In today’s episode, S&J talk about lessons learned from the biggest risk they ever took.
Jocelyn Sams: Hey, y’all. On today’s podcast, we share the lessons we’ve learned after hosting our first major live event.
Shane Sams: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online. Now, we help other families do the same. Are you ready to Flip Your Life? All right. Let’s get started.
Shane Sams: What’s going on, everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you again this week. We’ve got a special episode for y’all. We do not have a guest toady. We will not be doing a Q&A. We will be doing a lot of reflecting back on the lessons that we learned from hosting our first major live event. Not long ago, about three weeks ago, from the time that we’re recording this actual podcast, Jocelyn and I hosted an event in Nashville, Tennessee, for over 100 members of the Flip Your Life Community. We all came together over a three-day period to build our online businesses, to grow our online businesses, and to take massive action on changing our family’s future.
Shane Sams: It was an incredible event, and it went off better than we ever could have dreamed. But as with any major undertaking that Jocelyn and I take on, we like to look back and reflect on the things we did right, the things we did wrong, and try to make things better, make things bigger as we go forward in the future. So, that’s what we’re going to do today. We’re going to share all of these lessons and things that happened to us over the last year of planning and executing this event, so that you can take some of those lessons, take some of those strategies, take some of those things that we’ve learned, and apply them to whatever your next big project is for your online business.
Jocelyn Sams: And many of you have probably seen our pictures on our Facebook page, and just some of the things that we’ve posted about the event. You’ve seen the glossy exterior, but we’re going to dive into some of the not so pretty things that we encountered on the journey to get there.
Shane Sams: Let’s take you back to where the birthplace of Flip Your Life Live in Nashville came to be. Last December, about a year ago now, Jocelyn, out of nowhere, came to me and said, “We need to host a major live event, like a big one. Like, over 100 people, and we need to do it all by ourselves. We’re going to plan it ourselves. We’re going to pay for it ourselves. We’re going to be on stage the entire time, and we’re going to go ahead and do it next fall. It’s going to happen.”
Jocelyn Sams: For those of you all who know me, it wasn’t completely out of nowhere. I had been to another event in the fall. I thought it was really cool, and I was like, “Hey, this is a really good sense of community. I really think that we need to bring our people together.” And we had sort of been, not really against it for a long time, but just a little bit uncertain about it for a long time.
Shane Sams: I’m going to vote that I was scared to death to try. This is a total role reversal in this situation, because usually, I’m the one coming to Jocelyn going, “Okay, here’s the airplane. We’re going to jump out of it. We’ll sew together a parachute on the way down.” And this was totally out of nowhere, because Jocelyn came up to me and said, “We’re going to do a live event. There’s going to be over 100 people there. It’s going to be amazing.” My first instinct was just to freeze up, and what are we going to do? I can’t do this. No way.
Jocelyn Sams: We talked about it a little bit, and as we usually do, one of us has some crazy, big idea. The other one’s like, I don’t know, but okay, I’ll go along with it. That’s kind of the way that it worked here.
Shane Sams: The reason that we really wanted to do this, Jocelyn and I have hosted small live events before, more mastermind intimate settings, where we’re us and maybe 15 to 20 people in a room. Those went really, really well, and we saw the people that came to those smaller events achieve massive success, take massive action after they left, and made great things happen in their business and for their family’s future.
Shane Sams: And we have been to so many live events in our online journey, and every single one of them was a milestone for us that took our business to the next level, that pushed us out of our comfort zone and gave us great results. We wanted to provide that kind of experience and that kind of environment for as many people in the Flip Your Life Community as possible. If we kept having small 12 to 15 person live events for the rest of our career, we wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as fast as we wanted to. So, we said, hey, let’s jump into the hundreds. Let’s see if we can get over 100 people to do this, and then watch what happens to those hundred people after the event.
Jocelyn Sams: And the cool thing is, based on our experiences that we’ve had going into different live events and seeing how other people do things, seeing things we like, seeing things we didn’t like, we sort of brought all that together and said, okay, well, let’s do it our way,
Shane Sams: Actually, what Jocelyn actually said was, “We’ve been to a lot of events, and I’m pretty sure we can do it better. We can make this happen. We know what was good and bad, and we can take it to the next level. We can give people the experience, not only that we’ve had, but that we have always wanted to have.” And that was kind of the mindset going into the planning for Flip Your Life live. We said, let’s dream as big as possible. Let’s make this as life-changing as possible. Let’s not worry about getting speakers and who is famous that we can put on stage. Let’s just get onstage, go eight hours a day both days, and teach people what they actually need to learn to flip their life.
Shane Sams: That was kind of the context as we sat down in our first planning meetings with coffee, tea, and a couple of notepads, and some pens, to come up with the biggest, baddest, bestest live event that anybody had ever been to. We really wanted to ruin all other live events for people. We wanted to create an event that was so good and so impacting and so life-changing that, when anyone went to any other event, they would be like, “This is pretty good, but it’s not Flip Your Life Live.” That’s how we started the process.
Jocelyn Sams: The next step is that, we have to figure out how to sell the same. Because in typical S&J fashion, we’re not going to create anything before we sell it. We’re just going to have an idea and throw a sales page out there. But before we could do that, we needed to try to start estimating the cost. And as you know, with any big thing, whether it’s building a house, whether it is doing anything that involves a lot of money, you’re going to estimate it, and probably you’re not going to estimate it correctly. So, we start trying to estimate this thing. We come up with a number that we think is going to work, and then we add like 10% to it. Because you know we’ll probably go 10% over at least.
Shane Sams: At least. We ended up going like 20% over. And as we start doing this thing, we start writing down all of the figures, we’re looking at six figures. This is going to cost nearly $100,000 just to open the doors and get people in. There’s so many hidden expenses when you’re starting a business or any kind of live event. You don’t even realize, you have to pay for AV and microphones and cameras and screens and stages and party favors, and all the way down to the candy that people eat on our table. All that has to be accounted for. And we started looking at it and said, hey, how much are we going to have to charge people a to put this thing on and have a presale for it, to see if we can even do it in the first place?
Jocelyn Sams: So, we threw it out there in January of 2018 and just said, okay, guys, if you want to come, put your money where your mouth is. Put down a deposit, pay for it, let us know that you’re interested. And people did.
Shane Sams: Yeah, this is the first lesson in any online business that we want to give you from just doing this live event. Because the live event, really, if you think about it, is a product. That’s what we’re really doing here. We kind of created this live event that was the product, and we’re sort of building a side business around these live events. It’s not even really a part of flipped lifestyle anymore. It’s more like, this is our live event company, this is our live event business, this is the product that we’re putting out there.
Shane Sams: And we always let people vote with their wallet before we create any product. Just like a digital product, where you may charge people 100 bucks to get it, we’re going to put that out there and say, hey, it costs, almost a $1,000 to come to this event if we do it. Do you want to buy it? And we were shocked, because the darn thing almost sold out in the first week. We kind of looked at each other and said, well, I guess we’re on the hook now. We have to make the product. We have all these people that are waiting for it, so they know what the date is. They know when it’s going to happen, they know where it’s going to happen. We’ve got to make it happen now.
Jocelyn Sams: And here’s a little lesson for you, too. We didn’t even sign the contracts with the hotel until people had already paid, which is a little bit scary, because you’re kind of putting it out there. We did have it on hold, so the hotel couldn’t give it to someone else without letting us know first. But I just said, look, we’re not signing any contracts until I know for sure that people are planning on coming.
Jocelyn Sams: We had all of the initial stuff drawn up and we gave people a date, we gave people a place, and we just said, you know what, we’re going to make it work. So, even if this hotel doesn’t work out, we’ll find another one and make it work. So ,that’s what we did. Because, I’ve known people in the past who have got in trouble. They’ve signed all their paperwork before they sold their product, and then, on the back end, they were really, really in trouble, owing a lot of money. So, I didn’t want that to happen. My goal was to at least break even on this event.
