Nick has been successful in business, first in the corporate world becoming a District Manager of 25 stores across 3 states at age 25. Then a decade later he decided to leave that world and venture into entrepreneurship. He now owns 2 businesses as well as being a YouTuber and blogger.
I think you’ll agree with me that turning that passion and drive you have for your new business into revenue and clients is NOT EASY.
So here’s a quick outline of how to invest in your own business to get it making money fast.
At first, the investment that you’re going to make comes as your time.
You build everything yourself… From the logo, to the ads, to the marketing, the procedures, the website, the Facebook page…on and on.
And you should! You need to know how to do everything. You need to be an expert at every topic so you can grow the business.
You have to launch things, then measure the results, and tweak your process to improve the products.
Kind of a side note here; I highly recommend that you document this whole process with as many pictures and videos, as you possibly can, and post them to your stories.
Trust me, in a year you are going to need to see where you were at at this time last year.
It’s fun, yes, but more so it’s extremely motivating to see how much you’ve grown as a business and as an entrepreneur. You will always feel like you have so much more to do, that you end up forgetting how far you’ve come
When you have last year‘s results or progress documented to see on Timehop or on those little Facebook messages that say, “Your stories from a year ago.“ it’s a major inspiration to keep going and keep building.
OK, so after you invest all this time, a cool thing starts to happen… The business starts to work! You have success, you have clients, and low and behold you’re finally making money!
At this point, all that time you’ve been investing in the business becomes a much more valuable resource…all the sudden you can’t get everything done!
So from here you have to figure out how to multiply yourself so you can be more efficient. The best way to do that is to introduce technology into your business.
Now when I say technology, I just mean an app or a service that can help you do the things you’ve been doing manually.
Example: you don’t need to manually book all the clients on a paper calendar after texting with them (please stop doing this NOW).
Your clients probably don’t like they have to text you anyway! It’s time consuming. They just want to book with you!
So you should go and get one of the million different services that are out there that can do those bookings for you.
It will free up so much time you’ll be shocked, and you can stop working as your own employee and work on being the CEO , launching new cool things and testing ideas.
With the extra time you have, you can make better ads. You can experiment with new processes. You can grow revenue instead of being the worker bee!
As you become less busy and more focused, the business will grow even more, and all the sudden you’re actually back to where you were before…out of time because you’re so busy with clients!
It can be stressful, but never forget that it’s the best problem in the world to have!
Now what you need to solve the problem, is PEOPLE.
In this article is not going to cover all the ins-and-outs of hiring, but I am going to give you some great tips here.
The first position that you should hire for is a job that’s non-customer facing. It’s the easiest thing in your business to do.
You can hire someone, train them on the procedure, and be mostly done with it. Yes, you have to check their work, but you don’t have to be worried about if your customers are being taken care of properly.
Just like when you got the technology integrated, this will free up so much time for you, and it keeps you interacting with the clients. That’s important because you’re still the engine that drives the business!
The non-customer facing tasks are also usually the lowest paid tasks so it’s easier to fit it on the budget.
The other thing you can do, is train a person to run your technology! They have to be smart and highly trustworthy, but they just get to stay at home and play on the computer all day!
I’ve now hired an admin that works from home, her name is Kassie, and she’s been AMAZING in getting me off the computer and back working on the vision of the business and on new tasks.
As of now I am working on a large project to teach my techniques for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, and team building . It’s something I’m super passionate about so stay tuned for details on that project. Hopefully it’s coming out in summer or fall 2023!
And there you have it, the path to growing your business!
Please hit me on Twitter with your questions @nick_o_glass and as always thanks for reading ✊🏼
#3 Regardless of your size, you need a MARKETING PLAN
You can’t give your new workers hours if you don’t have clients. You can’t use your fancy new systems if you don’t have clients. Honestly, you can’t do anything without clients! Business objective #1 will always be GET CLIENTS!
4 types of marketing to focus your efforts on…
1. FREE – This is organic social media posts (99% Facebook Page). Look like a human, not a desperate business. Think REALITY SHOW vs ADVERTISER. 2. PAID – This is google ads and Facebook ads mainly. TikTok, LinkedIn, Snap… sure, but FB runs the world I promise. Teach yourself with this Youtube video. 3. SEO – This is the most important, and also the slowest. Get your SEO “perfect” today, you’ll be SUPER glad (and SUPER busy) in 8 months. 4. GUERRILLA – My favorite! Hit the streets with flyers, yard signs, magnets and beer koozies for clients!
I outline a lot of my marketing techniques in this video below
I have a partnership with an amazing marketing company called Event Hawk where you can get some amazing deals, and they KILL IT on the google ads!
Below is an email that I sent to all of our clients at my Christmas Light business, Let’s Get Lit (letsgetlitxmas.com).
I wanted to share it here for a few reasons… -First of all I’m proud and I want to share our successes -Second, I wanted to show any entrepreneurs or managers out there a GREAT way to ask for some google reviews.
It’s fine if you just ASK, I mean it’s your business do whatever the hell you want to do, but I feel strongly compelled to tell a story and add value in most everything I do.
Put it this way…I’d rather say thanks, and tell a story, and bury the link for google reviews at the bottom, then shamelessly ask and get potentially more reviews.
The “transaction” is second to the investment and gratitude. I may get LESS results from that today, but in the long run it will cause MORE winning and larger victories.
What a year we had in 2021…Yes, the sheer VOLUME of homes and businesses we lit absolutely blew me away (111 Jobs), but the thing that was absolutely amazing was the reactions and love we got from not only YOU, but your neighbors and friends/fam too!
