How to start and run retreats is a thing I've been doing for 18 years and it's meant a great lifestyle and an enormous amount of money over all those years. Now to prove to you that this is not some kind of flash in the pan idea, I dug up a recording that I did on this topic eleven years ago after I had already been operating the retreat center for seven years. So, you'll learn from someone who's been doing what they're teaching you for many years.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 232
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[02:49] Tom's introduction to How to Run a Retreat Center [05:30] Benefits of running a retreat center [10:59] Part of the retreat “experience” [12:39] Why retreats are good now [14:16] Different venues for retreats [28:57] Target audiences [31:35] Hobbies being tax deductible [39:35] Other amenities you can have [45:03] Necessities [48:30] Liability [54:19] Operations [01:07:45] Getting people to attend your retreats
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – email@example.com
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Protection Dogs Elite – https://protectiondogselite.com/
Enota Work Exchange – http://www.enota.org/
Retreat Finder – https://retreatfinder.com/
All About Retreats – https://allaboutretreats.com/
Tax Reduction Institute – http://taxreductioninstitute.com/
Retreat Testimonials – https://greatinternetmarketing.com/retreattestimonials.htm
Mentor Training – https://screwthecommute.com/mentortraining/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Rayne Parvis – https://screwthecommute.com/231/
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Episode 232 – Retreats
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody it's Tom here with episode 232 of Screw the Commute podcast. Today we're gonna do how to start and run a retreat center. I've been doing this for 18 years now and it's meant a lot of money. I've helped a heck of a load of people and it's allowed me to have this big honkin mansion and have other people pay for it. How do you like that? So maybe you could do the same thing, but you don't have to. There's loads of ways to run retreats and I'm going to cover them in today's episode, but it's gonna be a little bit different than usual. So I'll tell you about that in a minute. Hope you didn't miss episode 231. That was Rayne Parvis, one of my favorite people in the world. She actually won me in a in a raffle a long time, 10 years ago. And she was living in her parents garage when I found her. And and I got her started. I got her to write a book. And now she's a top image consultant and up for possibly a QVC job. So she's awesome and funny and really great. Just a new mama, too. So she's showing you how to run a business while you still got a brand new baby you just popped out. All right. Make sure you catch a copy of our automation book. It's a $27 e-book, but it's yours free for listening to screw the commute. You can grab it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're over there, grab a copy of our podcast app for your cell phone or tablet. They'll do all kinds of cool things. You know, if you're afraid of this stuff, you don't know how to do apps in this. So we got complete instructions, including screen captures to show you how to use the thing so you can grab that at screwthecommute.com/app. Our sponsor is the great internet marketing retreat center. Hey, who would have thought of that for this episode? And it's a joint venture program where myself and my staff work with you for a year, including an immersion trip to the retreat center for an immersion weekend. And then you get another trip all by yourself to shoot videos in our studio. So it's a massive value and I've been running it for 18 years. So you can check all the details at a greatinternetmarketingtraining.com. And of course, all the things we talk about will be in the show notes at episode 232. So screwthecommute.com/232.
[00:02:49] Okay. Let's get to the main event. How to start and run retreats. Now, this is a thing I've been doing for 18 years and it's meant a great lifestyle and an enormous amount of money over all those years. Now to prove to you that this is not some kind of flash in the pan idea, this is where this episode is gonna be a little bit different, I dug up a recording that I did on this topic eleven years ago after I had already been operating the retreat center for seven years. Now, let me take a little sidebar here. Would you rather learn from someone who's been doing what they're teaching you for many years or someone who, I don't know, maybe tried it out and thought it was a good idea and decided to charge you money to teach it to you? Well, I think you know the answer to that. I have a vast amount of experience doing what you will learn in this podcast, and this can mean an enormous amount of money for you and if you choose to use your house as part of the retreat. You don't have to and I'll explain that completely in the recording, but you can have students pay for a much more substantial home with all kinds of amenities. That's pretty cool, too. So let's get back to this recording I did in 2009 and everything in it is still valid except for some of the numbers which I will pop in as Studio Tom and tell you about the changes a couple times during a podcast. Now, are you ready to get into my screw the commute time machine? All right. Here we go.
[00:04:32] Welcome to the virtual studios of Antion Associates. I'm Tom Antion and I'll be your host for the evening. We are broadcasting tonight, as always, from the great Internet Marketing Retreat Center, where people come in from all over the world to study Internet marketing in the lap of luxury. Tonight's call is one that is very dear to my heart because I've been doing this for so long, is how to operate a retreat center out of your home even if you don't have a home. So that's what we're going to talk about tonight.
[00:05:03] If you'd like to have training from me personally. How I make money and whether the economy is up or down. Don't forget to check out my very popular mentor program at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com.
[00:05:21] Now, some of you tonight are going to get tonight's call retroactively free. And I'll tell you what that means at the end of the call tonight. All right. Let's roll.
[00:05:34] Let's talk about the benefits of you running retreats. Well, first of all, they can be extremely lucrative because people will pay for experiences. They will pay for special experiences. And that's part of what doing a retreat is all about. Another benefit is you can sell your expertise in smaller chunks for more money. I'll give you an example, because everything around me is transparent.
[00:06:00] People come to my retreat center. They get in my long program. They come here.
[00:06:06] And they learn and have a great weekend, but literally I'm only teaching them probably one one thousandth of what I know about the topic.
[00:06:16] But the experience of being here and meeting other like minded people and seeing and hearing the catchings going through my computer and seeing the great things and seeing the sales figures is a very moving experience for people. So they're willing to pay for it.
[00:06:33] So a tiny chunk of what I know is sold for the maximum of amount of money by using this method.
[00:06:41] So that's another benefit of it.
[00:06:43] Now, a third benefit is you can make your hobbies legitimately tax deductible. And I'll be spending more time on that later. And of course, part of the title of this is you can make your home and things you would buy anyway. Tax deductible.
[00:06:59] And of course, some people think that using your home for business is terrible. And I know if you got a lot of kids and you're really family oriented, it might be a little shocking to you. But I'm going to give you ways that you can use your home just a little or a lot. You get the pick.
[00:07:16] Now, just very seldom do I get any disclaimers when I do these things. But he got to know we're talking about an idea here that's extremely unique, involves an enormous amount of money if you actually purchase a home because of this idea. So, you know, you got to get, you know, competent legal and accounting device advice. Just because I've done this for seven years doesn't mean I know your deal inside and out. And and I'm not qualified to advise you wanted. I'm just going to tell you what's possible.
[00:07:48] Hi, folks, it's Tom here in the studio and I'll be popping in several times during this recording to update things for you. Now, in this case, I've done well over 200 immersion weekend retreats here in Virginia Beach. All right, let's get back to the old recording.
[00:08:06] Now, what is a retreat? Well, there's lots of definitions I went out on the Internet. It's a time to stop and rest so you can go again. That was the first one I ran across. See, nobody can go full speed all the time. It just wears you out. Now, even me, as fanatic as I am, a lot of you know that I'm just totally fanatic about running this business. I find outlets.
