There’s something odd about blogging. You find something you’re totally enamored with, you hop on WordPress, and you start writing. You’re ready to tell the world about your many loves, your deep thoughts, and those adorable shoes you had to buy.
You’re ready to take the interwebs by storm, to offer your piece to the greater community, to become a part of it- to be noticed for who you are. You type, and type, and type….and pour your heart out…and sit and wait to make that connection, to be recognized, to be a part of something.
You keep writing and you wait and hope, not knowing when the day the spark of ignition that got you blogging in the first place will finally take hold…then it just does. That moment happened for me at the 20SB Summit in Chicago this past weekend. I think we all know why we blog, but it’s pretty darn amazing to be reminded of your purpose when sitting in a room of people who really get you and why you do it.
Friday was the social sponsored by Murphy Goode Winery at the Crimson Lounge in Downtown Chicago. There was plenty of complimentary wine and beer, but I assure you- that was not the best buzz going on in the room.
I had. a. flippin. blast. I’m not sure if it was the atmosphere, or the awesome people, or the fact that some of the most genuinely awesome (read: nerdy) people were in the room but it was great. Photo booth? Dice games? People with snazzy business cards and cool stories? Done and done.
Saturday was filled with more time to chat, learn and explore with educational sessions for bloggers and an awesome keynote speech. I got to hear some amazing speakers and ask my burning questions one on one. The keynote speaker of the day was amazing. Pens were flying and keypads were clicking to take a slew of powerful notes as Scott Belsky of Behance.com gave us some pointers on implementing our ideas and powerhousing our productivity.
We then split up into groups based on tracks of application or aspiration. I got to hear one of my fave bloggers, Gala Darling speak on her first years of Problogging and we got some pointers on monetization and how to schedule our blogging work. Powerful stuff!
The hours seemed to roll by, all the chatting, getting ideas and comparing stories. I couldn’t believe that Saturday flew by, I met so many amazing people. I felt energized, motivate and excited to be part of such a diverse yet interconnected blogging community.
Truly, being a 20-something blogger (no matter what your niche) is a special community to be a part of. We can all blog about different topics, in different mediums- but as a group, we are a fun bunch to be around! The tweets were aplenty, and the offline community formed at the summit was alive with ideas and innovation to be shared with online community.
One of my favorite and most emotional moments was hearing Nate St. Pierre of LoveDrop.us talk about the Love Drop Project. Though I’ve been minorly involved each month with the various families, the drops each month touch my heart in ways words fail to capture- let me just say, “blogging for good,” is something that makes this medium worthwhile. Nate made captivating points about why we blog- and drove home the point that we need to take action, to really think about our impact beyond stats, Twitter Followers and “likes.” It made me proud to be a blogger and motivated me to think bigger- which is such a gift (Great job Nate!)
One of my favorite moments though, was meeting Jenny Blake. I’ve been reading her blog off and on for years, and I’m pretty sure my heart did a standing ovation when I heard she’d be putting out a book- she had been an example for so many young women, and not only did she share her story on a successful blog, she was going to kick butt and inspire in paperback format (which I’m sorry, I still think book deals are like, the coolest thing ever!)
Her keynote speech was nothing short of inspirational. She not only demonstrated the massive potential we possess as 20-something human beings, but how big the possibilities are when we use blogging as a platform for our own personal growth- even if it means feeling vulnerable in the process. She gave the attendees (and the virtual audience) some great Q&A time too. Needless to say- she is a dynamic woman and so approachable and gracious in person. Her published words, her spoken words, and the very life she leads is a testament to the success she so truly deserves- she leads by example and is nothing short of genuine.
And yes, fan-girl me totally had to stop and take a snapshot after she signed my book (accompanied with cute stamps of course!) *look at how geekily excited I am!
She is going to be offering some great programs and services which you can read about on her blog at LifeAfterCollege.org and of course, you can buy her book too!
It was an amazing weekend…so I have to ask- when was the last time you invested in yourself? I think we’re all nervous about doing things like this- but I tell you, when the opportunity presents itself, buy the tickets and don’t look back!
The return on my initial investment for tickets to this summit were huge. I feel like I grew personally from attending, but what I think is an even better gift is the fact that I got to see, first hand, how the community is growing. I got the privilege to connect with some tremendously talented and fun people, and feel honored to have been a part of this event.
I had so many questions answered (which is great) but I left with such a gift- the passion and astonishment that is spawned when new, bigger, bolder questions are raised in their place. Questions about direction, questions about growth, questions about what is truly possible…
…so I have a big question for you, ARE YOU GOING NEXT YEAR?
to get more info about this great community head over to 20sb.net
and hello lovely reader, if you enjoy my blog or well, just want to make my flippin’ WEEK could you be kind enough to nominate FrugalBeautiful.com in the Plutus Awards for Best Frugality Blog, Best Blog for Gen X/Y and Best New Blog?