Every year while everyone is getting ready for their yearly pilgrimage to SXSW in Austin, I am planning on going in another direction, to Idaho. I know, you might be saying “Why Idaho?” Well, that’s where my family will be at, not one of blood but one of spirit. Last year I went to a conference called Dent in Sun Valley, Idaho. As soon as I flew on the small propeller driven plane into the middle of snow-covered mountains I knew I was in for something magical.
The Dent Conference truly is special, a conference unlike any other I have been to in my life. Surrounded by the mountains and nature at the beautiful Sun Valley Resort for a week, learning from futurists, tech leaders and even astronauts! The personal one on one time at the many activities and dinners that you get is worth its weight in gold. After coming back from Dent I always feel like I have a full tank of gas again for the upcoming year, ready to take on the world and follow my dreams as it is truly inspiring being around people who are inspired and passionate not only about their careers but beyond their careers.
These are people who have strayed from the ordinary and created the extraordinary. Ketchum was also home to the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway in his last years, sadly his demise was at his own hands. One of the reasons this resounds to me is the fact that even the greatest have their own struggles with their lives and even minds. This inspired me to never give in and to keep on pushing through the dark times to create, to celebrate life with passionate people who are also creating greatness.
This year, the Dent team lead by Jason Preston and Steve Broback and sponsored by Buick, graciously invited me back again this year. This was a benchmark pilgrimage for me, last year since Dent I went through many tough personal trials, discovering a brain injury thought to be a tumor, learning to live on my own without a steady income and many successes and failures in business and in life.
But you never know where life is going to lead you as I learned from General Motors’s Coco Zhang-Miske, she was a struggling dancer in China and now she’s a top engineer at GM. You always have the choice to better your situation, to be happier and to create the life that you always wanted to have. I feel like I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I am definitely a much stronger person than the year before and have finally learned to take chances on life as it can truly be short. I will be starting a few new adventures in life and passion projects shortly, I can’t wait to tell you all more!
If you get the chance to attend next year, please do! Dent 2018 will be in Napa Valley, California and I hope to see you all there.