Lessons From a LIVE Event.. And How to Turn It Around

Entrepreneurs enjoy risk.

No, I take that back, we LOVE to take risks. 

And sometimes, as it’s often been said, the bigger the risk – the bigger the reward.

So yesterday I took a risk and tried to stream a workshop LIVE (while I built a site from scratch).

It was called Work Anywhere LIVE!


Here were the results (the good, the bad and the ugly)…



First, the hotel (Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk, CT) was a great space. New, clean and modern. 

The Location for Work Anywhere LIVE! (Hotel Zero Degrees, Norwalk, CT)

The Location for Work Anywhere LIVE! (Hotel Zero Degrees, Norwalk, CT)


They had a built in a/v system and even a drop down screen. This saves money and time on setup.

And the people in the live audience (and those who saw it online) loved the content. 

I showed them how to come up with an idea, build a site and monetize it all in real-time. We went through working “virtually”, outsourcing your team and doing it all on a shoestring budget. The goal is to turn the new site into another 7-figure business.. and they were able to witness it from concept to the beginning stages of execution.

Plus, the entire workshop was filmed in stunning HD with 3 cameras (I got a sneak peek at the footage and it looks great). So customers who pre-ordered the videos will be happy.



Where do I start with what could have went better?

The camera crew showed up at the wrong hotel (they went to the Hotel Zero Degrees in Stamford, CT) so that pushed us behind schedule. And we started 30 minutes late.

And the hotel didn’t have the hard-wired Internet setup like they were supposed to – so we had to work with their wireless connection. With thousands of people watching… that used up all their bandwidth. 

The live stream was jerky, dropped a few times and low quality (in order to save on bandwidth, we streamed in standard definition). It was a major issue.

Finally, the camera guy said we can use his high-powered uStream account – but little did I know they’d have ad after ad. It was awful.

IF (and that’s a big IF), I were to do it again, I’d know exactly what to expect. I’d have the crew there earlier. Be 100% sure we have hard-wired Internet. And use a different platform than uStream.

Lessons learned.



It's time for redemption.. Shawshank style!

It’s time for redemption.. Shawshank style!

I’m my hardest critic. And when you take a risk sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t.  

But I’ve always learned when you can’t live up to what you promise – find a way to not only make it up to your customer, turn the lemons into lemonade. 

***IMPORTANT*** This is a BIG, BIG lesson. If something doesn’t go as planned, do NOT run and hide – that’s the worse thing to do. Leaders don’t run, we face the issue head-on. You address the issues, be upfront, be honest and find a way to make it better. Period. That’s how you build trust. That’s how you become a trusted advisor in your industry.

So here’s how I am making it up to everyone… with 3 “I’m Sorry” give-backs….


I’m Sorry #1. SPECIAL LIST-BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR FREE: If you have already pre-ordered (or pre-order right now), you will not only receive the HD recordings from the Work Anywhere workshop, you are going to receive the entire List-Building full-day workshop videos. This training workshop was filmed a few months ago and never released before. The workshop shows you exactly how to build your list from the offer and squeeze page that converts to free traffic and follow-up autoresponder templates. (it will sell eventually for $995 – but you get it FREE when you pre-order the Work Anywhere videos.

I’m Sorry #2. Pre-Order Sale Price Still On: Instead of raising the price to $499 last night – I will keep the sale price active for a limited time.

I’m Sorry #3. Follow-Up Two-Hour LIVE (and FREE) Q/A Webinar: Let’s spend 2 hours together while I open up my business and we dig into building an online business. This is free for everyone (whether you pre-ordered the videos or not). More content and all of your questions answered. Register for FREE bonus webinar here.


There you go.

A risk. Some lessons learned. And a way to make it up to my loyal subscribers.

If you want to take advantage of the “I’m Sorry” offer (with access to the list-building workshop for FREE), the please click here right now.



P.S. If you like to own up to your mistakes, please like, share and tweet below.

P.P.S. Last chance to take advantage of the Work Anywhere Life videos PLUS the List-Building videos. 


    1. Author

      Thanks Dave – working hard to make it back up.