Shane Sams: Yeah. The thing about any product that you create, whether it’s a live one or something else, too, as Jocelyn said earlier, there’s going to be hidden costs that creep up to you, and you may even have to make some cuts to beat the budget later on, because everything costs more. Everything takes more time than you think it does. This is why a lot of people fail in business, not just online business, business in general, because they don’t account ahead of time for that extra cost. They don’t build in flexibility in their budgets. They don’t build it into their goals to make more money than they actually need, and they try to kind of skate by.
Shane Sams: That’s what Jocelyn was saying about adding 10%, adding 20% to what you think it’s going to cost. That’s not just in money. That’s in time. What we did not account for as we planned this new product, as we planned this new business venture, was the opportunity costs. We tell our kids all the time, if you choose one thing, you lose another, and we didn’t realize how much time we would lose in the planning of this event, in the making decisions, choosing what color the banners are going to be, what words are going to go on the signs, who’s going to work the desk, who’s going to work the tables, all the experience.
Shane Sams: Every minute has to be planned with these people, but then you also have to do things like, plan speeches and plan events and plan contingencies. What if something happens? What if the food runs out? What if X, Y, and Z? We got into a huge task last January, that pretty much took us nine months of dedicated attention to figure out. So, as you’re planning for your business, whatever it is, whatever your next product is, whatever next thing is, always think about those opportunity costs, because there definitely were some for having Flip Your Life Live.
Jocelyn Sams: And to be fair, we did hire an event planner, and she took a tremendous amount of workload off of us. But, because this was the first time we had ever planned anything of this size, of this magnitude, it did take a lot of our energy. She needed to know, do you want these tablecloths to be black or white? Do you want this color banner to be on the table, or this color napkin to be on the table? What kind of flowers do you want? These are all questions that we had to answer.
Jocelyn Sams: And, yes, I could have left it up to her to choose it. But we really wanted the very first time that we did this to be an experience that was really representative of us and what we wanted. So, we had a meeting at least once a month with our event planner and sometimes more often, especially toward the end. We were meeting like once a week. And not only did we meet with our event planner. We would do Skype meetings. We have Voxer meetings, we had a few in-person meetings. We also drove to the hotel two different times, to meet with staff, to try food. This is, four hours there, four hours back, to go and meet with these people. Those were just some of the things that we had to do to get ready for the event, physically.
Shane Sams: There’s a hidden lesson there, too, for any venture or any business. So many gurus and experts are like, hey, you shouldn’t be doing that. Hey, that’s not something … You’re the CEO, you’re the boss. You shouldn’t do those things. But no, it’s your company. It’s your vision. And sometimes you do have to roll your sleeves up and get in the nitty gritty, and you’ve got to go make things happen. Especially when you’re in a training season, when you’re in a vision casting season, when you’re in a creation mode. You have to put your stamp on these things so that you get what you want on the back end of it.
Shane Sams: It’s just like, sometimes the manager at a restaurant … Manager of the restaurant may have to go out and help serve sometimes, because they want it done a certain way, or they’re training a new person. You’ve got to be willing to step in, especially in the first iteration of something, to make it happen.
Shane Sams: Next year, when we do Flip Your Life Live again, we’re going to try to make it bigger. We’re going to try to make it better. We want more people to come to this event and experience this life changing moment, so that they can build their online business, change their family’s future, and get into that sense of community. But we’re probably going to be able to turn a lot more over to the live event coordinator and be less involved the second time through, the third time through, the fourth time through, because we got so involved in the beginning.
Shane Sams: It’s an investment. Anytime you start a new project, anytime you do something new, you’ve got to invest your time upfront, so that you can save time and magnify, and get a return on that time later. That’s why we were so heavily involved in the planning and preparation for this live event the first time.
Jocelyn Sams: But it wasn’t just the planning for the logistics of the event. There was also a lot of other things that went into this. One of the things that was really important to us to do is that, we had interaction with people who were coming to the event, prior to the event. We did that by having a private Facebook group.
Shane Sams: We wanted Flip Your Life Live to be an experience. Not just an experience the day you arrive, or the day you attend, or even the day you go home. We wanted it to be an experience from the moment you bought your ticket over the next six, seven, nine months until you got to the event. So, this Facebook group became this little community where, we did so many things with our people. Every month, we did some kind of training with our attendees to get them ready for the event. That was something that we never had before.
Shane Sams: When we showed up to our first live event, we were like a deer in the headlights. We had no clue what was happening. We didn’t know what we were supposed to learn, what we were supposed to write down, what was our result. We didn’t know how to set goals. We didn’t know necessarily how to meet people, and we wanted to fix that for our attendees so-
Jocelyn Sams: Sometimes people would have a Facebook group for their event, but they would basically just dump you in there and be like, okay, well, here’s where we tell you about logistics.
Shane Sams: And we’re not even going to show up to do anything worthwhile, and sometimes they don’t even do logistics. They just say, “There, you can all talk to each other, and we’ll see you at the event.
Jocelyn Sams: Our goal for the event was not to bring people in and look good on stage and make lots of money. That was definitely not our goal, because we didn’t accomplish that one. But anyway, that wasn’t our goal, to make ourselves look good or to make ourselves feel better. We want our people to take action, and because of that, it was really important to us to get this Facebook group going, make sure people understood what they needed to do and what they needed to have accomplished before the event.
Shane Sams: So, what we did was, have trainings we called prerequisites. It was exclusive for these Flip Your Life attendees. They showed up every month, and we kind of let people take action on each step along the way, because I knew what I was going to teach the very first session we. We knew what we were going to go through over those two days in an outline format. So, if we could get them to the point right before that, we knew that they would have a great chance of success when they showed up.
Shane Sams: Another big problem that we have, and a lot of people have when they go to live events is, you’re nervous. You don’t know anybody. Kind of awkward those first 24 hours as you meet some people and get to know some people. We wanted to make sure that we introduced as many people to each other as possible before the event. So, we had discussions, polls, things like that, in our community group for Flip Your Life Live. And we ran icebreaker sessions where, we got 40 or 50 people on a Zoom call, and Jocelyn and I went through every single person and let them introduce themselves, tell what their online business was about. And we did these random questions like, what’s your favorite food, what’s the worst job you’ve ever had? And some of the answers were absolutely hilarious, and everyone had a great time, and it created this sense of community before we even got to the event. So, when we had the pre-live event party, everybody just kind of came in, and everyone’s laughing and having a good time and hugging. It was like they knew each other before they went in.
Shane Sams: This was a lot of work leading up to this. We had to plan these things into our calendar. We had to make the time to do them, and that was time we could have been spent doing other things, like selling memberships, doing webinars, creating new products, other than this. But once you commit to doing one thing in your business, you kind of have to lose your focus on other things, because you can’t do it all, and we were all in on the live event.
Jocelyn Sams: Not only did we have all of the pre-event stuff to do, and all of the decisions to be made on what was actually happening at the event, we also had to play the actual event. And that was kind of a really big deal. We wanted to make sure that the content that we were creating for the event was the type of content that people wanted to see at the event. So, Shane was mostly responsible for that, and I was more responsible for some of the backend things that happened behind the scenes.
Shane Sams: The biggest problem that we’ve always had with live events is, the content is terrible. It’s not really actionable. A lot of times you get six to eight speakers on a stage, and their main goal is, at the end of their presentation, to sell you a book, or to get you to opt into their list, and they’re really just scratching the surface. And we didn’t want this to be a scratch the surface event. We wanted this to be a life changing, a momentum building event, for every single person that attended.
