fly in from all over the U.S., two from Canada, and one attendee flew over all the way from China.

And best of all, we got incredible feedback from the attendees.

John Lombard, who came all the way over from China, said it was well worth the 50+ hours of travel (longer than the event itself).

Two attendees even said the event was better than their weddings.

(I won’t say which two; and I hope they didn’t tell their spouses when they got back home.)


But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. In fact, at multiple points in the journey, I was ready to give up entirely.

So why did I go to all the trouble? Because I truly believe in a larger vision of bringing together other like-minded entrepreneurs who believe when they give, they are going to get.

And being the person who brings together other people face to face is one of the best ways to build relationships, grow your business and increase your revenues.

I want to show you that it is very possible to throw your own live events, and exactly how you can do it.

In this post, I want to share some of behind the scenes work that went into creating my first sold out two-day retreat and share specific tips for what you should do (and not do) if you like the idea of throwing your own retreat, event or mini-conference.

What Worked Well and What Didn’t Work Well

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5 Strategies for Maximizing Every Conference You Go To

Do you make the most of every conference you go to?

Or, are you basically throwing money out the window every time you go to a conference?

Think about it for a second.

You probably spend THOUSANDS of dollars any time you go off to a conference.

You have to pay for a flight, hotel, meals, Uber, those fancy new shoes, maybe a mani-pedi before you leave (you know who you are)…  and you have to take time away from family, friends, and other interests.

All so you can hang out with strangers.

So you probably want to maximize your investment, right?

Of course you do.

But you’re probably doing it wrong.

In fact, some people do conferences so wrong, they might as well put their money in a pile, douse it with kerosene, light a match and burn it.

Poof. Bye-bye, money!

So let’s try to put a stop to that, ‘mkay?

In this post, I want to share 5 strategies for maximizing the conferences you do attend to grow your network, connections, build business alliances, and create further opportunities for yourself and your business.

But first: what are the typical ways people screw up the conferences they attend?

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How I Quadrupled My Email List in 7 Months


Quick question – wanna get more leads and sales?

Sure you would …. just about everyone needs more of those, right?

But it’s not easy. If you’re a small business owner or service professional like most of my readers, then you have to find new leads, close them, and then actually do the work!

There aren’t enough hours in the day.

Well, it turns out there’s a much better way. It’s about shifting from a “one to one” model to a “one to many” model.

In this article, I want to share a new strategy I’ve used this year to quadruple my email list, build my reputation as an expert, forge relationships with tens of thousands of people at once, bring in hundreds of new customers and clients, and most importantly attract multiple six figures of revenue to my business.

I’ve never shared this material before, but it’s been such a game-changer for me that I had to share it.

Why You Don’t Have Enough Leads or Sales Now

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4 Tips for Sending Killer “Cold Emails”


How often do you get to host royalty as a guest post on your blog? Not often enough. This is a guest post by Wendy Weiss, aka “The Queen of Cold Calling.”  I met Wendy a few months ago and she has some great advice not just on how to be more effective when cold calling people, but also on how to send effective “cold email.”

Take it away, Wendy!


Here’s an email I received this week (typos and all):

“I hope you enjoyed the weekend. I tried your office this morning but unfortunately could not get a hold of you. I would like to meet with you next week to learn more about Weiss Communications and its overall operational structure. With the emergence of converged services, businesses are demanding greater performance from their networks than ever before. I would like to present a solution that will offer cost-effective security, any-to-any connectivity, quality of service, scalable bandwidth, and a platform for convergence that eliminates network redundancies and supports a fully meshed enterprise environment. XYZ Company can be your strategic partners as you work complete your vision. Our dedicated team of professionals, robust product portfolio, and unmatched commitment to delivering the highest possible level of service will make a key impact to your organization.

“I am seeking to build and maintain a long-standing relationship with your organization that enables me to help you work smarter and more efficiently. We are proud of our reputation as an industry leader in customer service and continually strive to lead the industry in key service areas like installation, repair, and client services. Over the past years, we have made significant investments into our network infrastructure and increased our local support teams. You will always have access to the people you need, when you need them.

“To that end, I would like to take a collaborative approach to understanding your business. Please let me know when you will be available for next week to further discuss strategies.

“I look forward to hearing from you.”


When I finished howling and cackling and calling all my colleagues to read this email to them, I sat down to write this article.

1. This prospector said he wants to “learn more about Weiss Communications and its overall operational structure.”

Why should I spend my valuable time educating someone—a total stranger–on my business? He should have the smarts and resourcefulness to do some investigating, learn about my business and then use what he has learned to catch my attention.

Lesson Learned: Do some research on your prospects before you call or email. This will enable you to speak directly to the concerns of your prospect and increase the chances that they would want to speak with you.

With all the information that is now so easily accessible and available there is no reason not to know at least the basics about the company you are calling.

2. I have absolutely no idea what this company does and/or why I should be interested in meeting.

This prospector needs to be clear. This is a very long email to say absolutely nothing. If your prospect doesn’t understand what you are talking about, they will hit delete. On the phone they will say, “Not interested,” and hang up.

Lesson Learned: Be clear, concise and to the point.

No jargon unless you are absolutely sure your prospect will understand it.

3. The entire email was about the prospector and the prospector’s company.

He says:
“I would like to meet with you next week…”
“I would like to present a solution…”
“Our dedicated team of professionals…”
“I am seeking to build and maintain…”
“We are proud of our reputation…”
“…we have made significant investments…”
“I would like to take a collaborative approach…”

There’s nothing in the email about me–the prospect. It’s all about what he wants and what his company is doing.

Lesson Learned: Focus your message on your prospect. It’s not about you – it’s about the prospect.

4. The prospector says: “Our dedicated team of professionals, robust product portfolio, and unmatched commitment to delivering the highest possible level of service will make a key impact to your organization.

Having a “key impact” is probably a good thing, although he never actually says what that “key impact” might be.

Lesson Learned: Make sure the focus of your communication is on the value that you represent and be clear what that value is. Your prospect will not guess, figure it out on their own or spend any time at all trying to understand what you’re saying.

Make sure that your email (or your telephone call) is about the value that you bring to customers and state that value in clear simple terms that are easy to understand.

Prospecting by email is very much like prospecting by phone. Your phone call needs to be direct and concise, focused on your prospect and on the value that you represent.

Likewise, your email needs to be direct and concise, focused on your prospect and on the value that you represent.

Learn more about Wendy Weiss at Cold Calling Results.