1 min read

The Surprisingly Powerful Catalyst Effect of HubSpot’s INBOUND Event (HubHeroes, Ep. 49)

inbound event as a catalyst for humanity


OK, we've gotta be honest with y'all. Going into this week's episode, we had zero intention of doing another show dedicated to HubSpot's #INBOUND23 event happening in Boston next month. Mostly because we've already done three entire episodes dedicated to it:

But this week's episode came about unexpectedly, as the result of a conversation Liz and I had earlier that morning. You see, periodically, Liz and I will meet for what we call "human time" where we intentionally put aside all HubSpot and inbound conversations to talk about life. 

During last week's "human time," we stumbled upon an interesting topic centered around the question: "What do you do when you run into past versions of yourself?" This is something all of us experience at various points throughout our lives. Old photographs, old interviews or videos, the remnants of old decisions that pop up out of nowhere. 

Then, Liz had the interesting idea to apply that same logic to HubSpot's INBOUND event. For her, Devyn, and myself, INBOUND has played a seismic-shifting role in our lives — my life was never the same after 2012. (Heck, HubSpot overall has changed our lives, if we're being honest! Our HubSpot Academy episode digs into that.) 

So, no matter whether this is your first time to INBOUND this year or you're a seasoned INBOUND vet, we encourage you to listen to this deeply personal episode. Say what you will about how you wish INBOUND had or hadn't changed over the years, its impact is undeniable. It's built by humans, for humans ... not customers. So, of course your humanity will be influenced, if you're open to it.

What we cover in this episode

  • What did INBOUND reveal to you about yourself that you never realized?
  • How did INBOUND propel Devyn into leadership positions he never dreamed of?
  • What were the most toxic, self-limiting beliefs we held about ourselves prior to attending INBOUND?
  • Our stories aren't unique; we know so many people who have similar paradigm-shifting experiences with INBOUND. Why do we believe INBOUND is such a powerful catalyst for so many people?

Extra resources

HubSpot Training with George B Thomas

(We've made it easy!)

❤️  "I don't like meeting people in real life. And when I think about how I felt eight years ago as opposed to now when I go ... now, I feel like I'm going home. I'm exceedingly grateful for inbound and the impact that it's had on my life. And I'm not just talking about #BLACKATINBOUND.

I'm talking about the workshops and the breakout sessions and the keynotes and how impactful they always are and how game changing and ahead of the curve — like on the bleeding edge. Of what's going on with marketing, sales, management, who you are as a human. Yes, there are literally sessions that are just about humanity and being a person."

— Devyn Bellamy 


#inboundmarketing #hubspot #believersatinbound #blackatinbound #inbound #INBOUND23 #hubspotacademy

❤️  "If you're listening to this and you're headed to your first inbound, your fifth inbound, your 10th inbound — I would challenge you to use the drive the flight to actually pause for a second and just turn around.

Mentally and look at where you've come. Look how much you have changed. Do some reflecting inward. Because when you hit that floor of INBOUND and you start to do the networking and you start to educate, fueling yourself up and empowering yourself with how dope of a fricking human you are and have been. 

Think about how far you've come from that, you know, 18 year old dishwasher or burger flipper at whatever restaurant or, you know — whatever your hangup is —  realizing that's no longer you, and this could be the year. This could be your year."

— George B. Thomas


#inboundmarketing #hubspot #believersatinbound #blackatinbound #inbound #INBOUND23 #hubspotacademy

❤️  "Ask yourself, who is the version of yourself that you're going to meet there (at INBOUND), and then approach answering that question over the course of those three days from a place of curiosity, not assumption."

— Liz Moorehead


#inboundmarketing #hubspot #believersatinbound #blackatinbound #inbound #INBOUND23 #hubspotacademy

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy


Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy


HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen


HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas


HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:00] George B. Thomas: Yeah, let's be honest. Let's be honest. If you're, if you're watching this, I mean, you could be listening to the podcast, but if you're in the community and you're watching this, you know that Devin works for HubSpot just because of his background, but it also looks like he works for fricking Hollywood right now.

