Maverick Miles & Musings
I just got back from this year’s first Maverick 3X Multiplier Retreat in Los Angeles, CA where we covered Story Selling. We had an awesome line-up of luminaries and thought leaders who covered stories from all different angles; from the producer of Pretty Woman, to the top spoken word poet. Plus, some Maverick members got to spend time with Russell Simmons doing yoga. Not too shabby. Will have more to report soon.
We also just got back from the Epic Japan experience and our annual week on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson. So there’s a lot to catch up on…
On Necker we had attendees provide some of their best ideas in 10-minute bite-size chunks. Here are a few of my internal notes from those sessions. The first idea is about ‘Internet Fasting:’ Making yourself only connect online for 1 hr/day. That means everything – no iPad, Laptop or cell. You can see in my notes Richard mentioned that he rarely carries a phone on him, just to be more engaged.
The next one is from Maverick #142, Matt Curry, where he describes that while ideas are great, execution always wins:
And here are my notes from one of our guests, multiple NY Times best-selling author Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the CEO of IndieGoGo.com, Slava Rubin dispelling some Entrepreneurial myths:
As always, our week on Necker supported Virgin Unite, of which I was really excited to see the framework for their new online mentoring matching platform. We’ll be inviting Mavericks to be a part of it soon. It was nice to get a recap on how some of the funds we’ve raised have been working.
I love Necker. It’s simply one of the most magical places in the world for me and my family. I also brought my dad and stepmother for a little bit to the island this time. My dad, Joe, was so excited to be there, especially after I arranged for him to play Richard in tennis. If he was playing I had to play too, even though I hadn’t played since high school. I teamed up with Maverick #28, John Carter to play doubles against Richard and my pops. They beat us but we put up a good fight.
Part of the magic that morning as I was waiting at the tennis courts to play, was writing in my journal about what I was grateful for. The last thing I wrote about in my journal was being grateful for feeding a parrot there. I had always wanted a parrot as a kid and that’s why I was excited. And as soon as I wrote that in my journal – I looked behind me and there was the parrot about 6” from me.
I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to spend time on Necker Island 6 different times, my relationship with Richard deepening as a result. I was super excited to present to Richard some of the ideas we talked about for ‘Impact 2.0’ we discussed at the Underground.
Here is the rough sketch:
1) Select a cause i.e. Richard was very interested in saving animals in peril like sea turtles in the BVI
2) Using the Maverick Impact fund to put up a marketing/media prize and dollar prize for the winner(s)
3) Putting the right ‘brains’ in the room. Mavericks, others with distribution & reach, people associated with the cause, young entrepreneurs, etc.
4) Get educated on the root concerns to help create the self-sustaining, for-profit business ideas. And even experiencing the issue (i.e. snorkeling w sea turtles, etc)
5) Pitch ideas and teams are formed a bit like Startup Weekend.
6) End of the weekend or 72-hour sprint you get a few key ideas that are gaining traction to turn into crowdfunding campaigns as the deliverable.
7) Within the 30 days of the campaign we use the marketing prize money and media prizes to publicize the campaign and see what marketplace demand is.
8) If there’s success – leverage across other distribution channels and partners.
9) Continues running with a key driver from the project (i.e young entrepreneur or someone related to cause).
The great thing was my friend Slava Rubin, CEO of IndideGoGo was on Necker for a few days too and he got it right away. He’s totally onboard so I’m excited to beta test something – perhaps at our 3X Multiplier Retreat in October or maybe just a separate stand-alone weekend. If you’re excited by this – let me know how you’d like to be involved or email Rose Ayers direct – email@example.com. This fits into my “Lifetime” goal.
“I connect and catalyze Maverick entrepreneurs and visionary leaders to co-create innovative business models and new ideas to solve 100 of the world’s most meaningful issues by the year 2100.”
Check out my blog post at http://yaniksilver.com/resolutions/ …
On the night of our “special beach party” with other Maverick members we set up a ‘Screw Business as Usual’ party as the theme of the night, which attendees really got into it.
Also, we got Richard to do an uncensored Q&A with the group. I promised him we wouldn’t blog about it or report on the direct answers. So this didn’t happen…
One general theme that stood out for me in Richard’s answers was the relationships with his family as being some of the most important things to him. Hopefully you’ve read the special report I’ve previously sent to you about lessons learned over the years on Necker and that continues to be a theme. I love that Richard created a “place” that his kids’ friends would want to come to. He essentially made himself the hub.
