You’ve been part of something IMPORTANT.



Let’s say that again: Wow.

I’ve mentioned before on my main blog that my mission statement in life is “To do cool shit with cool people.” And I’d just like to say that the Badass Project conference, which we held for free last Thursday and Friday, was the perfect embodiment of that mission.

If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. We hosted 18 speakers — folks who are some of the best, smartest, most badass thinkers online. The conference itself was like putting on a rock concert. It was like riding a rocket sled down a hill. We switched presenters every 20 minutes and the time absolutely flew. I was inspired and on a high the entire time, and that feeling has persisted. If you were there, I’ll bet you felt the same way.

If you weren’t there, that’s a serious bummer because we’ve run into some tech issues with the recording. So far, we’ve only managed to save four of the sessions. We’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to get ahold of some of the others, but no promises. But we’ll let you know when we know for sure.

But here’s something cool… we recorded two ADDITIONAL sessions that weren’t aired live. One is with Chris Guillebeau, talking about “What’s wrong with potential.” The other is with Brian Clark, on “Resistance.” (Brian was supposed to be on live, but tech failed us yet again. I actually prefer it this way because we’ll actually HAVE his recording this way!) We’ll let you know when these are ready, too. Give us a few days.

I don’t know how to thank everyone enough for making this event happen. It exceeded my best expectations.

Thanks to each and every one of our amazing speakers: Jon Morrow, Thor Holt, Anissa Mayhew, Carole Brown, Tommy Walker, Amber Rae, John Unger, Amber “Miss Destructo” Osborne, Seth Godin (on day 1) and Charlie Gilkey, Jonathan Fields, Leo Babauta, Matt Glowacki, Julien Smith, Joe Hall, Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz, Warren MacDonald (on day 2), and Chris Guillebeau and Brian Clark whose interviews are yet to come.

I also want to give huge props to Bill Graham of SpeechText Access for donating captioning for our deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees, and to Francisco Philibert, Margaret Downs, Wendy Greenlee, and StreamText for donating their time and effort to a cause they believed in. And huge thanks to Karen Putz for introducing us and making it all happen in the first place.

Thanks to our on-air co-hosts Rebecca Kellogg and Adrian Varnam, and to Tommy Walker (again) for all of their help as solid Badass Project cohorts, or whatever you’d call them.

Finally, my co-founder Jessica Commins is THE reason this event happened. Literally. This would NOT have happened without her. That’s not me being humble. That’s me being honest. Jess’s tireless efforts carried this entire thing and I can’t thank her enough.

And all of you out there in internetland? You all rock. Everyone who attended, chatted with us, tweeted and Facebooked the event, told your friends, sung our praises… you are all badasses.

This was an amazing, amazing thing for me, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it. Because this event was IMPORTANT.

It’s IMPORTANT to show people how to overcome their self-imposed limitations, destroy their excuses, and achieve the amazing things that are inside of them.

It’s IMPORTANT to eliminate even a little bit of the blame, whining, and phony excuse-making bullshit in the world.

It’s IMPORTANT to raise expectations.

And while I’ve said over and over again that The Badass Project is not a disabilities website (it’s a “living without excuses” website), it’s nonetheless IMPORTANT that we helped — in maybe a small but meaningful way — to bridge that mental gap that some people have about disabled people.

Matt Glowacki talked about overcoming low-expectations, meaning the low expectations people have of what he can do because he was born without legs. That’s what all of this has been about. What low expectations do you have for yourself? What low expectations do others have for you — regardless of how “able bodied” or “able minded” you think you are? And… how can you overcome them?

I wrote on my own site about how it’s important for your life to have meaning and to believe that what you are doing makes a difference.

Well, for everyone who helped create this event, who presented at it, who attended it, and who spread the word about it… you have made a difference.

Thank you.


  1. Thor says:

    Well Done JT and team!
    Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of your inaugural year.
    Next time live please – i’ll get my own flights ;)

  2. kera says:

    your event completely rocked. i left absolutely inspired and fired up to do away with some of my long standing excuses :D i’ve been a badass fan for a while now, and events like this inspire me to be a bit more evangelical about what you do!

    my only comment re the format was that it was often so entertaining (and eye-opening) in the chat that it distracted from listening to the speaker and I missed stuff!! I can’t seem to listen and write at the same time…
    the technical difficulties didn’t bother me at all – it’s computers & the internet, it’s to be expected. I LOVED the Vokle interface, what a great system (will recommend that to clients), and I LOVED the casual approach to it all. Made it much more “real”.

    thank you thank you thank you.

    • Johnny says:

      I hear you… I HAD to watch the private chat because it’s how we were coordinating behind the scenes, but I had to shrink my window and block the general chat or I’d never be able to stay in the game!

