In 2010 I attended my first The Domain Conference (formerly known as T.R.A.F.F.I.C.) in Miami Beach. It was the first real, multi-day business conference I’d ever attended; once inside I found myself surrounded by some of the smartest and most successful people I’d ever met. I quickly realized how little I actually understood about business.

The ticket price was $1000, I’d been in my new home of Florida for less than 10 months and transitioning my web development company to a new state where I knew nobody was proving harder than expected. Needless to say, cash was low. I was lucky enough to have the support of my Dad joining me for the conference, an event that would change the course of my life.

I was captivated by every word spoken by the attendees and even moreso by the flood of talented and successful people who took the stage.

What I learned and experienced in those two days changed my perception and understanding of business forever.

It was the spark that ignited a passion that would never fade. It changed my relationship with money and connected all of the dots of everything I’d ever done to build a career for myself.

As I sat in the audience captivated by the knowledge of the speakers, I promised myself I would do whatever it takes, however long it took, to get on a stage like that. To have the knowledge to participate in panels and discussions, share methods of success with my colleagues and hopefully have somebody look at me with the respect and appreciation I felt for the people who so generously shared their expertise with me.

I decided I would keep showing up, I would work tirelessly to perfect my craft and if I died doing it, at least I would know I gave it my best effort.

Now, 5 years later almost to the day, I feel so deeply humbled by the opportunity to take that exact same stage at the same conference.

I’ll be speaking for 1 hour before the Keynote Speech, moderating two 1-hour WordPress discussions and participating in a 4 person expert panel on Digital Branding to close out the conference main stage.

I’m speaking in the exact same timeslot of the speaker I credit with opening my eyes 5 years ago. I feel nothing but love and a confident understanding that this is still just the beginning.

So much gratitude and appreciation for Ray DillmanBarbara Dillman Neu and Howard Neu for this opportunity, I will be pulling out all the stops.

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