Raw Notes: Strategic Coach 10x Ambition Program, Day 1

Today I attended the first seminar day of The 10x Ambition Program taught by Dan Sullivan at The Strategic Coach’s headquarters office in Toronto, Canada.

(Previously: I attended the info seminar! Then signed up.)

Disclaimer: Please don’t draw any conclusions about whether or not you should attend simply based on these raw notes! The lessons and methods and systems they are teaching us will take several months for me to implement at Museum Hack. It’ll take me a while to process everything.

Huge wall sign in the lobby of their HQ

Day 1, Strategic Coach Headquarters

7:45am The whole staff at Strategic Coach meets. Dan and Babs do a run-through of the day ahead. All of the employees involved in the workshop share something that they are looking forward to.

My desk space! Ready for the day to begin, with all workshop materials

8:30am Myself and other attendees start to arrive. The headquarters is located in a chic, post-industrial area of Toronto. I think they used to have 2,000 sq ft and now they have the whole building (maybe 70,000+ sq ft?). It was under renovation but still looked great to me.

Breakfast was served, and it was glorious: I ate about six slices of quiche with egg, spinach, and cheese. There was also bread, fruit, coffee, tea, salmon, etc.

View of the main conference room, where we sat at tables in groups of 10 and Dan taught from the front

9am: The program began. This was a slide on screen to kick it off, it says “Everyone in this room is performing and achieving at 100%… of their mindset ceiling.”

This was the first slide of the opening presentation

Misc notes from the day

  • Dan has been coaching entrepreneurs for over 40 years, he’s led 2300 workshops and worked with over 6000 CEOs.
  • He’s the self-proclaimed subject matter expert in executive coaching.
  • On taking a lot of breaks throughout the day: “Today should be a series of sprints, not a marathon.”  Nick’s note: OMG I LOVE THIS, THANK YOU!! I sincerely appreciate this approach to give us 5-10 minutes every hour as a body break + phone check-ins + coffee refills.
  • Guy sitting next to me: from Texas, he is the Founder and CEO of a software company which does membership systems, 20 employees, was previously in a lower level of Strategic Coach.
  • 60+ people in the audience today, overwhelmingly the makeup is white men (myself included). I counted 8 women CEO attendees. Lots from USA, but plenty from Canada. 2 or 3 from UK, 2 from India.
  • Definition of an entrepreneur: Someone who takes lower-level resources and promotes them to a higher level.
  • Dan promised us that “the first hour of this workshop pays for the entire day, and for some of you, for the entire year.” (By the end of the day, this promise seemed to fall flat for me. It seemed more like marketing speak, but time will tell! Overall I was happy with the day but I’m careful about huge promises like that.)
  • We went around the room and everyone introduced themselves, saying their name, where they are from, their company + what they do, and why they came here. We had 30 seconds to say all of this and in a group of 60+ people nobody went over time. This was fun to hear and nice to be in a room of other self-made, successful individuals.

Funny Introductions

There were some great jokes told during these intros! Such as:

“I’ve been called a genius, a moron, a genius, a moron again, a genius — the last time they called me a genius, I sold my company.”

Many people said the reason they came was to 10x their business… Then this guy: “Hey, my name is Ben, I came here to help 10x my country music career, I- actually, that was a joke.”  (Made me LOL, caught everyone off guard!)

“Dan loves me as a customer because I’m a slow learner with deep pockets.” (HUGE LOLs from the crowd)

More Takeaways

The most common industries from attendees seemed to be Financial Advisors, Insurance, and Dentists. Plenty of entrepreneurs: An LED lighting company, an audiobook production house, some software companies, a construction company, a few real estate variants, a renegade museum tour and team building company (haha, me!), and one particularly AMAZING scientific company that was so unique I can’t mention because you’d probably know exactly who it was… suffice to say that in nerd circles, this company is famous.

  • Random quote from Dan that I wrote down: “Being an entrepreneur is a confidence game.”
  • “Simplify before you multiply.”
  • Dan spent a long time talking about Vasper machines, they are special cardio equipment that he says is responsible for him gaining muscle weight and losing fat. I want to try to find one in NYC! They cost up to $40,000.
  • Dan spent a long time talking about living to the age of 156. Felt awkward and seemed like a low point of the day. (Counter-point: I spoke to someone at the end of the day who was older than I, and he said he didn’t mind this part and the long Vesper pitch and that as an older guy, it was something he was considering himself.)
  • Everything at the Strategic Coach offices is premium: logos on the bathroom towels, and no generic bottled water. Only Perrier or San Pelligrino.
  • “Shotgun to rifle shots” – clarifying who we serve for our customers.
  • There was a fully stocked refrigerator with any type of soda you could want, constantly fresh coffee (many varieties, all Starbucks brew plus a full Nespresso machine, lots of teas).
  • The lunch spread was impressive: salmon, chicken, vegetables, etc. I heard two people specifically remark how impressed they were with the prime rib.
  • By the end of the day, I felt like I was drowning in paper. So many handouts and forms! Thankful that they gave us a binder to hold and organize it all.
  • Sometimes there were problems with the wireless mics. Other times, they worked great.
  • Book I should read that someone mentioned: The 80% Solution.
Collection of books for sale in the lobby


We did a lot of work! Talking about things that we were procrastinating on, what things we SHOULD be doing, who our ideal customers are, we learned a more effective method of delegating large projects, etc.

I haven’t mentioned the great stuff in the notebooks in detail because (1) I am still processing it, and (2) a lot of it is protected under copyright.

One of my favorite activities from the day was a reflection of our company’s past 90 days, then listing all the things I’m excited that are happening today in our company, and then projecting what I’m excited about over the next 90 days.

I’m excited about The Strategic Coach. I have a LOT of work to do. I’ve got so many more take-aways for my business, but these were some random notes I jotted down to give you a “slice of life” from today. More to come!

Day 0, Cocktail Party

I’ll also include these notes, even minor: The night prior we were invited to meet for a cocktail party at the ground-level restaurant / bar of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Toronto. It was an open bar, with a great selection of appetizers. (Enough and plenty appetizers that I didn’t need to order a separate dinner.)

Everyone received name-tags listing our full name, the city we are from, and a custom description of our company (NOT the company name). For example, instead of saying “Museum Hack” for my company, my name tag said “Renegade Museum Tours.” I really appreciated this!

My name tag

My main take-away from the cocktail party was that everyone at The Strategic Coach loves the KOLBE test and analysis, and I need to do mine + some of my team’s ASAP.

Noteable People I Met

I met a few entrepreneurs, such as:

  • Dental equipment manufacturer CEO with 450 employees
  • Owner of a chain of health and healing wellness clinics in Utah, training a new set of Bulletproof coaches, has approx 30 employees
  • Lots of Financial services people, one guy I spoke to had a staff of 7 people
  • Guy from Mumbai who sold his advertising company to Dentsu, we had a mutual friend in Vishal Gondal (see our selfie on my Twitter)
  • An ENERGY COACH from Perth, Australia who seemed to be highly respected by people who knew him
  • Fitness CEO woman w/full sleeve tattoo from San Diego, California who greatly increased her business already thanks to The Strategic Coach and has now renewed her membership at a higher level for this 10x Program

Fun fact: Wayne Gretzsky and some other sports celebrities were staying at the hotel that our  reception was at. We knew this only because there was a big crowd of autograph seekers waiting outside of the hotel.



  • Michelle Chafin: I love all your notes – thank you! The book 80% Solution who is the author? Again well done!

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