  1. Ryan

    Like Dr. Doodle said. But the other thing that separates out how people respond is your willingness to not only own up to it, but to demonstrate great service recovery. Your three “I’m sorry” bonus offers are great.

    I was one of those people who tried logging on and couldn’t. Then when it finally got up, I was frustrated with the quality of the video and sound and gave up, hoping that the videos would be better. So, I was thrilled to hear that you shot this in HD with three cameras. And even more thrilled with the bonus of the list building day.

    Great service recovery!

    You be Da Man!


  2. Great try for a live event.I didn’t see anything after the lunch break and it only looped the first seven minutes again. I thought the first part sound quality was bad but they fixed it. Nice presentation and I would have loved to have been in that small a group. Your still the goods and as always delivering the g

  3. Hey Ryan, nothing ventured, nothing gained. In this case you gained valuable experience of what TO DO and what NOT TO DO the next time. Hey it was a lot of fun, but I the advertisements did get a bit irritating. However, I realized the webinar was FREE, so I can’t be too critical. Anyway, next time, things should be much better. So, I am looking to the next “live” training.

  4. Hi Ryan! Great post. Seriously awesome. Was able to catch some of the content and see a few friends (hi Ed, Adam and Brian) what I did catch was worth all the issues. I personally feel it was better with issues. More real life. More transparent. Awesome. Best, Ann

  5. Ryan – You lost me at the 20 minute mark yesterday. Dropped feeds, blurring video, ads, the drop down screen appeared white 90% of the time and the audio was terrible…just being honest.

    I know you’re on of the good guys in IM and I like to check in on occasion, but this was not good. Too bad because I was looking forward to a gold nugget or two.

    Maybe I’ll take a look at the follow up Q and A.

  6. What do “they” say – it’s not the mistakes we make but how we recover from them.

    We never do “live” any more just for these reasons. It’s fun, exciting, but from the viewers’ point of view, they just want the content and not all the difficulties.

    One of these days live streaming will catch up to the rest of the great communications tools on the Internet and stories like yours will fade. Until then, I guess we will keep preparing our information and delivering them as webinars, but without the really-live part.

    Great effort, Ryan. Thanks for sharing all the bumps and bruises.

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  7. Ryan, It is hard to know the outcome when using services that you don’t control. It still was a great Idea with great information. I am looking forward to the Work From Anywhere videos !! Thanks for the bonuses and looking forward to the 2 hour Q/A session, you always over deliver !

    Keep up the great Stuff.

  8. I learned waiting tables (in my 20s) that knowing how to apologize and make something right was even more important than getting it right the first time πŸ™‚

    And now you’ve explained some of the wonkiness I was experiencing (I.e., it wasn’t just my old iPhone!)

    Looking forward to the videos!

  9. I used to do trade shows years ago, what your describing is classic, we did a show in Vegas a few years ago and the hard wired internet thing got us, (it almost always does) mostly because the person in charge of selling property services has no understanding of what is required to provide that service and they don’t care either.

    One time in Chicago, we could not get internet because we had to (pay a fee) to a union official to (hook up the feed) (paid it in cash) the level of incompetence in such situations is almost universal. We did tours all over the united states, my job was to setup the audio and video, power and internet, it was almost always something or another that created a problem.

    So don’t feel all alone…

  10. No problem Ryan! I knew I would get awesome HD video access eventually even though the live streaming was not the viewing standard you were intending.

    Heck, I’m even looking forward to copies of the power point slide and MP3s!

    Thanks for adding the List building workshop…I’m sure that will help my business as well!

    Thanks again and sorry you had to go through that!

  11. Hi Ryan,
    Great belief builder.
    What happened just gained you alot more raving fans.

  12. Attempted to purchase several days ago at pre-workshop price of $99. The order form complete and submitted. Never received a confirmation. Sent two emails to your support. No response. $99 price no longer available. Intentional non-response? Internet sales marketing trick? I thought you were all about the customer support and experience!

    1. Author

      Robert – I am sorry you didn’t receive a reply, I will personally look into the issue and see where we dropped the ball.

