Today I bit the bullet and went downtown – not quite into the heart of SXSW craziness, but close enough.  I went down to Book People had the pleasure of hearing and meeting $100 Startup author and world traveler Chris Guillebeau.  I’m glad I went.

This morning I found out that the train doesn’t run on Sundays.  Even for SXSW which is ridiculous.  Do you hear me Austin CapMetro?  Ridiculous.  Parking down there is absolutely crazy during this event – and the one day I really care to go, the train’s not moving.  So I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to go – really bummed, but decided.  Wait, I haven’t really conveyed just how impossible it is to park down there, and it’s not just parking, but the million pedestrians just walking all over and the petty cabs going SOOO SLOW.

But – Then I got a return tweet back from Chris about the event – literally the minute after I deciding I wasn’t going.  Just the quickest little note – but at just the right time.  It turned the day around.  One of those nice little non-random co-incidences…So, THAT changed my mind.  And I went.  And when I got there (way early – expecting to have to drive around for an hour then end up paying to park wherever I could find) – I was pleasantly surprised by…many open parking spaces!  All the businesses make sure to let people know there is NO special event parking at their business, and I got there early enough to beat the crowd for the meetup.  So that was great.  I had asked my parking angel in advance to keep a spot open for me, or make one available and it was done.

Chris was very warm and personable.  He walked around and talked with people before he spoke.  And when he spoke it was mostly to share other people’s stories.  I liked that.  I connected to it.  One thing that he said that really stuck out to me was this:  Do what makes you feel personally successful.  It doesn’t have to be success to other people’s standards.  I agree.  Sometimes I think we hold ourselves up to everyone else’s standards of success that our own go to the wayside.   Other people’s standards get in the way and muddy our waters.  It’s important to remember what success looks like to us.  When we have a TPSC dinner and I can FEEL the connections happening within myself and the others present, that’s success.  Money can’t touch it.  And there’s no price for it.  When I do a reading, and I see the cogs turning, or I see the words I’m relaying creating “clicks” in the receiver…that’s success on an other-worldly level.  Do I get paid?  sure. But that’s not the end result I’m seeking foremost.  Most of all I’m seeking  connection.  And not for myself, but for others.  So they can create connections, and in turn seek them too.

At the end Chris invited a few people to stand up and tell their stories of living their passion.  That also was inspiring.  A good storyteller is also a good story sharer.  At the end at the signing, we got this pic.  I told Chris, laughing, while Elena took our picture, let’s smile like we’re friends.  He stopped writing and turned to me and said quietly “We are.”  And I believed him.  Anyone who can inspire others to step up and out and live their passion – I’m honored to call a friend.

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