Post-SOBCon 2010: My Promises to Liz Strauss & Terry Starbucker

by Jeannie Walters

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Like most who attended, I am catching my breath a little after a few days of SOBCon – the annual conference hosted by Liz Stauss and Terry Starbucker that brings together bloggers, entrepreneurs and like-minded corporate folks to discuss what it takes to be “Successful and Outstanding.”

I’m not sure I’m ready to post this yet, but if there’s one takeaway from SOBCon, it’s this: “Effing Launch It.” Don’t wait for perfection. Don’t expect everything to work the first time. Just get it done!

So instead of a recap, I thought I’d make some promises. Liz & Terry inspired this, but I know these promises are not really to them, but to me.

1. I promise to find my niche. No, really.

After years of serving multiple industries in the vast arena that is “customer experience,” I really need to do this.  Soon.  So I will, and I’ll tell you about it here. (Mad props to Becky McCray and Sheila Scarborough.) I need 2 hands to count how many times Becky said this to me over the course of the weekend. (Point of order – Steve Woodruff’s been on my case about this for months! It just took this long to sink in.)

2. I promise to raise a barn.

Thanks to Liz’s inspiring opening and Chris Brogan‘s exceptional speech/discussion/rallying cry, I’m committed to raising a barn I’ve thought about doing for some time. What was stopping me? FEAR. Fear of failure AND fear of success. After SOBCon, I have no excuses. I know, thanks to Terry Starbucker, I’ll never walk alone again.

3. I promise to start small and dream big.

If there’s one thing that each and every person touched on, it’s this. We get in our own way much of the time and thanks to the echo chamber of the Internet sometimes think we are the bad guys for coming up with new ideas. Ted Murphy from IZEA said this really well. I’m paraphrasing here, but the idea is this: If everyone tells you you’re crazy, you’re probably on to something.

4. I promise to continue to surround myself with the right people.

I’m not exaggerating when I say the quality of people in the room at SOBCon made it the best conference I’ve attended in a long while. Being surrounded by that much brain power and integrity and emotional fortitude and humor and good will is powerful in a way that’s hard to articulate. I was humbled, truly, to be among that group.

5. I promise to visit The Netherlands.

Ok, so this one is really personal. But after spending 2 days with Erno Hannink and some time with Pieter van Osch, I really need to see how they grow ’em up so smart, engaging and, um, directly honest there. It’s not often you go to a hometown conference and walk away with a new lifelong friend from across the ocean. But I did.

So, Liz & Terry, I hope you’re proud of yourselves. You’ll be hearing from me as I make good on these promises. And I hope you know how much you had to do with it.

P.S. There are lots of great write-ups and recaps popping up, so if you’re interested here are a few from different perspectives:

  • Steve Woodruff does a great job highlighting the amazing relationships and more in his recap: “I went to #SOBCon and all I got was…”
  • Barry Moltz‘s recap: “The 20 Best Things Heard at SOBCon” is a great recap of what resonated with me, too.

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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