Episode 212

CaboPress Review and How to Run a Quality Mastermind Event Chris Lema Style

This episode of LMScast is a CaboPress review and how to run a quality mastermind event Chris Lema style with co-founders of LifterLMS, Chris Badgett and Thomas Levy. Chris and Thomas dive into how CaboPress compares to other WordPress conferences and what their experiences have been at CaboPress.

CaboPress is a business mastermind in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico organized by Chris Lema. It takes place at a five-star resort called the Fiesta Americana where all the food, drinks, and lodging is taken care of. Rather than a series of lectures, the conference consists of conversations in a swimming pool.

CaboPress review and how to run a quality mastermind event Chris Lema styleCaboPress does a great job of helping business owners transcend many of the issues they face on a daily basis and key in on some big picture solutions. Thomas and Chris live on opposite coasts on different sides of the United States. They make an effort to get together in person multiple times per year to strategize about the business outside of normal communication channels.

Conferences like CaboPress that have business leaders of all different levels of success are valuable for figuring out answers to questions you did not know you had. Chris works to extend the value of the relationships he builds at CaboPress by bringing guests from Cabo onto the LMScast podcast.

The power of getting one good idea can be of extremely high value to a company, and that is exactly what CaboPress delivers. Chris and Thomas have always come back with a whole suitcase of ideas, experiments, tests, and partnerships to explore from the event, but one key takeaway is often worth the price of admission.

If you have not been to a CaboPress, we encourage you to check it out. You can find it at CaboPress.com. It may be intimidating the first time you go, but you can spend time with people who have been before and would be happy to fill you in on the drill. Conferences are more valuable when you have a business partner to reflect and strategize with, so if you have a business partner be sure to invite them as well.

You can head over to LifterLMS.com to find out more about how you can use LifterLMS to build your own online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris B.: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact income and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast, for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling and protecting, engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett and I’m joined today with a special guest, LifterLMS co-founder Thomas Levy. Welcome back on the show, Thomas.
Thomas L.: Hi, Chris.
Chris B.: Today we are doing a review of Chris Lema’s CaboPress event, which is something we’ve been to several times now-
Thomas L.: Four times.
Chris B.: … four times, we’re return…we liked it so much, we’ve gone back many times. We wanted to do this CaboPress review and talk about it both just to kind of share what we got, get out of the event, but also just as kind of a case study on what a mastermind event, a quality mastermind event could be like if you’re thinking about creating something like that. So CaboPress is a business mastermind in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that Chris Lema organizes, I think this year was about 30 people and that’s included attendees and some, like six or so hosts that help facilitate conversations, they’re not lectures, they’re more conversations, which do happen in a swimming pool. And it’s at a very nice all-inclusive five-star resort called the Fiesta Americana. All the food and drink and everything, logging, it’s all taken care of. It’s a wonderful event and Thomas and I just wanted to get together and jam about what we like about it and why CaboPress is awesome. Sound like a plan, Thomas?
Thomas L.: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Chris B.: I’m just curious, what’s your number one benefit that you get out of CaboPress? Why have you decided it was a good idea to keep going back?
Thomas L.: Yeah I think more than anything, and I almost feel like a broken record here, but it’s an opportunity to kind of sit outside of the business, but still work on the business, which I mean we’re a small team. We’ve got seven people now. Actually, the first time we went to CaboPress, we were much larger than this-
Chris B.: As a service company.
Thomas L.: … yeah, as a service company. So, now like kind of looking back at the past four years, it’s interesting to see how we’ve come. This was, I think maybe the first year I felt like we actually maybe kind of belonged at CaboPress. The previous couple of years I was always kind of like, “This is too much money. We don’t necessarily, like this is fiscal, nearly fiscally irresponsible for us to be attending this conference or this event.”
Chris B.: And not working, and not working.
Thomas L.: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So actually for me it was really cool this year because I didn’t touch my laptop, with one exception, but I didn’t do any business work the whole time I was there. I probably could’ve left my laptop at home, which so getting back to the point, it’s a great opportunity to kind of sit at 30,000 feet and look down at the business, sit outside the business and solve large business problems, high leverage problems, not necessarily only problems, you know what I mean? There’re opportunities and good things there too. But I don’t know. I’m always kind of thinking like, “What’s the problem?” Even when it’s good stuff, there’s still a problem there to solve. So, I don’t know, it’s a big opportunity for me, is just to kind of, to get out as a remote team. Chris and I don’t spend a lot of time as, as cofounders together in person. I do think we work really well face to face over camera like this, but I don’t know, there’s an amount of energy and everybody I’ve talked to who has distributed remote teams says the same thing. It’s just you’ve got to get together once in a while in person. There’s a certain aspect of collaboration that you can’t recreate over Skype or Zoom or Slack.
