It’s really, really important for me to help the people that are good, but just aren’t good at promoting themselves.
– Chris Winfield
Darla LeDoux: It’s Retreat and Grow Rich the podcast. I’m Darla LeDoux, bestselling author, coach and retreat leader, and I’m on a mission to normalize transformation on the planet, one intimate retreat at a time. This show’s dedicated to the coaches, consultants, healers, leaders, and light workers who are here to hold space for the truth that transforms lives- and get paid for it. Expert retreat and business tips, strategies, stories, and magic. It’s your weekly mini retreat delivered right to your ears. Let’s do this.
Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Retreat and Grow Rich, the podcast. I am here with the fabulous, super-connector, Chris Winfield. Hi Chris.
Chris Winfield: Hi Darla. How are you?
Darla LeDoux: I am amazing now that I’m speaking to you.
Chris Winfield: Same.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, thanks so much for being here. I want you guys to know about Chris. Chris is the founder of Unfair Advantage, which is a live retreat experience. I call it a retreat, Chris, because I find it to be very transformational, we’ll talk about that. And a program for getting your message out into the world, and so Chris has a really magical way of helping you identify what he calls your unfair advantage and then telling your story in a way that the media wants to hear it.
So we’ll dive into that and more in this episode. Just to give some context, this is our series on Retreat Business Models and different ways to incorporate live experiences into the way you do your work, and how that really contributes to the transformation of your clients, and the growth of your business. So Chris, welcome.
Chris Winfield: Thank you, Darla. I’m ready to dive in.
Darla LeDoux: Awesome. We’ll start by telling people a little bit about your story and how you came to create The Unfair Advantage.
Chris Winfield: So my background is, I ran, co-founded, a few different marketing agencies and I had always done everything. All my marketing was based around, really, two simple things. One was publicity, so naturally getting, showing up on TV and magazines, everything like that, and referrals to people. So, one of the agencies grew to about a hundred people and it was something that, I can be completely honest, I hated. I was co-founder and I was absolutely miserable in what I was doing, but I don’t know if anyone else can relate to this, but I was comfortable being uncomfortable, because so much of my ego, so much of my identity was really in this company.
So I could never see myself, like, leaving or doing something different. Even in the, this is the crazy thing, because I think that there’s this misconception that as an entrepreneur you just create freedom. And, you know, you can create your own jail. You can create your own job, whatever you want. And, you know, that and I had done that and then, you know, a lot of it was, the people that I was attracting into my life, you know, when that company was created and all these different things. And anyway, that company spectacularly imploded. You know, that was about six years ago and…
Darla LeDoux: Okay. Did it feel spectacular at the time?
Chris Winfield: No, it felt horrible. Um, and what I’ve found though, it’s funny, Darla, I’m looking on your wall, it says “enjoy the journey,” and you have this in your beautiful office. And I’m thinking about that and I was just talking about this with my partner, Jen, that many times along the journey are really, really uncomfortable painful moments. And I wish actually that they were moments, you know, those moments can be days, weeks, months, sometimes even years. So what I’ve found is, with perspective, is that I can look back at many things. So that was unbelievably painful because it was very public and, you know, pretty much all the worst things that I could’ve ever imagined happened happening
Darla LeDoux: I think it’s really interesting because you talked about being comfortable being uncomfortable in that role. And what I’m hearing in that is kind of, like, where we numb out and fall asleep. Like, you know, this isn’t the best fit for me, but I’m just going to do it anyway because it is who I am. And it sounds like there was an identity attachment there.
In entrepreneurship, like, we talk about being comfortable being uncomfortable as like a good thing, like we need to grow our ability to be with discomfort. Can you talk a little bit about that? About, cause I’m sure you’re uncomfortable now in some of the things that you’re doing, what’s the difference between that like getting uncomfortable because I just fell asleep and I actually don’t like this versus uncomfortable like this is where I’m going, I’m going to take this leap.
Chris Winfield: Yeah. So one, I think it’s, they both relate to fear, but in very different ways. So, you know, the one that I described for myself at that time was fear of putting myself out there in a way that might not work. So just stay safe. So that’s like the Amygdala, the, you know, the lizard part of our brain does not want any change. Even if you’re miserable, even if you’re miserable, that’s better than, you know, potentially change that could hurt you in some way.
