Photo Credit: http://www.michaelhyatt.com
“I wonder if they’re wearing pants.” It’s a fair question. You can only see them from the waist up.
For the past two days I have been watching videos from the Influence and Impact Summit hosted by Michael Hyatt, a NY Times bestselling author, blogger extraordinaire, and the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing Company.
Me and my BFF Jon Acuff this morning.
This online conference features speakers who are wildly successful and in the tops of their field in blogging, writing, and podcasting. So far I’ve listened to interviews with Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom, Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income Blog, Jen Hatmaker, who is one of my favorite Christian authors and is all around hilarious, Chris Brogan from Owner.media, and Jon Acuff, author of “Stuff Christians Like”, Do Over, and Quitter, which I reviewed here.
These speakers are Christians. They can work from home, and therefore are pants-optional. They speak in front of large groups. They publish their ideas into real books! They make a lot of money (Pat Flynn.100,000.00 a month. So crazy.)They found their calling and they believed in their message. They worked their booties off. They decided their dream was worth it.
What is so encouraging, though, isn’t the success part. It’s the transparency with which these people shared about their failures, doubts, fears, and setbacks along the way.
It took Chris Brogan 8 years to get one hundred blog followers. Jon Acuff once spoke to a packed house of two, count ’em, two people. Crystal Paine worked tirelessly on a blog for over two years and no one read it. Jen Hatmaker wrote a book in 2004. Ever heard of it? Me, neither, but her last book is on the NY Times bestseller list.
All speakers admitted to having to grow a thick skin to take criticism and learning to use it to help them get even better. All speakers stressed the invaluable importance of caring for and serving their audiences, and the immovable foundation of connectivity with readers. Being engaged is non-negotiable. Just as important is to earn trust through transparency, honesty, and consistency. Hard work. Persistence. More hard work.
What a blessing it has been ( and there are still 5 days of speakers left!) to be able to get the inside scoop on building an online community and chasing dreams! Here are a few favorite quotes so far:
There is always room for another one at the table. Whether you are a writer, speaker, teacher, nonprofit, whatever your passion is, there is room for you. There is no shortage of people looking for leadership and vision. We need your voice.” -Jen Hatmaker
” I am enough. My story matters. I don’t need to chase after other people’s approval, only God’s. The world needs me, my gifts, and my story. ” – Crystal Paine
“There is always something amazing on the other side of fear”- Pat Flynn
“When you want to quit, go back to your ‘why’.” – Crystal Paine
So encouraged. Take some time and listen! Take notes! What a treasure this conference is.