The other day I was checking our 7 year old, Boston, out of school to get his flu shot, and I ran into of my oldest clients and supporters, Jess. We started talking a bit, and then from behind me I heard another voice, “Oh my god you own Lets Get Lit?”
I smiled and said, “Yes I do…”
Before I could even finish what I was going to say, she said, “Wow ya’ll are so amazing! We saw one of your signs in Tchefuncte Country Club Estats and the house was beautifully done! My husband thinks ya’ll are so bad-ass, we’re getting you to light out house next year once the repairs are done!”
The feeling of pride and gratitude that I get when I hear things like that can’t be properly expressed with words.
I mean, this silly Xmas light idea of my next door neighbor Lori, that I named something totally weird, and themed with the color black, is not only successful, but it touches so many lives!
LGL Core Value #1: Aim to positively impact lives
It’s number one for a reason, and that’s because it TRULY is our aim, and I’m so damn proud to say that we are living true to it, and bringing some light to the world!
If you have a second, below is the link to leave us a google review, and it would mean the absolute world to me and the team if you could spread the good (or bad I guess) work about our little lighting company 🙂 https://g.page/r/CUTiQizLPPfQEAg/review
It’s about a 6 minute excerpt from the end of my last 60min video. I talk about some real shit.
Being an entrepreneur is MANY things good and bad, but if you really want to make you you’ve got to have the motivations for it meaning…
-Shit that 99% of people see as BAD, you see as good -Losing is better than winning -Winning never satisfys your drive to win -Money is just a scoreboard not a inspiration -There are no reinforcements. You rely on yourself -The thought of a 401k is disgusting -You’re all in. All in on YOURSELF -Failure isn’t an option, but temporarily losing small to win big later is bad ass -You not only can’t blame others, you are the scapegoat -No one will ever care about it like you do -All eyes are on you, and everyone has an opinion about you -Pressure baby, you gotta love it!
Thanks to all the peeps that watch, LIKE, and subscribe.
We’ve got one more video in the pipeline now, and many more to come!
A LONG time ago I said that I “wanted to change the world”.
I firmly believe that you don’t ACTUALLY change the whole world, but rather impact one person, thus changing THEIR world, and when you do that, you have succeeded…Then that person you impacted goes and spreads it, and you’ll never know what came of it, meanwhile you keep working to change another person’s world.
It’s a process that repeats in perpetuity and there is no finish line!
In a million years I never thought that the vehicle for me to execute on my ambition to change the world would be a Waterslide and Bounce House rental company! But…
When You Hit The Bounce House Lottery
What the hell is the Bounce House lottery?
Well, in this case it happened to be a 14ft enclosed trailer with 9 bounce houses in it, and we bought it for a mere $2000.
To put that in perspective, the newest slide that we just bought on July 12th 2020 was $2300 used, and a good deal at that!
So how did I score that trailer? It’s a story of hustle and people.
It was early in the week of Thanksgiving, and I had quit my job back in September.
I was driving Uber and selling old stuff on eBay and FB Marketplace to make money. I had got some old bikes from my buddy Kip to sell, and the guy that came to buy them a few days later noticed the bounce houses in the garage. Turned out he had his own business too!
We had 3 at the time…he had 28!
We chatted for a bit and then he said, “You’re a cool guy…”
I knew he was about to tell me where he buys his slides at! I took out my little journal I keep in my back pocket and he said…”Tony and Red Stick Entertainment. He sells them in bulk…”
After he left with the bikes I called Tony. No luck the receptionist wouldn’t put me through. I tried 2 more times and still couldn’t get him.
I had to drive out to Prairieville the next day to bid a job for the first business I’d ever started, Christmas Light Installation! (It’s called Lets Get Lit and I kill it on hanging lights, FYI).
Logo prob looks familiar 😉
Tony’s shop was in Prairieville too…odd coincidence. After I bid the xmas light job, we drove over to his shop (It’s a freaking warehouse actually!) and knocked on the door cold. My mom was with me b/c she was looking to invest in The Jump Off!
The receptionist was NOT happy to see me, but I talked her into getting Tony for us.
He walks through the doors a few minutes later and is NICE AS CAN BE. He leads us back through warehouse 1, full of inflatables and forklifts and games….our heads exploded, then out back to a big shipping container. He said we can have all 25 in there for $5000.
Uhhh…yeah, a bit much for us to handle.
So he said “Ok I also have that trailer back there, it has 7 inflatables in it, and you can have them for $1800. If you want the trailer too, $2000. I just want it gone.”
He only wanted cash, so we went back the next day with $2000 and bought the trailer and towed it home having no clue what was in it!
We started pulling stuff out and blowing them up when we got back home, and it was so fun!
One blows up and we yell “It’s a bear one!” or “Oh, it’s a finding Nemo water slide!”
We unfortunately couldn’t keep the trailer because we have a HOA where it’s not allowed. It was a little beat up, so I posted it for $1600 and it was gone, sold to an awesome guy named Joe, in a day.
Then we rented one unit from the trailer (after scrubbing it to death) to two different clients over Thanksgiving weekend for $200 each time…
$1600 + $200 + $200 = $2000
We were even on our investment in 5 days!
That’s how the Jump Off got to scale, and THAT my friends, is called Hitting the Bounce House Lottery!
Lesson here: Hustle is super important, but if you slow down just a tad to CONNECT with people, amazing opportunity WILL come your way!
