"In life you’re not always going to be on the stage. Part of living a great life is helping other people get on stage. Part of living a great life is lifting others up and cheering them on and shining the light."
Are you ready and prepared to achieve your most important goals for 2019 and make it the best year of your life (literally)?
We just concluded our 5th annual Best Year Ever [Blueprint] live experience where 500 members of the Miracle Morning Community came together in San Diego and engaged in a process designed to accelerate their personal and professional success in 2019 (and beyond).
Today, we want to share some of the key lessons with you—a highlight reel, of sorts—from the event, so that you can immediately begin applying these lessons and preparing to make 2019 the best year of YOUR life.
Joining me today is my business partner and guest host, Jon Berghoff, founder of Flourishing Leadership Institute, as well as Jon Vroman, founder of the Front Row Foundation (wait until you hear how much money was raised for the charity at BYEB!) and founder of Front Row Dads.
We talk about the power of seeing past attendees sharing how they achieved the results they set out to achieve the year before, the big lessons we learned this year, the great speakers we had the privilege of hosting, and why the transformational energy of Best Year Ever [Blueprint] is so hard to put into words.
- How to tie everything you’re doing to a greater cause, purpose, or mission.
- Why actively engaging with like-minded people who are all committed to bringing out the best in one another is key to rapid transformation, and why you should be doing that in your world.
- Why you should set goals beyond the realm of “probable” and in fact, might be unlikely—and how this removes fear from your life.
- What you need to do to create the right space to hear answers to your questions—and why one person’s answer often becomes someone else’s.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
Hal: Hey, goal achievers, welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your friend, Hal Elrod. And as you probably know, we just finished the Fifth Annual Best Year Ever Blueprint Live Experience in San Diego California last weekend I think or two weekends ago. I’m not sure how, I don’t know what day it is, but it was a spot where 500 people come together every year to plan out their best year ever and we wanted to bring you those that were not there with us some of the highlight moments, also bring you some of the key lessons as well, and you’re getting essentially the highlight reel which is kind of cool so it’s a one hour or 30-minute version, however long we end up talking today, but a shorter version of the most important lessons and highlights of the event. And I’m here with my two good friends, Joh Berghoff who you probably know as Jon has helped me co-host the podcast while I was fighting cancer. Jon took the podcast over for about a year. Jon is also the founder of Flourishing Leadership Institute and he is transforming organizations from the City of Cleveland to NASA, to Facebook, to BMW, you name it. Some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world bring Jon in to help them facilitate rapid growth, rapid transformation, and that’s why I brought him in to the Best Year Ever Blueprint to help our attendees do the same.
And then I’m also with my other good friend, Jon Vroman. And Jon Vroman, you probably know I talk about him all the time. He is the founder of the Front Row Foundation and also the founder of Front Row Dads. In fact, buddy, my hat is in the other room. I almost always wear that hat, my Front Row Dads hat. I am a Front Row Dad. Jon Berghoff is a Front Row Dad as well and actually, Jon Berghoff I’d love for you to come on for a minute if you could, and just take a minute to talk about the history of the Front Row Foundation. Its tie in with the Miracle Morning Community, the fundraising that’s happened and also the Best Year Ever Blueprint Live experience and how we’re all one big happy family.
Jon B: Sure. Happy to, guys. I just saw my wife Mara commented on our live stream. Hi, sweetie.
Hal: HI, Mara.
Jon B: I’ll see you in a little bit. Hope these guys don’t talk too much so I can get home. Hal, I love during the intro to the episode, how many different ways you try to say that this will be a short conversation. You’re trying to sink into existence what is nearly impossible.
Jon V: Can I just make the comment that the more I get to know Hal I moved from like a best friend to an amazing friend to just where it’s like good friends now. It fluctuates. Yeah. I feel like the next time we record a show it’s going to be like my decent friend.
Hal: My acquaintance. You’re going to be an acquaintance by the next show.
Jon V: A couple of guys you’re getting to know.
Hal: Yeah. A couple of new guys. Yeah.
Jon B: Oh my gosh. Well, sure, I’ll give a little backstory, but then I’m going to turn it back over to you guys in the next 30 to 40 minutes when I’m done with the back story.
Jon B: Yeah. I’m going to come to you guys and for those of you that are wanting us to get past the foreplay into the action, what we’re going to do today is each of us is going to share, first of all, what was like a highlight moment and not only what was a highlight moment but maybe what it was about that moment that maybe there’s some sort of wisdom for us to take away from that moment and then we’re all going to share also maybe any specific lesson that we feel like we learned while being with 500 other folks from over 15 countries last week in San Diego. But before we get to that, just a little bit of the backstory and those of you that have been joining us for five years or you know the story, just pretend you’ve never heard it and thank you.
So, the simple version is this event started five years ago when Hal when you called me and said, “Hey, JB, I got a bunch people showing up. What do we do?” and I said, “Well, we’ll figure it out,” and every year we’ve always asked the question how do we innovate? How do we evolve? And after the second year, I think it was after the second year, one of the things that came up is we realize one of the things that the three of us have always believed in and really felt was important was that as entrepreneurs because many of our attendees of this event are entrepreneurs, most of them, as entrepreneurs, we always wondered how do we make sure that when we go to work every day, our work has a deep sense of meaning and purpose to our work?
We each of us in our own way have always been curious about that question and one of the answers that came up several years ago was will this event, the Best Ever Blueprint Event, this three-day event, what if we turned it into a fundraiser? And so, as many of you know who have been with us for five years now or if you’re there for the first time this year that at our Best Year Ever Blueprint event, we do this and we do this in a way that’s different than any event I’ve ever been to. I know the three of us go to a lot of events. None of us have seen anything like this and we’re proud of it as kind of a cool innovation. And what we do is all throughout the event we tie together the idea of growing ourselves, with the idea of giving back to others. And the reason why we partnered with the Front Row Foundation is not only because it’s a wish organization that creates incredible magical memories and moments for people and for their families who were fighting for their lives and that alone it’s a beautiful cause. It’s similar to Make-A-Wish but it’s for people of all ages and it’s really focused on sending somebody to the front row of the event of their dreams at a time when they could really use that kind of pick me up.
