How Going to Blogworld Changes Your Life- My Recap of #BWELA
Two years ago I started the Skool of Life and the only plan I had for it was to create something that would help me stand out in a crowded in a job market. But with every single step I took forward the the view continually changed and opportunities kept revealing themselves like never before. In 2010 I went to my very first Blogworld as an attendee. When I arrived on the concourse at Mandalay Bay with my business partner Sid, I was greeted with dozens of familiar faces and I immediately knew that I was part of something that was going to change the course of my life forever. There aren’t many conferences that you would call a life changing experience, but Blogworld is definitely one of them. One year after my first Blogworld, I was at Blogworld LA as a speaker and with the new sponsors for our podcast, Livefyre.
I arrived unusually early because I was eager to get over to downtown LA before the traffic picked up. I called my buddy Chris Ducker and we sat down for a coffee. While we know Chris as the “outsourcing guy”, he also happens to be a brilliant entrepreneur. As I sat down and chatted with him about everything that has been happening over the last few months, he gave me one piece of advice that was priceless. He told me to spend one hour each day reading about entrepreneurship and if I did that we’d be having a different conversation next year. Needless to say it’s going to change my reading habits.
When I got to the downstairs lobby at the Sheraton there were a handful of people we might consider social media celebrities and even though they had know idea who I was, welcomed me with open arms. Rather than say much about what I did, I sat quietly and listened to what they had to say. I was hanging out with Dave Fleet, Julien Smith and CC Chapman. These guys have been around this world forever and they’re living proof that there’s no such thing as overnight success. Despite the book deals, and internet fame, they’re really no different than you and me. They’ve just been at this longer. Julien gave me some brilliant insights into putting on live events that probably will be the seeds for what will be my very first event that I will put on. CC Chapman and I had interacted via email a few times in order to have him be a guest on BlogcastFM. Right when I got home Sunday night there was an email from him asking me when I wanted to do the interview. In the midst of our little happy hour, Chris Brogan walked in and we got to spend some time chatting. Even though we might put all these people on pedestals they’re all really down to earth. I got to spend an unusually large amount of time hanging out with Darren Rowse. If you want to talk about a guy who truly is an example of humility Darren really is it. We ended up having dinner a handful of times, and it was really great to hear all of his insights into where blogging is headed in the future. For BlogcastFM listeners, you’ll probably get to hear from him on our show soon.
As the evening went on, familiar faces filled the lobby. Marcus Sheridan, Pat Flynn, and Chris Ducker, Sid Savara and our newest BlogcastFM team member Capsun all were there. That was just the start of three days of pure energy and madness.
Thursday morning I got to the convention center and I could tell right from the moment I registered that there was an amazing energy around the event. The Blogworld crew had really stepped up its game to make this the best Blogworld’s ever. I have to give a shoutout to Lara Kulpa for the amazing job she’s done creating so much conversation around the event in her role as community manager. Once the sessions started it was kind of crazy because so many amazing speakers were speaking at the same time that I had to split time between sessions.
People Doing Epic Things
- Marcus Sheridan: If there’s anybody you should be paying very close attention to over the next couple of months and years, Marcus should be at the top of that list. He’s going to be one of the most important voices in our community. To add to that he’s an absolutely STELLAR speaker. He brings style, humor and energy to a room that is amazing. He’s been a real mentor in my own speaking efforts.
- Benny Lewis: If you want to talk about guy who is doing epic shit, look no further than the guy who travels around the world becoming fluent in 3 months. Benny is one of my favorite people in the Blogopshere because he’s down to earth, funny, and brilliant. For all you travel companies out there, this guy should be the official language spokesperson for your brand.
- Amy Schmittauer: I knew of Amy through other people because she’d been on the Fox Rent a Car road trip that I’d put together. I’ve said before that emerging talent is the most undervalued asset in the blogosphere and Amy is one of those talents. The work she’s doing on video blogging is going to open up a whole new path for people. She’s going to be collaborating with me on a new pilot project that we’ll be announcing soon.
- Amy Porterfield: Amy is one of my favorite people I’ve ever interviewed on BlogcastFM and she’s also one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She’s somebody who truly gives us all words of encouragement when we need them. I didn’t get to make it to her session because I was running around like a madman, but it was standing room only and even Darren Rowse noted her session as one of his personal highlights of Blogworld.
- Pat Flynn: Pat’s dedication, hard work and humility never cease to amaze me. He’s continually setting the bar higher and higher. I snuck into his presentation and despite some technical snafus he sailed right through it with flying colors. In fact he turned what might have been a disaster into an advantage and it probably added to the humanity of his presentation.
- Capsun Poe: Sid had brought Capsun on to our BlogcastFM team mainly to be our virtual assistant. But he’s doing far more than that, and at Blogworld I got to see that first hand. It was like having your own mini PR firm. He kept us on course throughout the weekend.
While it would be impossible to really do justice to every single person I met, I need to give shoutouts to Ali Luke, Tom Martin, Pace and Kyeli, Janice Croze, Andy Hayes, Corbett Barr, David Risley, and Sarah Peck. All I can tell you is that I am fortunate to know plenty of people who are doing epic things.
My Personal Highlight
When I found out that Sid and I were both speaking at the same time, I emailed Deb Ng and asked if we could have our time slots changed. I got moved to the last session on the last day and thought “doh, that sucks.” But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I got to spend the majority of my time with the team at Livefyre. We brainstormed dozens of new ideas for our partnership and I recorded almost 20 video interviews in their booth. Jenna Langer who really spearheaded our efforts to get the sponsorship deal done before Blogworld is truly amazing and if I have anything to do with it, I’ll probably co-write a book with her . Our marketing manager Joe Bertino, Amy Schmittauer, and I started hatching plans for going from podcast to media empire.
The Blogworld Team
You have really outdone yourselves and this was easily the best Blogworld yet. You packed this conference with value, insight, and amazing people. You know it’s a great conference when you leave feeling disappointed that the thing you’ve been looking forward to for 6 months is over. It might be time for Blogworld X , local Blogworld meetups so we can continue the experience when we get home. (just a thought
If you’re wondering what to do after Blogworld, I’d recommend you create a Blogworld follow up action plan. If you don’t do anything with all the information you’ve been armed with you’re going to miss out on some serious value. Every single time I attend Blogworld my life changes for the better. That’s why I keep going back to each year.
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