Kent Sanders | Unlock Your Creative Potential

Unlock Your Creative Potential

My Review of Jeff Goins’ Tribe Conference

There are many ways you can grow your skills as an author: reading books and blog posts, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, attending meetups, or joining a mastermind group.

These are relatively simple ways to improve your craft and are usually cheap or even free. But one of the most rewarding and impactful things you can do to skyrocket your success is attending a conference.

This past weekend (Sep. 15-17, 2017) I spent three days in Franklin, Tennessee attending the Tribe Conference. This gathering is the brainchild of Jeff Goins, a successful author and creative entrepreneur. The Tribe website describes the conference as “a gathering of writers, artists, and creatives who want to grow their craft and get the attention their work deserves.”

I’ve been following Jeff for a number of years and have found a lot of value in his blog posts and books. However, I previously hadn’t considered attending Tribe due to the general hassle and expense of going to a conference.

But when my good friend Jim Woods suggested we attend together (and even offered housing with some friends), I jumped at the chance. With an initial ticket price of only $199, it was a no-brainer.

In this post, I’ll share what I liked about the conference and how it impacted me.

What I liked about Tribe

In no particular order, here are a number of things I liked about the conference.

1. A great variety of speakers. While Tribe is certainly geared toward authors, there was a wide variety of speakers and perspectives represented. My favorite talks were those given by Sean McCabe, Crystal Paine, Dan Miller, and Ryan Holiday.

2. A focus on community. I consider Tribe to be an extension of Jeff Goins’ larger community of writers and creative entrepreneurs. Jeff has always encouraged us to help one another. This focus on community comes through strongly in the conference.

3. A surprising lack of self-promotion. I was surprised at the lack of self-promotion by the speakers and even Jeff himself. That being said, most of the speakers mentioned books or other products and services they offer, but it was all within the context of generosity and serving the audience.

Jeff released his new book Real Artists Don’t Starve a few months ago, yet he barely mentioned it during the conference. This shows he is sincere about helping people and not just promoting himself. In fact, he promoted the book exchange (give a book, take a book) much more than his own books. This spoke volumes to me.

4. A great location and setup. Tribe was held at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. The space was perfect for the venue. (I believe there were a little over two hundred attendees.) I appreciated the conference organizers using round tables to help foster community and conversations.

This may seem trivial, but I loved how the organizers placed custom Tribe pens and pads of paper at each table. It’s the little things that make a big difference!

5. Interview segments. The main talks (which averaged 25-30 mins.) were interspersed with interview segments where Jeff probed deeper into the nuts and bolts of how to build an author platform. I especially loved the interviews with authors who are relatively new or unknown, but had taken action from things they learned from previous Tribe conferences.

Conference takeaways

These are my key takeaways from Tribe:

1. You can’t overestimate the value of meeting people in person. I loved the opportunity to meet several people I have followed online for many years, including Cliff Ravenscraft and Jeff Brown. When you meet someone face to face, you develop a personal connection that is difficult to reproduce online.

2. Relationships are the key to success. It’s easy to feel alone on your creative journey. Attending Tribe reminded me that relationships with other authors and creative thinkers have been the missing link in my success. Other positive and successful people can give you support, connections, and camaraderie that you can’t get on your own.

3. You value what you invest in. I work at a small Christian college and don’t usually have extra funds for conferences. But I knew Tribe could be a big encouragement, so I bit the bullet and make it work financially. This experience has reminded me that the best investment I can make is in my own future success. I am taking the lessons I learned at Tribe seriously because I made a financial investment.

4. Success is possible. This was the biggest lesson for me. Seeing other authors’ success helped me realize that the only ceiling that is preventing my success is the one I have created in my own mind. For the last several months, I have been in a major slump. The Tribe conference was a splash of cold water on my face, waking me up from a cycle of discouragement and small thinking.

In summary, I would give the Tribe Conference a solid “A.” It’s an essential gathering for author entrepreneurs and others who want to impact others through their creative work. It’s clear that Jeff truly cares about empowering authors and creative entrepreneurs with this conference.

I highly recommend that you check out the Tribe Conference if you want to take your creative work to the next level!

About Kent Sanders

I help people unlock their God-given creative potential. I live with my wife and son in St. Peters, MO. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or YouTube.