Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The Mesh Conference is officially over and I'm both totally exhausted and completely inspired. I can honestly say that being here has changed my life. How many people say that about a conference?

I'm tired because since arriving on a red-eye on Tuesday morning, I haven't had a night that hasn't ended before 4am in large part because the conversations just kept naturally flowing, some slightly more cohesively than others.

While this may sound arrogant, I'm often asked to be the inspiring one. But in doing so (and investing so much emotional energy in everything I do), it exacts personal cost. The night before my talk, I really admitted how exhausted I am to my wife. I said I had nothing more left to give, and I truly felt it.

I dreaded giving the talk, and felt incredibly apprehensive. Moments before I was to talk, I found what I needed. I said "be centered. be real. be inspiring." I walked onto the stage and the first thing out of Austin Hill's mouth was the story of his younger brother who died of cancer. Both of us were grounded, both of us spoke from the heart and it showed. I felt uplifted and regained some confidence that I wasn't as empty as I had feared.

Instead of then leaving the talk and disconnecting again, I stayed open, I stayed connected. I talked with people differently than ever before, and I drew so much inspiration from them. I am leaving this conference with my heart and head full. But I am leaving with the resolution not to make this a transaction but an experience. This isn't about topping-up to deplete myself again. It's about learning what I need to do to stay full.

In the talk I was part of with Austin Hill and Rob Hyndman, I said something strange "I want to be a bum." At the time, I had no idea why I said that or what it meant. Last night (or more accurately, early this morning), I figured it out. It turned out to be the most meaningful thing I said in my entire time here.

Thank you to everyone who was part of the Mesh. I am truly privileged and grateful to have met you.

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Thanks again for coming and being part of mesh, Tom -- I know your keynote with Austin touched a lot of people, and the emotions expressed in your post are the kind of thing that makes doing mesh so rewarding.

Mathew Ingram
It was a great session, Tom. Thanks for coming, and for sharing so openly.
Tom, it was an hour I'm never going to forget. We feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to do this with you.
Thanks for helping make mesh so terrific!


You were a highlight of the conference.

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