01:30 – Pre-Maldives prep
03:24 – Six days to go
04:09 – The night before the adventure
07:28 – Lounging in Singapore
14:35 – On delayed flights
16:26 – Expectations and impressions
16:58 – First night on board
19:24- A dive to remember
21:14 – Second day pre-surf chatting
24:59 – After-lunch reflections
26:08 – Sharing the dream
26:55 – Meeting Modu
27:51 – Some shared work
30:15 – Bonding with John Lint
32:11 – Morning surf talk
36:37 – Saturday night feedback
38:09 – A bit of hilarity
40:27 – Some sharing of ideas
43:01 – Why would you not want to go?
48:29 – Malcolm’s take
51:20 – Another adventure concluded
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome to Episode 604, behind the scenes with the Maldives mastermind. This is an audio documentary and I’ve been very excited about recording the event and bringing it to you because each year when I go, it’s such a magical event.
And this year for something a little bit interesting, I took along my handy zoom recorder and I recorded some snapshots as we went, some comments from the participants, some interviews with the crew, and you’ll get a real flavor of what goes on.
Now you’ll have to excuse some of the audio quality in this episode because I was out and about. There is sometimes some wind, sometimes some background noise but I think that adds to the special occasion that was you being there in the moment like a fly on the wall. So come with me as we adventure into the Maldives mastermind.
So I’m sitting here in my office and I’ve got out the workbooks from the last few events. And what I’m doing is going through the modules and I’m checking to make sure that the activities we do will be suitable for the participants. I’ve already sent them a survey and asked them what would have to happen for them to have a success at this event. So the first step is, I pre-fill my workbook with exercises that I think will facilitate the change they need to have happen for this to be a phenomenal event.
Now, I think what’s really interesting is usually there are people at this event who have been here before and that is because it’s such a great experience. I know we talk about once-in-a-lifetime experience. But seriously, events like this, you know, I like to have my once-in-a-lifetime experience every single year. That’s why I put on this event.
“A once-in-a-lifetime experience every single year.”
And typically, the tickets sell out for a year in advance, and that’s a good sign, and people are on waiting list. And often when I send the waiting list, an invitation to get a ticket, they order immediately. There’s pent-up demand because, I think each year when this event is on, the social media stream is full of exotic pictures. And I can say I’ve never seen clearer water, I’ve never met a friendlier crew, and the conversations that happen are magic. So hopefully when we get there, we’re going to capture some of that. That’s my intention.
But for now I’m going to pull out my trusty packing SOP, which is a document I keep on my Notes app, and I’m going to make sure that I’ve got everything I need to have a good experience. I don’t want to be there on an island destination on a boat needing something. It’s very hard, even if you run out something as simple as sun cream. It’s hard to get supply. So I’m gonna go check my SOP and I’ll tune back in shortly.
Six days to go
OK, so one of my guests has just had a situation come up with one week to go and she can’t make it. So what I’ve done is approach a SilverCircle member who was lamenting the fact that this year’s event was sold out, and I put them in contact with each other and the ticket has been transferred. So now, having filled out my preparation for the event, I’ve now got all the people booked and scheduled. We’re T-minus six days. Very excited. I’m starting to think about which surfboards to take as well. As I think of things that I need to bring to the event, I’m just putting them in a backpack. Hopefully we get it right.
The night before the adventure
Saturday, the night before I fly to the Maldives. On the table in front of me, I’ve got my backpack and I’ve got all sorts of things out now. I’ve collected my passport, itinerary, boarding tickets, workbooks for attendees, a little tripod for my Canon camera. I’m not taking the big DSLR. I’m going to take the G7X because I want to be able to zoom, but I want it to be small. I’ve got the GoPro. I’ve got fins, wax, leg ropes and a little travel neck pillow, which makes a huge difference, and various little adapters.
All the little things over here on my surfboard rack, I’ve got the three boards I’m taking. I put a little bit of spray paint on one of them, and then I rewaxed them with tropical wax, which was much harder, so it’ll be just the right stickiness. My next mission is to go down to the garage, get my board bag and some foam, and I’ll put the three boards in. I’m going to hope that they arrive in one piece. It’s not uncommon for the board to arrive there with a bit of a chink or a scrap to the side of it where the airline handlers have crunched it. Will my boards make it? We’ll have to find out further on in this podcast.
And for now, I’ve got my three boys here tonight and my mom and dad. So I’m going to go out and get some supplies for this final thing. I’ve recorded a little podcast this morning, so my team has enough content for while I’m away. And I’m now just putting books in my new bookshelf so that I can clear the office. My goal is to pack down the office and have it absolutely empty so that I can leave my office in a clear state of mind. Nothing needs doing and I can focus on the trip. So I’ll give you an update shortly.