It’s oft-said that one is likely to get rich by going into business, as opposed to working for somebody else. While this does make sense in more ways than one, the fact remains that not everyone has the luxury of taking such a leap of faith. After all, becoming an entrepreneur does come with risks—most of it, the financial sort—so it can be hard for the average person to fully commit to it from the get-go.
However, it’s actually not all black and white. You can, in fact, go into business for yourself without putting your finances at risk. The key is in going into it slowly but surely, rather than taking one big, splashy plunge. Here’s how.
Contrary to what many people might believe, you can definitely start a small business without having to give up your day job just yet. Some business experts even recommend it, and it is, in fact, now more important than ever to get into entrepreneurship. This is because rapid developments in technology are making it so much easier to pull off these days.
Of course, taking this essentially “hybrid path” to entrepreneurship while still earning a livelihood does come at a price, too. For one thing, you will lose much of your free time. For another, it can be hard to juggle different responsibilities when your work and business don’t align. And yet if they do, you might inadvertently find your intellectual property at risk, too.
But despite the challenges, it’s still worth starting your business small in this way. This way, you maintain your peace of mind and security. In some cases, you might even be able to keep your job and other resources—though it’s still best to keep it on the up and up, of course.
Get the best help.
Now, as you start your small business, you will, of course, want to give your focus to the business aspects that you know and are good at, such as the actual profit-making operations. However, there are many factors and responsibilities you’ll need to account for when starting a small business. Beyond offering your product and service, you also need to think about all the other things that are just as essential in running the business (e.g., marketing, accounting, customer service), which can be a bit much to one who is new to entrepreneurship.
In order to avoid being overwhelmed, therefore, it’s more than wise to let go of the mindset that you need to do it all yourself. In fact, delegating some business functions will not only do wonders for your operations and eventual growth, but it could even save you money in the long run (despite the initial cost).
Thankfully, it’s easy enough to find people to help you these days—and without even having to take on the cost and responsibility of hiring someone full time to boot! Case in point, as your business grows, you may need a bookkeeper to ensure that your financial records are in order, as well as help you maintain your business’s financial viability. Look to online job boards like Upwork where you can hire virtual bookkeepers who have the expertise, experience, and credentials to do the job and do it well.
Ultimately, while it does take guts to go into business for yourself, there is really no reason to be reckless about it. Rather, you can choose to err on the side of caution and still find glory on the other side. In this day and age of massive opportunity coupled with a great deal of uncertainty, it may even be the smarter way to go into business. So go ahead and do what feels most comfortable for you. The important thing is simply to take that first step.
The Jocko Willink Diet is one that is simplistic and well known.
In his book, Discipline Equals Freedom : Field Manual, Jocko roughly outlines his diet as Paleo.
The Jocko Willink Diet
This is quoted directly from Jocko’s book, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual
“The modern diet has been around for about 10,000 years. That’s when man figured out how to plant some foods, grow them, harvest them, make theme easier to digest and store them. These foods were grains: Wheat, rice, corn. Our bodies have not adapted to eating grains yet. When we eat grains they are turned to sugar in our stomachs. The insulin level spikes and punishes our bodies internally. So, it is better to eat what we have evolved to eat – That is the diet of the Paleolithic man, or caveman.”
Here’s what the Jocko Willink Diet consists of:
Beef (preferably grass-fed)
Poultry (preferably free-range)
Some dairy (full-fat butter, cream, yogurt, cheese)
Great spread of low-carb high fat diet (Paleo or Ketogenic)
Here’s what NOT to eat:
Ok, so now you have an idea of what the Jocko Willink Diet consists of, we can examine how to execute it.
OK, So When is my Cheat Day? (What Cheat Day?)
This is quoted directly from Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual again.
Let’s hear from the man himself on when to stick to the Jocko Willink Diet and when to cheat:
“Some people use the 80/20 rule, meaning they stick with the clean ‘paleo eating’ 80% of the time and then the other 20% of the time they ean whatever they want. The problem is that the 80/20 becomes 60/40, then 40/60, then 20/80, and then all bets are off.
Don’t follow the 80/20 rule. Follow the 100% rule – that might turn into the 99% rule and that is okay. But the 80/20 rule isn’t a rule. It’s a step down a slippery slope.”
Now you can see why I nicknamed this diet the 99/1. Because 99% of the time you’re going to stick to the diet.
There is no cheat day. There are no cheat meals. Only discipline and clean eating.
Speaking of Cheat Meal, check out this Keto Waffle Recipe. So good you won’t need a cheat meal!
This is very Jocko-like. But as with everything else, there’s a reason for the hard line and the intense nature of the Jocko Willink Diet.
This Isn’t a Short Term Diet.
It’s a Long Term Lifestyle Change.
To quote Jocko Wilink from his podcast, Jocko Podcast; “Back to the Book“…
“Once you have spent enough time staying 100% clean and you are adapted to that method of eating both mentally and physically, you can make some excursions to the dark side. I have an occasional mint chocolate chip milkshake or some other delicious but not nutritious treat.”
And the justification:
“And I make sure I earn it beforehand with some serious, extreme physical activity.”
This may seem pretty hardcore, but payoff is well worth it!
“Over time, you will realize that you have lost your sweet tooth. You will also realize that the aftereffects, the sugar rush, the sugar crash, the lack of energy the next day, make excursions to the dark side highly undesirable and will encourage you to STAY CLEAN.”
Welcome to the Dark Side
To follow the Jocko Willink diet, the “dark side” consists mainly of sugary treats. 80% dark chocolate dipped in coconut oil, a glass of full cream with MCT oil and chocolate milk powder, or whipped cream with some diced nuts.