Chris B.: Thomas and I live on separate sides of the United States coasts.
Thomas L.: Yeah.
Chris B.: Four thousand miles apart or whatever.
Thomas L.: Yeah, yeah. So, and it’s really hard to get to where Chris lives, as I’ve found. Every time he travels to the west coast, I feel bad because he’s going to take red-eyes. I just went to Maine for the first time about a week or two ago and man, it’s hard to get there.
Chris B.: Well, it didn’t help that your flight got delayed on the way in and on the way out and you had to [crosstalk] somewhere. But going back to CaboPress, I agree with you, it’s all about making remote work as they say and getting strategic, working on the business, not in the business. It’s such a powerful opportunity. But there’s also just that Chris has done a great job curating a group of people, entrepreneurs in the WordPress space or not necessarily, there’s people outside of WordPress there too, both on the service side and on the product side and people like you mentioned Thomas, sometimes, in entrepreneurship, just like in any industry, it’s easy to compare yourself or especially when you’re starting out, feel insecure or whatever about, “Why should I even be here” and all this stuff. These are just entrepreneur issues.
There’s a thing I call plus, minus, equal. I heard that from somebody else I can’t remember otherwise I’d give them credit. But when you go to hang out with people that run businesses like yours are similar to yours and some of them have more experience or more success, that’s a plus. Some people are, have less experience, less success, that’s the minus. And some people are just about right where you are, that’s the equal. It’s really powerful to get in a group of people where you have the plus, minus, equal dynamic going on where you’re learning from each other, asking advice, being vulnerable about what’s not working. Giving somebody honest feedback that may not be comfortable or it’s not sugar coated or whatever. I mean, these are all part of the social learning elements which we’re a big fan of over at LifterLMS. But any comments on the plus, minus, equal thing or the social part of CaboPress?
Thomas L.: Yeah, I mean, Chris and I talked about this briefly, but we met up in person, Chris and I, just the two of us, I don’t know, over the summer sometime a couple months ago just to kind of do like a founder’s get away and spend some time on the business and it was really, really valuable, because we simulated exactly what we do at CaboPress every year, which is get outside of the business, don’t worry about support requests and pre-sales emails-
Chris B.: Like literally disconnect-
Thomas L.: … yeah, just kind of disconnect, I mean we were on the Internet, but we were not working by doing our day-to-day, inside the business and that was valuable, but the opportunity to do that same thing at CaboPress in this mastermind group, with other entrepreneurs that aren’t necessarily, I mean there’s a lot of people that have similar business to ours, like WordPress plugin companies, but just being around other people, that social aspect, all that kind of higher leverage thinking that Chris and I are maybe doing on our own about our business, you kind of get the workshop even sometimes accidentally with other entrepreneurs. That’s been, I think really valuable for us over the years. And for me, I’ve ended up with all these accidental revelations. Chris and I always before Cabo, we’ve gotten into a routine because now we’ve been to CaboPress four times, but we kind of talk about what we’re looking to get out of CaboPress before we get to CaboPress. I always feel slightly unprepared because Chris is a lot more organized than I am and I’m just kind of like, “Yeah, whatever. We’ll see what happens.” And partially, that’s just because I’m so caught up in the whirlwind of the business that I don’t have time to sit down and figure out like what I want to do with my week off, my coming week.
Chris B.: I just want to provide a small caveat what Thomas means by prepared, something I do because I really want to get the most out of the event is, I just look at the attendees and spend some time just looking at the businesses, the people who are coming have, so that when I see them in person I have a little bit more context and I think about like, “Oh, maybe how might we be able to help each other or whatever.” It’s just a little research, that’s all it is. But I also like Thomas, show up with just an open mind to what may happen because you can’t, it’s not something you can just plan, “Oh, I’m going to gain insight about A B C D.”
