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Hey ,

You're getting this e-mail as I prepare to board a plane en route to Prague to attend and speak at WebExpo.

The purpose of this e-mail isn't to make you jealous of course, but instead to tell you why I love conferences and the role conferences has played in my own entrepreneurial journey thus far.

Taking a quick look at the value I've received from attending conferences, I can pinpoint two things:

  1. I get to learn from others' experience; and
  2. I meet new (like-minded) people.

Learning From Others

I learn by doing and making my own mistakes. It's through trial-and-error that I taught myself to design and code, which helped me build the first product that eventually lead to the establishment of WooThemes. That trial-and-error has accumulated millions of dollars in revenues since.

Similarly, everything I know today as an entrepreneur is down to getting my hands dirty and actually trying different things. Heck, for the biggest part of my journey in the past 6 years, it has felt that the only thing I'm learning is what not to be doing.

I've obviously also had help along the way though, where it hasn't been down to myself, having a DIY mindset or figuring things out through trial & error.

The best example I have of how I learnt from others is the Clarity call I had with Dan Martell about 3 months ago. The call lasted only 14 minutes & 45 seconds. It cost me $147.50.

That's probably the best money I've ever spent. That call influenced the strategy and roll-out of PublicBeta so much that it saved me about $25k in expenses and instead generated $4k in revenue (without having to build a product).

You can do the math of what the return was on that call. :)

Relationships & like-minded people

One of the most consistent emotions I've experienced as an entrepreneur is that it mostly sucks if you're alone. So having a team to work with you, a spouse that gets you a beer after a long day or entrepreneur friends to listen to my rants has been immensely helpful.

I've met some of my best friends at conferences. And they're not friends in the most traditional sense of the word, as we pretty much never get to hang out due to our geographical differences. But we interact online and I've been able to rely on their help when I've needed it most.

Most of the entrepreneurs that have pledged their support of PublicBeta for example, are people that I met at conferences. Being able to count on the experience, knowledge and awesomeness of the likes of Dan, Hiten Shah, Dharmesh Shah and so many others, has definitely given me a competitive advantage in business.

Hacking your learning curve

This is what I call accelerating your own learning: if you can learn faster than others, you'll inevitably have an advantage over them.

Most of the time, it's fine to learn by doing and by making mistakes. But often, you can accelerate that learning by learning from others.

And that's why I love conferences. :)