Japan Land of the Rising Sun(sation)
Our Epic Experience in Japan a few weeks ago was a bit of a culture shock…
I’ve always wanted to go to Japan because I’m actually published there with my book Maverick Startup and some other products like Instant Sales Letters that we’ve licensed. Funny thing is I was recognized by a Japanese entrepreneur who was at the Virgin Galactic gala in September. I’m big in Japan. (Maybe not. Everyone was taller than I thought.)
I found the culture really intriguing.
To me it was a unique paradox in many ways of ancient traditions and modern technology. That paradox seems to be present in so many parts of the culture that I experienced.
For instance, the aesthetic beauty of the little details that really matter to the Japanese people. We went to a few little tiny bars and the barkeeps would
hand-make these amazing ice balls for the cocktails. Literally about a 15-min process of the ice pick and then a knife to hone the edges. Perfect but yet not totally perfect.
Nice balls Kenji
This also seemed to be a theme in the tea ceremony, there was a reason behind everything including not drinking from the tea cup head-on…it had to be turned to the side so it wasn’t quite perfect.
Then there was being part of the group versus being an individual. “Following the rules” was deeply ingrained in the culture. People would gawk at us as we crossed the street on a red light even though there were no cars coming. But the individual natures did come out in different ways such as how someone would wear his or her hair.
One evening we did Karaoke and were paired up with a Japanese group. Pretty sure they didn’t know what hit them. The very first song we did was Bohemian Rhapsody and I essentially got to the top of the couch and leaned over top one of the ladies in the Japanese group to partially serenade her before dramatically falling across the laps of our group.
But by the time the songs and a bit more sake were flowing we were all singing together with duets and even ending the night arms around each other singing some sort of Japanese ballad.
We had a whirlwind of experiences from captivating contrasts of Tokyo to traditional Kyoto and spending the night up in the mountains were the most revered Buddhist sites are located. It went from a bit out there to Zen.
Almost all the Mavericks on the trip commented on the toilet seats. Everything from playing tunes so you won’t be embarrassed with any bathroom sounds, to the technology of heated seats and bidets built-in.
We arrived at the exact perfect moment – during the week where the cherry blossoms, or Sakura, where blooming. That’s one of the most in-demand and amazing weeks and everywhere we went the Japanese people were enjoying it.
I’m from the DC-area and we actually have 3,000 some cherry blossoms around the tidal basin and while they are beautiful, I didn’t really understand some of the hype around it until our guide explained how special it is in the Japanese culture. It represents the fleeting beauty of life, since they are just in bloom for 7 days. It’s a chance for everyone to come together and appreciate that special time. It’s a big part of the culture with picnics under the trees to food made with the sakura and so much more. Above is my rendition of a small potted cherry blossom from our lobby.
Maverick #220, Paul Sinclair made this his first trip with Mavericks so it was an opportunity to welcome him into the fold with a bit of Maverick mayhem. Part of the running joke was the selfies he would take with wonderful Japanese women and the other part, he probably liked the least, was constantly being fed shrimp heads.
Here’s one of our Geishas feeding him.
Geishas have a common misconception of being like prostitutes but that’s not the case. They are highly trained artisans and entertainers.
That’s why the preferred term is Geiko. We also had a Meiko there in training. Geikos are quite scarce now with only 50 of them alive, so we were quite lucky to have 2 with us during one of our dinners in Kyoto. And each will give you their business card which is a highly prized item since they are so rare.
I stuck mine in my journal and Maverick #106 Ben Roy put his on the back of his phone to share with the Japanese bartenders pouring exceptional whisky for us.
After Kyoto we went into the mountain regions of Mt. Koya, home to some of the most sacred Buddhist temples. We learned about the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, Daruma, who supposedly meditated for 9 years straight, which caused his legs to atrophy and fall off. My drawing of the Daruma opened up a lot of conversations including this one to the left, which led to teaching a group of older Japanese tourists how to play quarters…er yen.
Here’s Sophia, our Chief Experience Architect, making new friends.
Japan was a pretty remarkable place and we felt like there was so much more still to be done.
Here’s a good recap from Maverick #180, Udo Gollub on what went on:
Most importantly, what he walked way with aside from the incredible memories and experience:
The EPIC experiences are really something else and if you haven’t yet taken part in one there’s one more remaining for 2014. Mystical and Magical Machu Picchu is on the calendar for Sept 17 – 24. It’s going to be incredible.
You’ll get to experience the ‘City in the Clouds’ at one of the most sacred and magical moments in time & space, the vernal equinox. This is a truly life-changing experience as you’ll get to witness what the ancient Incans celebrated each year in their sacred ceremonies. As the sun nears its zenith in the Peruvian sky, the shadow of a small slab of granite at Machu Picchu disappears at noon. This was a deliberate design, as this rock is called the “hitching post of the sun”.
