Why I’m excited to talk at the Altitude Oasis in March 2019 (and how you can get a discount)

Last week, I got the above email, which prompted about an hour of shrill “OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG” from me, both typed and shrieked. See, for the past three years, I have wanted to go to the Altitude Summit, but tickets have sold out almost immediately after launch. Plus, it has always seemed really expensive (which is why I set an education budget for myself this year!).

This year, when I got the call for proposals, I knew what I wanted to talk about: Why goals work for some people and not for others, and how to set goals in accordance with your own goal-setting style so you can actually benefit from goals, rather than just being burdened with the guilt of not achieving what you hoped. (that title was too long, though, so I cut it down)

What is the Altitude Oasis?

It’s a 5-day conference for creative entrepreneurs and marketers who want to understand how to use modern technology and skills to create empowering impact, while following ethical practices.

(my words, not theirs)

Here’s a sample of topics from their blog:

MARKETING & BRAND BUILDING
Newsletters Intensive Workshop For Beginners
Advanced Newsletters Workshop
Instagram Growth
Instagram Stories & Live — Trends & Tips
Using Facebook Pages
Strategies for Facebook Groups
Using Facebook Ads
Driving Traffic with Pinterest
Pinterest Promoted Pins
Preparing Photos for Pinterest
Collaborations With Complementary Brands
Marketing through Influencers & Bloggers
Traditional Media Coverage
Trade Media Coverage
Marketing on Local TV
Logo & Web Design
Developing Your Brand Voice
Creating a Brand Style Sheet
How To Be A Good Community Member

CONTENT
Podcasting 101
Podcasting Equipment & Setup
Podcasting Growth Strategies
Developing As An Online Writer
Writing For Other Sites
Coming Up With Authentic Sponsored Content
Creating Positive Communities Online
Using Your Platform For A Good Cause
Writing about Current Events on a Non-Political Site
Writing About Pages
Moderating Conversations on Social Media and Blogs

MORE CONTENT — PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
Shooting Flat Lays
Editing Process — From Capture Through Publishing
iPhone Skills Photo Class
Shooting Interiors
Shooting Kids & Portraits
Shooting Food
Shooting Yourself — Self Timers and Other Tricks
Modeling
Top Photo Editing Apps
Facebook Live
Instagram Stories & Live — How to Create
On Camera Skills
Capturing Great Video
Video Editing
Building a YouTube Audience
Finding Your Youtube Niche
Video Lighting

REVENUE
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
Advanced Affiliate Marketing
Finding Your Affiliate Niche
How to Pitch Sponsors
Working With An Ad Network
All About CPMs and Other Display Ad Terms
Book Projects
Launching or Running a Small Online Shop (like Etsy)
Launching or Running a Big Online Shop
Opening or Running a Brick & Mortar Shop
Creating and Selling Email Courses & Video Courses
Creating and Selling Hosted Online Classes (like Skillshare)
E-books
Collaborations With Existing Brands (creating a line or a product for someone else)
Consulting or Joining a Board of Directors
Writing/Creating for Other Sites or Brands
Selling Skills You Didn’t Know Your Had
Creating a Media Kit

BUSINESS SKILLS
Accounting Tools & Skills
Payroll Tools
Managing Company Email Addresses
How to Hire or Build a Team
Negotiating Contracts
Getting & Keeping Business Paperwork in Order
Strategies for Managing Your Inbox
How To Pivot
Working Full-Time and Managing a Side-Gig
Leveling Up – How to get the skills to go to the next level
Finding Your Tribe
Starting a Mastermind Group
Getting Investment as a Woman Entrepreneur
Getting Grants as a Woman in Business
Developing Residual Income or Putting Your Business on Autopilot
Selling Your Business and Other Exit Strategies
Career Paths in Social Media

WELLNESS
Work Life Balance
When To Quit Your Day Job
Realizing Your Potential
How To Find Your Creative Passion
Overcoming Creative Blocks
Dealing with Negativity Online
Managing Stress
Top Wellness Practices/Trends
Mediation
Toxin-free Living
Trash-free Living
Minimalism
The Art of Organization/De-cluttering
Tiny Houses

ART & INSPIRATION
Artist Installations
Movie Screenings + Panels, featuring woman-led projects
Concerts and Performances
Runway Shows

NEW & OTHER TOPICS
Why You Need to Know About Blockchain
Telegram -The Important Social Media Platform You Haven’t Heard Of
Cryptocurrency Overview
Voter Registry
How Bloggers and Influencers Can Wield More Political Power

It was the above list that made me realize I absolutely must go this year, whether or not I was accepted to talk at the event. And yes, there are practical courses that help with almost every aspect of creative business, but there are also more than 2000 attendees who are creative, empowered, incredible, awesome, driven individuals (mostly women), and the idea of connecting with an army of brilliant people like that was just too much to resist.