Thomas L.: I heard somebody say a while ago, it was like “When you approach it, it grew or a mentor”, you have to come with an empty cup, because if your cup is already full, you’re not going to get anything from it. You can’t pull anything more to that. So you kind of dump everything out and approach it empty. So even though I’m kind of just like, “Ew, I don’t have time to prepare for this”, I fall back to that like “Let’s just go and be open and see what happens.” And that’s proved really useful to me because like kind of being immersed in this group of 30 to 35 entrepreneurs, the Way Chris has everything set up, Chris Lema has everything set up, is we have these workshops in the morning or sessions in the morning, and then the whole rest of the day, it’s kind of free time.
Chris B.: It’s open.
Thomas L.: Yeah. It’s just open and it’s a pretty big resort, but it seems like everybody kind of gravitates in two different spots, which is either the hotel lobby or the swim up bar. So after your sessions you just kind of go to one of those two places and you find more people to talk to stuff about, you know. And we’re all business owners, so even if we’re just having casual conversation, it flows in and out of like non-business related things and business related things.
And as a result of those conversations, I’ve had so many accidental revelations. Just in casual conversation where, a problem that we’ve been having at LifterLMS, I didn’t bring up, I didn’t come to CaboPress with that as something that I wanted to figure out how to solve. But just in casual conversation with my lunch group, it finally hit me what the problem was and I didn’t necessarily come up with a solution, but then over the next three or four days, we talked about it, I talked about it with Chris and we talked about it with more people at the group, in sessions and things like that. That was tremendously valuable to me and if I think back through all the CaboPresses, I have some example of something like that every year where I didn’t even realize that this was something that was like paining me or preventing me from doing good work or causing issues in the business. But just from talking to people and like Chris said a moment ago, being vulnerable about my feelings and the business and things like that. I was presented with solutions and opportunities.
So, anyway, that’s all kind of the social thing, you don’t get, Chris and I are so close to our business that we might not have ever had that revelation. But when you express that same problem to somebody outside of our business, you’re presented with solutions that you might not get otherwise. I guess that’s the value of a mastermind in general. I don’t know if that’s something exclusive or special to CaboPress. But for me it’s just, I don’t know, the whole thing is so casual. There’s a part of me that just hates structure and maybe that’s authority, I don’t know, whatever, but the idea of a really structured mastermind with a hot seat and stuff like that, it’s not really like that at CaboPress. But I think the value is there regardless and it really works for me because it’s comfortable for me to have a conversation like that in a hot tub at the end of the day as opposed to sitting, I don’t know, where do you have masterminds? Even? I don’t know when like conference rooms or something?
Chris B.: Different things like that.
Thomas L.: I don’t know. I’ve never been in a real mastermind, so maybe I’m crapping on something that I don’t have any real reason to crap on, but I like the format. It’s nice. It’s casual and man, the tacos are so good. Those fish tacos.
Chris B.: I want to come back to the food in a second. You mentioned just the whole social learning thing and I think there’s a value in building relationships. For example, we’ve gotten to know the Beaver Builder team there. We use Beaver Builder on the LifterLMS sites, yeah, I’m not saying we use Beaver Builder because we met them there, but it’s just really cool to meet other companies in your industry and develop relationships with them long-term, like we’ve run into them at other conferences and we’re going to see him at other conferences we go to and there’s just power in relationships within your industry in general, that it’s, I think entrepreneurship, especially online business, if you’re online, can be kind of isolating. Work from home, so to actually get out and be around people, it’s a healthy part of human nature which online entrepreneurs can be uniquely challenged with and some of the stuff from spending so much time working online. I mean it’s a skill, especially if you’re more introverted to network or be vulnerable or give feedback. These are all good skills to have just as a human being that happens in business.
Thomas L.: There’s an interesting crossover there too since, we are a WordPress-based run management system. We’re kind of enmeshed in the open source community of WordPress.
Chris B.: Which is very communal, right?
Thomas L.: Yeah, it’s very, very communal. It’s interesting too because I think there is a tendency to consider everybody competition and Beaver Builder is not our competition at all. But there’s, I think there’s just some, I don’t know, at least in my head, I’m always kind of competing against other businesses even though they’re not necessarily in the same space and they’re not a direct competitor, there’s this tendency to try to compete, whether it be revenue numbers or number of users or any kind of those things. But when you come together at an event like CaboPress and you put these businesses together, and we’ve actually seen at CaboPress direct competitors sit down over lunch together, who are direct competitors and they get value from one another. I think, I think they get value. I’ve definitely seen them sit down together.