The thing about cheating on the diet is that when you follow it so strictly, and have the discipline to stay on it, even the smallest little desert will taste incredible!
More Jocko Willink Content: Jocko Willink “Good” Transcript
31 Phenomenal Jocko Willink Quotes from Discipline Equals Freedom
There’s No Safe Food Around! What Do I Eat?
You may find yourself in a situation where you’re the only available food is a bunch of stuff you’re not supposed to eat. So what do you do then? This next section is a major part of the Jocko Willink Diet!
You don’t eat.
Yes, that’s right. It’s called fasting, and it’s actually really good for you.
“Often, not eating – fasting – is beneficial for you. Here are some of the physiological benefits that fasting appears to bring:
Improves function of cells, genes, and hormones
Induces loss of body fat
Reduces risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
Induces cell repair processes
Increases brain-derived neurotropic factors
Increases levels of endorphins
Induces detoxification process”
The thing about fasting when you’re on a traditional diet, is that it feels like the world is ending! I remember being super busy, skipping a meal, and thinking my brain was going to turn off right then and there.
Once I switched over to eating similar to the Jocko Willink Diet (I eat closer to Keto than Paleo), fasting became so much easier.
In short, it’s because my body is running on fat for energy, not the sugar that our bodies turn carbohydrates into. I can skip a meal just fine now and keep on working.
Fasting isn’t Super Pleasant, but it’s Not a Big Deal Either.
“There are also some phycological benefits that I find very real. First of all, fasting demands that you exercise your will. It is not easy.”
Very true on that one! When you have the ability to get (bad) food just about any time, you are resisting the temptation to eat that food is a very powerful thing, and that alone will energize you!
“YOU ARE NOT STARVING
Humans can survive thirty days without food. You can make it a few extra hours. You can actually make it a few days without an issue.
I fast for twenty-four hours regularly. I do seventy-two-hour fasts approximately every three months. And you know what, they aren’t that big of a deal. When I’m fasting, I still do everything that I normally would if I were eating. I work. Work out. Train jiu-jitsu.”
Here’s a quick rundown of how to do a Jocko Willink Diet style fast:
“I drink water, some tea, maybe eat some sunflower seeds in the shell just to have something to chew on. But fasting isn’t that hard and you will feel better at the end of it. Fasting will recalibrate what hunger is to you. You will realize that you aren’t actually hungry most of the time. You are just bored. And, at the end of a fast, your food will taste better too!”
The Alternative to Fasting for a Meal (Plan Ahead!)
I travel often, and always carry a backpack full of stuff like my journal, toothpicks, phone charger, backup headphones, etc. I keep a small bag of nuts in there just in case I can’t find any food to eat that isn’t breaded and deep fried.
You know how many times that bag of nuts was my dinner? More than I can count.
My other favorite alternative to skipping a meal is beef jerky. Now, when it’s your meal, you end up not being too picky, but I try to get jerky with the least amount of preservatives and nitrates that I can.
My absolute favorite are these little sausages made by Duke’s. So good and perfect for a travel meal!
Becoming a Practitioner of the Jocko Willink Diet (aka Keto Diet)
To follow a Keto Diet or Paleo Diet, my suggestion for everyone is to start 100% strict for 2 weeks. This will give you an idea of the structure of the diet, and get you disciplined. After that, you can start to adjust things here and there.
Don’t eat grains, starches, or corn. NO SUGAR.
Do eat high fat content.
I’ve been on a clean diet similar to this for two years, and I’m pretty basic with it, eating more vegetables than usual, doubling my portion of meat, and using more butter. I eat a BIG breakfast everyday (I meal prep). Then just easy stuff for lunch and dinner; Lunch meat and cheese, nuts, cold cuts, chicken in a can with mayo and pepper…I’m simple.
Actually, a funny thing happened when I started this diet…
I Don’t Really Care About Food Anymore
I know I need it, so I eat it when I’m hungry, but I don’t really care what I eat as long as it fits in my diet.
Now, once my wife Michelle started on a Keto diet with me, our food intake got MUCH fancier!
She’s into making Ketogenic-friendly recipes that mimic the real thing; The Keto Waffles I linked earlier, she makes these Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies that are INSANELY good, she has a recipe for a pizza crust that’s dang good and not made of cauliflower. She also makes little snacks out of cream cheese, natural peanut butter, cinnamon, and sugar free chocolate chips called “fat bombs” that she loves.
I actually started about 2 years ago on the Tim Ferriss Slow Carb Diet from his book 4 Hour Body, but since I wasn’t looking to lose weight, I started tweaking 2 weeks into it.
A year later I got into a conversation with someone about how I eat, and that’s when they told me that I eat Keto! I did a little research, and sure enough, I do! The only “rule” that I really break is that I still eat beans.
It’s Personal, Man
The thing about your diet is that it’s all up to what works for you and makes you feel good.
I feel GREAT when I stay away from all grains and starches, so that’s what I do. I’m not on THE Keto Diet, as in there is things that I do that the “Keto Police” will surely bust me for…
But I don’t give a rip. I just eat what works for me, and that’s what all people should do: Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Carnivore, Plant Based, Gluten free…whatever.
It’s just food man, and the food I like is personal, so I do what I want and don’t conform to the labels and guidelines if I don’t want to.
You Are an Addict! (Carb and Sugar Addiction)
The main defense that people put up about eating a clean diet free of carbohydrates and sugar is that they LOVE carbs so much.
This is true, and that’s because you are addicted to it.
You think you need it, and you don’t.
You think eating that stuff makes you happy, but it doesn’t. (That’s actually been scientifically proven by NASA).