[00:00:15] Liz Moorehead: I know.

[00:00:15] George B. Thomas: And my background is garbage all of a sudden. When before it was amazing. Before we stepped on today anyway.

[00:00:21] Liz Moorehead: Devin, I was feeling good about myself.

[00:00:23] Devyn Bellamy: Well, I, I'm sorry to rain on everyone's parade and flex so hard. But HubSpot's given me no choice, man. HubSpot sent me some amazing equipment. Uh, I'm gonna be on the, uh, YouTube channel for HubSpot. And, um, the equipment was so good that I just had to up my game all around. So we're talking, we, uh, custom lighting, uh, like.

It, it like, it, it, a lot of work went into making this, this pretty,

[00:00:51] George B. Thomas: Listen, as us old folks say, ladies and gentlemen, it looks crispy 

[00:00:55] Liz Moorehead: looks crispy, it looks beautiful. I also will need a significant amount of salsa for the chip on my shoulder.

[00:01:02] George B. Thomas: Liz is literally in just no movement at all. So, Is she back? There

[00:01:08] Liz Moorehead: Hi.

[00:01:08] Devyn Bellamy: There, she's,

[00:01:09] George B. Thomas: There she

[00:01:10] Liz Moorehead: What happened? Oh, you know what I was, I, I think I had a rage blackout because I literally said I'm gonna need a lot of salsa for the chip on my shoulder. And maybe the internet gods were like trying to be like, girl, you need a little bit of

[00:01:22] George B. Thomas: your

[00:01:23] Devyn Bellamy: It was the N s A,

[00:01:24] Liz Moorehead: bit of chill in your life.

[00:01:26] Devyn Bellamy: it was the N S A. They're

[00:01:27] George B. Thomas: like chill.

[00:01:28] Liz Moorehead: Like, chill. Um, you know what else I like doing sometimes being an agent of chaos. So what does that mean? Well, cupcakes and kittens, usually George and I get together and smoosh our brains and make beautiful outlines and we plan things and we plan things far. Like we literally have topics scoped out into next year.

We are people who like to plan, right.

[00:01:51] George B. Thomas: is good. Strategy is good.

[00:01:53] Liz Moorehead: Strategy is good. And then sometimes Liz is gonna do something like she's gonna right now. We've thrown out the outline.

[00:01:59] George B. Thomas: oh.

[00:02:00] Liz Moorehead: Outlines gone. Outline's gone. I have ambushed both George and Devin today with a topic that we literally talked about five minutes before we hopped on, and I'm really excited about it.

I wanna set this, I wanna set the scene. and Devin, you'll be so excited. You've already heard this story before about 10 minutes ago, but you're gonna hear it again. So this morning, George and I had periodically what we literally put on our calendar as human time. Actually, George, what's, yeah, let's get a good human in there.

[00:02:25] George B. Thomas: It was Liz actually. It wasn't human time. It was human time.

[00:02:31] Liz Moorehead: That's what's up. That ugh right there. Because even though we, I think like other than maybe my dog, I talk to you the most out of anyone in my life right now. we still have to like segment and say like, we are going to explicitly talk about human things in this designated block. And we have this fascinating conversation this morning about, you know, You and I have gone through a lot of changes, a lot of growth as humans, as business owners, all of these different things, and, and this year in particular has been extra spicy.

And so when we looked back on this year, What was fascinating about the conversation we had this morning though, was when we got onto the topic about what happens when you run into a former version of yourself. After you've shifted mindsets, learned lessons, shed skin, transmuted different uh, experiences in your life, like we're all humans are not static.

Right? We are dynamic creatures and we are continuing to grow and learn and evolve for better or for worse, right? And so it got me thinking as we were going into today's conversation. We have this beautiful topic that we're gonna talk about next week that I'm very excited about, but it made me interested in something.