[00:08:28] I took a trip to Washington, D.C., which was kind of a retreat because I'm a tennis nut. So I went up there and the guy videotaped us all high speed video. And still to this day, that was probably six, eight months ago. I'm using and learning and a different person because I had that high level training. And it was great because I got to just put everything out of my mind for a while on the business and just enjoy myself a little bit. And when I come back, I've got more to offer my students because I took a little break. And I know, of course, use tennis all the time now for a little break. Another definition, somebody says it's a time to return to the basics. Another one said this was interesting comment. Often the best way to win a war is to stop and retreat because just rushing ahead all the time can be dangerous. Some people call a retreat a vacation. Some people call it a camp. Another interesting one is a place that offers a safe, comfortable and supportive arena for you to take special time for reconnecting with yourself, and a similar one is a retreat's, an opportunity to experience a transforming power. I want you to think of that term transforming power. More than you can get from just taking a class or course, because a lot of the topics we're going to discuss. You can take Learning Annex courses and and mail order online and buy a DVD or something. But that's not the same as the transforming power of a retreat.
[00:10:04] This is pretty much as mine, a place to get away from everyday problems and immerse yourself in whatever the retreat is about. Mine is not so spiritual or things like, well, we'll talk about it later. Mine's pretty much hardcore. Learn Internet stuff, but you're immersed in it. You're surrounded by, you know, me and my whole staff that are bringing in millions of dollars on the Internet. You see the catchings, you see the bank statements. You see that it's real. And you're taught at the same time all while you're not having to fight the every day, taking the kids to school and and going to work and all the things you normally do every day. So that's what mine is all about. And kind of a little goofy funny definition retreats are a modern answer to modern living. And the reason that's funny is because people have been on our retreats for thousands of years. This is nothing. No kind of new idea. I'm giving you now part of the retreat experience is called living communally. And this is usually a very enjoyable part of the retreat experience, where people enter into the spirit of friendliness and cooperation and harmony. Unless, of course, everyone else at the retreats are jerks and you better check out their refund policy. But most retreats are like that. They're communal. You're in with a group of like minded people. However, there are retreats that are totally focused on the individual.
[00:11:34] Where you're meditating, you're quiet, you're by yourself most of the time. So what I want you to know is I want you to stretch your mind. There's really something for everything tonight. And there's it's just there's so many possibilities with this. This can start very small with almost no investment all the way up to this couple of million dollar house that I have.
[00:11:57] That's we're going to talk about now.
[00:11:59] Also, you can have all male retreats, all female retreats, couples retreats, straight people, gay people, ethnic retreats. Mine, of course, is topic oriented retreats.
[00:12:11] So there's said there's all different directions you can go with this. The beauty of it is that every single one of these definitions and probably any one that you can make up is there's a market for it.
[00:12:24] You don't have to have big numbers of people to make this very lucrative. I mean, five people a month at a couple thousand dollars apiece would probably make a lot of you on this line very, very happy.
[00:12:37] So the numbers don't have to be all that great and big to make this work. Now, why are retreat's good now? Well, people are facing really tough times and they need a break even in the Depression.
[00:12:50] People went for all kinds of entertainment and they found the money to do the things that that gave them a break from the heaviness that was around them.
[00:12:59] But the one I like better is why it's good now, is because people are looking for new things to do as professions and to make money. So people are looking for other things to do. Well, they need to reflect on their future. It's a time when they could use some direction in helping them aim the rest of their life.
[00:13:21] Now, I've been working on a distance learning school for about a year, getting it ready where maybe if things go good, we're like one day from signing the lease on the building studio Tom here.
[00:13:33] The school is in full swing and has been for many years. Check it out at IMTCVA.org. And if you're military, IMTCVA.org/military. And of course we'll be in the zone.
[00:13:49] But guess what I just saw in the midst of all this bad news, the three biggest distance learning universities all had large gains in their stock this past year when everybody else is going down the tubes. Distance learning and learning and professions and teaching people, things are going up. So this tells me I'm on the right track and that you will be, too, if you help people gain insight into what they should be doing with their lives. And retreats are perfect for that. Now a little bit of briefing on different venues for retreats. You've got the home, you've got hotels, spores, outdoors and specialized venues. Let's take your home first. Now, in your home, any kind of topic will work that doesn't create a nuisance. Now, what's a nuisance? Well, let's say, sure, you were getting a bunch of people that were interested in archery and you had a little half acre lot, lot in the suburbs. Well, the minute your neighbor comes over with a arrow sticking through his head like a Steve Martin, you're out of business. All right. Now, the same thing might work fine on a five acre lot. So you have to just be careful that you're a good neighbor and whatever you do here. But in a home, just about any topic works as long as it's not a nuisance.
[00:15:06] Now, this is where I'm going to give you the different levels that you can use your home. Some retreats are held at a hotel and then people just visit the home of the leader for a picnic or a catered dinner or barbecue or something. I've been I would just want it in Charlotte. Charlotte, South Carolina, where Adam Widdy, the publisher. We had a meeting at a hotel and then we went to his house for a big barbecue. So that's one way to use your home with. When you're just tiptoeing into it.
[00:15:43] Another one would be simple daytime use where people would then go and stay at a hotel. So you're only using during the day and people aren't sleeping there. Next level would be nighttime use where people actually stay there now, very few people do this. I'm the only one in the world that I know of at my level doing this in the Internet marketing arena.
[00:16:05] I'm certainly not the only one in the world in other arenas, but I was the first for sure in the Internet marketing arena. I started this place seven years ago.
[00:16:14] We've done probably 80 some events here. Weekend retreats. That's pretty much immersion there. Now the next level is even higher level. And that's like a complete weekend rental. And some of you're saying, well, I'd never buy have the run of my home. Well, that's OK, because some people would know that this is very common around a sporting arenas, racetracks like NASCAR. And I remember back in WVU, West Virginia, Diversey, when I played football there, that people would rent their homes near the stadium for the weekend and they just disappear, go out of town, or if they weren't going to the game and make a fortune renting their home out. Of course, you have to be very careful with that. But still, it can be a lot of money and you even have to be there. So that's a big emersion way to use your home. Now, the way I got the house, I mean, as I was looking for about six months till I found this house and it was owned by a retired cosmetic surgeon and his wife and all their kids were grown and gone. All the children were grown and gone. And this is way too much house. I mean, this is a big estate and they had nobody to help them take care of it.
[00:17:28] They were older and wanted. They just go have fun. And so, boom, I zoomed right in because it had all the amenities here already. It had the pool and the tennis court and everything in place for me. So I took it. But I got it because they were ready to get out. Now it's possible I could have rented it for a few weekends. I don't know. But you could find those kinds of deals possibly. Or use your own house. That's too big. And just rent the whole thing out. Put your valuables in a safe somewhere and and let somebody else run the retreat. OK. Next venue, we'll talk about more about home stuff later and actual operations. But the next venues hotel now see any kind of topic again, that's not a nuisance would fly in a hotel. I got to tell you this. One thing, hope is when I lived in New Carrollton, Maryland, right on the beltway outside of Washington, D.C., I rented a hotel to have my butt camp seminar, you know, where you learn how to make money sitting on your butt.
[00:18:26] And I had to go down the day before to check something out, see the room and talk to the sales manager. So I go down there and there's a bunch of people in the parking lot with leather suits on. And I'm thinking I must be a bikers convention or something. You know, they look kind of professional people. They weren't all scraggly, but they were all in leather. So I'm standing just standing in the hallway waiting for the sales manager to get back from lunch.