Shane Sams: As Jocelyn was handling the logistics and making sure that everything was getting done, I locked myself in my room, in front of the computer, and for weeks and months, just started thinking about this content. What was the journey we wanted to take people on? What did people really need to know, that we could teach them within 48 hours, to get them to be able to take action and grow their business afterwards?
Shane Sams: It’s one thing to have to create a speech for an event. A lot of people are speakers. They go out and they do their speech. They put a lot of effort into that. Some people are keynote speakers, and they go give the big talk, you know, the 45-minute, big explanation. They get onstage in front of everybody and they do it and they’re done. But we basically decided we were going to do eight keynote speeches over two days. We were going to deliver everything. We were going to make every slide, write every word, and then get up and do it.
Jocelyn Sams: Which is actually a little crazy in hindsight.
Shane Sams: A little crazy. I got some good friends who do public speaking for a living, and they just shook their head and like, “You’re nuts. You’re crazy. I don’t know anybody that would try to pull that off.” But that’s usually what me and Jocelyn try to do.
Jocelyn Sams: When people say we can’t do something, that’s when we try to do it.
Shane Sams: Yeah, we try to do it.
Jocelyn Sams: I’ve been working on things for months. Shane’s been working on things for-
Shane Sams: Weeks.
Jocelyn Sams: … about a month. Maybe days.
Shane Sams: Yeah. I was basically, for the first six months of the event, in charge of running the Facebook group. I was doing Facebook Lives, I was doing polls, I was doing questions, I was doing icebreakers.
Jocelyn Sams: Figuring out what people wanted to learn.
Shane Sams: Figuring out what people want to learn, polling the audience, getting a feel of where everybody was. And probably about six weeks out, I start really getting serious about starting the skeletons of all these PowerPoints.
Jocelyn Sams: Mostly because I was driving him crazy that, if he didn’t get started, saying I was going to kill him.
Shane Sams: I need the pressure of a deadline, also, let’s be realistic here. So, we created all of this content back and forth, talked about it. Then, we practiced in the car while we were driving. That was the only time we actually had to do it, because the closer we got to the event, the more it consumed our life. It got to the point where, about eight weeks out it, was literally the only thing we could work on in our business. We could barely do anything else but member calls and jump into the forums everyday. Customer service suffering. Things started falling apart in other part …
Shane Sams: We would have pages and pictures crash on our website, and we’d be like, “Leave it. We’ll deal with it after the live event,” because we had to get all this content done. We would drop the kids off at school, and on the way home, I would start going through the PowerPoints on my computer and figure it out. Or, we would go to Knoxville or go to Lexington, the shop or to eat or to do something, and we would read through a PowerPoint on the way there, and we would have these disagreements about what we were going to say, and what we’re going to talk, and how we wanted to be. Some of these car practices ended up being me slamming the computer and throwing it in the back seat and being like, I’m done. I can’t deal with it anymore.
Jocelyn Sams: This totally happened numerous times.
Shane Sams: Numerous times.
Jocelyn Sams: But let me just say-
Shane Sams: Because there was so much pressure to deliver, because we were the only people on stage.
Jocelyn Sams: I’m sitting here on the outside kind of looking in, and I know a lot of you are probably thinking, oh, well, you know, you work from home. You had to plan an event, whatever. Well, lest you think this planning process was perfect. So many things happened against us during this time, especially right before the event. We had our event in late September. In early August, Shane got rear ended. This was our brand new car that we had had for approximately four months.
Shane Sams: Yeah. A guy crashed right into me. There was a cop chasing a boat. Some guy had stole a boat and a police officer was chasing him, so I pulled over because this guy pulling a boat was going by me at 100 mile an hour. I saw the police car, heard the siren. I pulled over, and the guy behind me was just rubber necking the cop, and the cop saw him hit me and had to break off the hot pursuit of the guy that stole the boat, and come back around, had to be the witness for our event.
Jocelyn Sams: You can’t make this stuff up, people.
Shane Sams: I was sitting in the vehicle, and I wasn’t really hurt or anything. It just kind of jarred me, and I sat there and just looked down, because we just bought this brand new Lincoln Navigator. The guy comes up and he goes, “Are you all right?” And I’m like, “Physically, yes. But just, before I go look at the damage on this vehicle,” because-
Jocelyn Sams: I just need a minute.
Shane Sams: I need a minute to kind of take my breath away. So, that happened.
Jocelyn Sams: We’re trying to come up with all of this stuff for the live event. We’re trying to make all the final preparations, and now we’re having to deal with the insurance companies. We’re having to deal with the car repair, and all these different types of things that you have to deal with. But we’re in the midst of planning this huge event at the same time. So, that was one thing. The next thing that happened was that, we had some staff turnover, actually a lot of staff turnover.
Shane Sams: Oh my gosh.
Jocelyn Sams: We had a couple of staff members who were very unhappy, and we just weren’t meeting each other’s expectations. So, we kind of moved apart from them.
Shane Sams: This was critical. This wasn’t just people answering tickets, or easy to replace people. This was our main customer service person and our main podcast editor. We just decided that we had to go part ways. Right in the middle, like two months, three months out from planning this huge, the biggest thing we’ve ever done … We’ve already sold all the tickets. We’ve already got everything in motion, there’s no turning back. We don’t have a podcast editor. And for those of you listen to our podcast, we have to have a podcast or we don’t even have a business.
Shane Sams: That’s why all these people are coming to our event. We don’t have anybody in customer service. So, I go into full time mode, trying to get somebody to edit this podcast. [crosstalk 00:24:02]
Jocelyn Sams: I’m answering customer service tickets.
Shane Sams: Jocelyn’s answering customer service tickets. We’re planning the live event. She’s doing logistics. It was just an absolute a mess. Then, like two weeks before-
Jocelyn Sams: 14 days.
Shane Sams: 14 days before the event, out of nowhere, our sales guy and another customer service person quits out of nowhere. They just totally quit.
Jocelyn Sams: No notice. Just, we’re out.
Shane Sams: Didn’t even put in a two-week notice. They just said, “Today’s my last day. I’m done.” And it just happened all at once. So, now we’re just looking up going, okay, well, this is it. We just got to [crosstalk 00:24:34]
Jocelyn Sams: We’re in. We have no choice. We have to get this done. And a lot of people, I think, at that point, would just go into their shell and say, woe is me. This business thing is not for me. I’m hanging it up. I just can’t do it anymore. But we didn’t have that option. We have this live event coming. We have a business that has to run. We have no choice. So, I told Shane, I said, when life gives us lemons, we don’t make lemonade. We start a lemonade stand.
Shane Sams: She literally said that one. I remember when the second people quit, and she said that. I was just like, yeah, we do. Because I was really down at the time. I was like, man, this is totally soul crushing and overwhelming, not just because of all the work that we have to do. But thing that Jocelyn and I really believe is that, this is our mission. This is why God put us on this earth and has had given us all of our life experience, up to the point where we launched our podcast, was to go out and help people, and to help people free themselves and find financial independence and change their family’s future.
Shane Sams: And we say to ourselves every morning, we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, who needs us today? Those people at that live event aren’t coming for entertainment. They’re coming because they need us to help them take their next step. You don’t listen to our podcast just because we talk funny and say silly things sometimes.
Jocelyn Sams: Some of y’all probably do.
Shane Sams: Some of y’all probably do, yeah. But you’re here because, you have a desire to make a change in your life, and you need help doing that, and that’s what we’re here for. So, there was no turning back. There was no shutting it down. We just had to suck it up and move forward. We really did go into a huge, stressful grind there for that last month, that started really affecting even our health.
Shane Sams: It’s probably the most stressed out ever been in my entire life. I don’t get stressed really easily, and when I do get stressed, I usually get over it pretty fast. But I started having some health problem, because of the stress coming into this live event and running the business and doing customer service and editing my own podcast, and all these things that hadn’t happened in years.
