I just returned from my 4-day stay in Toronto to attend Blissdom Canada. I have attended last year as well, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Last year, after making 20+ friends online, I got to meet many of them at the event and it was purely magical. This year’s Blissdom Canada sold out in 24 hours(or less, I heard others say), even before any session was announced. It definitely says something about how successful the event was.
This year’s Blissdom was amazing, too. I again got to see the “old” friends(Although I knew them mostly online and been friends with them less than 2 years – but still, I feel I know them and they know me, because we spend so much time online), and meet some fabulous new people.
A lot of the sessions were focusing on branding and monetization, which are always popular topics. I cannot write everything I saw/heard/felt at Blissdom Canada, but here are three things I learned:
1. Coincidence is an amazing thing.
I saw some crazy coincidence moments this year – for example, two people who live in different cities found out their sisters worked together. I think they knew each other online but this was first time they met in real life. What are the chances? I also sat next to a wonderful person at one of the sessions, and she mentioned that her husband was Japanese. Then we got to talking, and found out we both felt passionate about mental health. We started (well, *I* started babbling) talking, and gosh, I cried. It was one of those magical moments when you feel so passionate about something, you can’t stop sharing your thoughts.
I also sat next to two lovely ladies at breakfast, who turned out to be coaches. I met my coach at last year’s Blissdom Canada! Unfortunately, she couldn’t make it this year, but I found it so uncanny. Talking about my coach remided me what I learned with/from her – to embrace your vulnerability, and when you feel that “sore spot” feeling – when you don’t want to talk about something – that is most certainly the sign to DIG DEEP.
Coincidence? I think not.
2. Women need to be more vocal
We watched this incredible documentary “MISSRepresentation” – about how media is creating certain images about women. It is a great film and for those who in Victoria, I will look into having a screening here somehow (Not sure how/when/who will show it, but I will followup for sure).
The next day, I attended a session moderated by my friend Tara Hunt, with panelists Laura Berg, Jamey Ordolis, and Robin Ahn. The session was about tech and transmedia, but at one point Jamey said “We are always looking for you and your ideas”, and that was bit of a lightbulb moment for me. Because, you know, as a woman, we tend to put other people first, right? When you think you have a great idea, you want others to hear it, but we tend to say “Well, she’s busy..” “They probably get picthed all the time.” – those negative voices in your head stop you from pushing harder.
Great example : At ont point Tara put up her $20 bill and asked the room full of women “Who wants this $20?”. Bunch of women raised their hands, including myself. Only ONE woman got up, walked up to Tara and took it from her.
We need to just get up and go grab it, ladies.
3. Things happen by doing
This is related to #2 above, but nothing happens if you just attend these events and take it al in. If you want to make things happen, you have to get up and do stuff. Be audacious. You might not believe me when I say this, but I don’t usually go up to people to talk. I’m a bit shy, and I’d hate to be pushy. But this time, I went up and talked to couple of women I really look up to, introduced myself and asked if I could send them my stuff. My hands might have been shaking, but they were all very welcoming, and after all I felt SO good.
These are the three things I learned at Blissdom Canada 2011, and I am excited to put myself out there and continue creating.
How about you? What did you learn?