photo credit : Armosa Studios for WDS.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. I spoke on Sunday in front of a crowd of about 2500. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done professionally. There is a high that comes from public speaking that is unlike anything else. Shared experience is satisfying - we crave it as human beings. Getting to facilitate that shared experience, it turns out, is spectacular.
I wanted to share a few thoughts (a behind the scenes, if you will) of how this came to be and then as soon as the event videos are available, I will share my speech in its entirety.
I got an email from Chris Guillebeau, the WDS founder, on May 5. I was in the middle of a deadline for another project and so overwhelmed. We were coming off a month of evening shifts for Paul, Ellerie's sleep pattern was a hot mess, work was busy and my "schedule" felt absurd and totally unsustainable (it's fascinating what lack of sleep and lack of help at bedtime can do to you - do you remember when I likened my life to the "people crying" google search?).
At the end of April, I was like, "OKAY, BLAHA (I use my maiden name when I'm yelling at myself) PULL BACK. PICK SANITY, AND PULL BACK. No more projects. Just get through what's on your plate."
Awesome, good. I'm totally on board.
And then I get an email from Chris (we've been friends through blogland for a few years) with the subject line..."Elise at WDS 2014!"
"I'd love for you to join us as a speaker this summer. How can we make this happen?"
Like the normal, email-checking person that I am, I responded within an hour:
"What?!?! That's the coolest!!!"
(This is my response verbatim, by the way. When you invite me to speak at your event you get me PLUS a worn out exclamation point key AND a truly unmatched level of professionalism.)
We chatted a bit of logistics via email and phone and then, considering I had just determined my plate was too full, I said I needed some time to think it over. My thought process, laid out for my business advisers (Paul, my parents and Ellerie), went something like this...
"If I don't do this, I will not regret it. The second weekend of July will come and go and I'll breath a big sigh of relief that I am not stressed out. If I do do this, it will be so hard. It will be so scary. I'll panic FOR SURE. But the second weekend of July will come. I'll have to get up on stage, crank it out and my life will be different."
(Paul, my parents and Ellerie - all probably silently rooting for me to pick one option over the other, but too kind to add to my crazy - nodded and said "hmmm, yes..." as I pondered.)
"Sleep on it, Blaha." my timid voice urged.
"Get over it, Blaha." my daring side responded.
I emailed Chris that evening. "I am IN."
BOOM. Now, it was time to get to work.
Could I, in one half hour, deliver my most passionate message to an audience that for the most part falls far outside of my "niche" and has never heard of me? Could I get on stage and be totally impressive AND completely myself? Could I speak in front of a group this large? And maybe most pressing...could I get Ellerie to go to sleep tonight?
to be continued...