First Step of World Domination


I’ve just returned from my first World Domination Summit. This was my first time at WDS, and also first time in Oregon.

Water fountain

As I heard from many people, Portland is a beautiful city. Although I spent most of my time at the conference, I very much enjoyed my strolls downtown.

WDS T-shirt

What is World Domination Summit? The answer varies. As I was coming home, one of the TSA agents at Portland airport said “I’ve seen lots of people wearing the same shirt as you, and asked what the conference was about, but everyone’s answers have been very vague.” Then he asked me for my version of the answer: “Creative people getting together to inspire each other to have unconventional life.” At least, the TSA agent said my answer was the best he’d heard. Ha.


2800 people. Two days. It was a little crazy just how many people were there. I missed few people I knew was coming, simply because there were so many OTHER people! I *almost* didn’t have a chance to look for anybody I knew, as whenever I stop and look around, someone would approach me and introduce themselves. It’s not a bad thing, though.

I made a whole bunch of new friends and gained so much insight, knowledge, and inspiration. Every session was amazing, but here are three highlights for me.

Darren Rowse

He is THE Problogger. Anybody working online space knows him, but I was surprised some people had no idea who he was – which is actually a cool thing about WDS. All kinds of people in the spectrum.

But this talk wasn’t about problogging. Darren talked about dreams. He shared his story and told us to take responsibility for our future. Right now, this every day life we’re living is literally shaping your future. So do something every day to get closer to your dreams. He literally made us tell a fellow attendee what our dreams are. And he encouraged us to share the dream ten times a day. This will give us accountability. At this time, I identified my dream as working to connect Japan and the World. That is my dream. Sure, of course it requires courage to identify your dream. But Darren told us how important it is to know what we want and we need to take action.

Another thing he taught us, among others is, to Become Obsessed With Being Useful. This is why Problogger and Digital Photography School is so susssessful. What a great lesson.

After his talk, so many people were saying how humble, nice, and approachable he was. I felt the same…I also attended his Problogegr Academy Workshop on the second day, and again, he was giving away so much information for us bloggers. He actually stayed WAY after the session to answer as many questions as possible. What a great guy. I learned some very important tips I had never thought of before about my blog…and I implemented as soon as I got home. Thank you, Darren.

Jia Jiang


I had no idea who he was and what his story was about. (Which is one thing I was so impressed with WDS. I didn’t know many of the speakers but their stories were all absolutely amazing. By the end of the first day, I learned to trust the WDS crew.) Jia’s story was this. Everyone hates rejections. We all take it so personally. After he was rejected by an investor for his startup, he decided to do 100 days of rejection therapy, in order to de-sensitize himself from fear of rejection. He asked a stranger to lend him $100, and rang the doorbell of a stranger and asked if he could play soccer in their backyard. Amazing thing is, some people said YES! If you’re like me and haven’t seen his famous donut video — you have to see it here. Such a great story.

Another amazing thing about his life is, he has the most supportive wife. When he quit the job four days before his first baby was born, his wife gave him six months to pursue his dream. Four months in, when he was rejected and devasted, this is what she said to him; “I gave you six months, not four.” How awesome is she?! Love, love, loved his talk. Thank you Jia.

Gretchen Rubin

Credit: Chris GuillebeauShe is a blogger and the author of The Happiness Project. I own it, read it, but other than that, I didn’t know too much about her. Her presentation was great – very entertaining. Great speaker. Gretchen presented bunch of questions to us that will help us find out who we are and what we really want to do to be happy.

