Responding to what your customers REALLY want…

After careful thought, and listening to my intuition, I have decided today to cancel the live event.

We put quite a lot of work into lining up the organizer, getting video quotes, shopping for hotels, outlining the program and developing the sales page, and even approaching a couple of VIP guest speakers.

I was excited to see many of you face to face, and to help build YOU as well as your business, and to bring a lot of fun to the event.

However, when I emailed last week about the early notification list, only 205 people joined it.

When we announced only 100 tickets were on sale, after 24 hours there were zero ticket sales. Now, I know some people are definitely planning to come and would get around to registering, but I take it as a very sobering sign to have such a lack of early response.

Perhaps the economy is making it harder for people to afford to travel. Or perhaps you guys just aren’t interested in a 2 day face to face event.

Initially I felt a lot of disappointment – that we won’t get to connect face to face at this point. And then I came around to realizing it’s a sobering lesson in responding to your customers, and giving them what they want – not what you want, or what you think they should want. So instead of pushing up hill for 2 months trying to fill this event, I’ve canceled the event, and we’ll look to other ways to support you in Getting Paid For Who You Are. I hope you’ll continue to look for what your customer’s want, and adapt as you see what they want and what they are not responding to.

The positive side is that this will free up energy to serve you in other ways – and especially through Get Paid University.

On a practical note – I realize that some Training Course and Inner Circle members might have actually been planning to apply their $500 coupon or free ticket towards this event. So rather than have you wait to see if there’s another event in the future, I’d rather you be able to get more immediate value. So I’m announcing that you may at any time in the next 30 days apply your coupon to my home study program at http://www.internetclients.net. Training Course members get $500 off, and Inner Circle members get $1000 off.

If you decide not to do it in the next 30 days you can still use it for any live event we have in the next year, but given such a low response to this one, I do not expect that to happen.

Feel free to post your thoughts, feelings and any suggestions here. What WOULD you like to see going forward, if it’s not a live event?

David



32 Responses to “ “Responding to what your customers REALLY want…”

  1. Custom avatar Alex says:

    David – Congratulations on failing! You now have this powerful focused energy that’s wanting to manifest itself in a way that you haven’t conceived of yet.

    The form of meeting people face to face through a weekend event has given way to something far greater – and yet to be discovered.

    Will you meet your fans face to face through the First World Tour of Get Paid For Who You Are parties put on by your fans?

    Who knows… but I can tell you that if you maintain the aliveness, power and reach that came with planning for the event, the new “form” for the energy will make itself know to you in the most marvelous manner imaginable.

    Thanks for bringing miracles into the world for and through us David!

    Many Blessings, Alex

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    • Giftedjay says:

      Cheers to you David for sharing the back story of this failed attempt to reach your target audience! My plans are on a much smaller scale but the light bulb has come on for me, also. With this knowledge–I’m shifting my thoughts from collecting proof of my defeat to staying focused on opportunities to excel.

      God bless you
      giftedjay

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    • David Wood says:

      thanks Alex – I like this World Tour idea!

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  2. Trailblazer says:

    I love your positive take [more energy directed on ‘GPU’]David, over the down hill side – of a planned event caving in.

    With time / energy / bookings … etc., spent in preparing for a live event, I’m sure those who were fired up to attend are as equally disappointed, in you seeing the need to cancel.

    Wanting to launch my home based business [3 dates set / passed by], and making an announcement to contacts that I’d be up and running – there were days I was ready to give up. Reading your mail and introducing the Solution Box rekindled my hope, then the more then generous offer [affordable for beginners]to attend GPU, you truly were listening David. Not having my foundation built [web page], this is a ‘WOW’ opportunity.

    Looking forward to the day when you’re having a live event, and on an early bird notice, me and my spouse will be in the financial place to attend. A year or two … sounds fabulous!

