When Chris Lema first told me about Skip The Grind in Branson, Missouri, I was excited to visit Silver Dollar City for its 60th anniversary. That was canceled due to COVID-19 and was rescheduled to Orlando, Flordia, last week. I have visited Orlando on hundreds of trips, and I never before have not visited a park on a visit. That was until Skip the Grind.
Chris rented a 12 bedroom house in Kissimmee, FL, and required all participants to be vaccinated and all sessions were outside. We did have our own pool, which was nice. But I did not know what to expect as I have never attended CaboPress, so I went in with an open mind and was excited to see some of my WordPress friends in person since WordCamp Miami.
Monday was a travel day where I was lucky enough to have lunch with Roy and get a drink at Trader Sam’s. That evening everyone arrived and checked into the house, and had dinner together.
The first day was all about starting the real work of the event. Chris created frameworks that we worked through each day on a variety of topics. I did not expect much of the time was spent brainstorming with fellow attendees and working on the frameworks solo. This took a lot of mental energy that I was not expecting, but I am delighted with what I walked away with at the end of the week.
The focus of this day was all about finding out who our avatars are and what pain points they are experiencing. This was unique for me as I looked at our Experts at Codeable since that is the market I serve. The input from everyone was invaluable.
Wednesday was all about finding offers that resonated with the avatars we created the day before. I wanted to think about what services, tools, and content we can provide our experts that would have us differ from competitors like UpWork or TopTal. That night we had the only meal outside of the house, a steakhouse on International Drive. Since covid-19 was still a thing, we ate on the patio.
Chris broke the last day into two parts. The first mark was about how to market the offers to the avatars we built earlier in the week. The second half was about starting from a new avatar and working all the way down, and building a plan based on everything we did all week. This gave me pages and notes that will become an action plan now that I am back home.
I have been to so many conferences in the last few years. It is hard for me to say, but Skip the Grind was one of the best I have attended. I suggest you follow Chris on Twitter and apply for 2022 when it opens. Maybe we can go to a park next time?