      RE: your order, I just checked and it did go though. You should have received a receipt from paypal.

      Expect an email in the next 48 hours to give you access to the list-building workshop (and then, around July 10th, another email to access the Work Anywhere Live videos)


    2. Robert, when I couldn’t get on yesterday I went looking for my receipt as well and couldn’t find it for awhile. The reason was that it’s from “Ozworth” (using Paypal) and the email is from @sportspecific.com. So searching on Ryan Lee didn’t work. Hope that helps!

      And Ryan, thanks for the timeline on the product releases. I forgot to ask earlier.


    3. Something very similar happened to me. I’m still not sure if my purchase went through.
      No confirmation to date, and no one responded to my original email. I sent a second email and someone did respond but I feel the response was inadequate.This was my first purchase with Ryan and I think it fizzled out.

  13. Ryan, its live… things happen…. but you put yourself out there taking a risk, doing something cool that would help many ppl….

    so kudo’s to ya….

  14. Thanks for the honesty Ryan, at least if you conduct an event like this again in the future (or any of your subscribers do) the lessons learned will come in handy. It’s also nice to see that, although many of the issues were out of your control, you’re taking responsibility for them and providing additional value to help overcome the disappointment people may be feeling.

    I for one am looking forward to seeing the HD videos as I was unable to attend the live session, so the added bonus content you’re offering up sounds great.

    All the best.

  15. Yes I was there and the live streaming was unusable (the screen was just a white blob) and the audio barely understandable. And clearly the ads on Ustream were ridiculous.

    I didn’t buy the videos and still am wary of doing it because I don’t want to get the video I saw yesterday (and I believe others had my same worries). With no way to see the screen and an audio that is barely udible, this was not the best promo.

    In these years I have followed you, you gave great advice and showed great quality. You are definitely a pro. What happened yesterday shows that this thing is complex an even the super-pro can fail big time.

    May I suggest you to post an extract of the videos in the course so we can check the quality and judge if it’s ok?

  16. Ryan,

    You are a REAL leader!

    You had an new “risky” idea, went for it full on, didn t get the expected results and you learned the lessons to be learned and recovered like a REAL leader.

    I appreciate your sorry’s

    Looking forward to our session.

    Till soon


  17. Gotta try new things right? It doesn’t always work out to plan, but the lessons are always valuable. I’m looking forward to the next one now πŸ™‚

    Great post Ryan.

  18. Ryan, Jason’s advice is definitely something to look into. He and Will Mattos have Google Hangouts down to a science.

  19. I agree, the commercials were very disruptive – they always came in just as a vital point was being made. But then every minute was high-value content so that was unavoidable. The fact that thousands of us stayed on despite everything says a lot.

    I pre-ordered the recordings and am looking forward to seeing what I missed. Thanks much for the I’m sorry offers and showing us how to take something adverse and turn it around. Possibly the best and most powerful lesson of the day.

  20. Hey Ryan,

    You know quite possibly your customers learned more from logistical issues you just shared and how they/you can avoid them in the future as well as the way you handled this as they did from the livestream itself.

    Honestly I think people like to see their mentors make a mistake now and then. It makes them feel more apt to take risks and try because they see that they don’t have to be perfect.

    Thanks my man!

  21. Sorry, but I agree with Jen. You promised a free live training. Not only did you fail to deliver what you promised, but many of us wasted an enormous amount of time trying to receive it.

    Now you’re offering for us to BUY the videos of the training you offered us for FREE and failed to deliver … and not even at the earliest price we might have paid ($99 before the event, if you’d said then that the videos would be the only way to get the content) … but at double that price.

    I think at least you might have the decency to offer the videos free to those of us who spent so much fruitless time attempting to view your unfunctional livestream yesterday.

    And, seriously? Running a large livestream for the first time without doing a test run first?! A smart, successful guy like you? It’s really unforgivable that you didn’t confirm and test the hotel’s internet connection ahead of time, and do a test Ustream broadcast beforehand! Even a little guy like me would have known to do THAT much. Clearly your attention was more on making sales than on serving your entire (potential future customer) community.

