I enjoyed this old interview with Warren Buffett (1985):
Berkshire Hathaway was 20 years old at this time.
“If you buy things for far below what they’re worth, and you buy a group of them, you basically don’t lose money.” 1:05
Q: Warren, what do you consider the most important quality for an investment manager?
A: It’s a temperamental quality not an intellectual quality. You don’t need tons of IQ in this business. You do not have to be able to play three dimensional chess. You need a stable personality. You need the temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd. This is not a business where you take polls, this is a business where you think. Ben Graham would say “You’re not right or wrong because a 1,000 people agree with you or disagree with you. You’re right because your facts and your reasoning are right.”
“The real test of whether you’re investing from a value stand point is if you care if the stock market is open tomorrow. If you’re making a good investment in a security, it shouldn’t both you if they close down the stock market for 5 years. All the ticker tells me is the price. Prices don’t tell me anything about a business. Business figures themselves tell me about a business. I’d rather evaluate a business first without knowing the price, so the price doesn’t influence me, then look at the price later to see if it’s way out of line than what my value is.” (2:20)
“There may be many wonderful pitches to swing at, but if you don’t know enough, you don’t have to swing. You can sit there and watch thousands of pitches and only swing at ONE when you know a bunch about it. I might not swing for 2 years. It would bore most people, and certainly boredom is a problem with most professional money managers.” (5:50)
I thought this was a super cool Tweet story by Naval Ravikant. It was in a weird format so I put it in a doc. Feel free to copy:
Here’s my notes from the Masters of Scale Podcast featuring Sam Altman:
Notes taken on Mexico–> Houston–> San Diego flight by Neville Medhora.
*Interesting how Reid’s sponsor ads on the podcast are broken. 3 story based segments in beginning/middle/end.
- Reid Hoffman= founder of LinkdIn, investor at Greylock
- Sam Altman = Y Combinator starter accelerator, Airbnb Stripe, Reddit etc.
- Loves the utility of cargo shorts. “ You can carry a lot of stuff!”
- His deep fascination for tech history. Collects old swords, tech artifacts.
- “A product that is deeply loved by it’s users is a product that can scale.”
- “It’s more important to have 100 people who really love your product, then 1,000,000 that just sorta like it.”
- The love seed of scale starts with a teeny tiny group of people who are zealous-like in their loyaltys
- Sam often “pattern matches from history. Enjoys this that were major technologies– in their day, like hand combat weapons.
- Arrived a YC:
- Graduated from college. Initially planned to be an intern at Goldman Sachs
- Started “Loopt”… as an after-class project in 2005. A mobile app 2 years before iphone, so not much chance of success. Paul Graham was founder of Y Combinator, PC put out offer to your idea.
- Dominique Ansel- Chef that created CroNut. The craze grew orgarally. No marketing, just good product. He puts a huuuge amount of effort to keep the texture etc just right. After blesser wrote about it, 100+ people, then 200 etc. in line to set CroNut.
- Cannot re-create CroNut success, kind of a “hit” and can’t sustain.
- “The first step to scale, is to renounce your desire to sale.”
- “Focus on those happy few.”
- Sam got $6,000 and free dinners from YC in the 1st class of entrepreneurs.
- Loopt soon struck deals with At&T
- Sam shared stage w/ Steve Jobs in 2008 to into loopt on new App Store.
- Loopt acquired when was 26 for $43 million
- Loved being IN the trenches, Paul Graham said he was gonna retire (jokingly) and Sam should be president of Y Comb, He was 28.
“Love is better than like.” Central mantra of YC
- If you look at the current bio co’s they tried to have fairly early fanatical users. “ You likely come across FB of google cause Friend told you about it.”
- Buuuttt, a lot of startups do this, but don’t always work.
- Learned from iPhones, the love was DEEP, They used them all the time and it became their most precious item. Even in poor countries they had nothing, but would sill get smartphone.
- “You gotta use the product it’s so great.”
