Over the past few months, I have been asked about unGeeked quite often. Did it live up to my expectations? Did my speaking session go well? I can’t answer those questions lightly. UnGeeked was, and always will be, something much greater than the sum of those questions.
UnGeeked came at a turbulent, and complex, time for me on a personal level. I was buying into what someone previously close to me was paltering. They made me question myself a little too much, and that doubt ate at me from the inside constantly.
I was originally set to lead a break out session about interactive psychology on day one. In it, I would provide direct, actionable techniques for a handful of attendees and their interactive projects.
This platform is second nature to me as I do it on a daily basis for Fortune 500 corporations and start-ups. The break out session was well within my comfort zone.
A week before the event, Cd Vann, Founder of unGeeked, offered me an amazing opportunity. Speak, and lead discussion, on influencing behavior through interactive psychology and color theory in front of all attendees as an unGeeked Elite.
My session would lead in to Olivier Blanchard’s forty-five minute block. Olivier is a phenomenal brand strategist that I have always had a great deal of respect for.
As exciting as this was, I hadn’t spoken to an audience like this in over five years. It wasn’t even for the same industry.
But I couldn’t say no.
Seize the opportunities that life brings you
I often talk about allowing for opportunity in life; whether that be personal or business. The future cannot be planned for; only prepared for.
Momentum ebbs and flows with each moment and it’s important you take advantage of opportunity. Even if that means jumping out of your comfort zone and trusting the faith that others have in you.
If you do not step out of your comfort zone you are already at the apex of your life as you read this. You made a conscious effort to cease the growth of you, as an individual. Is that really what you want your life to be like?
On day one we went around the room introducing ourselves. At that moment you realize you are in a room full of friends and a sense of comfort comes over you. When the mental connection is made between the online avatar and a more tangible person it can be an amazing experience.
I will never forget the reaction from Paula Lee Bright (@Almost60Really) as I announced my Twitter handle (@iamlucid) and the banter that came afterward. It’s the closest feeling I will ever have to being a celebrity and I will forever be humbled by that moment.
What makes unGeeked different?
The sessions provide a great source of education and inspiration, but what sets unGeeked apart is the level of true engagement. It’s an open forum for passionate, respectful discussion. You choose to be engaged at the level you find most comfortable.
It doesn’t start and end with each session; everyone is there to help each other grow as a whole. I still talk to quite a few of the attendees on a weekly basis.
It’s been said that our minds, our creativity and our passion for life is at its best while in the presence of those that encourage and understand us.
I’ve spent the last ten to fifteen years of my life building a brand around my perspective on business; something that cannot be entirely recreated by anyone else on the planet. Because of this, there is a lot of vulnerability in letting my guard down and welcoming open discussion for 45 minutes.
My ability to inspire discussion and offer uncommon perspective encouraged a lot of people to get involved. I was also the only discussion leader focusing on color theory, and utilizing design to guide user focus to increase engagement.
The amount of genuine curiosity in what I do made me fully realize the value of what I provide people on a daily basis. I felt validated. Respected.
Attendees of the session still reach out to me, months later, to learn more about design psychology, color theory and influencing behavior of customers.
The most important experiences are not about business or opportunity
There are great moments that I will never forget. Friendships that were established that I hope to be lifelong. Those experiences will always surpass the business opportunities, book deals and partnerships that originated from simply being part of unGeeked.
Here are a few of those moments:
- Amanda Hite‘s passion for making the world a better place. For inspiring a room to help someone achieve their dream through #unGeekedLove
- Peg Fitzpatrick finding her voice and establishing herself as a social leader. She has since begun blogging, and launched the highly successful #MyBookClub.
- The #tapas movement and the incomparable Katie Felten.
- Olivier Blanchard’s expression when I answered his question about using design psychology to influence social media engagement with a well designed profile image and a little color theory.
- Sharing great conversation with Jen Howver over duck tacos while our waiter tried to get us to leave every five minutes.
- Troy Janisch trying to convince everyone I was throwing a kegger in my rented dorm room.
- Sam Fiorella hounding me for not buying him coffee.
It’s important to follow the momentum of life. Without stepping out of my comfort zone none of these opportunities, friendships or memories would have ever existed.
I would be a different man at this moment had I not been part of unGeeked.
It’s a powerful thought.