So it’s Sunday morning, and you can probably hear the birds in the background. It’s 7:30 and I’m heading up to the airport. Got the surfboards loaded in the hatch, and Jensen and I, my son, we’re just about to hop in. We’re going to drive to the airport, check in our bags, cruise into the airport lounge and wait for our flight.
We’ve pretty much got a day of flying. It will be eight and a half hours to Singapore where we’ll meet lots of the other people coming to the event. And then we fly about four hours to Male in the Maldives. And when we come out of the airport gate, they should be greeting us there and we’re going to step onto the boat. So I’ll catch up with you soon, I’ll see how that first part of the journey goes.
So I’m in the airport now and you can hear all the exciting announcements. Tension’s building. Managed to do the whole check-in process, and I can’t help but wonder if my boards will make it alive. Already bumped into a couple of guests who are checking in, so things seem to be running smoothly.
Lounging in Singapore
So I’m here in a business lounge of some sort in Singapore and I’ve bumped into a couple of other guests. We’ve got Carl here.
Carl: Hey, hey!
James: And Dr. Tim.
Dr. Tim: Good day!
James: Welcome back.
Dr. Tim: Yeah, fantastic to be back!
James: So we’re in transit. The first leg of the flight was around about eight hours or so, seven and a half, eight hours. Pretty good. Brand new plane, little bits falling off it as we took off. Certainly not anything to worry about.
Carl: We made it. We made it in one piece, friend.
Dr. Tim: I saw a great film.
James: What was the best film?
Dr. Tim: American Animals.
James: I wanted to see it except my… I had an exit row seat and the little flip-out screen didn’t work.
Dr. Tim: It’s awesome. It’s amazing the fact that it was true.
James: Dr. Tim, why did you come back to this trip?
Dr. Tim: Well, I felt that the first one I did last year, it was sort of an introductory to a mastermind experience. And you get a really good overview of what goes on in the business. So having gone back the last 12 months and reassessed what I’ve done, and so now I’m learning more, I guess what I want to get out of it is more of the trying to do rather than the theory.
James: I have definitely seen your social media ramp up.
Dr. Tim: Yep, that’s been helpful.
James: And I know you’ve enlisted a team member. What are you most looking forward to this time?
Dr. Tim: For me, I think it’s how to properly delegate.
James: So it’s a business aspect.
Dr. Tim: It’s a business aspect of it. As well as, I have to admit I need to get myself back into shape properly. A bit of exercise mightn’t go astray. So I think it’s so important today to sort of have a healthy body, healthy mind.
James: I weighed myself yesterday. You know, I expect I’ll lose at least two or three kilos this week, just from the healthy food and surfing a couple of times a day. It will just drop off. Last year when I came back, I was in the absolute fittest peak state I’ve ever been in my life.
I was going to call you Dr. Carl. Why are you here, Carl? What’s going on? It’s the first time for you?
Carl: Yeah, it’s my first time. I remember we were having dinner one night and I was talking about kind of where I was with my business and I’ve got a lot of time on my hands. I’m very lucky and thankful to have built a business that doesn’t require me.
James: You’re doing what you teach.
Carl: Yeah, exactly right. And so I wanted to travel more. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do. I can’t remember if it was this year’s New Year’s resolution or the year earlier. But this year, I’ve traveled a lot and so it’s just another trip, but I’m looking forward to kind of connecting with a bunch of different people, sharing things I’ve learned in the last 17 years. I’m definitely interested in surfing. The last time I was surfing was with you, actually. Manly. That’s probably almost two years ago so I’m keen to see just how well I’m going to do it, surfing.
James: The forecast is good for you. Mellow.
Carl: Yeah, that’s what I like to hear.
James: We’ve got a couple of first timers.
Carl: I went and bought the reef booties. And I’m talking to the surfy guy in the shop and he’s so excited when he hears I’m going to the Maldives, and he’s clearly an experienced surfer. He just keeps talking about how, “Yeah, you know, that’s what happened with me. I had reef booties but I kept cutting my feet.” I was with my girlfriend. I whispered to her, “Yeah, he’s not filling me with a lot of confidence.” It was I think in the Rip Curl shop.
James: I bought a lot of wetsuits in that shop. I used to get one season (if I’m lucky) out of a Rip Curl wetsuit.
James: But there’s a secret! Here’s the thing – the cheaper ones without all the extra lining and stuff, they last about four times longer, they cost less to buy, and apparently (and I don’t know if this is true) the materials are more expensive than the one they used in them.
Carl: No way!
James: It’s a marketing thing, so the brand is what you’re paying for.
Dr. Tim: Talking about marketing, there is one other myth you’re going to have to bust for me and that is the productivity myth, right?