First one was “Who do you envy?” —Honestly, I am still trying to figure this one out. I don’t necessarily “envy” anybody….hmmm I guess someone like Richard Branson?! I don’t think that’s an envy thought, it’s more like admiration. Still trying to figure this out but I can see this is a great question to ask yourself.  You envy somebody who has what you want and doing what you want to do.Also “What do you lie about?” and “What do you do for fun?” are good questions to ask, she said—If you have hard time answering what you do for fun, she said to think about what we did for fun when we were 10 years old. This will show you what your essential self (I’m currently reading “Finding Your Own North Star” and that’s the phrase used instead of “Social Self” which you create to satify expectations from others and what you “should” be doing. Anyway, I digress.) For example, she loved making books when she was 10 – and now she’s an author. Her sister loved watching TV and now she is a TV writer…etc. When I pondered this question, what I used to love to do when I was 10, and still now is — reading books. And I felt kind of stuck. Is there a job where I can read books all day and get paid?! My husband said that means I would be a writer and also do book reviews…I’m not 100% convinced, but I will definitely keep you posted. Also I would love your opinion if you know what this implies for my dream job.

I know everybody took away different things from WDS, but for me it felt like that the message throughout WDS was “Follow your dream” “Find our who you are”…I had this vague idea of what I’d like to do, but maybe somehow, always felt like it was “just a dream”. Like it will never come true. WDS made me realize that the first step of World Domination is to know what my dreams are. Then take action every day to get closer and closer…until one day it is no longer a dream, but your reality.

Chris Guillebeau

Finally, I would like to thank Chris Guillebeau for hosting WDS — He is this guy who is quiet and unassuming, yet he has firm vision on what he wants to see happen. I’ve listed him as the person who influenced me back in 2011, and he still is on the list 2 years later. Thank you for being you, Chris, and see you next year.

  • Dave Powell

    I have never heard of this before but this look like a very cool event to go to…

    • darrenrowse

      you should come Dave 🙂

      • See you there in 2014 Dave! Tickets go on sale in the fall 🙂

  • darrenrowse

    Great to meet you at WGreat to meet you at WDS – thanks for your kind words!DS – thanks for your kind words!

    • Thank you Darren. I’d love to apply for your next Australia contest 🙂

  • Thanks for the wrap up. Maybe i will make it next year, and I live in Portland. 🙂

    • I met a few native Portlandian there too. Would love to see you next year Mike 🙂 Your city is beautiful.

  • dianebrogan

    WDS was great. I as so happy I got to meet you in person Yukari. I too was pleased with Darren Rowse’s speech about dreams. He makes everything sound so POSSIBLE. He is a person I have admired for a long time. I was so happy to meet him in person. He really is a super hero.

    All of the speechs were good. Chris Guillebeau did an outstanding job of putting it all together. It was a wonderful experience.

    Thanks for sharing your views.

    • Diane, it was so great to finally meet you! I am so glad we got to hang out! I totally agree with you on what you mean on Darren’s speech. I’m inspired, and hopeful. 🙂 Hope to see you soon – maybe here in Victoria? 🙂

  • Great recap, I can’t believe I missed this event (and didn’t even hear about it until after the fact).

    Any news on whether it’s happening again next year?

    • Thank you! Yes, there will be another one in July 2014 and the tickets will be released in the fall. I recommend you go to the WDS website and sign up for newsletter, as the tickets sell out very quickly. Hope to see you next year.

  • Pingback: World Domination and Other Extracurricular Activities - Dream.Learn.Discover()

  • Wesley Wiley

    Awesome post Yukari!! Thanks for sharing!

  • “Creative people getting together to inspire each other to have unconventional life.” that really IS the best answer I’ve heard too! And I am a Martha Beck coach, so I totally thought of North Star too when Gretchen Rubin talked about remembering what you used to love to do! Good to meet you, great post!

    • Hi Mindy, thank you so much for your comment and it’s so cool that you are Martha Beck coach 🙂 I got the book few years ago when I first met my coach. I picked it up last month and enjoying it quite a bit. 🙂

  • This was such an amazing conference! I had plenty of online friends I wanted to meet, and like you, I met so many other new and amazing people, I didn’t connect with everyone I meant to. Maybe a weeklong conference in 2014 would be better. I’ll be looking for you there!

    • Hi Caelan, I know what you mean, There simply are too many awesome people, too little time. Hope to see you next year! 🙂

  • Pingback: Goodbye 2013 | Everybody Else Is Already TakenEverybody Else Is Already Taken()