If I could pick one business event to go to in a year it would be CaboPress.
I’ve been 3 times.
CaboPress is unlike most conferences.
Here’s why …
1) Conversations not conferences
Many conferences put a lot of emphasis on the speakers and their premium quality content.
CaboPress doesn’t have speakers.
It has hosts.
It also has a lot of smart attendees with all kinds of different valuable experiences and perspectives.
The hosts facilitate conversations around various topics important to the people and businesses in attendance.
Conversations are a great way for learning to emerge socially.
Conversations allow personalized knowledge exchange, real relationships to form, and the hive mind to take effect.
Conversations allow CaboPress to be more of a mastermind community than just a conference with speakers.
2) The law of compounding
I have been to CaboPress 3 times with my business partner Thomas.
At CaboPress we dig into what’s working and not working for our businesses with each other and with other entrepreneurs.
We develop new relationships and strengthen old ones with other leaders in our industry.
We learn about business, other companies, fresh ideas, strategies, tactics, and about handling this lifestyle we’ve chosen with an element of grace and health.
I see CaboPress like a unicorn investment that compounds on itself.
In my experience, the business and quality of life results coming out of the CaboPress experience are exponential as time goes on.
For me CaboPress is a real-world exercise in the law of compounding.
3) Making remote work
LifterLMS is a fully distributed remote company.
It’s always great to meet up with each other in person whenever possible.
This year we brought Ali from the LifterLMS team with us.
We’ve worked with Ali for years, but had never actually met in person.
I couldn’t imagine a better way than CaboPress to celebrate our progress as a company together, get to know each other better in real life, make some fun memories, and engage in some business growth together.
In my opinion high functioning remote teams need some face time together.
There are many names for that face time like:
CaboPress was a great option for us.
4) Plus – Equals – Minus
We’ve all heard that the key to unlocking peak performance is to surround yourself with great people, since you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
But there’s another philosophy about developing in business and life called “Plus – Equals – Minus.”
Plus – Equals – Minus is a training idea developed by mixed martial artist and coach Ken Shamrock.
Essentially the idea is to surround yourself and engage with people who have more, similar, and less experience.
Plus people are great to have so you can learn from them.
Equals people are peers at your level that can push and challenge you.
Minus people give you opportunities to teach.
People are very nuanced, so it depends what the topic is at hand in terms of how different people stack up.
At CaboPress I got a lot out of all the exchanges no matter which level I or the other person was on.
That’s the beauty of a conference organized around conversations.
5) Don’t make me think
CaboPress was a five day event.
One of the things that is the most enjoyable and efficient about the whole thing is that all the amazing food, lodging, and much of the scheduling is completely taken care of.
This does two things:
- It creates a very enjoyable, stress-free flow in terms of decisions that don’t have to be made.
- It creates space for more organic conversations and experiences to emerge.
“All-inclusive” as a concept is not just about removing decisions. It’s about making space for the best kinds of thinking.
When I arrive at the airport to leave for Cabo, I prepare to enter a different headspace where inconsequential small decisions become irrelevant.
6) The new context effect
Like many entrepreneurs, I’m a creative thinker, problem solver, team builder, and systems designer.
My secret weapon on how to do this to the best of my ability has always been to seek perspective from somewhere different than my usual working environment.
For me that’s often in:
- The woods
- A mountain top
- A family vacation
- Another culture
CaboPress is like a concentrated version of my usual practices to get new context. It makes it so that I can take a 30,000 foot view on the business, the problems we address, and the people we serve with fresh eyes.
Literally on the plane ride home from CaboPress at 30,000 ft with pen and pad, I pencil ideas that emerged at the Grand Fiesta Americana into action plans for LifterLMS.
“In many ways CaboPress is like what the cure for writer’s block is for writers … but for entrepreneurs.”
Here’s what I’d like you to do next …
- Explore this blog post I wrote about last year’s CaboPress.
- Check out these other great articles about CaboPress 2017 by Tony, Cori, Erin, JJJ, Joe, Lindsey, David, and John.
- If you’re appreciating the event-based social learning thread that runs through this article check out this article about social learning online.
- Go read Chris Lema’s blog to help grow your business.