Shane Sams: I actually suffered hearing loss a few weeks out from the event. It sounded like I was underwater. I would look at Jocelyn, and I couldn’t hear what she was saying, and started getting some medical help, had someone look in my ears, and started researching it. And apparently, if you have too much stress for too long, it can actually affect the hairs in your ears that help you hear. And I started slowly hearing worse and worse and less and less, and I realized that it was from stress. And I had to take a deep breath and take a step back about a week before the event, and start doing some things that would help me not be as stressed. It was crazy.
Shane Sams: As soon as the live event was over, two, three days later, Jocelyn and I were on vacation. We took the kids to Jamaica for a week to have some fun and just get away from work and just relax. Two, three days into this trip, it was like I could hear again. It was like I came up from underwater, and it was just because that stress lifted off. And it really made me think like, man, we need more redundancy. We need to protect ourselves better and we need to have better systems in place to manage our stress.
Jocelyn Sams: And for me, I had been doing really well. I was on a new eating plan. I had been doing it since like April. But once all this stuff started happening, like in July, my eating started kind of moving a little bit toward not so healthy. And right before the event, I had put on like four or five more pounds that I had lost. That was a little bit frustrating for me, because I was really trying to move toward a goal and I didn’t get it.
Jocelyn Sams: And at this point, we’re just sort of looking at each other thinking, okay, this is hard. This is really hard, and it’s frustrating to know that we’re doing all this work and we’re basically not making any money off this event. This is a break even event at best, and we’re doing all this work. Is this even worth it? We started really questioning it.
Shane Sams: Then, we started looking, what was happening to the people who are coming to the event. We started looking at their businesses, at their wins. People were posting success stories in the Facebook group that we set up for Flip Your Life Live before the event even happened. People were quitting their job, people were launching their memberships. People were doubling, tripling, selling more and more.
Shane Sams: I remember, one of the attendees, we did a quick coaching call with her. She was coming to the event. She wanted to jump on a coaching call with us before the event to get a little bit of advice. She wanted to take action before she got there. We sat down and talked to her for a few minutes, and she launched a webinar. I told her, you’ve got to get this event done in 12 days. You got to plan the webinar and do it, because I want you to launch the Sunday before the event.
Shane Sams: She goes out and takes action on everything we had talked about in the Facebook group, everything we’d done, prerequisites, everything we had done on this call, and she had a massive win and created like $9,000 a month. Not at once, but a month, in monthly recurring revenue, before she even got to the event. And we started looking at all these success stories and all this action and all this activity, and we realized that Flip Your Life Live had become their anchor. It became that place, that thing that they were driving toward, that motivated them, that gave them the will to go take action and do things. They didn’t want to show up at the event with nothing done.
Shane Sams: They wanted to be prepared for the event, because they knew it was going to be epic and change their life, and they wanted to be ready for that. When we started seeing all of these crazy things happening in all these peoples’ lives, we realized it was totally worth it. It was totally worth it to give all of these people, over 100 people, from all over the world, 30 US states, five different countries, an opportunity and a goal and a chance to succeed. And really, it was the thing that we had been missing in our business. All this time, we didn’t even realize it yet.
Jocelyn Sams: That’s what kept us going, guys. Those messages that said, hey, I’m doing this because of this event. I’m taking action because of this event. I’m hitting my goals because of this event. That’s what keeps us going. And if you ever think to yourself, oh, well, I listened to this podcast, or I subscribed to this blog, or whatever, and I’ve thought about emailing the person or leaving them or review, but they don’t need to hear from me. They do need to hear from you.
Shane Sams: Yeah, we need it. Definitely. That’s what keeps us going.
Jocelyn Sams: We need to hear from you. Other people need to hear from you. They need to know what is working, based on what they’re telling you. Because, some days, that is all that you have, is just what other people have to say, just to lift you up. So, I just encourage you. It has nothing to do with this, right this second. But if there’s somebody who encourages you, who says something to you, who makes a difference in your life, let them know about it.
Shane Sams: Yeah. Send them an email, go just shoot him a Facebook message, leave them a review. Do something and just let them know, because they may be having a really stressful day, and they need you to pick them up. It’s kind of circular. We know that a lot of people rely on us for that motivation, that encouragement, that hope, that there is a better life for their future. But we rely on that feedback, as well, from you guys, to let us know that what we’re saying is being heard, and people are taking action on it, and that people are out there and changing their life.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, so back to the story. At this point, the preparations are pretty much over. Well, I say that. I’m pretty sure Shane was working on the speaking on the way there, on the way there.
Shane Sams: I think I was working in the car, on the way there, because I kept having more ideas, and I was changing things. Literally, two of the presentations, we didn’t even have time to practice, because … We know our content so well, we didn’t really need to, and half of what me and … We’re totally ad libbing this podcast right now, by the way.
Jocelyn Sams: We have an outline. That’s it.
Shane Sams: We have an outline, but we’re just going back … That’s what we do is, we’re just so much better when we’re playing off each other. So, we didn’t need to rehearse it as much as some people would have to, I think.
Jocelyn Sams: All right. We have, at this point, got all of the preparations done, most of the content done, and we’re now starting to get ready to go. We’ve Band-Aided customer service, we’ve Band-Aided podcast editing, we’ve put Band-Aids on all these things. We’ve figured it out, because that’s what we do. That’s who we are. And at this point, we have to start the real work, which is packing. People, we brought the entire house. One of the things-
Shane Sams: Literally, we brought … All the furniture and stuff people saw when they walked in was from our house. Jocelyn brought all of our pillows, and was putting them in chairs around the hotel, around the check-in areas, that said, hey y’all. It was stuff from our actual, decorations off the walls.
Jocelyn Sams: And one of the things that a lot of you who were at the event will notice about our live event coordinator, Amber, she’s very good at this type of thing. She really wants people to feel at home and at ease, and she really wants it to be like us. So, one of the things that we decided to do was, to get things from around our house that we could sit around kind of as props. So, you might’ve seen the little state of Kentucky with a heart on it, and we had little signs that said, welcome, y’all, and a little coffee sign, like, coffee is always a good idea. And all those things actually came from our house.
Jocelyn Sams: So we had a huge box of stuff, just packed up, just for decoration. We had all of the items, like the promotional items, the pins, the shirts, the backpacks, all of the little things that you got when you checked in. And that thing was a laptop sticker, by the way. We gave the sticker, and I don’t think anybody knew what it was.
Shane Sams: People were like, “Sweet, a sticker.” We’re like, no, it goes on the back of your computer.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. We need to put one on ours, too. Anyway.
Shane Sams: No wonder nobody knows what to do with them. They’re not even on our computers yet.
Jocelyn Sams: Exactly. So, we brought the entire house.
Shane Sams: We’re new to the swag. We’re new to this stuff.
Jocelyn Sams: Not only do we have to pack all of the stuff for the actual event, we had to pack all of our clothing and all that kind of stuff for one trip. But, also had to pack my kids, because they were staying with Shane’s mom and dad for a while, and we were also going to Jamaica the next week. I knew that, if I didn’t pack everything, then it will be really hard when I got home. So, not only did I pack for one trip, for me and the children, and Shane packed his stuff.
Shane Sams: We also had to pack all of it again for Jamaica.
Jocelyn Sams: We also had to pack for Jamaica.
Shane Sams: For the vacation.
Jocelyn Sams: So, this was a lot of work to do in the days leading up to this.
Shane Sams: And it’s a total first world problem. We know some of this are first world problems first world problems, but first world problems are real problems, y’all. Anything that’s adding to taking away from your time, or planning on top of everything else, and you’re stressing out, and you’re thinking, like, oh, man, I got to be in front of 100 people. We’ve got to run the show, and there’s all these moving parts. So many moving parts. It really takes a toll on you.