But I don’t know, there’s an interesting thing that’s happening in WordPress where WordPress is an open source community and it’s pretty cool that you can go there and you can share business ideas and not be competitors and work together and I see with our plugin, it takes more, just being in WordPress means you need to interact with other plugins, because not every plugin can do everything that every user wants it to do, not every theme can either. And every plugin is going to run into plugin conflicts with another plugin. Every theme is going to run into theme conflicts with a plugin. The approach we take to that is, “Well let’s reach out to the other developers” instead of always saying, “Go talk to them, have them fix it.” It’s like, “Let’s all work together, we’re not competitors.” We have a shared user. So to get to interact with these other companies and these other businesses, at a higher level is I think really cool. And it kind of echoes what we should be doing as a WordPress-based business.
Although, I don’t know, tangentially, I think this year there was like the most amount of non-WordPress-based businesses that I’ve seen at CaboPress thus far. And to a certain extent I’m very positive that Chris Lema has done that intentionally.
Chris B.: Well at the end of the day we’re a technology company solving businesses.
Thomas L.: Yeah, yeah, exactly. [crosstalk]. It was really cool to get outsider’s perspective in that they’re not necessarily a WordPress-based business. And like you said, they’re technology-based companies are solving problems for entrepreneurs or business owners or whatever. Yeah, I don’t know that was like a really good, just as an aside, that was a really cool thing and be like, “Oh, well this guy, this isn’t necessarily a WordPress business problem, this is just a business problem.” And to get insight and perspective from outside of the WordPress space was pretty, pretty valuable to me in this year.
Chris B.: And it’s application based event. So the group that comes is highly curated, which is really cool because I mean it’s an online business or whatever is like a big niche, but I think Chris puts a lot of effort into being really thoughtful about the group that he wants to put together there, and as someone on the receiving end, as an attendee or whatever, I just can’t say how refreshing and great it is to hang out with other people that are in very similar situations. As a remote company, that’s not always easy to do, especially if you live in a rural area or a place that’s not necessarily a tech hub or whatever.
And I just wanted to add, the other thing is it’s fun too. There’s like a little reset that I always look forward to just non-business related where it’s just, yeah, we get out in the high-level strategic on the business, but it’s also an opportunity to break the routine and just do something completely different during the business week, like Friday, which is nice. So it’s a vacation too. It really is. I mean, I’m tired when I’m done because there’s a lot of networking and talking and brain-bending going on. But it’s also a really beautiful spot.
Thomas L.: Yeah. I mean it’s cool. I mean we sat out in the ocean that we fed some fish. To be hanging out in the hot tubs and the pools and there’s an open bar the entire time. So yeah, there’s definitely, I always feel bad because I’m like, I told my wife “I’m going to Cabo again on a business trip” but she sees pictures of me where I’m hanging out in a pool that’s like what I’m doing, so it’s, it’s both. It’s both.
Chris B.: I would say probably the biggest benefit, CaboPress isn’t necessarily, it’s not like a $50 dollar WordCamp. This is, you got to fly, and it’s not an inexpensive ticket, but the power of getting one good idea from the event can be priceless or extremely high value and we never walk away with one good idea. We have a whole suitcase full of good ideas and experiments we want to run, tests we want to make. Partnerships that we want to explore. It’s kind of like a growth accelerator where the currency is not money. It’s just ideas. So one good idea, for me it’s like a no brainer because I know we’re going to have some really good ideas that emerge.
Thomas L.: Yeah and I think you’re right and as a bootstrap company, I think probably every year at CaboPress we’ve sat down you and I and had a conversation about seeking funding, but at the end of the day it’s like you and I know how to do work and that’s what we’ve been doing for four-and-a-half, five years now. I heard a while ago that ideas aren’t worth anything without execution, but I think what you and I know is that like we can execute and we will execute.
Chris B.: And we do.
Thomas L.: And we do execute. So yeah, I love the idea of like an accelerator with the currency of ideas. [crosstalk].
Chris B.: If you’re watching this video, “Oh, I don’t know if I can, is it worth it?” That’s just how I justify it to myself. I’m like, “I know I’m going to walk away with some great ideas it’s absolutely worth it.”
