Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo. The room last week at the Radisson Hotel was packed. Lots of laughter, enthusiasm, and smiles the entire day at this year’s 12th Annual Mind Capture Bootcamp. It was a great feeling to scan the room and see all the work and preparation after months of planning pay off with a great turnout and an incredible day of networking, learning, and inspiration.

With this year’s Bootcamp officially in the books, I want to thank ALL our attendees, world-class faculty, volunteers, and sponsors for making this year’s event another huge success and our biggest event to date!

I’m delighted to share that the event was not only fun, but also valuable and inspirational on many levels for those who attended. Lives were changed, minds and hearts were captured, resources and referrals were shared, and new business deals and friendships were made. The feedback we’ve received from both new attendees and alumni has been incredibly positive. We also revealed next year’s date and location for the 13th Annual Mind Capture Bootcamp.

While it’s fresh in my mind, I wanted to share with you my Big Five Bootcamp Takeaways from this year’s Mind Capture Bootcamp:

#1: To go it alone in life and business is not a wise strategy.
The adage that two heads are better than one is a powerful statement that most people have heard before, yet often treat lightly. We all face challenges in life, relationships, health, communication with others, and especially in business.

This year’s Mastermind component in the afternoon was once again an overwhelming favorite of attendees. Each attendee got to share a major challenge or opportunity in their business or career at their table to allow the group to assist and help them. Folks, this is RARE in business and amazing to watch.

I meet with so many businesses and salespeople who still take a renegade approach to seeking wise counsel from others who might be of benefit to them. They attempt to go it alone. I shake my head and think, Wow! There is such an easier and smarter way to approach the game of business.

In today’s online collaborative world, it’s not only a smart idea to seek like minds who support you, but it’s also extremely dangerous to go it alone. As we head into 2024 with unrest and an upcoming presidential election, count on more distraction, division, and talk of fear. To combat this and stay focused, being around solution-based, forward-thinking people is going to be extremely important. One of the biggest issues many people face when confronted with a major business or work challenge is to step back from the situation, humble themselves, and seek out others for solid advice and assistance.

I can tell you from personal experience that this is where having a “Navy Seal” team of positive, solution-driven people to assist and call upon during the Mastermind exercise is invaluable! The room was full of Go-Givers ready to jump in and help one another without fear or embarrassment.

#2: The best trained and active marketers will win in 2024 and beyond.
Many of our presenters, me included, talked about making marketing and training as major components for success as things tighten up and competition increases heading into 2024. My session of referrals was designed to cut to the chase and reveal why focusing more time and effort on current clients and finding ways to serve them better is the smartest marketing strategy out there.

It was refreshing to hear how many firms in the room weren’t cutting back on training with their teams. They see the value, even when faced with the temptation to cut training as many of their competitors often do during changing economic times, as it typically doesn’t show an immediate ROI that’s traceable to sales.

I mentioned many times during my keynote session that you are first and foremost in the marketing business whether you like it or not. As things tighten up and competition gets tougher now and into 2024, order takers are going to see their profits suffer. Hope is not a marketing strategy as far too many companies sadly fall victim to. There is a thinning of the business herd during recessions and change, and those who know how to hustle, sell, serve, and build relationships with their top customers will earn repeat business and referrals no matter what’s going on with the competition.

It will require a major mindset shift for many, as the past few years money was cheap, people were spending freely, and many industries got cocky thinking that the economic party would just carry on. Sorry to be the bad guy, but those days are over. People will always pay for and seek out brands and firms that appreciate their business and patronage.

 #3: A positive mindset attracts opportunities.
Every presenter mentioned the power of a positive mindset and focus each day, especially now. Yes, the world is being hammered with fear and doubt. However, each day you can decide your mindset and what you allow or not to enter into it. Several sessions touched on the power of habits and why programming the mind with gratitude, positive associations, and taking action, even when it’s uncomfortable, is so important to sustained business and personal growth.

Unfortunately, most people are addicted to fear and drama and don’t even realize it. They play it far too safely. They diminish their ideas and talents by giving up their personal power to other people’s opinions, the media, jealous peers, and allowing fear-based news and social media “crisis of the day” hype to enter their mind way too much.

#4: Mental health is a priority.
The topic that kept appearing throughout several speakers’ presentations, on our entrepreneurial panel, and during the Mastermind session was the importance that mental health plays on the job and overall well-being with employees. Let’s face it: Unhappy employees are a key reason why companies struggle with retention, attraction, productivity, and customer service. Business will always come down to people. Not AI. Not excessive automation. Not cutting corners and dumping your call-center when people seek out and prefer to talk to a human instead of texting or chatting with a stranger a continent away. People are and will always be the heartbeat of business and commerce.

The happier and safer people feel on the job, the better they will value and enjoy the work they do each day. It saddens me how many organizations still overlook this and wonder why they continue to lose good people, and right behind its profits. It’s the elephant in the room that smart, forward-thinking firms are addressing and no longer ignoring.

Here are seven ways to maintain a positive attitude that several of our presenters also shared within their sessions and during the entrepreneur panel:

  1. Stay in physical shape by walking, getting outside, and hitting the gym.
  2. Read and listen to positive books and podcasts daily.
  3. Write down and reflect upon what’s going well and what you are grateful for in life.
  4. Laugh several times per day to increase overall happiness and mood.
  5. Use music as a proven tool to elevate our moods and mindset for the better.
  6. Seek out professional counseling if you feel like you’re down on a consistent basis and need someone to talk to and break out of it.
  7. Get around positive people and places that recharge you instead of bringing you down.

#5: The power of focus in a loud and noisy world.
I’ve written and shared with all my clients and in talks the past 20 years that we are in a full-on war of attention or what I call Mind Capture. We have about a nine-second attention span and that’s on a good day. Far too many businesses foolishly take their customers’ time and attention for granted. They expect that when a need arises their customers will magically remember them and reach out. Wake up: They don’t.

Customer neglect is at an epidemic level. Excellent customer service is even rarer. It’s a sobering reality, especially with big companies that want your business, but don’t want to talk to you afterwards if you have a question. Think Ticketmaster and the airlines. Excuses abound and little if any accountability or care seems to be given to the overall treatment of customers, or lack thereof, when they seek help or have questions.

Let me say it again: Hope is not a marketing strategy. It’s astonishing how many companies do little, if any, follow up on a consistent basis with their best customers. The quest to get new customers appears to blind them to the significance and massive value of current customers sitting right in front of them. These customers already know them and are more likely to come back again and refer people to them if they only stayed in better contact and thanked them for their loyalty.

So, there you have it. My five big takeaways from this year’s 12th Annual Mind Capture Bootcamp. Save the date and make plans now to join us at next year’s 13th Annual Mind Capture Bootcamp, which will be held on October 10, 2024, at Mission Point Resort on beautiful Mackinac Island, Michigan. If you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities and early bird registration pricing for you or your team, please email Kelsey Sanders at Operations@MindCaptureGroup.com

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