Ever since I started writing about business, I've had the idea of leading a very special, very high-priced retreat for entrepreneurs.
My goal was not financial. By the time I became a business writer, I no longer needed money and could have readily come up with many easier ways to make the $300,000 that such a retreat could generate.
What inspired me was an ego challenge: All around me, self-proclaimed business experts were charging $1,000 to $5,000 for seminars, and they were getting plenty of eager people to pay up. Most of these guys were one-trick ponies—zero-down real estate gurus, direct-marketing experts, or motivational speakers. Few of them had my depth or breadth of experience. If they could get away with charging $5,000, I reasoned, I should be able to charge $10,000.
So that's what I did. I spoke to MaryEllen Tribby, the superstar who runs the business advisory business EarlytoRise.com (ETR), and she agreed to do it. Three months later, she had everything set up and 30 tickets sold.
The only thing left was to come up with a seminar schedule that would justify an investment of four days and $10,000 by each attendee.
"Pride comes before the fall." That saying haunted me as I pondered the question: What could I do for those 30 people that would be worth so much of their time and money?
It wasn't going to be easy. Although they had all achieved a great deal in their lives, each had a different sort of business. Some were beginning ...