Sydney is fresh this time of year. Sunny, but a snap to the cold that reminds you it’s winter. I’d just woken up, downed a pint of water, punched out an indoor workout, cut some shapes in the shower to my favourite playlist, and then; checked my messages….
It’d been well over a month since I returned from the island in Croatia and I purposely scheduled to write this based on a theory from Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler’s ‘Stealing Fire.’
A theory solidified as fact upon return from an off-grid festival in Tasmania at the start of the year.
In Tassie, we detached from drugs, alcohol and digital and attached to awareness, learning and most importantly each other.
But, it wasn’t just the festival itself that left the profound change.
Sure it was next-level and one of the raddest experiences of my life. But the post-event effect was where the real magic occurred.
And I shouldn’t say a hangover as it’s the polar opposite.
In the rich vein of inventing words I’m in, I’m going to call it FlowOn AKA ‘ The residual flow, or FlowOn post magical community experience.
What is FlowOn?
What can only be described as a supreme levelling-up, accessing an altered state, a new plain where not only your energy levels are sustained to an all-mighty level, but shit just starts to happen for you.
Post-Tassie I had calls and emails about collaborations for my company 101 Tokens. The bigger brands I was approaching were getting back to me and people were reaching out from everywhere and anywhere to assist the mission.
It was the new aire of confidence in my own ability that was infectious. People just wanted a slice of what-ever delicious turbo-pie I’d eaten.
But, what was it?
This excerpt from Stealing Fire and the infamous Burning Man Festival is the answer…
If the President of the United States is moved to comment on the event, and Elon Musk is claiming it’s central to Silicon Valley culture, then perhaps there’s more going on than just a weeklong party. And that’s the second thing to explore in our assessment — why so many creative and talented people go so far out of their way to congregate there once a year. By simple elimination, it can’t just be the sex, drugs, or music. Those indulgences, however tantalizing, are little more than commodities in any major city. There must be a pretty compelling something that inspires people to take a week out of their calendars to wander around an inhospitable salt flat in the middle of absolute nowhere.
Recent research conducted on Burning Man sheds some light on that “something.” In 2015, a team of scientists led by Oxford neuropsychologist Molly Crockett joined forces with the Black Rock City Census to take a closer look at the festival’s power. In their study, 75 percent of attendees reported having a transformative experience at the event, while 85 percent of those reported that the benefits persisted for weeks and months afterward. That’s an incredibly high batting average: Three out of four people who attend the event are meaningfully changed by it.
And it was when I read this book and in particular this section during this state of FlowOn, the dots didn’t just connect, they made a sweet fucking freckle orgie in my brain.
There was only one problem.
Like a well-oiled junkie, I knew that the hit would have an expiration date.
So what next? Where was I going to find my next Newkind?
We’re goin’ to Aspen… I mean, Croatia.
About a week post-Newkind, I wandered into my coworking space up the road from Bondi Beach and was talking to my buddy Neil about the experience and my prolonged altered-state.
I told Neil about Newkind and he was blown away.
He paused, “check this out”.
He brought up this funky named group of entrepreneurs who regularly get together in the US and by all reports have an awesome time.
Having now burnt down the sails and installed a jet engine, the first job on my to-do list was to email the Baby Bathwater Institute and apply for an interview.
Note: it’s invite only, which isn’t to say it’s totally “exclusive”, I got in! But, a vetting process is a great way to…
Flag the dickheads
Anyone who has been to business events know that they tend to have a % of massive dickheads. The kind of people who will over-impose themselves on guest speakers, not give you the time of day unless they know you’ve worked at Google or have exited 3 startups…
I try to avoid these events like the plague and after speaking to Michael Lovitch (The co-founder of BBW) for 5 mins I knew there was absolutely no risk of this.
I should mention at this point, that I have a theory about connecting with people who are operating at high frequencies of energy. You can call it loving life, buzzing, whatever you want, just don’t associate it with the hippie woo.
I call it Frothing.
And we were Frothing.
I know when I meet a frother, because when you’ve hung out with a frother you leave the interaction having accessed a new level. It’s like a mini hit to engage in FlowOn
It could maybe even be described as a micro-dose… Jack De Locca — What’s your thoughts bro…? (another separate blog coming on meeting Jack and micro-dosing for hacking flow coming in due course.)
And Michael is an all-time frother from way back. Not only did we chat for an extended time about my semi-crazy vision for the world. He told me about his mission to bridge the gap between genius psychologists and the general public and ensuring the right information is getting out to the masses, beyond the bullshit.