- Good things to hear. Indicates might have scale
- Expencetial possibly
- Exceedingly hard to get there without making a few people enormously happy.
- You can’t “trick” users into loving your brand. Example: Spanx.
- Focused on users who were recruiting other users. Pre-internet influencer marketing.
- Many people try to scale with slick marketing campaign
- 2 kinds of scaling!
- The easy kind!
When you first have a product users super love. Then you can scale without having to generate demand.
- The Hard Kind!
Try to start scaling before the product is great. Then most of your effort is trying to generate demand.
- People don’t stick with someone they don’t love. You can cleverly hack your way to it, but it rarely sticks and sets harder.
- Add one narrow set of users, then go after another like Facebook slices of colleges. However main audience is outside that. Find initial user somewhere.
- Focused a lot of YC on hard tech (cars, energy, super sonic planes).
- “Boom” raised $51 mil to build a supersonic jet. People are all excited about it.
- It might be easier to start a hard company, and harder to start an easy company. Hard companies get more people excited about them.
- The aroutrit companies fewd to be the ones who are working on the bleeding edge of what people are working on.
- Ended out episode w/sword analogy that when Sam got his Bronze Era Sword he just couldn’t wait to use it.
Download these notes (and transcription) as a Google Doc:
I’m learning to code. Again.
In high school I did some computer science.
I ATTEMPTED to get into the computer science program in college but got weeded out (15,000 students going for 5,000 spots).
And while I was never that great at programming, I was at least good enough at computers in general to be running several small web businesses while still in college.
And the reason was I was at least somewhat up-to-date with the technologies of the day.
Back then I knew:
–How to use a server.
–How to build a basic webpage.
–How to make ecommerce websites.
–How to buy & manage domain names.
–How to install content management systems (like WordPress) on my server.
Just kinda basic stuff to put up a website and make it do stuff.
However nowadays there’s been an emergence of much more powerful programming languages that are specifically made for the web, and you can do some cool stuff with them. And I wanna learn em!
I just wanna be able to talk intelligibly about projects to an engineer or freelancer. So I’m taking the month of April to bone up on my coding skills.
Plus….I just flat out kinda wanna learn for fun cause I think it’s cool :-)
But guess what…….April is pretty busy for me. But then May, June, July…….EVERY MONTH there’s always something!
There’s never a “good time” to do anything. You just have to do it.
It’s funny how after college people think learning ONE new thing on the side is hard. But whilst IN college people are learning like EIGHT new things at a time and often working also.
So what’s the difference?
Why can we learn so much stuff at once in that environment?
The answer is: a combination of PRESSURE and CLEAR GOALS.
damn near guaranteed success.
….and that’s exactly how I’m gonna hold myself accountable for learning to code in April.
“What is my purpose???”
You know what this question is?
It’s a meaningless fu**ing question that hippies ask to make themselves sad.
A spoon was built for a specific purpose: To get food in your mouth.
A chair was built for a specific purpose: To be sat on.
A cup was built for a specific purpose: To hold stuff.
But those are inanimate objects.
Life on the other hand was created by chance and repetition. And only life that replicates continues to survive.
That means us humans have the exact same “purpose” as dogs, fish, plankton and trees:
You exist to reproduce and assist in the survival of your species.
Hey hippies and lazy bastards of the world endlessly searching for your purpose….there it is!!! The purpose of life has been sovled!
But see, froo-froo thinkers don’t want to admit this. The real answer is obviously staring them in the face, yet they won’t acknowledge it because it’s not the easy answer they wanted to hear.
It’s like asking a successful person what “The secret to success is.” The real answer is usually “A lot of hard work.” But that’s NOT what people wanna hear! They wanna hear some magic clue that lets them shortcut their way through the hard work.
So there you have it. The purpose of life is to reproduce and assist in the survival of your species.
Here’s breaking it down further:
If your penis/vagina is in functioning order, your original purpose is to reproduce:
It’s why young people obsess over fitting in, being cool, and finding love.
