About five years ago, Jon Acuff put together an event at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. He was prepared for a large crowd. Two people showed up. He owned it. He used it as a learning experience. Then he wrote about it so that the thousands and thousands of people who visit his blog could see what it felt like to be alone in a room you expected to be fuller.
Flash forward to the present. Jon has now published a few best sellers and regularly speaks in front of large audiences. Following the release of his most recent book, 'Start,' he put together the Start Experiment that I blogged about last Saturday. My risk was to start an artist's support network, and the first step in that risk was to stage a meetup event. Risk comes with fear; my greatest fear is that I would do this thing and no one would show up.
That first event was last night. What I feared the most happened.
That is a picture of me. Alone. My son and I hung out at Java On Sherman waiting to see if anyone would walk through that door looking for the 30-something with a fauxhawk and the 8 year old kid that looked just like him. No one came.
On the plus side, I got some awesome quality time with my son. I taught him how to use the camera function on my phone. The snapshot above is one of the couple dozen that he took in a whirlwind of photographic exploration. I won't complain about the time spent in Java on Sherman. The chips and salsa that we ordered were delicious. Java also makes some wonderful fruit smoothies.
I also understand the power of an empty room. It's time to dust myself off and keep moving.