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Field Report: WDS2014 Part2 – MeetUps.

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of this series, and if you have not read it yet I would suggest that you do so before reading this post. Here I am going to focus on the MeetUps that I attended and discuss the format, what was discussed and how that is now influencing my thinking and hopefully my action in the not so distant future.

Let's get started! Photogragh by Armosa Studios

Let’s get started!
Photogragh by Armosa Studios

MeetUps Attended

The meetups that I attended were:

    1. Nicole Antoinette 5k Fun Run
    2. Jason Womack’s coffee chat
    3. Pamela Slim
    4. Gavin Aung Than
    5. LYL lunch gathering
    6. LYL host lunch
    7. Derek Murphy

The meetups are side events which are very informal, with no fixed agenda. They give you direct access to the hosts, as well as people who share an interest in similar topic. I found them extremely useful – I got an opportunity to engage directly with the hosts and ask some questions while also meeting like-minded people with a common interest – next year I plan to attend more of this type of event.


Nicole Antionette is a lady who is planning to run from LA to NYC in 2015. Alongside this, she shares a particular perspective on life and shares this in here blog. Having a shared interest in running and wishing to get the Friday off to a good start following my arrival in Portland the previous evening, I joined up with a group to go for a 5k run on the riverfront of Portland, led by Nicole. From the get go it was great fun – Nicole has a great attitude and is full of energy – she set the mood for the run and as it turned out the whole weekend – get to know everyone and share stories – this is an adventure filled community who want to help one another. What a great start.


From there, I dashed up to Public Domain Coffee, where Jason Womack was hosting a #CoffeeChat, a form of get together of people around his chosen area of expertise, improving your day-to-day performance in your business. I arrived a little sweaty (following the 5k run!), wearing my running gear – but that was ok, the atmosphere was relaxed and I got to ask a question that is important to me as I pursue a growth strategy for my business. I was very impressed with how Jason responded – first, he listened intently, then he probed with some salient questions, then he told me a parable of sorts to explain how I should approach the particular issue. It was very impressive. He then went on to highlight key sections of his book, “Your Best Just Got Better”, Your  and recommended that I read them in a particular sequence and implement what I learn from them. So far, I have read the first of three chapters, and will complete the other two by Friday. Over the course of the weekend, I bumped into Jason a few more times – he is someone who I can see myself referring back to in the future.


That completed my morning meetups and the next main event was attempt to break a guinness world record for the longest yoga chain, an attempt called The Great Namaste – to beat the record, 697 people were required. The buzz around the event was huge as all the participants assembled into Pioneer Park to prepare for the attempt. It was a very cool experience and one that everyone there will remember I am sure (despite the long duration in the unusual Portland heat) – after 3 hours of preparation, the record was set and is now awaiting the formal ratification process – I believe the final number was slightly over 800. This was yet another sign that this was indeed a great weekend.


Next it was on the Scott Dinsmore Live Your Legend(LYL) lunch. LYL is a movement to change the world by doing work you love – I wont be able to do it justice here, so it might be best to check it out through the link above. The lunch was a great opportunity to meet up with people from all over the world and exchange stories, see why they were attending WDS2014, pick up some tips on what to do and share stories on their LYL experiences. The lunch was fantastic and I met some really nice people there – one couple that I really found interesting and had a great to chat with  were John & Dana Schultz of – great people and a great story. I could go on, but suffice it to say, this was yet another great event, with of course, great people making it that.

From here, it was on to some official business – registration. Once again, this was done in a very special way – the registration itself went very smoothly – I was now a WDS2014er!


All on board!

The great part about the registration process was that, when we did have to queue up to get our swag bag, it was yet another opportunity to meet yet more people and get to know them. I met Ian Cole, a tech guy who was part of the development team for the WDS website, which was extremely good and kept everyone informed of what was going on everyday on an hour by hour basis – twitter was the way to keep in contact with the biggest buzz.

To close out the day (Friday, Jul11, 2014), I attend an informal meetup with Gavin Aung Than of zenpencils. This was a very personal meetup and Gavin shared details of how he started and also signed some pictures – it was really an opportunity to get to meet him and discuss his work – he is a really humble and approachable guy. At the conference, he gave all participants a poster he produced for the attendees – nice!

A gift from Gavin Aung Than!

A gift from Gavin Aung Than!

That completed Friday, which was the main meetup day and what a day! I learned so much from the meetups , but the main lessons were:

  1. All the people who hosted the meetups are really nice and very willing to help – you just need to ask.
  2. Success has been borne out of action.
  3. Plan the meetups you wish to attend in advance.
  4. WDS is unique, and you get out of it what you put into it.
  5. It was a great decision to attend.
  6. The ethos and culture of WDS and the extended community is very powerful.
  7. Think big, act small! (or dream big dreams, but take lots of small actions to get there – that is a recurring theme).

Hope you enjoyed this – the next post will go through the experience of Day 1, the speakers, and what I learned from it all. If there is anything specific you would like to know, please leave a comment.