Now obviously carbs taste good, but once I realized that I was addicted to them, I started to wonder how much of it is hunger, and how much of it was me needing a fix?
Truth be told, eliminating all grains from your diet SOUNDS super hard! It’s really not.
Now instead of eggs with toast, you eat double the eggs, and you’re supposed to add a ton of butter to them! Delicious.
It’s not scary. You just have to go for it, and you’ll see it’s just fine.
The ONE Thing a Low-Carb Diet Doesn’t Have…
Now, there is one thing that you don’t have access to on a low-carb diet; food that’s convenient.
You will QUICKLY realize that just about everything that you have easy access to is carbohydrate or starch based.
It’s actually kind of crazy how there is so few options to eat. It’s became super obvious to me why Americans are so overweight as a population…
Junk is what we have access to at all times!
That’s is why I meal prep my breakfast.
It’s the reason I carry abound a bag of nuts.
And why I eat so much Jerky!!
I get quite a few questions on how I specifically eat almost daily. I also feel so good that I think everyone should at least TRY a diet similar to The Jocko Willink Diet 99/1.
Less reliance on food.
Less care about food.
Never feeling that “full and bloated” feeling.
Immediate weight loss.
What is there NOT to like about those factors?
So if you have a question, let me know and I’ll surely answer it!
More Jocko Willink Content: Jocko Willink “Good” Transcript
31 Phenomenal Jocko Willink Quotes from Discipline Equals Freedom
So you have heard about the Landmark Forum, and you’re curious to find out what it’s all about. When you start to type it into google, it autofills to “Landmark Education Cult”. Now you’re even more curious, a little worried, not to mention a small bit of skepticism has begun to creep in, to add to what was probably already there.
You click on the autofill that Google suggests of “Landmark Education Cult” and here you are, ready to read!
You are certainly not alone in your skepticism and your curiosity. I was once invited to an intro to the Landmark Forum 5 states away by my crying mother, and the event was less than 24 hours away on a Tuesday night. Odd behavior to say the least.
I too used Google to try to figure out what this whole Landmark thing was about, and was met with some interesting stories, and descriptions.
So in this article, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about The Landmark Forum, detailing my experiences, both good and bad, having been through two of the four Landmark Courses, and I’ll explain to you where this strange stigma of Landmark Education being a cult comes from.
By the end of this post, you will be able to make an educated and informed decision on whether or not the Landmark Forum is for you, and you’ll be able to plainly see that not only is it clearly NOT a cult, it doesn’t resemble one in any way, shape, or form.
So What is Landmark Education?
Landmark Education is a personal growth course consisting of four segments, which together form what they refer to as The Curriculum for Living.
The four segments are:
The Landmark Forum
The Landmark Seminars
Landmark Advanced Course
Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)
I’ll tell you everything that you want to know about Landmark Education. I completed the Landmark Forum in July 2017 and the advanced course in December 2017 with my amazing wife Michelle.
Both my parents have completed the entire Curriculum for Living.
I have extended family that have also completed numerous Landmark Education courses.
First things first…
Let’s Get the FAQ’s Out of the Way
How much is it? Price varies slightly from city to city, but the Forum is $600
How Long is it? 9am to 9pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday. 7pm-9pm Tuesday.
That seems intense…It is. You think that changing the course of 100-200 people’s lives is anything BUT intense? Nope. It’s heavy. It’s intense. And it’s incredible.
Is it Worth it? HELL YES. Not only that, they should charge more.
Wait, it’s really that impactful?? Yes…YES…yes.
So what’s it about? It teaches you how to live a life that you love, instead of surviving life in general.
But I have a good life already… Of course you do! That’s because you HAVE A LIFE. That in and of itself is amazing! Landmark teaches you how to live it FULLY and POWERFULLY.
So is it a cult? I googled it and… We’re getting to that. Be patient 🙂
So what is The Landmark Forum then? I’m Glad you asked!!
What to Expect (The Mechanics)
You’ll be in a meeting room for roughly 12 hours for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It’s a minimalist set up. There is two chalk boards, four TVs, and two banners hanging from the ceiling with some wording on it that you’ll learn about. There is a stage that the Forum Leader will be on most of the course, and at the back of that stage there will be a table with an orchid on it, a yellow rag in a white bowl, a dictionary, and a glass of water.
The layout of the room depends on the location. I attended the Landmark Forum in Houston, TX where there is large windows on either side of the room.
Behind the participants in the course is the Landmark Staff. They do all the behind the scenes set up, and time keeping. They will be a mixture of Landmark employees and volunteers that have participated in the course already.
You will be given a white name badge, that has your first and last name on it in black letters.
The chairs are pretty typical for a classroom style presentation. Some cushion…some.
You will be asked to not take notes, and the reasoning is sound. You can take notes if you want to, but I suggest you trust the process and don’t.
There aren’t too many breaks. A short 30 minute lunch, a longer 90 minute dinner break, and a few short little breaks in between.
So You Sat In a Room for 12 hours Straight?
What’s that like?
It’s fine. Truly. There are moments that are uncomfortable, but the content of the course is highly engaging, so you won’t notice it too much.
On Sunday night I was actually disappointed to not be going to the course the next day!
I do have two HIGHLY VALUABLE suggestions to help you with sitting for 12 hours…
Be in an open mind-state. Be ready to learn, be positive, and get ready for some concepts that are counterintuitive, but trust that it will all make sense.
Bring a lot of gum. Also, if you are a fidgeter, bring some toothpicks too. It will give you something to do.