  3. Lisa says:

    VERY COOL! Thank you for providing such a fast paced & in you face wake up call to being the badass we were meant to be! I feel rejuvinated and ready to plow through all of my self imposed limitations and doubts – why do we make everything so complicated? I agree with Thor – next time live and being a badass event coordinator…I’d be happy to help with those details. :)

  4. My wife and I absolutely loved the badassery, although we were unable to see Friday’s bad asses…is it on video somewhere?

    Thanks so much.

    • Johnny says:

      They’re going up now. I think all of Friday’s will be okay, but we lost at least 2 and maybe up to four sessions on Thursday. The vids will appear on the conference page when they’re ready. Enjoy!

  5. Mary says:

    I’m a 55 yr old woman whose passion for empowering kids (esp. kids with disabilities) to make their dreams happen doesn’t fit neatly into the public school system I’ve been working in for years.

    Recognizing the internet as a way to spread Can-D\o resources to kids and parents – I asked Johnny to set up a blog for me a year and a half ago. Not knowing what the heck I was doing.

    Talk about learning by trial and error! So glad I kept plugged in to Johnny – and then the BadAss Project! Whenever I felt like giving up – another reminder – NO EXCUSES!

    I’m still working in the schools to pay my bills – but I have a voice – that empowers kids and families. I’m being true to myself – and I’m making a difference – and I keep learning. My goal – get out of the system and make my living doing what I was born to do. Teach, empower, encourage and learn from the kids along the way.

    The BadAss Conference was totally awesome! So glad I spread the word to everyone I knew (even though some of my contacts were surprised (read, shocked!) to see the words “Bad Ass” on my Facebook page!

    More than just inspiring – it was, well – Bad Ass! Thanks to EVERYONE for pouring fuel on my fire! On EVERYONE’s fire. That’s the whole point – we can ALL be Bad Ass in our own way.

    Even old school m’arms like me!

    No Excuses!

  6. gerry suchy says:

    The two day event was simply awesome. How often do you get these kind of people to participate in a project such as this and at no cost to the audience. Just brilliant, that’s all I can say. Thank you for putting this together.


  7. Greatly enjoyed it! Thanks Johnny and badasses!

  8. I am new to The Badass Project, but I learned about you in time to catch some of the presentations on Friday. It was WONDERFUL!!

    I loved the presentations, the presenters, the badass staff and the Vokle interface. The chat room was filled with amazing people.

    I had never heard of most of the speakers I saw. It was great to hear their messages and to connect with such badass people!

    I’m really looking forward to what you come up with next.

    Proud to be a Badass!

  9. I can’t say more than has already been said. It was amazing. Just the fact that you were able to bring together such a wonderful group of people, and for FREE, blows me away. I mean, just Seth alone was worth it! And since I was forced to miss part of both days due to unbreakable appointments, I’m so glad you plan to have recordings, even if we can’t get all of them. Plus I was disappointed Brian Clark couldn’t get through so knowing you got a recording is great. And Chris Guillebeau too! Awesome all around. Congrats to you and your wonderful team.

    Tech glitches? Who cares? Who even noticed? It made it REAL.

  10. Rob Cooper says:

    Guys, thank you all so much for making not one, but two awesome evenings. Both evenings got me really fired and wanting to kick some ass!

    Surround yourself with amazing people, and amazing things will happen.

    While the conference was awesome, I think what I am more excited about is the prospect of talking more and meeting you fine people.

    Exciting times!

  11. Thanks again for hosting this conference, Badass Project. It was a memorable experience, and I look forward to conquering all of the excuses that pop up in my life on a daily basis. I will not relent.

    Take care,
    Josh Lipovetsky

  12. John says:

    I’m sooo bummed I missed it. Any chance of the audio recording being available???

  13. Margreta Funpine says:

    I am on the left coast. Pacific time, and I couldn’t catch your conference live.
    I heard it was captioned and want to catch that since I’m late-deaf. Not much is captioned
    on the Internet so I really appreciate you’re captioning.
    Tell me how I can catch the next conference. Thanks. M

    • Johnny says:

      I can’t promise, but we’ll probably do it again next year. The best way to keep in the loop is to sign up for one of our mailing lists… just fill out the form in the right-hand sidebar and you’ll know when something else comes up!

  14. ELLA HICKS says:

    BRAVO! Thank you so much for putting this conference on. It was really great to hear a collective group speak on overcoming obstacles. Cheers! Ella

  15. Nicholas Tozier says:

    The conference was a great time. Met a whole slew of cool people there.

    Glad to hear we’ll have Brian’s video–I was bummed about that.

    Congrats on a job well done! I’ll be back for BAP 2013 for sure.

  16. Sheila Paul says:

    Thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart. It was an awesome time. And to have something totally FREE, where we could benefit from the sharing of great minds and hosts. Well, it was “exactly what the doctor ordered” as the saying goes.
    Keep on and upward !! Your “paying it forward” was awesome! It was a real blessing in my life.
    Look forward to future projects and opportunities.

    Cheers & Blessings to all. Sheila (Canada)

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