He also provided me immediate value by giving me a framework for how to define scaling my vision.
“What you’re building is an architecture” he said.
Fuck! That simple linguistic shift, has led me to solidify a thought I previously had and allow others to access the vision in a more methodical way.
It was then I mentioned Stealing Fire and how the book changed my life and reinvigorated me as a student of ‘flow’.
“Dude, Jamie is a buddy of mine. He’s a member of Baby Bathwater and talking at the event.”
The levels of rad were peaking, so I thought I’d best get off the call before I blew a fun valve.
But not without one last thing!
New(kind) Benny is a different kind of Benny. Newkind Benny has big green balls, not like big blue balls, green balls know how to finish.
I dropped something that old Benny wouldn’t have even thought about.
I paused, “ Michael, So I only do these events if I can run a workshop…”
He wasn’t totally sold at first and I could tell it wasn’t really an option.
So I went for it, “Can I pitch you?”
He said “Fuck it, Why not.”
And in this extended flow state where words drop like Daft Punk Alive 2007 ‘Vice Optimisation’, a term I’d invented about three weeks earlier, and a workshop I hadn’t invented yet; was unveiled.
He loved it.
We frothed out.
He agreed to fit me in.
I thanked him for the opportunity to chat and said “seeya soon man.”
What the actual Fuck!
If anyone has ever had the unfortunate pleasure of watching a Manchester United football match with me, you’d know that when we score a goal I tend to run around the house screaming and doing an aeroplane to celebrate.
I exited skype, turned off the internet and flipped down the lid on the Mac, just to triple check he wasn’t still on the line.
Took a big breathe in…
Then proceeded to launch a Red Bull Air Show around my loungeroom.
What the actual Fuck! I’m going to Croatia!
The Conference/ Festival/ Chill Session / Vibe that was Baby Bathwater Island.
I was going to write about the amazing content from the Island how I’m actioning many of the new techniques in my business and day to day life and I’m sure this would have been rad.
But! Mates before business is the core realisation for me from this experience, so that’s what I’ll give you a taste of.
Because at the end of the night as the sun starts to peer over the lip of the horizon, it’s not the content or the business opportunity you’re hanging out with, it’s the people.
It’s the frothers.
We’re off to the Island
Here I was at Split airport, Croatia. The place where I would first meet this amazing group of people from across the planet, ohhh the magical dreams I’d been having about the diversity of the crew.
Annnndddd the first two people I meet are white dudes, my age, and from fucking Australia. Hahaha
Adam lives about 20 minutes away from me in Sydney and Jon lives in New York, but is best buds with my mate Andy who I ran the workshop with at Newkind.
Again, what the actual fuck.
It did however prove one thing:
Frothers congregate and… “If you Froth, they will come”
An hour and half up the coast and we were met with a boat ride to take us to the island. Low and behold I meet another Aussie from Sydney, Rui a traveling entrepreneur with a big smile.
We arrived into what can only be described as “wow”.
The island of Obenjan is breathtaking — a 600 person island with only 130 entrepreneurs, and we had it all to ourselves.
I met Tam a designer, free spirit and trendy looking dude on the way up to check-in along with Alexx, a Canadian fella that had spent the last five years building a farm in Nicaragua. We connected on our mutual love for the country and its people and it was tough to hear the reason that he had left was due to them being on the brink of a civil war.
One thing I picked up early was although it was cool to know what people did. This wasn’t the most important thing. This aligned in some respect with one of the ‘minimal’ rules on the island in ‘you weren’t allowed to pitch’. Fucking fantastic!
The BBW vibe decreased pressure and increases true valued connection.
Over the five days we were mates first and not even business second. Business could be left for potentially at some point down the line, on the island or off it, when the time might be right.
Before the first dinner I made my way up and saw a couple standing together having a drink. I introduced myself and while it may have been the usual conversation for them, it framed the context in my mind about the BBW originals.
Most of the people I’d met so far were fresh babies or had attended one event prior. Beth and Jeff Siegel had been there from the start. The way they described their experience of the events and the group was so grounding. A feeling of home is the best way to describe it.
The next day, when I was eating with Nadeem (another one of the originals) and four other newborns , I got the vibe that Nadeem was just as stoked to be hanging with us as he would have been with the originals.
One other super powerful element on the island was that we were given a partner in crime to live with.
I’m not sure how it worked, but I couldn’t have got more lucky with my flatmate Sammy. I think we became instant buddies from the first 30 seconds — Sammy calls this ‘Fast mates’ and this dude was a pro at it.
