Speaking, Bullsh*t, and Billionaires: Post-#Shine Wrap Up pt 2

(this is part 2 of the Post-#Shine Wrap Up … check out part 1: Do It With Your Eyes Open & Be Awesome)

More of what I learned after 5 days in Las Vegas:

I might be a real speaker.

I have a complex. (Okay, I have a few complexes, but let’s just deal with one at a time.)

I don’t think I’m a real speaker.

Yes, I regularly speak at live events. And I tell stories, make people laugh, teach them amazing content, and hopefully inspire them to take action on what they have learned.

But I’ve never been paid to speak.

You know, the person who gets paid $3K or $20K or whatever the heck people get paid to keynote an event. I’ve just done the free speaking, where you are supposed to be happy to be there so you can share your information & maybe add people to your list or sell stuff from the back of the room.

I have friends who are real speakers. They get paid actual checks (Do people still get actual checks? Either way, they get paid actual money.).

And I thought you magically get tapped to be part of the club once you become really good. Or maybe after you are President of the United States or save kittens from dying in Antarctica.

But as I was sitting in the audience listening to the keynote on Thursday, I realized that dude, I’m better than this chick.

I mean, yes, she started a company that she sold for millions and has a compelling story about her journey with cancer. But this woman’s success was based upon a lie, a bit of luck, and selling her business before the market changed. Her presentation was devoid of reproducible content, lessons that people in the audience could apply to their own business today.

And just like back in 2003 when I was inspired to start my financial business after I realized that I’m smarter than Suze Orman (there’s another blog post waiting to happen), I realized after watching this woman that I am a pretty good speaker already.

The only reason I’m not getting paid to speak is because I don’t think I should get paid to speak. Because I believe I’m not real.

Wow, as I wrote that last sentence I started to cry. Frak me. Well, at least now I know one thing I’m working on in 2010.

If it worked yesterday does not mean it will work tomorrow.

There is a business theory that reproducing what was successful in the past is a way to be successful in the future.

Now that’s not a completely insane idea, and in a slower moving world, it probably (maybe?) worked.

So today we go to events and listen to people who were successful yesterday, and they tell us the secret strategies & tactics of making their millions (or ahem, billions).

And tell us that if we do not follow their advice, then we are fools.


If the only way to success was modeling tactics that worked in the past, we’d still be riding horses, taking ships to europe, sending checks via airmail, and turning on the news to find out what happened yesterday.

Cold calling would still work. Brand advertising would still work. People would still click on banner ads.

Technology & tactics change. And today, they change at exponential speed.

Even more so, the strategies that worked yesterday don’t necessarily work today, because technology has changed the sophistication of the customer.

People no longer respond to the push. They respond to building a relationship. Especially in a service based, personality based business.

Sorry to break it to you, billionaire, but twitter and facebook are not a waste of time.

Building relationships is never a waste of time. And twitter/facebook/blogs/social media are powerful tools to build those relationships.

Can you waste time on social media? Obviously, just like you can waste money on branding and printing fancy business cards.

Do we have something to learn from what worked yesterday? Yes, because some principles of business & how humans work still apply today.

Telling an audience of 450 entrepreneurs that twitter & facebook are a waste of time is a gross oversimplification and a violation of trust.

Psst … twitter & facebook relationship building leads to 90%+ of my revenue. What a waste.

Bullsh*t does not work on social media.

Now we are getting into pet peeve territory.

If you follow me on twitter, you know that my style is hands on. No automation. No assistants tweeting for me.

Why not outsource? Think of it this way: would you pay a virtual assistant to go to a networking event on your behalf?

Would you pay the assistant to dress up in your clothes & put on a wig and pretend to be you?

No, of course not. That would be total bullsh*t. Fraudulent. Creepy. And would totally not work.

Then why would you have someone pretend to be you on twitter?

Now there is a way you can use staff to manage your social media, answer questions for you, or even have their own accounts to handle customers service. That’s a brilliant way to leverage your time & provide even more relationship building opportunities with your community.

Having others tweet as if they were you is just gross.

So when Ali was on stage on Friday morning and this tweet allegedly from her came across my iPhone, I called bullsh*t.

(in case you can’t read the graphic, the tweet from @alibrownla reads: “@barbaracorcoran so excited to meet you today and have you speak to my audience at #Shine. We have so much to learn from you!” and it is dated 9:25 AM Nov. 6th)

Ali was obviously not tweeting that as she was on stage. Either she had an automatic service tweet that out (somewhat lame) or her staff was pretending to be her (ick!).

So here I’m sending a message to Ali’s team (that they probably will not listen to, since Ali’s mentor thinks twitter is a waste of time):

You. Are. Doing. It. Wrong.

And that is why you are getting mediocre results from your social media efforts.

Leverage Ali’s time, yes. Use staff to answer customer service issues, yes.

But either Ali tweets out as herself, or she shouldn’t do twitter.

And … the CEO of a personality-based business who wants to be big must engage her audience.  The most simple & inexpensive way to engage is through twitter.


(stay tuned for part 3 of the post-#shine wrap up, including: “The real magic happens outside of the seminar room.” & “It is possible to be married for more than 10 years and still have sex every day.”)

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