Plus, in Palm Springs at a fancy hotel? (I’m staying at The Riviera) Hell to the yeah!

I bought the $850 ticket just a couple days before I found out I was accepted (they gave me a refund on my ticket, bless them).

Why I think this conference is worth it

Right. So, I paid $850 for my ticket (before they refunded it) because I knew it was going to be worth it, no matter what. I knew that with the hotel and travel and everything, the cost of the conference was going to be about $2200 (if I include the reduction of my billable hours for Mozilla, the cost of the conference is more like $3500).

If I wanted to go (and make a successful pitch to Russ for me to go), I had to be sure I’d make at least $3500 from the lessons I learned from the conference, just to break even. Which sounds like a lot.

But look at those above topics.

  • If I get a $10k grant because I took that workshop on “Getting Grants as a Woman in Business,” it has already doubled my investment.
  • If I can create more free time and make more money because I took the workshop on “Developing Residual Income or Putting Your Business on Autopilot,” then I get more time, and what’s more valuable than time? (nothing!)
  • If I can learn to be better organized and be satisfied with less stuff because I took the wellness courses on “The Art of Organization/De-cluttering” and “Minimalism,” then I will have significantly simplified my life and built systems for saving money.
  • If we launch an affiliate marketing program and get Outlaw Soaps into the hands of thousands of new customers because I attended the “Affiliate Marketing” workshop, then we have fundamentally shifted the direction of our business!

Any of these workshops could boost our business and more than make up the investment of time and money, not even considering the incredible relationships I’ll make while I’m there.

We support you!I always try to surround myself with interesting, creative, driven people, and this is the conference for people like that. It’s like professional-oriented Burning Man, but with indoor plumbing and office supplies (both major selling points for me)!

Should you go?

If you’re reading this, I really do hope you decide to come!

Do a cost evaluation for yourself like I did. Is it worth it? What are you giving up by deciding to go? What do you stand to gain from attending? What would you learn? Are there other places to learn these things? What style is best for you?

If you decide to go, I’d love to hang out while you’re there!

They gave me an affiliate code so you can save $50 on a ticket (and I get a kickback, 100% of which is being funneled into books to bring to the event and give out for free).

Here’s the registration link to the Alt Oasis, and if you use the code YOU-NICORN when you check out, you’ll get the $50 discount.

Hope to see you there!

Intentions on the water at sunrise.

This morning was especially early. I got a surprise upgrade on my hotel room (more on that later), so after a wonderful night of sleep, I woke up very early to go walk along the banks. As I was sitting there, a dog came up and started making noises at me. I started packing to go (maybe I was in his spot?), and he nudged my leg.

Wild dogs are kind of scary to me, since, well, you know. And these dogs are filthy. They literally sleep in trash. And this one looked like it had been in many fights, so I wondered if my hand was going to be bitten off, but I tentatively patted his head. He was blissed out with happiness. And yes, I had hand sanitizer, and washed my hands a lot, but he was a sweet dog and the kindness we showed each other was welcome.

Support preservation, equality, charity, and kindness: My 10% plan

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I shared this last night because I’m really struggling with what to DO now.

First, I want to remember that not all the supporters of Trump are pussy-grabbing bomb-lovers who want to banish all other races from the United States. Among them are caring, wonderful, loving people who are as frustrated with things as we are.

I have met many of them, and I even have them in my family, and most of them feel that Trump is just “not good with words.” They don’t take what he says literally, they just feel like he is clumsy and over-states things.

To me, this alone makes him unfit to be President, but that is not the shared opinion of this nation.

Second, I want to remember that this is NOT the “silent majority,” as long as there are people who would vote for compassion and equality who remain unmotivated to vote for a two-party system.

I’m not a political person (I mean, I research the issues and I vote, but I find the government so bafflingly complicated that I would not be the person to organize such a movement), but I think THIS is the time to work on ways we can come up with alternatives to this “the lesser of two evils” political system.

When I was in Germany, I learned they have a six-party system because everyone gets three votes. People can pour their votes into one person, or people can distribute their votes among their favorite candidates. Would that work for the US? I do not know. If you are a political strategist, for the love of God, please propose something, and QUICK, when everyone still cares, and before Trump is in the office. I think we all want something we can get behind.

Once again, by the way, the Democratic candidate won the popular vote, but the electoral college went to Trump. SOMEONE with a bigger political interest has got to work on that.

Third, and personally most importantly, the reason I posted that quote last night is because I feel that we must become MIGHTY. We must grow prosperous and dedicate our voice, energy, and wealth to causes and people who further LOVE and COMPASSION.

I spent my whole life being a fraction of what I am capable of, sending my life’s calling to voicemail. But recently, I woke up.

If that resonated with you, STOP SLEEPING. Grab your calling, make your plan, and get on it. I need you. WE need you. Don’t decide to watch TV if you should be writing. Don’t do what I did, and anesthetize yourself so you didn’t have to listen to the nagging call in your heart. GET ON IT.

