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Getting to Know Brandon Sutton

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This is blog series where I introduce you to the movers and shakers that make my live event, Creating Irresistible Presence, so awesome. 😉

Yesterday, you my dear friend and colleague, Elizabeth Marshall. And today, I want you to meet Brandon Sutton.

Wait, Brandon Sutton? Who’s he?!

Last year Brandon had the charming experience of being the ONLY GUY IN THE ROOM at CIP. He rose to the challenge beautifully (and surprisingly – he was extremely willing to be THAT guy!).

He also has a wonderful perspective on what the event looks like from the inside. I can tell you what it’s like all day but it’s way more fun to hear it from someone who was sitting in the audience, don’t you think?!

So, without further adieu……Brandon Sutton.

Creating Irresistible Presence 

Brandon Sutton

Last Summer, Sarah announced her first live event – Creating Irresistible Presence.  It wasn’t a matter of whether this was something worth attending, but more of a knowing this would be a great experience for me.

I had been following Sarah’s blog for several months, and I had always respected the relationship she had with her tribe.  A live version of this was sure to be something I needed to invest in, so I went for it.  Leading up to the event, I had a chance to work directly with Sarah to provide some of the behind the scenes tech support for the event itself, which was really fun I must say.

She even threw me a curve ball and asked me to create an impromptu playlist of appropriate music to play at the end of the first day. My DJ background kicked in and I knocked it out of the park, if I do say so myself.  The leadoff song was Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I dare you to find a better song for this audience.  🙂

On the first day of the event as everyone took their seats, I became the pink elephant in the room.  Every attendee, presenter, and support resource that was present was female. This actually made for a very fun experience for me, and I think for the women as well.  We went through a series of fun exercises that got us to open up and discover what was lurking just under the surface of our carefully crafted public personas.  We got past the facade and into the good stuff I suppose you could say.

One particular moment stands out to me quite vividly.  Sarah went through a series of questions that had us each write down the things that we most enjoyed doing in various stages in our lives, starting with when we were young kids. I didn’t see where it was leading until I got to the thing that I most enjoy doing now. When I looked at what I had written down, every single life stage had included some form of connection to nature.

This was a big breakthrough for me.  Huge actually.  Over the past 15 years, my connection with nature had been waning, although it was starting to come back around during the Spring and Summer of 2010. I realized that the nature connection element was the aspect of life that I was absolutely unwilling to live without, period. This was huge.  And I mean, like really huge! I got up in front of the crowd at the end of the day, and fighting back tears, I made this a public proclamation. I haven’t felt that relieved in years.

I decided that day that no matter what happened, nature was going to play a big role in my life moving forward. That meant that certain sacrifices were going to need to be made in order to make it happen.  I can happily report today that I’ve taken significant intentional steps in that direction, and have spent a lot more time in nature over the past few months than at any time since I was in college.

CIP fell just 2 weeks before the public exhibition of Spirit of the Gulf Coast (http://spiritofthegulfcoast.com), which is a documentary initiative that I founded in 2010 in response to the BP oil spill.  I almost canceled on CIP because I was ‘too busy’ prepping for this event I was producing. If I hadn’t told Sarah I would provide tech support at the event, I might have bowed out.

Thankfully, I didn’t.  The experience led to some of the biggest ‘A-Ha’ moments I’ve had in my life. In addition, the relationships that formed that weekend have been instrumental in my personal and professional development over the past year. I consider my ‘CIP Sisters’ some of my best friends, and stay in touch with many of them regularly.

I can’t say thank you enough for the opportunity to attend this incredible event, and I’m eagerly anticipating CIP 2011 coming up in September. Anyone who has thought for a second about the direction life is taking or if he or she is on the right path can benefit from attending CIP. It helped put me on the path to truly realizing what I want to get out of my life and how I can take tangible steps each day toward making it happen.

Thank you Sarah and all the CIP alumni! See you in September. 🙂

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