Zen Rabbit Gets An Extreme Business Makeover
Follow Us:
Zen Rabbit Gets An Extreme Business Makeover

This is the fourth year Bob Burg and Thom Scott hosted the Extreme Business Makeovers aka #XBM, event in Orlando, Fla., and the first I’ve attended. After the rave reviews I saw posted all over social media sites last year, I knew I didn’t want to miss out this year.

It certainly lived up to its reputation.

One reason I was excited to attend was that the expert team of presenters included Felicia Slattery, Carrie Wilkerson, Stephanie Frank and Svetlana Kim, all of whom I’ve interacted with through Twitter and Facebook, but never met in real life.

Photo of Lori with Paul Martinelli © Lori Saitz, used with permission

And since the setting of just a few hundred people was more intimate than many of these kinds of event, I would have the opportunity to actually meet and talk with them.

Simon T. Bailey kicked off the event with a humor-infused story of the career-altering action he took while employed by the Walt Disney Company. And then he made a statement that I didn’t realize would be one of the most profound of the weekend.

“It’s not who you ARE that holds you back; it’s who you think you’re NOT.”

Simon says, “Shift, Baby, Shift.” He challenged the audience to shift the conversation and become game-changers within our industries. You need to Vuja de – to see what everyone else sees, but to see it differently (think iPhone and Zappos).

Action Step for You: Read at least two books a month from your industry. Pay attention to the trend of making emotional connections with our customers.

I never tire of listening to Bob Burg, who is the co-author of “Go-Givers Sell More” and an amazing human being. He discussed definitions of success, his own being “a feeling of peace of mind and genuine happiness based on having done one’s best to live up to their potential or having preceded a previous level.”

Then he shared his personal 13 Traits for Leadership and Development, based on those written by Ben Franklin in Ben’s autobiography. It’s that kind of personal disclosure and authenticity that speaks volumes about Bob’s own success.

Action Step for You: Read “The Autobiography” by Ben Franklin and create your own 13 Traits for Leadership and Development.

Carrie Wilkerson is the Barefoot Executive and she almost didn’t make it to #XBM because she was stuck in Ireland after the volcano erupted in Iceland. Bless her heart, she was able to sneak out of her house in Texas and away from her four children after only two hours of sleep to get to Orlando. On stage she delivered a hysterically funny presentation in which she promised that we all have an audience waiting for us.

Your audience is waiting for you. All you need to do to find them and “fill your stadium” is understand her four W’s – Want them, Woo them, Win them and Wow them.

Action Step for You: check out her blog post to see more details.

The weekend closed with Svetlana Kim’s riveting story of her immigration to the U.S. as a political refugee from Russia, using an airline ticket bought on the black market. She didn’t speak a word of English and had only $1.00 in her pocket when she landed at JFK in 1991.

She miraculously worked her way up from a cleaning lady to a stockbroker and has since become the author of “White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee,” an award-winning business and community leader and a Presidential fundraiser.

Action Step for You: Every morning when you wake, think of five things for which you are grateful.

As with most all events, it wasn’t just the speakers who made it so memorable, it was the relationships forged with other attendees as well. Not a lot of small chit-chat, at #XBM it was much more how can I help you and what can we create together kind of conversations.

A few weeks later now, it’s incredible to see what’s developing out of those connections. Join us next year?

More from:

Regular contributor Lori Saitz is founder of Zen Rabbit Baking Company. She helps people show appreciation for and give recognition to others. The main (delicious!) tool her team uses to help accomplish this important feat is through The Gratitude Cookie™. A thin, crunchy cross between a butter and a sugar cookie, The Gratitude Cookie is so named because if you’re eating the cookies, you’re encouraged to think about something you are grateful for as you munch on each one. Connect with her on Twitter.


Loading Facebook Comments ...


  1. Lori, what an amazing article and recap of the event. Thank you for being with us, and sharing your Gratitude Cookies with everyone in attendance. Not at all surprisingly, they were a HUGE hit. Thank you again…for all you are and for all you do!


  2. I'm so very glad that you found value in investing your time with us at the Extreme Business Makeovers event. I assure you .. having awesome people like you there is the key to why this is such a special and transformational experience!

    Thanks for sharing your take-aways from #XBM and for helping spread the word!

    All the best,

  3. Thanks Lori! – Great post and tremendous insight! (Cookies were YUM, thanks for sharing!)

    Thom…go to gravatar.com and get a photo please 😉 Helps fill your stadium (hint!)

    Was a great event and the caliber of speakers AND attendees was unparalleled!

    Carrie Wilkerson
    The Barefoot Executive

  4. hmmm – guess my gravatar doesn't work on this site 🙁 Thom…disregard that advice LOL)

  5. Blah blah motivation blah success stories blah blah generalities etc etc etc

    I kid! The boost and shot in the arm that hearing speakers like you described is one of THE BEST THINGS we can for our system. I wish I had been there – if only for a cookie!

    Great post in that you provide your takeaways/Action Steps from each speaker! Without action, the motivation part can seem even more frustrating, don't you agree?

  6. Yes, it's so easy to be motivated while you're at an event. Then once you get home and real life takes over, it's just as easy to slide back into routine and nothing changes.

    One way to alter that dynamic is to commit to taking action on ONE thing immediately, even if it's small. In my case, prompted by one of the speakers' panels, I finally created a fan page on Facebook (yes, I know how much you love FB, Mr. Barbanes).

  7. Carrie, Thanks for your comment. Looks like my avatar is not working here either! Don't know what's up with that?

  8. My pleasure to share Gratitude Cookies. Thanks to you and Thom for hosting this fantastic event.

  9. Thom, to your comment about the awesome people who attend, I think the hosts and speakers naturally attract that type of people. As you know, like energy attracts like energy.

    PS: Fabulous idea to encourage parents to bring their kids; my friend Christine attended with me this year and is bringing her 8-year old son next year.

  10. It looks good,I have learn a recruit!
    Recently,I found an excellent online store, the http://www.always11.net are completely various, good quality and cheap price,it’s worth buying!

Join the Small Business Forum Community
The Small Business Forum is a place where small business owners can learn, ask questions, and share advice on how to succeed online
Skip to toolbar