George going to inbound is what the kids call a Canon event for you back in 2012 that changed your entire life. Devin, I know for you inbound, going into HubSpot, those are also Canon events for you as well and for myself. So I was interested to think about like as we are heading into inbound, just a few weeks from now, right?

Like two, three weeks by the time this episode drops. What are the old versions of our inbound and HubSpot selves that we now see in the rear view mirror? And how have we evolved? I wanted to take a step back from our, like talking about tools, talking about events, talking about the methodology, talk about George's favorite topic, the humans that power the inbound community, and how much has changed.

Like I am thinking about our, our episode last week with Mark Killins where we were talking about like, we didn't even know what the first inbound methodology was. Remember that like we were all wrong. And just thinking about we take a thousand steps and we'll be looking at our feet and then we'll look up and go, holy cannoli, this is how far we've come.

And that's what I want us to take a moment and do today. Are you guys game?

[00:04:46] Devyn Bellamy: Absolutely.

[00:04:46] George B. Thomas: Yeah, I'm, I'm game. I, I think it's gonna get interesting. I'm actually glad that I'm sitting down for this episode. Usually I stand, but this is a sit down episode.

[00:04:56] Liz Moorehead: What makes it a sit down episode for you, George?

[00:04:57] George B. Thomas: I feel like. While, while we always love talking about strategies and tactics and best practices, I feel like today we're gonna get into some of the conversations that might fundamentally feel a little more touchy feely, a little bit more, rooted in the human versus the HubSpot. Listen, listen, I, I feel like I owe a little bit of what you are setting up to the people who are listening and watching this, because you told the story and you started to talk about older versions of ourselves and, and what got us here I think is important actually.

So I want to share this. I was sitting on the couch last night and my wife actually messaged me on Facebook, which by the way, my wife never messages me on Facebook. She'll text me or she'll talk to me, but she messaged me on Facebook and she said, Hey, this came up on my timeline. And what it was, it was a historical video of a show called The Balance Back when I worked with Marcus Sheridan at the sales line.

And it was, um, an episode where I was speaking at a workshop. It was an episode where I was unpacking my thoughts of why we were doing what we were doing and how great it was to be where I was in that moment. as I watched it, I actually, in my brain was like, who is that guy?

[00:06:18] Liz Moorehead: Oh yeah.

[00:06:18] George B. Thomas: who is that guy?

' cause that guy isn't this guy. It looks like me. It, it's, it doesn't even sound like me, but who's that guy? And so that got me on this trajectory of thinking about all the things that have been happening around who I am, who I'm becoming, who I will be in the future. which then led us into that conversation of Liz, what happens when you meet another version of yourself?

where does your mind go? What does it do? What tricks can it play on you? how can you leverage the benefits of it? and so now taking that and spinning it to historical inbounds for Devon and me and who we were and who we are and where we're going. I just want people to buckle up a little bit. it might get emotional, maybe.

I don't know. I'm super curious where this goes today.

[00:07:09] Liz Moorehead: I am very curious about it too because Devin, I actually wanna turn to you for a moment and ask a somewhat related question. You know, uh, George and I were abandoning this topic about, and then you hopped on to record with us, and I told you what I wanted, what I wanted to talk about today, and you immediately were like, yes, I want to have that conversation.

And you said it with, for lack of a better word, a bit of gravitas there. Like that is a conversation that needs to be had. And it, and it's, it's a tone that you only strike when you're in a very particular mindset about something. So I'd love to hear from you why you think this is an important conversation to be having.

Where did your heart and mind go when I pitched that to you?