But that’s actually not the reason why, Hal, why you and I partnered with the Front Row. The biggest reason is because the Front Row Foundation is also about a life philosophy. It’s about living life in the front row and Jonny V, you wrote the book the Front Row Factor and, in that book, you share the lessons learned as the founder of the Front Row Foundation over the last 12 years what you’ve learned by helping people who are fighting for their lives about living life. And it was like this lightbulb moment for us three years ago when we realize, “Oh my gosh, like living life in the front row and having your best year ever, they go hand-in-hand,” and so that’s how the partnership all came about and there’s a lot of stories and details and highlights that we can talk about related to that, but I think it’s a good way of kind of helping listeners to understand the integration between there’s this cause that we help at this event. And a little later on this call we’ll share with you how much money we raised which is kind of absurd because when people buy tickets to come to the Best Year Ever, they’re not necessarily coming to it because it’s a fundraiser, but when they get there and they see what we’re doing, their hearts get really pulled towards this amazing cause. So, I’m sure we’ll end up talking about that today.
So, there’s the little backstory and I want to turn back to you guys actually and just ask you, Hal, we can start with you like what was a highlight or two or as many as you want to share of the event?
Hal: Yeah. There were a couple. The first one was a really emotional experience for me surprisingly. It was almost odd how emotional it was and that was one of our speakers. Our speakers were incredible this year, but we had Patricia Moreno and Patricia Moreno I saw her speak at Carey Smolensky’s event that I spoke at, the Passion Summit, probably six months ago or so, and what she does is just extraordinary. She’s not just a speaker but she’s actually a fitness guru if you will. She’s been leading fitness for decades now and she combines almost all of the SAVERS into one where she’s got you doing affirmations while you’re exercising and visualizing and doing all these pieces all at once. And when I was in the audience at the event that I experienced her at, I was just blown away. In fact, Jon, I text you right after and I said, “Hey, buddy, google this woman or look up Patricia Moreno. Here’s her website. She is amazing. Incredible. Can’t put her into words. Check her out. I would love it if we could have her at Best Year Ever.”
And so, we booked her for Best Year Ever and while she was doing essentially very similar to what she did at Carey’s event but I’m up, she got you up, and you’re punching in the air, you’re doing moves, you’re saying, “I am braver than I seem. I am stronger than I think. I am blessed with all I need.” You’re doing these moves and as I’m in the back of the room, doing it, and I had this dream, this vision of bringing the value that she creates, the experience that she creates, I wanted to give that, gift that if you will pay it forward to our Best Year Ever Blueprint Community and I was in the back of the room and I’m punching in the air saying how brave I am and how blessed I am and I’m doing the moves and I’m like I can’t speak. I’m like, “Why? I’m brave.” Like I can’t talk and I’m getting all choked up and going, “What’s going on?” and I’m sitting there reflecting on it afterwards and I go, “Why did I get so emotional?” And I think it was one thing that I think all of us have in common is anything that changes our world in a positive way, we feel compelled to share. And I think that’s kind of the mark of the influencer, right? Someone who becomes an author or a speaker or a coach it’s like they’ve been positively impacted in some way and they want to pay that forward and help other people.
And so, for me to be witnessing 500 people in the room all punching the air and saying they’re blessed and in following her lead, it was just powerful for me to see that and to experience it and just like anything. When you have a dream come to fruition and you’re like, “Well, this is really happening. This is how I envisioned it so long ago when it was just an idea in my mind and now it’s actually happening.” So that was a big high point and then the general high point for me was seeing all of the attendees from last year or multiple years. This was our fifth annual event. Some had been there for all five years, but our attendees standing up who were returning for their second, third, fourth, fifth year and hearing them share how they had had their best year ever like it actually worked. The event worked. It did what it’s supposed to do, and that was just a powerful thing when you hear somebody stand up and they’re saying, “Hey, a year ago I said I was going to give up alcohol and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in 12 months and that was a game changer for me,” and then they’re crying, and then the whole audience is standing and applauding. Just seeing that is powerful.
We had Alex Hayden stood up and shared how when he came to his first best year ever, he was overweight, he was depressed, deeply depressed, and he was broke, and now he lifted up his shirt, he has an eight-pack of abs. Not a six-pack. He’s got an eight-pack of abs. Best shape of his life. Now, not only is he fit. He is now coaching executives in their fitness and as a result, he just had his first $10,000 income month and is on track to do that every month from now on. So, that, I mean, example after example, and then we’ll talk about more during the call or the podcast today but that for me was a high point. I think the biggest high point was seeing people that had been due to previous events and actually got the results or most of them it was beyond what results they even set out to achieve, and see that – and they all really gave credit to it was who I became at the best year ever blueprint last year or the year before or the year before that, and that’s led to all of the success I have now. So, that for me, I don’t think anything could top that.
Jon V: Yeah. Hal, I think that that’s so cool to hear you talk about that because I enjoyed witnessing the same thing about Patricia and thinking that she went to this one event that you are attending and all of a sudden, that catapulted her into speaking on stage at Best Year Ever and how quickly someone’s life can change when they put themselves around in the right environment and when they step onto the stage or they step into the front row, or they join the conversation, or they step into their mission that you never know what happens a year from today. And so, it’s actually fun for me to watch you enjoy that experience with Patricia knowing that all that started just months previously at another one of our friends’ events. And so, seeing the compound effect of people coming together and sharing resources, supporting each other. And every year, all of us have kids, we see our kids grow at these pictures like looking back at last year’s. We record this. For my family, looking back at last year’s Christmas photos seeing this year’s Christmas photos, it’s the comparison and the contrast that makes that so exciting and I love that not only do your attendees, Hal, get that experience of transformation year in and year out, but I love watching that happen with you too, buddy.