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  3. Custom avatar Dr.Fazalshah T Dewan says:

    Thank you for your kind informations in regards.
    For this act of your’s I shall remain obliged.
    With warm regards
    Yours Faithfully.
    Dr.Fazalshah T Dewan

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  4. Hey David, Hang in there man; you have a good thing going and myself and a lot of other people appreciate it. Last night I was up at 2am, couldn’t sleep, and pulled your book off the shelf and went over it again and focused on the parts I underlined from before; it’s all very inspiring and keeps the dream alive of having an online business with the rewards of financial and location freedom. I wasn’t going to go to S.F. for the conference. In my case I have taken some courses lately and realized that I need to get back to work as a counselor and giving guitar lesson and then hire a private coach for accountability purposes as I can procrastinate with the best. I like getting your email. Thanks, -Brent MacPhail, Asheville, NC

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  5. Custom avatar Lisa says:

    Thanks for letting us know it is still hard for a superstar like you. That’s the best lesson that keeps me going.

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  6. Custom avatar kim carrington says:

    Hi, David. Sorry to hear that you had to cancel your event after putting all that work into it, but it sounds like you have put a good spin on it. Thanks for sharing your lessons with us!

    Coincidentally, I received an email from another site I subscribe to (heartofbusiness.com) and the author wrote an article called “The Flat Bicycle Tire and the Broken Metaphor.” He said “A flat tire in the business means maybe a particular course doesn’t sell as well as you’d hoped.” He provides other examples-I thought it was a good accompaniment to your comments.

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    • Tziporah says:

      Hello, David,

      There is an ancient Jewish saying: “I have learned from everyone, and from my students more than anyone else.” Thank you for allowing us, your students, to share our thoughts with you, our teacher, on this topic.

      I can empathize with your disappointment about the event not working out as you had hoped. People in business want all their ideas to sell and it hurts when they do not.
      I think it is a sign of your skill as a teacher that you are allowing this incident to be used as a learning experience for all of us.
      It shows, that even really savvy business people, as you certainly are, can miscalculate. And, by linking the coupons to another offer, (the home-study program), you are compensating your customers for any disappointment they may be feeling–a smart move. I’m sure some people anticipated this event as much as you.

      Obviously, as you said, price, time, distance, (for those of us living outside the U.S.), and personal considerations come into it. The emails here seem to confirm this. To my mind, it goes beyond that.

      There was a lot of momentum during the initial six week course. By the end of it, summer was in full swing and many people took off for their yearly vacations. Part of the vacation, for GPU trainers and students at least, was probably to air out after the intensity of the six weeks.

      So, this week-end, coming as it does in the autumn, was il-timed. At least in the Northern hemosphere, fall is when people are coming back from vacation, when kids are starting school and college–back-to-school expenses. A vacation on the heels of another vacation doesn’t sell. More costs. No emotional need for it just now either.

      The momentum factor is also part of it, as I said before. Probably people needed time to air out after the intensity of the six weeks, but not only that. They also need time to put all the things you and Ezra taught us into practice. For many, that is a slow process. Some advanced GPU-ers can pull all of it together in minutes. They are inspiration for the rest of us, who are still learning the ropes. The event, coming so soon after the six weeks, was probably intended to keep momentum up, but might have felt like info overload to some. Recall that in the advertising mention was made of unveiling things that were not included in the training program–that’s where the info overload is. Perhaps this was not factored in, or, if it was, not given enough consideration.

      Finally, I think there is another lesson here. GPU, and certainly on the massive scale that this operation is, means there will be quirks and snags. That is normal. But customers remember not only when things are delivered on time, but also when they are not. There was a lot of enthusiasm by many over the $1,000 prize contest–myself included. But the promised announcement of the winner by a certain date did not materialize. In some unconscious way, that failure to deliver may have worked against the subsequent launch of the live week-end. People may have doubts about whether it was going to really be on time–follow the announced schedule. People remember delays. Very unfortunate, but true.

      Plus, putting these two powerful things back-to-back might have been a tactical error. Postponing this until the first item, the contest, was concluded, instead of launching it while the winner hadn’t even been announced yet, would have been a wiser move. Spacing between these kinds of special things is critical. It seems as if some stores have holiday sales nonstop, but there are really a few weeks in between each one. A longer interval between contests/events, etc., could be part of a more winning strategy.

      Business is like chess. You make moves, but you can never know for sure what the results will be. You make moves, having planned your strategy, and hope they work. When they do, great! When they don’t, you have to rethink your strategy and move again.

      Bottom line: consider timing, spacing, and the emotional needs of your customers. Then move. My suggestion: hold onto this idea, which is a very good one, and use it when these factors allign correctly.