[00:07:49] Devyn Bellamy: Well, you absolutely hit it on the head when you said humans are dynamic. a lot of us tend to think that who we are is who we've always been we don't realize or are able to acknowledge, the level of growth. And when you look at the level of growth, like for me, this is gonna be inbound eight for me.

and you look at the, uh, amount of growth that you've had in that time period, it's a reminder that. Eight more inbounds from now. I'm, I'm hopefully going to look back at myself the same way I look at the Devin from eight inbounds ago. I remember being completely overwhelmed and to say that I was feeling imposter syndrome was an understatement.

I know in retrospect that I was doing what everyone else was doing, experiencing the same problems everyone else was experiencing. And, just going into inbound feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. And compared to me now, I didn't, I, I, I have definitely grown significantly, both personally and professionally, since, uh, the 2016 inbound.

I, I remember. Going into inbound, feeling alone, feeling, out of place. Even when I went to the Humans at Inbound Meetup, it was great for connecting with other people who, you know, were solo. But, it didn't change the fact that when I went, I recognized the event for what it was, that it was a phenomenal meeting of people and minds who were all passionate about the same things I were, and people who for the most part were probably doing better in life than I was.

I won't say what I was doing and how much I was making, but I'll just say that it wasn't well and it wasn't a lot. but I knew that if I wanted to progress or grow, I would have to meet people and, and get to know people, which for me is, nightmare fuel. the idea of networking, which is hilarious 'cause that's what everyone knows me for, is networking and, and in talking to people and being out there.

But in real life, I, I don't like meeting people in real life. And, just being, feeling like I was on the outside, eight years ago as opposed to now when I go, I'm gonna feel like I'm at home. And, I am, I'm exceedingly grateful, for inbound and the impact that it's had on my life. And I'm not just talking about black and inbound.

I'm talking about the workshops and, and the breakout sessions and the keynotes and how impactful they always are and how game changing and ahead of the curve, like on the bleeding edge. Of what's going on with marketing, sales, management, who you are as a human. Like there are, there, there are sessions that are just about humanity and being a person.

And, um, and, and it's great. You know, just, just, I'm, I'm so, so looking forward to being with my people and seeing all the other people who are living the same lives, the same struggles, the, uh, same challenges at work. same challenges at home for a lot of us. and, and just being able to just be around this awesome group of people.

And I didn't know that that's what it was. Uh, eight years ago. I just saw that it was an event that I may never end up at again. Like I, because at then, HubSpot comped us tickets because we were new customers. And I never thought that I would, uh, be able to go back to something this amazing. And so I just soaked it in and went at it like I would never see these people again.

And now I see them every year and it's, it's wonderful. and I won't go into yet how much I've personally changed since then. 

[00:11:34] Liz Moorehead: Oh, we're about to get into that.

[00:11:36] George B. Thomas: I, I, I, I fundamentally though, want to, I, I need to, I need to unpack some stuff there that, that Devin just talked about. I too thought that it was a one tank trip, in 2012, we literally won tickets because it was the world's largest webinar. I was a designer, developer. I was not a marketer.

I, I wasn't even somebody who got up and spoke on stages that, that, at that point, I like a six pack and a pizza came in one side, a website came out the other side, like, and, and no, I didn't make a lot of money. It was literally like a little startup agency. So, you know, we won tickets. That's the only reason we were there.

I had never been to Boston before, by the way. I walked into my first inbound, like afraid. Like I don't, I don't know what this is. I don't even know what we're getting ourself into. We're just here because, you know, we think it might be something and let's find out. And so to think of who that guy was, fearful when we got there.

curious the entire time. but then what's funny is before we left, I can remember Zach Basner and I sitting down at the dock with our legs in the water, like our feet in the water, Dreaming and it was the beginning of the dream, right? And, and sometimes our dreams can actually become our realities.

But if you would've told me right then that you'll be back here every year for the next 11 years, 18 years, 22 years, whatever, I would've not believed you. I'd be like, ah, no, no, no. This is a one tank trip. The other thing too that I wanna mention here, Devon said something that blew my mind because Liz, earlier in our conversation before this recording, I said, you know, I wonder if in five years I'll look back again and be like, who's that guy?

