Vulnerability 2.0 (or, What I Shlepped with Me to the World Domination Summit 2012)
11 Jul 2012

Vulnerability 2.0 (or, What I Shlepped with Me to the World Domination Summit 2012)

5 Comments Humor, Marketing/Business, Relationships, Self Development and Transformation, Technology and Change

I came with a big bag of stuff. It was super heavy but at least my duffle is a rolling duffle. They did not charge me extra at the airport so it must have been less than 50lbs. I thought about that when I considered the jerry cans of water that women carried for eight hours a day to bring their families dirty water. With slugs in the soup. I wonder how much stuff Scott Harrison of Charity Water travels with when he goes to make deals with villages to drill wells. I really like my birthday. One year I hired a real live improvisational comedian to fly out to my town from NYC and teach 30 of my friends how to be funny and then we broke open an Elmo piñata. Still, if people will donate money in order to give people clean water instead of presents then I’m all for it. Those slugs are gross.

I had a backpack with me too, did I mention that? I was sitting there as Chris Brogan was slinging superheroes, comics and Dungeons and Dragons like he was speaking directly to me. It was like he knew that I had two prepaid, advanced digital tickets in my backpack for next week’s Dark Knight Rises film. He was born in 1970 just like me and we’re both Batman fans. I wonder if Brogan’s going to the midnight showing, too. I wonder if those superhero cards will serve as agents of change to the masses of uninitiated geeks. I was already a geek but it was fun to fly the freak flag together.


I thought about all my stuff squeezed into the pack when I listened to Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott talk about their treks around the globe and how life truly came down to the relationships they made with complete strangers who weren’t really strangers once they got to know them. Made me think of the complete strangers who rifled through my bag at the airport and left the Velcro handles unfastened. How do Dan and Audrey respond to all those pat downs and bag searches? I thought about their mileage programs. I felt petty for thinking about that but I was glad no one could read my mind.


I had outfits for all types of situations and events and climates. I like to be prepared and I like to feel like I am ok in a crowd. I like to blend in but I like the choice of standing out if I feel safe. Do I sound like an introvert? Sometimes I worry that people think I’m stuck up because I think too much without sharing what it is I’m thinking about. I’m not stuck up, I’m an introvert posing as a gregarious fellow.  My life is like a back and forth between Susan Cain and Jonathan Fields. A little witty, a little shy, a little sarcastic, a little nosey. Good thing I brought my Bose noise canceling headphones so I can simultaneously tune out and tune in.


I packed too much. I anticipated everything. I had a zip loc bag of almonds and two packs of gum. Cash. I had cash for tips, coffee and food trucks. I could always give some extra singles to homeless folks. Is that bad?


I checked the Weather Underground and read blogs and watched videos by people who attended last year. I looked at my closet and tried things on that I felt good in and that I felt others would want to see me in. I recently gained some weight and didn’t fit into my really “good” Banana Republic clothes. They used to be the clothes I felt empowered in so I had to go with clothes that I didn’t feel were too tight. This way I could make ideas happen without worrying too much about my clothes.


I brought essential oils because they make me smell good and relax me.

I brought 3 Apple products with appropriate cords. I like to be connected and I like toys. My IPad is a toy even though I use it to tweet you because you could be a client or a potential client or I might blog on my iPad and thus it becomes a business tool. I should be an entrepreneur.


Shoes. 3 pairs of shoes. I know. A little plastic container for all of my receipts, it being a business trip and all. It was super Slim.


I brought cool T-shirts with cool messages on them and then some plain white T’s because maybe cool messages aren’t as cool as plain white ones are. I liked the volunteer who sliced and diced her yellow shirt and made it into something fashionable. Maybe Megan Hunt could sell that to some brides as part of her $100 Start Up. She’s so cool.


I forgot my own partially read copy of the $100 Startup but they gave me one in my swag bag. I looked Megan up and she’s like all over that book. I wonder if she would have been my friend if she knew how much stuff I crammed into my suitcase. Well, rolling duffel.


Sunglasses. It’s summer. I wore them once. They were cheap ones though, from a supermarket, although very heavily tinted so I could even watch a Firestarter do her thing without hurting my sensitive eyes.


Vitamins. Lots of vitamins. I tend to mess with my immune system when I eat too much and drink too much. I can’t afford to get sick. I’m an entrepreneur. Wow, though…I never drink that much at home. I mean yeah I eat that much at home but the drinking, no. As Cal Newport suggested, we can’t really set out to do what we’re passionate about, we have to do something we’re good at and eventually the passion finds us. Headaches passionately found me four mornings in a row. I should have brought more Excedrin in my toiletry bag. Note to self for next year. Wait, how do I get there without trying to get there, again…?


Brene Brown defines vulnerability as the uncool combination of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. What does it take to be truly vulnerable? Who do you allow yourself to be vulnerable with and in what situations do you choose to expose yourself? Finding a tribe where one can simply be themselves and find love and acceptance is one of life’s most wondrous occurrences. Belonging is a bridge to transcendence whereas fitting in can be a cage in which we sit quietly, waiting. One simply can’t stop believing. Wait, was it don’t stop believing or belonging…?


I came to WDS with a sizeable amount of baggage and it felt incredible to be accepted as a tribal member. I even danced! Thanks Chris Guillebeau and your amazing integrity, vision and kick-ass-starting execution. A hundred dollars ($US) will never feel the same.


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5 Responses to “Vulnerability 2.0 (or, What I Shlepped with Me to the World Domination Summit 2012)”

  1. Reply Rita says:

    Whoa. THIS IS AWESOME! Pure. Plain. Simple. Loved every word.

  2. Reply Dani O. Buckley says:

    I love, love, love this. It’s very relatable (at least for me) especially the specifics about packing and clothes and getting ready and all that good stuff… Thanks for sharing! Glad to know I’m not the only one who felt this way.

  3. Reply playcrane says:

    This made me smile.

  4. Reply Kim Jennings says:

    You also brought smiles. Thanks for being the very first friendly WDS face I met on day 1. You have no idea how much I needed that! And it never ceases to amaze me how vulnerable we all feel on the inside.

    Was lovely to meet you. Thanks for being there.

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