Hal: Thanks, brother. I appreciate that. Well, and Patricia was a great example. She sat on stage before I saw her speak at that event. It was one of her dreams in writing was to meet me and to be on stage at Best Year Ever and I don’t even know that. I mean, it’s really powerful to think that she set that intention and then it came true and we all benefited as a result.
Jon B: Yeah. One of the things I love about that story of Patricia, so first of all, just say a simple observation, and second, something that you guys don’t even know. I got a secret to tell you and another half a million people that are listening, but the more simple observation is and I love that you, that was when your highlights, Hal, because what Patricia did and I hope there’s some sort of practical takeaway for anybody listening here. What she did and she shared with the room, and this is not the officially approved description of what she does. It’s hard to describe what she does. Using music and physical movement, she combines affirmations. Maybe that’s pretty a good job. But what she did is she gave people an experience of affirmations which is something that you have preached and taught in your book for years. And what I love about what she did is I’ve met a lot of folks who they struggle with the concept of affirmations either it feels inauthentic or they just don’t even know how to make it something that they enjoy and what she did is she gave people an experience of, hey, look, this is something you can physically fully engage in and it can be transformational, just doing it one time. And I’m just going to tie that to that’s also why we have brotha James playing music and it’s a good reminder for us that anything that we repeatedly listen to is indirectly an affirmation. So, this isn’t even just about what we externally say, but what we consistently take in any input, the media, anything is going to unconsciously be a form of an affirmation. So, I love that observation there. That’s super cool.
Oh, here is the secret. You guys want to know?
Jon B: So, I know you guys know this. A lot of people don’t but in my role as like the primary agenda planner of the event, up until about three days before the event, we only had Patricia on the agenda for about 25 minutes. Now, anyone who’s at the event, if they heard that right now, they’d think, “Well, Jon, you’re an idiot if you are only going to have her for 25 minutes,” and that’s another discussion. But something happened about three days before the event where I was looking at the agenda and I was trying to just listen to my intuition and I didn’t have some sort of factor figure or data to tell me this when I was looking at our agenda, I looked at Sunday, which is a ton of stuff we’re trying to get done on Sunday and I had this internal voice that said, “Tell Patricia right now that she has an extra 15 minutes and then figure out how to make that work.” And so, I told her and we did that and you know, Hal, I had my own magical moment standing right next to you when I was watching her thinking. I’m grateful that we allowed ourselves as a planning team to follow our intuition even though all logic said you cannot give her more time because we had a bunch of logical reasons on paper why that didn’t work. It was a home run so I figured I’d share that with you, guys. Jonny, what about you, buddy? Highlights from the event and any wisdom maybe from those highlights?
Jon V: Well, I feel compelled to take the front row angle on this and, first of all, say thank you to you two gents and also everybody who attended for supporting Front Row Foundation. This event is our biggest fundraiser of the year and there’s a lot of smiles that are created because of what happens in the room. There’s a lot of people that become great supporters of the cause and, Jonny B, you brought this up prior to when we started recording but one of the things we did at this event and we’ve been doing more recently within the charity is we’ve created a bit of a raving fan club. Now, in case you happen to have just joined us, Front Row Foundation helps kids and adults who have a life-threatening illness to see the live event of their dreams from the front row. And one of the things that we wanted to do as a community was involve all of our donors and the people that wanted to volunteer and step up and support, and we’ve always struggled in a way of how to do that because it takes a highly trained and specialized person to take an individual on an experience, but we’ve created this method where people are writing just notes of encouragement, a love letter, a short poem, you know, the drawing a picture and these are kids, these are adults, and we’ve opened it up to our community so that we can send our recipient fan mail.
And the impact of this has been massive and, Jonny, as you stated, for many of the attendees of the event, writing this letter for – helping somebody else that they might not ever meet, likely will never meet was a very transformational part of the experience and I think that’s deep on many levels, probably too many that we could even get into now, but I agree with you that that was a very important piece of the event. It was powerful for me to witness. It was powerful for me to participate in, and I know it’s powerful for our recipients because in fact, one of the ladies, Debbie, who our team is writing letters for, was reading those letters on a video that I watched just recently. So, I saw the impact of what happened at Best Year Ever unfold days ago when Debbie went to go experience her Front Row event and I thought that was just cool. So, it’s everything Front Row related for me. It was watching people get emotionally wrapped up in the experience and find that piece of our heart that wants to contribute. One of the things we know is that having your best year ever is about helping other people have their best year ever, and the Front Row philosophy is just that.
It’s this idea where people challenge it. They’ll say, “I don’t want to be in the front row. I want to be on the stage,” and I’d say I get it, you should want to be on the stage. And in life, you’re not always going to be on the stage. Part of living a great life is helping other people get on stage. Part of living a great life is lifting others up and cheering them on and shining the light and that’s what Front Row does. It’s the piece of life that we cover and we don’t cover it all, but we cover that one pretty darn good. So, at the end of the day, we raised north of $200,000. We’re going to create countless smiles and I know a lot of the smiles in that room are going to be immediately transferred to the smiles on the recipients that we’re going to serve. So, it was really exciting.
Hal: Yeah. You know, it’s incredible and Jon really pushed for this early on and that is bringing the Front Row together. Jon Berghoff, you saw the vision because I get confused. I’m like, “How are we going to have to a charity at the event and then raise money for the charity but there’s no money left over if we want to sell some tickets to the next year’s event or something, right?”
