After more than two years of interacting on LinkedIn, Karthik Rajan and I finally scheduled a phone call.
It was a Friday afternoon when my caller ID showed Karthik’s name and number. Just seeing the name on my phone put a huge grin on my face. I felt my heart pound a bit harder, and my face flushed. As I answered my phone: “This is Sarah,” I felt a rush of adrenaline, like a celebrity was on the line. That’s how it felt — like one of my favorite musicians or actors had just picked up the phone and called me. I realized I was holding my breath.
“Hi Sarah, it’s Karthik!” In his melodic voice, I could imagine his face, the smile in his picture on LinkedIn came right through the phone, exactly as I had imagined he would sound.
After only a few minutes, I found myself falling into conversation as if we had known each other for years. You’ve been there, right? When you speak with someone for the first time, but you feel a strong connection, as if you’ve been friends forever?
An hour later, I realized I needed to go. My family was waiting for me for dinner and to start our weekend. It was hard to say goodbye, the conversation had been so encouraging, so full of positive energy and warmth. I couldn’t wait to find another opportunity to call.
All weekend I found myself grinning and full of optimism. When I woke up on Sunday morning, I was on fire. I hadn’t known something so true, so compelling in a long time. It was time to hire myself. It was time to meet Karthik and the others with whom I felt such strong connections. I wanted a chance to see them face-to-face, to learn from them, to grow with them, and to brainstorm ways to help others.
That week, I reached out to a handful of my close connections, the ones I knew had experience and topics to share that would complement my love for coaching people in storytelling. Every one of them responded with enthusiasm; thrilled with the idea and purpose. A few weeks later, a draft agenda was distributed and all confirmed participation.
I have rarely been more excited to put hours and hours of my time and energy into a project. What’s more impressive is that every one of the facilitators agreed to forego their regular conference rate for that first NLV event in 2017. The first NLV was in Atlanta in 2017, the second in Denver in 2018, and the third in Atlanta in 2019. The conference was twice mentioned in Forbes as a “Can’t Miss Conference for Entrepreneurs”, this will be year four! And here we go again, gearing up for yet another game-changing “no longer virtual” experience, this time in Chicago (March 12, 13, 2020). With only 50 guests, we will all have opportunities to truly connect with every person in attendance.
Let’s meet face-to-face. Let’s learn from each other, and let’s find ways to leverage our online relationships to improve our in-person lives and communities. Build and nurture your online network to benefit your offline life.
That’s the focus of No Longer Virtual 2020. Register today, I can’t wait to meet you! ⤵︎