      This email, which may seem frank or critical, is written from a place of profound caring and admiration for all that you do.

      Tziporah Wishky

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  7. Sharina says:

    Dear David,
    I was one of those people who did not respond to the planned October live event. The reason being that the date was too close for my planning. Being located in Asia, getting myself to the US requires a bit more elaborate planning on my part. I would have love to meet up with everyone at a live event, but the time and place was not suitable for me.

    I still look forward to a future live event for GPU. Perhaps sometime in mid-2011 would be a better time for everyone to catch up with each other, when we would have settled in with our businesses.

    I have learnt a lot from our interactions in GPU, and I appreciate what you have given to us. Some time down the road, we, the GPU members, will be able to give back to others just like what you had done for us. I learnt a lot about the blessings of giving through this journey. Thank you for that invaluable lesson.

    Regards,
    Sharina

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  8. David Wood says:

    A lovely note from a GPU subscriber:

    Hi David,

    I have been one of the rather silent members so far, but reading about you cancelling the event prompted me to write to you.

    I signed up at gpu some months ago simply because I liked the energy you brought across in introductory video. I did not read the book and did not look into the context much. What I did after some weeks of doing nothing, I logged on and wrote to some members whose profiles I found appealing.

    And this really got all going. I made the quantum leap from wanting be a global manifesting coach actually being one.

    The books I wanted to write basically write themselves in the interactions with other members. And the energy you hold is one of it is all possible – in a relaxed, effortless, natural, easy-paced, rewarding and fun-fun-fun way.

    So a BIG thank you for that!

    I just connected to someone from San Francisco (I am in Germany) a week before you announced the live event, so participating might just have fallen into place to me also.

    This week I talked to a friend how amazing things are working out and she said everything is always already here and if we just allow it into our space through inviting focus, it simply appears in materially. This of course is principle I am familiar with and I just experienced that with gpu.

    But I told her that I felt I wanted the essence of something like gpu before it was even in existence. If I want to manifest a dream holiday the destination is already physically there.
    But gpu was not there yet and my friend said: No, but you co-created it all along!

    And that hit me.

    David, you are the channel through which this is flowing into form, you are the coalesced intentions of all members.

    The focus of the group-energies is still somewhat fuzzy at this moment around a live event, and so your intuition tells you to cancel.

    All this is hanging there for us in the ethers and about to coalesce. You as the vessel to bring it out as structure a catalyzing the intentions of your members and this happens through your surveys physically but also intuitively/telepathically.

    However, I do not want to consume more if your time, I just wanted to let to know how perfectly what you do and have not done YET is fitting into my life and that your only job is to just continue how you have started the whole thing.
    By being Who You Are and listening to your Heart and Soul and not be concerned about ”the fruits”. Your influence and positive impact is beyond your mind and scope already and so there is only your intuition to rely on left.

    You are a gift and all is well – thank you David!

    Love & Light

    V

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  9. Anne Claire says:

    Hi David,

    I am really sorry to hear you had to cancel the two day life event in San Francisco…

    If not for the earlier commitment, I probably would have made it! Even though logic and bank statements would have argued otherwise…

    Reading and listening through your promotion/advertisement of the event, I was wondering if the program was to be a two day repeat of the training program… The program you put out seemed to have a number of different foals:
    1. Bringing more people to the GPU with what sounded like a two day taste of the training program.
    2. Being a ‘let’s meet and have fun while being productive’ weekend.
    3. Being a follow-up so that we gain an even better idea as to where we want to take our internet business.
    4. ‘Going for fun and freedom while being who you are; and get paid for it’ ~ be it time, location, financial, or any other freedom you crave.

    But even so ~ to me at least, the opportunity to meet face to face would have made it worth it!

    That, plus the fact that bringing a group together with a common purpose and similar goals can build so much energy and enthusiasm!
    And you are a master of channeling that energy and enthusiasm into something very productive! The book and training program are most definitely proof of that.

    Yet, if it is the enthusiasm that brings people together, that moves them to link up with each other; to not only take a class, but to actually take steps to build your own online business ~ then it is important to keep that enthusiasm alive.

