“Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything. They make you feel so alive that you’d follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix.” –Karen Marie Moning
Do you dream of changing the world in your own special way? Have you pondered the possibility that there is a group of like-minded people out there who totally get who you are, or will make a sincere attempt to understand and help you in your cause?
After spending three days to get to Portland, the real fun began, as we geared up for a whirlwind weekend of connection and learning that drives us to make our annual pilgrimage to Portland.
How does one describe The World Domination Summit? While it defies any attempts to define it, we often refer to WDS as worldchangers’ mecca.
Work Hard But Play Harder…
WDS is a grownup’s summer camp, only we don’t sit around campfires eating s’mores and telling ghost stories. We do things like:
Yoga in the park
Rock out to Journey songs on stage
Close down city streets to hold sumo wrestling bouts
Rent out a ballroom and fill it with 100o Bollywood dancing newbies
In all seriousness, while WDS would seem like a playground for adults, it’s really a forum for people to come together to share information, wisdom, and tools for becoming a force for good in this world.
The Wise Sage Drops Keys For The Rowdy Prisoners
The theme throughout the weekend sums up the mindset that we WDS’ers are constantly learning to cultivate:
How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?
It’s a profound question that begs introspection. WDS won’t outright answer this question for you (the answer will be different for everyone), but lots of help is on offer with guideposts to help as you continue to orient yourself on your chosen path.
Allow us to share some precious nuggets that we gleaned from the weekend, particularly from the keynote speakers, an all-star roster of today’s luminaries for world change, covering everything from the power of introversion, to the humanitarian crisis that is happening across the world due to lack of access to clean water.
Brene Brown, the first keynote speaker and expert on vulnerability talked about how we live in a culture of nothing ever being enough. Whether it comes to achievements, wealth, or fame, we are always chasing something bigger or better…a mindset of scarcity.
The end result is a feeling that who we are is never good enough. And we constantly seek to fill in the emptiness of “never enough”. The way to overcome this is gratitude. To be thankful for what life gives you, good OR bad, is the ultimate path to realizing the joy of living.
If one has all the good luck in the world, but takes it for granted, it will not give one joy. Yet even bad luck will give joy to those who manage to be grateful for it. –Brene Brown
People don’t suddenly become grateful because joyful events happen in their life. Rather they realize how joyful life is because they begin to appreciate the challenges and rewards that comprise a remarkable life.
“When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.” –Napoleon Hill
Chris Brogan was another memorable keynote speaker who talked about the idea that every one of us has a superpower within us and that we ought to find it and cultivate it so that we can be a force for good in the world. He distributed Marvel collector cards to help everyone get into the mindset.
More wisdom from Brogan:
Don’t settle. You might be a quarter of the way into a book, and realize it’s just not fulfilling your interest. Maybe you are in a job that has lost its appeal and you don’t wake up excited each day. Life is too short to stay in things you’re not committed to. Close the book and start a new one…both literally and figuratively.
Untangle yourself. Too many of us have lives hinged upon two sides of the same coin: praise and criticism. Learn to detach yourself from both of them. Be grateful for it when someone gives you praise or criticism, but understand that what really matters is what YOU say about yourself.
Find your superteam. The Avengers, Justice League, The X-Men, Superfriends. Even with the most awesome powers at their disposal, even superheroes need to band together if they expect to change the world. Figure out your strengths, then align with others who can fill out the areas that you’re not strong in. A rock star needs a rock band…period.
Action, conviction, and teamwork…important ingredients for success.
So many other sage pieces of advice from other keynote speakers are logged in my notebook, that I could literally bind it and sell it as a book. Obviously not going to do that, but allow me to serve up a few more nuggets:
Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts: “You can take really strong positions with a mild-mannered stance, and have a lot of power with it. You don’t have to be the loudest, but you do have to believe in what you do.”
Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance and author of Making Ideas Happen: “The new work world is one where meritocracy is possible: huge industries of middle men are disappearing, and people with the right skills and talents are being hired for their abilities, not just their connections.”
There’s A Workshop For That
Take two and call me in the morning. That’s the best way I could describe the prescription for Saturday and Sunday at WDS. Paid attendees got their choice of two breakout session workshops each day, which they selected from in advance about a month prior to the summit.
It’s important to note that these workshops were led by attendees…a volunteer army of worldchangers crusading to help others with useful tools on their own roads to world domination.
With nearly 60 workshops to choose from, chances are there was a workshop available to serve your needs. Take a look:
Steve Kamb / Marvin & Josephine Abisia: Travel Hacking Academy for Beginners
Jill Allen: Unconventional Fitness: Yoga
Chris Brogan: A Conversation with Chris Brogan of Human Business Works
Abraham Cajudo: Campaign Wishes and Kickstarter Dreams: How I Learned to Love Crowdfunding
Janice Campbell: How to Create Multiple Streams of Income in a One-Person Business
Scott Dinsmore: How to Connect with Anyone
Amanda Farough You Website Sucks (And You’re Awesome)
Scott Harrison: A Conversation with Scott Harrison of Charity: Water
Clay Hebert: No Excuses – From Idea to Laund – How to Validate, Position, Market, & Ship
Danielle LaPorte: Live Fire Starter Session
Jennifer Lee: The Right Brain Business Plan: Turn Passion into Profit
Cynthia Morris: Write Your Book Now: Kick Fear to the Curb with a Simple Content Map
Sarah Peck: How to Win at Crafting Narratives
Josh Schwartzman: Fail Fast: Test Your Idea in 60 Minutes
Pam Slim: 13 Ways to Inspire Your Audience
Stephanie Zito: Intro for World Changers
Steve Kamb / Marvin & Josephine Abisia: Advanced Travel Hacking Academy
Corbett Barr: Instant Idea Evaluation
Jenny Blake / Kyle Durand: Ignorance is Not Bliss
Jonathan Fields: The 10 Commandments of Epic Business
David Fugate: Ask the Literary Agent
Tara Gentile: Reclaim Wealth: Make the World Richer
Josh Kaufman: The Art and Science of Rapid Skill Acquistion
Nick Krasner: How to Operate as a Psychological Surgeon
Kate O’Brien: Cultivating Unconventional Kids – need link
Christina Rasmussen: Your Loss is Your Launch Pad
Emelie Rota: Sex, Money, and Politics – Why Forbidden Fruit Holds the Key to a Sustainable Future
Julia Roy: Less is More: Simple Productivity Hacks
Andrea Scher: Mondo Beyondo Meetup: What are Your Superpowers?
