Something really surprising happened when I ran an event this week.  I wasn’t looking to receive such a deep confirmation in my calling.

Just to provide some context — I run a ton of short 2-hour and 4-hour workshops each year.  I rarely do full-day events.  In fact, I’ve only run two so far this year.

The first was The Sales Workshop back in March, and the second was my first ever AEPC workshop for Authors, Experts, and Product Creators.

I want to contrast these two events for you.

The Sales Workshop is my flagship product.  I deliver around 30 of these engagements per year across the southeast, plus I have built out this product with a 6 disc audio series plus an online training program.

The Authors, Experts, & Product Creators (AEPC) event was designed for my affiliate tribe.  It is a one day annual planning event where I brought in 4 guest speakers and gave people plenty of workshop time to work on their businesses.

In short, we find ways to work together and cross-promote each other throughout the year.

[Tweet “To Be Vulnerable – To Really Put Yourself Out There…Is to Live Courageously @BreneBrown”]

When I ran the full-day version of The Sales Workshop it was a LOT of work.  I set an aggressive target and worked with my team of affiliates to fill the room.  We met our goal, but it took a tremendous toll on me.

For the AEPC event I vowed I would not push myself so close to burnout.  The class was a prototype and I wanted to start small before pushing it to a larger audience.

Surprise Results

Compared to The Sales Workshop I spent about 1/10th the time promoting the AEPC event and had 3x the fun.

Here’s what I didn’t expect.

They Want to Keep Meeting

The AEPC event was always billed as a once-a-year thing.  Just me adding as much value as I can to my affiliates.

Toward the end one of the attendees said, “What now?  I feel like we need to meet again.  Otherwise I won’t know how his story turned out with the new business, and I won’t know how they are doing with their membership site.”

Several others agreed.

She was right.  I had made no allowance for keeping the tribe connected to one another after the event.

Spoken Affirmation of My Calling

One of the attendees said, “This — working with these types of people, authors and experts — this is your calling.

I was blown away.

Never in all my time running presentations and events have I had someone say these words to me.

Word of Mouth

Another great piece of news came when I reconnected with yet another AEPC attendee.

She said, “Hey, I mentioned you on my podcast yesterday.  I hope you don’t mind.”

Do I mind?  Are you kidding?

I’ve never had someone mention me on their podcast after one of my events.

How to Create Your Own Surprises

What started out as a way to help my affiliates build their businesses has taken a surprisingly good turn.

I made no attempt to engineer these results.  I don’t think I could have if I tried.

[Tweet “What started out as a way to help my affiliates has taken a surprisingly good turn.”]

Truth is I aimed for a goal, and reached it.

But I landed on something far greater than my initial goal.

I landed on a need within my community — a need that I can meet.  Something that I can do to truly help people.

If you are looking for the “How To” from this post, here it is:

  1. Put yourself out there.
  2. Test things.
  3. Try.
  4. Repeat.

You have genius inside you.

Go find it!

[Tweet “You have genius inside you. Go find it!”]

[reminder]What surprising results have you found so far on your journey toward self-employment? Continue the conversation on facebook, twitter, or linkedin.[/reminder]