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By: Curt Galusha

Call it “seasoning” or “experience”, but most times when I walk into an event or conference I know exactly what is going to happen. The formula is rigid and the speakers are just self-appointed “experts”.

That certainly wasn’t the case at the recent Internet Profits show in the Chicago suburbs.

As a new member of the high-performance Forward Progress Team, I had the opportunity to see some true visionaries in action. Wow! What an experience!

Most times when you attend an event it’s really just about the presenter. The “Look What I’ve Done” or the “Don’t Cha Wish You Were As Cool Or As Smart As Me?” attitude drips from the stage.

Not so at Internet Profits.

Steve Olsher put together 29 of the Internet’s true game changers—folks like Jay Conrad Levinson, Larry Winget, Janet Bray Attwood, Armand Morin, Mike Filsaime, and Forward Progress’s own Dean DeLisle—all of whom are real players in their space, and it showed. But what struck me most was the prevailing attitude of openness, and a genuine drive to help.

In today’s parlance it was it was an example of a guiding mantra:

Paying It Forward.

Never have I seen so many business leaders share their insights with those in the audience so openly and completely. Normally, that type of attention is only given to the biggest companies with the brands and the biggest budgets. I should know. I’ve been a part of major adverting agencies and consulting groups that charge ridiculous amount of money for their insights and their “secret sauce”.

This session of Internet Profits turned me and that world sideways. If you were fortunate enough to be in the room you received incredibly valuable advice and perspective. It was rocket fuel to get your entrepreneurial effort or SMB up the growth curve faster.

One example: Jay Conrad Levingson, the author of Guerrilla Marketing, a seminal marketing roadmap used by the biggest companies and brands in the world—and my personal marketing hero—led a very intimate discussion on how to leverage today’s world to grow small businesses. Drawing from the success of having authored or co-authored 58 books published in 62 languages—and with more than 21 million copies sold—it was amazing to see the techniques, tips, and processes that Jay openly shared, and the true heart-to-heart conversations he had with members of the audience. He yearned to share his experience. His biggest reward? Not cash. Not somebody patting him on the back. Rather, Jay’s reward was watching the lights go on in the minds of his new friends. Amazing!

Forward Progress’s own Dean DeLisle was equally open. His tips on how to optimize and leverage a small business’ LinkedIn Profile were so well received that, well, I actually saw members in the audience taking snapshots of each slide of his presentation with their mobile phones. And Dean loved it!

Here’s one marketing guy’s POV: The next time you see an Internet Profits event or an event that has Dean DeLisle, Jay Conrad Levingson or Steve Olsher’s name attached to it, GO! You will get more big time value to grow your business than you ever, ever thought possible.

Then hopefully someday you can pay it forward, too.