Everyone’s talking about being productive – this app, that way of doing things. And you know what? Yes, you become a little bit more productive so you finish your week only to engage in other things put on your plate, and then you’re finding yourself on that sort of wheel, the treadmill, which is terrible.
James: There’s a secret to it. You could pretty much scrap most of those productivity tools and systems to do this. And we know that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your inputs or actions, so the trick is to just do them and actually go back to the way life used to be.
I have just been watching Downton Abbey, and they used to hang around the house all day, play games and go grouse hunting. And grandma’s there and the kids, they have family dinners every single night. That’s what it’s used to be like. The trick is to not fill it again, so we have to work on operating system up there in Dr. Tim’s super Cray Computer. We can do that. Because I’ve really got this down to an art now, doing very little.
I’m really looking forward to this trip because for me, it’s like going back to my other home. It’s my vacation home that I go to every year. I’m familiar with the boat, and the people, and the experience. So all the stuff that I know, I’m looking forward to that.
This time last year, I was reading my draft manuscript for Work Less Make More
Dr. Tim: By the way, how’s that going?
James: Yeah, the new cover’s fantastic and Audible’s just skyrocketing, probably because we have a podcast audience. And the new print cover’s going out this week and I expect that it will make it more friendly for things like airport, bookstores and so forth.
Carl: Yeah, it’s going to be more eye-catching now.
James: Yep, so that’s that. So our next mission is to go and redeem our drink coupons and then we’ll have our little four hour flight…
Dr. Tim: Great idea.
James: … and see where we get up to.
On delayed flights
James: Well, there we go. Delayed flight. This will be interesting.
James: We’re making a podcast here. So flight delay, what do we think about that?
James E.: Well, usually they tell you that there’s a technical problem. This guy went the extra length and told you the computer was broken and went into a little bit too much detail there compared to what we’re used to.
James: You know when they say there’s an equipment change, they mean the plane.
Mal: They were changing to a new gate, so that I would assume means…
James: I think we’re all going to be out of here and cruising the airport.
John: Right. Fantastic flight. Glad to hang around.
James: That’s our English contingency. Pint’s the solution?
James: OK, so going through the metal detector then off to the next gate.
Off the plane at Male
So just got off the plane and we’ve been greeted by our surf guide. Good day, Henner.
Henner: Good day, James. Welcome back!
James: Have you missed us?
Henner: Always, always.
James: And how’s the surf?
Henner: I believe you’ve been sent some photos which will make you happy.
James: We happen to have the spy Intel, the underground network is alive. So we’ve just called over Modu. He’s going to bring the boat over and we’re going to hop up on the boat and head over to the big boat. Very exciting.
Expectations and impressions
James: Looking forward to the trip?
John: Awesome, yeah. I can’t wait. Tomorrow is going to be the first session. The forecast is looking good so we’ll see what happens.
James: What do you think, Angela? You got here a little bit early. Are you enjoying the Maldives so far?
Angela: Absolutely! I’ve been to about 50 different countries and by far, this one has stolen my heart.
James: That’s quick.
Angela: It is. I’m already in love. There’s nothing else really. There’s no if, ands, or buts. I’m in love with the water, the people, the weather.
First night on board
James: So I’m up here on the very top deck of the Ocean Divine and it is 7:30 at night. We have the bell ringing in the background for dinner. There’s these neon colored cubes, and there’s bean bags everywhere, and they’re headed down for the dinner. But tonight we talked about the introductions, we talked about what we do, what our special superpowers are, and what we’re excited about to achieve on this particular trip. And the people who came back, which is about half of them, we asked, why did you come back and what did you do in the last year? And already today in just 24 hours, we have had some amazing conversations.
People at the event are interacting just beautifully. So I’m going to head down to dinner and we’ll pick up the conversation there.
David: OK, do we have everyone here? I would like to say a few words for our first evening all together. I’d like to say a warm welcome back. James, thank you so much again and again and again back on board Ocean Divine. Such a pleasure having you and bringing such nice people again. We will get to know you this week. And I definitely would like to present my crew tonight.
First of all, I would like to say it’s really important for us that this holiday has a purpose, and the purpose for you is to make sure we are fit for all your expectations. We wanted to make sure that every one of you have dreams being on this boats. Maybe some of you want to dive with manta rays. Some of you would like to surf beautiful waves, some of you would like to learn diving, some of you would like to learn the power of breath, breathing techniques. Because I’m sure James is our ambassador, he told you a lot of things about it. We don’t want to miss out anything, so we are here for you. This is your home for the week.
Please communicate with us. That’s very important. Anything is possible. The only thing we might not be able to do is to change directions of the tides and the weather. Other than that, I would really believe everything is possible on this boat, alright?
Either way, we’re very, very happy to have you this week on board. However, all this job was going to be made by our lovely crew tonight. It’s an international crew coming from all around the world. We wish you a lovely dinner and enjoy your stay with us. Thank you guys.