Thomas L.: And I mean realistically, I said at the very beginning, I think we, it’s always been like the past couple of years or the first couple of years, rather it was like a question in our mind like, “Should we spend the money on this event?” But after leaving every year it’s been like, “Absolutely that was worth the money.” And I can look back and pinpoint things that we’ve done in our business after each CaboPress as a result of ideas that were generated or conceived or solidified at CaboPress that have justified that cost. It’s like, “Yes, we got this idea, we implemented this thing and it changed our business in this way and therefore was worthwhile.” I could probably sit down and pull out some concrete examples, but I’m not going to do that right now because that’s not that important.
Chris B.: Well, if somebody were to ask me like, “What’s the key to your survival or success as a business?” I would probably put CaboPress at the top of the list and I first came across CaboPress, the idea, just in some blog post or social media something. I’m like, “Oh, that looks interesting.” And I came back, I’m like, “Whoa.” That was the first time we went, we’re like, “Whoa.” And if you’d like to see our progression with CaboPress, you can go to the LifterLMS blog and search for CaboPress or just search and we wrote a post every year after we left. And if you’re watching, this video is embedded inside of a post on our blog where we write up more about CaboPress.
I just want to talk a little bit about Chris Lema. I call him the mastermind behind the mastermind because Chris is a very strategic person. Anybody who knows Chris and I think I’ve heard Chris himself joke about like, “Everything’s on purpose.” He’s always got like a strategy operating, and he’s a sharp thinker and he’s just extremely strategic. So just in how he designed the mastermind event, I was thinking we could jam on some of the really cool things that Chris has done to make it great. Number one, I just want to say the food and the lodging and the-
Thomas L.: The environment.
Chris B.: … it’s all taken care of, so when you arrive, which is different from going to other conferences, at least in my experience is, not everything is taken care of, so you have to spend mental energy like, “What are we going to do for dinner?” Or, “Who are we going to sit with?” Or whatever, there’s all this planning that you have to do that takes up space. So CaboPress is only like Monday through Friday with three full days and two half days or whatever, but that time is maximized to the hilt, including the blank space you talked about Thomas in the afternoons where there is no plan scheduled, but that is the plan.
Thomas L.: Right, right. Yeah, totally. Totally. The other thing with the schedule, I always, most of the conferences that I’ve been attending over the past four or five years have been like Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Sometimes it’s like a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or something like that, but most of them end on a Saturday or Sunday and then maybe there’s a travel day there and then you get back and it’s like back to work. With Cabo press you’d get home and it’s like, “Oh, it’s Saturday.” As much as it is fun and relaxing, it’s also, like you said, it’s a little bit exhausting. So there’s like-
Chris B.: I think it’s the perfect length of time.
Thomas L.: … yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah. But I just liked that I can get home and then I have a weekend before I need to dive back into everything to kind of recharge and digest and let all the ideas sink in and solidify before I’m right back into the grind again. And I guess there’re ways to combat that anyway, but I think that’s really cool.
The one thing I love about the format is that the sessions or conversations, not PowerPoint presentations and to me that’s really, really valuable and I think it might just be somehow how I learn or digest information. I get so bored sitting there watching a projector or a projector, I guess when I was in school, a PowerPoint today. I get bored and my go-to really is that I pull open my laptop and I start writing emails or Googling things or just doing whatever, just killing time with busy work I guess, and that’s kind of like my MO at most conferences. So I’ve found ways that when I go to conferences to get myself out of that, and not do that. But at CaboPress, Chris puts us in a pool and yeah, there’s iPhones that you can bring in the pool and stuff like that, but most people just go into the pool and we don’t take our technology with us.
Chris B.: Or the sun’s too bright, you wouldn’t even be able to see the screen?
Thomas L.: Yeah, yeah. So for me that’s just, it’s really, it helps me stay engaged. And I think there’s also kind of a social pressure there were because everybody is so engaged, everybody else’s so engaged. And it also allows the presentations, the hosts or I’m sorry, the presenters or the hosts to kind of direct the conversation based on the needs of the audience, as opposed to coming, so I even think and we’ve had the opportunity to talk to some hosts, where they have an idea what they want to talk about, but they don’t come with notes and presentations, I think for the most part. I don’t know, to me that format of that conversation, that conversation, not that presentation is so valuable and you make of it what you want it to be essentially. I think it’s just a brilliant format and it’s something I haven’t seen, I mean once in a while you’ll go to a conference and they’ll have like little breakout sessions like that where it is a conversation, but like CaboPress is only that and I just love it. I think it’s a great format.
