Importance of Community & the R3 Recap

Photo credit – Recurring Revenue Retreat

Although I have a strong hermit tendency, I’ve realized that when you’re working on your own business, it’s tough to always be alone. I don’t mean that I get lonely – I view most time alone as a luxury to be cherished!

Search for Community

Instead, it’s tough because as the business owner, you don’t have anyone to run ideas by. You don’t have someone in the cubicle next to you to learn from. And, you don’t have someone to collaborate with.

I belong to two online coaching groups that keep me sane and inspired, but it’s never the same as hanging out live and in person. I’ve tried to solve this in the past by attending a weekly WordPress meetup, but when it moved, it became hard to get to and I stopped going. I’m sure the right co-working space could also be the right amount of community, but the only one in my area just doesn’t fit.

Now, WordCamps are wonderful and I come away with the best ideas and a renewed sense of where I want to head. I look forward to the Atlanta WordCamp every year. Unfortunately, I had to miss it this year, and I could really feel the absence of inspiring event.

So, when the 2019 Recurring Revenue Retreat was announced by about 4 different folks that I follow, I knew that I wanted to attend. And then when I saw that one of my coaches, one of my idols, and about 5 others I wanted to hear from were speaking, AND that it was at Disney in Orlando, I knew I just had to attend.

A Note on Taming Fear

This whole post could have also talked about facing fears, but well, that was a bit scary. So just a quick section.

So this Recurring Revenue Retreat (R3) wasn’t the first conference I’ve wanted to attend. But I’ve always stopped myself. I’m 100% my own worst enemy, and I’m writing this for those of you that have the same trouble.

Everything about this conference terrified me. The travel – I’m currently injured, and I was scared I couldn’t walk enough to get there and get around. The people – nearly everyone there is ahead of me in skill and in their business, and I was scared I’d be called out as a fraud. My appearance – right now, I am not at all confident in my appearance and I have trouble getting past that. The money – the conference and travel were expensive for me, though I did have the money. I was (and still am) pretty scared that it was too much to spend. And the biggest thing of all – I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to take what I learn and use it.

Yet, I knew that just being in the same room with folks who were a step (or quite a few steps) ahead of me would be so much more beneficial than even a WordCamp. And, if I DID get some of these ideas implemented, they would be SO helpful to me and my family.

Suck it Up, Buttercup

That’s one of my favorite sayings because to me it just adds a little smartass to one of life’s basic rules. Sometimes things just have to be done, whether you’re scared or resistant. And frankly, it’s the only way I get things done when I’m scared. So I sucked it up and purchased a ticket.

And Here’s Where it Comes Together

AND IT WAS ALL SO FANTASTIC! It was absolutely worth facing those fears.

I met so many people in person that I talk with online. I met so many of the people I look up to. I met so many people that had brilliant ideas to share. I met so many people that I now call friend and can keep up with. And I met so many people who were delightful and genuinely bright and positive and helpful.

Attending the R3 event really was just what I needed to do. None of the disasters I imagined came true. In fact, after the event, I talked with another attendee about an upcoming knee surgery and he had not even realized I was hurt!

Now, I already view my online connections and friendships differently, and we’re only a week out from the event. When you’re running or starting your own business, having a community that is like you and is positive, helpful, hard-working, and fun just makes you yourself better. I mean, now that I actually know these people I feel doubly accountable (and that’s a great thing).

Speaker & Workshop Recap

It seems that there are already plans in the works for a 2020 R3 Conference, and if it’s interesting to you at all, you ought to go. It’s like if WordCamp was a summer camp and all your best friends were there and they were teaching you how to make recurring revenue so that you could live out your dream.

The actual talks and workshops were amazing, it’s just that they were second to the feeling of community at this event. Below is a list of the 2019 speakers and the key points that I took away.

Keynote – Mike Michalowicz, Author

I was pretty blown away by Mike Michalowicz’s keynote talk first thing Thursday morning. He gave a full presentation on his newest book, Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself. If you get the opportunity to see him speak, do so! He’s so energetic, and funny, and insightful.