A dive to remember
James: How was your dive today, Brendan?
Brendan: Am I allowed to use expletives?
James: We can bleep them out.
Brendan: I won’t make you do extra. That was the best I’ve ever done in my entire life. I’ve done diving the last five years. I’ve done it in Fiji. I’ve done it in Thailand. I’ve done the Gili Islands, and nothing compared to that one dive. And that was the first one. I like seeing turtles. I saw one turtle in one to every 10 dive. I saw one in five minutes here, then another one. Then I saw a shark. Then I saw another shark, then I saw a manta ray or stingray the size of a satellite dish. And when I looked to the right, there was a billion yellow fish that were swimming together. I looked left, like every spot of the oceans had a fish in it. It was like a Where’s Wally cartoon. It was just incredible.
And then we’re like, this is too much. I’ve had too much awesomeness. Then we go to the surface and then a pod of dolphins swim by, like 12 of them.
James: Were they spinner dolphins?
Brendan: I don’t know.
James: Did they jump out in the air or turn around?
Brendan: No, they weren’t jumping. It was no Sea World.
James: Were they really small?
Brendan: Yeah. Pretty vanilla. And that was it, and then I’m just like, and then he goes, the French guy, David, who runs the boat goes, “Oh, that was an OK dive.” OK? That was like, the best I’ve ever been on.
James: So you’re going to do it again?
Brendan: Oh yeah.
James: That’s just day one.
Brendan: That’s day one. I might try my hands at surfing tomorrow. They’re getting me a longboard which they procured for me, so I’m going to try my hand at standing up. I get three seconds on the board, then I’ve won the Maldives.
James: The funny thing is like, we all know how to stand up. That’s probably not the hardest aspect of surfing. But we’ll enjoy this together tomorrow.
Brendan: Absolutely. And in any case I could just go on another dive and enjoy a cocktail before the business session.
Second day pre-surf chatting
James: It’s 6:30 this morning. Making my morning coffee, and I’m drinking at least six cups of water. The guys are out on the deck with their pre-surf talk. Malcolm’s doing a push up demo.
Mal: We’re doing our surfing work out here.
James: Surfing workout. Surf coach is in the boat, working out. Excited for your surf today, Mal?
Mal: Mate, always excited.
James: Why is that?
Mal: In the Maldives, beautiful water, you know, these reefs just seem to create these waves that are just so perfect when it’s on. And it’s been on yesterday for most of the day and it was epic, so I’m looking forward to seeing that again.
James: “On” in normal parlance just means the waves are good.
John: The waves are good or fast. They are heavy and you don’t want to fall but hey, when you do, it’s still fun.
James: I think the great thing about this trip is well, there’s 10 guests not including me. There’s a couple of surfers and the other people are very happy swimming off the back of the boat and scuba diving.
John: I mean, you’re in Maldives and you come here, I mean, no worries. The most, the bluest water I’ve seen in my life. The temperature is awesome. Weather is awesome. The crew is awesome. The boat is amazing.
James: And it’s only been, we’re on Day Two now. It feels like we’ve been here a little bit longer than that.
And just a little comment. What do you think of the food that we’ve had, like the meals?
Mal: The food is phenomenal. David was able to give us a little talk about the meal we were about to receive last night, and we had the freshest tuna you could possibly imagine. It’s not caught by net, so it’s caught by fishing lines only. And it was never frozen and was brought to the table as fresh as you can possibly imagine. Last night’s dinner was magic.
James: And I thought that tuna didn’t taste fishy. It had almost no flavor. It was so pure and it’s hard to say, but it kind of melted in your mouth.
Mal: Totally agree.
James: And I like how they have lots of fresh ingredients. Nothing processed.
John: They go hunting. I mean, David went hunting in the morning, he fished and we ate that fish. So how fresh do you want?
James: I’m grabbing my surfboard on the boat and they’re coming up next to it with fishes as long as your arm.
John: Exactly, he does that every day, so amazing food. If you want to lose weight, you need to come here.
James: My pants are already starting to feel looser just from the three sessions of surfing and four good meals. So I’m excited for where we get to in a few days. We’ll check in and see what you’re thinking in a few days from now. But for now, I think we should go for a surf.
Lunchtime status on Day Two
The dinner bell has just rung for lunch so that means we get out to the back deck, we select from the amazing fresh food, nothing processed. And the business discussions will ensue over lunch. It’s amazing to see the connections. We’re halfway through Day Two now, and already there’s some really amazing bonds being formed and some exchanges of information, lots of conversations, which is really what makes this event amazing.
I’ve already surfed five different surf breaks and I can feel my body starting to get a little bit fitter. Something about this clean water, the tropical environment, is very relaxing.