The other one, and what I live with most of the time in my business or my business, that was growing very quickly and, you know, we have all these different things, and all these different opportunities, and you know, that’s a different peer where it’s like, all right, I’m pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and put it’s exciting still. And it’s not just being stuck, you know? And I think that that’s really the difference is, like, that stuckness factor.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. So pushing yourself out of the comfort zone, but it’s exciting. Like I would say the differences alignment.
Chris Winfield: Mm. Oh yes, yes. I mean, you said it even better than me. Yeah.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. So, so why is this mission that you’re on right now with Unfair Advantage and really helping people get visible, why is that so important to you?
Chris Winfield: So a big part of it is around the connection side. So when all this stuff, happened with this company, I pretty much lost everything. And I don’t say that in a, there’s no, nothing dramatic about that, no hyperbole. But I lost every, if I put so much into it, so much money, all these different things. But one of the things that I realized was that I had become very disconnected. I started to really live behind the different screens in my life. So my computer screen, my phone, all these things, and I’d gotten away from the things that had really worked for me. And what I started to do, so this started in April of 2013, I made a promise to myself and I created this experiment where I would meet one person every single day and the majority of these meetings, or that I have done, have been in person, but also sometimes on Zoom and, you know, things like that.
But one, one person every day, be open, honest, and vulnerable with them, and figure out what I can do to help them. And what I started to notice and see from meeting people and being very honest was that we all share, like, the same fears, the same insecurities, all these different things. And I started to, you know, sit down with people who led, like, “perfect lives.” And I used “perfect” in quotes, because that’s what I thought because that’s what social media or, you know- in some cases when I would meet with like a celebrity that I’d grown up watching their movies or, you know, whatever. And I’d always just thought their life was perfect and then I, you know, talk to him and there was very much the same thing. So the connection piece became very, very, very important to me because what we now struggle within this world is this loneliness epidemic.
You know, we’re more connected than ever because of our phones and social media, but at the same time, we’re more disconnected than ever because it’s not, we’re getting away from, you know, the real conversation. So in terms of what we do, our goal is simply around connection.
So connecting entrepreneurs to the media. So the type of people that we work with are people that are not naturally good at promoting themselves, but they’re really good at what they do. And I don’t like using the term heart-centered because it’s been bastardized by a lot of coaches and marketers, but those are the people that we are, that we do work with- are people that actually care and they care about the people that they work with. They care about the work that they do, but they’re just not good at being able to market themselves.
You ask them to talk about their best friend or their partner, or one of their clients and they will be able to sell that person to you, but then you ask them to do the same thing about themselves or to go and get media or something, and they’re just like, no, they just clam up. So a lot of the people at our events, and a lot of the people that we work with, our clients or people that would probably classify themselves as an introvert now it’s very important to me as being somebody behind the scenes of a lot of different people and seeing who are really good and who aren’t. It’s really, really important for me to help the people that are good, but just aren’t good at promoting themselves, get out there more.
Because my belief and this has been proven by the work that I’ve done with the people, is that when that happens, when good people, when everyone around them wins- you know there’s the saying you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with- so what I’ve seen is that when somebody like starts to get their message out there more, starts to have more confidence in their message, and then talking about themselves because they realize it’s not about bragging, it’s about just sharing, then the other people in your life- so your clients- get a better version of you. People are able to find out about you that normally wouldn’t have been. It just keeps going on and on and on.
Darla LeDoux: So what do you mean with that piece, Chris, that your clients get a better version of you?
Chris Winfield: So with what I mean, simply, is that you are, when you start to see yourself in a different light, and you get some of, like- one of the things we talked about is like helping somebody go from FOMO to famous. And when I say FOMO, it’s not FOMO in regards to, like, a fear of missing out of an event. It’s more about, like, there’s, you know, you should be putting yourself out there- and this is something that lives in the back of your head and takes up mental space and you see somebody that is doing it and you’re like, “oh, I know I do better work than her. Why is she the one, why is he the one?” And it’s like this thing, that kind of, just, this tape and then like what comes in are the limiting beliefs of, you know like, “oh well they must know somebody or they’re just like, it’s easy for them.” Or whatever it is. And then, like, all this stuff takes up space and it, you know, it just dulls your shot a little bit.