Chris B.: Yeah. And Chris is also, it’s not the same thing every year. So because we’ve come back, there’s many other people who’ve come back or they’ve gone twice or whatever, it’s not the same thing again, it evolves with time. And I think that is really cool.
Thomas L.: Yeah. Yeah, it’s cool too just looking, I mean, as a business owner I realized that CaboPress is a business venture for Chris Lema. He’s making, I hope he’s making money off this event because it’s really valuable.
Chris B.: Well, there’s also the concept of relationship capital. Not just money, I’m just saying the-
Thomas L.: Oh yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah.
Chris B.: … there’s like a famous quote like, “Your network is your net worth” or something like that. I think that’s Zig Ziglar or something?
Thomas L.: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Chris B.: But CaboPress is definitely a hack to build your network. Sorry to interrupt, what were you saying?
Thomas L.: No, I just mean we’ve got to see how the conference has, there hasn’t been any drastic changes, but I feel like each year there’s an iteration on experiments that were run the previous year and it’s just cool to see how the conference changes ever so slightly every year. And I also, [crosstalk]-
Chris B.: That’s like a software thing, it’s a pivot, or it’s like an iteration.
Thomas L.: And I think what I’ve seen is the size of the conference has adjusted over the years. I even think the first year we went, it was about the size it was this year. It grew a little bit, it shrunk a little or I guess it grew a bit and then grew a bit more and now it’s shrunk back down. And I think that has, I don’t know, Chris Lema, I’m just theorizing, I’m like, “What’s going on here?” But I think you’re trying to find like the perfect number, like how big can it get before it’s no longer as you know, as intimate, because I think that intimacy, intimacy, and the vulnerability that we’re talking about kind of go hand in hand, I think. Whereas if you’re at a conference, like we’re going to go to WordCamp US, there’s going to be a couple-thousand people there. And the intimacy that we come to CaboPress prepared to engage in is not going to be the same as the intimacy at WordCamp US. You just can’t have that with that many people. But how many people can you have before it starts to have a reverse effect where you can’t be that vulnerable anymore? I don’t know the correct answer to that question on this. It’s interesting to watch the business of CaboPress or the format kind of be adjusted little by little.
Chris B.: Well, I just want to thank Chris for putting all that together. And I know our team often braces for impact when we come back because they’re like, “All right, where are we going? What’s new?” They know something’s coming. But I want to just do a quick segment with you Thomas. Let’s assume somebody’s listening to this or watching this and they’re considering going or they got tickets or whatever and they’re going to go to their first CaboPress or even another event like it, but let’s just say CaboPress specifically, what tips do you have for someone? Just general tips about how to get the most out of the event.
Thomas L.: Yeah, I would definitely bring sunblock and apply liberally. That’s not a really good tip though, but actually it is though, because I mean, if you’re sunburned like crazy, you’re not going to have a good time.
I think being vulnerable is probably, like I cried a CaboPress this year, and I wouldn’t share many details about that, but I flat out just cried. And I mean that in a good way, you know? And that’s a direct result of, I don’t know, I think I’ve had to go there realizing I don’t have all the answers because if I go there with all the answers, I’m not going to get anything out of it. So I think that’s a really important point. It’s like we’re not trying to, I don’t want to go to that mastermind trying to only provide value to everybody else. I want to take something too. And so, I mean, there’s got to be a balance there, right? But so I have to know what I know, and I have to know what I don’t know. And as a result of knowing what I don’t know, I’ve been able to be vulnerable and get really, really valuable feedback. And sometimes feedback is brutal, you know what I mean? Sometimes that really hurts. But I mean, if you allow that to kind of sink in, as opposed to like putting up your guard and being defensive and trying to push that away, you’re going to get the most amount of value out of it.
So I think that’s what I did this year and that’s what I would recommend is, it’s okay to have a problem to not know the answer, and there’s people there that are going to help you. So, I think that’d be my number one recommendation is just, well I guess, like I said before, just like empty your cup and just go in open to what people have to share, and I think probably also know that just because somebody gives you a piece of feedback doesn’t mean that’s correct or what you have to do, but we’re still in charge of our business here.
Chris B.: But it’s from a highly curated group of people. So the odds of it being good are pretty high. But you’re right.
Thomas L.: It’s pretty high, pretty high, yeah.
Chris B.: Everything should be tested.