What am I Going to Learn? (Your Breakthrough)
What are you going to learn? That’s up to you, and it’s unique to you. Like I said before, the over reaching concept of Landmark Education is to teach you how to live a live that you love.
You may learn that you have harbored resentment against people who you want to love you, and that resentment has cost you the very love that you crave.
You may learn that you isolate yourself as a way to avoid the rejection that you think is coming, even though you love people and are very lonely.
You may learn that you have had a great life and that you have a great support system.
Or maybe you learn that YOU are a great support system for others.
The clear point here is that this list could go on and on. Everyone comes out with their own distinctions and breakthroughs.
I’ll Give You a Little Insight into What I Got….
I discovered that the traits that I THOUGHT I was supposed to have, we’re all made up in my head. I’m perfect just the way I am, but I didn’t even know who I was.
Going into the Landmark Forum I was very excited. I had visions coming out of the course as the incredible engaging, outgoing person that I’d always pictured myself as. This smiling, hand shaking, charmer that lights up rooms when I walk in.
Coming out, admittedly, I was quite a bit torn, because not only did this not happen, I actually felt like I got quieter.
Now, when I was in groups, I listened to others, and sometimes said very little. This was not only unlike me, but unlike what I thought I was supposed to be!
I’m a deep thinker, and a deep learner. It leads my brain to be a bit of a “slow learner”. Not in the sense of “being slow”, but in order for me to learn, I have to take it apart, reflect on the pieces, and then put it all back together. It can take a while.
So I remained in this confused state for a month or so.
For the record I did feel AMAZING though! Like some emotional baggage was lifted, but almost like I didn’t get my breakthrough. Like my experience was mediocre in comparison to others.
Then all the sudden I started to put the pieces back together…things began to open up…I started to figure it out. Figure ME out.
I’m can be introverted. Hence the deep thinker. Hence the analytical nature. Hence my highly outgoing wife! (Opposites attract ya know).
Here’s My Breakthrough (And it’s Profound)
All the behavior that I have modeled from leaders that I look up to was in direct opposition to my strengths.
To say that differently…
Since I was a child, I was trying to be something, more accurately SOMEONE, that I wasn’t. I thought to be the leader I needed to be loud and charismatic. Engaging and persuasive. What I call “the mayor” in all situations.
I still can’t figure out where I picked this up from…
But my nature is to actually sit back and analyze. Listen, and talk when I have some expertise in the matter, not talk to make sure others hear me talk.
I have years worth of regret from leaving social situations thinking that I didn’t make an impact, or that I wasn’t “on” tonight. Like I had “failed” the event.
So Two Things Came from the Breakthrough…
The first is by far the most profound.
Since I now who I am know, I can be me.
Do you have ANY IDEA how freeing of a feeling that is? Especially since I didn’t know that I wasn’t already being myself to begin with. I thought I was being me, and that I was working at being more outgoing.
I actually thought that outgoing people had to work at being outgoing. Like it was a skill, not a personality trait.
Now, as I have gotten in tune with myself, I can go to dinner with friends, and actually be at dinner with my friends. I’m not constantly wondering if I made a lasting impression or if I was funny enough, of if I portrayed myself as a leader…I can just be me.
The best part about this whole thing, and this still astonishes me…
People are more engaged with me. They enjoy my company more now, than when I was trying to make sure they enjoyed my company.
I also don’t care if I didn’t meet everyone at the party either. Before enrolling in Landmark Education, if I passed by a person, and didn’t talk to them, I thought I was a bad networker for not going out of my way to make conversation. Now, I can just hang out. They didn’t talk to me, I didn’t talk to them, and it means nothing at all.
I used to have an anxiety when there was something social coming up because I had to muster up so much energy to be outgoing and try to be the “life of the party”.
Now, I can just go somewhere, hang out, let people come to me, and be totally relaxed.
The Second Breakthrough (Strengths Finders)
Now, since I actually found my strengths them instead of trying to create them, I can work on developing them.
At the time of attending the Landmark Forum I worked for a large company that had a remarkable culture of investing in its employees. Every fall, we had a meeting that is catered to teaching us something new, and guess what fall 2017’s meeting was called?
Strengths Finders. Not kidding.
Best timing ever or what?
So I take the Strengths Finders questionnaire, I get my packet at the meeting, and my #1 strength is looking me in the face, and I have to be honest, I was surprised. It was “Learner”.
It describes me as someone who loves the journey of learning, but the end result of the journey is not that important.
It’s not about “knowing” things, it’s about that act of obtaining the knowledge.
Then when I’ve learned something, I can tend to leave it alone, or just seldom use it as I switch gears and start learning something new.
AKA I get bored after I master something.
This is so true, and something that I always (not kidding here either) thought was a weakness. It drove me crazy that I would spend all this time, effort, and sometimes money to learn this thing that was going to “take me the top” and then when I master it, I’d lose interest. I’d use the experience to help guide me, but I wouldn’t LIVE IT anymore. I couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.
Notice, more of me trying to be someone that I’m not.
And believe me, I’d MASTER things to where I could recite it backwards and forwards…just to rarely use it.
It left me always chasing the past. Trying to get back to something that I used to do, instead of chasing the new thing to learn.
Now that I know this, I actually work less on the mastery, and instead I just enjoy the ride. Relish in the research and the thinking and hypothesizing and the debating of pros and cons. I find joy in the learning now.
I’m an Infinite Learner…and I love it.
What Came Out of My Breakthroughs?
Well, a lot actually. But let me take you through the tangible stuff…
Largest activity or behavior that came out of the Landmark Forum; I’m a writer.
