CaboPress is an event like no other. Organized by Chris Lema, people from around the world come to Cabo San Lucas to learn from some of the brightest minds in business. While it has historically been a WordPress-focused event, there was much less talk about WordPress this year. If I had to describe the event, it would be a leadership event more than anything else. This leadership mindset applies to team leadership, product leadership, and market leadership.
Organized for impact
Held at an all-inclusive resort, this event was nothing like anything I’ve ever experienced. It feels super relaxed and rejuvenating. But while you’re lowering your cortisol levels soaking in all that the Cabo landscape and vistas have to offer, your brain is primed for expansion. In retrospect, I can fully see the curated opportunities for growth and magic.
Sessions are in the pool under the Cabo sun. There are no pretenses when you’re in a pool. You are who you are.
There were a few sessions that were exceptional, but I think my favorite was Brian Casel’s talk about product pivoting. When you know you have a great technology that works well, it might only need a tweak or two to become something absolutely necessary for a certain niche. Hearing Brian’s story of how he took ZipMessage to Clarityflow was fascinating. My brain was spining with ideas spurred by his story and insights.
Carey Nieuwhof‘s session on leadership was exceptional. Jennifer Bourn‘s session on customer retention had some great ideas, and Jorge’s session on onboarding employees and cultivating customer relationships was thought provoking.
Sessions were small and intimate allowing for good questions and discussion. My only regret is that I couldn’t attend them all.
The greatest benefit of CaboPress is the connection with others. Whether you’re at a meal or hanging out poolside during the wide variety of unstructured times, you’re surrounded by people who are doing THE WORK. They’re on purpose and driven to make their lives, and their customers’ lives, better. There are no slackers here. There are great conversations, great jokes, and great fun.
At one point there was a conversation about IQ scores. I’ll just say I found my people. Everyone who fessed up about their IQ in that conversation was genius-level.
The great thing about these connections is that this is just the start. This isn’t a place where business cards/contact info is shared and you maybe might get connected if you need something in the future. This is the place where lifelong friendships are forged.
I don’t have a ton of photos of people. I was way too engaged with conversations and connections to remember to take photos at dinners. How did I miss this?
I also only took 2 photos of food. I was too busy talking and enjoying.
I’ve never been to an all inclusive resort before. That’s right. In all of my years on planet earth, how is it that I am just experiencing this for the first time? If you haven’t done an all-inclusive resort vacation before, then please make sure you do at least once in your life. There’s something magical about sitting down to an amazing meal that you can just walk away from without having to see a check. There is something magical about having your drink deplete only to be refilled without even asking.
You don’t have to think about your basic needs at all. Ever. And there is a relief in that. Juxtaposed with my normal life which has been pretty demanding over the last 2 years, I realized how much I need to adopt an all-inclusive mindset in my life. So. Nice.
The resort itself was pretty hilly, and you could either opt for golf cart transport or you could walk it. I walked more than I got rides. I also worked out intentionally on day 1, and unintentionally on day 3. I was out taking beach photos and walked too close to the workout and was sucked in by the vortex of healthy people peer pressure. I feel phenomenal now, though, so pretty glad I did.
Finding My Motivation
Before the event, I got the email, logged in, and the first question caused me to really have to think. I was asked to describe a time when I felt fulfilled.
Fulfilled. Not necessarily successful.
I had to think about my life as a whole. Who am I? I’ve lived a long and sometimes extremely magical life. I’ve retired and homeschooled my kids. I’ve played with malware remediation, made a movie, played with YouTube algorithms, SEO, content, conversion rate optimization, community, the personal development and spirituality world with Mark, data-driven website development, managed projects for Fortune 100 companies. I’ve had a lot of success.
But I never really asked myself if I was fulfilled. I mean, success is fulfillment, isn’t it? If I do all of the big things, that’s it, right? Why was I never fully happy? I was always on to the next, sometimes fulfilling and sometimes rather empty, success.
I tend towards thinking about the times when things didn’t go so well and what I could have done better. I rarely remind myself of the times when I was in my zone and things were going exceptionally well for me so that I could replicate those things. I’ve been striving for success for years, focused on external outcomes rather than internal fulfillment.
I bet you see yourself in that. We all tend to.
The results of my assessment came back with me being primarily a Visionary dimension. Secondarily, I am an Influencer, and thirdly I am an Achiever. I saw a bit of myself in some of the other dimensions as I learned about them, but I very much own my visionary self. I’ve been triggered recently with some unpleasant experiences to really own my Achiever self, too.
Chris Lema and Rod Penner led a session where they walked through each of these Motivation Code dimensions. How do you manage a Visionary? How do you help an Influencer find fulfillment and happiness? How do you help a Learner feel like the work they do matters?
I found the assessment to be a pivotal moment of my entire CaboPress experience. I now know that I have, in the past, allowed myself to fit into small roles because I so easily found over-the-top success in those roles, however, many (most?) of them were quite unfulfilling. I’ve had a few roles where leadership understood me and encouraged me to think bigger than the role.
But knowing who I am now in the context of this experience, I feel a newfound motivation to go for the big things. I’ve been working this year on understanding my personal brand and refining who I serve and how I serve them. This additional piece helps me understand why that’s so important to me.
The future of me
CaboPress was pretty life-changing for me. Part of that is showing up in my world at the perfect time as I have been doing some hard work to uncover my own truths after some life-altering events of the last few years. Part of that is the curated guestlist and high-level content during the CaboPress sessions. Part of that is extreme gratitude for the generosity that I’ve experienced, the kindness, and the connection.
The future of me isn’t what I thought it had to be a few months ago. The future of me is showing herself now, and it’s bigger than I thought. The future is now. And I’m ready for it.
I cannot thank Chris Lema enough for all that he did to make this event possible for me at the perfect time in my life. Thank you, Chris. Who I become next is because of your impact on me. I plan on making you proud of that.
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