Shane Sams: You guys know this. We all get up every day and we take our kids to school, and we go to work, and we go to practice, and there’s three kids, and they’re going every which direction, and then you’ve got your in laws or your parents or your brothers or your sisters or your friends, and everybody’s always pulling on all of our time. There’s only so much that anybody can handle when you’re doing all of these things. So, it can be really, really stressful in the moment.
Jocelyn Sams: And everyone has hundreds of moving parts every day, that you have to manage. Everyone has this, but this is like that times about five, because we’re trying to prepare for this event. We’re trying to get our kids together. We’re trying to make sure customer service is being answered. We’re trying to make sure we have enough content to last us while we’re gone, all of these little things.
Jocelyn Sams: Make sure that we have all of our vacation documents, make sure we can find our passports. It’s just all of these little nuts and bolts that have to be turned, that are all coming together in like one or two days. So, it’s a lot to have to deal with, especially when you’re on stage. You got to make sure you have all your clothes. We had to try on our clothes several times, make sure we didn’t clash. All of these little things that you have to do.
Shane Sams: Yeah. Most of our date nights for the two months leading this event were, trying on clothes and standing in front of a mirror, so I would know if I matched … Not matched. What do you call it?
Jocelyn Sams: It’s coordinated.
Shane Sams: It’s coordinated. We had to coordinate all of our clothes together.
Jocelyn Sams: We had to coordinate all of our clothing, make sure they didn’t look bad together. So, we get to the event, and we finally got all this done. We get there and everything is pretty much ready to go. We got there on Tuesday. Everything started on Wednesday. What do we do the first day? I can’t even remember.
Shane Sams: We got there on Tuesday, and we saw Amber, and we had a little meeting, to make sure that everything was going smooth, and that everybody knew where they were supposed to be and what times they were supposed to be there. And at that point, things just kind of started rolling. We had done the preparation, we had done the work. Everything was ready to go. The first thing that happened on Wednesday was actually a pre-party. We had a big party for everybody. We had a bluegrass band, and we kind of rolled in, and they had surprised us.
Shane Sams: The bluegrass band learned the Flipped Lifestyle theme song. So, that was playing live when we walked in. Everybody had a great time, and we went around and just hugged and met everybody, and we all had just a great time at that event. I remember, we went to bed that night, on Wednesday, after the party, and we had so much fun and we saw these people and we kind of looked at each other and realized, we have to be on stage eight, nine hours a day. Because, not only were we doing all of the content in these 30 to 45 minute teaching session, but we did a Q&A with S&J live after every single presentation.
Shane Sams: So, we were on our feet eight, nine hours a day, answering a dozens and dozens of live questions about the content we were teaching. That was something that we had never seen any expert do at an event, other than maybe a question or two. But we went deep and answered 10, 11 questions for every single session. We were preparing for that. We were getting ready to be on stage.
Shane Sams: I’ve been up late at night before a lot of big ballgames when I was a football coach, or maybe we had a big thing going on in our lives. And I remember being nervous and remember not being able to sleep. But when we laid down that Wednesday night when we were getting ready go on stage, I think we both just kind of passed out. I slept so well, because I knew that people were already changing their lives. We were going to get on stage and change some peoples’ lives. Our content was true and sound and battle tested over hundreds of entrepreneurs that have been through our program before, and that we were going to be able to just really help people move the needle.
Shane Sams: We woke up the next day and my most … The thing I was worried about the most was, it was our first introduction, that they would play the music at the right time. I remember, that was what was stressing me out more than anything was, oh, man. They got to hit our theme song at a certain point, so it looks good on video. Yeah. But other than that, we just got on stage and it just rolled. The content came out of our mouth. The questions were awesome, and we answered a bunch of questions. And I don’t ever remember feeling stressed during the actual content of the event or anything like that.
Jocelyn Sams: My favorite part probably was the hair and makeup application. One of the things that I did for the event is, I hired someone to actually come to the event. She was dedicated to me, with hair and makeup, and-
Shane Sams: She did take a little time to dust me up a little bit.
Jocelyn Sams: Shane got a little man glam.
Shane Sams: I got a little man glam going, I’m not going to lie. You’re under the lights. You don’t want the sheen. You don’t want the glowing skull blinding everyone in the first row.
Jocelyn Sams: I’m now obsessed with hair and makeup. I just want to say that is one of my new goals, is to have someone to do my hair and makeup, at least for my videos and stuff like that. Because it was so amazing to just wake up and let somebody just make you look good.
Shane Sams: Yeah. The event just rolled pretty peacefully, because of all the work that we did. And so many people came up to us and they said, oh, we loved the content. We love the Q&As. We did mastermind sessions where people worked on the things that we actually talked about. We didn’t just do content and teach you what to do. People also had a workbook that they filled out while we were doing it.
Shane Sams: We answered their questions, and then there was like a block of time to sit down and do the thing, like the take action, to take the next step. So, the whole event was just rolling. The first night, we had a working dinner from 7:00 to 11:00, where Jocelyn and I were in the room. All the attendees were in the room, and everybody was just working on their business and taking action and making things happen and getting things done.
Shane Sams: Then, the last day of the event, we actually wrapped up with a priority session, where we taught everyone in the room how Jocelyn and I go through our priority list, from a week to week or month to month basis, and figured out and put on the calendar for the next seven days what everyone was going to work on, so that we could leave the event with a great momentum. And it was kind of over before we knew it. We didn’t want it to end. Everyone was having such a good time. We were having such a good time, that we kind of wished we had planned it maybe for an extra day or something like that.
Jocelyn Sams: And a lot of people ask me, “How did you like it?” Because, I am an introvert. It is hard for me to manage my energy ever those days like that. I thought it was great, actually. The time that we had built in … We built in time for people to mastermind together, which meant that we got a little break, and could just sit and kind of decompress for a few minutes. That really saved me, I think, just from having to talk the entire time. It was hard, doing all the content. You don’t often see people do that, and we really felt it was important for us to do that this year. And my back hurt the end of it. I was like, oh, my back hurts. I’m not used to standing up that much.
Shane Sams: For carrying Shane all this time.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, that’s right. No, I’m just kidding. But for me, really, the hardest thing about it was that dinner. The dinner was awesome. We got to talk to so many different people about their businesses, got to answer so many questions. But that was a little bit hard for me, when you sit down at a table with like seven other people at it, during a normal conversation, everyone will talk to each other. But during this particular situation, everyone wants to talk to you. So, that was kind of hard for me to manage that. It made me really exhausted at the end of that long day.
Shane Sams: That’s probably the one thing, logistically, I wish we had done a little differently, just because it was … Jocelyn and I kind of divided and conquered, and I’m usually Jocelyn’s heat shield in situations like that, where I take most of the conversation so it’s not draining her energy. But at this event, we kind of separated so we could talk to more people. But it was really hard to talk to everybody and have deep conversations. With 100 people in the room, it’s just really hard to get into that. So, that’s probably the one thing I think I would change a little bit, just to make it better, not only for the attendees, but for us as well, managing our energy, and being able to keep up with everybody.
Jocelyn Sams: But overall, it was amazing. I felt good the entire time. I really think I was less nervous than Shane was.
Shane Sams: I was nervous in the very beginning, but it was like a … It was running out of the tunnel for a football game nerves. That was the exact feeling I used to feel before we came out of the locker room on Friday nights or Saturdays, to have a football game. And I kind of liked it. It was kind of awesome. You know?
Jocelyn Sams: But I think what it was for me is that, in this situation, you guys who were there, you already know us, you know our faults, you know our flaws. So, I didn’t feel like I needed to hide anything, and I think that was really cool for this type of event, because-
Shane Sams: We could be real.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, and everybody does know us so well, and that was kind of cool. So, the event was awesome. I can’t say enough wonderful things about it.
