We Came, We Saw, We Blogged: 20SB Summit 2011

August 25, 2011

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.

The Crimson Lounge, Chicago


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.


The view from the 20SB Summit
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!






Me by the Wrigley Building during a Starbucks run in downtown Chicago

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.




IMAG1267 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?   



7 comments so far.

7 responses to “We Came, We Saw, We Blogged: 20SB Summit 2011”

  1. Kylie Ofiu says:

    I went to the first blogging conference held in Australia in March this year. Yes, we are WAY behind when it comes to blogging here. It was ok, the best things was the book contract I got because of it. Last month I went to another one and it was AWESOME!!!! Absolutely loved it, got to meet Darren Rowse – Probloger himself and he is so nice.

    I came away so energised, buzzing with ideas and so excited. I am so looking forward to the Financial Blogger Conference.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Kylie, huge kudos for your book contract! I think it's so funny how we get excited to meet these "big name" bloggers in person, maybe I'm a big nerd, but it's a big thrill to meet people in person and they are typically really nice and genuinely want to help others.

      I cannot wait to see you at FINCON and meet you in person…your presentation is going to be great, I am impatiently waiting to see what you have in store for us!

  2. itsbritt says:

    Ah! I wanted to go so bad this year. I found out about it late, though, and being from Massachusetts, it was tough for me to find a way there and not drop a boat load of money! I am definitely planning on going next year. I'm new to blogging and it seemed like an awesome way to get involved and meet other people like myself. Looks like it was a lot of fun… Great post, thanks for sharing!!

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      I think it's totally worth the money and as a broke grad student, I know that's saying a lot! I think if you find someone in Chicago, they'd be willing to let you stay with them. It's a great location and easy to get to via train so I really thought that kept things simple and costs down (no taxis, yay!)

      If you're serious about going next year, keep in touch, I'll help as much as I can!

  3. dshan says:

    Shannyn, I'm so glad you had a great time and got value from the rockstars we had on our panels. I really love your recap; the way we're all in this together and can help one another realize our goals and aspirations. That was the sentiment I think the weekend really brought out of everyone who attended…no ego, no bullshit…just solid tips, advice, sharing, and support.

    It was a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to next year! 🙂

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Dshan (can I go by shan to feel cool too?) thanks for the comment. I would wholheartedly agree that it was a genuine meeting of the minds for this blogging summit. You always sort of worry when you meet up with other bloggers if there's going to be a connection, but there totally was. I was telling some of the friends I made that it was cool that nobody (as far as I saw) felt awkward and everyone felt pretty open sitting with new people or striking up conversation with formerly complete strangers. It was just an open, inviting experience where people could connect without feeling they had to prove themselves or brag to get attention- completely authentic.

  4. Amber says:

    That looks like so much fun! And I am totally with you on Jenny Blake — I'm always telling my husband she's my blogging idol. Hahah. I love her!

    Can't wait to meet you at FINCON11!! 🙂


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