    I felt like I was falling into a black hole after the training program finished.
    Totally irrational!
    And still I had the feeling that something had been taken from me. (No logical sense to that either.)

    I was surprised at how few fellow trainees have posted their achievements on the blog…

    I told myself that I would be at least another three months part of the GPU! And then there always are the forum and the chat room where we can connect, ask for feedback ~ or just simply catch up!

    Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) it seems that everybody is either too busy working on their online business ~ or has lost their enthusiasm (or a little bit of both). I realize that being in a different time zone doesn’t help me here either.

    Thing is that I have a hard time figuring out where all the energy that has been built before and during the training program has disappeared to…

    So, as a customer, that is what I would like to find in the GPU ~ something that would bring people together again; to help each other and be supported in the process.

    I would definitely sign up for a telephone class or lecture.
    I would really enjoy a site or a blog where each of us could post our sites, our achievements, so that everybody can see how far we’ve come (even for the world to see??). Bragging is good!
    And I would still enjoy an opportunity to meet everybody in person ~ but maybe with a program that right off the bat is more of a follow-up, a program that clearly offers more than the training program already has!

    In Peace,
    Anne Claire

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  10. Marie-France says:

    Hi David,
    This comes as a surprise to me. But Elyse is so right: People tend to sign up for workshops later rather than sooner,making it challenging for the organizer! But you must know this: People get more inspired to take part,as the momentum grows.

    Personally, I would have loved to come but my argument for rationalising the expense (travel cost for Europe)at this time was not good enough. I need to “DO” the work first and get some results before I can treat myself to an inspirational event. I feel that I have not been doing the “doing” part enough latetly and that the reason is lack of dicipline. This is a wake up call for me. I need to be accountable in order to get ahead. I need to work with my buddy on this – not fly off to a two day event.

    The price of the event was AMAZING though, coupled with the fact that I can stay in St Francisco at friends, this would be a deffinite possibility for me in 2011.

    Yep…Back to work for everyone, I guess.
    Cheers and thanks for all your work!
    MF

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    • David Wood says:

      yes – back to work! 🙂

      And yes agreed – if we’d pushed through, there’s a good chance it would have all come together at the end. I just got clear I wasn’t willing to risk it. No harm done.

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  11. Custom avatar Paula Bright says:

    David,

    I attended Steven’s seminar with you. At the time, I felt you still should have help it. I still do. You had SOME people anxious for it. They may well have been the basis for a core group.

    On the other hand, I’m a newbie, and what do I know!

    What I really need is to find a buddy/pal to go through my journey with me. How can I find that? I’m finding it hard to navigate here!

    Thanks, and so far I love, love, love the book–and have my very niche clearly defined, and ideas are busting out of me!

    Thanks for the book, and the seminar…

    Paula Bright
    Reading Teacher

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  12. Cielja Kieft says:

    Hi Shirley,

    I have not gotten an email notification at all. I found out because I checked the forum. The other interesting thing is that I can not find this blog post in the regular blog.
    Can you?

    Cielja

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    • David Wood says:

      Hey guys – I didn’t announce it via email because it seemed interest was so low, I didn’t want to take up email space. But anyone who clicks the announcement email for the event will get the news on the sales page, and I announced it inside GPU because I figured those are the people who would most want to know.

      But the post should be live on the main blog – I’ll activate that now.

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  13. Custom avatar Shirley says:

    Just FYI. This note is dated 8-9. I did not receive the e-mail notification till 5am on 8-12, so the event was already cancelled before the invite went out. How many people did this affect – and might it have made a difference?

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    • David Wood says:

      hi Shirley – instead of creating a new post, I modified an old post about the event which was no longer needed. Hence the old date, but it’s updated now.

      Wouldn’t really make sense to cancel an event and then send out invites, would it?

      🙂

      D

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  14. Cielja Kieft says:

    Wow David, this is so unexpected. I so can feel with you the huge disappointment, and ‘work-for-nothing’- feeling.

    But: This may be the biggest lesson of all for many of us.

    Exactly this is why I started to look into promoting my work online. The classes that did not fill up, the classes that had to be canceled, the customized private trainings I did…
    I gave continuously free talks and people telling me it was exactly what they needed and did not sign up at the end, or simply could not pay, or did not find a babysitter. It took me 4 years of disappointments and feeling bad before I gave up.

