I warn you now – this will most likely be unlike every other Summit Live blog post you read. I’m not here to recap something that you did or didn’t experience because I think it’s actually hard to do that well. I’m not here to try and move you through timely and quotable tweetables carefully crafted by the keynoters. No, I’m here to invite you into a process, a movement that has changed my life.

And I’m here to encourage you to also go searching, searching for something I have now found.

Hot tip: Before you read on, this reads MUCH better with some kind of meaningful song playing in the background. It’s how I wrote it and it’s pretty much the only prerequisite I give for reading it. Ok? Good.

When you decide to up and leave your family for 7 days and travel over 25000 kilometres in a round trip just for a summit, it must have to be pretty special, right? I mean, am I that desperate for a good time?

Maybe it’s a combination of those things but the fact of the matter is, I needed this.

In the land of entrepreneurship days can be long, hearts can grow heavy and loneliness befriends you – because let’s face it, people around you just don’t get it.

Over the past 9 months I’ve had many people ask me why I love live streaming – why I love Blab and Periscope and up until now it’s been difficult to fully articulate why without sounding like every other live streamer. Why do I love it? Am I so narcissistic that I just like looking at myself on screen? Do I like the sound of my own voice too much? Why do I love this medium?

Let me tell you why by sharing a bit of my story.

Last week I took three flights and flew over 13 000 kilometres to make it to San Francisco in time for what was to be a life changing and affirming event for me; Summit Live.

I arrived knowing full well that it was a make or break moment in my life and business. Why? Because through live streaming I have established and cultivated some of the most significant and important relationships in my life. Fellow early adopters, live stream advocates and champions of community.

Up until that point I’ve had many nay-sayers speak into what I do, not understanding the platform, being critical of those who use it as people who aren’t making ‘real money’ (whatever that means… last I checked I wasn’t using Monopoly money) and just generally throwing around accusations of ‘too much time on their hands’ and ‘narcissistic’.

I couldn’t disagree more with all of those assumptions. Yes, of course there are time wasters, narcissists and those who ineffectively use the medium – but I’m sure you’ll find the same issue with podcasters, bloggers, vloggers and so forth. The difference being, you don’t see the time-wasting – you just see the finished product.

But, I digress.

I went to Summit Live for one main reason. I needed to find my people. I needed to know that our community and our connection was real. I was also honoured with the opportunity to speak but the reality is that that paled in comparison to finding my people.

Summit Live was a pivotal moment for me because it allowed me to meet those who I already had rapport with. It allowed me to see if the relationships established pre-Summit were in fact, of substance, real and lasting.

Why is that even a thing? Why wouldn’t those relationships be true?

Well, I’ve been in Facebook groups for years now. I’ve met people in real life. I’ve been part of online communities that profess love and acceptance and then gone on to experience being rejected in a heartbeat. I’ve seen people turn on others for the most trivial of things and because of this, I know that a lot of what happens online is in fact, fabricated.

It was time to see if I’d found my people. Because at the core of it, I want to belong – just like you. We all want to belong. We all want community. Community that celebrates our wins, helps redistribute the weight of burdens we carry, pushes us forward, challenges us, picks us up when we fall and most importantly – one that loves and accepts us.

It was time to see if I’d found my people. Because at the core of it, I want to belong - just like you.

While I know that no one person or group of people are perfect, I can tell you this. Summit Live delivered and more specifically, the community within shone.

When Ryan Bell and Brian Fanzo walked through the door of the local Starbucks and dished out hugs, conversation continued like we had all been there the whole time.

When we arrived at the Park Central Hotel to have a look around and I spotted my UK Social Media bestie from afar and screamed and hugged, order was restored and we too continued on like everything occurring was the norm.

When the opening party kicked off and people started arriving and we all started mingling, people were chatting like they’d known each other forever.

And rightly so. This is all testament to the power of live streaming – knowing someone in every way but without having physically met. Community had already been established outside of the ballroom walls but was now being united, cemented and deepened through the Summit experience.

Upon closing, Summit Live Founder, Ryan Bell said this “We’ve crafted a culture where helping others helps us.” I’m sure when he uttered those words he had grand visions of what that actually meant, but to me it simply meant this – we’ve created a culture of love, acceptance, championing others and challenging one another, purely because we are all willing. And because we are willing, we are better for it.

We are better individuals, a better community and ultimately a better world.

I found my people at Summit Live ‘16.

So now when people ask me why I love live streaming I tell them this – I have found my people. I have found where I belong.

And guess what?

You’re invited.

**If you want to be a part of this amazing community next year in real life, go here and grab your early bird tickets. As of writing this there are only 20 left!**