Jen, my partner always talks about like, you know, dulling the shine and not showing it. So, and that just takes up space. So then when you start to, when that limiting belief gets squashed down, because of somebody like me helping to get you in, like, a connection with somebody that you thought was unreachable or news coverage for the first time, boom, all of a sudden that whole limiting belief has gone and then you’re able to help switch that for other people, your confidence, all these things about you, you become the better version of yourself. It just like a slight upgrade, boom. And then that goes to all of your different clients.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. So the, I love that. Don’t tell your shine. Bring the best version of you. So, Chris, we’re on similar missions from different pathways. When you talk about connection, you know, one of the things I talk about, is connection is healing. And that’s why I’m such an advocate for retreats and being together live is when you can sit heart to heart with someone and be witnessed. One of my favorite quotes, I’ll share this with you because you’ll probably love it, is by a guy named Kurt Wright. And he says, “as a human being, we can’t accept a part of ourselves we haven’t shared with another human being and had validated rather than violated.”
Chris Winfield: Ooh, I love that.
Darla LeDoux: Isn’t that deep?
Chris Winfield: Yeah. Who wrote that? Kurt Wright? I’m a quote guy, so…
Darla LeDoux: I know. Yeah. And so in retreat, like it’s one thing working one on one, you know, with someone where you can validate them, but there are some part of us that’s going, yeah, but I’m paying you to validate me. Whereas when you’re in a group, and it’s like you share the truth, and it’s out there on the table and people can see it and receive it, it heals.
Chris Winfield: Correct. Correct.
Darla LeDoux: And so I think it’s really interesting that there’s a vulnerability about it. And I think it’s interesting that you said, you know, you made a decision to talk with one person a day and be vulnerable with them and that, you know, is not a normal thing to do in our world really. And you know, so we create containers where people can really, it’s, like, really quick to get “it’s safe here.” I can be real, I can, you know, put it out there and make transformation happen in my life. How did you choose vulnerability? Like how did you choose that as your means of connection? Like where did that come from for you?
Chris Winfield: Mmm, I think a big part of it came from knowing what didn’t work for such a large part of my life and what I mean by that was being the opposite. Being the person that always had to know the answer, always had to be right, didn’t want to ever look stupid or, you know, the perception or anything like that, and just having that realization that that does not work. Forget from a business model perspective, from a person, from a happiness, from a fulfillment, from one of the words that you use earlier, from an alignment perspective that does not work. And I think that the beauty of, and I’ve had multiple times in my life where I’ve kind of hit that, like that jumping off point, where you can go either way. And, you know, for me that was the really big realization- this does not work for me. Like, even if it works, it does not.
So what I mean is that it’s easy to fool yourself into, you know, success or money can be different, you know, can be false indicators, a lot of time. I live in New York City in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country. And, you know, there’s a lot of people in my neighborhood, in my building that are unbelievably successful on paper and, you know, have millions and, you know, and in some cases, billions of dollars and are unbelievably unhappy. And, you know, that for me, I know that that was the case for a long time. And so I had to look at it and be like, all right, what’s the opposite? Like what would I do if I was okay? Like, what’s the worst that can happen if I tell somebody I’m scared? What’s the worst that can happen if I tell somebody I feel like a fraud a lot of times in that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, which just so that everyone out there knows, that’s how everyone feels very often, doesn’t matter what level I’m, at least from what I’ve found, and you know, so that, that’s really where it came from.
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. I love it. So let’s talk a little bit about the birth of Unfair Advantage Live and how you guys do business. This is like a little behind the scenes. So people have their options of how to incorporate live experiences into the way they work. I believe having a live experience as part of how you work makes your clients get what you do at a deeper level. You know, it helps you to go deeper. It really helps people heal, which I believe is the journey we’re all on. So I had the pleasure of attending Unfair Advantage Live and one of the well, I’ll in a minute, what I found unique about your community- but let’s start with how did you launch it?
Chris Winfield: Sure. So in February of 2017, I’m in this small mastermind, we called it The Dad Mastermind, and it’s myself, a guy named Todd Herman, the author of The Alter Ego Effect, a huge book out right now, Jonathan Fields who has, like, a top 100 podcast called The Good Life Project, and this guy, Ryan Lee, who’s built multiple eight-figure help businesses and we call it The Dad Mastermind because we’re all fathers. And we give each other very, very direct feedback in that mastermind. And at this time I was running a business based around personal development and productivity. It was a successful business. I didn’t want anything really to do with marketing for a while, because I came from like this marketing agency and so I didn’t want him to be really involved in that.
