Note: I wrote most of this post on the ride back from Danny Iny’s place in Montreal. My calendar didn’t have room to post it immediately, so I sat on it for a bit, and I’m glad I did. Today’s Danny Iny’s birthday, and I eagerly use the ritual power and meaning of his birthday, as a fantastic opportunity to sing him praises.
If you don’t know who Danny is, just google him, or read about him in the Hall Of Warriors.
So, let’s get into it.
How do these emotions sound to you?
Feeling exhilarated, energized, and happy to be doing what you do and living how you live.
Being in-the-zone, performing at peak performance for days at a time, and making an impact.
Feeling appreciative, grateful and blessed.
That’s how I feel right now.
I just spent two days working with someone brilliant & passionate, who’s not intimidated by my badassness. He understands & accepts me on many levels, and he’s focused on contributing and uplifting others.
That’s a great environment to put myself in.
I spent two days in his beautiful, tasteful and loving home (which he modestly has not shown off much in the past – which I believe is a disservice to humanity, but that’s a story for another time )
I spent two days playing around with creative projects, dining at fantastic restaurants – sometimes with his supportive and also brilliant wife, Bhoomi, and their vibrant wittily conversive friends Megan + Tay(sp?)
To most people that stuff sounds pretty damn good, but the main focus and reason I went there, was so he and I could make significant progress on a specific project we’re working on, and Danny and I knew that in-person, side-by-side interaction would bring big results.
The icing on the cake is that it brought massive results.
Collaborations Bring Clarity
In the first hour or so of our meeting, we covered negotiations and business-logistics that take other companies ages to agree upon, nailing down vital details quickly and easily and cooperatively.
We fleshed out the foundation of our project, got much more definition of the problem, and laid out an excellent story component and skeleton.
Any time something was unclear, we easily shared it with each other and put our heads together to generate solutions, and they came quickly and easily.
Or if they didn’t we were able to table it and see where the project takes us and what inspiration strikes.
The clearer and more flexible people are with each other, the more successful the collaboration.
Yes, you can succeed with out high degrees of clarity and flexibility, but results may not be as high as they could, and it doesn’t sound very fun to me.
There’s a magic in sharing a meal with another human being and talking out your combined, co-operative contribution to the world.And sharing meals and success-focused ideas is f***ing fun.
If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it, it’ll change your life.
There’s Always Side Benefits
What do I mean by side-benefits?
Well sometimes it’s specific, clear, dollars-and-cents side-benefits, sure…
…but more often it’s intangible, hard-to-quantify-but-quality-of-life raising stuff like new perspectives that open doors, examples of more fulfilling ways to live, and resources and connections that were previously hidden and are now there for easy use.
For example, even on our breaks, Danny and my conversations were fun and enlightening, often resulting in further business ideas, or diving into solutions and possibilities for many other related things.
We had outstanding chats about membership site business models, transforming scale limitations, and even esoteric shit like The Immense, Timeless Power Of In Person Performance, for any industry (verdicts out, we agreed to revisit the topic down the road ).
Another cool thing, and (one of the coolest things for me actually) was this: he and his team were having some pretty dicey video issues and right at the moment they were dealing with it, I was able to bring my hours of video editing, authoring, and transcoding experience to the table.
In the end I didn’t come up with the ‘push-button solution’ I wanted to offer them, but I was able to help out quite a bit, move things forward, and save too much ‘wheel-spinning’ for no reason.
Also, we skipped/re-scheduled the marketing audit we’d scheduled for me, but it was replaced with something far more valuable and impressive to me. A deep, strategic look at e-mail marketing, applied directly to a campaign I’m about to launch with an affiliate.
I also learned that there are much friendlier, open-minded feminists out there than the one’s I’ve encountered in the past, and I may even have a guest post lined up for you guys on the Twilight series from one of them.
And I could go on.
Travel, New Environments, & Fresh Views
It’s a big, wide world.
It really is — and the way you and your friends and your clients and competitors think… is not the entire world’s way of thinking.
It’s not even close.In fact – the attitudes you see in your culture aren’t what you’ll see in other cultures.
In Japan, any time a compliment is given to anyone, the automatic response is to dismiss it. The phrase "I rock" or "I’m good at" are virtually unknown, or understood to be a joke.
Different places are different.
I know that seems like common sense, but then why do so many people stay where they are?
