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Open Letter 

Dear Partners, my team and my Family

 

Hope you all had wonderfulI holidays and are off to a great start in the new year! I am writing this letter as I thought to share a bit of my personal journey along with business since Covid changed our world. Also, I wanted to write this clear letter so I can reflect back in a year from now, same time next year (January 2023)

 

This note covers:

 

  • Personal Belief 

  • Numbers 

  • Investments, Opportunities and Alliances

  • Learn and adopt 

  • Charities supported 

  • Goals for 2022

 

 

2020 was a disaster year in many ways and a blessing in some. Started off like a RocketShip! Partnerships with Harvard and Yale at the Madison Square Garden in NY, Washington Elite Crypto partnership at the Versace Mansion in Miami. But was hit with a meteor and short-lived. It was rough because not only we lost some major orders and revenue tanked, but we lost a few good people who would have been around if not for Covid. It also brought a grim reality to the forefront. The material things we valued the most suddenly meant NOTHING. We learnt the REAL VALUE OF TIME. That it is LIMITED and every MOMENT should be cherished. We pivoted to what we knew best and restructured our corporate gifting division. Bagged a couple of large orders and stayed afloat at lower margins. ELEVATE Summit and all partners helped tremendously and I am extremely thankful to you all.

 

2021 was a weird one too. A bit of a rollercoaster. I started off the new year with celebrations .. as all four of us in my family were finally out of Covid. Met with friends, celebrated birthdays, had lots of fun while kickboxing and shooting range for the very first time … thanks to my daughter Ria! Hikes, beaches, flower gardens and started playing some pickle ball with a group of great friends. Fun stuff!

 

Photos of shooting range and beach hikes 

 

Got introduced to this awesome Green Renewable Energy company, GreenTek, with a Crypto play!

 

Started writing my book again, “TIME TO GIVE BACK”. I have been writing for over a year now! Hope to launch it in 2022!! 

 

By end of March, it was looking good for our Golf tournament and Mastermind in September (although the state officially opened on June 15th), our hunt for the venue began in April and ended on July 2nd, with the Crossings Golf Course and Westin/Sheraton property in Carlsbad, but, with lots of restrictions. 

 

Shaily and I started activating our teams and planned out this three day event, minute by minute. Word spread fast and all ELEVATE partners as well as CS Ambassador Partners were enthusiastic to come out to California for this unique Golf Tournament and Mastermind. Everyone loved the idea of raising money for charities while bettering their business and personal profiles.

 

During the pandemic, I followed the news closely and suddenly, Crypto and NFT world started looking pretty good to me. Remember GreenTek, In May of 2021, they were ready to launch their token into the market. So we teamed up with them and helped promote the launch of their coin at 10cents which quickly scaled up to 60 cents in merely 6 months. Greentek became one of our premium partners and supported the Golf Tournament and ELEVATE Summit & Mastermind, full heartedly. 

 

As time went on, I thought it was also a good idea to share another gem in the rough, CareBeyond, and bring them on as a partner. CareBeyond, this amazing revolutionary company founded in 2018 by our 20 plus year old friends who changed thousands of lives and blind people got their vision back using CB products. This was unprecedented and we decided to launch their CareBig token at our mastermind on September 24th. 

 

We also renewed our cross sponsorships program with long term partner Greg Reid, founder of Secret Knock.

 

Photos

 

A War room was created at my house and preparations for the Big Event were in full force at the ELEVATE and Craig Shelly Camps. Partners from all around the world started booking their flights into San Diego as we firmed the dates. September 24th was finalized for the Golf Tournament and the ELEVATE Summit & Mastermind was set on September 25th-26th. For those who didn’t want to golf, we offered Navy Seals Training on the Oceanside beach or the MeRAKEE Retreat at the Westin Resort. Mastermind was to be held at the Westin Carlsbad and the Glow in the dark party at a distillery in San Marcos where we launched our hand made gluten free Vodka, $CIKARIO!

 

About 30 CS AMBASSADORS were invited to attend Secret Knock September 21st-23rd at the Viejas Casino and resort which was right before  Golf and ELEVATE Summit & Mastermind. 

 

Several small and big events where CS and ELEVATE were involved during spring & summer of 2019 including Miss Russia America and a Pre-Oscars party in Hollywood. All events were greatly attended by partners who thoroughly enjoyed the hospitalities and new connections. 

 

On the personal front, my son Aaryan’s music hit 30 million views and he revealed his face for the very first time, publicly at his mask reveal party during Paris fashion week. 2021 also marked his 21st birthday and a surprise celebration on September 17th was arranged with 12 of his close friends at the Versace Mansion in Miami. 

