Ever consider starting a conference? This is what it takes.

I recently had a chance to talk to Max Altschuler, who started what ended up turning into a massive conference called Sales Hacker back in 2013. Sales Hacker is now a multimillion dollar media business.

I was really interested in hearing his origin story, because I’ve often thought about creating a conference of my own. He’s been quoted saying that with only 4 weeks of work, he was able to put together a conference that generated $60,000 in **profit**.

As always with bold statements like that, this was only a small part of the story – the real work took over a year.

It all started when Max had a job running sales at Udemy. He spent months literally hacking together a bunch of processes (like list building with scripts and a team of virtual assistants) that automated the lead generation process for Udemy, helping bring in hundreds of new experts to the education platform.

Udemy’s hyper growth started attracting the attention of other entrepreneurs and VC’s who all desperately wanted to learn exactly how the team was able to pull this off.

As the brains behind this, Max started taking meetings to share his knowledge with sales leaders and founders at other major companies like ToutApp, Salesforce, InsideView, Box and much more.

He realized that these people could benefit from learning from each other as well, so he decided to turn this into a monthly “meeting of the minds.”

This was an incredibly important “aha moment” because people were organically seeing a ton of value from these meetings. This is also one of the hardest parts of building any business – figuring out how to create so much value that people naturally want to give you their time or money for it.

With each monthly event, Max was building his network more and more. As the original organizer, he was also seen as an expert by these highly influential people.

When he came to the realization that lots other people outside of their network could benefit from this information, the idea to organize a bigger conference was a no brainer.

So where did the $60,000 in profit come from?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, everyone in his monthly group represented a different company. When he decided on a date for the conference, he just asked a handful of people from his network if they would like to sponsor the event. Between that (each sponsor could bring in anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000) and ticket sales to attendees (which were marketed to by the group members themselves) the conference sold out within a matter of weeks.

The major takeaways for me are 1) work to surround yourself with smart individuals as often as you can 2) offer value to them whenever possible 3) don’t be afraid to share your knowledge, as that is often the best source of value to people and 4) know that at some point you’ll have to ask others for help if you truly want to make a mark.

If you’re interested, here’s the [full transcript](https://thementors.co/podcast/max-altschuler-took-control-of-his-career-taught-himself-sales-grew-multimillion-dollar-business-in-the-process/) of my conversation with Max.



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