The Secret to Meeting the Universe at Conferences


After Killer Tribes this past weekend I wanted to write a great wrap-up in which I talked passionately and educatedly about why we should attend conferences, meet ups and interest events to meet like-interest people and network.

The delay in posting today is because I actually did write long and conservatively about all that. But I know there was something missing. Maybe I’m channeling Sarah Mae but I chucked that one.

My fingers instead shake with vibrant urgency of this call:

Jump in, be in, push yourself out there to make real connections.

I’m reminding myself as much as you, my dear reader. Listening to the voice recording I made Sunday on my way to the Tri I can hear the emotion and re-feel the awe and tremors. Granted it was 5:30am, I had slept in a hostel and I hadn’t had a cup of coffee yet… but my voice shakes and I hear the welling tears when I say:

“The Universe is an amazing, amazing place that puts you right where you need to be when you need to be there.”

To that, my caffeinated self would like to make only one addition: you have to meet the Universe part of the way. We have to embrace the process and have the courage enough to get in, be IN, the place the Universe means us to be.

Finding my tribe

At #killertribes I showed up to see Jeff, Steve and even meet Joe. I now know I was meant to meet, among many others, Rebecca, Sarah Mae, Dave and Micah.

Killer Tribes Coffee

I thought the Universe had put certain odds in my favor and instead it flipped and gave me so much better.

We can attend 1000 conferences but if we only get what the speakers are dishing out then we have wasted our time and money. Sure we might find some good inspiration, information and even intentional enjoyment, but once we get over the soothing reassurance we aren’t alone and not entirely crazy, we owe it to ourselves to dig even deeper, go further and make real contact with those that can rock our worlds.

I ventured into unknown spaces and I found individuals who understood, in the space of minutes, more that I could take hours to explain to others, the foundation for real connection and growth.

The part where I talk to myself

Yes, quite literally. I said aloud to myself (numerous times): “Come on Jo, this is why you’re here…”

I needed my urging voice, repeated quite often internally, to get myself in to the coffee shop, atrium, restaurant and then bar.

What was great about being at a blogger’s conference was that others were open about similar struggles, weirdness feelings of uncomfort in the real world. It is relatively easy to write about the need for networking and making connections while hidden behind a laptop and avatar. It is difficult to open the door and face a roomful of real life faces. Plaster on a smile and Do it.

Nashville SkylineTake that step. Know the fear, weirdness and temerity is shared. Dive in and stick out your hand to grasp the hand of a compatriot and ally.

We are often put right where we need to be when we need to be there. If we believe in the crazy cosmos and be IN fully where we are, the Universe will take care of the rest.

I’m ever thankful that I picked just the right seat, heeded a tweet, accepted a lunch invite and finally after a long day bucked up my courage to take yet another leap into a bar. Yes I hemmed and hawed. I spent a full 5 minutes in the car breathing and plucking some unknown reserve of courage (the promise of a beer helped). Yet into the bar I walked. And that, my friends, has made all the difference.

By stretching, reaching, meeting, sharing, and generally pushing well past my confort-zone outside of sessions, I found amazing individuals that needed to hear me as much as I needed to hear them.

Be IN right?

Damn if the Universe doesn’t reward tenacity.

Keep striving to be IN and enjoy those blissful moments,

Jo Signature

A million thanks to the stunning, inspirational, generally fabulous people I met. Big kudos to Bryan Allain for an awesome conference to pull us all into the same space. 

PS – Strike 2 of ye old Journey List. It was a weekend of firsts as a WDS Warmup and I’m so glad I made those leaps as well.

PPS – To follow my adventures more realtimeish, best way is always @CoffeeBooksBeer


  1. I’m so glad I met you! It was great, and I only wish I could have stayed longer. I’m also ticked at myself that I didn’t get to lunch with you!

    • It was so good to meet you too! You completely set the tone by sticking out your hand and being a buddy, I’m ever so glad that you did. I loved hearing your story and we will definitely have to lunch next time!

  2. Jo, it was so nice to meet you. I was just as nervous as you meeting that many others in person. But now it obviously was worth it wasn’t it?! Now we all have so many new friends!!!

    • Indeed! It often feels awkward but we are so rewarded. Always a good reminder that the nerves and feelings are shared. Great to meet you too!

  3. I was there and made so many new friends as well. Love this post. Too bad I didn’t get to meet you…maybe next year!

    • Thanks Brandon. I’m sorry we didn’t meet as well, the downside of so many great people in one space. The wonderful benefit of making connections in our tech age though is that the ripples expand outward quite speedily.
      I also just took a swing by your blog and loved it – Happy Birthday 😉

  4. Glad you came! You helped make it great. Thank you.

    • Thanks Jeff, and same to you. So many unique, interesting voices. I’m looking forward to returning to Nashville again too, you’re lucky to call it home.

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