So I’ll head off to lunch and I’ll catch up with you later.
You might be able to hear the surf in the background. It’s after lunch. My surf coach is stretched out on the sundeck, getting a bit of rest. We were out for two hours before lunch and we were out for an hour and a half before breakfast. Meanwhile, other people have been scuba diving and sitting around chatting about business. Surf is fantastic. The marine life has been incredible, the food, off the charts, but the discussions going on around the boat are just amazing.
People are talking about Facebook techniques, conversion techniques, how to sell, incredible ways to increase retention, price products, how to save money, how to stabilize your business. And the evening seminars have been so good. Just an hour’s worth of deep diving into a particular framework. And everyone then comes down for dinner and the conversations have been great.
Sharing the dream
In the background, David is playing the video where he shows how he built this boat. And the story is unbelievable. It really is a Noah’s Ark story. He’d never built a boat before; he didn’t have the finances. So he went and traveled around and found investors, put himself through boat-building classes, and then he attempted to build a boat, and it wasn’t without challenges. So it’s remarkable, when you’re actually sitting in the boat, to understand exactly how hard it was to make, and a tremendous amount of respect for David and Gaelle for what they put up with to create this dream of theirs to have this lifestyle business.
I’m here with our dhoni Captain, Modu, and he’s gonna say a big “Hello”.
James: Now, he’s been patiently driving us around the surf breaks and attending the scuba diving trips, and he’s a very good boat captain. Wouldn’t you agree, Modu?
James: There you go. Do you enjoy living in the Maldives?
James: What’s your favorite thing?
James: Seems Modu’s been called away on urgent business matters.
Modu: I’m busy.
James: It’s an interview.
Crew member: You know, James put this one on his internet.
James: Yeah, we’ll put it on the internet and everyone will be able to hear. Have you got a special message for someone listening to this?
Some shared work
James: Today’s Wednesday. It’s hard to keep track of the days in a place like this, wouldn’t you say?
James: This is an exciting module because the work’s going to be shared. But the results will be good.
What I’m looking for in this session is a power share, which means I’d love to know something that has worked really well for you, that’s had significant impact in some aspect of your business or life (I think we can cross either of those categories), that you would love to help everyone else find out about, because it’s just been that profound, it’s like the thing that you’re, “Oh my god, have I told you about the blah blah blah? I did this thing and I got this amazing result, and here’s how you do it.” That sort of thing.
Examples might be, setting an alarm clock at 10 p.m. so that you can down all devices and actually go to sleep and have a full night’s rest. That could profoundly change a lot. Or it could be taking up a new hobby that’s so healthy for you and that you look forward to the next day, that you build your whole schedule around it, like, say, surfing or whatever.
It could be that you figured out how to pop everyone in your database into Facebook Messenger and it’s like, got you a 300% extra profit in the last month, whatever. So is that enough examples?
So it’s, anyone can share this. It could be everybody. Now, don’t feel any pressure if you can’t think of something, but I’m sure there’s something you’ve been telling people, you know, that’s your like, go-to magic trick that you tell them and they haven’t heard about it before. Like a good example for me, in coaching, is…
A show of fire
James: So what we have here is some fireworks at the nearby Club Med, and it looks spectacular!
And the drone is in business.
John: Look at the drone.
Bonding with John Lint
James: The barman’s quietly making some cocktails; people on the back deck. I’m sitting here with John Lint from 10XPro. We’ve filmed a video earlier today and we’re just uploading it to our laptop. This is a great place to create content for business.
James: And before we came, I said, “When we’re there, let’s do the project we’re working on together and have it done before we leave.” We’re doing it.
John: Yeah. I mean we’re finishing it pretty much. Right? It was, like, 30 minutes.
James: Yeah, which is good.
And I’m feeling, really, the group’s jelling well now, collaborating. The ideas that are flying in the business discussions are very powerful.
John: Yeah. I think tonight, especially with tonight’s session, which was all about connecting each other and helping each other out, I mean, this alone is worth 10 times the trip, to be honest. Everybody was able to help me to ask a question and say, “Hey, you know, I need help with getting a Facebook specialist,” or, “I need help with getting a manager,” “I need help with getting to someone else’s podcast.” And basically everybody with their own connections, their own experiences, James of course, everybody helping each other out and that’s it. I mean, you have all these contacts, you have all these resources. It’s amazing.
“You have all these contacts, you have all these resources. It’s amazing.”
James: And I think last night was good too. Like, the thing that’s working best for our business, because you bring all these different businesses.
John: Strategies, tactics and all that stuff.
James: Yeah, you ended up with things that will apply to just about anybody.
So, yeah, we’ll resume tomorrow, and we’ll see how it’s going. The sunsets and sunrises have been incredible. But it’s now quarter past nine. I’m already getting tired.