[00:18:50] And I see this guy walking down the hall with a dog collar on with the girl, his girlfriend behind him with a leash.
[00:19:02] This is totally true, unlike, you know, doing a double take. This was an S&M retreat.
[00:19:11] And I was begging I was on my knees begging the sales manager to please give me one of their programs. You know, I was wondering, like, what kind of breakout sessions they were, had an event. So she wouldn't do it. But anyway, you can see that she's even off the wall.
[00:19:29] Things like that can make money in this place was packed full of people. I'm talking about a whole hotel. So you could do about anything you want there. Now, any time you do anything except the local event, you have to address sleeping arrangements.
[00:19:44] So if it's not your houses, we're talking about hotels right now, you can either book the rooms yourself, which would be a little more risky to guarantee somebody rooms, but be more lucrative because you can charge a premium and you make the difference.
[00:19:59] So if you negotiate $110 for the room and you charge each person 150, then that's $40 actually you made on the room. But you have to make all the arrangements and it's and it's your credit card. It's on the line. So a less risky way is you just negotiate the best rates you can. And then people pay themselves. So that's the way most people do it. And then try to avoid cruise ships for this kind of thing, because cruise ships demand payment for the rooms so far in advance. It's massively risky for you. So unless you're really well-heeled and have an absolute surety that you can sell all the rooms. I would say avoid cruise ships in the beginning. Now another specialized kind of place is a spa. It could be a spa hotel or could be just a spa that's separate and has some arrangement with a local hotel to put people up.
[00:20:52] And these are kinds of places, you know, that have hot springs and massages and hot rocks, all that kind of stuff.
[00:20:59] I don't know. They put potatoes in your nose to make it look. I don't know. I never personally been to one of these places.
[00:21:05] But you see them on t._v. Sometimes they have sleeping arrangements again. Sometimes they don't.
[00:21:11] But I can assure you that all of these places have made major investments, and especially now they'll be making deals if you can bring them regular. Business 4, 5, 10, 15, 20 people a month. They're going to be bending over backwards to cater to you. OK. Now another venue would be outdoors or I saw. Sometimes I call them combo outdoors, which means let's say you were hiking or biking enthusiasts. Well, you have public hiking and biking trails that you can get familiar with.
[00:21:44] And then take your group there and it costs you nothing. There's no rental. They're all public. And then, of course, you can do the same. The old renting a hotel or if it's more rustic one, you can camp out this way. You don't have to actually rent anything and put any kind of money on the line to make this happen. Another possibility would be lease or rent a farm. We all know that farmers are having a tough time. So you could let's say you're teaching mountaineering skills or primitive skills started, you know, starting fires, survival skills. That was your thing. Well, rent a farm somewhere. They could deal with the farm or split the revenue. Anything like that or target shooting. This is something I've taken up recently. A right came from. You know, you were carrying a gun when her eight years old. Everybody was hunting and everything. So I kind of have a liking for guns. If you were into that, any of these ranges could would rent themselves out to you. If you. Again, if you're coming with regular business, they're going to be bending over backwards to take care of you. We have both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges. bird-watching. There's another thing cost you nothing to do. You just go out in the wilderness. You get together, get like minded people. How about photos, safaris? If you're into photography, you could do a nature photo safari or what about an architectural photo safari? Or what about a car show photo safari where you get together, you get to like minded people together, you ramrod the thing, you go take your pictures, come home, discuss them or come to the hotel or come to your house and discuss them. That's what makes it a retreat, actually, is the discussion afterwards, because anybody can go take pictures at a car show. So how about arteries? And other thing I mentioned earlier. What about spiritual stuff like Sedona, Arizona is well-known for things called sweat lodges.
[00:23:39] And I mean, I kind of make a little fun of this because I can't imagine paying to go sweat somewhere when, you know, I can walk across the street and this so I can sit here and break a sweat.
[00:23:50] They have meditation retreats, vortex tours. There's nothing stopping you from putting these things together. Rafting, let's say you you wanted to go whitewater rafting. Well, here's another way to do things. You hire a rafting service, but again, you're putting the whole deal together and then you're going back to the hotel or the camp and discussing what you did and and doing some training and critiquing and looking at, again, looking at photos of the trip and so forth. That's what makes it a retreat. All right. So that's just some of the ways you can do outdoor events. Now, the last one I call specialized venues, this would be well, let's say let's say you were into softball and you want to have a softball retreat. Well, you could either build a batting cage and your property, which wouldn't really cost all that much or I mean, there's probably there's a place down the street for me, not two miles. That's batting cages that you can rent out. So you can do most of the stuff talking about softball somewhere else, go rent the batting cage, driving ranges and golf courses. You could put together something like that, make a deal with the local pro to come over to your house and discuss and teach people the proper grips.
[00:25:05] And what about putting the putting green in at your place and having a putting retreat? You know, these golf people are crazy. They'll do anything. So all of these things work. Paintball is a place where you can either rent out big paintball buildings or I saw a portable paintball thing that you can rent. Probably about a month ago I saw it set up on Virginia Beach Boulevard. Or you could setup one in a in a farm area, you know, have it more outdoors or you don't have to rent anything. Climbing walls, a big dick company is like a sporting goods store right down here in Virginia Beach. They have this enormous climbing wall. You could put together a climbing retreat. Do you think a Big Dig company would be thrilled to death to have you bringing in 20 or 30 climbing interested people every month into their store? Absolutely. That's why they have it. It's an attraction and you don't have to do anything to use it. So it's already there. Anything horse related is people just love horses. I mean, I'd go to a horse retreat if I didn't think I'd kill the horse.
[00:26:08] Think. And then we have had some horses asses around this here, but as a different story. So. And people spend a lot of money with horses. You just drive around Virginia here. There's ton. Horse places that would probably dying to have you make some deal with them to teach basic horsemanship or dressage or stuff like that. So here's an interesting one that commercial kitchens. Let's say you had a you were a chef or you're into cooking a lot of good restaurants there. They're commercial kitchen lies idle in the daytime and they'd be they'd be then bend over backwards if you came in once a week or once a month and brought in 20 or 30 people to teach cooking techniques that would be good PR for their restaurant and the place is empty anyway and they'd make some bucks off their kitchen as long as you promise to clean up. Now, here's an interesting when I saw in Craigslist a couple weeks ago when looking for some office space and I ran across this place, it was a school in Virginia Beach or Zeder Virginia Beach or Norfolk area that was offering to rent out their gym in oftimes for classes, exercise classes or basketball.
[00:27:19] So again, if you had a basketball clinic, boom, you've got if you went around and looked, you can probably make a deal with some local venue or school system as long as all the you know, you got to really be careful with insurance and all that stuff. But everybody scrambling for money. So those are specialized venues. See, I really want you to stretch your mind to see what that this is entirely doable, even on a shoestring budget, because all of these.