[00:13:26] Liz Moorehead: Yep.

[00:13:27] George B. Thomas: that guy? And Devin was literally, his brain was doing the same thing like eight years from now, I think. He said, I look back and do that. And I think it's just so valuable for people who are sticking around and listening to this episode to realize there's a couple things. This might be the first year you're heading to inbound, but it might be the first year of 12, the first year of 20.

you might be going to inbound and be like scared in a little bit of a dreamer and not really know if you're gonna fit in, but this might be what Devin now calls home. And home is comforting. Home is safe. Home is like where you get to hang your hat and hang out with the people that you love. And, and so I just think there's a lot that people can unpack and hopefully if I was heading there and could listen to a podcast like this, I would find it quite refreshing to realize, oh, I'm not the only one that has had these feelings. I'm, I'm not alone in my journey and my growth of like inbound and HubSpot and you know, going from some discipline that I might be doing to actually being like an inbound market or inbound sales, inbound service, rev ops professional, like I would, I would find comfort in that.

[00:14:33] Liz Moorehead: Well, are we ready to dig into some of my meaty questions now? I feel, I feel, I, I feel for you right now, Devin, because George is used to being on the receiving end of this from our other show, beyond the default. we will be starting with the jugular. Hi gentlemen.

[00:14:48] George B. Thomas: Here we go.

[00:14:49] Liz Moorehead: I have a theory about humans that when we look back retrospectively on how we've changed, We tend to do so with a very negative light, right?

It's always about what we discarded, what we did wrong, what no longer serves us. But here's my theory. Nature abhors a vacuum. So usually as you are shedding something, it's because something internally that already existed within you was ready to be revealed, and you needed to create the necessary space for those parts of you to be revealed.

I would be curious to hear from both of you instead of focusing on like from a lack mindset of like, what did I need to get rid of? What were the things I needed to dump, discard, shed, da, da, da, da, da. Over the course of this journey, and you can do this cumulatively or at periods or my milestones, what have you seen revealed within you that you did not know was there as you've walked this HubSpot and inbound journey?

[00:15:45] Devyn Bellamy: For me, um, it's been becoming a leader. I've always. Fans fancied myself as a sergeant, not a general. And, that was something that I, I held, you know, pretty tightly. Not, you know, not being, the person leading anything or the head of anything. And I still find myself, wanting that to be, you know, my default setting is, is to not be the leader, but as time has progressed, I find myself now, leading. I've, I've progressed from being, well, I'm an individual contributor at HubSpot. but before that I was on the leadership team of an agency. And before that I was on the leadership team of another agency, and before that I was a C M O. And before that I was a vp.

And I've, that's started with me being a marketing coordinator, at the first inbound. And then that ramped up into director of marketing. And there is a one-to-one relationship between my HubSpot usage and knowledge and the growth of my career. but I didn't really see myself, like if, if you had asked me back then, it's like, uh, would you manage a team?

And it's like, no, maybe middle management, but project management or, or team management or, or, or coordinating multiple companies in order to achieve the goal of a singular customer. I never would've dreamed that that was me. there always, I didn't feel comfortable, you know, being out front like that, being, the head, or even being the figurehead, like, it, it's not something like, for instance, look at black and inbound.

I don't do anything with black and inbound anymore, but people still message me as though I'm the person that's running it. And back then that would've scared me. The thought of even being viewed like that, uh, was, was, was terrifying. but now it's like, well, yeah, I'm, I'm still a part of the community.

Um, but there is a wonderful team of people like Shayna Summers, Kyle Lee Foster, uh, uh, Oscar. Cassandra, of course, who can't wait for you guys to see this year's black and inbound activation. It's gonna be wild. It's, it is dope. but, uh, this wonderful team of people, are, are doing these amazing things.

