A big inspiration struck me on the last day of the three-day Paleo f(x) conference last month in Austin, Texas. The idea is a simple but important one. Can we measure the effect attending the conference has on one attendee over the course of a year?
As is so often the case, there were a series of serendipitous events and actions that had prepared me for this particular inspiration to strike. It began when Michelle Norris, the conference co-founder, sent an email requesting vendors to donate gifts for the Charity Silent Auction. This was the first year Happy Living was a vendor and we wanted to be supportive. My son Kyle came up with the perfect idea. He suggested we donate a Kindle Paperwhite E-reader. I loved the idea and quickly agreed.
Over the weeks leading up to the conference, I started a marketing campaign to promote the many awesome speakers and their topics, along with my opening keynote talk: Turning Your Paleo f(x) Inspiration Into Action.
As I prepared dozens of these #MaximizeTheROI images to promote on social media, I started to realize just how many speakers where also published authors. That gave me an idea for another marketing campaign. This one I called, #PFX16 speakers write too! With these social media messages, I included the appropriate web link to encourage the purchasing of each author’s book.
It was while preparing dozens of these #PFX16 speakers write too! images that I had an idea to make our silent auction gift even better. We would load the Kindle E-reader with every book we were promoting.
The Charity Silent Auction was held on the second evening of the conference. Kyle and I had attended the dinner but we left before the winner of our loaded up Kindle was announced. We found out who had been chosen the next day when a tiny whirlwind of energy named Gina Kirlew burst into our booth announcing herself as the winner of the Happy Living gift. Gina is a cartoonist, illustrator and designer with her own company called gk. She is also a bundle of enthusiasm and love. As we posed for a picture in the booth, she squeezed me around my waist with a full-on, two-armed bear hug.
That’s when the lighting bolt struck and my big idea, the one I spoke about at the opening of this post, just came to me. I said to her, “You sure have a lot of reading to do.” As I was saying these words, I was thinking how much these books could affect her life. Then I found myself saying, “These books are going to change your life. We need to get you on stage next year as a speaker so you can share how they changed you.” Then I thought, we could offer her four Happy Living posts throughout the year to update us on what books she’s read, what she’s learned, and how it has affected her life. We agreed to talk further about all this and then she left us with her big, beautiful smile. Less than an hour later, Michelle Norris just happened by our booth and I was able to share my idea with her.
So often, that’s how inspiration happens for me. I find that I am unknowingly preparing myself as I engage in and creatively go about work that I love. Then suddenly lightning strikes with a big inspiration, and upon reflection I see the stepping-stones that prepared me for it.
As I wrote in a post a few weeks ago, inspiration isn’t enough to transform your life. So now I have to turn inspiration into action. To that end, I have spoken with Gina and she’s agreed to write four posts over the next year leading up to Paleo f(x) 2017. Stay tuned for her first post currently scheduled for October! Next, I’ll be reaching out to the conference organizers to see if we can secure a speaking spot where I can interview Gina about how the Paleo f(x) Effects Happy Living Challenge changed her life. Finally, I intend to donate a loaded up Kindle gift each year to the Charity Silent Auction, make the Paleo f(x) Effects Happy Living Challenge an annual event, and establish the quarterly Happy Living posts as a permanent series with the guest writer changing to the new winner every year. As Hannibal from The A-Team used to say, ‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ Or, in this case, I love it when inspiration strikes, and I can take action to turn it into something really meaningful and exciting!
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