[00:27:45] This isn't even a tenth of an eye or a hundredth of the number of ideas that you could have just by going on the Internet and looking at potential things that people have in retreat's over. Here's some more ideas for you. You don't even have to rent some of these places. Art tours. I saw a lady on TV who takes people around to art galleries in like New York City and then goes and discusses with them the art that they have. You know, I don't know what they even talk about, but I'm sure art people have plenty to talk about. Same thing with history tours. History buffs always debating over this and that. Get them together in one place. Take them on a history tour of some historical. I mean, you don't have to go too far to find historical places and even your local neighborhood where round here we got battlefields and all kinds of stuff. Monument tours in D.C. that's another thing. And again, I use the word tour. But what I want you to think is, is the reason it's not just a plane tour. You're just not a tour guide. Is that you all meet to discuss what you've seen and you create a bonding experience for like minded people.
[00:28:54] And that's what people will pay for and they will pay a lot of money for those kinds of experiences. All right. Let's look at some target audiences. Three of them, Wolf. Will look at big business entrepreneurs and individuals. Now, big business has retreats all the time.
[00:29:12] They have team building, strategic planning, budgeting. They have them to orient orientations for new executives problem-solving. They meet to set their annual goals and objectives and so forth. Well, you could be a facilitator. Facilitators get paid a lot of money, folks.
[00:29:30] And it's not real hard job because basically.
[00:29:35] You're you're getting their agenda and getting them talking and interacting. You're just well, that's why they call it a facilitator. You're just moving things along, basically. So one thing you could do is prepackaged these whole things that you could probably do it cheaper than the company, a big company could do it themselves and offer offer that.
[00:29:55] So that's, if you like, to target and like to deal with big business. Now, I don't I don't like big business. I'm a small business entrepreneur guy. So entrepreneur type retreats usually will have something to do with money making or wealth building, small business oriented topics, business building skills.
[00:30:16] Lot of stuff goes on in real estate. Some some things you can do as some people get an RV together and take people around to and show them foreclosure sales and teach them how to how to act at the force foreclosure sale or how to inspect the house that they're thinking about flipping. Say all of those things are potential for retreats where people would come back after what they've seen, what they've seen. And then there'd be classes and discussion on which of the best deals. You know, those kinds of issues. So those are entrepreneurial type topics.
[00:30:49] Now, for individuals, if you just want to target the basic consumer, although an entrepreneur is one, this would be things that would cover just about anything ha any kind of hobby you can think of.
[00:31:01] And we're going to get into that in the next section. Lots of different spiritual aspects and all you got to do. I'm going to give you a bunch of Web sites little later. But, you know, you look up spiritual retreats, you'll see. I mean, I kind of call them because I'm not much of a spiritual guy, but I mean, they look bizarre to me, but they've been around for years and people like them, you know. So it's not my place to rag on them. If people like them and they're willing to spend their money on it. Hey. Awesome. They might as well give it to you if you're into that, too. So individuals, you can just go about anything you want. And again, remember, you don't have to have that many people to make it financially successful. All right, now let's talk about hobbies being tax deductible.
[00:31:44] Well, this is great. I love living in the United States. Some of you are not in the United States, but you're in other countries that like business. It's really great to be in business. Say, and again, I'm not pretending to be a CPA or an attorney or something, but I can tell you it's great. It's a great thing. Tax wise to be in business in the United States because there's so many breaks you can get totally legitimately. But let's talk about hobbies for a minute. Say, first of all, I'm a tennis nut. So I bought a house with a tennis court and I bought a bunch of tennis rackets that the visitors can use. I bought a ball machine for like seventeen hundred dollars that the visitors can use. I have to maintain the court. I got to buy new nets and, you know, all that stuff. Well, I can tell you that no IRS agent is going to come in and slap me on the hand because I used the ball machine, too.
[00:32:43] Okay. They're not going to do that as long as you don't get outrageous. And as long as you are clearly in a money making proposition, because one of the things the IRS does get you for is just being in a hobby and pretending you're a business that doesn't fly.
[00:33:00] And it shouldn't. And I really don't want to pay for your hobby, but if you're a legitimate business person making money with your hobby, there is nothing not a darn thing wrong with that.
[00:33:10] Now, I suggest, like, for instance, my tennis courts featured in the brochure for this place and it's on the DVD for this place. And people pay 5000 bucks minimum to come here for a weekend. So the IRS would be hard pressed to say that, okay, that tennis court wasn't part of this overall package, that people were paying this enormous amount of money to come to say so again, you've got to get the legal advice and the accounting device advice and you have to I think my accountant uses what we call a percentage of use.
[00:33:49] So when he when he looks at the whole package and I don't quote me on this because he's great at this and I hate the bean counting stuff, but I don't fudge it and I don't try to get away with things because legitimately I can get plenty of stuff that's good for me. So so get with your accountant and get with your attorney and see, OK, if I charge this much a month, take for a weekend, come into this place. What percentage of the u._s? Could I take off of my taxes? And you might be pleasantly surprised that stuff that you were paying for with not getting no tax breaks whatsoever. In fact, you're paying with after tax dollars, so you're paying really high dollars to for this stuff.
[00:34:33] You can probably legitimately deduct. So get good advice on that. Now, here's just some of the things tennis is obvious. The one I just talked about, golf, hunting, fishing, whitewater rafting, quilting, sewing, movies, even.
[00:34:49] Just think if you were a movie buff and you got together with other like movie buffs, build a home theater through retreats where a movie buffs around the country come in and you'd all watch a movie and then sit around, discuss it. All right. Now that weirder things happen, much weirder things happen than that. That makes you in business running. I don't know what you call those movie retreats. All right. But that's another way.
[00:35:14] You can if you love movies, you could do that. Cooking. We mentioned about yoga and other good when martial arts, art appreciation, painting, photography, all of this stuff.
[00:35:24] Now, lot of stuff out there that you can really enjoy for yourself and legitimately make it tax deductible and actually make money doing it.
[00:35:35] Now, we are such a tennis nut and I'm trying to up the ante on this a little bit because we're creating a DVD and I'm going to star in it and I'm going to be the largest person ever to star in a tennis DVD. I'm over. I'm about three hundred twenty pounds. All right. I know you're saying. But, Tom, you look so young and and Viera, a big guy, but I'm pretty darn good at tennis and making the other guy run like crazy till he drops dead where I'm just standing there. And there's a lot of technique to this and there's a lot of angles. No one how to play the angles of the court and no one had really run the other person to death. So I'm coming out with a DVD on this, which I'm probably going to go out to Vic Braiden one of my way, way old.
[00:36:24] I used to use his system and had one of his coaches back in the old days. I'll probably interview him to be on the DVD studio.
[00:36:33] Tom here. Yes. I interviewed Vic Braden for the blog and I think it was one of the last interviews he did before his passing. I did create the DVD. And you can see the Web site and sample tennis tips at Fatso Tennis dicom. And if you know any tennis that's in your family call, get them this gift either as a gag gift, which it is funny in some places, but it is very serious tennis tips. All right. So so grab a copy of the DVD while you're there, fatsotennis.com.
[00:37:07] So all of this trip and everything out to these places tax deductible legitimately because I will sell the DVD.
[00:37:15] All right. Let's go on to home.
[00:37:16] Your home being tax deductible?
[00:37:18] Well, again, I'm going to be very careful what I say here, but I'm going to give you a resource where you don't have to be that careful.
[00:37:26] Sandy Botkin, Sandy or Sanford is Israel named Botkin BAEO TKI and at the TaxReductionInstitute.com.