But I was still doing a bunch of things and I’m always going to be a marketer until the day I die. And I’m very proud of that. But they looked at me and they say, “Chris, why are you not teaching people what you know best?” I was like, what do you mean? Like, that was kind of out of nowhere. And they’re like, well, when we describe you to somebody, we call you our unfair advantage. As they explained, they said, well- and the reason I say they, they all take credit for this now, I don’t remember which one brought it up, they don’t take credit for all the bad ideas they gave me- but they said, well, if we want to get media coverage really it comes down to relationships. The relationships that I built like that, that’s why that can happen.
And then I thought about all the different media, it had always been around the developing relationships. And a couple of things, like “the extra mile is never crowded.” Like that’s something I always tell myself, that the extra mile is never crowded. Just go a little bit above and beyond, blah blah blah. So I then help Todd Herman out with his, he had this big event, the 90 day year live, I helped him a lot with a bunch of things around that and he was like, “listen, I want you to do an event around what you really teach and what you really know best.”
So he and I did the first one ever in July of 2017, which is a one day thing. And I was like, “I’m going to teach people how I’ve gotten everything that I’ve done, bring in all amazing- I have all these great connections, I live in New York City, I do dinner, all these things, I have amazing connections with the media, I’ll bring people in, they can meet, things will happen right there. And they can learn all around creating win-win relationships.”
We did that. It was absolutely amazing. Like, literally, like, Marla Mattenson who we both know really well, for example, she left that with a column in Entrepreneur magazine. On the plane on the way home-so with this renewed thinking- she meets a guy who happens to be the president of CBS in Los Angeles and ended up on TV, and you know, all kinds of things. Then we moved into a two day event and now it’s a three day event and I can talk about…
Darla LeDoux: So yeah. So if we go back, you said, I’m doing these dinners so that- I know you’re famous for your influencer dinners.
Chris Winfield: Yup.
Darla LeDoux: You had been doing that already and then you said, why don’t I turn this into an event?
Chris Winfield: Yeah. So I had been doing different dinners and, I’ve always used the events, and my marketing has always been around bringing people together. So even at that agency, one of our greatest marketing tools was an event that we would do. For any time that I would go to a conference, I would organize a dinner or I would buy, if we were at, like, a bar, I would buy every, you know, like just put my credit card down, do things like that, just to bring people together.
Darla LeDoux: So that was just a part of your DNA.
Chris Winfield: That was a part of my DNA.
Darla LeDoux: It sounds like that’s part of what your mastermind was saying to you is like, this is what you’re doing anyway. Why don’t you do this?
Chris Winfield: Yup. Exactly.
Darla LeDoux: You know, it’s interesting how we can’t see what we can’t see. Right. And I think that’s part of what you guys bring to your clients is being able to see what they can’t see. What have you experienced with that? Like, where the thing someone’s best at, maybe they don’t even know that it’s valuable
Chris Winfield: I think that that’s often the case. So one of the biggest things that we help people who do at our event is like, discover those superpowers. So what are the things that come easy to you that are hard for others?
So for me, around this whole connection thing and I’m known as like the super connector, and that’s something that if you would ask me growing up, I grew up as a kid with no money and you know, not in an entrepreneurial family or anything like that, and if you had said, all right, you know, you can make millions of dollars by connecting people, you know, I would never have been able to believe it. My conscience could never have gotten there and, you know, so I think that those types of things stay ingrained in us. So I think that’s also why it’s so important to be around other people and to be around people that you trust, be around people that know you.
This is why I’m such a believer in retreats and events is that you can have something happen so you can create a relationship with somebody. And one of the things that me and my friend Jen can really say is, like, that there’s- in 10 minutes of belly to belly, heart to heart- there is more than one year of talking to somebody online. You know, and think about, like, how powerful that is. And that’s what, so then you think about that and for me, retreats, events, masterminds, those are the shortcut. They’re the shortcut, even though they don’t feel like it because you’re like, oh, I gotta get on a plane. I guess.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. You and I, we talked briefly that we’re both in filling mode, right? In marketing the upcoming event. It doesn’t feel like it in that moment, but so talk about that, the shortcut.
Chris Winfield: Yeah. It’s a shortcut because when you create those relationships, they’re the things- the reason that I can text somebody right now and you know, make many, many different things happen, you know, whatever, somebody like an entrepreneur needs, I can probably have somebody to make that happen is because of the relationships. Because I get unclean. It’s because I, you know, host dinners, I do events, I, you know, invest in the relationship over and over and over. And as a result of that, that’s the reason that something can take me 30 seconds, that might take somebody else, you know, six months or a year.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. Okay. So you went from the dinner and then you had the one day, and then the two day, and then the three day. So talk a little bit about how that model works.
