Why am I so enthralled with the State of Now/140 Character Conferences?
I get asked that a lot. Always by people who have never been to one. My first instinct is to get my hackles* raised up and wonder why they just ‘don’t get it’?
Of course, having a conversation with your hackles raised is hardly ever productive. So taking a step back, I look at why people are asking me that question.
The first thing that comes to mind (and often the right thing) is that I’m not explaining it so they do get it. It’s easy to talk to someone who is active in social media (that’s called singing to the choir). Of course they will agree with you, they use the method of communication day in and day out and understand it.
But for the local small business owner who doesn’t have time to be online so much, or for the mom who’s number one priority is her kids and not her computer, or for the elderly man drinking coffee with his friends and the internet is not a priority — they’ve been given no reason to understand it.
Let me see if I can answer for them why I believe everyone should go to a State of Now/140 Character Conference. Here’s the top 5 reasons everyone should go to the State of Now/140 Character Conference.
1. For the stories .… You will hear stories that make you cry, make you believe in the goodness found in all of us, make you feel you’ve been a part of something bigger than yourself. Hear Laura Girty’s story by clicking here. The stories are told from one person to another. You’re not watching videos or pictures or flip charts and are too busy looking at them and not hearing the speaker. It’s you and speaker.
2. Because the stories you hear are life changing. No kidding, seriously, you leave one of the conferences and wonder where you’ve been all of your life. The storytellers expand your consciousness and once you’ve gotten that big, you’re never small again. Ann Curry in NYC last year did that for me. Watch it here.
3. For the people you meet. AJ and Melissa Leon figured out how to create a business that matters and then travel the world helping other people. They spoke in NYC last year, and then spent a lot of time talking to me in the back of the room just about how they did that. Follow them online.
4. For the people you meet that help you change things where you live. It’s a great event to meet people who have ideas you can take home with you – and help change something right in your own home. Jeff Pulver did that for me. He heard me when I said “we need to do this in Iowa.” He told me to make it happen, and he’d support me in my efforts. We’ve had two 140 Character Conferences in Iowa since then, and are this year bringing mini 140’s around the state.
5. And finally, as my mother said many times when I was growing up — because I said so. Go, trust me when I tell you that your life will change. Be ready to hear the stories, meet the people, find ways to change your world and get lots of hugs.
Notice I haven’t told you to go to learn about social media — because social media is a set of tools. You can pick up a manual and learn how to use tools. This is bigger than that. The State of Now/140 Character Conference gives you a reason to want to use the tools in the first place.
The picture is from this year’s 140 Character Conference in NYC – and yes, my name is on the speaker list in front of Deepak Chopra!
*hackles are the hairs on the back of dog’s neck that raise up whenever said dog is afraid. Who knew?