John: Wake up at dawn patrol tomorrow, 6:30, and first in the water.
Morning surf talk
Julian: How are you doing?
James: We’re at the bar. Henner has a face with mud all over. That’s sun cream. He’s got an iced coffee. He didn’t make me one. Julian’s got a coffee, and we’re just chatting about German politics, as you do on the boat.
Julian: So what do you want to know?
James: Not that much.
What is it, Friday today? I had the the best surf session of the week. I’ve half-repaired my board from the incident, and… Oh, thank you. It’s really nice coffee. Nice coffee pause.
We’ve done business sessions with most people today. How’s your day going, Julian?
Julian: Really good. I didn’t go surfing. But I still enjoyed the water, because I went snorkeling today with Gaelle, who’s one of the owners of this beautiful boat we’re living on, and that was a lot of fun.
James: How do you like the water temperature here?
Julian: It’s just perfect. It’s what I would say everyone is dreaming of, because it’s not too warm, not too cold. It’s just refreshing.
James: This morning when I was surfing I felt like I was surfing in someone’s exotic fish aquarium. The water was so clear and I could see fish swimming around my feet. The reef is beautiful, but it’s still quite deep. I haven’t actually touched the bottom at all the whole time.
How’s your day going, Henner?
Henner: My day?
Henner: It starts good. Like every day. I look out the window, and I see popping waves. And the hardest choice or the hardest part of my day is to decide where to get good waves, because they’re good everywhere.
James: We had some people learning to surf today. That was a bit of fun.
Henner: That was super fun. I went out with Brendan this morning, had some super fun training with Brendan on how to use a surfboard, how to sit on it, how to paddle, the basics of standing up. And next session, we want to get him on the board. Yeah, I’m gonna go get…
James: Do you think we’ll see him in Kelly Slater’s wave pool sometime in the future?
Henner: I think next year on this trip, he’ll be rippin’, because secretly, he’ll be going to the wave pool.
James: Well, I heard a rumor that he’s moving closer to the beach. So it could be a good start.
Henner: Whoohoo! That’s good.
And then I had the great opportunity to test two of your boards, which was pretty fun.
James: Let’s talk about that. How did you like the orange board today?
Henner: The orange board was Jim Banks, if I’m correct.
Henner: It was a super fun board. It was a twin fin.
James: I was happy when we swapped back and I was back on the Morning of the Earth Tracks Twinny stepup, on the bigger waves that I took off on. It was good to have confidence that I’d be able to take the drop and then get out of the bottom of it, with that nice channel bottom. How big do you think that wave was? The last one?
Henner: That was an incredible wave. It was easily four foot, with quite a critical part of the wave where you did take off. And that board, I think would you have had another board which didn’t hold the line so well, I think you might have not made the take-off.
Henner: But with that board, it was holding really, really nicely in the water, and you were able to drop down, go for your carves, for your off-the-tops. Beautiful wave. Beautiful wave.
James: Well, we’re back out for another session soon.
A brief exchange
Angela: Was that being sarcastic?
Julian: No, it’s just a good drink.
Saturday night feedback
James: It’s Saturday night. We’ve been here since Sunday night the week prior. A few of us are gathered around the back deck. You can hear cutlery being put away in the background and various engines and nautical splashes, etc.
Got a few of our guests here, and we’re just having a chat. I think Julian’s very keen to have a chat. How was your week, mate?
Julian: I loved it. I know now what budgie smugglers are. [Laughter]
We didn’t have that term in, we don’t have it in Germany.
James: Well, I imagine it would be a bit cool there.
Julian: Depends on the season.
James: You certainly had an adventurous week. I was out there having a surf one day and you popped up beside me.
Julian: I did a stand-up paddle. Yeah, I loved it. A good thing to do.
James: You jumped off the boat.
Julian: I did that.
James: What sort of thing surprised you about this trip from when you first thought about it and you were on the way here to when you actually got here? What things weren’t you expecting?
Julian: I was surprised how it was not so easy for me in the beginning because I didn’t know anyone, and everyone was different. And then I was most surprised about how quickly I got to know everyone and how easy it became and I kind of like everyone on this trip.
A bit of hilarity
James: Do you think you would consider some of them friends now?
Julian: Yes, absolutely.
Julian: Right, James E?
James E.: Yeah, can I just ask what it was like sharing a cabin with me?
Julian: Really good. If I could change just one thing… [Laughter] …it would be this – like, I think you pee standing…. [Laughter] …and I don’t think it’s so hygienic. That’s the only thing. I’m being honest.
James: How do you do that, do you just sit down?
Julian: Yeah, you just sit down, right? [Laughter]
James E.: We had a conference about this on day one. The number one thing I’ve been developing this week is aiming. [Laughter] I think I’ve got it down to a fine art.