Chris Winfield: So I just want to be clear about something. So I did not have any grand plan around these events. And I think it’s an important thing because I think that there’s this belief that you have to understand the entire business model and have to, you know, you have to get so clear and you have to know what you’re going to sell and all of that. And for me, that’s not been the case. That’s partly due to my personality, but partly because I don’t believe in offering something unless I know that it’s going to provide a lot of value.
So for example, it started with a- the one day event, and also I always priced it so that it was going to be profitable regardless of anything, so I didn’t even need to have an offer- so the event now is $5,000, which is like, for the three days is an unbelievable bargain. But it’s still, that’s like, you know, somebody can look at that and be like, all right, that’s, you know, that’s pricey. But the reason for that is that it makes sure that certain types of people that we’re attracting that they can, that they’re there, that’s going to be fine for them. And also that it doesn’t matter that there’s, if I sell one thing, that the event will work in terms of, from a financial perspective. Now that’s important because for us, we want to make sure that somebody is there and they’re like, oh my God, I got, so much- $5,000 worth of value, forget $5,000 worth of value, I got so much- so it doesn’t matter.
So let me break down now the kind of evolution with that. So that was the idea. The first event I offered nothing. There was no offer, nothing. There was no business. It wasn’t even a business. It was just like, let me do this event, I know that it can provide people with lots of value. Let’s see what happens. Then the next one in October, and in between…
Darla LeDoux: and I want to stop real quick, cause I just really want to highlight that because we, you know, one of the things we teach in our course is, you know, selling a $5,000 event or retreat, depending on where you are in your business, isn’t simple.
So you know, it does, it says, okay, this is a type of person that we want to attract as someone who’s not going to be, you know, deterred by a $5,000 price point when someone’s just starting with their very first retreat that can be tricky for people. So we a lot of times have people start with, okay, how do you just break even? Right? We don’t want to lose money. We don’t want to run a charity. I’ve done an event that lost money. It took me a good year to really, you know, process through that energy and let go of that disappointment of this thing that lost money.
So we don’t want people to be set up for that, but you’re saying, you know, we’re just gonna focus on this and have it be profitable from the start. Whereas, you know, a common model is to make the offer on the back end. So just in case, people don’t know, there’s the front end offer and the backend offer in case anyone listening needs some distinction around that. So what Chris is saying is we’re just going to have this thing be profitable, if we never do anything else-it’s awesome.
Chris Winfield: Exactly. And so, and let me explain, so with the $5,000, where do I get where I could feel comfortable charging that right from the beginning? Essentially I think it was $3,500 for the one day and then it became $5,000 as soon as I took it to two day. And then we kept it at $5,000, even though we added a whole other day.
Now, there was a lot of things that went into that. So one it is in New York City. New York City, everything’s more expensive. Two, there’s this big expense for the party, all this stuff. But what I’d always done from the beginning was help to leverage other people’s audiences. So for example, Todd Herman, we did the first one together and, you know, we did it in between one of his masterminds. So a lot of the people in from that were directly from there and you know, that’s been a big part.
Darla LeDoux: I think the thing, you know, you’re the super connector. So, and you’d been kind of networking in these audiences of people who it’s just like, these are the people.
Chris Winfield: Exactly. Yeah. And I think, though, that that’s something that’s important for people to think about is, like, what are those relationships that you have set up for yourself? So when you’re thinking about alright how do I fill this event or how do I do this, it’s really important to leverage those different relationships as much as possible. And I just think that that’s something that gets overlooked a lot. And I think one of the reasons why is that it’s a little bit harder, because it’s putting yourself out there, asking somebody for a favor. It’s, you know, the rejection, like, all this. But for me, I am still not above doing it. I’m doing it all the time. And I always try to think about it like, how do I create a win-win. So even if that doesn’t, and there’s so many different ways, so we can get to that.
But with the event, it started at, let’s say, $3,500, I think it was 30 people, then it moved to two days, $5,000, and I think maybe like 50 people. And what I’ve found in between was people wanted some more support. So I started offering a VIP day around this service. Again, it wasn’t a business or anything like that. And the offer from stage was essentially, if you want to do a VIP day with me, talk to this person. Like, that was it. There was no real offer. It was just like at the end of the whole thing, you know, a bunch of people signed up for that.