And even though I don't lead them, just the fact that there is a perception that I do, 2016, Devin would've been terrified at the thought of that and would've immediately wanted to run and hide. I was always the, and even in high school, I was backstage not on stage. and that's where I thought I belonged.

And now I know that I can thrive leading a team. Like, I have my own marketing consulting company and I have team members. I have an intern. and, and that's it. I'm the leader. It rises and falls on whether or not I get stuff done. And, that's something that's definitely grown in the past eight years,

[00:18:51] George B. Thomas: Yeah, I love this. I wanna double click on what Devon's talking about because I too, although I'm not gonna go in the same direction 'cause I want to do a hard pivot on, on something that I've really never shared that much. but I do, I definitely double click or double tap on the fact of like, the mindset of a number two to a number one, a robin to a Batman, uh, a person that, you have to have high status to be a leader versus just even leading from the back or leading from the middle.

but you know, nowadays it's like, yo, if I don't lead, nobody's gonna lead. Like I have to lead in the situation that I'm in now with the community, with the company, with the family. Like, suck it up buttercup. Put on your big boy pants. Time to rock and roll. but here's the thing that, you know, Liz, until you ask that question, I. I hadn't really given it the, the time to marinate or probably the time to actually share this, but I always start telling the story about how I was a designer, developer working for an agency, and then decided I wanted to grow up to be a marketer. But if we take it, take a step even further back before I got into agency life, I was actually, uh, a youth pastor and an associate pastor to church.

And if we take a step back before that, I had to go to three years of school, to become that. And it was during that time that I actually learned how to research and I learned how to write sermons and I learned how to present on stage or the pulpit. So there was a lot of like these foundational things that were being placed inside of me, placed around me, that I had zero clues back then that I would use on a daily basis.

And so if I look at this inbound journey, going from that guy who was afraid and kind of dreaming in 2012 to the first year when I stepped on stage, uh, 2015, and all of a sudden all of the preacher, all of the teacher, all of the presenting, all of the researching, all of the writing sermons, a k a breakout sessions, keynote speech, like all of that, like comes flooding forward and now gets like amplified and doubled down on, What's funny is I realize how important of a job it historically was, but to how small of a community it was, and now where I'm at in my life, how massive the community is, and how massive the job that is set before me and the responsibility that I have to be who I am and to become the 10, 12, 15 layers better version of me. Because what's really weird is I'm not serving a, a, a church of 250 people. I'm serving a community of, you know, 6,000, 300,000 humans that happen to use HubSpot and are looking for good people teach good things to do good business. And like the weight of that and the understanding of that. 2012 j George would've turned himself a little bit if somebody said, this is what's coming, bro.

[00:21:58] Liz Moorehead: When you look back on this journey, what the most toxic self-limiting belief you had that inbound enabled you to actually release?

[00:22:08] George B. Thomas: Oh, I'll, I'll go first on this one. and it's in a roundabout way. it's because of HubSpot and because of inbound and then because of going from Wild Boy to the Sales Lion and because of where that put me in different places in life. So it, it is inbound and it's the ecosystem that I was sucked into.

I had started in 2014 before video was cool, started to do HubSpot tutorials. And I'll never forget, I had probably been doing them for like two, maybe three years and I was on this webinar and um, I think, I think it might've been a Gary V webinar to be honest with you. This dude is so weaved in and out of my life and things that happen at really weird times.

I can't wait till the day I can just sit down and be like, bro, we need to have a conversation. But I was on this webinar and I remember typing these words where I said, this is why I only do tutorials. People care what I know. They don't care what I think. And multiple people in the chat pan actually voice their opinion of, we care what you think. It was at that point that I still continued to be the t you know, the like get stuff done. The, the, let's do the tactics, let's talk about the strategies. But there, at that point, I started to put these small layers of, and this is why I feel these are the tactics. These are why I feel, these are the strategies.