    Now it is me who did not know how to arrange the cost so that I could come.

    Of course we have heard it before: what if you would have needed to fly to San Francisco and pay $300 in advance and you could drive your Ferrari home. Then all of a sudden we would find ways to find money.

    1. Look for what your customer wants/needs and
    2. even more so how clear the benefit is guaranteed to the customer.

    With the Ferrari example everybody knows what one gets. It is a clear outcome. The benefit is guaranteed.

    I thought of the event as a most wonderful gathering, meeting the members, sharing our stories; being inspired and having energy to take ourselves to the next level.
    But maybe the benefit of a happy and inspirational time was not strong enough to claim for myself, nor did it weigh up to tighten the belt for my family in order for me to do that, or write a friend if I could borrow the money.
    I had not thought of a GPU event before or asked for when such an event would happen that the members could finally meet.
    1. So in that sense it was indeed not a priority of what the customer (I) wants/needs

    I could not guarantee myself and my family that after that weekend my business would make money. Because what we all know is: we still have to do it. Making all the steps, the decisions, putting the work into it….
    2. So the guaranteed benefit was not there.

    On top of that:
    Many internet gurus use testimonials for this. The GPU event was the first of its kind, so we had no testimonials yet like “This is an event you can not afford to miss!”

    Learning from this for my own business:
    For what benefits are my customers looking? (and not for what different format, as I often thought they wanted) And then fully stand for what people will get out of my training.
    I really can guarantee that they will change dramatically, that they will be skilled parents that can look with confidence to every new situation they will encounter with their child. I need to make that benefit clear to them. I always thought that was bragging (even though true!), now I know it is essential!

    Thank you so much for this deep lesson David.
    Hope my ‘Thinking out loud’ made sense to you.

    Adding to what everybody before me said: because of all you have offered I learned already so much, that you may start bragging for all the new people that will start the Get Paid University.

    Thanks again,
    Cielja

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    • David Wood says:

      THanks Cielja – I really feel connected to you in this. Yes – I agree that it’s about the end benefit – and it’s not something I can guarantee….

      interesting…

      D

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  15. Cecilia says:

    That is too bad, I was planning on coming. I wonder if the live event had been proposed at the beginning of the launch it would have filled, and then the training program could’ve been for those who wanted to stay on track after the live event?? Who knows.

    Anyways I miss the enthusiasm of the GPU launch when everything felt possible . . . I’m wondering where it, and where are all the activity on the forums went?

    From what I can gather from talking to people in the GPU community is that some of us are hitting some challenges whether it be technical or mental and could probably use some motivation and inspiration. It’s like we’re getting bogged down in the details and forgetting the big picture . . .FREEDOM! I know a few of us, myself included, would like to hear your voice on the some of the calls, you have a unique way of centering and encouraging people. And maybe some motivational exercises along with all the technical tools would be a nice addition to GPU.

    Anyways I hope you and Ezra know what an inspiration GPU has been to my life. The information I have gotten from GPU is worth so much more than you charge and I’m so grateful to be part of it and I hope to one day be an outrageous GPU success story:)

    Best,
    C

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    • David Wood says:

      Thanks Cecilia.

      We have some plans to increase forum activity – two of the faculty calls will be cyber calls – people will post questions in the forum during that hour. (that was others later can benefits from the answers)

      Also we’ll remove the chat room except for when we hold a teleclass – this should drive more interaction during the forum.

      And I get your note about me – my energy is more towards completing some resource and product offerings right now, rather than live events. And – the inspiration could come at any time to do a teleclass or webinar to supplement what you’ve already learned.

      How much do you think I should charge for a 2 hour webinar training?

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  16. Jess says:

    That’s too bad. I was planning on signing up tonight… Had to figure out where to stay, etc…

    I’m sorry it just didn’t seem to be working out. You’re doing amazing things — helping out so many people and I really hope all this pays off for you.

    To answer your question, personally, I like face to face interaction. Somehow, someone looking at you, telling you they think _______ is a good idea, is much more effective. Also, I was looking forward to meeting others doing the same thing. When other people know what I want to do, it’s easier to do it.