    I’ve spent plenty of money with you in the past, Ryan, and you do know your stuff, but I don’t feel you’re treating your customers fairly in this particular instance.

    I expected better from you, Ryan.

    I’m with Jen. Enough watching. I’m off to go DO.

    And still holding out a glimmer of hope that you’ll do the right thing by your customers.

    Because so far you have not.

    1. Author

      You are certainly entitled to your opinion Wendy.

      Remember… the event was FREE. There is never a guarantee of technology – and that’s why I’m offering another FREE follow-up 2 hour training. I don’t have to do that – but I am. And if you don’t think a 2-hour free training with me is “enough”, well then I’m sorry.

      I create FREE content almost every day. I give, give and give.

      The $99 was a early bird – and it was for people who took action quickly. Once that ended – I was not going back to that pricing. I am rewarding the early birds and sticking with it. My list had almost 2 weeks to jump on that – and many chose to procrastinate.

      And it’s certainly not fair to the thousands who paid $99 or $199 to now give that away for free to everybody else.

      I do feel very badly about the tech issues – and it’s also why I’ve extended the discount AND giving away my list-building workshop (which I was going to sell and would have likely generated $150K to $200K).

      A no-holds-barred 2-hour live webinar (again, that’s FREE) is my way of making it up. But if you think I’m going to now piss of thousands of people who have already invested in my videos – nope, it ain’t happening.

      RE: Jen has always had a sense of entitlement – and many of her posts were negative. She’s now off the list and I’m no longer wasting time with people like her (she also said stuff that was blatantly untrue – as if I would self-sabatoge my own event???) I wish she could have seen the stress I was going through – dealing with the hotel, the camera crew, and the site. It’s MY site and if she is going to simply make up shit – then it will be deleted. Period.

      I will do what I can to help my subscribers. And if people don’t like what I say, what I teach or the methods in which I do it, they are free to go elsewhere. I’m going to push the envelope and sometimes it doesn’t work out as planned. And I’ll still take the heat and make sure I take care of my subscribers. I’m done trying to make everyone happy, it’s time to focus on the people who appreciate my ass-busting efforts.


  22. Oh, I see Jen’s post got removed while I was typing mine. Nice. Mine’s probably next.

  23. Ryan,

    The fact of the matter is that you had a great idea and as is the norm for you, you took massive action on it!! 99% of people (me included) would not have. Shit happens…you took a risk and we all learned valuable lessons.

    I was on the stream and was so disappointed when I finally had to give up as the screen went black for over an hour. I was loving Peter Druckers outsourcing info!

    You are a great mentor to me and others so keep doing you!!

  24. It is true that this is Ryan Lee’s site and we are guests and he gives us good info for free, so he is entitled to do what he wants.

    It is also true that the yesterday’s live event was a massive failure and I was as surprised that this happened to a “guru” as Wendy was, so I agree with her remarks. (I don’t know Jen’s)

    Yes, the early bird was a early bird “sight unseen” so it’s ok not to offer it. But I still don’t know what I would buy. If the quality is the one we have seen yesterday I pass. The live fail for me was a negative promotion.

    Personally, I still got something from this experience: a great demo of List Eruption 2.0 that I immediately bought and plan to use myself in the way Ryan did.

  25. Something’s up. Currently, I am not able to cancel my FounderFly membership due to the fact that the phone number and support desk are both disabled. Is that also just a technical error?

  26. Ryan, I appreciate your effort to take care your customers and subscribers, specially in this difficult situation.

    Thanks for openly sharing your experience with us.

  27. Yeah, i tried to log in yesterday to listen to the “live” demonstration but I couldn’t hear a thing. I got off, like, after 30 sec.

