There’s always something to howl about

Unchained From A TechTard’s Prospective

I’d be criminally remiss if I didn’t first comment on how massively cool it was spending an entire day and night with the level of expertise, knowledge, experience, and plain old results present at this Unchained event. This was not a room for posers — possibly the understatement of 2011. I was in nosebleed country all day. I felt pretty much all day like I was merely an insignificant fly in the room with these guys.

Got nothin’ to say about all the GeekSpeak that went on. It was when each speaker began to elucidate their strategy(s) that I perked up and began takin’ notes. I did notice one thing that made it more than just a great day of learning. Something that had me feelin’ all warm ‘n fuzzy.

Nothing’s changed.

• Scott Schang, and later on Mark Madsen with Tony Sena, pounded home the point that measuring results is mission critical — period, shut up. More on that principle later.

• All of ’em, directly or indirectly paid homage, due tribute, to the end game of all that was taught: Gettin’ belly to belly with those seeking the aforementioned expertise, knowledge, experience, and yes, that pesky concept — results. Any outcome short of that is akin to a coffeehouse conversation with two broke ‘artists’. In other words, you’ll never get that time back, sans results.

• Mark Madsen literally humbled me with his prodigious work ethic — which when combined with his ‘do it now’ attitude reminded me so much of Dad when he was making plans for his company, back in the day. For reasons I choose not to divulge here, I’ve been unable to follow up with Mark, but that’s passed, and he’ll be hearing from me. Remember his name, cuz he’s the real deal. I don’t often get impressed, mostly cuz I’m a cynical OldSchool bastard. But believe me about Mark. It’s a shame he doesn’t write more here.

• Ever been to a concert where the first several acts knocked your socks off? One time in the 70s I went to a concert where the freakin’ opening act was Linda Ronstadt in her prime. She was followed by Loggins and Messina. Then Lynard Skynard came on stage and literally blew the place down. And no, they weren’t even the headliners. After they did the best version of Free Bird I ever heard, Rod Stewart appeared on the stage outa nowhere. Now that was a concert. So was Unchained when, after all the gold dispensed by the folks above Eric Blackwell was brought up to speak.

Many in the room, guys for whom I hold great respect and admiration, referred to Eric as a rock start. What? Huh? I’d spoken to him once on the phone, and read what he’s written here for quite awhile. We finally met before the event started, happy to finally be in the same room.

When Eric took his turn to speak, it was obvious he’d mastered his craft. I appreciate few things in life as much as someone who’s spent the time and enormous effort it takes to master the principles and skill sets of their profession. Listen to him speak for two minutes and you know he’s a member of that elite group. I will also be in contact with him, seriously so.

I’ve written here since mid-late 2006, shortly after Greg graciously invited me. If you’ve read me much you know I don’t gush. I’m not quite the crusty SOB Dad was, not yet anyway. But when I offer praise, it’s deserved. Unchained was an all too rare event, even for me. I was profoundly affected in many ways. You may be hearing about one or two in the coming year. We’ll see.

Then there was Unchained II — The Hotel Room

Sean Purcell, Brian Brady, Teri Lussier (one of my all time favorite Hounds), Mark Madsen, Scott Cowen, myself, and probably one or two I’m forgetting, adjourned to Sean and Brian’s room. ‘Til about 1:30 it was virtually all shop talk — great shop talk. There was some politics too. It was invigorating.

Towards the end, Mark Madsen took charge. He asked us, in no uncertain terms, ‘What can we do now — tonight — to help all of us here in this room?’ He became a ‘Hound with a bone, and wasn’t takin’ ‘no’ for an answer. I lined up to give him my info. As I said above, I’ll be talking with Mark very soon. My unscheduled detour has worked itself out. Mark’s offer was both team oriented, generous, and very much appreciated.

Though Brian Brady plays it down, his too short talk on how he’s succeeded with email marketing gave me two ideas I’m now beginning to implement. I will say however, that his idea of using the Socratic method of teaching with that group was comic relief. The guy knows how to generate business.

Greg and Brian have created a gem with Unchained. Like so many of you, I’ve been to many of these kinda things. Most of ’em are barely worth the networking opportunity. Unchained is pure gold.

If you can attend the next Unchained — do it.


7 Comments so far

  1. Herald November 19th, 2011 12:15 am

    Judging your post, that is truly an awesome event.

  2. Ira Serkes November 19th, 2011 12:16 am

    Greg & Company knocked my socks off in Phoenix a few years ago … and I’ve a very high threshold of wow.

    Became an honorary bloodhound contributor … and am honored I’m still on the list … though my frequency of blogging is such that I have the hallowed spot which lets everyone else blog more frequently than I do.

    So … Bald Guy Ira is with Bawld Guy Jeff on this one!

  3. Ira Serkes November 19th, 2011 12:19 am

    OK … rather than try to figure out how to log in, I’ll just post this link to a market research blog post I did … market research with maps, charts, and more!

    Plus video of another Bald Guy

    Ira Serkes

  4. Don Reedy November 19th, 2011 8:48 am

    Splendor, as Greg would say. Simple, unfettered splendor.

  5. Jonathan November 19th, 2011 9:15 pm

    Lot of big brains in attendance.

    Would have been a great event to attend. Madsen has been known to have a good idea or two 😉

  6. Robert Worthington November 22nd, 2011 6:10 pm

    You all had an enormously fun learning time! Wish I had to funds to make it.

  7. Mark Madsen November 30th, 2011 1:36 pm

    Jeff – thank you for the kind words. It was great to hang out and talk some shop with you.

    We all have something of value to offer the group, and I definitely look forward to working out some simple business building campaigns with you and the group this year.

    You’re right about one thing with Internet markting – Nothing has changed since the last Unchained event.

    Sure, technology has improved a little, made a few steps more efficient and reduced the amount of competition due to the excessive noise and distractions created by the new shiny objects. But, the basics of building trust and closing sales remain the same as they always have for years.

    I remember one of your past articles on BHB that talked about getting up to bat. Greg touched on the same topic as well.

    The effective online marketers aren’t interested in generating thousands of “leads” per month, they’re focused on connecting with a few motivated potential clients that want to do business with them.

    Eric and I are fascinated with how those people find us online, Scott obsesses over the process of moving them through the proper sales cycles until they land in the right funnel and Tony cares mainly about how to measure the traffic and processes so that he can count on $____ per month in revenue in order to pay salaries and reinvest back into the machine.

    Here’s to World Domination in 2012.