The Art of Being Asked… And Responding

As the campaign for Misfit Fargo begins, I am already taking the gloves off, talking to more people about what we’re doing and how this campaign fits in, and holding myself more accountable. I had a great conversation with Adelina from Presenting Good Practice who wanted to know more about what I will learn at the Conference, so I thought I’d share my reflections of my response. Danger Lou would definitely not be afraid to put her thoughts on tape. Cue VT…

Here’s what I committed to in my successful application:

Tell us a little about yourself

Three years ago, five of us, all either at risk of redundancy or just wanting a change, wanting something different, started to come together once a month over a  shared meal. We called ourselves the Change the World Gang. Ambitious, hey?

We started with each other, supporting each other through this time of transition. A few months later, I’d started a new job and then almost immediately quit and had really bad whiplash from a car accident. Since then, I’ve been on an incredible journey. I co-founded this not-for-profit, The You Can Hub, with fellow Change the Worlders. Together, we have helped over 300 people in Cambridgeshire to cycle, many of whom thought they couldn’t, or hadn’t cycled for a very long time. It started Small, with one person – Aaran, who couldn’t cycle a two wheeled bike.

I was pretty proud of what we’d achieved. Then in October my dad was diagnosed with brain tumours. He died seven months later, two days before I turned 30. It totally shifted my perspective. What I’ve done so far seems mediocre. This coming May, it will be the one year anniversary of my dad’s death. I will turn 31. I want to celebrate by kicking ass.

What do you hope to get from Misfit Conf: Fargo?

I want to reveal my inner superhero – Danger Lou. We’ve made a little dink in the Universe. It’s time to look at the dink and see how it could become a dent. Enterprise in the UK is obsessed with scale. I don’t want to “scale up” what we’ve been doing at You Can. I want to look at what is Small about what we’ve done so far, and see where to go from here. I want to push past the shame and celebrate, get more confident in my voice and not censor myself… I want to take the gloves off! I want to return to Cambridge ready to start a (Small) revolution. I know that I’m making choices that are safe right now. I acknowledge the value in being aware of that. I want to come back from Fargo dangerous, and contagious.

Why support me? Because you’re just like me – figuring things out, finding your feet in the world, wanting to earn a living and make a difference, wanting to create a new definition of success for yourself. The skills that I will learn aren’t part of any degree course or Adult Learning course – they’re not on the school curriculum. I’m writing my own curriculum now, based on learning from Scott Dinsmore, Chris Guillebeau, Leo Babauta, and Andrea Scher. Scott Dinsmore who has built a career around what excites him and is busy creating a community of people who all want to do the same. Chris Guillebeau who recently completed his mission to visit all of the countries in the world and is the instigator of the World Domination Summit. Leo Babauta who focuses on doing less, not more. Andrea Scher who is honest about the support she needs to function, and creates treasure hunts and transformational learning about dreaming. And, of course, A J Leon, the creator and organiser of Misfit Conf, who cancelled his first bookdeal and crowdfunded a truly independent book project. Do you want to lead an unconventional life? Take the road less travelled? Have a working life that feels more like a holiday? Do you want to write your own curriculum?

The real question is – do you want to experience Contagious Danger? Catch the Danger Virus yourself? What would your dangerous alter ego be capable of?

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Lou Shackleton

Change-maker in Chief

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2 responses to “The Art of Being Asked… And Responding”

  1. […] One thing led to another and I ended up here. A tiny conference in Fargo. I read the small print and it said, “All applicants will get access to the recordings.” I thought, this is amazing! A whole host of knowledge in one place, knowledge we know we need at You Can Hub right now. Crowdfunding, writing, creating a business that moulds to the life you want to lead, and makes a difference in the world. And I can fill in one short form with two questions, and get access to recordings and all that stuff? Win win! I filled out the application in quite a blase playful way. You can read the application in this post. […]