  28. Yes, I was disappointed by the stream, but how you addressed it head on works for me. I think the idea behind it was good because you showed what you have been preaching. My recommendation for next time (yes I said next time, we don’t all stop driving because we got into a car accident) is to do all your testing early and double check when it’s a new location and test it with a small group using your own stream account w/o ads first, then take it live. Do a pilot testing using that same location. You will lose some; gain some, that is life. I did log back on and still benefited from good content. How you handled this was the biggest lesson learned in business and I cannot tell you how often you see people get in trouble (not for the sin) but how they handled the result/consequences. Mistakes will happen, even mistakes that you smack yourself for not thinking of after but how you handle it sets you above the rest. You could have lied and said you tested everything, but you didn’t and that honesty means more to me than the sorry. You were honest about making sophomore mistakes but you owned up to it, shows we’re human, experienced people make mistakes too. Focus on the positive, learn from the constructive criticism, continue to be honest and keep doing good work. Chao!

  29. Ryan,

    Very very cool post and definitely learning as I observe what you’re doing.

    Love your guerilla style marketing and also looking forward to coaching from you.

  30. My message to anyone who had trouble with the stream is that I think it’s very worth it to take part in the webinar ryan is offering and pick up the HD videos of the event.

    I was live in attendance and I can tell you that being able to get inside Ryan’s thought process as he built a product in real time and came up with ideas on the whiteboard on the fly….was priceless.

    I paid more to fly there and stay in the hotel than he’s charging for the videos…and it was MORE than worth it. I already have multiple takeaways to grow my business.

    I know that the stream being bad sucks horribly…but don’t let your ego and frustration stop you from learning great information and improving your business.

    Thank you Ryan for all you do.

  31. Ryan,
    It was not a total disaster, I still learned a few things.
    It’s all good.
    You did good setting up that site live πŸ™‚ and I never saw any ads at all on the site during the broadcast.


  32. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for taking full responsibility for what didn’t go as planned yesterday.

    I noticed the ads yesterday and see how it could be an inconvenience for others, but that just made me happy that I had purchased the completed videos. I look forward to receiving them.

    The fact that an experienced Internet Marketer like yourself can have things go wrong or not as planned, is an encouragement for those getting started with similar problems. Sometimes we think if we had more resources or more experience, we would eliminate challenges. But yesterday is a reminder that we cannot control every part of our projects.

    Thanks again for your transparency and the example of always giving more than is paid for. You are a great leader. I will continue to follow!

  33. Wow, there are some haters for SNAFU’s at a free event. Why was the stream quality low? because it was streaming on a wireless connection. Did people miss the part about 3 HD cameras or even read this post? Despite the tech errors, there was still some GREAT information in there. And after the lunch break, everything streamed smoothly, except for the ads. But again, it’s free. So what?

    Am I going to purchase the videos? Honestly, no… not yet, anyway. But it has nothing to do with the technical issues or quality of information. It’s more to do with me being on a very specific action plan right now, per our strategy call. Later on, if I’m successful with that plan, I’ll gladly pay the $499 to take my business to the next level, because the info in there was at least that valuable.

    Thanks Ryan for the best effort, and the honesty in trying to make it right.

    However, as others mentioned, perhaps a preview of the HD footage, and maybe a few bullet points of topics covered in the video may change the minds of the skeptics. Just my thoughts. Keep on Rockin!

  34. Hey Ryan,
    Welcome to my world of technology! We have become so accustomed to it, that we expect it to work everytime… so, glad to hear that you’ve learned your lesson.

    I have to admit after the 5th time my screen went blank, I bailed. I didn’t want to, but my frustratiion was too much. I was bummed.

    I will be jumping on for the Q&A…


  35. Alot of moving parts in that “live screening attempt” Ryan, this result can happen when you are:
    a. Doing something for the first time not tested
    b. Put your faith in external players like the camera crew and the hotel

    I’m sure will have it twice as good next time

  36. I can’t complain about something for free. I was only in for a little bit with it playing I’m the background and yeah I did hear the ads but he was on a free platform giving free info. Like one of the line attendees said-they paid about of money to be there live. If you’re unhappy did you tell Ryan yourself? asking personally will get you further than being a complainer on a public forum… just saying.