Caveat: It’s important to note…
I’d love to speak about everyone in this write-up but the fact is I could write for days. Almost everyone blew my head off and their froth is still resonating in my veins.
But here’s a somewhat quick rundown of a few of those I’d like to mention:
Flatmates become Greatmates
Sammy, or ShoeBox Moses as is his stage-name, is a producer from VC Canada. We were vibing on so many things before he told me about his amazing music career and he wasn’t only an entrepreneur, he was the DJ for the event.
Only this past year I personally started to connect with musicians again. I always had friends in bands growing up, but for some reason that changed through my 20’s.
Musicians are the ultimate frothers because their work is their play. The reason they operate at a high level is because they have constant self-sustaining gratitude for the ability to jam instruments and be creative day to day while getting paid for it.
Not saying it’s an easy road. But I bet a poor musician on their deathbed will die with a bigger smile than a rich man with none of the arts in his life.
Sammy was just a barrel of froth with gratitude levels through the roof.
His stage name came from the fact he was left orphaned, only a few hours old, in a shoebox in the Philippines. Lucky for him, and the rest of the world, he was rescued and adopted to a loving family in Canada.
Now Sammy makes beats, makes friends and makes the orphans of his original village smile by directing support and awareness for them with his charity the Findlings.
My background is working with charities from all corners of the globe in many different fields. And like a theme from the island — my services are his and vice versa.
Maybe I’ll become a purpose driven, ultimate giver of fucks DJ entrepreneur one day too!
Frothstate x Flowstate — My balls aren’t that big!
I said I wouldn’t talk about content, but I’d like to reference Jamie Wheal’s ‘cosmic fuck-tunnel’. This is my new favourite terminology.
Where am I going to use it? You can ask me about it live or over a coffee.
Jamie spoke off the cuff for about 90 minutes and I hung on every word.
But..! It took me three days of being a wuss to finally get the green balls to talk to him. Post-reflection has led me to believe it was more about lack of confidence in my ability to converse with a modern day poet.
I don’t get nervous around sportstars who I look up to, but when it comes to sharing concepts and theories with someone who has shaped my consciousness and understanding of the world, it’s like Pamela Anderson is my High School Homecoming Queen and I’m Steve Urkel.
Nerds For life!
Using my hacking tipsy methodology, I tipped a few beers in accompanied by alternating waters prior to the chat.
Waited till he was chilling almost alone and went over for a yarn. I actually got to chat with him and his son.
I told them about my communitas experience at Newkind, my extended flow acknowledgement and how it was his words which solidified the reason for travelling 28 hours to hang out on this crazy island.
I took him through ‘FrothState’ which is my terminology for engaging in conversation with a frother as a gateway to flowstate.
My limiting thoughts were that he might be like ‘what the fuck are you talking about man’, but we laughed about it all and he threw me some radical thought provocations.
I stupidly tried to write them down instead of just listening and absorbing…
“can I write this down” I said.
My Evernote note: ‘Peak Metronome tuning fork right key universal peak go make music’.
Anyway, you live, learn and will know the next time we cross paths to focus on being present, forgetting the robot and diving deep into frothstate.
Meeting God and what he said about me…
Fucken Ron! I first met Ron early on the first morning before some exercise was to start. I knew he was running a workshop in the middle of the day. I was pumped for it and let him know.
He was really chilled and quietly spoken at 630AM
His delivery was ‘tell it like it is’ genuine power. He’d taken Go-Pro from a success to a whopping success though his ad skills no BS approach.
If Ron was mixing an ad-cocktail it’d be two parts cheeky tactics, one part nostalgia and some common fucking sense to finish.
But more important than his achievements was this radical gift of a tool.
That you may now use too — hope that’s all good Ron?
The ‘Introduction from God’ exercise.
We’ve all done the ‘write your eulogy’ or ‘what’s your tombstone say’ exercise which are powerful self-reflections.
However, I think this workshop trumps it because we lose the negative morbidity vibe and dial up the froth!
And it goes a little something like this…
You’re dead! But Congrats! You’ve fucken’ nailed it.
You’ve made it into heaven or Valhalla. I’d probably pick Valhalla tbh, but to keep Mum happy we’ll go with heaven.
How would you like (insert deity) to introduce you to everyone?
I wrote mine…
Benny Walks in to ‘Sleep now in the fire’ — By Rage Against the Machine
The powerful riff tales off as God begins…
“Ehhhehmmm. Shut the fuck up Jesus, I’ve had about enough out of you today mate…
Welcome Benny to the Upstairs commune.