 

Photos

 

We flew in and out of Miami and left for San Diego the very next day for Secret Knock. It felt great to meet all of our Diamond partners in person and shake hands and give hugs. Next three days were super powerful with some of the most amazing entrepreneurs from all over the country and around the world. Secret Knock does have a very special magic sauce. Every time I speak on stage at SK, I find some incredible new partners! It’s Priceless!! 

 

It was finally time for OUR BIG EVENT!! Resorts SOLD OUT! Over 220 confirmed guests and the excitement and energy was just incredible!! 

 

Press Release post event was sent out: “My Family and I are overjoyed with the outpouring of love and thousands of messages that we received in the last couple of days following the immense success of the three day Golf Tournament ELEVATE Summit & Mastermind. Helping charities and people in need is what Craig Shelly is all about. For me, Giving back is a selfish deed as I get such satisfaction that really helps me heal inside” 

 

To emphasize the importance of the “why” behind the 25th Anniversary Tournament: "People and purpose before profit - that's the pillar of Craig Shelly's mission statement. But we also believe in enjoying life to the fullest and that's the idea behind the Tournament''

 

“Everyone deserves a chance in life, all they need is a Helping Hand"

 

"Coming out of the Pandemic, this three day event was power packed with a message of Hope and Love, Strength and Empowerment, Honor and Pride! From Flag Hoisting and Honoring our Troops and Veterans to Navy Seals training to Brain Mapping with MeRakee or simply Golfing and having fun, there were elements that brought excitement back into our lives and allowed us to appreciate life! "

 

"Heartfelt service is the key that unlocks the door to real wealth and profitable partnerships. And becoming the best version of yourself while inspiring others along the way is truly the highest service you can offer. This event provided an opportunity to do some good in the world while having fun and making life-changing connections at the same time"

 

“Celebrities such as famous American Wrapper, Singer, Record Producer and Actor Coolio, Sugar Ray Lenard Junior, Carl McDowel Golfed at the Charity tournament. Our signature Helicopter Ball Drop on September 24th at the Crossings Golf Course in Carlsbad was a Smashing Hit by God’s Grace and my dear friend and partner David Veech, who personally dropped 3000 golf balls from the helicopter onto the hole from 200 feet height.  Several charities such as Shriners, Beautifully Flawed, You matter Not Alone, Watering seeds foundation and iRise benefited from the three day event.

 

Ravi Drums, infamously known for his performances at the Oscars with Oprah, Brittany Spears, Slumdog Millionaire, worked with Pitbull, Justin Bieber and many other A list celebrities turned the White Gala party on September 25th into an electrifying night at the Westin Resort and spa.

 

The event was graced by CEOs and Elevate partners, such as Handl Health, MeRakee, CareBeyond, MarkBotix, PlugXr, GreenTek, Tekneksavr, Community Conn3ct, TruAmore among many others. Audience received mentorship from world class coaches and thought leaders such as, Serial entrepreneurs and authors Sharon Lechter & Dr. Greg Reid, Priceline.com Founder, Jeff Hoffman, A Mentor to Mentors, David Corbin, Ugg Boots founder Bryan Smith, No.1 Business Coach in the country, Bill Walsh, Jeffery Hayzlett among other business tycoons. 

 

Marius Woodward from Shriners was also in attendance and made a statement: “I have been to 100s of charity events but the love that I received from ELEVATE partners and Craig Shelly Ambassadors, simply filled my heart with Joy! Purpose of Shriners is to help children and families that have been in an unthinkable situation and to Elevate and restore their lives back, without worrying about financial burdens. I am proud to say that Craig Shelly and ELEVATE Partners did just that!”

 

I won’t say everything went smoothly. There were many hurdles and pitfalls along the way, but I gotta tell you, it was absolutely hands down team effort and we pulled off an incredible 3-day event with 9 different events within this one event. 

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Right after the event, I flew to Dallas with my team for Orly’s charity event. Came back with some great connections and new business partners. October opened with the PGA Tournament in Las Vegas, which was a massive success for team CS and the month ended with a beautiful Indian wedding at the serene Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego. It is all about Memories and experiences. At the end of the day, they’re all that we have. Remind yourself to cherish those experiences and enjoy life, every single moment.

 

My Personal Belief:

 

A. Work hard and be consistent 

B. Attract good people (friends/partners) that work hard and are dependable 

C. Win First and then together

D. Help, those in need, along the way 

 

It’s a personal choice, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Personally, I like to go both, fast and far!! Hence I prefer a smaller leaner team. I firmly believe in Dunbar’s number of 150. Hence, we close our partnerships every year max at 150. 

