A couple of months ago I got to help out with the GoLive experience up in Seattle with Promise Tangeman and the GoLiveHQ team. Being a host and helping the attendees launch their brand new websites was such an amazing couple days and by the time the first day was done, I was dying to be a part of the next GoLive event. The next one ended up being in LA at Promise's house, and it was the same week as Texas Style Council's CAMP, where I would be speaking, so I decided to make it one long inspirational week, and boy was it! I'm exhausted after a week of being around so many encouraging, inspiring, go-getter women, but I truly wish I could make weeks like that a regular occurance.
Last Monday I flew out of Seattle down to LA, got in at about 2 am and sleepily shuffled into my Airbnb cottage to get a few hours of sleep before heading to Promise's house for the first day of work. Having seen the process before from the perspective of a host, it was nice knowing what to expect. As attendees started showing up, we all mingled in Promise's kitchen and living room, sipping on mimosas and coffee, and grabbing a bite to eat while chatting with new friends-to-be, anxious to get started working on our new sites! Laptops started popping up on the tables and we made our way to our seats to rifle through our swag bags, which were full of fun goodies from local artisans, before delving into the hard work of getting our sites live in the next 48 hours.
I decided to host my new photography site on Showit, which was a new software for me, but I found it pretty quick to learn (very similar to using Photoshop and Lightroom) especially with the help of the GoLive ladies, and it was fun and easy to bring everything in my head to life. I'm such a tunnel-vision worker when it comes to that kind of stuff, I just put my head down and get in the zone, so everyone was calling me a ninja because I was super quiet and just powered through it, haha!
Having done plenty of web design work in the past for both myself and clients, I knew I didn't "need" to do the GoLive Experience. I was fully capable of downloading the template and tweaking it alone in my own office, but I wanted the community, the feedback, and the support of other creative, inspiring women surrounding me and cheering me on. I've always been more of a loner, feeling like I can do things myself, but as I get older I'm learning how unbelievably invaluable community is and how important it is to have people in my life, women especially, who I can talk to, share ideas with, and be encouraged by. Being a host for GoLive in January showed me that it offered exactly that.
While some gals were there for some serious design help, I was more there because I want to actively surround myself with people who I admire and seek encouragement and guidance from. Interestingly, later the same week we talked about this at length at TxSC CAMP, and the concept of "friendtors" (friends who are also mentors), became a focal point of the weekend. Sitting in a room full of other women who were launching their own new websites and making those connections in person was exactly what I needed.
I surprised myself by getting a little emotional near the end. I'm so used to going it alone and doing everything for myself. I don't know if Lone Wolf Syndrome is a thing, but if it isn't I'm making it up and I definitely have it. I feel like I have to do stuff for myself and don't let myself rely on others. Having a team (and the other attendees) around me who were so for me and excited to see me succeed and wanted to give me as many tools as possible to succeed got me pretty choked up. In typical lone wolf fashion, I stuffed it in and held it together, but still, the feels were in force.
Going to TxSC right afterwards was the perfect follow-up to the experience with GoLive, but I'll have to do a whole other post (or two) on that. On a less emo note, Promise's house is basically what my house wants to be when it grows up. Dan and I have been thinking about getting a bigger house, eventually, and I was so inspired by Promise's space. So eclectic, so much light, so much open space. Old craftsman homes here in the PNW have pretty closed floor plans. One of our big renovation plans is to knock out the wall between our kitchen and living room to make it feel more open and light, but that's a pretty big project. I loved that Parker, Promise's pup, hung out for the two days. I missed having Dusty around while I was gone, but Parker let me pet him and get in my dog love times. He's a fan of the same Ikea pillow that Dusty lays on all the time. Ikea should make a dog-bed version, I'm thinking.
Today I've launched the final part of my new site, the matching design on this here blog! I tend to want a fresh look over here about once a year and it'd been a while since my last design change. With the new photography website going live, it seemed like the perfect time to freshen things up over here as well. I made a little celebratory dancing video because why not? Dancing is always a great way to celebrate, right? Also: champagne. Welcome friends! I'll be working out a few kinks in the next few days, but I've got some giveaways coming down the chutes for even more celebration! Stay tuned!