World Domination Summit: The Magic of People and Stories

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
– Alan Keightley (via Chris Guillebeau)

I felt absolutely exhausted the minute I woke up this morning. All weekend I had been running on the pure magic that was happening around me and I no longer had the stamina to sustain it.  But then a funny thing happened as the day progressed… I realized that despite how great and inspirational everything was in the moment, the magic only grew as I looked back and reflected on what exactly happened during these three days.

Despite being only the second year of the World Domination Summit, a group of  bloggers, entrepreneurs and game changers converged on Portland for three days full of unconventional speakers and workshops that invited one to think about living a remarkable life in a conventional world.

Weekend roomie & partner-in-crime


After hearing from attendees last year, it seemed so crazy that such incredible friendships could be forged in a matter of days, but that is exactly what happened. My weekend roomie, fellow “Make Sh*t Happen“-er, & soul sister Shannyn (of Frugal Beautiful) and I had a weekend full of playing “Runner!”, Rogue beer tasting, sushi eating and even some Bollywood dancing. We talked, took absurd amounts of photos and walked all over Portland, but I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do so with!

I also had the pleasure of spending time with Phil of PT Money and Jeff of Money Spruce, both really awesome people doing amazing things. Phil wrote about how many financial bloggers were in attendance at #wds2012, which excites me to see what the future holds for them. You know these are cool people if they’re willing to spend three days at a conference that talks about things like vulnerability, creativity, service and change in the context of our conventional world.

It wasn’t just those I spent the weekend with, it was people who you met briefly at lunch or on the street. I found my people.  I found people who didn’t expect me to live life in the way I’ve always been told it has to be lived. I found people who understand what I mean when I say, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” I found people who are doing awesome, crazy things with open hearts. Sometimes it was a little scary and intimidating, but when powerful forces within this unconventional community tell me, “It’s okay to not have everything figured out,” it feels like they get it and embrace it, not criticize me for it.

So to all the people I met this weekend who listened to my story and told me it’s okay to not know — thank you.

Don’t stop believin’!


There was such an outpouring of inspiration from the high caliber speakers, who ranged from world-class researchers into vulnerability and introversion to A-list bloggers and entrepreneurs. Speakers who spoke to our hearts, made us laugh, made us cry and, most of all, made us think.

  • Brené Brown had us dancing and singing first thing in the morning
  • Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water, made us reconsider service and convinced most (if not all) of us to give up our next birthdays
  • Cal Newport showed us how astonishingly wrong all the “follow your passion” advice has been over the past 20+ years
  • JD Roth, creator of Get Rich Slowly, spoke on the power of change

Throw in the incredible stories from $100 Startup and Attendees Stories forums, plus any given one of the 80+ attendee-led workshops, and it’s easy to understand how so much AWESOME could come out of one single weekend.

Of all the great messages I heard over the three days, two in particular stood out to me: To say YES and to have a good story. But I’ll save that for another post. 🙂

One final note today: If you’ve ever thought that there’s something more out there, I’d highly, highly encourage you to consider attending WDS next year. You never know in what way it might alter your life. Over half the tickets have already been sold to attendees, so get on the list now!!


images: Armosa Studios

No related content found.


  1. Hi Lora! You have beautifully captured the magic of WDS and I’m so happy I got to be one of the people to meet you, even if it was just briefly!



    • lora | kathleen says:

      Thanks Marthe! It was wonderful to meet you as well. I look forward to seeing what you do over the next year and hope we are able to meet at #wds2013!

  2. Having a good story and being able to give your elevator speech is a huge part that I’ve just realized. I know a lot of us do cool stuff, but sometimes you’ve only got a few seconds to tell people what it is. Definitely something I’ll be thinking about before WDS2013

    Thanks for the mention 🙂

    • lora | kathleen says:

      The story is where I am lacking the most and will need to figure out before next year. It’ll be fun to see how much has changed a year from now 🙂

  3. It takes all the power within me not to tweet or text you when a hot, shirtless runner goes by. It’s not the same as hot runner/nearly naked guys in Portland getting sweaty, but it’ll do!

    I love that, “say yes and have a good story.” I found myself living that advice since getting back- I’ve had a few invites to do activities I formally said no to- like boating or checking in with old friends, letting myself feel vulnerable around people I know that I kept it profesh with, the results have been amazing. So many good memories, new experiences and the idea that saying no before was just silly!

    You are my souuulll sissstahhhh!

    • lora | kathleen says:

      TWEET ME! If I ever saw one when I wasn’t running myself, I’d be racking up thousands of points on you. Just saying.

      I love how much opportunity a simple yes can open up! I’ve had so many good experiences doing things I wouldn’t have tried before… WDS being the biggest and greatest example.

  4. Lora, it was great to meet you at WDS. I’m excited to see what the future holds for you. I totally get you about the “found my people” thing. It’s powerful and affirming. See you next year for sure, if not sooner.

    • lora kathleen says:

      It was great to meet you too Phil! Hopefully we get to connect again sooner rather than later 🙂

Speak Your Mind