This is WDS 2013.
Would you pay $500 and travel a long way to attend a conference called the World Domination Summit? Have you even heard of WDS? This secretive conference is organized by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World. 2013 is the 3rd annual WDS and there were nearly 3,000 attendees. I had heard about WDS since the first year, but I didn’t really know what the whole thing was about. Tickets sold out in 15 minutes anyway and I wasn’t prepared to pay $500 to attend a conference that I didn’t know anything about.
$500 isn’t cheap, but since I already live in Portland, I wouldn’t have to pay for travel and lodging. I also have a personal goal to attend one conference a year so I bit the bullet and purchased a ticket as soon as it went on sale. Then a funny thing happened – I started to feel a little twinge of regret as WDS approached. I still didn’t really know what the conference was about and I wasn’t sure if it was a good decision to spend $500 on this…
Still, I already paid my $500 so I resolved to get into the spirit, put on the WDS shirt and socks, and then headed out the door. After a full day of phenomenal talks and meeting amazing people, I’m happy to report that it was an awesome experience for me.
I also have a better idea of what WDS is about now. It’s all about people who are trying to live a remarkable life in a conventional world. (Chris’ words.) WDS is made for these folks and it’s a great feeling to see so many people trying to break out of the box.
- Are totally fed up with the corporate BS.
- Feel that you should be making a living doing something else.
- Don’t want to work until you’re 65 and then retire to a life of leisure.
- Are searching for your calling/purpose.
- Want to follow your dream.
- Just need a little push.
- Are trying to make the world a better place.
- Want to meet a ton of remarkable folks who are in various stages of transforming their lives.
Then WDS is calling to you.
The talks were just awesome. They were all so inspirational and really got me pumped up. The presenters were top notch and I’m sure transformed many lives over the weekend.
Nancy Duarte talked about how to communicate to your audience more effectively. Mrs. RB40 would have loved this talk since she is so involved with Toastmasters. I learned how great speeches are structured and it will be very useful for my writing development.
Darren Rowse of Problogger talked about how he began pursuing his dreams again. When he first started, he didn’t even know how to bold text and now he is making a great living doing what he enjoys. This was my favorite talk because Darren showed people how to start transforming their lives.
Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill went over how he built a 200 million dollar/year business and gave it away to his employees and educational funds. Bob taught me you can’t do it alone and you need to share your profit with your employees.
Crowd’s favorite Jia Jiang gave a great talk about facing rejections head on and accepting them. Sometime, I just wouldn’t ask for something because I don’t want to hear the negative reply. I’m sure everyone does that, but Jia encourage us to face our rejections head on. I’ll try to keep this lesson close to heart and embrace rejections more.
Chase Jarvis encouraged us to feed our creativity and relearn what we knew when we were kids. As we age, creativity gets crowd out of our busy lives. You can bring back creativity into your life by starting small and creating something. You’ll never know where it will take you.
Can you imagine sitting in a theater with 3,000 extraordinary people and listening to these talks? There was electricity in the air. You can turn to the person next to you and you’ll hear an unconventional story that is sure to inspire you. I have never been in a place with so many crazy people before.
The Amazing Crowd
Clearly, these are people who are not satisfied with the status quo. They were motivated enough to travel a long way to transform their lives and connect with like-minded people. Normally I’m not very good at meeting new people. I used to say I’m an introvert, but actually, I’m just not that social. However, attendees here are so interesting because each of them have a remarkable story to tell and I wanted to know more about them.
For me, I already made a big jump last year when I quit my job to become a stay at home dad/blogger. I love my current situation, but it’s not permanent. I want to do something more when our kid starts school full time (in 3 years) and I don’t know what it is yet. There were many people searching for their next act and I feel like I’ve found my tribe. I collected a few contacts and I’ll definitely follow up and see where these folks will take themselves next.
So yes, I think it was worth $500 for me to go at least once. WDS was an unforgettable experience in an otherwise mundane year. A decade from now, I’ll still remember this event. That’s worth the price of admission to me. Seriously, if you ever thought about living an unconventional life, then you really should check it out too. Next year, I’ll encourage Mrs. RB40 to attend. I think she’ll love it.
What do you think? Would you try coming to WDS? I’ll buy you a beer if you make it to Portland next year.
*Update* I just purchased a ticket for our chief editor to attend WDS14! I think she will have an awesome time.
PS – This article just covered Saturday. I’m too worn out to talk about Sunday too. Here is a bonus picture of the after party.