The inaugural No Longer Virtual was exactly what it was supposed to be.
I'm excited, but pretty stressed, Ginger. I know I'm on the right track, I can feel it in every breath I take. I'm just questioning whether the timing is right. This is a big financial and personal risk I'm taking, and I'm good with that, it's just stressful trying to get registrations and hotel reservations to where they need to be.
Sarah, NLV will be exactly what it is supposed to be. Trust yourself, trust your network.
I knew she was right; I knew I had done a lot of work to make this happen, and that there was little more I could do at that point to ensure the event's success. Still, my brain told me I could have worked harder, spent more time on it.
It wasn't just about the risks I was taking, and that my family was experiencing through me; it was about making sure the participants and facilitators had opportunity for real value in their investment to be there. That's where I was feeling the pressure, it wasn't about our financial risk. I had a vision for truly connecting people, for bringing something unique and special into the lives of my guests.
Even after the conference had ended, and I felt the incredible energy in the room as people hugged goodbye, making plans for calls and future visits before leaving, I still wondered if the vision for the conference had been carried through to the participants.
Sometimes we're lucky, and we receive confirmation that what we're doing is good, right, and having a positive impact on others. I've been pretty lucky. Within 48 hours of the end of the conference, Thomas Jackson posted an article about the initial emotional response he had immediately following the event. He posted an article almost immediately after the final session, when the group brainstormed ideas for the next NLV.
This was a day no one wanted to end. There were suggestions of what worked and what didn't for certain people.
I knew she was on to something special; I could feel it in my bones. I needed to be there. In fact, I was so moved I wrote an article about it.
For months I've been writing about my concerns related to the disconnect among us. The biggest, most important goal for the conference was to help others realize the importance of face-to-face communication. It was about choosing to leverage our online relationships, our incredible opportunities through technology, to actually improve our face-to-face lives.
I wasn't completely convinced that this was what came out of the conference, until I read this from Zach's post:
But…here’s the thing…Even if you take advantage of all those communication channels, you still miss out on something much better…much deeper.
For lasting, meaningful personal connection, there is nothing like live and in person.
Lessons Learned, What's Next
Pages could be written about the lessons in this journey, and it's nowhere near its end. Here are the keys for me:
- When you believe in something so deeply, and you build a network of people who believe in you, anything is possible.
- When you choose to help others, and you work with intention and your whole heart, no matter what happens, you can be satisfied with that effort.
- If you want to make an impact, and you want to find deep satisfaction in life, STAY CURIOUS.
It takes a long time to absorb something so deep, so life-changing, which is why I'll be taking my time to dig into my thoughts about the inaugural No Longer Virtual. In the meantime, I'll be planning the next one.
Are you ready to take this step, to realize the depth of your online relationships by meeting face-to-face?