This is my review of The Unconvention 2014- Australia’s largest event for entrepreneurs, which rolled into Brisbane last weekend. The event is hosted by The Entourage, an entrepreneur education provider and community. With a membership of 40,000 worldwide and founded by Jack Delosa (Australia’s most awarded entrepreneur under 30), it has serious credentials. So when I was asked to go along with a friend, I was certainly keen to check it out. 8 hours of keynote speakers, 400 likeminded people in the same room all keen to learn and network, sounds good right? Oh and it’s free!
To be fair, I should note this is more of semi review as I was only able to attend until the midday break. The morning session was a cracker, read on…
Petar bounced onto the stage and did his best to get the the crowd pumped from the get go. Maybe it was a slow morning in Brisbane (it was a Saturday after all) or maybe the crowd wasn’t keen on audience participation, I’m not entirely sure. Either way, I got the feeling that that the intro to the event dragged on a little. Repeatedly trying to engage the crowd with question after question wore thin pretty quickly. Overall it lacked a bit of authenticity, almost like Petar was trying too hard to hype it up. Really, the credentials of the speakers and the day’s program said it all, I would have left it at that and got on with it.
Wow, what a story, what a legend! Let’s just say some people are born entrepreneurs, Brad is one of those people. He has an amazing story of tenacity and overcoming hurdles to grow his business, braap Motocycles. Brad spoke of dealing with growth, getting knocked back by 50 manufacturers on his maiden trip China when he was only 18, having a long term vision and the importance of being a self learner. Very entertaining and inspiring. Brad would have us think that he’s just an ordinary guy – this message of “we’re just everyday people like you” was a theme over the course of the morning. I can see the point in this from an inclusion and motivation point of view – but I disagree. He is extraordinary, and I think that the personality traits of all of the speakers I saw on stage is what sets them apart from the rest of the pack. The sheer determination and drive was impressive.
Jack gave us an overview of his 8 steps to entrepreneurial and sales mastery, which appears is the methodology behind The Entourage’s – “Scalable and Saleable” program – their big game product. This was a brief but informative overview of the 8 steps, and I now note there is actually a follow up event running in November, which no doubt will take a deeper dive into the 8 steps:
- Lean Start up Strategies
- Millionaire Mindset
- Leveraging Your Market
- Developing Your Online Strategy
- Management and Leadership
- Create your Financial Scoreboard
- Venture Capital
Jack’s recurring theme centred around doing more with “less than”. Entrepreneurs and startups typically have less of pretty much everything – experience, capital, staff etc. Spotting opportunities to leverage off those with “more” is critical.
Also of great value was the overview of the 5 stages of business – Student > Seed > Startup > Scale > Strategy > Sell. Of particular interest here was Jack’s note about what capacity founders should work in their business as opposed to on it. From Student stage where you should expect to be working 95% in and 5% on, through to Scale and beyond where you must aim to be working the inverse of that. I’m sure there are plenty of us, myself included, who struggle making this transition.
It’s all about education and the team at The Entourage has done a fantastic job of putting together a stellar line up jam packed with juicy bits of info. Jack’s vision to enable greatness through education shone through.
At times the sell came through a bit hard for my liking. I really don’t think it’s necessary at these kind of events. The quality of the speakers and information on offer were of a very high standard. I appreciate it was a free event, so I can tolerate it. I’m pretty sure I heard Petar say at one point “we’re not selling anything here today”. Well actually there was plenty of selling going on, which is fine, but I didn’t understand the message here. If I had one piece of feedback to offer it would be to take a leaf out of the Key Person of Influence Brand Accelerator book. Now that is a super slick event, with next to nil direct selling, and a way more compelling outcome in terms of leaving me wanting more and seeking it out of my own accord after the event. Different model and slightly different audience, sure…
BUT, yes it was FREE! And The Unconvention 2014 Brisbane definitely was worth the early Saturday morning start. A big thanks to The Entourage for putting on such a great event for free. I’ll definitely be looking into their follow up event (8 Steps) in November and the Scaleable and Saleable program. The Unconvention continues on through September 2014 with the next round of Unconvetion locked in for February 2015.