I’m a Writer and I Don’t Really Write Much
I actually always have been a writer. I’m good at it. I enjoy it. But I never cultivated it, or did anything with it.
Now I have the courage to do it.
It started with a Journal that I bought. I pulled off the interstate in a courageous state to buy it, and was unsure of following through with the purchase all the way to the register. You can read that story that HERE.
That journal then spilled online, and became a blog. And here we are, hanging out together!
Maybe the Most Important Change From Landmark Education
Happiness. Straight up.
I was in a prominent leadership position with the company that I used to work for, and I was able to actually start working on developing my leadership style.
As in MY leadership style.
It’s been so fun and so liberating.
I don’t worry about anything to do with human interaction any more. I just interact with people the way that I interact with people.
Many aspects of this self discovery still continues to open up as time goes on, and as I uncover more and more traits that make me, me.
The Last Behavior Change…Openness
Now I’m not very open by nature, so this is a huge one. I’m still not anything NEAR the “open book” type, but as time passes I am getting a little more open.
I can tell when I’m being open because I get two funny feelings.
The first is when I’m being open, and sharing my experiences or feelings, it’s so liberating! It’s crazy that sharing personal things, or things that I KEPT personal, causes so much joy for myself, and so much gratitude from others. Powerful stuff. (Learned that at the Landmark Forum)
The other funny feeling is that later on, after I act in an open way, I get this nagging feeling of remorse that’s almost the same feeling that I used to get the night after partying hard, when you know you drank a bit too much and did or said something that was out of line. Why this one happens I don’t know, but I have begun to train myself that it’s now a great feeling, not one to be regretted. Try to think of it as the age old advice “Do one thing per day that gets you out of your comfort zone”.
I also find humor in the fact that I used to be so closed off that I actually feel guilty now for being open!
Ok, so those are all the things that you can possibly expect from the Landmark Forum, so now I want to address the things about Landmark that I don’t love…
The Downsides to Landmark Education
So obviously it’s not ALL magic and breakthroughs.
There are some things about Landmark that I don’t particularly care for, and this is not unique to me. You’ve read this far, so you can clearly see that the good FAR outweighs the bad, but let’s get into it.
There is a ton of words and phrases that Landmark Education uses, and some of them are very unique. When the Forum Leader is using them, they fit perfectly into the context and flow of the conversation. Then when someone in the course tries to use them, it’s often forced into an area that it doesn’t really fit into. It can be clunky.
It’s like the 13-year-old that just started using swear words, and he can’t seem to get it right yet. “Don’t be such a stupid damn head.”
Then you have the Landmark Lingo Junkies. These are the people who have been incredibly impacted by the course, have fallen in love with what Landmark can do for others, and have since “created themselves as a possibility” at least 100 times since Sunday night. They can be challenging to be around because they try to talk like the forum leaders, but they don’t have anywhere near the experience using these new phrases.
It’s like that same 13-year-old that is new to swearing, and he’s now obsessed with using swear words, but does so in just the same awkward way above.
The Chosen Ones
There are a select few that I was in a Landmark course with that use the Landmark Language masterfully! They are talking with these new phrases intertwined into the conversation like they are a Form Leader! I think they are like the chosen ones. They were made to spread the Landmark message, and they are very inspiring to be around.
The other thing about the language that Landmark uses is that it can be confusing at times. They can use three syllable words when a one syllable word would have done just fine. And those big words are so close to being out of context that it can get confusing.
I actually made the joke that we could start a separate company that translates the Landmark content into regular english and make a ton of money!
The Integrity (Or the Integrityholics rather)
So a HUGE part of Landmark is based on integrity. They have an incredible take on it, and it’s not linked to anything moral or righteous. It’s about honoring your word (not keeping your word). I’m not going to get into the particulars here, but how they approach integrity is awesome.
The Forum Leaders use the concept of integrity in a masterful and inspiring fashion.
Then what do we do? We abuse it. We turn everything into an integrity issue, and we run around restoring integrity with every person that you made even the lightest commitment with.
You’ll hear, “I’m out of integrity with you and I want to restore it. I was 1 minute late in calling you and I promise that next time I’ll call you on time.”
Dude, it’s 1 minute. Just say my bad, or I’m sorry. We don’t need to go through the WHOLE integrity schpeel every time there is a tiny crack in the integrity.
The lesson here is that the lingo is ACTUALLY awesome. But once it’s passed on to us “normals” we kinda butcher it and tarnish it’s meaning. FAST. Leave it to the pros folks!
The Hard Sell (Recruiting)
Now, as a salesman by trade, this doesn’t bother me. Landmark Education is a business. They need more people to sign up so they can make money. That requires recruiting. Simple.
Also of note, the sales pitches are so good that most miss them entirely. Serious.
Of course, there are cynics that not only catch it, but they dwell on it. They think it’s the most egregious thing ever and they just can’t seem to understand it (there are plenty of articles about it on Google, non of which will be linked from this blog post!).
Honestly, some of these sales pitches add some serious value, and many of them are almost a review of what you’ve already learned.
Just know that it’s coming, it’s really well thought out, and part of the program. If you simply can’t stand it, go use the bathroom when one starts, and take a deep breath…it’s really not that big of a deal.
Inviting Others to the Forum
Full disclosure here, this was hard for my wife and I because we took all of our Landmark courses in Houston, TX, and we live in New Orleans, so we only knew one person in Houston.
I did personally invite five people to the introduction to the Landmark Forum in Houston, TX, even though they lived in California, Utah, and South Dakota respectively. My one buddy from Houston did come with his wife (who we’re now also friends with).