    About what people want, there are two other things that I like to see. I definitely work in spurts so perhaps an intense program — could be over the internet or live — where you’d come out the other end ready to go. And second, I LOVE a flat price. Given my seasonal, sporadic work, it’s extremely difficult to budget in a monthly expense, especially for an ongoing sort of deal. It’s also impossible to budget time every day.

    A one time deal where you’d come out the other end ready to rock n roll would be awesome!

    Also, to second PeaceElyse, I worked for a trade association that put on conferences and probably 90% of attendees would sign up the day of or even after the deadline. So I wouldn’t be too discouraged! I’m sure you’re having a greater impact than you know.

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    • David Wood says:

      Hi Jess – I totally get it.

      You know what – I would still do a live gathering just to see all you guys.

      But low key – a simple space, maybe 2 hours of content and 1 hr of social.

      Would be very low cost.

      The thing is it wouldn’t be worth flying in for that for most people.

      So perhaps it is a cyber event – something where people can do breakout groups online and get some work done….hmmmm….maybe a half day virtual conference….practical exercises, getting it done. Lots and lots of breakout groups and interaction…..

      hmmmm…so instead of $297 for a two day FLY IN event – would $97 for a half day webinar with NO TRAVEL COSTS be appealing?

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      • Cecilia says:

        I like the idea of a 97 dollar half day virtual conference. I think that would give everyone a little boost.

        Also, I’d be happy to host a getpaid social for bay area peeps.

        Best,
        C

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      • Jess says:

        Hi David,

        What both you and Cecilia said got me thinking… A half day webinar would definitely be appealing to me, providing that the focus is, like you said, getting the work done. And plenty of opportunity for feedback. Basically exactly what you said up there. Here’s my only concern. For a two day event where you walk out the other end with a website, newsletter, and the tools needed to actually get everything done, $297 seems like a steal. I’m just not sure how much can get done in 3 hrs… If I come out the other end knowing what sort of product I’m going to develop, that’s wonderful but if I’m not going to carve the time out of my schedule to do anything about this revelation, can I justify spending $97? I’m not entirely sure. I think access to a forum for people committed to getting it done for the following month or so would make the decision much easier. Or, as Cecilia mentioned a bay area social… I’m in northern ca, and perhaps would be able to get some together to make the trip down to the bay area. If there was a way to organize a meet up of your disciples (lol) I would be all over the $97 webinar — even if you, David, couldn’t make it. I’m just a people person through and through and I feel I need to meet people who believe it’s possible. 🙂

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  17. David:

    I am disappointed that we will not meet for this live event. I was just getting started in lining up my ducks for coming to the USA for this and for an Autism conference the weekend before.

    I’ll accept your announcement as ‘information’ that now is not the right time for both events for Isabel and I.

    David, in the past I have had to cancel big events for just such a response. It is shocking and sobering and still useful to have it happen. It is just another way of listening to the customer.

    I eagerly await your next announcements about GPU about your next programs.

    Rodger

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    • David Wood says:

      I know you would have been there Rodger.

      And you know I find it so heartening to get these comments from you all.

      Btw I have some good news coming for you Rodger 🙂

      D

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  18. PeaceElyse says:

    Ohhh, really disappointing, for all the reasons you stated, David. I was waiting for my next end of month paycheck to register. It sounded amazing and I believed the event would really help shape my product and be a welcome jolt of usable energy.

    Here’s another reality check that you might want to think on. It may soften the disappointment. As program director of a divorce education non-profit(Hat #3) the trend this past year and a half has been for people to sign up for workshops in the very last week. A nightmare for scheduling, getting sites, leaders, should we postpone, cancel….but a trend none the less. It’s as if people are afraid to spend their money(even when court ordered) and then as the deadline approaches, their desire to participate is stronger than their fear. Business not as usual is still in evidence.

    I totally understand your not wanting to experience all that uncertainty when you could be putting your energy elsewhere.
    It’s been a motivator for me in getting this new business launched.

    Curious to see what you left off re:
    “So rather than have you wait to see if there’s another event in the future, I’m happy to…?”

    Thank you for all you give.
    Guess it’s back to work, almost time for my freedom buddy call.

    Onwards,
    Elyse

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