If you’re no longer able to reproduce, your purpose is to assist in the survival of your species:
It’s why old people like taking care of grand kids.
It’s why people feel so good when they volunteer.
If you’re not doing things that either lead to reproduction or survival of the species, what happens? You get depressed!
It’s your brain’s way of telling you stop asking what your god damn “purpose” is and go do something that gets you ahead in life or helps your fellow humans.
I’ve seen many people endlessly ask the question “what’s my purpose” and they always tend to get a little depressed about it because they can never find it.
They’re searching for something to give them meaning…..or something to give them “drive”.
What these people need is not a “purpose”, but these two things:
1.) LITTLE GOALS (this one is required).
You will get super-depressed if you don’t have a little goal. A Little Goal can making a certain amount of money, or finishing a project, or learning something new, or being the best in your line of work, or taking a trip, or improving your living situation. Your Little Goals will constantly be changing.
2.) BIG GOALS (this one is not required, but can be searched for).
This big goal should be so big that it can’t be accomplished in your lifetime. It will vary wildly for some people. A lot of people won’t even have one, and that’s alright too. Some people will have a burning desire to end starvation in Africa or some lofty goal, and that’s alright too. If you don’t have a solid Big Goal yet….don’t dwell on it….focus on your Little Goals first and a Big Goal will materialize.
So if you’ve ever been wondering what “Your purpose in life” is. What you’re actually looking for is a GOAL.
And your goals evolve and change in different situations.
If you live in a 1st world country and have a job, maybe your short term goals are to take a trip to the beach with your friends and finally buy that new condo you’ve wanted.
But if you just got kidnapped by deadly ninjas, your new goal is probably to escape. Your beach trip and condo probably seem like pretty unimportant things.
If you live in a horrible place with no opportunity, maybe your short term goal would be to beef up your finances enough to get out, or improve your community to be more like you’d want.
Your goals will be highly affected by your environment.
Your Little Goals will be ever-evolving.
Your Big Goals will be too.
Your “purpose” in life however will remain the same: You exist to reproduce and assist in the survival of your species.
When a musician is jamming the hell out….he isn’t moping around thinking “what’s my purrrpoossee?”
His Little Goal is: rock the hell out and entertain the crowd. And he’s fully engaged in it.
When a pilot is landing a plane…..he isn’t contemplating, “maaaan what’s my purpose??”
His Little Goal is to land the plane safely. And he’s fully engaged in it.
The mom juggling kids while cooking and cleaning at the same time isn’t thinking “What’s my purpose?”
Her Little Goal is to get her kids fed. And she’s fully engaged in it.
If you don’t have a Little Goal, then MAKE one!
-Be the absolute top performer at your job.
-Aggressively learn a new skill. Piano, coding, speed reading.
-Buy my KopywritingKourse and learn how to communicate ← survival of Neville in action.
-Start making extra money for a sweet trip.
Accomplishing a bunch of Little Goals leads to you accomplishing even bigger goals.
Since the purpose of life is to reproduce and assist in the survival of your species…..
Generally anything you do to improve your own value or improve others will make you happy.
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
In a land far-far away called ThisPlaceDoesn’tExistVille……everyone spends the same amount of money every month.
That means of all 12 months of the year, a person will spend maybe $4,000/mo for living/fun/bills. Like this:
January spending: $4,000
February spending: $4,000
March spending: $4,000
November spending: $4,000
December spending: $4,000
BAHAHAHA!! In RealWorldLand however, that shit NEVER happens! It’s more like:
January spending: $4,000
February spending: $3,000
March spending: $4,000
November spending: $7,500
December spending: $11,500
Notice those last few months shoot straight up.
Well pretty much EVERY year ever, I notice my spending goes sky-high in the last quarter of the year….and I’m not alone in this.
In October/November/December you tend to: Travel places to see family, buy lots of gifts, go to lots of parties, stay in other places…..basically A LOT OF SPENDING HAPPENS.