Jon B: Just trust me, Hal. Just trust me on this one.
Hal: Yeah. And as Jon knows, I’m pretty easy-going. I’m like, “All right. If you say so.” So, yeah, Jon Berghoff, thank you for having the vision of how this can work but, I mean, it’s one of the things that makes the Best Year Ever Blueprint so different just in terms of the energetic quality that it creates in the room. The hearts are open for everybody in the audience and just we’re all rallying around this common purpose of and I don’t know if we mentioned what the Front Row does, which is we send people that are braving life-threatening illnesses to the front row experience of their dreams and Front Row Foundation send people backstage to the concerts and to go see Andrea Bocelli and to go watch the World Cup and in Europe watch the championship. I mean, the experiences are incredible and you hear the families talk about what that was like for them and it’s always a matter of that, “We got to see our daughter, our son, our sister, our brother, our father, our mother have who’s been struggling with a disease, cancer, whatever it is, we got to see them have the best day of their lives,” and Front Row Foundation captured all of that on with infinite photos, countless photos, countless video, and the whole thing.
And so, anyway, that’s what Front Row does. And as you said, Jon, seeing everyone get choked up and just become a part of the Front Row family while they were part of the Best Year Blueprint family, yeah, it was a magical thing. So, thank you to both of you for all that you do behind the scenes to make that possible.
Jon B: Part of what I hope any of you who are listening, hoping, hoping that what Jon, what you shared and, Hal, what you reflected on, what it inspires all of you to consider is how is it that in our lives personally or professionally, that we are constantly asking how can we find a greater purpose for whatever we’re doing? Like, the three of us we’re all big fans of the Front Row Foundation but, Jonny V, I’ve heard you say this a thousand times and, Hal, you support all sorts of causes, the Front Row, obviously, being the biggest to the Miracle Morning Community, but part of what we want any of you listening to be inspired to do is not to support the Front Row Foundation, but to ask, it is not even about a charity either but to ask, “How can I keep asking the question, how do I tie everything I’m doing to some sort of greater purpose, greater cause, greater mission?” And to not forget that again, it’s not about a charity or donating money or writing checks. It’s just about asking moment by moment how are we making the moment great for whoever is standing in front of us? Dan Casetta said this on Friday. He reminded us that the most important conversation that we will ever have is whichever one we’re having. The most important person at any given moment is the one we are with and the most important thing is the thing that we’re doing.
In fact, on that note, Jonny, something I love about the story you just shared about writing the notes, Dan Casetta on Friday who Dan for those who don’t know, he was a mentor to Hal and I going back 20 years, and we’re still friends with him and he comes back every year and he’ll teach something at this event. And Dan, one of the things that he said to the audience as he presented one of the icebreaker questions to ask each other and this is a great icebreaker question. The question, and I’m paraphrasing, I don’t have any – wait a minute. I got the workbook right here. I don’t have to mess this up. I’m going to read it to you instead of messing it up. So, the icebreaker question, in the book, we gave everybody six or seven so that for the next three days they’re not fumbling or wasting energy when they’re trying to figure out how to network with each other. Wait a minute. Is this last year’s book? That’s not going to help me. So…
Hal: Crushing it, Jonny. Crushing it.
Jon B: The icebreaker question was when have you been most excited for somebody else? And it’s an interesting question because it causes us to stop and think about being excited for others.
Hal: I love that question.
Jon B: Interesting. Hey, guys. I’ll jump in. I’ll share a highlight for myself and one of the highlights was opening up all three days on Friday, opening up the day with three of our members of our Quantum Leap Mastermind community and on Friday, Emily Baker opened up the event and she shared not just the story of her quantum leap in her business and in her transformation, but the lesson of deciding who we want to be in life. and in a way that only Emily can. It was awesome. It was awesome. And then Carolyn Bostrack on the second morning, she opened up the day and she shared her story of her lifetime quantum leap, which is a story of all stories. I mean, from growing up in an environment of the most incredibly tragic abuse to standing in line, raising her younger sister trying to get handouts to be fed, to today she’s a Ph.D., she leads strategic planning for a whole healthcare system. She’s one of our top facilitators in our LEAF facilitator community and her lesson to everybody no matter where you’ve been or what’s happened in your life to love yourself for who you are. It was an incredible way to start the day on Saturday.
And then Sunday, Karen Briscoe, and Karen sharing with everybody her lessons about time and her realizing that it didn’t matter what age or stage she was at in her life that it’s not too soon and it’s not too late to basically have any quantum leap we want to have and it was a fantastic way to start each of the three days and I guess I just want to point out if it’s not blatantly obvious that we made a very conscious decision that we wanted to open each of the three days with women entrepreneurs and one of the reasons that we really wanted to do that is because, and I want to give credit to Christopher Lochhead who was one of our speakers on Friday in his book, Niche Down, which we’re going to talk about that in a few minutes, but one of the things that he writes in that book and if you read the book, you might notice that he highlights legendary women entrepreneurs in a way that very rarely happens. And one of the things I’ve learned from Christopher is how important it is that we lift up not just great entrepreneurial stories, but especially the women entrepreneurial stories because they often get left out, even not because of bad intentions. They just get left out. And those three ways of starting the day with Emily, Carolyn, and Karen, it was awesome to have them representing our Quantum Leap Community. So, that was a big highlight for me, guys.
Hal: Yeah. That for me it was as well and I mean I really think it’s just because all three of those individuals and all three of those really fit in to what I was sharing with my highlight which is returning members, people that were coming back, and articulating how they apply the lessons they learned previously in previous years to create those quantum leaps themselves and those were three very emotional, very powerful women, very powerful stories.