Big, university-focused cities are very different than small, mining focused towns. Yes there are similarities, but you’ll been immersed in a ‘whole new world’ and gain knowledge and experience by doing so.
This wasn’t even outside-the-country travel, by the way, it’s not like I’m writing about my times in Cuba or France.
I live in Toronto, and I was just spending a little time in Montreal, but even a relatively simple, inter-country trip can work wonders.
You can even do it by traveling from one end of your city to another!
If you want to live your life by keeping your exposure to new ideas and attitudes to a trickle, that’s cool, then stay in your own town.
But if you wanna open the floodgates of what life has to offer for yourself, and if you want to challenge yourself to hit greater heights…then travel with an open mind and heart.
It’s like magic.
Why I Accept No Excuses
It looked like everything was against me for this trip, but my gut told me to go.
I made the trip with no bank card.
Let me repeat, the day before I left, I lost my bank card and only had pocket cash on hand, and I was supposed to spend two days in an unknown town, with someone I was meeting for the first time.
I didn’t mention this to Danny beforehand (and semi-naively thought I might make it through the trip without needing to. That didn’t happen, ’cause we decided to share a meal and get on the same page, and setup the vibe for the visit, and Danny knows some nice restaurants )
Anyway, he was extremely understanding and supportive, and I was hosted and well cared for the whole way.Things will work out like poetry for you, but you gotta to take the first – usually anxious – step.
I mention this because how many people would’ve cancelled or post-poned the trip upon losing their bank card?
("Oh, man, let’s re-schedule, I’m not even sure if I have enough money for breakfast on the trip.")
How many people would feel panicked without their ‘security blanket?’
("Ah! No bank card? No money? My hands are tied and I can’t do anything, everything’s on hold until I get this sorted! Ahhh!")
How many people let all *kinds* of excuses stop them from traveling?
("I wish I could buuutttt….")
Some people let excuses stop them from doing tons of things they’d love to do.
Don’t let yourself be one of them.
Travel rocks, and traveling in order to collaborate with someone else rocks even harder.
I don’t know if there are scientific studies for the power of person-to-person collaboration. I’m not sure if there’s hard numbers for you on how ‘Travel’ affects your bottom line or your relationships, but I do know this:
If you haven’t traveled much, or with an eye towards the benefits of it, you’re missing out on a tremendously beautiful (and powerful) aspect of life.
Start thinking about it, start planning it, and start acting on it.
For me, I like when there are many benefits to one action. I love it when I choose to collaborate with Danny in Montreal, and it works out better than I imagined (hopefully for him too – which was the impression I got).
I love it when a trip is ultra-productive (interestingly, confidence-expert Farnoosh Brock just published 9 Ways To Super-Charge Productivity On The Road).
I love it when that happens, and if you do too, you can pre-pave the way by giving yourself a deeper understanding of what working with others and breaking out of your comfort zones does for you.
You And I Collaborate On Every Post (Even If You Don’t Know It)
I write with your ideas, attitudes and preferences sort of, unconsciously in mind, and I overlap that with stuff I’m passionate about. When you read, share, and comment you’re co-operating and creating a stronger cornerstone of the internet.
There’s not a whole lot of travel involved, and it’s not the clearest collaboration, but it’s one none-the-less, and I’m really appreciative of it.
Thanks so much for reading my passionate ramblings on collabs, travel, and how they’re related.
To summarize, what I’m getting at in a sentence:Show some love, collaborate with other people, in other places, you will gain far more than you think.
If you liked this post on collaborations, or if you like Danny Iny’s brilliant “Naked Marketing” as much as I do, you can read more about it and get into these things deeper at my other post: Vanilla Or Kinky.
Note 2: Like I said, it’s Danny’s birthday today, and this is sort of a gift. Danny’s comfortable and fine financially – so what do you buy the guy who has everything? Well, I know the feeling and to me, when someone enthusiastic and grateful shares pure appreciation for me and my contribution and how I touched their lives… well… it’s probably one of the greatest feelings in the world.
This is my version of that.
I wanted to thank Danny, in public, for how he’s touched and impacted my life. And it’s pure. Even if I disappeared tomorrow, or we never spoke again for some reason, I’d still mean every word, and want it to live on.
So yeah,this post was pure fan-boyism, but I aimed for you got a lot out of it, and I highly recommend you swing by Danny’s site, FirepoleMarketing.com – he’ll blow the doors open for you in business and you will not find a more badass, authentic person to collab & interact with (‘cept maybe me ).