Shane Sams: One of my favorite things, too, what we did at the event is, we did kind of an award ceremony where … One of the things that’s different about Flip Your Life and different about Flipped Lifestyle is, we’ve really built this up on our expertise, on our advice, but also, on the community. That’s what we wanted to create when we started Flipped Lifestyle, was a community, a worldwide community of family-focused entrepreneurs, people who really had their priorities in mind. They wanted a better life for their kids. They wanted a better marriage at home. They wanted more control over their life.
Shane Sams: Not this superficial, materialistic view of what online business or success should be. But really had their priorities in place, and wanted to go on a mission to help their customers, and change the world, and get their message out there. To see that community form, and to watch our community and how much they help each other. It’s not just me and Jocelyn answering every single question. Usually, someone will post a question in the Flip Your Life forums, and there’s nine people that have jumped in to help before Jocelyn and I even get to read it. So, it’s this real community of people helping each other, and we wanted to kind of reward and give back to the people who were really serving other people in our community. So, we started looking back at the last year, at all the replies.
Shane Sams: Like, who had replied to the most forum posts, who had helped the most people, who had encouraged the most people who had answered the most questions, we wanted to give awards for that. So, we brought 10 members onstage, and we gave them a stone that was engraved with Flip Your Life put on it. Because one of our big themes for the event was, throwing your stone, taking action, skipping stone across the water, and watching it ripple out, and that ripple effect changing peoples’ lives. That’s how Jocelyn and I get up every day, is we’re going to throw our stone and hit somebody, and ripple it out and, and really impact as many people as possible.
Shane Sams: And who knows, where that ripple is going to go to? So, we gave everybody this engraved stone for the Flip Your Life community, and we got to name our member of the year. It was Kevin Depew. Kevin is an amazing member, and far and away, other than me and Jocelyn, he’s replied to the most people in the Flip Your Life community, and helped as many people as possible. And not only is his business growing, but he’s helping other people as well. That was kind of my favorite part of the event, was just being able to give back and reward some of those people for being awesome community members, and just being excellent servant leaders inside of Flip Your Life community.
Shane Sams: So, that was cool, that we got to do that, and just meet all these people in real life, who we feel like we know, and we know their businesses, and we know their families, and we know what they’re all about, and to really be in the same room and give each other a hug. That was just one of the best things for me about the event.
Jocelyn Sams: All right, so we told you a little bit about how we felt about the event. So, let’s dive into a little bit about how our attendees felt about the event. One of the things that was really important to us is getting feedback as soon as possible ,in order to have the best event for next year. So, we sent out a survey on Monday. The event finished on Friday, and first thing in the morning on Monday, attendees got a survey.
Shane Sams: We were blown away by the responses that came back, because 99% of them were absolutely 100% positive. We had a think to kind of rank the event, five, or four, or three, two or one, and nobody ranked it under a four, and almost every single person put it a five. It was life changing, best event that they had ever been to. We got dozens of testimonials in text and on video from the event, of people saying how much it really impacted them. Not only that, but just some confirmation about the things we had done.
Shane Sams: So many people commented on the icebreaker sessions to introduce them, and how comfortable they felt when they got to the event. People loved the prerequisites and all the things that we did to get them ready for the event, and how the content was world class, and it really helped them make some epic decisions about what they were going to do next. Then the feedback that we got about the things that we could improve was so constructive. Sometimes people will go in and, there’s some negative people that just say bad things to say bad things. But all of the constructive feedback that we got, we really shook our heads and we’re like, yeah, that could have been made better.
Shane Sams: We could do that next year in a different way. And it was just really amazing to see, not only the outpouring and gratifying to see that we had done a good job for these people that came to the event, but also, that they were really invested and talking about coming next year. Something like 88% of all the people who filled out the survey said they were coming back next year. And that just really made it all worth it and made us realize, hey, we had done a good job, and this was actually something that our community not only needed, but really wanted us to continue.
Shane Sams: We always viewed Flip Your Life live as the Flipped Lifestyle family reunion, not as much the business conference for Flip Lifestyle. And that was really the feedback that we were hearing back from all of these people who filled out the survey.
Jocelyn Sams: I’ve got some news for you guys. A lot of you have come to an event for the first time at Flip Your Life Live, and you’re pretty much going to be ruined from all other live events in the future.
Shane Sams: That was the goal. That was the goal, like, you’re going to go … I bet some people have already signed up for it. It’s like, man, that was cool. I’m going to do another one, and they’re going to get there and be like, wait, where’s the Facebook group? Where’s all the people talking to me? Where’s all this interaction with the people on stage? What’s happening around here? So, yeah, sorry. We apologize in advance for doing that.
Jocelyn Sams: And what’s funny about surveys is, a lot of times, there’s such conflicting feedback. Some people were like, oh, this was really cool. And other people were like, yeah, I didn’t really like that. So, it’s just funny. You just have to look at all of the different responses and figure out, what are most of the people saying?
Shane Sams: Someone said they didn’t like the chicken. And we’re like, you’re in Tennessee. That’s Southern fried chicken. What do you want us to put on your plate? I guess because it wasn’t grilled or something like that. But those are the kind of comments, you’re kind of like, okay, well, next year, we’ll have some grilled chicken with the fried chicken. We’ll have a couple options. We actually looked at like four or five things we really wanted to improve on, because we didn’t do everything perfectly.
Shane Sams: One of our goals that we always have is, to be as accessible as possible. That comes from, a guru told us one time, at a conference, yeah, once you start getting enough people listening to your show and doing things like that, you got to make yourself not as accessible for positioning. That’s just not who me and Jocelyn want to be. That’s not who Jocelyn and I really care to be known as, as the un-accessible experts on stage. So, we tried to make ourselves as accessible as possible. We’re really open with talking to everybody. We tried to walk around, hearing masterminds and talked to as many as people as possible.
Shane Sams: There was over 100 people at the event, so it was almost nearly impossible for us to talk to every single person individually. I know some people didn’t come up to talk to us. We couldn’t get over to talk to them. While, that’s something we hope that we can do better, I think we’re going to do a better job next year of communicating, because we do plan on growing the event. We do plan on selling more tickets. And we don’t want anyone to think, hey, there’s going to be a line where, you get to come and talk to us for 10 minutes, because if we [crosstalk 00:51:11]
Jocelyn Sams: That would be the entire event.
Shane Sams: That would be the entire event. It would just be a table where, everyone wrote rotated through. That’s not what we’re doing. We want to really set up the event more of a one to many approach.
Jocelyn Sams: And the people who were at this event are amazing. It’s not just about talking to us. We want to talk to as many of you guys as possible. But I think, sometimes, what ends up happening is that, you guys listen to us every week, and you feel like you know us. You feel like we should be best friends, and maybe we should. But it’s hard when there are 100 people, 100+ people, who-
Shane Sams: Who all paid money to get in the door, and deserve great content, and things like that.
Jocelyn Sams: But they also think, hey, let’s be besties. And I’m like, uh, just met you. You know?
Shane Sams: It’s not even that. It’s like, we can sit and answer everyone’s question. I’ll tell you what was really surprising. We probably got there, I think we counted there was 48 different people, I think, asked a question. But that means there was over 50 people that didn’t. But we had at one session at the end, where we were like, this is the last Q&A, if anyone wants to ask a question.
Shane Sams: When you go to a live event or when you come to Flip Your Life Live, make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity you have to step up and ask a question. We were at the party for probably about an hour, and there were some people that didn’t get to come up … didn’t come up to us and talk to us. So, you got to take some initiative, too, at live events, and make sure that you make things happen, that you want to happen, or they’re not going to happen.
Shane Sams: If we could do it over again, we would probably position certain events differently, one, to make sure that everybody did have a chance to come by. We did have a picture session at the end, and Jocelyn and I took like 50 pictures in a row with everybody that came, as many people as possible, that came to the event. The Q&As, if we structured them just a hair differently, where we could get through to some more people, or maybe we could offer people an opportunity to write a question and we can answer some of those, because not everyone wants to step up to the mic and be in front of people or on camera.