Maneesh Sethi: Digital Nomading for Fun & Profit
Colleen Wainwright: What I Did on My Summer Vacation: The 50-for-50 Campaign
Erick Widman: How to Have the Best Year of Your Life by Volunteering and Travelling Overseas
Sherold Barr / Ishita Gupta: Get Unstuck: How to Use Fear and Adverstiy to Build a Remarkable Life
Cate Brubaker: The Art and Science of Re-Entry After Being Abroad
James Clear: Become a Better Photography in 60 Minutes
Marianne Elliott: Unconventional Fitness: Yoga
Jodi Ettenberg: The Hungry Nomad: How to Eat Cheaply and Safely Anywhere in the World
Matthew Gartland: Indie Publishing Demystified: How Any Writer Can Prosper from the eBook Revolution
Derek Halpern: How to Wring Results from Your Blog
Josh Kaufman: The Personal MBA: Make More Money, Get More Done, Have More Fun
Danielle LaPorte: Live Fire Starter Session
Owen Marcus / Ken Solin: Create a Micro-Community for World Domination
The Minimalists: Millburn / Nicodemus / Becker – Minimalism is Changing the Entrepreneurial Landscape
Cal Newport: Crafting a Remarkable Career
Angela Perkins: Unconventional Philanthropy: Stop Wasting Your Time and Start Making a Real Difference – need link!
Pace Smith / Kyeli Smith: Why Your Dreams Aren’t Enough to Change the World (And What You’re Missing)
Jaime Tardy: How Millionaires Start Their Businesses
Scott Belsky: The Future of Work: A Conversation with Scott Belsky
Sophia Bera: Financial Planning for the Gen Y Taught by Gen Y
Gregory Berg: Ready for Prime Time? Creating Your Own Podcast or Online Radio Show
Becca Borawski / Cody Limbaugh: Unconventional Fitness: CrossFit
Brené Brown: A Conversation with Brené Brown
Mike Bruny: The New Art of Conference Networking: #Hashtags to Homies
Susannah Conway: Writing from the Heart
Jonathan Fields: Mindset is the New Killer App
David Fugate: Book Concepts That Sell
Matt Kepnes: How to Travel First Class on an Economy Budget
Benny Lewis: Speak a Foreigh Language Fluently in 3 Months
Nathalie Lussier: The Female Advantage: How Women in Business & Technology Will Change Your World
Nicholas Reese: Rapid Fire Strategy Sessions for the Bootstrapping Entrepreneur
Joel Runyon: Do Something. Do Anything.
Kate Swoboda: Entrepreneurs: Stop Letting Overwhelm Kick Your Ass
Andrea Warner: Find Freelance Jobs Online & Work From Anywhere
hat tip to planetshannon for compiling this list
The Unconventional Investment
Question: If someone gave you $100,000…what would you do with it?
With a dynamite team of keynote speakers, an army or workshop leaders, an awesome goodie bag, and more activities than you could ever fit into 72 hours, the World Domination Summit was worth far more than it’s nominal admission of $500.
People drop that kind of money on way more frivolous things than getting together with a 1000 awesome people to exchange ideas on ways to do business and change the world at the same time.
Here’s a clip of the closing presentation at WDS. It’s 13 minutes long, and worth every minute.
“People first, then money, then things.” –Suze Orman
The ultimate investment you can make is not in commodities, in stocks, in real estate, or any other material wealth. It’s not a mistake to put money into these things. But true wealth comes from investing in people. No one understands this better than Chris Guillebeau.
I’ve been to many conferences in my life. At 99% of them someone tried to sell me something. Software, hardware, training…you name it.
WDS is the only one I’ve been to that continues to have no corporate sponsorship, no one hawking their wares on stage, and no form of solicitation of any kind…not even in the attendee-led workshops. In fact, Chris declined a number of extremely lucrative offers from big names that would have surely generated a ton of profits for the event.
This is the only Un-conference I’m aware of that actually paid back its attendees in a gesture that says, “You believed in us…and we want you to know we believe in you. Now take this $100, and change the world as you see fit.”
I have a personal philosophy about anything you do in life: If even one life is changed for the better from your efforts, you’ve made the world a much better place. Never underestimate the ripple effect.
This year’s World Domination Summit ended with a tidal wave of 1000 changed lives.
What will we be doing with the unexpected windfall that Chris so graciously invested in us? We are still exploring the possibilities.
In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us in being a force for good at next year’s WDS. Registration is tentatively scheduled to open up in September, but the email waiting list is open now.
Stay tuned…and if this post inspired you, let us know in the comments!
All images credited to Armosa Studios