Why I’m Going To BlogWorld Even Though I’m Scared Shitless #BWE10

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I plunked down a good chunk of cash yesterday for a plane ticket to Las Vegas and a weekend conference pass to BlogWorld 2010, a ginormous blogging conference attended by about 4,000 people who take this whole Internet thing very seriously.

I did this despite the fact that I’m currently on a self-imposed shopping ban.

I did this despite the fact that anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I am horribly awkward at networking events.  I tend to feel alone in a crowd of people who know me – and it’s safe to say that almost no one at BlogWorld will know me when I first arrive.

(My agent’s head just exploded because I said that out loud on the Internet.  SORRY!!! This is why I have YOU!!)

Ahem.

The point is – $600 later and I’m planning to jet off to Vegas next month alone to immerse myself in a crowd of complete strangers.

What the hell am I thinking?!?!

I’m thinking that the only way to keep growing in life is to keep doing the things that scare the shit out of you.

I’m thinking that if I make more than half of my living as a professional blogger and SEO copywriter, it’s probably a good idea for me to go and meet other professional bloggers.

I’m thinking that if I am going to make my entire living as a professional blogger and SEO copywriter while my family and I are traveling full time, I better damn well take advantage of an opportunity to meet and learn from the very best professional bloggers.

I’m thinking that knowing no one basically guarantees that I will come away from that weekend with a larger circle of friends, colleagues, and people to learn from.  While it is tempting to stay within the comfort circle that already loves, encourages, and nurtures me, it is also a recipe for stagnation, the precursor of death.  Grow, baby, grow.

I’m thinking that the opportunities to meet and learn from other travel bloggers are few and far between, and I’d be a fool to pass this one up.

I’m thinking that the conference parties are held at places like the Liquid Pool Lounge.  Of course, the probability of me falling into a pool is very high because that is exactly the kind of shit that happens to me.  Fortunately, I appear to be waterproof.

I am thinking that one of the few people I know who will be there owes me a drink – which she managed to avoid making good on in New York City.  Granted, I have no idea what she owes me a drink for, but before BlogHer she reassured me on Twitter that she had “not forgotten” that she owed me a drink.  Not one to argue with free anything, I naturally went along and assured her that I would allow her to repay her debt to me in NYC.  Although I still have no idea why she is supposed to be buying me a drink, I am absolutely using it as an excuse to make her talk to me in Vegas.  The lesson here?  One free drink in Vegas is, apparently, worth about $600.

At least, that’s what I was thinking when I bought my tickets last night.

Now I’m thinking that some of you might want to go to BlogWorld too and we can hang out and you can never leave my side and we will both learn so much! Promise!  Buy before the 16th and save! WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN ENTOURAGE!

Who’s with me?

I was getting ready to hit publish on this blog post when my iPhone rang.  Someone who means the world to my family – who means the world to me – was diagnosed with breast cancer this morning.  From what I could make out on the phone, I think it is ductal carcinoma in situ – which means the prognosis is good.  Their story is not mine to tell.  It is, however, a heart wrenching reminder to spend every day doing what you love with the people that you love.  No  matter how much the idea scares you.  Because you could wake up one morning and find yourself hearing words like “cancer”, and that’s a whole hell of a lot scarier than the idea that maybe you’ll look stupid or fail or not be as good as something as you thought you would be.  For the love of God, people, LIVE.

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  1. Maria says:

    You are illustrating living, every day. When I hike up my knickers and try to face something I’m terrified to do, I think of you.

    Thinking of your loved one today.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Maria, “When I hike up my knickers and try to face something I’m terrified to do, I think of you.”

      Marking that down as one of the greatest things anyone has ever said to/about me.

  2. Hoping for all the best for your friend.
    I’ll read the rest of the post later and probably comment again. Just wanted to get in here and let you know I care.

    HM

  3. I’m glad you’re going. You’ll have a great time. I may go there next year, but don’t think I’ll make it there this year.

    I attended a conference in LA last year where I knew almost no one going in and I had a great time meeting others and expanding my horizons.

    Have fun!

  4. Finn says:

    Damn Universe does shit like this all the time. In situ is very good under the circumstances. Will send prayers still.

    I would love to go with you to Vegas, but I can’t spend that money right now. If it was one month later, maybe. *sigh*

  5. Shit. Glad the prognosis is good, though. I hear the C word and my head fills up with white noise. Breast cancer is definitely beatable if caught early. My grandmother is a survivor.

    And damn, I so wish I could go to this conference. I’d like to learn more about professional blogging and SEO copywriting; I’d love to be able to offer it to my clients as a service. I know a lot about organic SEO — keywords, title tags, etc in HTML — but my knowledge of SEO copywriting ends at “add keywords to your blog post that are relevant.” And I read ProBlogger and Copyblogger.

