Article last updated: January 2019 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
Recently I realized that my MBA classes were taking my focus away from my biggest passion which is helping people transform their bodies through my Online Transformation Program.
So, I decided to just attend class and work on my online coaching from the back-row but one professor was having none of it.
She called me out in the middle of one of her classes and gave me a question I didn’t know how to answer.
Before I could even say anything she just said: “As most of you know, Oskar has been missing classes…”.
I realized at this time that her class was a complete waste of time, since she has no experience with what she’s teaching anyways (besides her degree), and just likes to use her class to display her status.
A few days after I got called out in class, I got a message from my friend Ludvig Sunstrom from StartGainingMomentum.com regarding a huge opportunity for both of us.
These tickets were worth almost 4,000 USD and we would get the chance to see speakers such as Daymond John from SHARK TANK and the famous fitness YouTuber Elliott Hulse who has over 1.4 million subscribers.
There was only one problem… I had already missed a few classes, and going on this trip would mean that I would miss more classes.
Also, going from Bangkok to Florida costs a lot of money and the flights alone would take an entire day.
In the end, I decided to go with my gut and went to Orlando, Florida for the Import Summit.
Flying from Bangkok to Florida to attend the Import Empire Summit by StartUpBros
On my trip to Orlando I worked on my eBook “15 Fitness Mistakes Beginners Make” and prepared for the summit.
I prepared a list of people I wanted to talk with and made some quick research on the people and speakers so I knew what I could expect from the speeches.
If you want to be good at something, preparation is key.
In Orlando, FL I met up with Ludvig and we took a town car to Ritz Carlton Hotel which was absolutely amazing.
At Ritz, we saw the StartUpBros crew drink a massive amount of shots and we of course joined them!
I was surprised to see the whole StartUpBros crew was friendly and open to every single attendant and they made sure that everyone had fun.
One thing I quickly realised in Orlando was that SkinnyFatTransformation.com is getting big.
It’s a nice feeling to check Google Analytics and see that your blog get’s 100,000 monthly visitors, but it’s even better when you meet real people who are fans of your site!
At one of the StartUpBros parties (which we had every single night with unlimited supply of alcohol) I randomly met two guys who read my blog! (One of them, Jon Tereshinski is pictured below on the left).
The Import Summit Helped Me Grow My Instagram With 2300 real followers in 21 days
I could talk all day long about what I learned at the Import Summit, but here are the top 2 actionable lessons I got:
- Daniel DiPiazza @ Rich20Something.com: Used his FREE techniques to gain +2300 real Instagram fitness followers in 21 days.
- Steve Chou @ MyWifeQuitHerJob.com: Used his facebook advertising advice to get 125 targeted email subscribers for 36 USD in 9 days. (About 29 cents per email subscriber).
The advice from Daniel and Steve wwas just what I needed and made the event 100% worth it.
After being stuck at the same amount of followers on Instagram for ages, I can see growth now, and these Instagram followers are engaging with my photos and subscribing to my email newsletter.
Facebook advertising I had no idea about how to do, but Steve Chou fixed that. I’m now getting new email subscribers from facebook everyday while spending less than 5 USD a day.
Edmund Lowman: The ADD Entrepreneur
I observed Edmun Lowman who used to be a rockstar with millions of views on YouTube, but now runs a variety of businesses ranging from doing clothing designs for H & M and ZARA and running the premier chain of party hostels in Thailand.
I noticed that he’s a guy who likes to be on the move and do a variety of things.
He likes to be around people, do business in person and to run a variety of businesses.
This made me realise that there are many entrepreneurship styles, and you need to find the style that works for you.
Another thing I learned from Edmund is the importance of branding.
He mentioned that he runs several ads on facebook for his hostels in Thailand, but he doesn’t care much about conversions or whether these ads are directly profitable.
He just wants the right people to be exposed to these ads repeatedly, so that once they do go to one of Edmund’s locations and walk around to find a hostel, they will be like “Ohh yeah, this is Slumber Party Hostel. I’ve seen their name many times on review sites in Google and on my facebook. They must be the right choice.”
This makes a lot of sense, since people who buy hostel rooms often make the decision when they are at the location.
How Daymond John chased down LL Cool J to promote FUBU and make 400,000 USD in orders
Daymond John is the founder of the famous clothing line FUBU and part of the ABC reality TV show, SHARK TANK where he is an investor for business executives who pitch their businesses to him and 5 other investors.
Daymond was the “main star” of the Import Summit and he gave us a very impressive presentation where he was using his own DJ to relate his story to hip hop music that was popular at the time.