[00:37:37] Now, I got to tell you, folks, there's a lot of these people out there that are kind of yo-yo's trying to tell you how to save taxes and, you know, play the IRS and not get audited, all this stuff.
[00:37:49] Well, there ain't nobody on the face of the Earth more credible than this guy. He's a CPA. He's an attorney.
[00:37:57] He was one of eight attorneys selected to train new attorneys and the IRS, his corporate tax division. So he trained IRS agents. This guy, his course is so great. He he throws parties, Christmas parties and stuff, but he places his books on little stands around the place and discusses them and and totally legitimately tax deductible.
[00:38:23] So I know some people who their kids are models in their brochures makes a whole rash of things tax deductible. So TaxReductionInstitute.com will give you a lot of the insights that your regular CPA and a regular attorney who think or at least make you believe they know what they're doing. You know, there's all levels of these are Shimako attorneys that don't know anything and there's sharp, sharp ones. Same with CPA. Doesn't mean that they're the sharpest tool in the shed.
[00:38:54] Just because they accidentally passed their CPA exam. But this guy is the top of the line. Even if you don't do retreats, you really need to learn about tax deductibility and your business.
[00:39:06] All right.
[00:39:07] Now, a lot of things that just get thrown in there. And again, it's on a percentage of use.
[00:39:13] But the food in this place, paper products, repairs, computers, insurance, appliances, vehicles, all of that stuff is legitimately tax deductible when you're using it to create income. So I can't harp on this enough. Is that stuff that you're paying for and get absolutely no credit for could be switched totally around if you take this idea to heart. OK. Now let's talk about some other amenities that you can have in your home if you pursued this idea. First of all, you got to make a decision. So I want a plush or a rustic retreat. And I got to tell you another story about a lady I met who has her husband built her a dude ranch down in Texas.
[00:40:00] And they had somebody, you know, in Texas. You know, they got enormous acreage down there. And this lady had a dude ranch that would sleep 35 people. Now, from what I understand, I've never seen it, but this was a bunkhouse. All right. So this wasn't like individual rooms like I have. This was a bunk house. And she had executives would pay $5000 apiece or their companies would probably she didn't even have to show up.
[00:40:27] They go down there to play dude ranch and have a retreat.
[00:40:30] And, you know, act like they're, I don't know, Brokeback Mountain or something, which I never saw either way. But everybody laughed when you say it. So must be funny.
[00:40:40] And she didn't even go. They bring their own facilitator. So she just prate created the venue and they probably rented horses or something.
[00:40:47] So they'd have some horse poop to shovel or something while they're there, I don't know. But the thing is, is these things sell.
[00:40:54] So that's a rustic thing. Now mine is the other end of the spectrum.
[00:40:58] My is a plush, you know, all the the bed linens or the fancy finest linen and the. We have one bed in the room is hard and one soft then and we have backup, everything.
[00:41:12] So if you're allergic to down, we have polyester to back up. So everything's covered here in the finest of everything. So that's a little different story. Or you can do anything in between. It's your choice. But here are some things that you can add to your retreat. Legitimately make them tax deductible and get a little of the excitement out of yourself. Well, some retreats. Bring in a trainer maybe in the mornings or evenings or maybe a yoga instructor, a local one. And as part of your fee, you can have a yoga class in the morning. Some bring in a misuse and and some of them don't pay them ahead of time. Some of them the individual attendees pay if they want a massage. So you can easily arrange with a local msu's that, hey, if they get three paid massages, you get yours free or something. So those deals are made every day pool.
[00:42:06] You know, it cracks me up because I can't swim. And I got this pool that I do nothing with dump chemicals and it looks nice. And everybody loves it, but use it very much.
[00:42:16] But I got a pool. Now I do use the tennis court. Now the tennis court. I just love it. Use it every day in the summer. We're probably going to put a putting green in. There are we have a pond. That's another amenity.
[00:42:28] That's very nice. If you like fish, you can have your own fish pond right next to what we're gonna put a putting green. I don't really care so much because I don't like golf. But, you know, people other people do. We have a workout room, which I teach people that when I show him the house tour that I keep that that universal machine pristine for them. I know I don't use it and wear it out or anything nice for them.
[00:42:52] Sitting areas, we have beautiful landscapes, sitting areas with piped in music on the outside of the house. All of these things, if you love landscape escaping landscape lights we have the house is so beautiful at night. All of that stuff can be included in these amenities. We're talking about decks. We have to soar as we have a built in steam sauna and we have an enormous five or six person infrared sauna in the house.
[00:43:18] We have indoor hottub. All of those things, again, everything that goes with them tax deductible. I have three libraries now. If you love books. This is perfect because the libraries, of course, are for use by the people that visit here. And another little trick is for you to start your own publishing company. This makes quite a bit of you. Your book purchases tax deductible for research.
[00:43:42] And you know, we most a minor on Internet marketing or some kind of marketing or copywriting or something anyway.
[00:43:48] But but the thing is, is it's for the use. It's one of the amenities for my visitors that pay a lot of money to come here. Let's say I don't have a bowling alley, but some houses have a bowling alley in them.
[00:44:01] Let's say tanning beds.
[00:44:03] If you're works, let's say you're let's take it down. Let's take it way down. So let's say you're just a person who loves woodworking and your house isn't fancy.
[00:44:12] But you built a really great woodshop because you just love woodworking, but you paid through the nose for it. Well, you're going to have a woodworking retreat. You're going to have people that love woodworking. You're going to have them come into your shop, which now makes all your stuff, business, property instead of personal property.
[00:44:31] Now, again, remember, you gotta attempt to make money with this stuff or you don't want to be deemed as a hobby. Of course, we have limo service. Yes and no. High speed Internet on the whole outside property and inside. So those are just some of the amenities. And if there's other things you like, like let's say you want to do the cooking, but you don't want to do a commercial kitchen. Well, you got to have a really nice kitchen. And most ladies and some guys of most guys don't care too much, but it's kind of a lady thing. They love their kitchens. Well, you get the best kitchen you can possibly get. And let other people pay for it by having cooking lessons at.
[00:45:08] Ok. Now some necessities. If you do this out of your house, you got to have a backup power generator.
[00:45:14] You really are going to be cry and big froggie tears. The first time the power goes out as soon as somebody sets foot in your house. So we have a backup power generator. It runs my entire office in selected parts of the rest of the house. The house is way too big. I'd have to have like a train sized went out there to run the whole property. But enough to keep sort of the cooking and the refrigeration going. And my office and computers going and lights and t.v.'s are around of place. Another thing she better watch this is you got to make sure you have enough hot water.
[00:45:51] So we have two oversized hot water tanks in the house. Handle the demand, the sometimes 10, 12 people in the house. So hot water is important. You should have a guest come through computer because some people want to get online and you just do not want people barring your main computer, especially for me and I. This is my lifeblood of the operation. I don't want people messing with my computer. So we have a guest computer all hooked up, ready to go for. You need a lot of refrigerator freezer space that's relatively cheap. Some of the backups can be put out in your barn or your garage or something. Need a good dishwasher. You need plenty of ice capacity.
[00:46:34] And there's two other things you might not have thought of. If you have a home or you're considering, if you're your picturesque home is like one of these gorgeous show places that with white carpet and white upholstery in a beautiful living rooms and all that stuff. You better think twice a week. People will just not take care of your stuff like you. Well, now you can make stuff. You know, it's just a little funny. You could lock off those areas. But, you know, if people are paying a lot of money to come into a fancy place and you won't let them in to sit in the fancy place, then it's going to look funny. So I know we had these bar stools at the at the breakfast nook and they were so coffee stained. It looked like somebody pooped themselves all over the place.
[00:47:22] And so we we just went repulsive and dark green to match the lower walls that were all green because now it doesn't show so bad.
[00:47:34] Of course, she's got to redo it and clean them all the time. But still, you can't keep white stuff clean. And if people don't take care of your stuff, you can't bitch them out at the top of the page.
[00:47:45] A lot of my other thing is as we put electronic door locks on here so that we wouldn't. Now they are. They do have key backup, but we use electronic pushbutton because I wanted to. The house is somewhat traditional, but I wanted a mixture of, you know, high tech internet and traditional home to show that the two can mix.
[00:48:05] But one of the real reasons is, as I put electronic push-button combination locks is because that way I don't have to worry about people losing keys all day long. Now we have if the batteries die in these things, I have keys in the safe to back it up and open the door.
[00:48:20] But there are about 100 dollars apiece. And if you have people staying in the house, it gives them all sense security that they have their own little section of the house.
[00:48:29] Be honest with you, in all these years, I don't think people even use them that much because it's pretty, pretty nice atmosphere. All right.
[00:48:36] Let's talk about liability. Well, you got to have a good visitor's agreement written by an attorney. I just signed one.
[00:48:43] That's this place where it said at least three times that there is no way on earth that I will sue the company. I'm deal with very tough visitors agreement. If you want to see an example when I go skydiving or bungee jumping, because they gonna you're gonna sign your life away. They're going to tell you you could die here and it's your problem. So have a good solid Vizard's agreement. Doesn't mean you don't get out of the liability if you have some gross misconduct that harms somebody. But it's one leg to stand on. Also, you gotta have good business insurance. Get your business and insurance advisor to tell you how much they think you should have for this kind of thing.
[00:49:27] Now, one thing we're very clear about in our agreements is we're not a bed and breakfast. If you were a bed and breakfast, you'd fall under a different set of rules. In fact, we do not charge to actually stay here in the house.
[00:49:41] We're charging for the training and you just get the stay here as my guest. And, you know, along with that is I can kick you out on your rear if I don't like you. So it's a good thing to not charge for staying at a place because you'd have to have sprinkler systems and alarm systems, fire equipment that that a normal home just wouldn't have. So we're clear that we're not a bed and breakfast. We're also clear and this is in the paperwork that we we have these questionnaires that we send the people ahead of time. And we're very clear about that. We're not up to speed with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, the lady I mentioned before we got started, Nancy Sugar, was here with her seeing eye dog.
[00:50:27] And and she got around pretty good. And we've had wheelchair P folks here where we built a ramp up the front steps. And I have some portable ramps for the inside. But even those people, I told them, listen, I don't have all the big handles on the toilets and all the things you need.
[00:50:44] So you need to be very clear about that up front with people because you could have a rehaul, bad situation if somebody killed themselves to get up to your place in a wheelchair, which is not easy to do. I've seen how some of those folks have to travel and then you can't accommodate them.
[00:51:00] So make sure it's all clear ahead of time. Be very careful with alcohol. We don't serve alcohol here. We allow it. You can bring it and share it with people, but we won't touch it. You can grab our glassware, but none of the employees here will touch it and serve it. I won't serve. It had nothing to do with it. When I take people out to dinner right at the front, I tell everybody I pay for everything except alcohol. Alcohol's on your own tab, not because I'm any kind of teetotaller, although I haven't seen much good come from. Alcohol after running a night club for six years and being in gunfights and knife fights. So I've been around a little bit, but it's just too much of a liability for you. So this would help you if someone had some accident alcohol related that you clearly had nothing to do with it.
[00:51:46] Be careful if you're doing any kind of adventure stuff, you know, if anything with guns or archery or bungee jump in or any of that stuff or even race cars or go karts, anything, that somebody could be really hurt. You know, make sure it's very tough language in your visitors agreement that they have taken the liability off you and they understand they could get hurt and it's not your fault.
[00:52:10] Be careful with transportation. Also, you can only use van companies or limo companies that are insured and licensed. So, of course, there's a lot of people that just buy a limo and aren't really licensed to even drive it, let alone have the proper insurance. So be careful with all that stuff.
[00:52:27] And again, you know, you you get your attorneys and and business advisors to tell you about that.
[00:52:34] Now, don't forget, at the end, I'm going to tell you how you can get this call retro actively free. Now, the most interesting one I ran across and this is another really nifty idea if you happen to own some property that you wanted develop. It's called a Notah E and O T A dawg. He nota dot org. This is a work exchange.
[00:53:02] Tent, an RV community.
[00:53:05] See, Notah, E.A., T-A, dawg. And this is very cool. You can go there and stay for free.
[00:53:13] If you're willing to work so many hours a week working on the place. And I think I think where you get the stay is in a tent, which you have to bring yourself backway and they value the the stay at this place at six hundred to nine hundred dollars a week, depending on whether you stay in a tent or it's also an RV community. And then if you're willing to work extra, you get credits towards meals.
[00:53:41] It's very intricate system of points and stuff going on there. I didn't have time to look at the whole thing, but I'm thinking this would be a beautiful way to get free labor if you had, you know, more a more rustic place that you want to develop. But you couldn't afford just to go get contractors. Turn it into a work exchange community. So I thought that was an awesome idea. In a very specific way if you wanted to develop a property.
[00:54:09] Now, another one is RetreatFinder.com. This would be another place to list your retreat, retreatfinder.com and one more is allaboutretreats.com.
[00:54:25] Ok. Now let's get into some operations if you're going to have people in your house, whether it's overnight or not.
[00:54:32] A lot of these things are going to be very important for you to pay attention to. And I want you to do as much as possible of setting boundaries. That's the first thing. And do it in your pre retreat paperwork, which we have. People sign a visitor's questionnaire and a visitor's agreement to separate documents just to come to this house.
[00:54:54] And a lot of this stuff is covered there because I don't want them to get here and me have to be the bad guy and give them, you know, say, no, don't do that, don't do that. I want him to know ahead of time.
[00:55:04] First thing is arrival and departure times. When you come to the great Internet Marketing Retreat Center, you cannot arrive before 3 p.m. on Thursday. And you must stick to this because people want to say, well, you know, my plane got in early. I just thought I'd stop over. And it's like 11:00 a.m. and that's four hours that we weren't prepared to, was to try and desperately to make this a perfect experience. And you'll be scrambling at the last minute to make everything perfect. And now you've got somebody you've got to baby sit for four hours. And I don't mean to be harsh about it, but the deal was 3 p.m. arrival or later so that we could get our work done here. So set your boundaries. Also, departure time for us is 10:00 a.m. Monday morning. I'm really sorry if your flight's not till 5:00. Go around, check out. Virginia Beach has all kinds of great things to see here, but you have to set good boundaries there. Another one is if my door is closed, don't come in. I tell them upfront I'm not available 24/7 because I have to run a multimillion dollar business in the midst of training them. So they can't don't have to expect you to be available 24/7. But they though they will expect anything on their own. If you don't tell them what to expect. OK, areas of my house that are off limits. And I used to show the master suite with the whole top of this house is a gorgeous master suite. But if you're gonna show it, it needs to be like, you know, home better home and gardens is coming. And it got to be such a massive burden to get it pristine because I don't know.
[00:56:39] Some of you have seen my desk. I'm not the most pristine guy around. So it was killin K to keep the place perfect. So we just shut off the master suite and decided, you know what? There's gotta be some extra boundaries here so that we don't go crazy doing it.
[00:56:55] We don't allow people to stay here and skip outings like when we go out to dinner. You can't say, oh, you know what, I'd prefer to stay here and read. No, you can't. It says it in agreement. You're common. And I've had some words with people about that. But they they don't mess with me too much because I just say no. You know, it's like back in the old bar days, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. All right? No one is in my office without me or my staff in here. You know, I've got there. I mean, really, millions and millions of dollars of credit card information and and orders and all kinds of stuff that we just don't want anybody.
[00:57:33] You know, it's not like we have a security guard here with a machine gun. So if if I'm not in the office or staff members out here, nobody's in my office by themselves.
[00:57:43] Nobody uses my computer. I mentioned that you should tell him about the use of phones. We try to keep a pretty strict time schedule here. Someone isn't sitting in their seat. When I'm ready to start talking on an agreed upon time, I start anyway.
[00:57:57] And they kind of get the idea pretty quick that I'm not going to mess around. Now that doesn't seem leisurely and retreat like, but it can get out of hand if you let people know that nothing will ever get done, if you just let them, you know, show up whatever time they want.
[00:58:11] One rule we have is no food in the libraries, no smoking. We have a designated designated smoking area outside. Again, I told you about alcohol. We won't serve it. We provide a tentative schedule and a welcome packet. So they have a real nice folder with Antion Associates on it and it's got all kinds of stuff in there for them and the menus for what they want to eat and all that kind of stuff. We try to personalize as much as possible and you will too, depending on the price of your event. You know, especially if you brag about it being in small groups. Well, that kind of goes to say that you ought to give people what they want if they're coming in a small group. So we use questionnaires. We also get all their phone numbers, flight information, emergency contacts, everything, so that when they're on their way here, we can know where they're at. You need to be prepared with a first aid kit, all the generic sickness medications you can stock, unless, of course, you're promoting some kind of detox or holistic alternative method of healing. You don't want to pick them with a bunch of stuff off the shelf from Walgreens because it wouldn't be congruent with what you're teaching. One of the main things is find out as many potential problem areas as you can before they get there. For instance, if someone were just a regular meat and potatoes kind of place. If someone is '58 vegan and you're 200 miles from the nearest health food store, you might have an uncomfortable visitor or some enormous expense to take care of them. So it's better to know in advance and discuss it with them. And we've had plenty of people bring their own food and they're just totally cool about it.
[00:59:49] But if they surprised us, it would be uncomfortable for us because we really want to take care of them. But if we don't know about it ahead of time, then we're scrambling and everybody's in a tizzy because we're trying to do a good job, but it's sometimes impossible.
[01:00:05] And speaking of food, if you're close to a grocery store, be conservative on your purchases. We had the really clamp down on people a little here because they would say all these things that they just had to have to survive. And we went around and bought all of them and then they didn't even open half of them and they went away. So that can cost you a lot of extra money. So take what they say with a grain of salt and then be prepared to run and refill stuff if they really are using it. But for the first couple years, we were just totally wasting enormous amounts of food. We have both downfield and polyester bed linens in case somebody is allergic to down. We have an extra futon available. If somebody doesn't like one of the beds or we have a specialized geek room that's got a bunk bed. And if somebody doesn't want to climb up in the bunk, then we've given the futon. Now you're gonna know that everybody is somebody is gonna be too cold, too hot. You're gonna need fans, extra blankets, things like that. This is a cool one. Makeup remover. You know, the first year we were losing towels like crazy because people were wiping their makeup off with the beautiful white towels that we have. And I don't know much about this, but I'm hearing it from. And everybody else hated Tousle Ruined. Unfortunately, I hate to say this, but the older the lady is, I think they put their makeup on with like a concrete trial or something. It's like three inches thick and it totally ruins. There's just no way to fix the towels.
[01:01:36] So we started ordering makeup remover and we make a big deal of it. When people come and they get settled in a room pointing it out and like sticking it in their face and scraping their facial. Now we'd do that. But but it really you could eat up a lot of money and towels with people thinking they're at a hotel and and using, you know, because a hotel uses super harsh chemicals to clean and they can fix it.
[01:02:01] But we can't transportation, make sure we use limos.
[01:02:05] But then a lot of places more rustic, you'll just simply hire a van service or if it's very small group, you'll pick them up yourself or, you know, in some kind of savvy suburban or some type of van.
[01:02:17] Now, animal concerns like we have been Sean frees a dogs which are as bad as hypo allergenic as you can get. But before that we had a sheltie and we couldn't have the dog here. It couldn't stay here at all because of people being allergic to dander and animal hair.
[01:02:34] So something you have to decide ahead of time. Am I going to have my pets or am I going to have certain kinds of pets or am I going to not let people come here that are allergic? I mean, do you really run into those things?
[01:02:46] Studio Tom here. And I'm sorry to say that all the bee seans are in doggie heaven. And my beloved rubiks, the German Shepherd Protection Dog, is with them. I started a protection dog company and have two German shepherds living with me and we changed the retreat center rules and and notices the people that there are dogs now living in the house. Of course, we don't allow the dogs anywhere near the guestrooms and I don't generally let the guest meet the dogs unless they beg me. And then it's in a very controlled setting. It's not a good idea to have your protection dog think that everybody in the house is friendly. Then there'll be less likely to protect you in the house. If you've ever considered a protection dog, prices started about $20000 and you can check it out at protectiondogselite.com.
[01:03:40] We got pool regulations, we use plastic. We bought a whole set of plastic tumblers for drinking at the pool. Same as any place that has a pool. We got hot tub and sauna regulations so that people, you know, use them properly and don't get themselves sick because there's not a lot like we got a lifeguard on duty every two seconds. So we don't want somebody passing out and not knowing about it. Give them some breathing time, but not too much time. I mean, they came for an experience. Now, if it was supposed to be a meditation retreat, well, that's a little easier to do. But mine is pretty fast paced. I keep them really hoppin and they get a lot done while they're here. Other things you can do is put displays of other visitors work. Like in my case, people make a lot of information products. So we have a big display of that. You need a meeting area large enough for all the guests to be comfortable.
[01:04:28] We have several of them. And there's a lady that email me a picture of her house earlier today. Her name is Jean de Orleans. She she just emailed me because she said, oh, you just described my living room and must have been real white carpet and stuff.
[01:04:45] So sorry, janea, if you want to keep it nice, you might die dark. Another real important thing is a house tour. And the house tour isn't nearly as important as revealing yourself. If people come in because you're the big shot and they really came because of you.
[01:05:01] Then I started my house tours about 45 minutes, but going around the house doesn't take that long, but it's telling them stories about the pictures of my dad and my mother and the awards I won when I was a kid and all the the stuff my dad had to go through to get here and how crazy my mom is. And, you know, and they're just laugh and and cry and and having a good time learn about me as a person. So be ready to reveal yourself in one of these situations and will make a much more unique experience for them because you're probably a big shot to the people that are gonna come in many cases. And so you let your guard down and show him showing them how funny you looked when you're a kid or something like that can really make a great bonding experience and they'll be very loyal and sing your praises. Okay. And also, like I said, try to give him unique experiences or a series of them when people come here. We do video with them. We teach them YouTube techniques. We give them some media training on how to look good on video, let them edit audio to show them how easy it would be to make their own products. They watch our video editor work. They can get Nikki to give em a lesson on camtasia call and we'll give them a social networking lesson. So very experience oriented than. Remember, that's what people pay for his experience. And while you got him there, take video and get testimonials. You can you can get video testimonials.
[01:06:31] And also Samaniego at greatinternetmarketing, dot com forward slash retreat testimonials that each t.m. I know that was a mouthful.
[01:06:44] Great Internet marketing, dot com forward slash retreat testimonials dot each team because those will help you sell future visits to your retreat.
[01:06:57] And then we have an extremely strict refund and cancellation policy if you book here and sign the visitors agreement. There is, I think, a 1000 or $2000 penalty if you cancel. I mean, you pretty much have to be dead before you get out of this because this is a small group setting most exclusive place on the earth that you can come to for this type of training. So we can't fool with you if you just decide. You know, I I can't make it this weekend. It'll feel like it. No. Well, you're going to pay for it. So you need to have some type of very strict policy. Now, the more people you have, the less strict you need to be. Although that can hurt to bite you because you'll have just more people blowing you off at the last minute. But you have to address this issue some way or you'll it always be chaos of when somebody is coming and if they cancel at the last minute that you have a vacancy.
[01:07:51] Now, this isn't really a marketing seminar, but just a little bit about getting people to attend your retreats.
[01:07:57] Well, when you signed up for this, if you signed up online, you saw me offer a particular upsell, which I picked specifically for this event is how to start a profitable mentor program, how to start and operate a profitable mentor program. Because if you can have a mentor coaching program and just raise the fee enough to cover the visit, it's much easier to fill the retreat up. That's why we've booked months in advance. Usually I don't even pick the dates much too far in advance because I know I can't miss big speaking engagements over it, so I only pick a couple of months in advance.
[01:08:33] We're always sold out studio time here, and if you listen this far, you're obviously interested in this topic. Now, many of you know, I have probably the longest running, most successful mentor program in the field of Internet marketing. Pretty darn sure it is. It started around 1997. It's still running today. How many years? Twenty three years later. And I've learned a lot over those many years in dealing with seventeen hundred mentees. And I'm revealing it all in a four webinar series. Now, over the years I've been doing this, I've earned many millions of dollars and helped my students to do the same. And I want to help you start and run your own mentor program without making all the mistakes I did. I can tell you, without knowing what I know about this and starting this on your own is going to be very, very costly for you. All right. You're going to buy stuff you shouldn't have bought. You're going to not buy stuff. You should have bought. You're going to overpay for things because you don't know where to buy. It's really you're going to spend way more than this course cause. So what I teach you will help you make a ton of money and save you a ton of money because you won't make all those major and extremely expensive mistakes that I did.
[01:09:51] So you're going to get for extremely comprehensive webinar sessions that you can watch over and over again. Part 1 is what to prepare before you start. That's two hours and four minutes. Part two. The paperwork and the money all how all that works. That's one hour and thirty nine minutes. Part three is running the program. That's two hours and eight minutes. And part four is marketing your program. That's one hour and forty nine minutes. So it's over seven hours and 40 minutes of high level training. And I throw in a couple consultations to help you out. So check that out. Screw the commute, ICOM says. Mentor training. Screw the commute. ICOM says mentor training. And don't bother to do it if you're not serious. Because this is highly proprietary material. Once you're exposed to the material, you got the value. So in most things, I give refunds in this program. No, I do not. And I've got a massive track record to prove that I give high value. But don't do this unless you're serious. All right.
[01:10:58] Let's get back to the old old time machine.
[01:11:02] So if you have a mentor program and if and if you want that, if you didn't get that C.D. and you want it, just email me after the event and I'll give you the same deal and just attach to your order. It's just nice. But I mean, it's it's the details of how I've run this mentor program with over. While we've had over 700 attend attendees at 5000 bucks apiece minimum studio time here, we've now had more than seventeen hundred students.
[01:11:29] All right. So you can see this. You can crank some bucks from having a mentor program, list yourself in directories, joint venture with other people that have impressive homes and lists of people so that they promote your event for a commission. Of course, you can advertise always.
[01:11:46] And one important piece to this whole thing is that get yourself a brochure and a DVD video of your place and this can be done very cheaply. You know, we have and I want you to go look at mine. The video of this place can be seen at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com. You can watch it online. It's a half hour production about this place and you can download the learning brochure about this.
[01:12:11] So this really sets you apart. And we have physical versions of both. So we'll be happy to send you the physical brochure and the DVD.
[01:12:20] And it just sets us so far apart that all of these Internet schmucks out there that are, you know, barely making their payment in their apartment, but telling you how many a you know, how rich they are. In fact, we just kicked somebody out of the program that was putting false testimonials up and claiming to be as big joint venture expert. And a little twerp was has to move every six months because I think he gets kicked out of his apartment and can't pay his rent. So this is not what you're about and you don't. But there are a lot of those people out there that you may be competing with. So having these kinds of material set you far above them because they're never going to have the money or they're too cheap to promote themselves properly. So a brochure and a half hour production about your place and you can see everything I do just about I find the people on Craigslist. So you find wonderful video people on there really inexpensively, $15 an hour. We pay for video and we have some of the finest videos of anybody in that that does what I do probably well, better than than all of them.
[01:13:23] I would say, OK.
[01:13:24] Other sources of revenue.
[01:13:26] Well, Kay, my girlfriend is a jewelry designer, so we have a big, beautiful display and people buy her necklaces when they're here. And it's a much better place to sell than trying to be at a store or some craft fair or something, because it's expensive stuff. You know, nobody wants to go to a high end place like this and come home bragging about how they bought, you know, a necklace out of a bubble gum machine, you know, so she gets a good money for her necklaces. So you can sell at some. Some people just like a bed and breakfast, although you aren't a bed and breakfast. Sell antiques. They sell paintings. You could sell specialized equipment or make it part of the entry fee included in your trip to the retreat center. You get X and then that would be whatever specialized equipment they needed. I mean, some people have loaded laptops up already with software and given, you know, given them the whole laptop is part of the fee, you know, things like that. You can sell private coaching and mentoring. You know, if some if people are just coming to your retreat, then you can upsell them to to further time with you or higher level programs with you.
[01:14:34] Ok. So that's pretty much some of the stuff that I have. I hope it gave you tons of ideas.
[01:14:41] Ok, folks, I hope you enjoyed my little time machine there. Let's jump out of it. Back to reality here and seriously check out my how to start and run a mentor program webinar series at screwthecommute.com/mentortraining. Of course, that's in the show notes for episode 232. So screwthecomputer.com/232 and let me know when you start a retreat. I can't wait to hear how it goes. All right. Let's get to everybody on the next episode. theLight.