This past Tuesday, June 11, was our first conference, YBL (Your Best Life) in Los Angeles.
Today, we are in grateful recovery mode. Putting on something like YBL is an immense undertaking, requiring a dedicated team giving it their all. We did, and it worked out wonderfully. Yes, there were a number of places we could improve — yikes, the food line, so sorry! — and we will get better on the next one.
The takeaway for us is that the scale of our vision needs to be dramatically expanded. It is one thing to see Google stats saying all of you are global, it is quite another thing to actually meet people who traveled from around the world to be there. We are truly global.
The other big moment is, although we had thought of ourselves as 50+, in actuality, as the brilliant Chip Conley so well articulated, middle age is now 35-75. Google has been telling us that half of you are under 45, but stats don’t have the same power as actually getting it in the gut from Chip.
What struck me personally more than anything, was that we had created a space where people had permission to be themselves, and to celebrate that with other like-minded people. In that sense it was the real-life version of what we do in our digital publication. Unlike any conference I have attended, there was a spirit of joyful validation permeating the room. I realized we had created a movement or, more humbly, had created a space for a movement to be expressed.
Giving Voice to a Global Movement
At the end of the event, when the reality of what we had done hit me, I was thunder struck, which led to me completely falling apart and being unable to speak — not something that happens too often around here. We had made this thing happen, we had given voice to a global movement. That, my friends, is some very heavy information to intake, and it floored me, quite literally.
It is going to take a bit of time to fully recover and digest the learnings of our first YBL. I can assure everyone that there will be more. Where, how often, and what they will look like we can’t say today. But the planning and discussions are already beginning.
We will be reviewing and commenting on what we learned from all the panels over the next few weeks and hope to offer some cogent insights on what it all meant.
Thank you to everyone who was there, to all the incredible speakers, and to all the staff and volunteers. You are the people who inspire us day after day.