WDS Part 2 – Saturday Afternoon
The first morning of WDS 2013 went by so quickly. The energy on stage and in the audience was infectious! People were smiling, laughing, making introductions to strangers and sharing their stories. We broke for lunch, and had the opportunity to select an afternoon workshop. I learned to move quickly (and maybe skip lunch) in order to guarantee a seat at my preferred event.
Workshop – A Conversation with Chris Guillebeau
presented by Andrew Warner
I attended the Q&A session with Chris Guillebeau, moderated by Andrew Warner. I was unfamiliar with Andrew, the founder of Mixergy, and his interviewing expertise. Throughout the session I was very impressed by Andrew’s skill at drawing out answers, by not letting an incomplete answer stand. He continually drilled down to get to the deeper heart of the matter. This was particularly apparent when Andrew questioned Chris for more details about the creative process and attention to detail apparent at the World Domination Summit.
Chris explained that the name of the conference came from his earlier manifesto, A Brief Guide to World Domination.” He shared some of his background, including the fact that he spent four years in Africa. He started out blogging about non-conformity which led to his first book, The Art of Non-Conformity.” The vision and strategy of WDS has evolved: It includes finding people who align with the vision of living a remarkable life and bringing them together to collaborate and discuss lessons learned. Hearing more about Chris’s background and the beginnings of the WDS was interesting, especially since this was my first time attending the conference.
Chris shared some of his philosophy on blogging. He doesn’t believe you have to have a niche. You learn as you go. He writes about what is interesting to him. For those unsure of what to do next: Explore. Be open to new ideas. Study what other people have done. He expressed a sense of urgency about taking opportunities now.
Chris also gave lots of credit to the people who help create the WDS experience. He expects the conference to continue to be held in Portland, Oregon, which was good news to me.
My takeaway: Write about what is interesting to you. “You just put things out there (blog posts) and hopefully they improve.”
Jia Jiang – Rejection
To be completely honest, I did not take any notes during this presentation. I was in complete awe of the bravery of Jia Jiang and the emotion he shared openly with the audience. He spoke about his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, and his inspiration after hearing Bill Gates speak. The photo above shows the letter he wrote as a young man about wanting to have a career in computing.
Jia’s story unfolded – he came to live in America, had a so-so job and found over time that fear had kept him from pursuing his dream. Fear. Of. Rejection. He described his determination to overcome that fear by embarking on a program of Rejection Therapy. He would think of a unique request that a reasonable person would refuse, and go out and make the request to a stranger. His idea was that by getting repeatedly rejected, he would lose his fear of it. He did this over and over and captured each different experience on video. Surprisingly, many of his most outrageous requests were granted.
I recommend you watch the videos and read more on his Entresting blog. Jia’s message is that abandoning a dream can mean you live a life filled with regret. Don’t let fear of rejection keep you from your pursuit.
P.S. I think Jia was paying attention to Nancy Duarte’s communication strategy. I definitely felt a “what is – what could be” flow in his story structure.
My takeaway: Don’t let Fear of Rejection run your life. You may look shiny on the outside but feel empty on the inside if you don’t follow your dream.
Chase Jarvis – Creativity
Chase Jarvis gave a list of problems we face today – climate crisis, unemployment crisis, humanitarian crisis, education crisis. He then went on to explain how the solutions are to be found in human creative potential. He believes we need to create a culture that values creativity overtly. Creativity can be defined as taking nothing and making something. It can take many forms.
He went on to describe the current education system which was created to prepare students for a farm or factory life. This model does not encourage creativity after middle school grades. In the past getting a diploma was the path to a job and a better life. But today a diploma does not guarantee a job and students are drowning in the debt they take on to get the degree. Chase believes that creative activities need to be reintroduced into learning and that those creative activities will create more creativity. And the solutions to many challenges will come from that creative freedom. “Creativity is the new literacy.”
I know I missed many of Chase’s great points here. You can watch his “no holds barred” interview with Chris Guillebeau on his blog for more discussion about taking action to create a remarkable life.
My takeaway: “Find creativity in all areas of life, not just art. Creativity is the new literacy.”
If you are interested in attending WDS 2014, be sure to register on the WDS 2014 waiting list for notification of ticket sales later this year.
Did you miss Part 1?
Stay tuned for Part 3.