So then we are going to do another one in February of 2018, so last year, last February, and then kept listening to feedback and we had created a Facebook, you name it, and people were wanting something that can help them go further, faster. And I didn’t know what it was, to be honest. And we were sold out for the February event. And about two and a half weeks before I had this idea. And I was like, all right, you know, what’s needed a group program but where we give people publicists and blah, blah, blah. And I literally, I wound up being able to hire Angela Bonnici, who’s our now our VP of media- because she was my partner in life and business partner, Jen Gottlieb’s best friend. And I had this idea for it and, literally, got her to quit the agency she was at, she would work as huge PR agency and have this whole thing happen.
I’m very quick, I’m a 10 quick start. So it happened, ok, I made it, and then we wound up offering that. So then they’re all of a sudden it was the offer and the offer was like at the end of, you know, at the end of the thing. And you know, it wasn’t like the right way to do it..
Darla LeDoux: I think I came to the next event. And you also made an offer, and I still didn’t really know what was in the, but people bought it. So, you know, I really want people to get that too. And to come back to the power of that belly to belly, like you say, you know, it didn’t even matter that you didn’t do it the right way or have all the printed materials or whatnot. It was like, there’s a need. You developed it from observing a need. And then when people are out of their environment and in the energy of transformation, it’s like they want more, they want that support.
Chris Winfield: Exactly. Because the first one- a little explaining it, so we are opening 25 spots, but what I did was I reached out to people who had been at the previous ones or people who had done VIP days and we sold 13 of those spots before we even walked into the event. So I think that’s important for people to understand.
Darla LeDoux: That’s brilliant.
Chris Winfield: So then we sold out the 25 spots, even though again, we did it the wrong way, but it didn’t matter. And then, so same thing….
Darla LeDoux: It’s so amazing when you can go into an event, having a proof that people want this because someone’s already bought it.
Chris Winfield: Exactly. And that’s something that we’ve always done. We have, we’ve always limited the exact like we know exactly how many people, whether it’s for our programs or the event and we stick to that. We don’t just make it some arbitrary thing and then keep adding people. So we always sell out our events ahead of time and we stick to it because people will wind up asking- I’ll always do like a whole countdown thing and all this- and then after we sell out, I’ll always get emails, messages, Facebook things from people saying like, “Hey, I want to sign up.”. Well, no. That’s why I think having integrity is a really important thing. And knowing what the actual scarcity is.
So then it became a three day event, and then in the meantime we then started offering, there were people that were in the program, the group program the done with you program, that wanted more actual- they didn’t want to do it themselves as much as they wanted somebody to do it for them.
And our first client for that wasn’t even in the program. Was actually somebody that you know well was David Neagle, and David had been introduced. I had known about him because so many of his people came to my events, like you, and Marla, and Jesse Johnson, and all these different people that had created these amazing businesses. And I was like, who is this guy? Why haven’t I heard of him other than you guys telling me? So he’s a perfect example, and David, for people don’t know, is one of the best business and mindset coaches in the world. You know, probably…
Darla LeDoux: He’s been a guest here on this. So yeah, go back and listen to that.
Chris Winfield: And I was introduced to him by, Marla, who is our client. And I sat down with David. I said, David, why do I not know about you? Why are you, why am I having to find out about you from people? Where’s your publicity? And he said, I don’t know.
His staff wound up coming, his CEO ended up coming to our event and she grabbed Jen- the one in May- and she’s like, “I’m never going to do the group program.” And that’s something important to know. Like, there will be people who your offer might not be right for. So then we thought about that and I’m like, all right, we can, let’s create a done for you. So more around agency comes full circle, and you know, and now we offer multiple levels of that.
Now with that, for people out there listening, it doesn’t mean just because somebody asked for it that you have to create it. We knew that this was the next evolution for us. And, you know, we didn’t do it right away and it was something that, that was in May and we began with him in August. And, you know, and now as a result of these constantly on TV and you know, he’s been pretty much everything…
Darla LeDoux: …doesn’t mean you have to create it. And, if it’s okay, I’d like to share about a conversation we had recently where I said, “Chris, I would really love to have, like, retreats for your clients. Like, you know, like a different thing that we could go to.”
