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!

When things have gone wrong, they have actually gone right: Coaching Group Edition

Photo by Jen MooreIt all was so perfectly planned. I was going to launch the coaching group for the Kickstarter backers. They’d all have their books in hand, and would be super amped to work on the exercises.

I really figured it all out.

But then the printer took an extra week with the books, they took a little longer to send than we expected, and, though almost everyone got their books, several people didn’t. It was very frustrating and more than a little disappointing, since I really wanted everyone to be able to get their books by the new year.

Instead, they went out the week before Christmas and receipt for Christmas was kind of hit and miss. Bummer. Lessons were learned, and our next kickstarter is going to be tight as a drum.

As part of the Kickstarter, I decided to offer the month-long coaching group to start the year off right. People could get their exercises done, meet cool people, watch some videos, and we could really have some fun with it. And because the kickstarter backers had taken a little risk on me and the book, and some had even endured some frustrating delays in the delivery of their books, I’d throw them a coupon code for the coaching group so they could come in and get it for free.

Great, right?

So I posted the coupon code a few times, always only to the backers. And then someone (I don’t know who, and it doesn’t matter) shared the coupon code that was meant only for the backers. I know this, because someone used the code and asked where their book was, and I didn’t see their name on the roster. Eerk.

At this point, I started to panic. I didn’t want everyone in the world accessing all the courses that I had on the site. Usually, I charge for these things, and just giving away my content that, while not terribly profitable, at least supports the site it’s hosted on… well, it was not going to work.

Plus, we couldn’t just give away the books after everyone had paid for the books, right? No. Nope. No.

I cut off the coupon code and sent what was probably a pretty terse email saying that the coaching group was closed and that people can’t share exclusive coupon codes with everyone, PLEASE.

But then I started thinking: What is the opportunity here?

I know that the universe is trying to help me get my books on the bestseller lists, so when these things happen, there must be an opportunity here that will help us get our book into the bestseller list.

And then it hit me: Offer the coaching group free for people who bought the book.

Danielle Vincent signing books
Photo by Jen Moore

Twice a year, I can run the coaching group for absolutely free. I personally believe that you have to do the exercises to get a benefit from them (hey, I wrote the book, so of course I’d think that…), and numerous studies have shown that you’ll be held accountable if you do the exercises in a group setting, so why not help people do the exercises in the book and connect with other like-minded awesome people? For free?

I mean, what’s the real goal here? The real goal is to make an impact. And selling the books isn’t the thing that will make the impact, the thing that makes the impact is doing the exercises and connecting with other people.

It’s a new idea. I don’t think any other books come with a free coaching group. But I’m going to give it a try.

You can pre-order the book and sign up for the May 2018 coaching group here.

Just do the next right thing

Each of us was put on this planet for a reason. Each of us is a catalyst for a change in the world.

And even if you don’t have a persistent ringing in your heart (or ears) telling you what your life purpose is, that’s ok. Because your responsibility is to just go and do the next right thing.

So ask yourself: What is the one thing I could do today, right now, that would make a change in the right direction to the world around me?

It could be something as small as sharing this post so your friends could do their next right thing. It could be grabbing an envelope and brainstorming the next 5 “right thing”s you can do to execute your big dream. It could be literally picking up the phone and making a sales call. It could be asking your boss for a 10% raise so you could contribute to charity.

And then watch, because amazing things start to happen when you do that one next right thing.

In the comments, tell me what your one next right thing is, and I’ll do my best to support you in it.

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!