Blog disclaimer for the near future: With so much happening right now due to the book launch in ONE WEEK (!!!), I am likely to increase my posting schedule a bit and talk more about the book than I normally would. I'm juggling the desire to share everything that's going on while being mindful not to overwhelm or bombard. If the increased posting schedule bothers you, feel free to "mark as read" or (gasp!) unsubscribe for the next few weeks -- but I'm hoping you'll stick around, of course :) 8 Days + 30 Moments
I just returned from an amazing week in Austin, Texas for the SXSW Conference, which was also the first official stop on the Life After College Book Tour (followed by a last minute detour to Las Vegas).
Even if you didn't attend the conference, there are some awesome people on this list that I look forward to introducing you to! And now, a recap of my 25 most memorable moments:
SXSWi - South by Southwest Interactive (aka Geek Spring Break):
- Getting picked up at the airport by Kristi Richey, one of my earliest blog readers (seriously - second only to my parents) in her red pick-up truck. Catching-up and gushing over the box of books that had arrived at the hotel.
- Dancing and hanging out with my boys J-Money and Nate, the founders of Love Drop -- a company they started after I introduced them to each other a year ago. AMAZING guys. Meeting their fabulous friends, Danielle Smith and Alli Worthington.
- Selling book number one at Chris Guillebeau's Best Party in Austin event. Signed, stamped, sealed and delivered…I really felt like an author! Taking a picture with my "mantourage" which included Scott Hale, Andrew Osborn, Andy Drish, Ryan Stephens, Norcross and @Kenny. Seeing the bright smiling faces of Monique Johnson and Stacyann Forrester.
- Ryan scheming to make sure he was the very first Amazon review for my book. Success! I'm blown away by the reviews that are already up. Ryan -- thank you for kicking things off :)
- Buffet brunch with Sydney Owen at Moonshine talking about her newfound love and big leap into professional freedom. (Hi Sydney!)
- Attending exactly ONE panel the entire week: Tony Schwartz on managing your energy. I call it the $500 panel since that was the cost of the conference pass. Hey - at least it was good!
- Actually having a CUPCAKE SPONSOR for my book signing event at Icenhauer's in Austin -- I need a NEW WORD for thank you to express my gratitude to the incredible Betty Jean Bell who put on the entire event; complete with bottomless mimosas and tacos! Event photos by my good friend Benjy Feen (who also has a dating advice piece featured in my book).
- Sitting at a table signing books…absolutely surreal. Chatting with new friends; honored and humbled by all the of the support as each new person walked through the door. Thrilled to share the spotlight with Josh Kaufman (Personal MBA).
- Chatting with Tony Hsieh (Zappos founder) on the Delivering Happiness bus with Andy Drish and Amber Rae, followed by cupcakes at Delish.
- Sipping wine at Halycon Cafe in Austin with Andy, Amber, Nick Reese (Becoming Bold), and Sean Ogle (Location 180); talking about life, business, dreams and big plans. Brainstorming a joint book launch/Revolution.is party in NYC with Amber on the back of a napkin.
- Catching up with Pam Slim (Escape from Cubicle Nation) and others over dinner at 10 Oak. Awed by the energy of getting a group of 25+ incredible people together at the same table, thanks to The One and Only Nick Reese.
- Missing Willie Jackson tremendously and talking with others about whether we were introduced BW (Before Willie) or AW (After Willie).
- An epic 2-hour long slumber party call with my BFF Elisa (Ophelias Webb) during which she calmed me down from a complete book tour overwhelm meltdown. Decided that canceling all end-of-week meetings and going to Las Vegas would be a great decision, despite the rapidly multiplying to-do list waiting for me back home.
- Getting a tour of Adam Baker's Man vs. Debt RV during his Adaptu breakfast meet-up (more free tacos!)
- Hanging out with an amazing crew of people at Nick and Markus Urban's (Living on Impulse) rented loft in Austin. Meeting awesome bloggers like Cody McKibben (Thrilling Heroics), Karol Gajda (Ridiculously Extraordinary), Jenny Leonard (Where is Jenny), Tyler Tervooren (Advanced Riskology), Benny Lewis (Fluent in 3 Months) and Adam from the UK (Magical Penny). Catching up over drinks with Michelle Ward (When I Grow Up Coach).
- Attending Kevin Smokler's always-unforgettable 9th annual Kookies with Kevin dinner with literary industry professionals and other creatives on the last night for the second year in a row. Having an amazing conversation with Keith Arsenault, who happens to be a sales rep for Perseus (the parent company of my publisher, Running Press).
- Canceling my flight home from Austin in lieu of a 20-hour road-trip detour through Las Vegas with Jenna "Badass Animal" Forstrom, Ryan "Impossibly Good Looking Man Candy" Martin and The One and Only Sean Ogle.
- Doing my best to be the "stay-awake-company-keeper" for each of the drivers (I had an allergic reaction the night before and felt like a stampede of bulls were running across my stomach for 24+ hours).
- Cracking up with Ryan at 3 a.m. as we updated Sean's Facebook status while he was sleeping -- to the effect of, "SO excited to dance with leprechauns down Las Vegas Boulevard!" We tried to announce that he was "OMG OMG so excited to see Celine Dion!!! <3!" a few hours later, but were thwarted due to lack of service through the Arizona mountains.
- Teaching everyone in the car how to play highs and lows (each person says a high, low, and something they learned for the day or week) - and sharing our best SXSW moments.
- Dancing, talking and sipping on drinks under the moonlight at Tao Beach.
- Laying out at the pool in my underwear because I didn't bring a swimsuit to SXSW. Hoping no one noticed, but not really caring if they did.
- The four of us huddling up to stay warm while watching the Bellagio fountain show (to Elton John music) in a total Ocean's 11 moment.
- Late-night meals (in bed) with Jenna. Pizza and spaghetti - the best leftovers to come home to after a long night of dancing!
- Smiling on the plane ride home (eyes drooping, voice gone) at how great it felt to be spontaneous, live in the moment and hang out with incredible people for eight straight days.
Stay tuned for a soon-to-follow post chock-full of book updates, early reviews, and upcoming events. The final countdown is on! 1 week, 1 day and 7 hours. Many of the pre-orders have already shipped...INSANE! And so exciting :)