    I prepaid and was thinking the quality was low but that’s ok
    with me if it was… John Carlton’s seminar videos were low quality, couldn’t be downloaded so I used screen capture. and they cost more with no Q&A etc. But it’s his expertise I’m paying for (which cost MUCH more in person).
    I’m not paying for a blu ray movie, so really I can care less.

    If someone can be so frustrated and give up because of not connecting the first few times then I think you’ve never used a computer till now SERIOUSLY! Old school guys like Dan Kennedy give you low quality packaging and very high quality material but I don’t care because I am not purchasing packaging or a movie.

    If those little things frustrate you, then being on your own making your own life and business is probably something you can’t handle.

  37. Ryan,

    You’re the man. I definitely know the feeling of inadvertently pissing people off. The way you owned up to his it commendable. In fact, it’s admirable. Thanks for continually pushing the envelope, taking risks, and showing me how it’s possible to run a digital empire.

    I don’t comment here often. But, I assure you, I thoroughly read every post.

    Keep on rockin’


  38. Hi Ryan,
    Love how you handled this. As others have said, I learned more from watching you deal with the technology glitches and resulting complaints than I will from the upcoming videos. What’s so interesting is that you can try to make things right and there will still always be people who aren’t happy. I need to develop a thicker skin and take many more risks. It’s also sobering to realize that everyone has tech issues at one point or another. I’ve been letting that stop me. Thank you for being such a great example!

  39. Ryan (and gang) — Here is what I learned from “LiveStream Day”(I stayed on the entire day while I did other work):

    1) It was a learning experience to be on this end of the event, from receiving excerpts of the stream with ads, to watching how Ryan and could keep his positive, upbeat composure when I knew I would be exhibiting noticeable frustration, maybe even anger if it had been me in that situation. Huge lesson that I will reflect on repeatedly when I get frustrated or up against a deadline.

    2) I realized how much I have come to like and trust Ryan as an educator in the IM world. I like his posts, humor, sound, and approach, which are the reasons I stay connected, read his posts, and buy his products. Huge, huge lesson for me regarding creating loyalty and retaining clients.

    3) Trust and consistency. Even though I first “took a chance” on Ryan through and affiliate marketer product several years ago, he is my mentor of choice now. When the stream wasn’t working properly, I bought the product for the live promo price of $199 because I KNEW he would make it right if the product didn’t turn out. That is a true testament to trusting someone in the IM field. I want to be like him when I grow up (even though I am old enough to be is much older big sister)!

  40. I was able to tune in for a little while and that must have been during the time it was at its worst sound quality. I didn’t really care much though because I preordered the videos the day I got your first email about this event so I knew I would be getting the great quality stuff soon. For me this was all a nonissue. Thanks! I’m looking forward to digging in.

  41. OMG on the entitlement!! Wild.

    The fact that you even OFFERED this is a huge deal.

    Then the transparency on what went wrong… and being willing to put yourself out there like that…

    And the fact that you PAID for the camera crew, the hotel, you’re doing a 2 hour make-it-up webinar, and you shared some incredible knowledge…

    Mama mia.

    I think you did a great job on making it up to people.

    And, as someone who was there in person, I know the recordings are going to be ultra-valuable to anyone who purchases them. And the 2 hour webinar will rock. πŸ™‚

    1. Author

      Thanks Rachel,

      It was great to finally meet you in person at the workshop!

      Unfortunately… more and more people have a sense of entitlement. But that’s ok – I’ll focus on those who understand the value.


  42. Ryan,
    There are some( many people) that are never Happy! You give them a Million
    Dollars & there mad you didn’t give them 2 Million! Ungrateful! I for one feel as you
    ALWAYS give us the Best content around & I’m glad to be your customer! Your
    give back offers are way beyond the call of duty & unnecessary,but Thank You for them!
    I think when time comes, that people start complaining about FREE, it’s time you
    start charging! Rock on Brother!

  43. Here is some tough love…

    Ryan you should know better… with all your experience… you should have done a “Dry Run” a day or 2 before.

    You had too many changes going on from your normal routine… and then to top it off, you’re doing it LIVE!

    You got lots of marketing wisdom… You need more business sense.

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