So the way the model works, you come to Unfair Advantage Live, it’s 5k, and then you can get into this back end program, which really does have a great community vibe, like people. And I want to talk about the magic of your events, because your people are so awesome and the community you create is just amazing. You know, so for me I’m like, cause I’m the retreat person, like I want to, you know, get together live and you’re like, “yeah, that’d be great.” And then you went, wait, no, let’s stay focused on this is my model. And it’s simple.
So talk a little bit about what is it like, because you have this one main hub, which is Unfair Advantage Live and then you have these other programs, but this is your one opportunity for people to get together live. How have you, like why did you make that choice and what’s that been like for you?
Chris Winfield: Yeah. Still for us with the group program, for example, I was quickly telling you this before we started, you said, let’s talk about it here, which was smart, that’s why you’re a good podcast interviewer, is the only way that you can become a part of that- because we have people who hear about it, we don’t really market it or anything, but people hear about it from other people and then they’re like, I just want to join that and I don’t want to come to the event. And we said, well, too bad there’s- the only way that you can become a part of the group program, which is called UAX, Unfair Advantage Accelerator, is if you have come to the event.
Now one time we did it differently. We were at a, I was speaking a bunch of times at this event, and there are all these people that wanted to work with us and we allowed people to- I think about five or six people to sign up directly into the group program. And it’s not that the results were like horrendous or anything like that, but they weren’t as good as somebody, because the people only knew a little part of us. You know, they just knew really, me, from my talk. They knew the team a little bit from whoever they met at the event, but they didn’t really have an understanding of us and the way that we work, you know, the motivation, like all these different sides. So they just weren’t as good of clients and their results weren’t the results…
Darla LeDoux: Talk about why that is, like when people come live and they’re in the energy and they see the, you know, your team and have the experience. And for me, one of the things that I really felt was palpable in the room with your people, that to me is unique- I mean I’ve been to tons of events and in different masterminds and all of that- is this kind of attitude of gratitude and this energy of like generosity that is in your group. And I’m just curious how having people come live kind of gets you the best clients. Because I talk about that, this is how you’re preparing people to be your right client.
Chris Winfield: So there’s a bunch of different factors to it. So there’s one, everything that you just talked about in terms of like the emotional and psychological side of that. In terms of the, a lot of times with an event, like if you’ve got somebody to come to an event, then they’re able to have this transformation and then with something ongoing, they’re able to, like, maintain a lot of that motivation and inspiration and transformation. And you’re starting from a place of that, rather than just starting from a place of maybe pain or neediness or something like that. Or just like a, “Oh, this is a nice to have,” you know, there’s all these different levels. So…
Darla LeDoux: Wait, wait, wait. We got to say that again. So they’re, they’re coming from a place of motivation and inspiration rather than pain or neediness.
Chris Winfield: Yeah. So, and when I say neediness, meaning like, I know I need publicity. I know- so maybe there’s that thinking or, you know, maybe there’s some desperation, like this is going to be the thing. But not understanding the process really is what goes into that. So it just changes the person.
So if somebody just sat through three days with us and really got to me and, like, the great thing about our events is that people get wins there. So for example, one woman met a producer- we have a this media mixer on the second night where we bring in all these top people in the media, literally some of the most successful or the highest ranking people in media. That’s why we do it in New York because that’s where all the media is.
And, you know, one woman met a producer from Good Morning America on Wednesday night. She was exactly what he was looking for. The next Wednesday she was on Good Morning America during the segment with Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank. You know, all these things afterwards as a result. And, you know, so she then joined the group program.
Now do you think her motivation level is going to be different than somebody just signing up off the street? She already got the tastes, she already saw what can happen. She already saw how it can change your business. So that’s like a big part of it right there. On top of that for us, since everything that we do is application only, invite only, it’s not something you can just sign up for, the people that we then take into the different programs are, you know, they’ve gotten through that first level of vetting to get to the event then at the place, you know, at the event they’re going through another level. So it’s just like, that’s like such an important thing as well.
Darla LeDoux: Well, I hear, you know, it’s an energy shift, like a palpable energy shift. So they’re leaving in a higher vibration than they came in, which is going to help kind of carry that momentum. And, you know, just to come back to connection is healing. Like healing happens in that process, in the process of, you know, meeting people and sharing what you do and all of that. Whereas someone who maybe hears you speak and they say, oh my gosh, I don’t want have to have FOMO, I want to be famous. They may not really know what that means because they haven’t gone through that process with you.
