7 Days Until Departure

May 27, 2011
7 Days Until Departure - World Domination Summit

7 Days Until Departure.

These are the words that I could hardly imagine when Chris Guillebeau first announced the World Domination Summit last September. #WDS has been sold out since January, which is quite a remarkable achievement for someone who has never produced a live event before.

So, what is this World Domination Summit all about anyway?

Lately, I’ve been asked that question many times, so I thought I would explain how I perceive it here in the hopes that the ideals behind the summit will benefit others – even if they do not attend.

7 Days Until Departure - World Domination SummitMy take on it is this: WDS is a collection of people from all over the world that are living life on their own terms and following non-traditional career paths. Many of them are ‘location independent’ or are striving to move in that direction. Many of them are hard core travelers and round-the-world tickets are a common topic in this crowd. These are people that challenge the status quo and look for meaning in life beyond a paycheck and a 401K. At least, that’s my perception of them.

It’s hard to describe the energy that is building around this experience. For months, people have been getting to know each other through the WDS website (which has individual profiles on all attendees – awesome!), through Facebook groups, the #WDS hashtag on Twitter, and various unofficial meetups as well as pre and post WDS activity planning.

Speaking of activity, for me the schedule looks like this:

Thursday morning – fly from Atlanta to Portland.

Thursday day – explore Portland and get to know the Downtown area

Thursday evening – dinner meetup with other attendees at the ACE hotel

Friday – skydiving!!!

Friday evening – WDS kickoff party

Saturday – WDS

Saturday evening – bike tour of Portland

Sunday – WDS

Sunday evening – WDS closing party

Monday – mountain climbing

Monday night – fly back to Atlanta

When I look at this list, I see an absolutely incredible list of activities, and any one of these on its own would be really fun. But all of them packed into 5 days – whoa!

For me, this is a bit out of the ordinary for a couple of reasons:

1. I don’t usually attend conferences. It’s just never been my thing.

2. I’m not a big planner when it comes to having new experiences. I usually prefer to go with the flow and figure things out on the fly.

But today, I wanted to explain why I’m going to WDS and what I am looking to get out of it.

Chris Guiillebeau has been on of my biggest inspirations over the last couple of years, and when he announced WDS, I knew immediately that I wanted to go. It just sounded like something that I should attend. One of the things that I love about how this event has been structured is that it’s more about the people that are coming than it is about Chris or any of the presenters. To be sure, he has arranged a rock star cast of authors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and all around amazing people to participate. But it’s really about the people who are coming and the connections they form with each other.

World Domination Summit - Atlanta AttendeesThe connecting piece became apparent to me when I first signed up and created my profile. I immediately started looking at the globe on the home page and clicked around on some of the pages to get to know who was coming from where. Many of us have already ‘met’ online, and I even hosted a meetup at my loft last Friday for the people that are coming from Atlanta (photo on the right). I’ve also signed up for a couple of the unofficial WDS activities – skydiving and mountain climbing. Yay! Again, this is a way for attendees to connect outside of the main conference, and I’m excited about bonding with fellow risk takers and adventure lovers during these experiences.

I’m going to WDS to be around other people that look at life through a different set of lenses.

I want to be in the presence of people that are pushing themselves to truly live life fully every day and not just go through the motions. I’m going to connect with the people that are traveling from 6 continents to be a part of this experience to learn about what brought them thousands of miles from home to be there for. Oh, and hearing Chris speak again will be cool too.

So, what does this all mean, and how does it apply to you?

I thought this was a good example of stepping outside of a normal routine and breaking typical patterns. It’s also an example of how one person can bring people together from all around the world to share in a remarkable experience together. Chris is an awesome guy, but he’s still just a guy. He’s not superman or some celebrity rock god. He’s a guy that lives life his own way, travels the world, and shares stories about it for others to benefit from. Is this not an inspiration for us all?

What do you think about all of this? Are there elements of this story that apply to your life, or your own personal journey? Any departures you have in the works? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

6 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    It’s going to be an amazing adventure for you, Brandon. So aligned with who you are and your mission. Looking forward to hear what you take away. So many fascinating people attending.

    It was a difficult decision for me not to go to WDS, especially since it falls on my birthday, but definitely for the best. I will be in San Francisco in July for Elizabeth PW’s LYT live event and CIP again in September. I am hoping that following my launch this summer, I will be open to more opportunities to attend events like this. We’ll see.

    xo, Lori

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 28, 2011 at 3:23 am

      Thanks Lori! Wish you were going to be joining us.  Sounds like you have some cool stuff on the horizon though.

      Stay tuned for feedback on WDS.  I’m sure it’s going to be incredible.  Keep me posted on your launch too. 🙂

  • Reply Matt Langdon May 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I don’t go to conferences often either, but something about this one just seems so different.  I think it is that everyone feels so wanted.  It’s not just about getting as many tickets sold as possible, it’s that everyone kind of feels on the same level.  I am really looking forward to it.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 28, 2011 at 3:28 am

      Exactly – everyone feels wanted. Very well said.  I felt this way on Chris’s book tour as well.  He made sure everyone knew it was about them and not him. I actually bought my WDS ticket on the night of the Atlanta stop. 

      Are you doing any of the ‘unofficial’ activities?  Which tour are you doing on Saturday?  I look forward to meeting you! 🙂

      • Reply Matt Langdon May 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

        I think the summit was announced after he was in Ann Arbor.  I bought my ticket the same hour it was announced.  He had the same impact on me that he did on you.

        I am doing the beer tour I think.  No unofficial bits except meeting up with some friends that already live in Portland. I’ll keep my eyes open for you.

      • Reply Matt Langdon May 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

        I think the summit was announced after he was in Ann Arbor.  I bought my ticket the same hour it was announced.  He had the same impact on me that he did on you.

        I am doing the beer tour I think.  No unofficial bits except meeting up with some friends that already live in Portland. I’ll keep my eyes open for you.

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