Time to do something remarkable

July 16, 2012

Connection, Experience

I don’t know how to write about the World Domination Summit. There’s too much to say. Too many ideas and incredible stories and amazing people. WDS was an overwhelmingly fantastic 3-day, 1000-person conference I attended in Portland last week, the impact of which I will fail to convey no matter how hard I try.

So, having said that, I’m planning a series of posts, picking out topics and speakers and quotes that need to be shared. And since most of my readers are outside the WDS network, I’ll start with an overview/explanation so that you can understand what this thing is and why you should consider being a part of it.

I’ve written before about Chris Guillebeau (What color is Texas? and most recently Give them the fish). His blog and his first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, changed my life – well, changed my mind so that I could change my life! He uses the phrase “World Domination” to mean dominate your own world, make your life what you want, and use your life to serve the greater good. In his more eloquent words: Live a remarkable life.

For the second year in a row, Chris hosted the World Domination Summit, bringing together the many, many folks who share his worldview. I missed the first one (but had an awesome birthday party that weekend) and knew I would be at WDS2012!

Although the weekend had the format of a “conference” with keynote speakers and breakout sessions, it was not like any work conference I have ever attended. It was more like sleep-away camp with alcohol and swearing. Two thumbs up!

Enjoying that IPA

I was that camper who was really excited to go to camp (where she knew not one single other person) yet arrived scared shitless and wanting to run back home to my comfortable routine. But I was a really brave little introvert, forcing myself to talk to people at registration and finding that most felt the same as me. And after a couple of IPA’s at the opening party, I relaxed and met many truly impressive people.

What sort of people attend this thing? you may be asking. All kinds, but generally people who are hoping for and doing more than the prescribed path of a 9-5 job, two weeks vacation and a house filled with things. People who started their own small businesses. Bloggers who are making a living from their blogs. People who have figured out how to work from anywhere so they can travel extensively. People who are learning to live on less so they’re not dependent on a huge income. People who give to charity and start charities and do all sorts of impossible things.

Every time I told someone I quit my job last fall, I got congratulations and high-fives and way-to-gos. Never that silent, confused stare I normally get. But don’t get me wrong, the expectations behind the next question “What are you working on now?” are high.

Page 1 of my notes

These people are thinking bigger. They are smart and determined and disciplined. They are demanding of themselves and others. They are self-sufficient and generous. They are not willing to accept the status quo. They are the doers and the change-makers.

My overview is complete. (Ask me questions in the comments section because I know you have some.) I’ll be sharing more in upcoming posts, but I must tell one important story about WDS2012 before I sign off.

Chris’s just-released book is The $100 Startup – a collection of stories of people kicking off great endeavors with a very small sum. In an unexpectedly tear-jerking surprise, all 1000 attendees received a $100 bill as we exited the last session on Sunday night. Our mission: do something remarkable.


Photos: Armosa Studios

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4 Comments on “Time to do something remarkable”

  1. Karen Marston Says:

    Gretchen, we need to sort out a mastermind group. What do you say, once a month or every couple of weeks we get on Skype? Get Rob involved too if he wants (which I’m sure he will).

    Can’t wait to see what else you have to say on WDS.



  2. findyourdreamjob Says:

    That sounds incredible – and right up my street! Can’t wait to hear then next installment!



  1. What I’m going to do with $100 Chris Guillebeau gave me « Define. Refine. - July 18, 2012

    […] what I learned there soon, but this has to come first. If you want to know what it was all about, Gretchen explains it to an outsider, Sarah has an epic set of notes of what happened and Chris himself (the […]

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