Float Conference 2013 - A Blossoming Community

I couldn't give a better review of the conference than Nashville Float's. Today's post is my own personal insight on what I got out of the conference.

On more than one occasion Sandra has brought up to me how few times she’s seen me cry. I cried twice at this year's float conference; both times becoming overwhelmed by the love and sense of community I was experiencing.

First, our presentation...


Being on stage with Sandra was an exhilarating experience. This was our first time speaking in front of a large audience, and when I walked out onto the stage I completely blanked. I had forgotten that we had prepared a joke for our first slide and I didn’t set up

[caption id="attachment_256" align="alignleft" width="300"]The slide that I completely blanked on. If you start a float center, you will grow crazy facial hair. The slide that I completely blanked on. If you start a float center, you will grow crazy facial hair.[/caption]

the joke! Sandra saw me blanking and told the joke for me. I took time to look around the auditorium and take in the crowd as Sandra presented her portion of the slides. The audience was dark from the stage, but I could see the silhouettes of several hundred people and in that moment I became aware of my own breathing and was pulled back into my body.

Here I was surrounded by a kind of family, a people of shared vision; and as that realization set in, I became very comfortable and happy to be there. That being said, I messed up a bunch, we went several minutes over time (we easily could have done an all day workshop!) and we simply had a ton of fun on stage.

No tears yet!

[caption id="attachment_257" align="alignright" width="229"]Float Shack Crew The Float Shack Crew[/caption]

Sandra and I walked off stage, hugged and hugged and hugged and then sat down for a post speech interview (we’re a pretty ridiculous couple, so good luck to the people editing that footage). Afterwards, two Canadian entrepreneurs getting ready to start a business named the Float Shack introduced themselves. I didn’t realize it at first, but I had called them some months ago about a public incident regarding their previous name choice that infringed on another center’s. They received an unfair public attack from the other center and in the middle of the night I saw the attack and called them, leaving a voicemail explaining that the float community is a very positive place and that despite the incident, they are surrounded by people who will help them in any way they can. They brought this up to me and told me how much it meant to them; that during their difficult time this call was a ray of positivity that helped them stay strong. I don’t know how much this call really influenced them, but they sure did seem grateful. And this is when my first set of tears started leaking. The fact that I could positively influence someone like this remind me of the feelings I had experienced during my second float.

My eyes would start misting once again during the second day of the conference. Float On gave a presentation that explained the benefits of working together as a community. It was a very heartwarming speech that was only multiplied by the fact that they talked about the importance of being friends with your competition, and we were that competition... They really walk the walk. I mean, we even gave a presentation at their conference. When their speech ended I wasn’t surprised to see my girlfriend climbing a banister to hug Ashkahn. The confused look on Graham’s face was priceless and it didn’t stop Sandra from bringing him into her arms as well. This started the water works. It was just so beautiful. The woman I love expressing her love and excitement on stage in front of several hundred people to a couple guys who have changed our lives and have been nothing but kind and supportive to us and the float community.

After reading this blog entry I hope you walk away with the idea that putting the community first will not only feel great, and not only help other businesses succeed, but also help your business as well. Helping others will never detract from your own success. [caption id="attachment_261" align="aligncenter" width="584"]The Portland Float Crew The Portland Float Crew[/caption]