Jocelyn Sams: We’re considering maybe adding a VIP option, where you would have more opportunities to spend time with us. So, there are different things that we’re considering for the future, to try to address this issue that several people did bring up.
Shane Sams: Another thing, no matter how well you think you plan or have the logistics figured out, you’re still making estimates and guessing, especially the first couple times you do anything. One of the mistakes that we made, one night, I think we ran out of food, and Amber and Kat were running in the back going, “Make some chicken fingers and french fries. I don’t care what you do! Put it on the bar. We got to get some food out there,” because we actually ran out of some of the food at one night. So, there’s things like that, that we learned, logistically, that we’re going to get better at.
Shane Sams: That’s another lesson for anybody making any kind of product. You can’t guess everything. You’ve just got to do it and see what happens, and then you make it better and better and better, and you let it evolve. So, we’re going to get better, we’re going to evolve. And we’re not going to be satisfied just because we had such an amazing feedback. We want to take it to the next level, as well, next year. Even though this live event is over, we want to always improve everything that we do.
Shane Sams: You would think, after the event, that we collapsed. But Jocelyn and I are all about the can’t miss moments. We’re all about living life. It’s not just about changing lives, not just about work. It’s all about our family and our future and our fun, and really experiencing this amazing world that God gave us. Most people would look at me like I was crazy, and Jocelyn, like she was crazy, if they knew what happened after the event. We left the event and drove from Nashville back to our home in Kentucky, like five or six hours.
Jocelyn Sams: On like 11:00 PM Friday night. This was late, late Friday night.
Shane Sams: Yeah. We got home really, really late, and collapsed into our beds. But we had to go to Jamaica, so we had … We were going on vacation. We went with Kat and her husband and her daughter. Kat is our right-hand woman in the Flip Your Life community, has been forever now. She’s one of our best friends in the world, and we had planned this trip together. We were flying out Sunday, but I actually went to the University of Kentucky football game the next day.
Jocelyn Sams: This was Saturday.
Shane Sams: Saturday. So, I woke up, got in the car, went to the game. Jocelyn drove the kids to Lexington, Kentucky, where we were flying out of the next morning. So, I went to the hotel after that, we got up the next morning, and went on this 24-hour trek. It took us forever to get down there to Jamaica. We took the kids, went on vacation, had an amazing time. The kids got to see another culture. We swam with dolphins. [crosstalk 00:55:34]
Jocelyn Sams: We needed it, because the kids were sort of, not really on the back burner, but they were maybe on a side burner for a while, as we were trying to clean up this huge mess.
Shane Sams: Oh, yeah. I’d say the last one. We probably didn’t hang out with the kids for a week or two. And we were up front with them, and told them, guys, Mommy and Daddy have dreamed big, planned big, and we’re going to go do something big, and we’re going to make it up to you on the backside of this. But every day can’t be eight hours here and eight hours there. We had to pick this. If we want to do this great thing to give you the life that we want to give you, we all have to make sacrifices. So, we planned this trip with them to kind of make it up to them after that.
Jocelyn Sams: Jamaica was amazing. I think it was the perfect exclamation point to just an awesome week, and just a nice reward for a lot of hard work. And that’s something that we typically don’t do a very good job of, is rewarding ourselves. So, I think that this was a great opportunity to say, hey, we put in the work, and we made it happen, and so now we are going to have this awesome vacation.
Shane Sams: And as we finish up this podcast, kind of recapping everything that happened at Flip Your Life Live in Nashville, it really got us reflecting back on our online journey and how we got to that point. How did we go from the very beginnings of Flipped Lifestyle, to this point where we’re onstage in front of 100 people from all over the world, helping people change their lives? There were a lot of reasons why we did Flip Your Life Live. We talked about those earlier, to help people, to really cement that community that we’ve created over in the Flip Your Life community online. We wanted to bring that offline and just to help people move forward and make their dreams a possibility.
Shane Sams: But sometimes, we do things for ourselves to see if we can do it, to raise the bar, to prove to ourselves that we’re worthy, that we’re good enough, that we’re capable of making these things happen. You know, doubts hold a lot of people back. Has anybody ever made you feel like you were not good enough to do something? Something that you knew in your heart, you were kind of destined to do? A lot of times, we let other peoples’ words kind of hold us back from achieving our dreams.
Shane Sams: When Jocelyn and I launched the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast back in 2014, people started recognizing us at live events and conferences we attended. And time after time, those podcast listeners told us, “Man, we would love to hear you guys speak at these conferences.” Sometimes they would even come up to us and ask us, like, “Hey, are you speaking?” And we were like, “No, we’re just attending like you guys.” And they’re like, “Oh, I listen to your podcast. I’d love to hear what you have on stage.”
Shane Sams: We didn’t really think much about speaking until something crazy happened to us, actually, at a live event that we attended back in 2015. Like a lot of people that came to Flip Your Life Live, Jocelyn and I put this event on our calendar. We were really looking forward to it. We knew it was going to be an inspiring thing to work toward, and it was going to generate a lot of momentum after. It was the highest level live event that we had ever been to at the time. It was definitely the most expensive. We had to fly halfway across the world just to attend, and it had a great slate of speakers.
Shane Sams: We were really, really excited to pick up a lot of tips and grow our business and take it all to the next level. Not just, Flipped Lifestyle, but our other businesses, our education business, selling playbooks, all of that stuff. And, to our surprise, when we got to this live event, half the room already knew who we were. Many of them had listened to our podcast, or they had heard us interviewed in other places by other online business experts. One attendee was surprised, and actually a little disappointed, that we were not speaking, and another attendee said to Jocelyn, “I was looking forward to meeting you guys more than some of the speakers at the event.”
Jocelyn Sams: To be honest, I wasn’t even sure how to respond to that. I was a little bit shocked.
Shane Sams: This particular live event was actually a working conference. Some speakers would take the stage all morning, and in the afternoon, there were scheduled masterminds where, people can not only work on what they had learned during the day, but each speaker had a table, and you could go around to the speakers and ask them questions about their specific expertise.
Shane Sams: When you walked into the room, each table had a sign or something on their table, that said who the speaker was, and that way you could kind of rush in and figure out where your speaker was going to be that you wanted to talk to, and you could sit with them. There were some really big online personalities in that room, guys. People like Lewis Howes, James Schramko, Darren Rowse, John Lee Dumas. All these people were in this room, and they had tables where, you could go talk to them and meet with them.
Shane Sams: When we walked into the room, we were ready to grab a spot at one of their tables. We kind of knew who we wanted to talk to, so that we could learn a little bit, and take our online business to the next level. But, to our surprise, a dozen or so people had gathered around an empty table, and they had hand crafted a little table tent sign and folded it in half and sat it there, and they had wrote, Shane and Jocelyn Sams, on the table. Two of the people walked over, that were sitting at that table, stopped us, and said, “Could you guys sit with us first, and lead our table, and help us with our businesses?”
Jocelyn Sams: And we were a little bit shocked by this, also, but we did what we do. We sat down and we answered peoples’ questions.
Shane Sams: I remember, we answered questions that were very specific things we had already been through, simple stuff, like how to set up your website, how to do this, how to do that. We encouraged some people. They weren’t taking action, so we really were just like, man, you need to get started. You need to do something. And a couple people were already successful, and they didn’t even realize it. So, we celebrated that with them, and told them, hey, reward yourself. You’ve done a good job. Now, just take it to the next level.