Jon V: Guys, I watched Carolyn and I was just in awe because I’ve seen her on stage the last few years. She just got off the stage, walked into the back of the room, and I just looked at her and I was like, “That is just incredible.” Like her delivery, her story, watching people evolve in who they are and their comfort with their story and how to communicate it to others to inspire them, it was also great and I’ve just seen Carolyn, for now, three years and her evolving has been amazing.
Jon B: So, guys, on that note, let’s go back around and maybe there’s one more question here which really simply is if each of us wants to reflect on the weekend and think about are there any lessons from the weekend that we can take from that magical room on the fourth floor looking out over the Coronado Bay in beautiful San Diego and bring to the corners of the globe, what lessons can we bring to all of our listeners about having your Best Year Ever, about becoming your best self ever? Yo Pal, you want to kick it off?
Hal: Yeah. I will. The lessons for me that I’ll share two lessons that were big and neither of them were new but they were just really reinforced and they really are reinforced every year at Best Year Ever Blueprint. Both of these lessons are really reinforced. The first one is that when you spend time engaging with like-minded people and not just like-minded people but like-minded people who are in the room who are together, specifically, engaging to bring out the best in each other by asking questions that highlight one another’s strengths, they explore visions of a bigger future, and then even figure out how to hold each other accountable. When you are in that environment, radical transformation occurs, and whether you join a mastermind or a mastermind to me is kind of even though the Best Year Ever Blueprint isn’t a mastermind, it’s facilitated much like a mastermind where it is individuals, like-minded, coming together, bringing out the best in each other, not just sitting in an audience taking notes from speakers. But that to me is something that we have to be more intentional about.
In fact, earlier today, I had a conversation with Jeff Woods, the Vice President of The One Thing Training Company and he talked about his breakthrough came when he finally decided to put that quote from Jim Rohn into action. And that quote is, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” and Jeff decided that he wanted to get in proximity with Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, billionaire, real estate company founder, Gary Keller, and New York Times best-selling author, Jay Papasan. So, he reached out to them and said, “How can I add value?” and he looked for ways to add value. He did that multiple times and finally, they asked him to come and run their company with them. So, that to me is something that I think it’s the most underutilized success principle if you will. Yeah. We’re the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. Gosh, that sounds so true. I’m going to go now and hang out with the same people I have been hanging out with my entire life and nothing is going to change for me. Like, that’s what most people do I feel like is we hear that, but we don’t really take action on it.
And so, that whether you put yourself, you’ve got to put yourself as Jon Vroman says in proximity with people who are where you want to go or who are heading in that direction of they’re aspiring to live their best life to achieve their goals, to have their best year ever. Of course, you know, at the event, everyone is there with that intention. And if you’re listening to this and you weren’t at the event, of course, you don’t have to go to the event to get that. It’s about that you’ve got to actively, aggressively, intentionally seek out people who will inspire you, empower you, raise your standards, raise your thinking, so that you can have your best year ever. That was a big lesson for me.
And the second lesson really came from one of our speakers, Sean Stephenson, and he shared a quote, I think the philosophy is one that I’ve embodied but just the way he articulated it. He said that, “When it comes to goals, it’s more important to have a goal, than to achieve it,” and he said, “Because achievements are about the past, but goals are about having something to work towards.” And I would encourage one of probably the biggest lesson that I can give anyone watching or listening to this is that the real purpose of a goal is not to achieve the goal and when I say the real purpose, I mean, the highest purpose. I mean, the biggest benefit that you can acquire that you can extract from setting and pursuing a goal is not the attainment or the achievement of that goal. It is who you become by committing to it. And I think we go back to Jim Rohn. It’s funny, both of these lessons I think originated with Jim Rohn. I learned that lesson from Dan Casetta 20 years ago, Jon’s and my mentor, but the idea that when you set a big goal and, by the way, this should take you outside of setting a goal that you believe is achievable. See, we’ve all heard if you believe, if you’re part of the optimist club then we’ve all heard that anything is possible. Anything is possible, but anything being possible is rarely enough to get you out of bed in the morning early with the fire in your belly to pursue something just because it’s possible.
Think about it. Do you pursue goals that are possible or do you pursue goals that are probable? And I believe that for most human beings, we don’t set goals that are possible. We set goals that are probable. We set goals like incremental I’m going to improve by 5% or 10% doing something that I already know how to do. I’m just going to do it a little bit better, a little bit more, and I would encourage you to consider setting goals that are beyond the realm of probable for you, that are, in fact, that are unlikely and actually I’ve heard it said that Gary Keller, billionaire Gary Keller has never hit any of his goals. Because as soon as he’s on track to hit one of his goals, then he pushes the finish line back because it’s about who you become. And the beauty of that philosophy is it removes fear because most of us are afraid of failure. I’m afraid to set at the goal because what if I don’t hit it? Well, when you understand that the real purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal, it is to become the type of person who can hit goals. It’s to develop the qualities, the characteristics, the mindset, the behaviors, the habits, the skills, the talents that will enable you to achieve bigger and bigger and better and greater goals for the rest of your life.
So, push the envelope, set goals that are possible, that are improbable that will force you to become better than you’ve ever been before, more disciplined than you’ve ever been before, more committed, more focused, and that’s it. To me, that was a really, really important goal to be reminded of and I got home and I went or not even getting home. In the back of the room, I went, “Okay. Wait a minute. Some of my goals here I’m playing a little too small. These are little too probable. I want to get out of the realm of probable and get into the room of possible bordering on impossible and pursue the goals.” So, I’d encourage you to do the same with your goals. How can you stretch? How can you go further than you’re considering going right now?
