Sari’s Travel Adventures: To NYC and Back, 99u Conference, and more

Well hello there!

Welcome to my new blog: Sari’s Travel Adventures! I will do my best to share my travel stories here with you lovely readers. It will live on the AB blog for all to see. Please comment and send me your thoughts! It will be ALMOST like you’re there with me!

I recently had the chance to go to New York City for the annual 99u conference and a slew of meetings with lovely people.

The conference was great. Well organized, great speakers, and an amazing setting (at the Lincoln Center on the upper west side). It felt like I was back in school listening to lectures all day, except instead I found the majority of the speakers really intriguing and with tons of great insights. If you aren’t familiar with 99u, it is a blog and conference based around taking action, productivity, and making ideas happen. In fact it is inspired by this Thomas Edison quote, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” I couldn’t agree more and if you follow me on twitter you’ll notice I’m constantly linking to their great blog content. Consider me a believer.

Here are some of my conference highlights!

Speaker AJ Jacobs, the author of Drop Dead Health said that it’s easier to act your way in to thinking, than think your way into acting. This is a great mentality to have when you’re writing. If you find yourself having writers block, just start typing. If you act as though you love what you’re doing, you just might find that you do, in fact, love it.

This stood out to me because as much as I love what I do every day, like everyone you are faced with the parts of your job you loathe. Sometimes it’s about faking your way in to productivity. You don’t have to drudge your way through the parts of your job you dislike!

Ben Shaffer, the studio director of Nike Innovation Kitchen said to incentivize innovation by tolerating failure, because failure could lead you to a great unexpected success. It’s okay to not always lead with greatness. If you review your failures you can learn from it and move on quickly if it’s not valuable.

I feel we are so quick to huff and puff over failures in this business, why not see it as part of the process? Thank you for that one Ben!

Speaker Brene Brown, who is a researcher for Vulnerability said that not caring about what people think of you and your work, means you are losing the capacity for connecting. Never let criticism define you, but certainly take these critics to lunch, hear them out and decide whether or not their feedback is helpful. You never know, they could bring a good idea to the table.

Especially in the arts this is easier said than done, you always hear people quick to say “I don’t read the media, I don’t want to see that crap” etc. However when there is a positive review or feedback, damn right they want to read it. Understanding your audience and being open to feedback is key to anyone trying to market a product or sound, yet it gets dangerous when you loose your sense of self and let the critics define you. I think we could all benefit from finding that healthy level of tolerance.

Task Rabbit (one of my favourite start-ups) founder, Leah Busque, mentioned not getting caught up on perfection. Customers will tell you what is not working and it’s your job to be reactive! If you overdo it and get too obsessed with perfection you run the risk of never releasing anything AND going crazy. Ok I’m paraphrasing (she said it much more eloquently) but I couldn’t agree with this insight more.

And finally one of my favourite speakers from the conference, Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project said that there are 4 types of people:

The upholders are motivated by rules and ask themselves each morning “what is on the to do list today?”

The questioners are motivated by sound reason and ask themselves each morning “what needs to be done today?”

The rebels are motivated by present desire and ask themselves each morning “what do I want to do today?”

The obligers are motivated by external accountability and ask themselves each morning “what is expected of me today?”

Each type has pro’s and con’s and each must be managed differently. Which one are you?

I am TOTALLY a questioner.

The rest of the trip included a lovely stroll across the Williamsburg bridge, a visit to the Smorgasburg food market in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Record Fair, and of course you must always take in a musical while in NYC. I managed to catch Jersey Boys, it just so happens it was a day after Frankie Valli’s actual birthday, and I must admit it was totally adorable.

Thank you to my amazing AB team who held down the fort in TO!

Next up – London and Brighton this week with The Balconies for The Great Escape festival! Any tips for good places to eat and hang?! Tweet me!

Much love,


Sari is Audio Blood’s founder and president! To see more of her past blogs:

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