 

Numbers don’t lie:

 

After reviewing our numbers, it became clear to me that we should be focusing efforts on ELEVATE platform. ELEVATE is a platform of opportunity: to help Elevate their business and personal profiles and become the best versions of themselves. ELEVATE Summit also provides opportunities to test new ideas, to work with world-class coaches and thought leaders, and to invest in opportunities that are thoroughly vetted and solve problems. All of this while we maintain our cultural alignment. 

 

Investments, Opportunities and Alliances:

 

2021 has been a great year for investments. Here are some notable companies that I invested in:

 

  • Tresoro - JewelTech - Jewelry company with metaverse technology - Craig and Shelly Shah, Founders

  • TruAmore - Jewelry Marketplace with a unique differentiator - Craig and Shelly Shah, Founders

  • Handl Health - Health Tech - Price Transparency and a Data company - Ria shah and Ahmed, Founders 

  • Aaryan Shah Music Production - MusiTech - Technology company that helps Independent artist to monetize their music and scale - Aaryan shah Founder 

  • Aaria Capital - NFT Real Estate company - Ria shah, Aaryan Shah Founders 

  • PlugXr - XR simplified Robust Disruptive XR based platform that simplifies all mixed realities - Shivaji Yerra, Founder and Craig Shah, Co-Founder and BOD

  • iFlip - Trade Smart Fintech - unique AI based platform with smart folios - Randy Tate, Founder and Kelly Korshak, Co-Founder Craig Shah Board of Advisor

  • $cikario - Premium Vodka - Handmade - Corn Based - Gluten Free - No Hangover - Craig Shah, Founder

  • MeRAKEE - Know Your DNA (Dermatoglyphics Neuroscientific Analysis) - Shaily Shah, Founder

  • GreenTek - Green Revolution Energy Company - GTE Token - Brian Figueroa, Founder and Sonia Coopwood, Co-Founder

  • CareBeyond - Health and Nutrition company with CareBig Token - Rajiv and Priti Sanghvi, Founders 

  • TeknekSavr - Patented Product to help reduce text neck - Atiya Founder, Craig Shah, Board of Advisor

  • Community Conn3ct - Marketplace for service providers - Socrates Lopez, Founder,  Craig Shah, Board of Advisor

 

 

Learn and adopt:

 

  • Trust is Key - Don’t give it blindly. Check the track record. Look for patterns. Even if it is your best friend or a close relative. Look into the rear view mirror, check for blind spots and then venture in. 

  • Fortune Favors the Brave - Don’t be scared to try new ideas. Be brave. See who is behind this new idea and see if it’s solving a problem. Bigger the problem it solves, the higher the return. Fortune is also in followup. IF the person behind the idea is a right partner, follow up and associate with them, whatever it takes. Success is aligning yourself with the right people. 

  • Focus - Sometimes, with all that I do, I have a good problem.  Opportunities come by the hour. I need to learn to block out the noise and focus. This is a superpower that I’m eager to master in the coming years.

  • Hire the right talent - This isn’t something new for me but rather something that I need to repeatedly remind myself, time and again. No matter what you do, do not touch $20-40/hour jobs. Find interns or VAs to execute these small but important jobs. There are a ton of them available online, Fiverr.com or upwork.com. Form a virtual lean army of soldiers that will take care of all the admin tasks for you. Now, If looking to hire a CEO, better hire someone that has been in the CEO chair before and has managed and grown a company.

  • Manage Online Reputation: Very important. Look into your rolodex. Find good clients, partners, friends who, in the past, used your products/services. Login to our platform to send them a direct text requesting an online review. It has a 94% success rate and all of the sudden your online business reputation will shoot up and so will the revenue. 

  • It’s all about building relationships, not sales funnels - Meet like minded people and hang out more with people who are successful in their business and personal lives. Build relationships and not funnels. Eat out more often, go to great events, be a part of the community. Once relationships are built, revenue will follow. 

  • Lastly, Find a mentor - Everyone needs a mentor. You can have more than one, but one is a must. I plug in to several different masterminds, just to get re-energized. It fuels me up and I learn new things every single time. 

 

Charities Supported in 2021

 

  • Shriners Hospitals for Children

  • Beautifully Flawed

  • You matter Not Alone

  • Watering seeds foundation

  • iRise 

  • American Diabetes Association

  • TopAchievers Foundation

  • The Warburton

  • Umps Care

 

Goals for 2022

 

Top 7 high-level goals:

 

  • Form an ELEVATE executive team 

  • Total Membership to be 150 

  • Delegate and Elevate

  • Celebrity Cruise 

  • Golf Tournament & Mastermind 

  • Complete my book

  • Continue to connect and collaborate (events, dinners, investing, etc.)

 

I wanted to end this letter by Thanking Each and Every One of you! You all have contributed tremendously and I wouldn’t be where I am without all your support. AND I promise to work harder for each one of you in 2022, more than I ever have. 

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