But years ago in college I did one smart thing, and that was create a separate spending account JUST for occasions like this.
I called it The Spending Account 2.
(ok…the name wasn’t so creative, but you get the point)!
In college I started stuffing in about $300 bucks a month to the Spending Account 2 account….so by the end of 12 months I’d have an extra $3,600 in the holiday season to spend.
At the time that would cover travel costs, allow me to buy some pretty decent gifts for everyone….and essentially lemme have some extra wiggle room to do/buy whatever I wanted for the holidays:
Having The Spending Account 2 available for extra money made holiday shopping a lot more enjoyable, when you didn’t have to “budget” to buy stuff on your normal monthly burn rate.
If you have the option to create multiple bank accounts, I’d HIGHLY suggest you create a separate one that let’s you actually enjoy the holidays instead of dread it :)
Neville Medhora – The Brown Santa Claus
P.S. You’re damn right I made a financial graphic using Emjoi!
So this past weekend I was at a conference called “Titans of Direct Response.”
As you may know, the copywriting industry had some of it’s infancy in the the direct-mail industry.
Back in the days before the el interneto, people would send physical mail. So it was hella expensive to reach a large audience.
So if you wanted to broadcast your message to a large audience in the 1900’s, you could either:
- Advertise on the TV.
- Advertise on the radio.
- Advertise in magazines.
- Advertise through the mail.
There were a lot of advantages to selling through direct mail. For one you could TEST different advertising messages to smaller samples, like 1,000 people get mail with pictures, 1,000 people get mail without pictures, and then you can compare which set generated more sales.
The reason copywriters became so crucial back then, was it was EXPENSIVE AS HELL to test this stuff.
Not to mention back in the day it wasn’t so simple to get 1,000’s of letters printed up (today you can literally do it from a desktop printer and a laptop, but not back then).
So it may cost you $2,000+ to send out a single test to 1,000 people. Since so much money was on the line each time, it was crucial to have someone experienced in sales copy to be writing these letters so you could at least make your money back.
…..well the conference I went to this past weekend in Stamford, CT. had all the famous veterans from that industry.
What’s cool is those guys who cut their teeth on direct mail for years generally ALSO kill it when they move to the internet.
The one’s who’ve been around for a long time know that whether it’s direct mail, email, radio, or TV….it’s all about the human psychology behind the purchase. So they’re adaptable.
So some of the biggest guys in the industry were there including Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and Joe Sugarman (I’ve read the books of every single one of these guys).
Price to get in: $3,500.
Chartered cars: $400
Hotel Room: $400
Lessons Learned: Priceless.
Ripped-off joke from MasterCard: 100% :-P
NOW HERE’S NEVILLE’S PERSONAL THEORY ON GOING TO CONFERENCES:
You can pretty much watch ALL of the speakers I saw on YouTube for free. In fact you can probably get MORE information from each speaker for free on the internet.
So why go?
You don’t need to pay $5,000+ to read/listen/watch these guys speak from a stage. However it’s NEVER about watching the speakers on stage that makes a conference worth it.
It’s about the friends you make at the conference.
It’s about the small connections you make that might turn into something more.
It’s about the “oh yeah I know that guy” conversations you have after the conference.
It’s about getting to hang out with the bigshots in the room in a casual environment.
(And my number one….): It’s about taking hella notes in the conference and then getting to read them later!
I. Love. Taking. Notes.
Mainly because I suck at remembering things. Like, I really suck.
So taking notes is the only way I remember stuff.
In a month I’ll look back at my notes and allllll the information will come flooding back. But without the notes my memory is probably 98% erased from the conference.
So my notes are the most prized possession I have from the conference. What’s funny is that MY notes may not actually mean much to YOU. But to me they resonate.
So I’d like to share my notes right here. Who knows, maybe you’ll get something out of them.
(Special thanks to David Lowry at kickball.com for getting these transcribed)!