During the Forum, you will want to invite everyone you know to enroll in this program. It’s life changing, and to be surrounded in your life by other landmark graduates truly incredible.
For me, the inviting of others during the Advanced Course got to a level that I would describe as “peer pressure”. If you didn’t invite anyone to Tuesday night, you we’re almost judged. It was intense…but the wrong kind of intense.
So, is it a Cult Then or What?
That’s a question that I hoped by now to have answered with an obvious and resounding NO, and not to just do it as TELL YOU that it’s not a cult, but tell stories that clearly illustrate that it’s not anything that even resembles a cult.
But just in case…
I’ll be blunt.
Landmark Education is Not a Cult.
Not even remotely close to a cult, nor does it have anything to do with anything cult-like.
So why do people think it’s a cult then?
There are a few factors that lead the conversation to the topic of cults. I’ll list and explain them here…
People Are REALLY Happy After The Forum
This is the largest factor no doubt. People are changed after having gone though the Landmark Forum, and the change is often profound. The Forum takes place over a weekend. You leave work on Thursday the normal you, and then when you come back to work on Monday, you are a totally different person. Mood changes, outlook is positive, and you give off a sense of POWER that you never had before. It’s far outside of normal, and people will no doubt notice.
Landmark Forum Grads Can’t Explain It
This comes right after the happiness that you will portray. When you change that much over a weekend, people are going to ask… “What the hell happened to you??” To which you’re going to reply something like this;
“I took this course…it’s like this personal development thing…and it was AMAZING. It was the most impactful thing in my life. It opened my eyes to the fact that we’re all living lives that we are just getting through! I learned about these things called winning formulas, and mine is that act better than people, and since I realized it I found out that I’m out of integrity with you and I want to restore it, but that’s a conversation that we can schedule for at lunch today. I have to tell you all about this Landmark thing…but I don’t even know how to describe it…it’s like…well it’s incredible and I think you should come with me to the final class tomorrow night. I can invite anyone I want, and I want to invite you…but I want you to know you don’t need it. No one needs it. In fact you’re perfect just the way you are. But you should come with me! You will get so much out of the course, and what you get is different than what I get. It always is! I know I sound crazy. Just trust me. It’s incredible, just trust me. Trust me…”
See how that conversation can cause someone to think that you have gotten in to something weird?
Recruiting Others to Join
Once you experience this new openness that you discover in the Landmark Forum, you want others to have the same thing. You will be a recruiting maniac, but not for any other reason than because you want others to have what you have.
There is no tracking of recruits, or commission on who you get into the program. You just want to share this with others!
This concept is odd in our society… “You mean you just want me to be happier?”
Yep. That’s it.
The Three Factors Together
You see how those three things go right in order?
The whole thing is cyclical…they ask questions about it, you can’t explain it, then you invite them to come to a Landmark event with you to learn about something they don’t understand, and they just have to trust you.
It gives way to what I call “The All-Famed Landmark Education Cult Question.”
People change over the course of a weekend
They can’t explain their changes in any terms that others understand
They recruit others to take the course
One More Small Factor (Landmark Education Brainwashing Accusations)
So there is one more factor that can lead people to make the “cult” accusation, and it has actually also been assumed that Landmark Education is brainwashing the participants.
This accusation, like the “cult thing”, is totally silly…
Here’s what that last small factor is…
So as I said, you leave work on Thursday evening the “you” that everyone knows.
The course runs Friday morning to Sunday night, and then you return to work on Monday morning totally different.
One of the major areas of change will be in how you talk. You will start using words in new ways, describing events with adjectives that are not typical. You have just learned all this new language, so as I said earlier, it all sounds a bit clunky coming out of your mouth.
This CAN lead people to think that you “drank the Kool-aid” and are a member of some new covenant.
And it can lend itself to people throwing words around like “brainwashing”
None of it true. None of it based in reality.
Alright, so here it is….
The Big Reveal (A New Game)
Here’s the crowning moment of this whole post, and the best way that I can describe what changes, or “opens up for you” as you enter the world after having gone through the Landmark Forum…
You are playing a new game in life.
It’s not better, or worse, or changed. It’s a whole new approach to living your life that puts you in a place of power with yourself and others.
The old game was just to survive. Get through.
This new game is to be the author of a life you love. To write a life that you want, and create new possibilities for yourself that connects you to the world, and to the community in new ways.
So Let’s Close it Like This….
Landmark Education is an amazing company that is focused on teaching people how to live a more powerful life.
There are no sinister actions. No ulterior motives. No great hidden secrets.
They take money in exchange for their services, just like every other business on the planet.
There are some participants that have a bad experience, some that don’t like it, and some that decide to take that negative experience and post it in places to see.
There are far more that have had great experiences, changed their lives, started their own businesses, reconnected with loved ones, etc, because of what they learned at the Landmark Forum and in the rest of the Curriculum for living.
As with most things in life, the ones that love it just go forth and conquer.
The ones that don’t like it, complain about it in public places.
As a writer now, I thought that I could do my part as a Landmark Grad to spread the positive word, and encourage some people that may be on the fence about enrolling to tip the way of courage, and go.
Go to the Forum. Have a weekend that will start something amazing for you!
I’m going to open myself up for any and all questions about all of Landmark Education’s services. I have been to the Landmark Forum, the Landmark Advanced Course, and am enrolled in the Self Expression and Leadership Program in February 2018, but commuting 6 hours to Houston for SELP proved too difficult for Michelle and I (She was pregnant at the time too!)
My wife Michelle has done all the courses right along with me.
My parents have both completed the entire Curriculum for Living.