Thomas L.: Everything should be tested. Exactly. Yeah. So the idea is that we’re taken away from CaboPress this year, we’re running Test Zone. We’re looking at the data and we’re seeing like, “Is this going to work?” And we think it is, we’re pretty sure it is and we trust the people who gave us this advice and this feedback and suggestions. But we’re going to let our revenue determine objectively whether or not it was a good idea. What about you? What are your tips? I’m interested.
Chris B.: I have a fast list.
Thomas L.: He came prepared.
Chris B.: So these are a lot of little things. Yeah, so you’re seeing Thomas and I’s personality here, but my first is actually related to what Thomas was just making light of right there, which is to bring your cofounder. Like I’m the CEO of Lifter, Thomas is the CTO. We don’t actually follow traditional roles of what the job description’s there. We just play to our strengths and we work well together and we have very different personalities and skillsets and everything. So by going to CaboPress together, we’re really different people, which makes us a good business partnership, but we’re together a lot and enjoying time together because we don’t do that a lot, but we’re also attending different things, meeting with different people. So we’re actually getting even more benefit, I think, than if you go by yourself. Now, if you don’t have a business partner that is fine. But if you do have a co-founder, I would recommend going together. So that’s my first tip.
I’ve been back to Cabo, this is our fourth time around and I know my way around the resort I can mentally see where everything is. I know the general, I know the drill and know where to get food and I know all that stuff. But I remember the first time I went, I know how to get from the airport there, all that like, I understand. But it can be a little intimidating your first time and just go, just spend time with people who have been there before and just let them, don’t be afraid to ask for like, “How does whatever work or where do I find the X?” Because people that already kind of know the drill are happy to help. The other one is you get out of it what you put into it. So when you do have that downtime, you may need to go to your room and recharge or whatever, but this is a highly group, which I do. There’re moments where I go and I just take a moment to myself, but I really try to maximize the time I’m there with meeting people, being strategic with Thomas or just intentionally focusing on enjoying the experience. So you get out of it what you put into it.
Thomas L.: If I could just piggyback on that, I am not an extrovert, so spending five days or three-and-a-half days with other people, is tiresome to me. It’s not what I want to do, but I also realize that I didn’t go there to, I’m not at this event to sit in my room by myself. I can do that at home and I do, do that. That’s what I’m going to do when we’re done with this podcast. I do that the majority of the year. So, it’s always uncomfortable for me and I have to make a conscious effort to go, like during that free time, it is not natural for me to go to a swim-up bar and hang out with people that I maybe don’t know that well, that’s not what I want to do with my time. But making that effort proves really valuable. So to me, I’m just kind of, I’m a weightlifter and I’ve done crossfit for a while and it’s always like, there’s this motto that’s like, “You rest when you’re dead.” So for me it’s like, when I’m at CaboPress, is like I can rest and do what’s comfortable when I’m done there, but when I’m there, let’s just keep working and keep pushing, and make the most of that experience.
Chris B.: I’m pretty introverted myself too. So there’s a moment where Thomas and I depart at the LAX airport and I put my earbuds buds in and I’m like, “I’m finally like alone again” even though I’m surrounded by all these people in the airport. But that’s actually one of the things I love is the plane ride home, you’re still kind of in no man’s land between your normal reality and this event, so you have time to really, that’s another tip I have is don’t just get ideas, but really, like Thomas and I spend some time together and separately listing out action items, like “How are we going to take this idea and put it into action?” Whether that’s to run a test or just go ahead and implement something or delegate something to a team member or whatever. So don’t just go for ideas, go for action and implement as soon as possible.
My final tip is, this is my best tip and it’s that I actually extend CaboPress for way longer than it is in Mexico by inviting people I meet on our podcast, LMScast, so the conversation continues even beyond CaboPress with this great group of people. Now, of course in the podcast format, I’m serving the course creation community, so the conversation’s going to be, it’s not really a mastermind, but I’m continuing the conversation in ways that benefit the course building community, which is great because there’s so many great people that it’s in CaboPress and have so much value to share and a lot of people have something that’s relevant to a course creator. So I get to continue conversations beyond CaboPress, which I would encourage people to do if you make a friendship or a business relationship to keep the conversation going.
So those are our tips. That’s a review of CaboPress. Chris Lema’s CaboPress review, that we wanted to roll out from Thomas and I over here at LifterLMS. Thank you Chris for putting on a great event and Thomas, any final words?
Thomas L.: Yeah, those fish tacos.
Chris B.: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results-getting courses on the Internet.

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