He’d love a beer as it’s been a long trip. To say he’s excited about connecting with you bunch of you absolute frothers is an understatement.
He may have missed you down there…
But, he is itching to chat with you all to access frothstate and subsequent heavenly flowstate.
He’ll continue his fine work to ‘do his bit to help you all do yours; and in doing so, deliver the almighty gift of more quality fucking time to us all.’
Take that last sentence how you will.
We know we have eternity. But eternity means shit if we’re having a bad time.
And before you judge!
He might look like Van Wylder in his deceptively inexpensive party shirt, but he’s certainly graduated the school of life and is ready to froth on. So buckle up and pedal to the metal — Who’s with him?”
And why ‘fucken Ron’? It’s probably the swear word with the most admirable ‘fucken’ you will ever here from a bunch of mates.
Cheers fucken Ron, you fucken mad-dog!
Leanne was like an instant fast friend, except I felt like we’d become fast friends at highschool. Our topics of conversation left me enlightened on understanding how to have a next-level good time and smile more, while also being completely chilled.These are universal traits you should find and nurture in all of your best friends.
I would describe her as an innovator x entrepreneur x fun hacker who guides all those around her on how to access the same awesome that she does. Not to mention being a certified orgasmic meditation trainer.
We discussed how we can access flowstate via sexual practices that don’t focus on outcome, but more the intentionality of the moments spent with a partner. MIND BLOWN.
Leanne later linked me up with her friends in Australia to continue to explore this new found quest. Stay tuned for more…
The Speculatory Idiot
This is a great lesson for everyone to do more investigation into speakers when you are attending any event.
I thought I had, but I think I’d skimmed taking in the bios in my overexcitement.
Introducing another fast friend - Trevor Chapman.
We’d become buddies over the first few days and he told me a bit about a few of his businesses, but we mainly just chatted about life.
He asked me what else I was working on and so I cleared the pad and launched the wafflecopter!:
“So dude, what do you reckon about this…
“So you know my frother theory - people operating at high frequencies. I’m going to create a podcast where I interview frothers about how they get the most out of their day, who are the frothers in their life, how they access them and who are the ultimate frothers of all time for them (dead or alive) etc. etc. etc.
What do you reckon man?”
“Yeah that’s dope.” He said.
“And how ‘bout you dude?”
“Yeah I’ve got a podcast”
“That’s what I’m talking about tomorrow”
He’s doing a talk about podcasting…
And it’s here.
Probably, pretty good at it then…
The next day… I’m sitting in the crowd and Trevor begins to tell the story.
“Can someone please check the top business podcasts on itunes?”
A crowd member checks — Number one.
He manages to beat Tim Ferris as the world’s number one business podcast on Itunes on the reg’. He said he fluctuates between 1–5, so was genuinely interested to see if he was number 1.
Ahhhhhhh. Man I felt like an idiot… For a sweet second.
But then remembered I’m on the island and I’m sure the way he thinks, as a successful entrepreneurial dreamer who follows through on his big ideas, he’s now just waiting for me to launch it and do what I said!
In actuality, he’d given me an accountability buddy!
Plus Trevor is an ultimate frother and I bet he didn’t even notice that I felt like a bit of a Goose.
When we hang next I’ll be a Maverick.
Vice Optimisation vs One of the world’s great teachers
I met Vishen Lakhaini, the founder of Mindvalley on the boat over.
I’d seen Mindvalley videos a bunch and I’d even seen him speak on multiple occasions online, but for some reason it didn’t click.
It was bummer when I worked out I was speaking the same time as him, mostly because I wanted to watch, but also because it turned out he would influence part of my workshop…
Over a discussion with Re Perez a branding genius/ ultimate legend, we were discussing Vishen’s book. Re has a book on the way which I’ve already put in a request for and Vishen gave him some advice on the secret to writing a best selling book.
“Read the first ten pages of The Extraordinary Mind (his book) and you will understand what I’m talking about.”
That night, while writing my workshop I needed a break and read the first ten pages.
I got his method, which was a mix of the techniques I’d identified before. Just 10x and one of these, which seems obvious, is to deliver a compelling story with a hooks to push further into the story.
Vishen had once been on a speaking bill with Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama.
‘Wow’, I thought. Who’d have thought I’d be on the same speaking list with this guy.
Then ‘Fuck’, I thought. He beat out Branson and The Lama for the best speaker at the event and I’m on the same time! Hahaha
Luckily half the people thought I was talking about blockchain with ‘101 Tokens’ (note to self: That is the best happy accident for future talks) but I’d made enough good buddies that people were also genuinely there to see me.
