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  • Nearly three years ago, I attended my first conference around business and social change. It was called IDEATION and was held in Long Beach, CA.

    I attended with three close friends. We were bright-eyed dreamers who wanted to find fresh ways to instill hope in the world. We soaked up every ounce of ideas, advice, and experience spewing from the small group of attendees and the remarkable presenters.
    A few of them made a particularly large impact on us. Jeff Shinabarger of Plywood People, seemed to maintain a refreshing balance of influence and service -- humility and drive. He quickly made it on the list of people we wanted to learn from.

    Upon returning home we started working on our ideas. Much of those experiences is what has led me to start this project.

    This past Novemeber, Jeff sent me an email:
    "Hi Victor. I hope you're doing well. As I've been thinking about a retreat [Plywood People] is creating, and the people that I think it could really benefit, you came to mind. I wanted to personally invite you to attend. I think it could be really helpful to what you're doing. ... I wanted to give you the run down, and see if you would want to join us for the retreat..."

    He went on to describe the topics, the location, the limited availability, the presenters, and the type of (amazing) people he was inviting. I had no idea where I was going to find the $1,000 + airfare and I was unsure how I would find the time amidst a key month for the project as a whole, but I knew that this could make a perfect February project for my Leap.

    I pulled a late night in November and plowed through the application questions, uncertain of how this would work.

    One month later, I received the news.
    I was accepted.

    Fast forward to the beginning of February. I was overwhelmed with the admin side of the project. Websites, helping new leapers, completing January's work, preparing for the meetups on 2.29, etc.

    Stil I was excited to go.
    ...and I am glad I did.

    It was an incredible few days. The location was gorgeous -- a 700 acre farm set on the outskirts of Atlanta. The 15 people who attended are bright, passionate, creative, and hard working world changers. Each and every conversation left me inspired and encouraged.
    We dove deep into topics around business plan development, branding/marketing, city development, societal rhythms, fundraising practices, idea implementation, and -- a personal favorite -- whimsy.

    I still need to write February's 'paper' that documents what I learned. It will be hard to be concise.
    I learned more than I expected and, to be honest, I explored more than I learned

    It's funny ... I almost didn't go.
    I almost tricked myself into thinking that money and time were too big of barriers to take this leap.

    But, now, I have a new set of tools, a new group of friends with similar hearts and minds, fresh inspiration for how to move forward, and an experience that I'll never forget.

    I know this is only part 2 of 12...but I have a feeling that this 'MBA' might just be worth while.

    Keep Leaping,
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