    Furthermore, I wish I could meet you! We could be shy and overwhelmed together. Since BlogHer 2011 is going to be in San Diego, I have a good shot at going, because Mike and I have been wanting to go to San Diego; his best friend lives there, and he’s been wanting to visit him for a long time. It’s even two weeks after ComicCon, so I’m having visions of a real vacation dancing in my little head…

  6. Aunt Baaa says:

    Holy shit! I didn’t know anyone else had the same level of social buyer’s remorse that I do! I get completely flipped out immediately after accepting any invitation.

    Hang tough, you will be great! At the very worst, you will get more material and that is NEVER bad!

  7. tara says:

    i saw you on the dance floor at sparklecorn and would just like to say. for the record, you looked anything but socially awkward. :) i, of course, was too up in my own head to say hi. (also, i LIVE in vegas but am on budget lock down right now or i’d be at BWE myself. still, give a holler if you’re in need of company in the city.)

    i’m really, really sorry to hear the cancer news.

  8. If I could afford to, I would be right there with you. Because what happens in Vegas, well you know. And knowing us, we could get into serious troub…I mean have a lot of fun in Vegas!
    Sorry about your loved one. Glad to hear prognosis is good though. xoxo

  9. AWESOME! I agree that you need to do things that scare the shit out of you sometimes. I am the same way though. I am always scared to death about networking events, but I still do them and when I’m there and afterwards, I love them!

    There is such a high about being around so many people who do the same thing as I do and really get it.

    I don’t owe you a drink, but if I see you at the Liquid Pool Lounge, I’ll be sure to say “Hi!” and maybe even buy you a drink. :D

  10. Just Me says:

    My biggest fear is to go the doctor for a “pain” Ive been having for fear of what they will tell me. I have too many close people that have gone recently for a “chest cold” or a “head cold” and be diagnosed with cancer….one died 3 days after.

    Sorry about the news.

    Fuck. Cancer.

  11. Mandi Bone says:

    Cancer sucks balls. I am texting with my 33 year old cousin who is getting testing done for a breast augmentation because she lost both breasts last year to cancer.
    I felt the same way about Blogher. You will be awesome!

  12. lisagolden says:

    Yes – every day, do at least one thing that scares the shit out of you. I have those words taped over my desk.

    I’m confident that you’ll go and not only have a good time, but learn so much. And maybe fall in the pool, but that just makes good copy.

  13. Hallie says:

    Your last paragraph hit home. You are so right Britt…live like you only have today. And tell your loved ones you love them every chance you get. Honestly. Live and love.

    Because someday, when you least expect it, you will realize that your 20 year old son killed himself with a gunshot to the head. And that your last words to him were angry ones. Not I LOVE YOU.

    I will LIVE with that guilt and that pain the rest of my life.

    Hallie

  14. Becky says:

    I would totally be there with you, especially if I win the lottery between now and then. In the mean time, there is a smaller blogging conference being offered in St. Louis in Oct and I am praying I can beg someone (Brian) to pay for me to go. And that will make my, uh let me count…. *first* conference ever.

  15. Robin says:

    I would start sweating unbelievably and be so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to swallow – wow, you’re brave.

    I also concur on the “cancer sucks” front. As for “do what you love,” the notion hits so close to home just now. My husband just drove halfway across the country to take a new job, and the idea of doing something that he loves, something he can do passionately, enthusiastically, is exactly what led us to decide on this move. I’ll keep telling myself that as I try to pack up this circus and move out there with him.

  16. avitable says:

    I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think of this conference. I’m going to guess that you will totally thrive at “Manworld”, actually.

  17. Nancy says:

    Crap. I’m going to be in DC during BWE. Ugh.

  18. Laurie says:

    I am so sorry about your friend. I keep walking and raising money each year so that others will never have to get that phone call.

    Hope you have fun at BWE. Vegas is my favoritest place ever.

  19. Good for you!!
    I attended BWE in 2007 & 2008 as an exhibitor for an ex-employer. It is a GREAT conference. I’m trying to attend this year as an attendee. If I go, I’ll buy you a drink as well. So, there. $600 is worth 2 drinks.

    I also concur with the above – cancer sucks. Period.

  20. Rick Calvert says:

    Thank you for trusting us and taking this leap of faith with us Britt. I promise you will love every minute of it. Please come and say hello in Vegas 8) and I will personally introduce you to some folks ok?