Jon V: Hal, I want to say that on what you just shared, dude, that’s critical about – there’s a couple of things. One is about the purpose of a goal and I think I’m going to quote Jeff Woods quoting Gary where he says, “The purpose of a goal is to know how to be appropriate in the moment,” and I think that’s just such a powerful way of looking at. And you’re right. I’ve heard the same thing about not hitting the goals but knowing how to push yourself, giving you a new way of thinking, a new way of approaching life. That’s the true benefit of that. So, I think that’s fantastic and I love that piece of it. I also want to get back to what you talked about what happens in that room, and why being around the people is so important because, listen, I tell this to my dads when they’re joining Front Row Dads is it’s not about the information. If you want to find information on how to be a better dad, just google it and you’ll be busy for days. How to be a better husband? Google it. You’ll be busy for days. What you’re looking for oftentimes is filtered information.
What you’re looking for is a place to learn that information. We understand the benefit of a container, of an environment, people, remember, were asking me when I came back from Tony Robbins and I just spent like $6,000 to go to Date With Destiny. They’re like, “Was it worth it? Was it really worth it? I mean, that’s a lot of money and that’s a lot of time.” And I remember saying to them, I go, “Look, yeah, 100% I would’ve paid five times that amount of money to become the person that I became by being with that group of people by making the connections. I never regretted that decision. Now, listen, I don’t argue that if I were to go online and google stuff for six hours a day about how to be a better human that I would walk away going, “Yeah, I’m a better human.” If I went and sat with my journal by a lake for six days and just journaled, I would be a better human. But I think that there is something that happens in that room that doesn’t happen anywhere else. You walk into a room like that, you realize you’re not going to meet everybody, but you are going to meet somebody and that somebody can change everything in your life. You never know who you’re going to meet and oftentimes you find out that you are put in that place for a particular reason to meet a person, to hear a phrase, and likely it’s not what you thought it was going to be.
It’s like you get something that you came for something that you thought you wanted but you walked away going, “I didn’t see that coming but, boy, did I need that,” and it was that one person like Patricia Moreno I kept hearing her name over and over and over again. I know that for people that was why they were there, but they might have come for you, Hal, and they might’ve walked away saying, “What I needed was what Patricia had said,” or, “I came because I needed to hear Sean Stephenson but what I really walked away was something that Christopher Lochhead said or one thing that Jon Berghoff said.” So, with these events. I think you’re not going to learn everything but you can learn something and that one thing can change anything and that you get a permission for a conversation. You get a permission for a connection. It’s a very different conversation than what you’re going to have by hanging out with your family around the holidays because this is a structured permission granted, “Okay. Let’s go deep, let’s think about your life, and let’s all do it together,” and when we get that type of momentum in the same room, magic happens.
Jon B: You guys sound like you know what you’re talking about.
Jon V: I don’t think Hal should be a speaker.
Jon B: You guys should give speeches.
Hal: I just gave one.
Jon B: Jonny, anything else that you’d like to add in terms of lessons that you’ve learned from the event?
Jon V: No, but you know what I want to do because I’ve got to jet here in a second is that I just want to tell you, guys, that I’m so impressed by what you two have built and that for a lot of people that show up in that room, they’ve got friends in their life that they’re going to build with, and I think it’s fun to see how you two guys from, what, 18 years old have been there for each other and ultimately built something amazing.
Jon B: We were so young, we were wetting the bed on each other.
Jon V: I think that when you think about because we try to take this from the lens of, hey, somebody out there listening to this, what does that mean to them? And my thought would be this is that whoever you’re with now either lock arms with them because you believe in them and run the race or you might need to distance yourself a little bit. You might need to put somebody else in your front row, because perhaps that person is toxic for your life and they’re trying to bring you down. But when you lock arms with somebody and when you show up for somebody and you stand for somebody, then that means something and then one day you look back and you’ll go, “Wow. Look at what’s been built over the last couple decades of our life,” and that to me is the thing we’ll be most proud of at the end, part of having our best year ever is setting up our best life ever. You string together a number of your best years and you get to the end of your life and I’m willing to bet, I’m willing to wager that when people look back, they’re going to be most proud of the relationships.
The thing we’ll probably be celebrating at the end is looking back and saying, “We did that together. We did life together. We laughed. We lived. We loved. We made some mistakes. We said mean things then we forgave each other. We realigned. We maybe grew apart at times, but ultimately, we made it through,” and whether you’re talking about a marriage or parenting people or whatever it is, I just want to encourage people to look at your relationships, lock arms, forgive and let go, and then move forward into a great year. I love you guys and I love what you’ve been able to build here and I love that you’re so supportive of the Front Row Foundation and just want to say thanks again.
Hal: Love you, Jonny.
Jon B: Thanks, Jon. So well put, buddy, especially the part about how great we are. Oh man, that’s so awesome. Well, Jonny, I know you’ll have to peel off. You’re leading a Front Row Dads group right now. So, I’ll jump in and just finish up here with a lesson or two that I feel like I had the privilege of experiencing during the event, and there there’s two. And in some ways, I’m going to be kind of describing what were very much themes of the event and the first one is this event always reminds me, and it shouldn’t be a surprise for me with the work that I do, but it always reminds me that when we ask the right questions and we give ourselves the right environment to be able to listen to the answers whether we’re asking the questions of ourselves or we’re asking the questions of others, questions like what is it in my life that needs to die so that something can be born. Questions like when have I been at my very best and how can I reconnect to who I was or what I brought to those moments? Questions like, you know, what do I value in my life, the people, the opportunities, and how do I make sure I’m living more aligned with those values? Questions like what hopes and wishes do I have for my future? And not just goals but the kinds of visions and images that when they come to mind, they cause me to come alive.
