This week I finished two of my real world events: the first mentorship program and the first series of Blogging 101. Both events were incredibly fulfilling, to say the least. If anybody would tell me in August that by the end of November I will have 2 major live events completed, I wouldn’t believe him.
Mentorship – Take One
The mentorship program started in September had 6 attendees and a total of 10 guests. If you want to know more about the format of the mentorship and the role of both attendees and guests, you can read this post from September.
One of the things I didn’t mention in that post is that I filmed the attendees at every mentorship session, asking for some expectations and conclusions at each start and end. I ended up with more than one hour of footage which still waits to be edited. That will be fun. If they will agree, I will try to make a short clip and publish it here (they speak Romanian but last time I heard, subtitles were still a hype 🙂 ).
We had a lot of fun during these sessions and the interaction seemed to increase in intensity during the last 2-3 sessions. I think everyone had at least one “a-ha” moments and that includes me. Speaking with young entrepreneurs, listening to their problems, their expectations and their approaches was certainly one of the most fulfilling parts of this event for me.
A lot of people asked me if I will do another mentorship session. The short answer: I will. The long answer: I will modify the format. It will not be spread across 6 weeks anymore and I guess I will squeeze it into a whole week-end. So far, a few potential mentees already agreed with this format. Still a few tweaks to be made but, generally speaking, it will be a full week-end from now on, not a sequence of 2 hours chunks spread across 6 weeks. I will surely make an announcement about the exact date pretty soon.
A lot of people asked me what exactly I do in those mentorship sessions. Well, if you read my blog, you already know the tune. The mentorship puts the words in that tune. Basically, I help people to become better at what they do. If possible, brilliantly better. There is a catch, you have to have an online business. This is what I did for the last 10 years and, allegedly, I did it pretty good. Meaning I’ve been lucky enough to make a gazillion mistakes and stubborn enough to get up after each and every one of them. An important part of the mentorship sessions is about mistakes. Their mistakes as well as mines.
The whole mentorship event created a powerful flow of motivation. At the end of the last session (there will be a final reunion next week for the final evaluation, but, technically speaking, that will not be a mentorship thing) everybody suggested we should do this again. Not in the regular, casual “hey, mate, we should get together sometimes, k-thanks-bye” style. But rather in the “I think this was useful and, if possible, I want some more”.
Which gave me the idea of a new type of event. I already sketched the format and I will make a presentation live at Open Coffee next week.
The blogging workshop had an unexpected exposure. Some of my old partners wrote about it (as was the case of Doru Panaitescu, [Romanian content] one of the most respected online advertising professionals in Romania) while some of my twitter followers retweeted the workshop announcements for several days.
To be honest, I was a little bit concerned about this workshop. Not only it was the first 3 days event I ever did, but I was completely unaware of the general blogging expertise of my attendees. Turned out that they were all pretty much at the same level, which made things a lot easier for me. The attendees were middle and top managers from automotive, financial, media and human resources industry. All very well respected professional and all very eager to learn. We’ve been able to connect very quickly. They weren’t shy at asking questions and I was extremely pleased about that. Besides being very (and I mean VERY) fast learners they were also very kind and supportive. If this sounds like a fairy tale, imagine how it is to actually live it :-).
At the end of the first day everybody had his own blog and we were ready to start doing some creative writing exercises as well as some technical tweaking, which gave me the opportunity to give them even some home assignments. I think the fact that they had their own blog for the whole course was one of the key points and made them understand much better the whole concepts. I’m satisfied with the practice / theory balance in the course and, apparently, they were happy too.
The first series ended 1 and a half day ago and I realized I have a ton of things to add, modify or enhance. I’m still browsing my course notes and tweaking my schedules and presentations. The live feed-back made me understand how I can improve certain areas and also realized that very few persons are associating the blogging process with a business process. Luckily, having over 10 years of experience in running my own business, I could easily create, explain and clarify the links between blogging as a social phenomenon and business, as in making real money blogging.
To make a long story short, the blogging workshop will have a second series, starting on December 4th. I already had 4 signups even before this public announcement and I guess this tells a lot about the workshop exposure. If you’re in Romania, Bucharest, and want to attend, contact me for more information and will find a way to do it.
I think I’m start to enjoy doing this. As I already said, if you would tell me in August that I will have 2 live events already finished by the end of November, I wouldn’t believe you. But now I will. So, here’s the deal: I’m telling to myself that by the end of March I will have at least one live event finished abroad. Like in another country. Exactly.
Which means I’m making myself available as a keynote speaker, coach and blogging teacher for the English part of the world, as of… right now. And if you want to know more about me, this is the right place to start. If there’s something in my blog you would like it detailed or presented live in an event, don’t be shy. If you can gather an audience for this type of event, even better. Contact me and let me know. I’m sure we can find a way.
After all, I’ve already done it twice, so I know how to do it.
I will even eat your cookies. 😉
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.