So last weekend I went to the World Domination Summit and it was an amazing experience. A little backstory. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Tim Grahl’s blog. If you are just now joining me then I would definitely recommend checking it out, you can find is book on Amazon.
Anyways, last week I got an email from him telling me that he’s going to be in Portland for the weekend and that he was doing a meetup. I’d heard of meetup.com before, a website where people can find local groups that are like minded, to meet up. That’s what I assumed this was. Just a meetup for independent authors.
I decided that I would drive down from Whidbey Island and get a hotel room for the night, since Tim promised that after the meetup we would all head to a local bar. A few days went by and on Wednesday I followed the meetup link in the email and it took me to the World Domination Website. I was confused. The website said I had to get a ticket if I wanted to go to the meetup, $147.
World Domination Summit
A little put out, I decided to do some googling, to see exactly what WDS was. There was very little to find, but the little bit that was available promised that if I went I would have an awesome time. I pulled the trigger and got a ticket, leaving Friday at noon to be there in time for the meetup at 5 PM. It ended up taking six hours to get there and I arrived just as the meeting ended!
I got a chance to talk to him at the end and then we all were going to meet at the bar at eight. That gave me almost two hours that I needed to fill. I walked around, the entire conference was based in downtown Portland, and I began to see people wearing green and orange name placards. I found the bar we were all meeting at, still early, and it was full of fellow WDSers.
The environment was unlike anything I had ever seen before. These people leave all normal social rules behind when they come to this conference. Imagine you are sitting at a table in a bar, you’re with a few friends and some stranger sits down. I didn’t do that, not then. But as soon as I walked in a few people recognized me from the meetup and invited me to sit. I caught up with Tim later and was able to get a few more questions in. All in all, it was a pretty good night.
I had to take the transit back to downtown the next morning to get my truck and someone asked me if I had downloaded the app yet. I hadn’t and did so and that’s when I realized that this was much bigger than I’d thought. I went to another meetup, this one for indie author marketing.
I went to one after that one and then it was time for me to go. I had no room for the night and wanted to get back to Whidbey at a decent time. I was walking in downtown, on my way to the parking garage, when I bumped into a WDSer. She wanted to know if I was on my way to the meetup, apparently it was in the direction we were walking. I told her I had to head home due to a lack of a place to sleep. She offered to let me stay with her and her husband. Wow right? Like I said, very interesting environment.
Over the next two days I took full advantage of the strange culture of the conference. One time, I was sitting at a table in downtown waiting for the next meetup. I was wearing my name tag and a WDSer sat down and joined me. A nonfiction editor from Alberta. We started talking and within ten minutes were joined by four other WDSers. All total strangers, three of them from a foreign country.
Now, since becoming an author I have found that I’ve become a total loner. My friends actually send me messages asking if I’m still alive. A lot of the people that go to this conference are like me. Busy. Busy writing or doing whatever it is that they do. We’re a self driven community and nothing drives harder than something self-driven. I think that was supposed to mean that we’re busy.
Anyways, that was one of the great aspects of the summit. Thousands of busy people taking the time to stop, breath, and interact with other busy people who were stopping to breath.
Later Sunday night I ended up in a bar with Tim Grahl, Jeff Goins, and KC Proctor (Special thanks to KC). We had a great time and I walked out with a long list of recommended reading. I’m in the middle of reading the first one, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, a book about marketing on social media.
Unfortunately, my cheaper ticket, all the more expensive tickets were sold out, didn’t give me access to the actual stage events. What it did do was give me access to all the meetings and I left after meeting dozens of new friends, many of them people within my industry.
It is an event that I definitely plan to attend next year and this time I plan on bringing Micah, who couldn’t get work off in time for this one. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and came home with a long reading list. Definitely worth it.
This article was written by Jake Parrick.