So obviously one of the main reasons to attend a conference is to mingle with other like-minded nerds. My friend Ryan did something cool whilst at the Titans of Direct Response conference:
He hosted a fancy dinner at The Capital Grille for 30 people.
He took care of the entire bill, and kind of “moderated” the dinner by assigning seats with people he thought would be good to meet each other. He also made everyone go around the room and take 30 seconds to introduce themselves, and tell people what help they need.
I thought this would be super-annoying but it actually turned out to be pretty cool. You got to hear a brief blurb about everyone’s companies, and they get to pose one question they need help with.
Often it was something like “We need help finding more people who do Google AdWords.” Almost immediately several people would chime in saying, “Hey I know the right guy for you.”
Instant connections made!
The highlight was Jay Abraham was at the same restaurant having dinner with his family, and he stopped by to say a few words and even bought the entire group bottles of champagne!
Incidentally Jay Abraham was the author of one of my favorite business books ever (Ask Noah, I mention this book all the damn time). So I brought my well-used copy of the book along to the conference hoping Jay Abraham would sign it.
Success! Clearly excited for him to autograph my book:
An interesting side note about this little inscription. He wrote it with a regular pen on the inside cover whilst standing up. This means it was VERY difficult to write on since it isn’t a hardback cover.
And it took him quite a while to write out this inscription. Halfway through I told him, “You know…..I kind of just expected you to write “Jay” on the inside, you don’t have to write much more.”
He responded with something like: “You know, I could easily just write something short, but if I take 30 extra seconds to sign this properly, you’ll much more likely remember this forever.”
(that was paraphrased based off my poor memory).
It’s kind of cool that the most in-demand guy in the room was the one who took the MOST time.
Notice he even wrote out “Kopywriting career”!!!
Welp….that was my experience at Titans Of Direct response. If you have the patience to read through my poorly-scribbled 26 pages of notes, be my guest!
You can download the notes here:
(Special thanks to David Lowry at kickball.com for getting these transcribed)!
Neville Medhora – Future Titan
Hey, Neville here:
I got invited to speak at this thing called HustleCon in San Francisco.
Overall it went off really well, met some cool people, and got a free trip to SanFran. What’s even more impressive is that the organizer was a 25 year old named Sam Parr who walked away from the conference with over $40,000 of profit in his pocket.
I was originally gonna just write about my own experience there……but I’d rather listen to how Sam pulled together a conference within 2 months that made as much profit for him as an average American in a year.
Sam Parr Speaking Now:
Konichia fellow Nevblogg-ers,
Sam here, from Hustle Con, a badass conference focused on nontechnical startup founders.
I decided to host Hustle Con last May but the real work started the first week of June. Before this, I had never actually been to a conference before, let alone organized one…but my blissful ignorance helped me sell 400 tickets in just 7 weeks and generate over $50,000 in revenue.
This blog post explains how I did it.
How I Hustle And Flow-ed
Since I’ve been asked the same questions over and over, I thought I’d write this blog post in question-and-answer format.
“How did I find the speakers?
Did I pay them?”
This is the #1 question people ask me, but the answer is quite simple: I just asked. And no, I did not have to pay a single speaker.
In the early planning stage, I thought founders of big successful companies would be way to busy to speak at Hustle Con. When you think about it, founders really don’t need me. I mean, they’re rich, are stupid busy, and get asked for favors dozens of times a week.
At first, when I pitched founders, I’d try to convince them to come by explaining how fun the event would be or how they could grow their business because there’d be 400 people in the audience.
That pitch left me with jack squat.
Then I tried something a little different.
Instead of telling them I’d how much business would be generated from speaking (very little, realistically) I’d ask them to “come spread your company’s gospel to a live audience of 400 people and an online audience of 2,500 (students in our Udemy course).”
This worked WAY better.
Think about it…it feels good to not only talk about yourself in front of a large audience, but also to appear as an authority figure on your topic.
Additionally, high growth startups can’t hire fast enough, which is why startups pay recruiters around $30,000 per hire. And one thing that I didn’t realize is that a founder’s main job is recruiting top talent.
