I waited for over a year to join 2,800 other travelers in Portland for the 2013 World Domination Summit. And now that I’ve experienced it for the first time, there are no words.
Well, there are so many of them — and so many feelings — that it’s overwhelming to put them into concise words.
What is The World Domination Summit?
When any of us were asked what WDS was, we each had a different answer. Mostly because WDS affects each of us in a different way, since we’re from all walks of life, ages, races and cultures.
But the common thread that binds us is that we want to live a remarkable life in a conventional world, and to take action on our dreams!
The Importance of Finding Your People
Like with most conferences I go to, I wanted to focus on the connections and meetups with other like-minded entrepreneurs. I wouldn’t be where I am today, in my business and my life, if I didn’t surround myself with other non-conventional thinkers.
When I started blogging I didn’t know anyone, I barely knew what a blog was, but in the past several years (Careful Cents turns two this month!) I’ve made connections with extraordinary people doing amazing things.
“Surrounding yourself with awesome people is the best way to grow individually and as an entrepreneur.” ~ Caleb Wojcik
None of us are capable of our full potential without first understanding ourselves and connecting with other people like us. The final speaker at the conference, Don Miller asked three questions,
Who are you?
What do you want?
What happened when you went for it?
Without understanding yourself and what you want — not what you’re good at or what you’re skilled at — you will never connect with your people, and connections are the key to happiness.
“You are not your failures. You are not your successes.” — Donald Miller
However, little did I know, the workshops and sessions would turn out to be equally as inspiring and rewarding.
Dream While You’re Still in the Dream
Each session I attended became my new favorite. Nancy Duarte’s presentation had this editor and word nerd on the edge of my seat, with her speech about how stories can change the world. But it was the personal story from Tess Vigeland that really hit home for me.
After working for 11 years with Marketplace Money, she quit her cushy, stable job — and needless to say, everyone freaked out! She didn’t have a safety net, or another job lined up, she just realized that when she got her dream job, she stopped dreaming, and now she was very unhappy.
BOOM! That phrase hit home like a ton of bricks, because that’s exactly what happened to me in my dream accounting job. I stopped dreaming. I stopped seeing what life could be. I stopped making my own luck and finding exciting opportunities.
Don’t forget to dream while you’re still in the dream. You are remarkable, even when you don’t feel like it. Quitting your job is a scary feat for anyone, but even more so when you don’t have a backup plan or safety net.
What is Your Dream?
That’s the question speaker Darren Rowse asked us, and told us to turn to our neighbor and ask them what their dream was, then share your dream with them. While admitting to your dream and saying it out loud takes a lot of courage, so does finding your dream.
My dream is to find out what my dream is, to discover my true path in this life. Since I don’t know my dream yet, I’m telling you, that my dream is to find my dream — something beyond the normal “make other people’s lives better”.
One of the biggest things that impacted me this weekend was seeing people act on their dreams. Dreamers and doers were everywhere! In fact it was normal to be absolutely freakin amazing and to think unconventionally.
How to Find Your Dream
Maybe you already know what you want life to be like for you, or maybe you’re like me and still looking for your dream. How do you find your dream?
“Look for small sparks! Your next big thing might be the small thing right in front of you.” ~ Darren Rowse
During his speech, Darren asked singer and songwriter Clare Bowditch to come onto the stage and sing her song, Amazing Life. It had me and all the other attendees in tears.
“You don’t have to just one thing, but you have to start something.” ~ Clare Bowditch
Until You Find Your Purpose, Be Happy
Don’t waste your life away trying to find your dream and discover your purpose, while living an unhappy, conventional life. The more time you spend with yourself, and acknowledge who and what you are, the happier you’ll become.
“Self acknowledgement is the key to happiness.” ~ Gretchen Rubin.
After Gretchen’s presentation on habits and understanding ourselves, I purchased and started reading her book, The Happiness Project.
During her speech, what really resonated with me, was her story about how she loves reading children and young adult books. But that isn’t the “responsible” thing to indulge in as an adult, so she hid that part of herself for a long time.
Once she finally owned up to the fact of who she was, and what she liked (more on moderators versus abstainers) she found happiness. I’m a moderator, and an upholder, and I will no longer make apologies for the way I am.
Create Your Own Path, Even When There Isn’t One
During the whole weekend at the Summit, Chris G. featured multiple attendees and their stories. It was super inspiring to hear other people acting on their dreams. One guy wanted to speak in front of 500 people as part of his bucket list, so thanks to the WDS2013 team, he was able to cross it off the list.
The coolest story by far, was from Marian Schembari the Social Media Manager for Couchsurfing. Six months ago, she was living in New Zealand and knew she had to quit her job. She ONLY wanted to work for a company that she believed in, and that lined up with her personal values.
But unfortunately Couchsurfing wasn’t hiring a Social Media Manager. So like any go-getter entrepreneur, she didn’t let that fact stop her. She created a video of all her Couchsurfing hosts recommending her (in their native language) and explaining how passionate she is about traveling.
Then she sent the video to the CEO of Couchsurfing, and within 2 weeks she moved to San Francisco and is now part of the social media team. We have no excuse to follow our dreams and create a path, even when there doesn’t seem to be one.
Biggest Takeaway From WDS2013
We are all at different stages in our businesses, our dreams and our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still continue to dream and to pursue our purpose. There’s always a new opportunity, a world record to break, and inspiring people to meet.
Dream while you’re still in the dream! Look for sparks! Connect with your people! Let loose, and have fun!
If you want to be Superman — go for it! If you want to dance Bollywood Gangnam style — do it! If you want a job that isn’t hiring — create a position for that job anyway!
This is just one of a two-part series about my trip to Portland. But there was just SO much information and awesomeness that I couldn’t fit it into one post. Keep a lookout for a more personal post (with fun pics) soon!
Photo used with permission via Chris Guillebeau.