Today, I’m beginning a new adventure in connecting with people and I’m hopeful you’re interested in coming along.
Probably like you, I’ve felt like a misfit most of my life.
Growing up, there were a few pockets where I felt at home: backpacking with friends, high school theatre productions, the school newspaper…
And, of course, the Internet.
I’m absolutely an introvert, but I love people so much. Attending conferences has helped me build deep connections with people who truly feel like kindred spirits, many of whom I first met on the Internet.
When I go to a conference, I tend to find myself mostly in one-on-one conversations.
Small talk makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but I will hardly blush at the thought of having a four hour conversation with one person. Sometimes that’s walking around outside the venue, at a small table on the fringe, or in a quiet corner.
Sometimes listening, sometimes talking, always reflecting.
These conversations have shaped me, and in turn, shaped others. I take deep pleasure in connecting people who share the same spirit. In fact, a high percentage of Brio attendees were people Paul and I’d met independently at conferences, and our hope was to bring those people together. Truly, Brio’s most curated element was its attendees.
Last year, I overdosed on conferences.
I attended over a dozen, ran a half-dozen, and gave some emotionally draining talks. All of that left me pretty raw. It’s been almost a year since the culmination (running RealtimeConf) and I still don’t actually feel like I’ve recovered.
This year, I’ve only been to a couple events.
Even if I was able to go to All The Things™, there’s no way I’d be able to maintain my sanity while doing it. I can’t take my family to every event and it’s too hard to be away from them, plus big events have come to take way too big of an emotional toll on me.
But I miss “my people.”
I remember a moment after Brio when Paul and I were having a bit of a casual post-mortem about the event. We started talking about the venue (The Round Room in Dublin). It was beautiful, but there weren’t places that lent themselves well to one-on-one conversations.
Paul said, “You know what the venue really needed?”
“More corners,” I replied.
(I didn’t realize the pun until Paul started laughing.)
That’s always what I’m after: a good corner for a conversation.
Ever since seeing my friend Diana Kimball’s wonderful periodic email a few years ago, I’ve thought about writing a letter to a group of people, but until now I’d not thought of it as a way to maintain connections I am extremely eager to keep.
And why not?
What’s a letter but a good corner for a slow conversation?
So I’m going to start writing a periodic email sharing things I’ve learned, problems I’m working through, and ideas I’m excited about.
As you probably already know, I run a communication software and creative experience company I founded called &yet that focuses on making a positive impact in the world. Based on that, I’ll talk about things like:
- Leadership and management
- Team building and culture
- Starting/running a business
- Creativity and collaboration
- Running and organizing conferences
- Modern communication software and user interface
- Productivity, time management, and focus
- Mental health
- Overcoming self-doubt and other feelings that plague entrepreneurs, creative workers, and, well, literallly everyone.
I’m happy to start this conversation, but my expectation is I’ll hear from you, too, when something strikes you. Just like any good conversation, I’m quite sure a good portion of the content will arise based on what I hear back from you. I’m also going to share my calendar with subscribers and make time to have a couple Talky chats each week.
What do you think?
If this sounds interesting to you, I’d love to have you join.