These are the kinds of questions that for three days we very strategically ask and then we listen to the answers. And one of the big lessons for me as the facilitator is I get to witness a lot of real-time transformation and I could talk a lot about what that’s like and how crazy that is. But the biggest thing that I’m reminded of more than anything else is that when we ask the right question and we give ourselves the right space so that we can hear the answers that emerge and sometimes what that means is and if you’ve been to the event, you know that having the space to hear the answers often means hearing other people’s answers. Because oftentimes when three people all answer the question, what’s my purpose in this world? Now, this is a good lesson for any of you who lead teams or organizations. If you want to have a set of values that really serves as an incredible compass for your team or you want to have a vision for the future that everyone’s really bought into what we’ve learned about leadership and unfortunately, what a lot of us thought we were supposed to do, we’ve all discovered doesn’t actually work is if we actually want a group of people to have a shared set of values or a shared vision, they all need a chance to answer the question, how do we want to treat each other? Where do we want to go? And then to hear each other’s answers, and to notice not only what makes everybody’s answer beautifully uniquely different, but also where is their common ground.
And then at this event this last week, one of the questions that people ask is, why am I here? What calls me to be here? What’s amazing is when two or three people turn to each other and they share that answer, what happens almost every time it seems is that one person’s answer becomes somebody else’s because I hear, Hal, what you say when you say, “Here’s why you’re motivated,” and I realize well there’s no reason that vocabulary, that language, because the limits of our lives are often based on the limits of our own internal language. It’s the only reason I wasn’t motivated by a deeper purpose. It could’ve been because I just never heard those words before. So, if you lead teams or groups, don’t forget that having people turn to each other and talk with each other, there’s a whole basis for this. It’s called social constructionism. It’s based on the idea that our realities are created through our conversations more so than anything else. And I’m going to circle this all back to the lesson here is that when you ask the right questions and you give space for the answers to emerge either between each other or just for ourselves, what we ultimately realize is that everything that we need, all of the strengths, all of the intelligence, all of the wisdom is already inside of us.
And, yeah, we bring legendary speakers and we’re always going to do that but I think a lot of folks come the Best Year Ever and then they leave realizing, “Wow. With the right questions and the right space to hear the answers emerge, I realized that all the answers are inside of me.” Everything I need is already there. I just have to create the kind of openness, the willingness to reconnect to what makes me great, to why I’m already enough, and there’s a lot of power in that. So, that’s one big lesson. And the second one, and Yo Pal, I’m going to finish with this and thanks for not bailing on this conversation the way JV did. But the second and final lesson I’ll share from our event last week and if you were there, I’m guessing you probably noticed this was a theme, on Friday morning, we had JJ Virgin. She’s a legendary entrepreneur. She’s been a celebrity fitness trainer since the beginning of time and JJ kicked off the day followed by Chris Ducker. He talked about being what he calls a youpreneur. And then in the afternoon, Chandler Bolt talked about publishing a book which is really all about finding what your greatness is and getting it to the world and then Christopher Lochhead on Friday evening and words can’t even attempt to describe what happened there. Some things are just for those of you that were there live.
Which, Hal, I completely forgot. We are supposed to have this whole announcement at the beginning of this. We’ll have to go back and you can add it. In about a minute here, we’re going to announce like a really special offer that we’re only going to have up for five days. This is an experiment. It’s all an experiment to come back to Best Year Ever next year. So, we’ll announce that in a second here, but here was the lesson that I was getting to. If you think about the messages that JJ and Chris and Chandler and Christopher brought to us on Entrepreneur Day and then you also think about what Sean Stephenson brought to us and then if you think about what Kelly Flanagan when he taught us about the difference between our true self and our false self and learning how to get past the control that our ego has over us, to reconnect to who we really are with all of our gifts and all of our flaws, there’s a theme, there’s a thread across all those lessons which is figure out what makes you uniquely you, uniquely different, and leverage that. Christopher Lochhead says, “Instead of trying to build on the incremental value of being better than others, find the exponential value of being different,” and that was a common theme.
And so, I want to bring that to those of you that are listening who weren’t unable to join the 500 folks that joined us a week ago and every year now and just to encourage you to consider in your lives, whatever makes you uniquely you, your strengths, whatever makes you different, that was a big lesson this year is to leverage that, leverage the exponential value of what makes you different, not the incremental value of trying to be better than somebody else. Yo Pal, what do we want to finish with, buddy? I think we’ve done a really good job. I don’t know if we had a plan for how we finish this.
Hal: We don’t. I’m going to read something to you real quick. So, one of our Best Year Ever Blueprint attendees just posted this morning in the Best Year Ever Blueprint Experience Facebook group. So, because it’s a private Facebook group, I’m not going to say her name but I wanted to read her post and I think that a lot of we talked on this call, she sums up a lot of it or touches on a lot of it. She says, “I am truly blown away by how my heart opened up at BYEB and has remained opened through a week-and-a-half later,” but I guess it’s been more than a week.
Jon B: Has it been? I don’t know, Hal.
Hal: I guess so. “After what all of you shared, your wisdom and truths, two of you, Jeremy Reisig – brotha James, and Christopher Lochhead were instrumental in my personal transformation and I want to share how letting go, letting some shit go, so much more love is flowing in and out of my heart in waves that often stop me in my tracks. Releasing some lingering rubbish I was choosing to focus on has opened me up in unimaginable ways. I look forward to reporting back all that this newfound freedom affords me in the coming year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your truth with all of us, with me. I’m committed to continuing to pay it forward over the next 365 days. Jon Berghoff and Hal Elrod, I truly returned home as a bigger, better, happier, stronger, more curious, and more creative version of me. Thank you.” And I think that I hope that hearing that, I’m inspired just by what a beautiful writer she is but really it just reminds me that we don’t need an event to open our hearts. We don’t need an event to choose to live with love and love other people unconditionally and love ourselves unconditionally, which are two foundational components of having your best life ever. You’ve got to learn to love yourself. Learn to love others, stop judging, stop condemning. So, again, for all of us, I think there was wisdom in the post that she shared.
