How to Be a Better Human – Lessons from WordCamp US

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WordCamps are always educational. You hear about time-saving plugins, you see beautiful themes, and you learn about the latest SEO techniques. WordCamp US was no exception.

I plan to write up some of my favorite SEO techniques from WordCamp US but today I wanted to talk a little bit about the non-technical talks. Knowing the best plugin to promote your latest blog post is great. But if you can't work up the courage to write your first post then what good is the plugin?

Sara Cannon talked about creativity. And she starts by making a distinction between being creative & being artistic.

And this is important because everyone is creative. And if you don't believe that then you sell yourself short.

She then talks about improv where they practice “yes and”. Affirming every idea instead of saying “no that doesn't make sense”

You should examine every single idea and play with it. You have very different conversations when you say “yes and” instead of “no but”.

And then she puts it all together.

By the end of Sara's talk you start giving yourself space to play with ideas.

Sara's talk lines up beautifully with Chris Lema's talk.

Chris talks about finding your voice. He worked long & hard to develop his voice. It's not an easy process but he gives you steps to get started.

And then as you get going you can start to develop your own style.

And for me since I do a bit of blogging it was helpful to hear that it took Chris 1,200 posts to find his voice. I've written 250 posts so I feel better about not always understanding how to sound like myself online.

Chris talks about how worried his was about naysayers. And his solution is simple (and hilarious).

Chris gives you the courage to start blogging. And if you're already blogging he gives you the gas to keep going to find your voice.

And then there was Cory Miller who talks about being your full self or as he says it “managing your iceberg”.

We tend to only share the top 5% of our lives, the visible part of the iceberg. And that's all the good stuff. New clients, a book deal, and the latest version of your plugin, etc.

But humans don't just want the top 5%. We also need to hear about the mediocre times and the bad news.

While Cory was getting published he was also going through a divorce. And no one knew. And he had to walk that road all by himself.

The human experience is the whole iceberg. You can't be a whole human while only talking about the top 5%. I'm only just learning this lesson. A few weeks ago I shared a mistake. I felt shame making such a simple mistake that cost me thousands of dollars and it was really hard to write.

But at the event a few people reached out and said they appreciated that post. That they've made similar mistakes or that they want to do what I did and they appreciated my honesty.

I felt like a made a connection with them and this wouldn't have happened if I didn't share my own mistake first.

Sharing your mistakes is hard. But it's worth it because life rewards those who move in the direction of the greatest courage.

Thanks for helping me be a better human Sara, Chris, & Cory.

4 thoughts on “How to Be a Better Human – Lessons from WordCamp US

  1. Another “iceberg of life” representation I love:

  2. A great blog Peeg! It didn’t have the connection to techy themes that I thought Wordcamp was all about. The human side of the event is certainly worth thinking about, especially the iceberg theme, for me.
    My own thought was that you haven’t suffered from that burden much at all, as far as I have been able to see. Good on you ( as the Aussies say).
    What does the acronym mean in the early part of the blog? For heaven’s sake don’t let this appear in public!


  3. Patrick, thanks for the kind comments and recap. As I’ve watched you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, know I’ve been rooting for you!

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