This past weekend I attended SOBCon11 in Chicago. This conference is everything but a conference. It’s an opportunity to learn not only about Social Media but it’s a tremendous opportunity to meet some very inspiring people. My takeaway? My restoration in faith that people are inherently good and those that understand that concept are not only dimensional but see the bigger picture we call life. For some, life has become a day to day survival mode. Life isn’t easy (understatement) however this group of people bring so many different experiences to the table. Young, not so-young, teachers, motivational speakers, non-profit leaders fighting the fight not for recognition but simply to do their part to make our world a better place. These are socially-conscious people typically going against typical trends that impact the lives of so many people.
I’ve been to many conferences in my life and typically they are often vendor saturated and the hospitality parties sometimes have a tendency of being a blurr. SOBCon11 was nothing of the sort. It was a room of roughly 150 people including speakers that shared not only their industry knowledge but they’re true life experiences — good and bad. I learned so many critical but undoubtedly common sense thoughts and ideas from them and I’m eternally grateful. One of my biggest impressions was the fact that so many of the SM “celebrities” were unbelievably approachable and willing to help you as best they could with a sincerity that unfortunately isn’t experienced on a regular basis. Not because they expected you to reel you in with their niceness but their honest and sincere wish to help one another with whatever their cause may be.
So I’ve been back at home for almost a week since the conference and while I’m trying to get my kids, my husband and my house back in order, I’m dying to sit down and do what I can to make share and do my best to do my part in making the world a better place. No, I’m honestly not in this relatively new world as a means to make a living although being able to pay costs, conferences, classes and share experiences associated with as many people as I can would really help but that’s not my primary goal. Honestly. I’m 42 and a mother of two beautiful kids and this conference, these people, sincerely make me want to be a better person.
Due to the fact that I am a bit hard-headed, learning how to setup a WordPress log, Ad Sense, Analytics, etc. on my own is fundamental to who I am as a person. I’m the type of person that loves to get my hands dirty and enjoys learning. In all honesty I’ve seriously been winging it and am learn everything through trial and error. Having said that, I ask that if you see something I could be doing better, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and offer your suggestions and ideas. They are so greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for taking the time to drop me a note.
I want to finish up this post by thanking some of the people I was incredibly blessed to meet. Simply said, these individuals make me want to be a better person and I love you all for that simple yet profound revelation. I’m a bit uncomfortable mentioning these incredible people because I feel like a “name dropper” and that’s not my intent at all. In addition, there are so many people that I didn’t include for the simple reason of time =).
Terry (St. Marie) Starbucker – Dealing with the Literal World in a Favorable Way (Terry is Liz’s partner in the SM movement, an incredible man, wonderful host and I really think he missed his calling which is singing. He can pretty much rock any song (except Lady Gaga) ;).
Mark Horvath – HardlyNormal.com blog ( I cannot even begin to describe this incredibly humble and self-sacrificing man. The world certainly could use more of these type of people.
Tim Sanders – Sanders Says (made me cry — incredible speaker) The first word that comes to mind is “love”.
Charity Estrella – 501 Mission Place (non-profit organization). Although she is so tiny, I’ve never met someone with as much love and determination to make a difference in so many people’s lives…….just because she wants to. No strings attached. A true angel on this earth.
Sara / Eventbrite Chicago A true Eventbrite Evangelist. I’m having a hard time understanding why more organizations, schools and non-profit entities do not use this incredible tool to reach their audience.
I seriously could add another 50 people but I don’t want to push it =). I’m hoping you get the gist of my post and realize that SOBCon is not just any conference. It’s the conference you go to when you’re ready to be part of a community of people working to make this world a more incredible place for all.
So what does it take to be an SOB? Sincerity, openness, willingness to help one another with no strings attached and most of all (at least for me) doing what you can to make this world a better place a step at a time. Liz Strauss wrote an excellent post on her view of SOBCon and I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve already reserved my seat for SOBCon12 and I’m counting down the days! Unfortunately I am not able to attend all of the SM conferences I would like but this conference exposed me to exactly to the people and ideas I need in my life.
So I’ll end this post con much amor and gratefulness for having had the opportunity to meet so many of you.
- How to Follow SOBCon Leadership and Loyalty Online (wiredprworks.com)
- The Five People You Meet at SOBCon (brandimpact.wordpress.com)
- Becoming a Trust Agent w/ @ChrisBrogan [@InboundNow #6] (hubspot.com)