See where I’m going with this?
Convincing a CEO to speak at my conference was MUCH easier when I told them about the audience. There would be 400 highly qualified startupers who are eager to work hard and thirsty for knowledge…aka a CEO’s dream.
Finally, there was one BIG, BIGGGGG thing that set me apart from everyone else asking: persistence. And not the annoying kind of persistence (although I was accused of that once) but the polite, I-respect-this-guy-for-working-so-hard kind of persistence.
You see, I use to send one, maybe two emails to a potential customer, conference speaker, or anyone else I wanted something from. But if you’re trying to get in touch with an influential person you’ll most likely need to send 5 or 10 emails before getting a response back. I emailed some of the higher profile speakers at Hustle Con 7 times before getting a yes or no.
Now, I know what you’re saying “isn’t that kinda annoying?” No. Not if you do it in a respectful way, such as a reminder email every three days for a couple weeks.
If you wanna see the detailed, step-by-step on how I contacted each speaker, then read the post “How We Found Our Speakers: 4 Ways To Get Ahold Of Anyone And Make Them ACT!”I used these methods to not only get in touch with all the speakers of Hustle Con, but also the founder of Twitter, GoPro, Business Insider, and dozens of others.
Oh, and I almost forgot to address if we had to pay speakers or not. We did not. I did pay for Neville’s flight from Austin to San Francisco, but besides him every other speaker paid their own way. I asked a few authors, like Ryan Holiday and James Altucher to speak, but they wanted between $5,000 and $10,000. I declined.
How did I sell 400 tickets in 7 weeks?
I could write an entire freakin’ book on this question, but I’ll sum it up in two words: COLLECT EMAILS!
Here’s how I did it:
1. Writing/finding blog posts: I wanted to publish around 12 blogs posts…one for each speaker. I wrote a few on my own, while the others were posts each speaker had already written that were applicable to Hustle Con. I found these posts on their blogs and asked for permission to repost.
3. Creating a drip campaign: After outlining each blog post, I wrote 12 emails that told a funny/interesting story about the speaker that then made the reader want to click and head to my site to read the entire post in hopes that they’d share it with their friends. I then set the emails up as an autoresponder using Mailchimp so new users would get an email every day for 12 days at 10 AM after signing up. This step is KEY and if you have no idea what you’re doing, then I suggest taking Neville’s Autoresponder Kourse.
4. Publish and distribute the blog posts: Ok, so my autoresponder is set up and posts scheduled to be published. When publishing time came, I posted the blog posts on Reddit, Hacker News, dozens of Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, Growth Hacker, Inbound.org and asked the speakers to share the post written about them.
Bada-bing-bada-boom. That’s it.
Sounds simple, right? Well, kinda. This method took a TON of finesse and time but it really, really worked.
A few tidbits I should mention
1. We had linear ticket sales: I’ve never heard of another conference selling tickets as consistently as we did. 99% of conferences sell 80% of the tickets in the last two weeks. But Hustle Con had extremely consistent sales. In fact, we sold out four days before the conference, which is pretty good. Our first ticket sale was on June 9th and the last was July 28th.
2. High traffic and strong list: The Hustle Con site launched on June 6th and within just a few weeks we were averaging somewhere around 1,000 to 2,000 unique visitors per day. Our email list jump from 200 (pre-launch) to about 2,500 in 7 weeks. Not bad for such a young site, eh?
3. Branding: People loved our drip campaign because our emails were funny and unique. I know I get like 3,324 emails a day and 99% of them are just flat out crap and go straight to the ole’ trash, so I worked really, REALLY hard to make our emails killer.
My goal for each email was to tell a story, not sell. Storytelling works wonders and this made the Hustle Con brand memorable. In fact, I regularly received replies from folks saying how they couldn’t make it to the event but that they loved the emails and wanted to come next year. Of our list of around 2,500 emails, we average close to a 50% open rate, which is really good.
