They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. About a year ago my obsession with Rachel Hollis started. Don’t get me wrong, this has been a good problem to have. At a time when I was beyond frustrated, feeling that I’d been let down, and putting all the blame on myself, I finished a book called Girl, Wash Your Face. I cannot recall where I found out about the book, but sometime shortly before Christmas, I added it to my Amazon wishlist. My mom, knowing how much I like to read and not knowing anything about Rachel, ordered it, wrapped it, and under the tree it went.
I was given five books that Christmas from a variety of people, all either about women and/or by women authors, very different from the environment I was about to leave. So my new journey began. I was intrigued and invigorated reading her book, which led to my discovering of Rachel’s blog, podcast, and morning show with her husband Dave. It wasn’t until after reading her second personal development book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, that I realized many of the things I was stuggling with, and blaming myself for, weren’t actually my fault. Many were the opinions of people that were sitting in the cheap seats of my life and who definitely didn’t have my best interests in mind.
Quickly I realized I now had the tools to start going after all the dreams that I thought were silly or couldn’t actually become a career, when in reality, they’re the things that “set my heart on fire.” With all her different outlets, Rachel taught me how to make a roadmap that doesn’t just set a goal, but makes an action plan to achieve it. The excitement from that realization once again sent me looking for more. I wanted to attend one of her live events and it just so happened there was one in July just 2.5 hours down the interstate from my house. I hopped online to get a ticket, quickly realizing it had already sold out. However, she soon added a special third day, for which I could still purchase a ticket.
I was incredibly nervous, not knowing what to expect. Obsessing over what I should bring and what I should wear. Who was I going to sit by? What if my electronic ticket didn’t work? What if Dallas rush hour was so bad I was late? Needless to say I barely slept the night before, but ladies, it was awesome. So much so, that when tickets for her 2020 RISE conferences went on sale, I immediately purchased some fancy seats for a trip to all three days of RISExToronto.
Now, if you’ve never been to a big conference or convention, there are of course many different kinds. I had been to a dozen of them for work in past years and there were always two types of speakers that bothered me. The first is the speaker that gets your energy up and makes you super motivated, but once you get home you realize they didn’t actually teach or give you tools to put all that motivation to good use. The second is the speaker that gets you really excited and includes a little taste of something you can put into action, but if you really want to make some traction, you need to go purchase their program, coaching, or whatever product they’re selling out in the hall before you leave.
I understand speakers need to make money. We all do. However, with the money it costs to get a good speaker on your stage, trust me, many of them have multiple income streams besides the product they’re selling. If I’ve already paid a lot of money to hear them speak, plus travel, hotel, and everything else, I want to leave with something tangible I can use. I’m not paying to see someone give me a live commercial. Now if I like what they have to say, I use what they give me, and I’m looking for more, absolutely I’m going to invest in getting more material from them and their company.
Rachel Hollis and The Hollis Company do exactly that. They give you tools that you start putting into place before even leaving the venue! You get a workbook that comes with your ticket, plus the chance to hear additional speakers that will also give you tools you can use without needing to buy anything else. The other speakers are from all walks of life, each with their own story of struggle and success. It’s nearly impossiible to not find communality with at lease one of them. It is beyond refreshing. Then there’s the energy of 4,000 women (and two brave. men, heeeey Kyle in the front row with his girlfriend!), that is unbeatable. There’s literally nothing like getting your energy up with some dance moves from Brad and the Divas (look them up on YouTube, they’re hilariously fun), and ten minute workouts with Chris Chandler that actually make you sweat without leaving the two feet surrounding your seat in the audience. It is fun; it is motivating. You’ll learn so many things about yourself, you either didn’t want to admit or didn’t realize. You learn to let go of your past, be intentional in the present, make your mental and physical health a priority, all while learning how to put that hope of the future to work for you.
During my three days in Canada, there were more laughs than tears (but bring some Kleenex!) and countless chances to make new friends. There are healthy meal options, goodie bags, and tons of fun photo ops. Even the shy introvert can’t help but come out of their shell. You are literally surrounded by thousands of people looking for personal growth just like you. They have the same experiences and the same doubts like you. They have families that don’t get it, and friends that might think it’s strange. They have dreams and goals and hopes just like you. You become part of a community that is all made for more.