Chris Winfield: Correct.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. So cool. So Chris, what else do people need to know? Tell, you know, what else do you want them to know about Unfair Advantage Live and really, you know, I want our people, our listeners to get out there and be seen and be visible in new ways. So many of the people that we attract, you need, a part of hosting retreats is really being seen, right. Being vulnerable, putting yourself in front of the room and then, you know, guiding people through an intimate experience where they get cracked open, they may cry, they made like all these things can happen. So you know, there’s a vulnerability to it that’s similar to media.
Chris Winfield: Yup, exactly. Yeah. So for us, the way that we think about Unfair Advantage Live is you make all the connections you’ve needed for the last three years in three days. So the great thing, and you’ve alluded to this a couple of times, but one of the most powerful things is the community of people. And so you get to make all these media connections and influence or connections and all this. But honestly, the thing that we always say is, like, the people in that room are, that’s the true power. Again, and this is where curation is so important in an event, for us, the people are coming from referrals. People are coming from mainly from people within the community that are like, all right, this would be such a good person. And they know though going into that what we’re looking for.
So what we’re looking for is somebody that, you know, is doing well, has a successful business, but just as importantly somebody that is a giver in some way. So somebody who likes being observed, because then we know that we can really help them to see the value of win-win relationships. Because that’s really what it’s all about. It’s creating these win-win relationships.
So as a result of that, what happens within our community and our event, and then after is that people are proving this model. So they see that when they’re helping somebody else, that it’s not decreasing them, that it’s actually they’re becoming more successful as it comes back. Because there’s a really important thing called the law of reciprocity. So if you’re doing something good for somebody, it’s going to come back to you. It doesn’t have to come back from that person.So I could do something for you, Darla, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to do something right back for me, but it’ll come back in some other way.
Darla LeDoux: So that’s like a different energy than a lot of people approach affiliates.
Chris Winfield: Yes, yes, exactly. Exactly. And you know, the other thing is that for us it’s something where there’s like all these different things that, in terms of the mindset side, that wind up being overcome. So it’s in New York City, it’s with media, it’s, you know, big speakers that are big deal and have big businesses, all these things and it’s a lot of these things are triggering to people. They’re like, oh my God, New York City’s scary bubble, you know, Blah Blah Blah. And then they come and then it’s like this unbelievable warm, loving welcome environment where people are like wanting to help you. Why? Like that’s the thing, people walk in and the energy is unbelievable and it’s really, that’s not an accident because the people are all there in, you know, for a reason. And what winds up happening is that, you see, all right, media is not so difficult. It’s about creating these relationships. You mean I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to have my messaging perfect. I don’t have to have this and I can still get results. And once that, like we always say, “come for the media, leave with a different mindset.” Those things are huge and yeah, and they’re super important to us.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. It’s so valuable. I think of it as you being in your, you know, fullest expression of your energy. People get that, you know, they get in, you know, I teach a lot about energy and entrainment, like people getting entrained to your energy and that you can’t put a price on. It’s not logical. It’s not practical. It’s like, whoa, I feel better, so I will do better.
Yeah. Amazing. Awesome, Chris. Okay. So people can find out about Unfair Advantage.
Chris Winfield: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: And they can apply, you might say Darla sent you, because they know me over there, maybe get a little priority.
Chris Winfield: Not a little, a huge priority.
Darla LeDoux: But I highly recommend the experience, even if you’re not sure about media, but you know you want more visibility, you know, hey, there’s something about me that’s magical that I haven’t put into words. I haven’t quite seen it yet. The experience will help really reveal that to you.
Chris Winfield: 100 hundred percent.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. So Chris, I want to leave people with, there’s a question you ask people that really opens people up and I think it’s a part of what has really shifted your life from where you were to where you are. Will you share that?
Chris Winfield: Yes. So the thing that I’m always thinking about is what do you need help with right now? So you mentioned like the different dinners that we do, at the dinners that’s like the beginning, like we pay for everything but we ask people to answer that question, what do you need help with right now? And it’s fascinating what comes back as a result of that and allowing again, something you talk about a lot and you do so well is creating a safe space and allowing people to really answer that.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. It’s not an easy question for most people. Amazing. Thank you so much Chris. Thanks for being here. Everybody check out Unfair Advantage Live, follow Chris on social and Jen Gottlieb, his amazing partner, and you will learn a lot just from that experience. Having an amazing day, Chris.
Chris Winfield: Thank you so much.
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