4. Give away tickets to influencers: To gain some extra traffic, I gave away 50 free tickets to popular friends of mine. This wasn’t a special process…I just found people with tons of Facebook followers and sent them a message inviting them to come for free in return for sharing our page on as their status.Yeah…as in a bribe. I didn’t even bother with asking them to share on Twitter, or as I like to call it, Shitter, because Twitter users rarely ever buy (in my experience).
5. Partner with other lists: Besides the obvious places like StartupDigest, WebWallflower, and Fetch, I made a list of dozens of Meetup groups and bloggers who I knew had huge lists and offered them 35% discounts. Pretty simple.
What did my cost breakdown looked like?
Most folks ask “ was Hustle Con was a success?” but I know what they’re really thinking – “how much money did you make?”
Hustle Con took in $56,844 in revenue and $40,212 in profit. I didn’t raise as much sponsorship money as I could have because I didn’t want lame sponsors coming so this number could have been WAYYY higher.
How did I get sponsors? How much did I get?
I was shocked so many companies would be willing to pay money to sponsor a conference. We raised around $19,250 in sponsorship money but looking back I think we could have done around $50,000.
In my opinion there are two types of sponsors: those who want brand exposure and those who want leads.
Big companies like, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have a HUGE marketing budget to spend on conferences. These guys are not looking for a return but just want to be part of cool events to build brand awareness. When I contacted these companies I sold them on the event speakers because that’s what made them want to sponsor the event.
Then there are smaller companies like recruiting firms or startups who are looking for some type of return. At Hustle Con we had a few recruiters sponsor because a potential recruit is worth between $10,000 and $30,000 so the possibility of getting a few quality leads is totally worth a sponsoring.
I’m not sure how other conferences do it, but I looked at my event as having three customers: sponsors, speakers, and attendees.
Because of this, I only chose sponsors who I thought truly added value. This way, I could promote the sponsor a ton to the speakers and attendees without being annoying because it’d be valuable for everyone. After the event I followed up with each sponsor and am happy to say that we totally exceeding their expectations. Attention to detail and taking care of the sponsors is key.
The process of contacting potential sponsors went something like this:
1. Prospecting: I made a list of 120 companies I liked who sponsored 2 or more conferences in the past along with their head of marketing’s email
2. Email: I emailed each company to set up a call.
3. The call: I’ve never had a “normal” sales job so I’m not sure how a typical sales call looks like, but I created my own process that worked really well.
My goal with the call wasn’t actually to get sponsorship money but to get them EXCITED about Hustle Con. This way their company would send 3 to 5 employees regardless if they sponsored the event because they saw how fun and valuable the experience would be. I had around 20 calls with potential sponsors. 7 or so actually bought a sponsorship package and nearly all of them sent at least one employee.
Did I work on this full time?
Yes. I loved every second of it.
Did the process drive you crazy?
Hustle Con was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had on any project…and it just so happened to make money too. In fact, I really didn’t care about money at all on this project. Sure, I wanted it to be profitable but revenue was not my main focus. This type of attitude made HC so much fun to work on and I wasn’t stressed or going crazy.
How did you get 25 awesome volunteers for free?
Hustle Con had 400 people in attendance, 15 speakers, 2 cocktail breaks, 2 meal breaks, and 1 after party. There was NO WAY IN HELL I could do it alone, so I enlisted the help of 25 volunteers to set up the day before and work the entire event the day of.
Most of the volunteers were folks who emailed me directly through the contact form on HustleCon.com and asked if I needed any help. The other volunteers came to me after seeing my Facebook post asking for help. Organizing the volunteers was a HUGE task. My roommate Nathan, who has led teams as big as 200 volunteers, was in charge of all of the volunteers. Him and I worked together to create teams of 4 and assigned each team a leader and a job. Then, we did a rehearsal the day before, which made everything run smooth as a baby’s ass.
Welp, now you know what I know. If you found this useful then tell me in the comments section below.