And it also goes to say, Jon, we always joke about you can’t put into words and she just did, but you can’t put into words what you get at Best Year Ever Blueprint. It’s just this crazy transformational experience that’s hard to put up on a website what it is that’s going to be. So, should we talk about that offer that you mentioned, we forgot to mention at the beginning of the show?
Jon B: I thought that was one of the finest segues that I’ve ever heard from you, Hal. That was a perfect segue into the offer. Yeah. So, here’s the deal. So, first of all, we don’t ever discount tickets to BYEB and we’re not going to do it right now.
Hal: Don’t say it ever. We do it at the event.
Jon B: Yeah. That’s right. That was the second half of my running sentence.
Hal: Yeah. Okay. Sorry.
Jon B: We don’t publicly discount it. It’s not available unless you’re at the event. So, listen up, here’s what we are going to do. We were wrapping our heads together. Is that a phrase? Wrapping our heads together? It doesn’t…
Hal: If it is, you and I probably have done it many times.
Jon B: Yeah. So, we were wrapping our heads together and I combined I think three things I was trying to say at once. We’re trying to wrap our minds around this question of could we do something special for folks that want to come to BYEB? Oh, I mean, this is really funny, Hal. You and I are like natural born salespeople and whenever were supposed to sell something, we miss all the basics like we should’ve said at the beginning of this call that there’s going to be a special deal at the end and you know what else we should’ve said and I’m saying it now, but an hour late, is we’ve already sold 247 seats. We already sold more, well, right about half the available seats and I actually haven’t gone back and looked since the event. For all I know, a bunch of ticket sales always trickle in that we weren’t accounting for. So, we filled up half or more than half the seats as of this moment right now, a year before next year’s event and one of our goals is actually to fill up the rest of the seats really quickly. I mean like can we do it right now or really quickly?
So, one of the ways we wanted to do that is we don’t discount the tickets and Hal and I are very open about the finances of this event. We host this event at one of the nicest, if not the nicest hotels in all of San Diego because we believe having an environment where when you walk out of the hotel room, you’re looking out over the Coronado Bay. We have our own private balcony. It’s incredible.
Hal: It’s a 100-foot long balcony.
Jon B: It’s amazing. It’s amazing. So, it’s not cheap to have this event there, but we do it for a reason, because the environment matters, and then we’d spend $150,000 to put it on just especially because we’re throwing a big party Saturday night and all the AV and the plants. We bring a lot of real plants into the room. That’s another story. People usually love all the plants although somebody, Hal, on the survey they acknowledged that it’s all the same plants we had last year and they’ve wondered if we might change up the plants. I got to pass that on to Carey. But anyway…
Hal: What’s the offer? You’re killing me. I want to know the offer.
Jon B: It’s the goal. That’s the goal, right? So, what we’re doing is really simple and we’ve never done this publicly before is right now if somebody goes to BestYearEverLive.com somebody can grab a ticket to next year and they can pay for it over six months and we’ve actually removed any extra like admin fee or literally it’s whatever the cost is of a ticket. It’s just divided by six just to make it easier for somebody to afford it. So, anyways, that’s our really not that exciting, not that special, not so unique offer, but our goal is let’s fill up these seats quickly. And one of the things we share with our attendees is we like filling the seats as early and as quickly as we can so we can then pour all of our energy into designing the best possible event. Anyways, that’s it. BestYearEverLive.com
Hal: So, yeah, so you can do it over six months so the first six months of the year or I guess maybe your first payment is in December, and then your ticket’s completely paid off six months before you’re going to meet us in San Diego. Or if you need a tax deduction right now, I’m going, “I’m trying to like donate extra money to charity and buy things for my business because I want some tax deduction before the end of year.”
Jon B: That sounds like sound advice by the way.
Hal: Yeah. Of course, you can now buy the ticket paid in full if you want the deduction, but otherwise, you can do the six-month option. And, yeah, we’d love to share the experience with you in 2019 in San Diego and you can see the dates on the website, December 13 through 15 is when it takes place. So, Jon, anything else to wrap up the Best Year Ever Blueprint debrief podcast?
Jon B: No. It was awesome. It was awesome. If you’re watching the live, by the way, go back and catch the recording. We did our best to try and capture some of the highlights from the event, some of the lessons that we learned. Now, I just want to give a shout out to all of our Quantum Leap Mastermind Community who every year they all gather at the Best Year Ever Event and that community grows every year. We meet new folks. So, we can’t wait to spend the next year with that community. It’s a group of entrepreneurs that are super, super, super committed to supporting each other and having a quantum leap in their businesses and in their lives. And a shout out to our LEAF Community. The Best Year Ever attendees, the large majority of their entrepreneurs and about a third of them are in leadership roles where they lead groups or others and many of those folks have found their way into our LEAF Community where I personally certify folks in the work I do where you can walk into any group and do some magic tricks really quickly and helping those groups to come alive. So, just want to give those shout outs and is there any other shout outs that we could give? I have a list of shout outs. I feel like we’ve given a lot of them. If there’s anybody who’s there on the live stream right now, obviously, Charlie can just cut this off whenever he wants but if anybody… I was going to say we can do Q&A but I’m seven minutes late to a call.
Hal: Yeah. All right. Goal achievers, let’s wrap this up. Love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. It’s been a pleasure to bring my good friends Jon Berghoff and Jon Vroman to you and I hope you got some powerful nuggets, some lessons that you can apply to making 2019 and every year after the best year of your life because you deserve nothing less. Love you, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you next week. Take care, everybody.
"The biggest benefit that you can acquire from setting and pursuing a goal is not the attainment or the achievement of that goal, it is who you become by committing to it.”
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