Jen Sincero is the “Brian Boitano” of inspiration. Or at least that’s the thinking behind Victoria Loskutova’s “Badass Summit” — which aims to capture a global audience and put conferences on the internet. For free.
Loskutova — in a business partnership with Grit Daily’s nomadic Editor-at-Large Stewart Rogers assembled a cast befitting of an in-person conference and brought it online to reach those who can’t quite get to a CES, SXSW, Webit or Web Summit — for one reason or another.
Grit Daily caught up with Loskutova in her hometown of Lisbon, Portugal, to get a deeper dive into her past adventures and an exclusive look at “Badass Summit” before it launches on December 2.
Grit Daily: You had your own interesting adventures before Badass Summit. Share those.
Victoria Loskutova: One day in 2015 I understood that I wanted to see the world. By that time I’ve already lived in several cities of my motherland (Ukraine), but it was not enough. My country was in massive pain, my relationship ended and the project I worked on finished. So no wonder I had this idea in my head that I want to appear on a tropical island, where everything is completely different and summer is all year around. Besides, I was very curious to know how people lived in other parts of the world, wanted to explore other cultures and horizons.
I’ve been looking for a job as a hostel manager and manifested, visualized that island in my mind. In a couple of months, I got a job in Sri Lanka, packed my little suitcase and had my two first flights ever holding the hand of my new young Indian friend (she studied in Ukraine) during my first flight and was
scared as fuck curious what future held for me. My family dissuaded me from going, they thought they would never see me again and I would lose my kidney, passport, and head. Nevertheless, my parents were supportive after all, especially my mom, she is always my boost and bliss.
It was a life-changing and very interesting experience. In a year I continued my nomad journey and moved to China to teach kids English and yoga. I’ve made it through all the Chinese coast solo to see the cities that I’ve always wanted to see and eventually appeared on the Chinese tropical island Hainan (I fell in love in islands!). China opened a totally different perspective of the world to me, it was “the good, the bad and the ugly” altogether, but it was definitely one of the most adventurous years of my life.
After all, I’ve decided to move somewhere closer to home, but with a long summer, beautiful beaches, not so crazy as Asia and with a slower rhythm of life. That’s how I’ve discovered Portugal. When I settled in Lisbon, I worked remotely as a copywriter. But I arrived with an idea of my own project noted in my notes. After a while I made my dream come true and started “The Atlantic Stories”.
I call it Collab Event Agency as I organize inspiring events for digital professionals in partnership with the industry’s greatest minds. I wanted it to be a collective art, an art of changing lives and making an impact to digital and local communities. At first, my events were only offline, but later the idea of Badass Summit was born.
GD: What’s behind the Badass Summit name?
VL: You know, when you’re looking for the answers to your questions, you will eventually find them. So I did. I was a journalist and a copywriter before and a bit during my travels, I have 13 years of experience together with my freelance work and breaks. Interview genre is my favorite, as I was born a curious child. You can learn so much from the people you are interviewing!
So I was juggling with my ideas and searching for an answer to the question: “How can I help people and do what I love to do at the same time?” I guess now Google knows even our thoughts. In no time I found a book called “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. What happened next? I rediscovered myself as a badass and by the time when half of the book has been read, my very good friend and mentor Stewart Rogers and I organized Badass Summit, an online conference for digital professionals.
GD: Your next Summit is in Lisbon during Web Summit. What should attendees expect?
VL: It’s actually four weeks after Web Summit. We launch on December 2nd. This is a different kind of conference. Very often speakers just stroke their egos on stage and don’t really give any practical advice. At Badass Summit our top marketing, business and lifestyle experts from across the globe tell about their journey on the way to success.
They tell real stories about their careers and lives and sometimes even get vulnerable. Because the way to success starts from failures, struggles, hard work and massive changes. Also during the video-interviews, they give tactical advice, practical methods and strategies that will help the attendees to level up and improve their skills massively. And it’s all online, you can attend from anywhere with internet access.
In addition, if the attendees will miss some of the interviews, we have an option of the cost-effective All-Access Pass with all the video-interviews plus a bundle of resources from our speakers, worth thousands of dollars, so they can have and watch them forever!
One of the reasons why I wanted to create this project is because ten-fifteen years ago I didn’t have an opportunity to just sit in front of the screen and get all the knowledge I needed to improve myself and gain more skills, become more successful. Today we have the opposite situation: there is so much information online that it’s hard to understand what’s true and what’s fake. We are overloaded.
It’s time for informal education and learning from real people. I want not only to learn new stuff myself, but I also want to share this knowledge with people who are hungry for it, who are looking for real stories, examples and ready to become badass.
After Badass Summit I’m launching Badass School for digital professionals. Members will have an affordable monthly subscription and will receive interviews with badass experts, special offers from me, and all speakers. They also will have a chance to be interviewed by me, participate in masterminds and webinars with top-notch pros and much more!
GD: Speaking of Lisbon and remote work, we just covered that here. What’s your take on Lisbon?
VL: Lisbon has its unique charm and energy, it just made me feel like home. The digital-tech community is very vibrant here and it’s growing rapidly. It’s a very popular digital nomad destination! Plus Web Summit signed an agreement with the Portuguese government for ten years, so Lisbon receives another city inside of it annually. Also, startups are very supported here.
Founders can apply for a startup visa with great conditions for the launch. There are several accelerators and programs that help talented people open their companies here in Lisbon and Portugal. Besides, it’s beautiful, summer lasts for at least six months, there are miles of beautiful coast, stunning architecture, amazing culture, food, and nature, plus it’s one of the safest countries in the world.
GD: You mentioned the Atlantic Stories earlier. What’s the relationship between “stories” and “events” that you produce?
VL: Events are like chapters. I want to tell stories to the world through the events, to help people evolve and grow, the same as Jen Sincero’s book helped me to make a huge move and see the real me from the side. I hope I can tell her my story personally someday or she will read this article! I’d love to interview her and was trying to contact her everywhere with no luck yet. But I’ll keep trying; seems like I’m good at manifesting things and reaching my goals. I’m Badass Vic after all!
I want me and my partners to organize events that tell our own stories, make an impact on the world, so attendees could create and tell their own ones after — life-changing. It’s also connected to the Atlantic Ocean, as it’s my element and nothing is more beautiful for me than the ocean. I’ve swam in three of them during three different periods of my life. It’s time for my Atlantic Story, the third chapter.