I had been watching TED videos over lunch for 6 months or so when I got an email about an extra TEDGlobal that was going to take place in July in Oxford, England. This was going to be the 2nd TEDGlobal in Oxford in 5 years and it was going to become an annual event. They said it would be like the Long Beach TED, but with a more global flavour.
My first thought was, “Oh that sounds wonderful. I want to go.” My second thought was, ”But that’s a $9000 trip, I can’t leave my family for a week. I can’t leave my business for a week. How can I justify that?” This is what Seth Godin calls the lizard brain response.
I brought it up to my Mastermind group and some friends and clients – well, I guess I talked about it a bunch. Everyone said I should do it. If anyone from around here should go, it should be me.
People suggested I find out who has a vested interest in bringing this information back here and get them to sponsor me. I put together a page and asked my friend to make it pretty – which he did – and I sent it out. Well, there was deafening silence in response. Being the optimist I am, I waited for last minute takers. There were none.
This is where I could very easily have stopped. My gamble had not paid off. I was running out of time and it was clear that no one else thought I was worthy enough to be our liaison to the wider world in this way, at least not enough to put their money on it.
But I believed that I was. I believed that the TED experience would change me in a significant way. That going would make a difference in my life. That it was a dream worth fighting for.
So I got a small business loan, I snagged a training allowance, upped the limit on my credit card and I went.
My mind was blown. I am changed. I met incredible people. I am the kind of person who goes to world class events. I am not the same as I was a year ago.
Was it worth it? You bet! Would I do it again? In a heart beat, in fact I did. I went to Seth Godin’s launch of Linchpin last week in NYC where I met him and members of an online community I belong to. I am the kind of person who does those things.
So next time something comes across your desk and your first thought is, “Oh that sounds wonderful. I want to go.” And your second thought is, “But, but but…”