It’s often been said that thin threads of circumstance bring people into our lives, and my introduction to Darren Hardy is a great example. I was living in Broomfield, CO, in the Spring of 2012 when a member at the gym where I was working gave me a CD called “Making the Shift.” The author was Darren Hardy, and the content he shared was on the mental shift needed to go from being an employee to being an entrepreneur.
The info on the CD was excellent; however, the member was using it specifically to recruit for a business he was involved in. While I had no interest in his company, I was so grateful for the connection to Darren because the lessons I’ve learned from him over the past eight years and counting have been life-changing. Ultimately, my time in Colorado was short, and I moved back to Dallas in August 2012.
The following is a brief timeline of the investments I’ve made in my education with resources from Darren…leading up to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet him in person:
- 2012 – Received the CD “Making the Shift.”
- 2013 – Purchased Darren’s book, “The Compound Effect.”
- 2014 – Joined Darren’s DarrenDaily community
- 2015 – Purchased Darren’s book, “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster.”
- 2016 – Purchased the online program, Insane Productivity
In the Spring of 2016, I received an email from Tom Ziglar, son of the late great Zig Ziglar. As a long-time follower of Zig, I was on their email list, so this wasn’t a personal message. However, it promoted an upcoming special event that was intriguing at first glance. Best-selling author and speaker Brian Tracy was planning to hold a three-day “success” training weekend in May, and it was practically going to be in my backyard. I live in North Dallas, and the event was just minutes from home.
I quickly scanned through the details especially looking for the price, when I came across one particular point that caught my attention. Darren Hardy, who I had been following for four years, was named as one of the featured keynote speakers. After searching frantically, I finally found the cost of the event. The base package was $1,000 with a VIP upgrade for an extra $497, giving you access to the guest speakers during a private banquet-style lunch on Friday and Saturday.
In all fairness, I think a lot of Brian Tracy, who is a brilliant man. I purchased my first of several Brian Tracy books in the ’90s; however, there’s no way I would have paid $1,497 to see him. But to see Darren Hardy live, it was a done deal. I immediately clicked on the link provided in the email to register, and then the countdown began.
From that day on April 6 to the actual event, May 13th-15th may have been one of the longest waits of my life…but well worth it. The lineup of speakers on Friday was solid, and the opportunity to meet Brian Tracy during the VIP lunch was extraordinary; however, my sights were still set on Saturday with Darren.
He was scheduled to speak mid-morning, so I didn’t have to wait very long, and yet the time seemed to drag on and on from speaker to speaker I had never heard of for the most part. And then, finally, after a warm introduction from the host, and a short video featured on two massive screens, Darren emerged from behind the curtains and walked out on the stage.
The whole experience was surreal, and he seemed much larger than life. It was very much like a chance to meet with a celebrity that maybe you’ve seen hundreds of times on TV or in the movies. Between listening to Darren on audio and watching his videos on YouTube, I had heard his voice hundreds of times. So when he finally spoke, it was like listening to a friend because of the overwhelming familiarity.
His topic was on productivity, and the content was terrific. Darren was as polished as I expected and clearly the standout speaker for the entire weekend. I took pages of notes, and as he started wrapping up, my mind began racing, anticipating hopefully meeting him at the upcoming VIP lunch. With his talk complete, he made a unique offer good for the weekend to enroll in his world-class online productivity training program called Insane Productivity.
I had intended to invest only the price of attending the event; however, Darren made a unique and appealing offer for the attendees. With little hesitation, I jumped on the opportunity to further my education from the man who had become a mentor through his training resources.
A couple of other speakers followed Darren, and then it was off to the VIP lunch. When I walked into the room, quite a few people were in a long line waiting to have their picture with Darren. While I was hungry, food was not my priority, and after leaving my journal at one of the place settings, I jumped in line. After what seemed like forever, it was finally my turn.
As I walked up with my hand extended to introduce myself, Darren graciously shook my hand, and we took our places for the photo. It was short and sweet due to the many people still waiting in line; however, it was very special to me. I thanked Darren for being there and then went to the buffet line.
I wanted to have the opportunity to do some Q & A with Darren before the afternoon session, and fortunately, that was the case. Once he wrapped up the photos, he positioned himself centrally in the room, allowing us to ask questions. I was one of the few lucky ones who was called on, which only added to an already fantastic experience. Given the number of people, it wasn’t practical to spend one-on-one time with Darren, although I still thought my VIP upgrade was well worth it and will treasure the memory forever.
To wrap up this post, I want to share a humorous experience after lunch. Darren sat in the crowd along with the rest of the attendees for the afternoon session. He was only twenty feet away from me in clear view, making what happened next hilarious.
If you’ve gone through Insane Productivity, you know that Darren is not into high-fiving, messaging your neighbor, childhood regressions, or walking on burning coals. He’s way more all-business, so give him the goods so he can go back and kick butt with the lessons learned. Well, much to his, I’m guessing, displeasure, Darren’s polar opposite was the first prominent speaker after lunch.
He had the audience on their feet, clapping their hands, doing backflips and hoorahs, and shouting phrases of affirmation. It was quite the scene, and I could tell Darren was not enjoying it. I can only imagine what he was thinking. Darren is one of the most accomplished speakers you will ever see but is quite introverted, so this was not his kind of scene. I’m with him and prefer a more professional environment, for what it’s worth.
Closing thoughts for my readers:
This post is the first of two, as I will soon publish the top lessons I’ve learned from Darren. To wrap up, I want to leave you with the following: the embodiment of everything Darren and his A-Team stand for. For more information on the resources and programs they offer, go to darrenhardy.com.
YOU WEREN’T BORN TO BE GOOD
YOU ARE HERE TO BE GREAT
You Were Called Here For A Reason
To fulfill a particular purpose. A mission.
To contribute something unique.
Something that wouldn’t have existed without you.
It’s your Hero’s Journey.