And still upcoming you’ve got…
* Maverick Mystery Escape: The Blackout Trip, June 17-22, 2014
Just show up at the airport with your passport and bags for destination unknown.
(We’re working on GREEN lighting this experience so if you are IN let Sophia know ASAP – firstname.lastname@example.org)
* Family Freedom – July 1 – 5, 2014.
This is the only event of its kind for families to learn about entrepreneurship together. If you have kids (or grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc) ages 6-16 this it a great way to let them get a taste for business and actually hit the streets during the 4th of July Parade selling what they create. These are the kind of self-sufficient skills that last a lifetime. While the kids are learning about entrepreneurship, the parents are taking part in discussions and workshops on raising more independent and less entitled children. It’s really the first and only event for both parents and kids like this…plus lots of fun and cool family bonding.
Ping us if you want to reserve your spot – it looks like we are moving the event to historic Annapolis, MD on the water, to tie with something else exciting…
Announcing the First Maverick Regional Hub – Maverick Charm City
I’m really excited to be teaming up with Maverick #207, Joe Mechlinski, to start Maverick Charm City this summer. Maverick Charm City is for exceptional Baltimore-area entrepreneurs who are all about our 3 pillars of ‘more profits, more fun and more impact’ but on a localized community scope.
All the members are still founders of impactful, mission-driven $1M+ ventures and all fit the Maverick DNA, which is incredibly important. Members of the local hubs will be added to the Global directory, which will allow us to continue adding to the Maverick Matrix with even more connections, capabilities and channels for you.
At the local level, Mavericks will meet 1x/month for either a high-level ‘Go Grow’ forum or a ‘Maverick Monday’ doing something cool. Plus, I’m super excited for the IMPACT the local level Mavericks will be able to have on young entrepreneurs and cause partners. You’ll hear more about this as it develops.
Finally, I mentioned the end of an era with Underground® ‘ending’ after 10 years. Well, it’s not quite ending because it’s going to be incorporating into a new 1x/year event called ‘Maverick Converge’.
Maverick Converge™ brings together all Maverick members and a curated group of invited high-level entrepreneurs, icons and thought leaders from a multitude of fields, marketplaces and industries for unique conversations – sharing what’s working now. Maverick Converge™ is divided up into 3 separate days –
Day 1: Maverick MBA day – High-level strategic presentations for business in the 21st century. You’ll hear from the actual founders of the world’s fastest growing companies, not ivory tower theorists.
Day 2: Underground® Day – Attendees of the Underground were privy to topics like mobile commerce, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, mobile apps & gamification among others- before they became trending topics. These will be fast paced 20-minute ‘what’s working now’ sessions on the latest in digital marketing tactics that will keep you well ahead of the curve.
Day 3: Evolved Enterprise™ – Evolved Enterprise™ is the notion that business in the 21st century can be leveraged as a multiplier for good…co-creating something great. The Evolved Enterprise™ serves all stakeholders delivering an exceptional customer experience, team alignment, cause-related impact, greater meaning and even increased profits!
This event is loaded with unique experiences, transformative sessions each morning and a good does of Maverick mayhem. Stay tuned for more details. We have lots of things brewing here at Maverick HQ. We got a few big name speakers already lined up for Maverick Converge.
All the best!
P.S. Some exciting announcements for the next 3X Multiplier Retreats. July’s theme is Creating Raving Fans with former Green Beret, Jason McCarthy, founder of GoRuck. Jason has built a rabid community of people that love GoRuck. If you were at Underground® you heard me breakdown the way they build tribes of beloved brand builders. Not only are we going to hear from Jason but you’ll get to experience a GoRuck challenge – Maverick style. Plus, we are slated for a cool field trip to Motley Fool to see how they are consistently voted one of the best places to work with their internal team raving about working there! And much more.. July’s 3X Multiplier is July 30 – Aug. 1, 2014 in Washington, DC.
And for October we have a big announcement. It looks like we’ll have the former CEO of Harley Davidson. Yep, Mavericks will get to do a bike ride with Richard Teerlink and then hear firsthand how he re-invented the company. Dates are October 23-25, 2014 location TBD. Cool, right?
Remember you can always get a glimpse at the whole calendar at Maverick1000.com/calendar
P.P.S. And look out for the 40/40 group coming your way to get the insights and foresight you need from some of the world’s top experts, thought leaders and practitioners.