James: Yeah, that’s pretty much what I had in mind when I put this mastermind together. Retraining us on things…
James E.: You said it would be life-changing.
James: It would be. It would change your life. Imagine with that precision aim…
James E.: I learned that my wife must – actually, I’m not married – but my partner must be considerably more easy-going than yours if I’m allowed to stand up. [Laughter]
Julian: We have two bathrooms.
James E.: My business isn’t quite substantial enough to have his and hers.
Julian: Other than that I really enjoyed spending time with my fellow British. Cameron. I call you my Cameron.
James E.: My…really? OK.
James E.: Can you, just so we have evidence, can you relay the promise that you made me this morning?
Julian: Yeah, I made a made a promise this morning because I was the one who took the bigger bed. And I said, “Hey, James. Next time you will be the one to choose.” So it’s fair.
James E.: And here I was hoping you were going to ask that we could share a bed.
Julian: Not this time.
James E.: You can live in hope.
Some sharing of ideas
James: Did you get a few business ideas at this event?
Julian: Yes, I did. And the best one came today from Brendan, I think.
James: Yes, excellent. You might want to share that.
Julian: Yes, he showed me… you want to know now?
James: Well, I think the listener is dying to know. They’re probably very happy for you that you’ve got a good idea.
Julian: I think, yeah.
James: Yeah, why not?
Julian: I think Brendan really put himself in my shoes and he found something that is highly interesting for my target market, and he gave me a concrete example of somebody and how he does it. And he asked me to buy the course and model them.
James: That’s very current. Brendan put himself in my booties the other day, and hurt himself up on a reef, which was an adventure. And he got the initiation with the lime juice squeezed over his cuts, and he’s fully recovered the next day, albeit
probably more appealing to his next girlfriend for his ruggedness and sense of adventure.
Who else wants to share something from the trip? It could be anything. It could be… I really didn’t know we’d get to the sort of topics we already got to.
James E.: Do you think we peaked already?
James E.: Do think we’ve peaked already with my toiletry habits?
James: No. I think that’s just the start. [Laughter]
You went off the boat, Angela.
Angela: Yes. Yes, I did. I took a little adventure for the day.
James: And that was fun?
Angela: Yeah, I think it was great. Getting out, seeing different things, trying new things. I also think it allowed me opportunity just to be by myself, and I think being by yourself can be an exceptionally powerful exercise that many of us don’t allow the opportunity to happen. So yeah.
James: And Carl,you haven’t been on your computer for a week. How’s that been?
Carl: It’s been good. Yeah. Haven’t had internet access for the last, I don’t know how many days since we got to the Maldives.
James: That’s what he does.
Carl: Yeah. When I’m at home, I’m on the computer. Not because I have to. Just because, I don’t know, got nothing else to do. I just need to find more things to keep me occupied. Whenever I’m at home. Keep me away from the computer screen.
James: Exactly. Calculate your Uber Eats budgets.
Carl: Yeah. No, but then I have to use a computer for that. That’s not good.
Why would you not want to go?
John: Why do you think anyone would not want to be on this trip?
James: Well, I think originally when I talked about this trip, I made a mistake of calling it a business surf mastermind, and not everyone’s a surfer. And on this trip, of the 10 guests, two of them surf regularly, and then another three tried it. So still only half. And it doesn’t matter at all. I think every time we came back from the surf, people have been swimming on the back of the boat or lounging around reading books, listening to Audibles, talking to each other, resting, writing down ideas. There’s also been scuba diving, some snorkeling. People have come out on the dhoni when we surfed and swum around.
John: We had fireworks.
James: We did have fireworks. That’s on a different topic altogether. Yes, we did.
I like the interactions with the crew, seeing people from different cultures like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the Maldives. They’re fabulous people and to see them operating, as a business person I can’t help but empathize and relate to the examples of like, running this boat, how that operates. It’s been very interesting.
So each year that I put it on, I think the real magic that happens is the combination of the people who are there, and that’s what makes the event. So yes, why wouldn’t someone come? They might be scared that they’d be strangers there, but they definitely won’t be strangers after a day or two, because we do activities to make sure that that we start communicating well.
They might get seasick, maybe, but that’s hard on a boat of this size, it’s over 100 feet long. Maybe they’re not that interested in watersports, but again, I’ve had plenty of non-water sporty people enjoy just being away from the computer. Yeah, we’re getting someone put a hand up here. So that’s OK.
And I suppose some people might think that it costs too much. You know, it’s several thousand dollars and time away from the family. So they have to see the potential in a return on investment.
John: When I thought it was interesting was that one night at the resort just next to us costs $1500USD minimum.
John: So compared to that, it’s bargain, right?