    Rick
    CEO & Co-founder
    BlogWorld

  21. John says:

    Great message of doing things that scare you. I liked what someone told me one, “Life is about making stories and telling stories.” Luckily blogs provide a great platform for telling these stories.

    Just remember to get into the parties that aren’t listed on the regular BWE agenda. There the added value of attending. I think I’ll be there myself. At the parties if not at the expo;-)

  22. Miss Britt says:

    @John, there are unofficial parties??

    How does one get into those?

  23. Since BlogWorld is in my town, I almost decided to go, but my anniversary is that Saturday and I think the husband might be a wee bit upset if I did. However, I think we should meet up for cocktails at some point during the weekend!

  24. Poppy says:

    “I’m thinking that the only way to keep growing in life is to keep doing the things that scare the shit out of you.”

    I totally agree. I TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!! Have a great time, learn lots, and what happens in Vegas should not actually stay only in Vegas, bring the knowledge back for your ventures!!!

  25. Poppy says:

    PS – Just read the part in italics, and I hope everything goes well for that person. <3 to you.

  26. Just found your blog through twitter. It’s an amazing thing to push past the fear and take action! I love that feeling when you hit the enter button on things like this. It’s so shitty and exciting at the same time!

    I’ll be at blogworld too so if I see you I will make sure to come over. It’d be great to meet you.

    Oh and I thought I was the only one that uses the word craptastic! We have much in common. :)

  27. muskrat says:

    Dammit. Wish I didn’t have plans to be in Charleston that weekend.

    Have fun…I’ll enjoy reading about it afterward, too.

  28. so, um, I just looked up the dates. I’m going to be in Las Vegas that weekend just hanging out. My hubs has a conference that weekend and I’m just along for the ride.

    We should hook up and get a drink or something!

  29. mike says:

    BlogWorld is very awesome! You will meet tons of people and the party is wicked! The weather is still nice in Vegas and the convention will be a life-changing event.

  30. jodifur says:

    I’ve never even heard of blogworld.

    I want to make my living being a professional blogger and SEO copywriter, HELP?

  31. Lanora says:

    Wish I could afford to join you at BlogWorld. We could be awkward geeks together.

  32. Oh good!! I’m so glad you’re coming this year! :) I don’t think we’ve had much chance to hang out in the past year – not since (correct me if I’m wrong, last year at this time was a blur…) Izeafest? (Were you there? Or am I mixing that up with a different event?
    I just know we didn’t cross paths in NY this year at BlogHer! (boo hiss!)

    You will *love* BWE. Yes, at first it feels like you know almost no one – but then you start realizing that you can’t walk 3 feet without seeing someone you are at least passingly connected with online.
    I was kind of nervous my first time (2008) but had some good friends who became *better* friends who got me past that in about 2 minutes.

    You made the right call and I’m totally looking forward to hanging out with you for a bit down there! :)

    (((hug)))
    Woot!!!

  33. Jill says:

    I want to go so badly … but with hubby in Iraq, I am playing the role of single mom to 3 kids, and nobody to help watch them for the weekend. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • Miss Britt says:

      Will definitely be sharing, but wanted to say (as I’m sure tons of people do all the time) – I am in awe of what you do. I get pissy if my husband has to work on a Saturday! *sigh* Truly… I’m amazed.

  34. Rick Calvert says:

    I realize you probably still cant make it Jill but wanted to make sure you were aware we have a community track just for Milbloggers. Active duty and their spouses attend for free.

  35. Miss Britt says:

    @Lucretia Pruitt, I was at IZEAfest – although I was also smack dab in the middle of my separation at the time so I pretty much sucked. Heh. I’m enjoying marital bliss now, so I should be much more social!!

    Thanks for reaching out – will DEFINITELY be taking you up on it!

  36. Miss Britt says:

    @designhermomma, ABSOLUTELY!!!!

  37. Patty says:

    Prayers and hugs to anyone going through a cancer crisis…you have a good soul, Miss Britt and you will be fine…just continue on being brave and true…you will have fun and find a blog mate on your Vegas trip…

  38. Lisa says:

    I wish I could go, especially since it’s so close, but it’s just not in the cards right now. I can’t believe we will be in the same state and don’t get to hang out.

    Much love and healing thoughts to your loved one. xoxox

  39. Bre says:

    You will be awesome. And about the a-word? Agent? You have one? That’s fabulous! Knock em dead, S-I-L!

  40. bridget says:

    hi,just found you,re blog and already i wish i could travel with you,the things we fear the most are really never that bad when we look back on them,this is coming from someone that has let fear hold me back most of my life,no more life is for living and if we dont do the scary stuff ,then we dont learn the lessons i believe we,re all here to learn.my prayers with you,re friend x

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