One of his stories stood out…
When Daymond founded FUBU in his home in 1992, it was just a small clothing company run in Daymond John’s home..
John mortgaged his own home for $100,000, and with that seed money he and his three friends and co-founders, turned half of his house into a factory and the other half into living space.
A big break finally came when LL Cool J, a rapper who had grown up on the same street as John in Queens, agreed to pose for a photograph wearing a FUBU shirt. To do so was a risk for LL Cool J, whose star was on the rise.
“But he looked at me and said, ‘I wouldn’t be where I was if people around my neighborhood hadn’t helped me,'” said John, who keeps in touch with LL Cool J, now starring on the television drama “NCIS: LA.”
John used the photograph to market FUBU. He took it with him when he and his partners attended a major fashion trade show in Las Vegas. Unlike other fashion companies, FUBU didn’t have a booth at the show. John and his partners stayed in a hotel five miles away, but they drummed up enough noise about their clothing that they landed $400,000 in orders by the end of the show.
To get the photo that eventually landed Daymond 400,000 USD in orders, he “camped” outside LL Cool J’s house for something like 7 days together with his friends!
Once LL Cool J came out of the house, he was about to move across the country to LA, but he agreed to do that one photo shoot that would change everything.
Later, LL Cool J appeared in a Gap commercial wearing a FUBU hat, and the phones didn’t stop ringing for an entire year!
FUBU eventually made over 6 billion USD in global retail sales!
I liked this story a lot, because it shows that you have to take extraordinary actions to get extraordinary results.
Meeting YouTube Fitness Celebrity Elliott Hulse
Elliott Hulse was another star-speaker at the Import Empire Summit.
He has one of the biggest fitness YouTube channels, Strength Camp with 1.4 million subscribers.
I had the opportunity to talk with him and his friend before and after his talk and he looked at the SkinnyFatTransformation.com blog on his laptop and gave me some quick tips to make it even better.
After speaking with him, a student from the University of Florida said that he noticed me and Ludvig from StartGainingMomentum.com are “killing it”.
He mentioned that it looks like we are talking to all the “big” people and doing very well at that.
I wish I could say I was a natural “networker”, but I’m not.
Ludvig and I had already planned out prior to the trip who we wanted to talk to, and what we wanted to talk with them about.
We also made sure that we stayed at Ritz Carlton Hotel where the other entrepreneurs and speakers stay, even though that hotel is out our usual price-range.
Why? Because we wanted to maximise our opportunity of talking 1-on-1 to some of the important people who will be busy throughout most of the event.
We would also follow the people we wanted to talk to and wait until they were free to talk, and when they said they were busy we would do it again.
I remember that we would follow one of the entrepreneurs to the toilet and wait on him to finish, just so we could talk with him on the way back to the conference.
This may sound crazy to some people, but this is what it takes to get what you want.
Just like Daymond John camped outside LL Cool J’s house, we camped outside the toilet.
Visiting Jay Campbell From FabFitOver40 in LA
After our stay in Orlando, Ludvig and I took a plane to LA and met up with our friend Jay Campbell from FabFitOver40.
Jay is a fitness model and the most knowledgeable person I know on Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
We went to the gym with Jay and learned some new techniques for building huge biceps:
And to see the beautiful sunset in Santa Monica Beach:
But most importantly, Jay took us to a conference called METal International:
METal is an exclusive gathering of and for dynamic entrepreneurs and change-makers in the media, entertainment and technology space. Our events range from talks with high-profile thinkers to connecting ideas and collaboration in our community.
The main topic of the day was about getting millions of YouTube views.
Also, I was very impressed with the way Ken Rutkowski ran the event and connected people he believed would be a good fit for each other.
If you live in LA, I highly recommend you to apply for membership for METal International. You will get a bunch of opportunities there, and it’s very easy to connect with people.
Was it worth it?
I went from Bangkok to USA to attend an entrepreneurship conference and as a result got kicked out of 4/5 MBA courses at my university in Thailand.
I could instead have been a good student, saved my money, attended my classes and gone on cheap weekend trips to beautiful islands in Thailand.
But I didn’t because my gut told me that this was a great opportunity, and I didn’t want to miss it.
You see… In life you will get opportunities, but you have to be ready for them and you have to take them when they come.
And again, I believe that building a great body was the foundation I needed to get the opportunities I have gotten the past year (such as interviewing Mikael Syding the European Hedge Fund Manager of the Decade in his house and going as a VIP to this conference for FREE).
If you want to build your body too and start the transformation of YOUR body and mind, make sure to sign up for my Online Transformation Program.
Be proud but stay hungry,
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer