Based in Berlin, it is in gear to become a leading European entrepreneurial conference. So, if you live in Europe or want to visit Europe, this is definitely something that you want to put on your calendar.
But let me be clear before moving forward: Alive is not simply a conference – it is a movement. Social change and social entrepreneurship are great descriptions of its message, but above and beyond it is a European beacon for a global gathering.
Jana Schuberth is the incredible visionary behind the movement. She made her passion project come to life by taking one step at a time and not letting her doubts stop her. This post goes behind the scenes of Alive and the incredible woman who pushed aside her doubts and made her passion project a priority.
The Woman and the Vision
Jana Schuberth is the creator behind Alive. She is a ‘Results Driven Coach’ at Love Work Now. As I spoke with Jana she was preparing for a quick 48 hour stopover in New York before fully immersing herself in Alive activities and preparations. It is literally the first time since she began her business that she will not be coaching her clients for weeks on end.
With up to 50 clients at a time and thousands of sessions under her belt, this different pace will be a radical change for a woman who packs her schedule for maximum impact and enjoys every single minute of her work. The coaching-client free atmosphere (but not really, because many are going to her conference) all started with her vision for what she terms her ‘passion project’.
Three years ago Jana was at a mastermind meetup in Phoenix and it was during a walk with Susan Hyatt that a vision for Alive was born. She had noticed that upon attending various gatherings in the US, she really felt impacted by the people and experiences she had, but she could not quash the slight disheartening she felt that there was no European equivalent.
She had various doubts holding her back from turning vision into reality. She didn’t have a huge audience or twitter followers. She hadn’t written a book or created something wildly valuable that people raved over. She didn’t have a PhD. All of these things she felt would be necessary to make her vision come to life. She felt like the idea couldn’t be done, and done well, by someone as “insignificant” as her.
Yet the idea stayed with her through the years and was always discussed at meetups and gatherings of fellow friends and entrepreneurs. After various discussions with friends, coaches and mentors she was given this immortal advice: “You will have to be the leader you are looking for.”
Taking Steps and Dealing With Struggles
Last summer, at World Domination Summit, the topic creeped up again and she made a decision. She was going to just do it.
She thought about how long it took for a baby to develop and set her timeline accordingly for May 2014. That was the first step – setting the date. The next step was recruiting people who could execute to help out. After that she took another step, and then another, and another…
Were those steps as easy as I make it sound? Taking one step after another and it all comes together? Well it is and it isn’t. It’s easy in that no matter what happened, Jana took the steps, no matter how hard. She broke down the tremendous responsibility and monumental issues piece by piece until they were bite size enough to handle.
Everything from venue, security, insurance, flights, volunteers and cleaners needed to be considered. Cash flow, due to lower than anticipated ticket sales, has been the largest issue to manage but that did not stop her, and she invested personal funds to ensure everything came together the way she envisioned.
By being clear about what she wanted to achieve and not focusing on why she couldn’t do it, she took one step after another to reach her ultimate goal. She emphasizes not waiting for all the answers, but rather having faith in your capabilities.
An important realization that she came to was that growth would only come from taking one step at a time, closing her eyes when it got tough and stepping anyway, and then trusting herself to figure it out when the time came.
She was shooting for the stars and doing what needed to be done to get there. She wanted a beacon to attract people who think they are alone. She also wanted the conference to be about all areas of life and not just focusing on technology or social media, like conferences often do.
To help achieve that, she recruited some influencers (Chris Guillebeau, Pam Slim and Sarah Peck to name a few) to join the movement. She also purposefully crafted the schedule to provide lots of time for interaction and introspection (and maybe a surprise guest speaker ;-)). As a result, everything from sex and relationships to adventure and aspirations are on the agenda.
On May 30-31, 2014 (yes, in under two weeks) her vision will become a reality. Tickets are still available, and she is just shy of breaking even on her investment, but she truly has brought her passion project to life. It is extremely evident when speaking to her that this conference, this gathering, this movement is about creating connections and changing lives, not about the money.
One of the most important lessons Jana has learned is to keep herself open – open to the world around her and all the possibilities and opportunities. She reached this realization through a reading of The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, where he states: “Remember, if you love life…nothing is ever worth closing your heart over.”
It’s natural to be fearful of many things, especially when you leave work behind and/or embark on a new project, but this results in us closing ourselves off to the world around around us. Our body language, our spirituality…everything about us develops layers in order to protect ourselves. By learning to be vulnerable and ‘in the moment’ we are more accepting and open to hearing our own wisdom.
So what can we learn from Jana’s experiences?
- Do Something: Don’t just dream, don’t just talk, don’t just wonder. Take steps to make it happen.
- Trust your capabilities to figure it out; don’t focus on why you can’t do something.
- It’s important to know what’s not coming in order to grow, so don’t wait for all the answers.
- Be 100% present in the moment, don’t worry about the future.
- Learn to be vulnerable and to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
- Stay open and listen to your own wisdom.
Jana’s drive and determination to bring this gathering together is a kick in the pants to anyone who thinks they can’t do something. She felt that way too, then she went out and made it happen.
So do you want to really connect with some other world changers, instigators and difference-makers? Want to bring your passion project to life? Then I encourage you to check out Alive in Berlin (Tom will be there!)
It is a game changing global conference for the European landscape that should be on every entrepreneur’s calendar. Created and hosted by the incredible and ambitious Jana Schuberth who had the courage to overcome her fears and doubts and bring her passion project to life.