As a VIP, I got to meet Mike and get an autographed copy of Clockwork, and I’ve moved it to near the top of my book list. His talk was so good that I plan on giving this book to entrepreneur family members. And, I’m going to queue up his Entrepreneurship Elevated podcast.

Mike’s whole presentation worked up to his main point: call yourself a shareholder, not an entrepreneur. Complete change in mindset!

Mike Killen, Sell Your Service

Ok, so I have a disclaimer here – I’m a member of Mike’s coaching group, and I’m very biased. Mike Killen gives away more value in his blog posts, webinars, and Facebook posts than most people have in their paid products. His talk at R3 was no exception.

It was great to meet Mike in person – he’s given me fantastic advice in both group and individual coaching.

You don’t scale a business, you scale an idea.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world’s #1 sales coach for funnel builders. At R3 he talked through the 3 Laws of Scale from his book, From Single to Scale, with the focus on scaling while staying small. I encourage you to check out his blog at Sell Your Service for wonderful information on everything from selecting a niche for your business to selling marketing funnels.

Kristina Romero, WP Care Market Training

I think I was most excited to meet Kristina Romero (or maybe tied with Mike Killen, but I sort of felt like I already knew him because of coaching). Kristina is known for building her business with WordPress Care Plans and then teaching others to do the same.

Kristina is a hero of mine. She’s a mom who has built a business that allows her to spend time with her family. And so many of us want that very thing. At the event, she talked through the development of a recurring revenue care plan product.

The biggest takeaway for me from her talk was the focus on process, and the ongoing nature of refining the process. She stressed the importance of not only finding the holes and exceptions, but the need to eliminate those exceptions. I recognized that I do tend to make too many exceptions, and once I do that, it becomes very hard to automate or hand off to a team member.

James Rose, Content Snare

James Rose, the founder of Content Snare, spoke on using your existing knowledge and skills to build a software product. And after his talk, it definitely seems possible!

James is an expert at seeing opportunity and generating ideas, but also at the idea evaluation and validation. The entire audience left, inspired to create some bit of software!

Cory Miller, founder of iThemes

Cory Miller spoke on taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically, and the importance of getting help when you need it. He uses the analogy of an iceberg. The top of the iceberg out of the water is the happy, successful picture you show to the world. But, everyone has the rest of the iceberg below the surface to deal with. And the best way to overcome the below-the-surface troubles you face is to ask for help.

Kim Doyal, Content Creators

Kim Doyal is behind the Content Creators Planner and the The Kim Doyal Show podcast (which I’ve recently been binging – love it). Her talk was about cultivating relationships and how you can give to others without expectations. And that each time you do give, it’s like leaving small value deposits that help you build up a network.

Cliff Almeida, My Web Audit

Cliff Almeida is the founder of My Web Audit, a wonderful piece of software that will audit a website and return a detailed report. I’ve used this software back when there was a free version. The software has evolved and is even more impressive now, and I’m currently working out how to incorporate into my own business plan.

Matt Rodela, Turnkey Website Blueprint

Matt Rodela built out his own turnkey website platform and then decided to teach his methods to others via the Turnkey Website Blueprint.

One of the biggest frustrations a lot of new agencies (of most online businesses, not just web professionals) is the customer who needs your service but has no budget. You can’t do the work for the price they need, but you hate to turn them away. Matt talked about how to make this group profitable by developing a turnkey product just for them.

Robert and Alyssa Simmons

Robert and Alyssa Simmons run Hatmen Marketing and Here With the Ears. Along with Kristina Romero, they dreamed up and put together this whole conference. They are following their dream of living at Disney World for an entire year, and you can read about it on their blog.

Robert and Alyssa talked about finding and working towards your own crazy dream. They talked through the planning needed to make your dream a reality. In particular, setting smaller milestones along the way rang true for me.

Will I go again next year?

Absolutely! There had better be a next year, and I do think some planning is already in the works. I have a lot of planning and downtime coming up and I’m going to use that time to reflect and use the information I’ve learned at this conference to plan how my business can build both my dreams and the dreams of my clients.

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