I’m fresh off of my Summit Tulum experience, albeit earlier than expected. We had only been there 24 hours of a three day event, when we received word that Major had broken his leg at a trampoline park. The hours that followed had us pretty heartsick and anxious, but even our 24 hours at the conference or “event” of Summit were so interesting and transformative. It was most definitely a completely unique experience! I thought it would be be cool to write about some of my takeaways since they weren’t necessarily what I was expecting. I wrote a bit about the basic knowledge of Summit in my packing post HERE, but I’m putting the conclusions I came to below…
Tulum Is Insanely Beautiful
From the second we touched down there, I remembered how much I love this sacred and special corner of the Mayan peninsula. It’s most definitely an eco resort type of retreat and I highly recommend visiting if you haven’t yet! Posada Margerita and Hotel Ana Y Jose are our old school faves, but on this trip we spent time at Be Tulum and Hotel Malca– and they were super chic and in a fab location!
I Have Stranger Danger
Almost immediately upon arriving to the Summit Tulum campus, I began to feel a little panicky. I’m a very outgoing person, but have never felt that comfortable in arenas with lots of people who all have the intention of connecting and collaborating. I remember feeling a similar way on the first day of college, just wishing nobody would walk up and talk to me, and kind of wanting to disappear. Now, decades later, I strangely felt that pang of anxiety and skittishness when I got to the conference. Just the idea of having to “network” suddenly made me nauseous. Luckily, I’m a much better communicator now than I was at 18, and I was able to talk to Kyle about it and set some internal boundaries for myself that helped with the panic. But it was a good reminder that at my core, I am a person who sometimes needs a bit of space before I can fully jump in.
Excellent Events Take Lots Of Planning To Feel Effortless
I’m always reminded of this when I attend the perfect party by a great hostess, but the true mark of success is the appearance of a low-key vibe, when in fact it takes gargantuan effort to create that environment! I was so impressed with the infrastructure of Summit, and all the moving parts that it orchestrated so effortlessly. Each event during the day was choc-full of gorgeous detail, and the overall feeling was so jovial, curious, and sincere. It was very inspiring as somebody who loves to entertain and have events of my own!
Who You Hire Matters
I was lucky enough to attend one of the great talks at Summit led by Tom Freston. Freston created MTV, and went on to be the CEO of Viacom before leaving and turning Vice in to a mainstream network. He is obviously hugely successful, but it was so inspiring to hear about what led him to his life’s work and how many ups, downs, and right turns he had during the path through his career. It was really interesting to hear how periods of time in his career that felt momentarily like failures actually led him to the next great thing. I was particularly captured by a part of the talk where Freston discussed hiring. He argues that who you hire is one of the most important decisions you can make as an entrepreneur because part of hiring is allowing others to run with their own creativity in the work place and to effectively become a branch of you. If you hire somebody you have doubts about, they will in turn hire other people who you have doubts about, and that is when things begin to crumble. He insists that an overlooked ideal for team members is somebody who just intrinsically gets your brand. I think it’s a great argument for being mindful about growing your team and taking on people who you think align with your bottom line!
Pushing Yourself Out Of Your Box Can Create Beautiful Experiences
There were a couple of really amazing times during the Summit conference that reminded me just how important it is to push yourself out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Though I’ll admit that the culture of sharing, connecting, and a forced mingling is just not my vibe– I’m really glad I got to be immersed in it for a period of time. It really did take a lot of effort on my part to jump in, but I found myself finding a lot of beauty in the connections I did make. For example, one night at dinner I found myself at a table of strangers (as you do at Summit!) Who couldn’t have seemed more different from me. I spoke to the man on my right for an hour and it turns out we have a deep mutual love for an area of Africa that we have both visited, and he was able to tell me about the many experiences going to Summit weekends all over the world. I turned to my left and met a nutritionist, who was also a Mom and had a great energy. After exchanging some pleasantries for a while, we got in to a really deep conversation about motherhood, nutrition, meditation, anxiety, and how she handles the ups and downs of being the Mom of a child with a very extreme processing disorder. She was so strong, and grounded, and totally inspired me. Those are two conversations I would never have had if the environment of Summit hadn’t pushed me to explore them. I also attended a “Magic Of Human Connection” workshop on our last night that was totally groundbreaking for me and was a guided exploration in pairs and groups about opening your heart and energy to new people and sharing of yourself more fully in an environment of support. By the end I was hugging total strangers and crying. LOL. It was pretty intense! Such cool experiences that I will remember always.
When Your Mama Heart Cries, Move Mountains
Major breaking his leg really taught me how far I’ve come in my anxiety journey. When I got work that my baby boy had broken his first bone and was on the way to the ER, I was horrified of course. We were two hours from the nearest airport, a four hour flight, and then two more hours back to Connecticut. And with very limited cell phone service, natch. And though my heart ached for Major, I also knew he was going to be OK– and I was able to remain calm. I focused on supporting him from afar until I could reach him, and didn’t panic– which is lightyears improved from where I was emotionally just a year and a half ago. The experience also taught me that sometimes the best thing you can do is listen to your gut. Kyle and I had prepaid the conference, had lots of work meetings planned while there, and commitments that seemed important. We looked at each other, and realized in an instant that listening to our pull towards our son was the most important thing we could do for ourselves as parents, and for him. It took us until the next morning to get on a flight, but I’m so glad we listened to our gut and were able to remain calm as we worked through the logistics. At the end of the day, I really believe that the big things our kids remember is how loved we made them feel. The other details are kind of extra.
Even though it was cut short, I had a really interesting time at Summit and would definitely go back to try it again! It felt really cool to be included in such a bold group of innovators and entrepreneurs, and was definitely a pinch me moment! I can’t wait to see where my next adventure takes me…