On the final evening after Vishen and I had closed the conference (Thought I’d throw that in there).
We were at the bar, having a beer and discussing our workshops.
I told him “I’m coming to A-Fest mate, but I only come to these things if I can run a workshop…”
It didn’t work this time.
But what did happen, is he set me a challenge…
“Benny, Become a TED grade-speaker and I’ll think about it.”
So I’m going to do a TED talk, not sure where yet. Isee 101 Tokens becoming the Mind Valley for Vice Optimisation and so it’s science.
I will speak on stage at an A-Fest in 2019.
A Workshop in Paradise
I’m not going to talk about what I talked about. You can book me and I’ll come and talk about what I talked about.
But just look at the view of the stage and I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with those in attendance / many mentioned above.
A thing to note about BBW is that everyone is delivering them in their most comfortable clothes. Some with ripped pants, without shoes and donning powerful party shirts.
Der! No wonder I loved these guys.
The BBW Crew
The founders Hollis and Michael are ultimate frothers, two of the most smiley dudes I’ve ever met and every time I chatted with them they just wanted to know how stoked I was. My stoke made them stoked, which was ultimate collective stoke.
One thing I said to them was I wish I’d had a notebook for not only the workshops, but for every conversations at BBW.
I spent a bunch of time with BBW crewmen Ferg and Franc who gave me a real insight into BBW life and the nuts and bolts of curating such an event. Fantastic dudes and fast mates for life!
Then there was Cynthia. Cynthia was as lovely in person as she had been making sure everything flowed like a Jamie Wheal monologue over email in the leadup.
When you feel a digital smile transfer into a real one, it’s magic.
The Fake Aussie
Half American, half British, full comedian, sounds Australian, and is one of the world’s best copywriters. (Deep breath in)
He’s also a dude.
We hung out a few times and I genuinely thought he was Aussie.
He said my copywriting was awesome, which was awesome to get some cheeky validation.
But more importantly, he set me up with an online workshop of his beyond the island.
For me! This is a mother fucken’ SEGWAY!!! and the hack for extending extended flow.
AKA: How could I continue to access the goodness post Island.
Well my friends. It’s called — Finding the Frothers
Frothstate theory is basically:
In order of maximum impact!
Find a frother… Then,
1) Get a coffee face to face
2) Jump on a skype with them, or
3) Listen to them on a podcast or video
Steal their froth and then run at your most important tasks for the day.
Simple and Ian had swung me a gateway to frothstate.
And my gift to you — All of the links in this article on the names are video and podcast links. You can access my island mates via number three until you get to meet them in person.
The final Chapter: Extended Flow & Froth
My plan had always been to leave the island and go with some BBW crew on the next adventure/ work it out on the morning we left.
My buddies Luke and Chaddy P were the ultimate West Coast USA dudes and a 10 second conversation I was in the car to Dubrovnik with our other buddy Ethan — the van living, life optimising nomad entrepreneur.
We almost got arrested on the Bosnian border (another story) before meeting up with Alexx & Tracy (another ultimate frother) for a few days in the paradise city.
Our conversations were like we hadn’t left the island. The extended dream!
On the second day after BBW I wandered out of the Debruvy Game of Thrones castle to wash some clothes and I ended up bumping into a guy with a huge curly moustache.
Turned out he was one of Australia’s big music promoters and after five minutes of chatting, he’d put me onto an email setting up a conversation with one of Australia’s biggest.
See! Extended flowstate, is a thing.
Since I’ve been home, Nadeem came to visit in Sydney with his bro.
I got an arvo with the main man and didn’t realise how much we are destined to hang out and be buds for a long time. We discussed hacking flow through our heartbeats and music, it was glorious.
I’ve messaged pretty much everyone (I think) and had skypes with a bunch. When I say Skypes I mean chats which helped me hack frothstate into flowstate.
It’s been an almighty FlowOn.
But was the extended flow-length longer than Newkind? Slightly less, but I think jetlag can mess with these things.
Among the many things that occurred, a moment of clarity.
I realised my mission isn’t just to optimise the fuck out of all of our vices — I’m coming for you meat, sugar and gambling.
It’s to also unlock more of the flow potential around community.
It’s to connect with the communities like Michael and Hollis have assembled and curated.
It’s to find the frothers. And the Baby Bathwater Island was a full fledged frothathon for the ages.
I’m super pumped for my next BBW experience and feel incredibly lucky to have connected with two amazing community events in one year and have stolen so much fire.
Stolen so much froth…
Quick other Mentions to hack frothstate from BBW: