Monday, October 11, 2010

The Hidden Payback for Taking Notes - Worth $5,000

Mitch Joel makes excellent points in a blog posting about the value of taking notes:
Too many people think of taking notes... and they immediately think of school. They think of note taking as some kind of linear, clean and formulated process. It doesn't have to be. In fact, some of the best notes are the ones that would never make sense to anybody else, and they are the ones that you never look at again either. For years, I've taken notes in meetings. I hardly ever go back to them. In those instances, it's the act of writing them down that helps me to remember and focus. In other instances, I'll take notes to refer back to once (like ideas for a Blog post), but then there's no more need for them.
Taking notes at meetings or seminars has two obvious paybacks ...

1) Writing sharpens and reinforces your thoughts.

It's impossible to be muddle-headed on paper. Or, as writer Rob Long said, "How do I know what I think until I see what I've written?"

When you jot down notes on what speakers say at a seminar or conference, for example, you sharpen the meaning of those words and drive them deeper into your brain, where they can germinate and grow into future thoughts.

2) Writing is more reliable than memory.

Ever left a grocery list at home and returned from the store to a 150-decibel butt-chewing from the spouse, because you forgot to buy milk? Enough said. Memory is fine, but notes are better.

But wait ...

There's an additional, "hidden" payback to taking careful notes at seminars, especially if you secretly hate to network (like me).

You know you should network, but you can't or won't talk to strangers and swap business cards.

So, here's the hidden payback: You can meet any person you want to, at a seminar or conference, by offering your notes to them afterwards.

I do it all the time. It's as easy as tying your shoes. Here's how ...

1) Attend a seminar.

2) Take careful notes. Save them in a PDF document, along with your contact information.

3) Email them to the event organizer, or upload them to the event blog, or do something else to let attendees know you are offering your notes, to provide another perspective on what was said at the event.

If you do nothing more than this, you will make new contacts when people download your notes and contact you with their thanks.

To take it further, however, reach out to people you wanted to meet at the seminar. Email your notes to them and say, "We didn't get a chance to talk, but I thought you might like to look over my notes. I hope you find them helpful."


How about if I follow my own advice?

I'd like to give you my speaker notes from a three-day, $5,000 Jay Abraham seminar.

The speakers were phenomenal: Seth Godin, Stephen R. Covey, Stephen M.R. Covey, Marshall Thurber, John Assaraf, Donald Moine, Andy Miller, and others. If you can't find at least a dozen money-making ideas from these 25 pages of notes, you ought to move to Cuba ...

You can download the $5,000 notes here.

1 comment:

  1. Great concept! Sharing notes. Yours are the most thorough and understanding notes I have ever seen. I can remember taking notes in college...trying to write down verbatim when something sounded "noteworthy". One day I realized that I missed as much as I was getting; i.e. when I was writing, my listening was diminished enormously. Some people can do both well. It appears that you are one of them. I found that if I listen more intently I would take it all in; then jot down shorter, more meaningful and memorable notes. This worked better for me. I would have to re-live and re-write them in order for others to comprehend them. I would think that's what you did, and I appreciate your taking the time to prepare them for sharing.