Shane Sams: And a lot of people that sat at that table with us, after the event, took action and built thriving businesses, really changed their life. The event organizer took notice that this was happening, and he saw that those people really wanted to talk to us. The next day, before dinner, he kind of came over and privately asked if we would like to speak at next year’s event, and we were taken aback. We were blown away, because we had never even had any opportunities like this before. We’d never pursued any speaking opportunities, and Jocelyn and I are not usually the kind of people that say no to new things. So, we looked at each other and looked back at him and said, sure, we’ll do it.
Shane Sams: It was an awesome opportunity. What better way to get our message of hope and freedom out there than onstage at a big live event? As we flew home, we kind of dreamed about speaking at the conference next year, and we thought about how we would prepare for the opportunity. We had like a 12-hour flight back from this event. So, it was really important to us to pencil it out. We were really excited about it. That excitement didn’t go away. We kept thinking about it, kept dreaming about it until a few days later. We woke up, made our coffee, made our tea, opened our computers. We were checking our email, working together, like we do most mornings.
Shane Sams: I had a message from the event organizer. I kind of smiled to myself and I thought, sweet. This is going to be an itinerary. It’s going to be a venue. It’s going to tell us our next steps for our first big speaking gig, but it was none of those. It was actually kind of a slap in the face. To paraphrase, the email said, “Hey, Shane and Jocelyn. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to take back my offer to speak at next year’s event. After meeting with my team, we’ve decided we only want real speakers or more successful entrepreneurs on our stage. Sorry.”
Shane Sams: Kind of thought to myself, real speakers? What does that mean? More successful? We knew half the people on that stage that year made less money than us, had smaller audiences than us. But here was this person telling us, you’re not good enough. You’re not good enough to speak at my event. You’re not successful enough in my eyes. You’re not doing what I want you to do to get your next opportunity. I was really mad in the moment, like furious. Like, punch through the computer mad. But Jocelyn was livid. She was so angry and insult … Jocelyn doesn’t get mad that often, but when she gets mad, you better watch out.
Jocelyn Sams: I was Southern Momma mad. That’s some serious mad.
Shane Sams: Yes. Slap some taste out of someone’s mouth, mad.
Jocelyn Sams: I was more just insulted, I think, of, this person doesn’t think we’re good enough. I think a lot of people out there will be like, oh, well, maybe they’re right. But that’s not really the mindset that we took.
Shane Sams: I thought to myself, and as we talked back and forth with this, we were kind of like, real speakers? What about the real speakers that all those people walked past to hand craft a sign at our table, that wanted to hear us? Was that what being a real speaker meant, that people would ignore you when they had a chance to talk to an event, to talk to someone else? At first, we got mad. But just to keep it real, y’all, it hurt. It was like massive rejection, and we got kind of down on ourselves and said, maybe we’re not good enough. Maybe we’re fooling ourselves to think that we can be experts, and build a brand that reaches thousands and thousands of people. Or, maybe we don’t belong on their stage or any stage, for that matter.
Jocelyn Sams: I think everyone has to cross that bridge at some point. You have to figure out, is this for me? Am I good enough? And you have to make that determination that you are.
Shane Sams: After a long discussion, we decided that, we would make a lemonade stand again. If he didn’t think we were real speakers, if that person thought we weren’t good enough, we would prove them wrong, and we would become real speakers. Maybe, eventually, we would get that opportunity back, or an even better opportunity. We prepared talks. We brainstormed what we could talk about onstage, if Jocelyn could talk by herself, I could talk by ourselves. We could talk together sometimes.
Shane Sams: We reached out to our network, we practiced, and even started applying for speaking gigs. I sent out an application for [inaudible 01:05:32] Con, this big conference, and got rejected. I applied for two other big conferences and got rejected again and again, and just started applying for every conference I could find, big conferences, little conferences, known conferences, unknown conferences, conferences in the United States, out of the United States. It didn’t matter. We had a large audience. We had a good message. But over and over and over again, people wouldn’t let us on their stage. They just wouldn’t let us have that opportunity.
Jocelyn Sams: It’s sort of like the job thing. When you’re a job candidate and you have no experience, everyone wants experience. But you can’t get experience unless someone hires you. Sort of that same type of thing. They would say, “Well, you don’t have speaking experience.” And we’re like, okay, we know.
Shane Sams: And we’re like, yeah. But we have thousands of people that might come to your conference if you’d let us on your stage. It just didn’t make any sense. We started asking ourselves questions like, well, maybe we just don’t know the right people. Maybe we’re not running in the right circles, or maybe we are not good enough to do this. So, for a quick minute there, we data ourselves, our mission, our worth, our goals.
Shane Sams: Then, we got mad, and we just ignored what everyone was telling us, and we decided that we would create our own opportunities. If we couldn’t get speaking opportunities from other people, if these people wouldn’t let us on their stage, wouldn’t let us speak at their event, wouldn’t give us an opportunity, we would have to create an opportunity for ourselves. And that’s how we started hosting these many live events.
Shane Sams: We had a live event in San Diego, for about 20 people. We did another one about a year later in Tampa. We had another small event up in Chicago. Then, when Jocelyn came up to me last December and said, “Let’s hold a live event for over 100 people in Nashville. We can do this. We can do it all by ourselves. Just us on stage, the entire time. We don’t need other speakers. We don’t need anybody creating opportunities for us. We are more than capable to carry the show.” I was on board. Scared to death, but said, dang right, we are. And that’s what we did. We launched it, almost sold it out in a week. We had over 110 family-focused entrepreneurs from all over the world show up to watch us speak on stage.
Shane Sams: And the best part is that, our stage was bigger than that first event that we got rejected from. It was a better production. It was higher quality. It was better content, and we had more people in attendance at the first big event that we hosted than what would have been at that event we didn’t get to speak at a few years ago. So, what are we saying? What’s the moral of this story, this big, long podcast, that we just recorded?
Shane Sams: Don’t fall into the world’s trap. So many people think the gurus and the experts and everybody out there has it all figured out, and that they somehow hold the keys to success, and that you have to go and beg them. You have to go ask them to give you the opportunity to succeed. And what we want to tell you is, don’t waste time begging experts for those keys. They don’t really even have them. Most of those experts want you to think they have the keys to either stroke their ego or hold you back.
Shane Sams: You don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re good enough. You are good enough to do whatever you want to do, online or off. You already have everything that you need to be successful within and by yourself. You are the actual person that holds the key to your future, not them. You don’t need them to make you feel real or affirm your success. You are more than capable of doing anything that you set your mind to. It’s your dream. It’s your path, and nothing can stop you if you’ll just have a plan, take action, and do the work.
Shane Sams: We want to encourage you today, coming off maybe the biggest win of our online career so far. If you run into a gatekeeper, then just lower your head and crash through the gate. If you run into a naysayer, just prove them wrong. And if someone won’t let you on their stage, do what we did. Build your own. All right, guys. That wraps up the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast for this week. But before we go, we want to let you know, we are 100% doing Flip Your Life Live again next year. It’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be better. It’s going to be more life changing than even this year’s event, and we would love are you to be there.
Jocelyn Sams: Tickets are not on sale just yet, but we do have a waiting list right there for you. You can find it at flippedlifestyle.com/live. If you are interested in hanging out with us next year in 2019, for our Flip Your Life Live event, head over to the waiting list and get on it right away. Flippedlifestyle.com/live.
Shane Sams: Remember, this year’s event nearly sold out in the first week. So, you want to make sure that you’re on the waiting list, because anyone on the waiting list will be notified first. Before we notify anybody else on our list, we will always send that out first to the waiting list. So, if you want to come and hang out with us and attend Flip Your Life Live, 2019, next year, we’d love to see on that waiting list, and we’ll let you know as soon as tickets go on sale. But until then, whatever you do, get out there and work on your online business. Build your stage. Go out there and take action, and do whatever it takes to give your family a better future, and flip your life. We’ll see on the next show.
Jocelyn Sams: bye.
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