Why I Attend the World Domination Summit

World Domination SummitMy wife and I just had the opportunity to spend another amazing weekend in Portland at Chris Guillebeau‘s World Domination Summit (WDS). Just as last year, I left feeling inspired and transformed. It is truly an amazing experience.

Portland is a beautiful city full of great restaurants and cafes and the conference has many inspirational speakers and workshops, however, the greatest personal value I get is from the opportunity to meet so many talented and motivated people. This is one of the best places in the world to meet with people I’ve known online, connect with old friends and discover new like-minded bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Going to WDS feels like returning home to a small town where every one is friendly and helpful. We all seem to share similar beliefs and it feels like we are resonating at the same wavelength while the rest of the world is way, way out of tune.

It’s great to be around so many people where I don’t have to explain why I live the way I do or why I work towards my crazy dreams. These people get it. These people are my people. It’s the rest of the world that is so confused.

The Value of Relationships

We all know that rich personal connections are critical to business and career success, however, it’s not always so easy to follow through on establishing and strengthening those relationships. The World Domination Summit brings together the highest concentration of my peers in one location at the same time. (I also love Chiang Mai for that same reason.)

Connections are invaluable for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, but it’s about much more than that. Rich personal relationships with other people are what make life worth living. In fact, after health, nothing is more valuable then quality time spent with friends and family.

Unfortunately, so many people seem to make work and lifestyle decisions that degrade their health and limit time spent with loved ones. Working 60 plus hours a week in a job you hate is not for the sake of your family. Your spouse and your children don’t need a giant house, fancy cars and consumer items to be happy. They need you. If you are not there, you are not working for your family.

In our society, human interactions are all too often viewed as transactions where opportunists try to suck as much out of the connection as possible. At most networking events, far too many people throw out business cards as if they were confetti at a wedding.

The World Domination Summit is not like that at all. People talk and interact for the value of the conversations. Those human interactions have value in and of themselves. Imagine talking to a stranger, because you want to talk to a stranger. That doesn’t happen too often in everyday life.

My weekend in Portland has cemented old friendships and has established new ones. It has opened up new opportunities and improved my view of the world. Those few days at the World Domination Summit have made me a better person.

Thanks Chris Guillebeau, J.D. Roth and the entire WDS team of staff and volunteers that worked tirelessly to put on another mind-blowing event. It’s obvious that endless hours of planning and hard work are required to make the conference such a success every year. My wife and I bought our tickets for next year and we are already counting down the days.

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

16 Responses to Why I Attend the World Domination Summit

  1. Matty says:

    Are there really that many digital nomads in Chiang Mai?

    • John says:

      Hi Matty,

      All long term travellers and digital nomads go through Chiang Mai sooner or later. There are always countless digital nomads and travellers around. There is no other city like it.

  2. Tina says:

    Thanks for a great article, John!

    Do you have any advice for someone traveling to Portland? I will pass through in September. Want to make the most of it – see the city and meet people.

    • Kay Gillett says:

      Tina, google Tripper Dungan. He’s a fabulous person and artist who knows a lot of artists in Portland. He’ll know what’s going on. There are so many incredible healthy restaurants. Check out Alberta Street.

    • John says:

      Greetings Tina,

      My wife and I love cool cafes and restaurants so we would recommend visiting Hawthorne Street. Then head over to Division and 44th (I believe) to visit the original Stumptown. The Missippi/Alpina area is also cool. There are cool places all over down town as well. You can’t go wrong with the food trucks there.

  3. Marcelo says:

    Spot on review John! It was great seeing you and Motoko again. And I wish I could have said goodbye! I wasn’t as excited for WDS this year before the weekend but I changed my mind once I was there and could chat to all amazing people. Josh and I already got our tickets for next year and we are definitely coming back!

    See you soon.

    • John says:

      Greetings Marcelo,

      Sorry we missed you at the end. There are so many things to do and so many people to meet. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to meet up again before WDS2014.

  4. Nick Loper says:

    Hey John, great to meet you briefly at WDS! Hope all is well and best of luck w/ your Startup Chile application!!

    • John says:

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for getting in touch! It was great meeting you as well. My StartupChile application is still a secret for my blog readers. 🙂

  5. Andy Hayes says:

    It was nice to see you! Sorry we did not actually get to have a conversation. Next time!

    • John says:

      Greetings Andy,

      It was great to see you as well, even if it was only in passing. 🙂

      That’s the problem with getting 2800 people together for a weekend. You only have about 3 seconds to spend with each person. 🙂

  6. This was my first year, and I’m hooked. See you in 2014!

  7. Brian Kwong says:

    First time here, awesome site John. I was brought here by the Project Getaway 🙂

    Didn’t get to speak or meet with you at the WDS this year but maybe next year!

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