Make a ton of money, donate to causes that resonate with you, and get over whatever is standing in the way of you doing that.

Example: National Parks. If we ALL gave money to the national parks, do you really think they would need as much federal money? Yes, our taxes (ideally) support it, but hey, the world is abundant and so we just have to make 10% more and give that 10% to the National Parks.

I actually mathed a tiny bit, and Clinton got 59,233,484 votes. If everyone made an average of $40k/year (the national average is $51,939, but let’s lowball) and donated 10% of their income to a cause that was important to them, $236,860,332,000 would be in play toward causes of preservation, equality, charity, and kindness.

Do you know what kind of a difference that money would make? Do you know what kind of a difference your intention and energy would make?

If you are financially limited and can not afford my courses, but would like to make 10% more so you can give it to preservation, equality, charity, and kindness, send me a private message and we will work something out.

Our Sacred Responsibility

I had a dream last night that changed everything.

It was, in a broader sense, about our sacred responsibility to those we love, as they (and we) go through life changes. Including death.

Five years ago, my first and beloved dog Diva passed on. Through her aging and death, I realized that she was enjoying life and living in the present. She passed, and it was me who felt sad. She felt no sadness, just the natural progression of her life.

And it is that way with everyone around us.

Our lives are a kaleidoscope of people and animals and situations around us, always turning, and never looking exactly the same. Your toddler is a young man tomorrow. Your knees aren’t as good as they were, so the time for backpacking through Yosemite has passed. Life in the current moment is sweet, but it is only a window of time before different situations exist, and different opportunities are in front of us.

Our sacred responsibility, as custodians of our lives and the brief time we have, is to spend our time in the present, enjoying the people and opportunities in front of us today, not worrying about the missed opportunities of the past, or the diminishing opportunities of the future.

Prioritize those experiences whose window is open now.

The Woo-Woo Spiritual Reason to Write Down Your Goals

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

I think there’s a reason I am becoming more woo-woo spiritual as I get older: I have been too many places and seen too many things to deny there’s some weird shit going on here.

I don’t care if you believe in God or the Universe or a flying spaghetti monster or source energy or whatever, I think everyone comes to a point in their lives when they go “Oh holy shit. I get what I ask/act for.

If you’re not there, you’re either too inexperienced in the ways of the Universe, or you’re not asking for big enough stuff.

But if you’re reading this, I’m just gonna assume you’re on board with the whole woo-woo “Universe conspires to help you” stuff.

So, Why are SPECIFIC Goals Important?

It’s easy: when you don’t have clear, specific goals, the Universe keeps throwing stuff at you to try on. Some of it is stuff you like, some of it is stuff you don’t like.

The Universe is handing you all these “opportunities” (sometimes in the form of majorly earthly-shitty things, I’ll grant you that), not knowing which you’ll take and react bonkers awesome to and which you’ll stagger under the weight of their burden. To the Universe, it’s all just doors to other realities that you may or may not want.

You might think “But the Universe has to know I don’t want to get fired, right? I mean, exactly how dumb is this Universe anyways? And what am I going to do without this job?” (or any of the number of other shitty things that might happen) To the Universe, this is an opportunity. Maybe it’s an opportunity to find a different job, or start a business, or realize you’re totally in the wrong career! Mayyyybe it’s not the opportunity you wanted, but this is the Universe’s version of an opportunity.

“Idle hands are the Devil’s playground” on the Universe’s scale is a pretty dang humongous thing.

But the minute you tell The Universe what you want, it gets to work on that immediately. If you keep thinking about it as happening, and getting ready for it, pretty soon the thing you want will come along.

That’s why if you have vague goals, you get vague results — eh, it’s pretty close to what you wanted, but it’s not hitting a home run.

But Why are WRITTEN Goals Important?

Our brains have a funny way of attaching to disbelief.

I don’t know why… maybe we’re all just too smart for our own good, or we’ve been so bombarded with jaded messaging that we’ve become jaded.

But writing down your specific goals is a way of keeping yourself honest about the miracles unfolding in front of you. You need to know when you’ve crossed the finish line.

I have seen some seriously crazy creepy stuff come to pass as a result of written, specific goals. Stuff that I find years later in my journal. A goal list that I tucked in a book and forgot, and I read and realized I’ve checked off most of the things… almost by accident, just because the opportunities were there.

But how?

I’m so glad you asked! I’ve been diligently writing down my goals for years. My dad actually sat my brother and me down and taught us how to do it, starting with 5 years out, and working back to 3 months out.

Over the years, I have modified my methods to include inspiration from Brian Tracy, Napoleon Hill, Jack Canfield, Jen Sincero, and more.

I’m so passionate about writing down goals that I’m offering a workshop at the end of this year (evergreen after that). If you’re interested in seeing how the Universe can conspire for you, enroll (it’s free) and we’ll get to work on December 26!