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Austin Grigg

Husband, father of two bright-eyed boys, dabbling theologian, web developer and app maker.

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The Maker's Summit

For my birthday this year, Tyler (my incredibly talented and thrifty sister) got me tickets to The Maker’s Summit in Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville is one of my favorite towns. It is nestled up against the South Carolina mountains and has a beautiful downtown, lined with trees and great food and local shops. The air has a crispness that I often wonder comes from the lingering scent of the Blue Ridge mountains rolling across the upstate.

DIY Web Design with VIRB

The conference, put on by Indie Craft Parade, was a great event. The venue was a beautiful, renovated mill that was decorated with letter-pressed banners and antique furniture – the perfect place to inspire makers and craftsmen. I couldn’t take my eyes off the old timbers and ironwork lining the structure. There was a great mix of speakers and workshops and some nice down time in between for coffee and conversations. I think the workshops could have been a little more hands-on, but overall there was a ton of great content and opportunity for making connections.

I think my favorite speaker of the day was Jordan Ferney who runs the Oh Happy Day! blog. She talked about reaching her goal of living in Paris for a year and shared some awesome advice along the way. She gave a ton of great tips like getting a 6 month savings account, and asking for things, but the most powerful thing she said was:

Don’t trade what you want most for what you want right now.
-Jordan Ferney

Every day we have the choice to give in to what we want right now (sleeping in, eating out, driving by the gym) instead of moving toward what we want most. Sometimes the problem is we don’t really know what we want most, so I think we have to figure that out first. When we do figure that out she has a great suggestion to put it on our fridge so we will not forget. Then, if what we really want is to launch our own product, we can make the choice to put our head down and code for an hour instead of checking twitter. Or, if what we really want is to run a marathon, we can choose to lace up our shoes instead of eating a bowl of ice cream. Of course we can enjoy the now in the process, but if we never write down our goals and dreams we’ll never reach them.

Jordan kept her list short and sweet (if not audacious), and I think that helped keep her focused. My next goal is to come up with three things that I want to work toward, the top three that will make it on the fridge. So, what do you want most and what will it take for you to get there?

The Maker's Summit Guest Book


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