The curtain has closed on Jeff Goins’ fifth successive Tribe Conference. I had a front-row seat to the experience at The Factory at Franklin in Tenessee. The conference ended a legacy of teaching to writers and creatives with Goins’ wife and children standing at his side on stage.
People were shaking their heads in disbelief and some were crying. An awe-struck group of onlookers enjoyed the last moments of a surreal experience looking for closure and the answers to the question:
What will happen next?
The conference was covered with feelings of anticipation and anxiety because everyone knew this was the last conference of its kind.
Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.
The quote is often attributed to Theodore Geisel, but Ludwig Jacobowski, Christopher Roche, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are also attributed with having said those words.
Here’s why the varied attributes are perfect.
We all get to write our own ending.
The end of this conference is the beginning of something great if we choose to make it that way.
Over the years, Jeff has worn a lot of costumes.
Don’t we all?
We show people our best, our worst, put on masks and put forward a performance when we don’t know who we are.
Goins has been a superhero, an artist, and the greatest showman.
When a showman can no longer hear the applause it’s time to find a new beginning.
I can’t hear them clapping anymore. — Freddy Prinze
The costumes can go into a time capsule as the chapter on Tribe Conference closes and Jeff completes the search to find himself.
He taught his Tribe Writers to connect and network on the journey to finding our “self”, our voice, and our platform. And, we learned those lessons well.
A seasoned Tribe Writer knows to take advantage of every second to make connections. There were countless group meet-ups and intimate small groups — some fleshing out solutions to problems, others making plans to build things in the future.
I bought the ticket to hear the teachers, but the real experts were those seated around me. We each brought our ideas to the table and offered enterprising solutions in encouraging ways, especially when spurred on by another’s great idea.
We may never see the speakers again, but we’ve learned their teachings and we’re using them to collaborate and share the stage with our peers, become speakers, deepen our own platforms, and share and write our own books.
We were taught to be great and great we will become.
I think all Tribe Writers long to be on that stage. This year I released my own book and joined others who have done the same. Goins even put his arm around me for the picture.
Many of the students have become masters themselves. They have written books, developed courses, and speak at events. The students have taken their teachings to heart and done amazing things. There are some students who need encouragement to get out of the nest and fly.
Each student has all the resources he or she needs in the connections around the community.
Goins’ own son, Aiden, released his first book. It is inspired by the work of his father and is an encouragement to every writer and creative.
The book: “Author Man vs, the Evil Dr. Eraser.”
It is about an author’s good days and bad days. The physical battle, illustrated by comic strip characters, is one every author faces daily — to get the words on the page and keep them there.
You must keep fighting until you succeed or Dr. Eraser will erase your gift.
Goins encouraged us to get our unfinished projects off the shelf and invest the time necessary to complete them, to build our own rocket ship and make an explosion.
The song “Closing Time” by Semisonic filled the speakers as the Goins family stood on stage at the final curtain call as his team readied the conference doors to be opened to let us out into the world.
Turn all the lights on over every boy and every girl.
You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
Time for you to go out to the places you will be from.
This room won’t be open ‘til your brothers and your sisters come.
The book deals are coming. The courses are being made. The conference rooms are coming, and they belong to the students. It is time for each student to become a master.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Fly high and make an explosion that changes the world.
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