James: It’s a bargain. And it’s, you know, you’d be hanging out there by yourself, I suppose.
I think if you take into account accommodation and food, and then if you were to put any value whatsoever to business content, the trip is extremely good value.
Angela: But I really don’t think it’s just about the business content. I think for myself, from the eight years of being in business, I think it’s about the networks and ongoing connections that will make or break you.
“It’s about the networks and ongoing connections that will make or break you.”
James: I put that in the same bucket. Yeah, I think that the business connections, you know, if you’re facilitating a group of business people, the first time I came to the Maldives and was on a boat, it was a surf trip and they were all surfers and they were all different walks of life, business-wise, and different stages of business. But the networking wasn’t that useful from a business perspective.
And so I think that bringing business people together to do sports activities or relaxation activities has been a really rewarding formula for anyone on the boat, especially the amount of exchange between the individuals and the ideas that have been floated. And then with some facilitation as well, just to purge them and get them written down, and then with some follow up, I think there will be significant outcomes from the time spent on the boat, which is what I had in mind when I put this on. I wanted to bring people who are of a like caliber from various different backgrounds to exchange information and and do it in a cost-effective way where it’s fun, but also hopefully tax deductible and memorable.
And the interesting thing is, we do get quite a few guests coming back, and that’s one of the indicators that I’d be looking for. You don’t expect them all to come back, because people, some of them want different experiences, and that’s totally cool. And for some people it’s the trip of a lifetime and there might be a diminishing return. And other people want to sort of use it as a annual benchmark to see, you know, where they’re at compared to this time last year, as I do and a couple of the other guests. We talked about, I mean, last year on this boat I was going through my book manuscript, and this year it’s out there on Audible and Amazon and new cover being uploaded. I wonder where I’ll be up to in a year from now, and I look forward to this trip each year as something to benchmark from.
You going to come and stay on the end here?
Mal: It’s been an incredible trip. I’ve met some pretty awesome people, some pretty amazing entrepreneurs. Everyone’s very successful in their own rights and very motivated, that’s for sure. A lot of people who are really, really passionate about what they do, so that’s been inspiring for me as well.
And of course being a surfer, one of the two in your group, it’s been amazing. Today I got my first ever proper barrel, in and out. And I have to say, it’s the first time ever in my life I’ve surfed four times in one day.
James: Nice. We’ve had quite a few surfs since we got here.
Mal: We have. We’ve been in the water, 18 times is it?
James: Probably 19 for you. OK, then we’re 18 each.
Mal: I knew there was a competition there when you went out, so I wanted to make sure that you…
James: No, that was a competition with myself, to maintain an average of three. I’ve surfed three times per day every single day, and that’s about triple my normal output.
James: So I’ve actually noticed changes in my fitness over the week, and I fully expect to weigh in a few kilos less when I get home. This is my wake out of winter reboot healthwise, I come back with a tan, a few kilos less and stronger muscles.
James: And I surf really well for a week or so. When I get back home, then it starts to wear off again.
Jacquie: For me, it’s been a really interesting and enjoyable trip for me, and super helpful. Just the conversations with multiple people and being out of your own everyday environment is just, well, it’s just beyond measure, really, what it can provide to you, because it gives you a chance to actually sit and think about stuff without those day-to-day pressures. Yeah, I can honestly say everybody that I’ve interacted with has been helpful and really lovely people.
Back in civilization
(Airport intercom speaking)
James: So, as you can hear, we are at the airport, at the conclusion of our Maldives event. Toblerones and the Lindt chocolates are being consumed. Burger King was a big hit with some of the guests.
Another adventure concluded
James: And I’m back in Sydney. I got from the airport back home, I’ve opened up my surfboard bag, all the boards are intact which is great, and I’ve unpacked and done the washing. And I’m just reflecting and thinking what a tremendous trip.
I’m going to run a poll now to members, and I’m going to ask them which training session they like the most. And from that, I’ll tune up the next Maldives mastermind. I’m also making sure that it’s application only. I want to preserve the high caliber of people who we had on this group, and make sure that every single person on that trip is bringing something useful, is prepared to share, and is a good person to be around for all these meals and activities.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast episode. It’s definitely an experiment. I don’t think I’ve done an audio documentary of an event to this extent. Certainly we’ve done post-event reviews and they were very popular, but now you’ve been with me on the journey, you’ve heard from some of the members. I’d love to get your comments or feedback below this episode. And of course, if you are interested in coming along to an event like this, be sure to grab the waiting list at SuperFastBusiness.com/Maldives. And perhaps you and I will be sitting on a boat out there in the tropics staring out at the beautiful clear water, eating fresh, lovely food, talking about your business and having a lifetime experience. It really is magic. I’m James Schramko, and you’ve been listening to SuperFastBusiness.
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