This is why I believe in the methodology. This is why I think humans are the main point that we should focus on. It was, it was at that moment. and what's funny is I look back at that dumb statement and that journey through inbound, that journey through self-discovery, that journey through self-belief, that journey through like self-loving of oneself and the ability to give fully of oneself is now why not only do I do the, you know, this podcast, but Liz, you alluded earlier to the Beyond Your Default podcast.

I would've never done that because it's, it's almost a hundred percent of what I think, not of what I can do or what I can teach. and so for me, if it, if there was no winning tickets, if there was no 2012, if there was no inbound, if I hadn't been absorbed into the ecosystem, I don't know if I would share with so many people on a daily basis as clients or share with so many people, uh, as friends on social media or share from the stage.

When I speak at events like Inbound, deeper reason why.

[00:24:34] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. Um, so the one. is for me, and I know it'll resonate with George too, is prior to inbound, I thought my career had a ceiling because I didn't have a degree. I've lectured at universities more than once, and I am in there as an academic layman. and when I was in school, it was to be a high school band teacher.

And I, I really thought that because I don't have this degree, that because I don't speak m b a fluently, that I can never, get past being. An entry level marketer, like I, I seriously thought I was going to be a 40 year old marketing consultant. and I inbound definitely changed that for me, because it gave me access to people that make way more money than I did.

and had nicer things in life, who had these letters behind their names, that weren't as good as their job as I am. Uh, and it was, it was definitely an eye-opening experience when I got to sit down, with, I think it was the onboarding team that had a breakfast, and we are talking about KPIs and I'm listening to these guys, these French collars and cuff links talking.

About, what they've done and how their things are performing. And I am literally triple their numbers, wearing a t-shirt. And it was an eye-opening experience for me. And that's, that's when it was like, yeah, you know what? I do belong here. I, I don't need to go to the same schools that they went to in order to get things done.

I don't have to sound like them. I don't have to try and sound like them. I don't need their vocabulary, to be good at what I do, uh, because I've, I'm doing it and I'm doing it better. And so inbound was it, it it, it definitely chased a lot of the imposter syndrome away. I mean, of course it's still there.

and it's a healthy amount and I enjoy it because it lets me know that I am pushing the envelope in my own life and that I need to keep being uncomfortable. Uh, 'cause that just means that I'm growing. But, um, it was, it was a huge, validation for me to know that you don't have to have an M B A, or dress a certain way or sound a certain way, or look a certain way or be a certain color to be successful at what I do.

[00:27:12] George B. Thomas: It's, it's funny, Devin, because again, I I do, I hear you dude. I see you. It's like so much right now. Uh, the first time that I actually went and spoke at a college to college students in the realization that I was a high school dropout, I just, I giggled inside, but it was like scary as all get out. I'm like, do I really belong here?

And what's funny is, um, I too, By the way, maybe almost daily deal with imposter syndrome. but I have to keep it at bay because I realize I have done the work, I have been on the journey, you know, I have come a long way since 20 12, 20 13. Um, and I, but I, but I don't wanna get rid of that imposter syndrome completely.

'cause in my world, I think it just keeps me honest, right? It keeps me humble. Um, it keeps me on the educational hustle and that I need to be on to then present the best that I can for the clients, uh, you know, for the stage. and so there's so much that as I'm hearing you kind of talk and knowing my journey, that they're very parallel journeys of learning some of the same things.

but it's just again, interesting. We're sitting here talking about this and. I know it's for you and for Liz, who has been really quiet on this episode, by the way. And for me, this and, and even Chris in the campaign, like it's going somewhere. It's going somewhere. We don't know where it's going. We do know where it's gone. And here's one of the challenges I want to give for people, and I'm not wrapping this up.

I'm just saying if you're listening to this and you're headed to your first inbound, your fifth inbound, your 10th inbound, I would challenge you to use the drive the flight to actually pause for a second and just turn around. Not physically ladies and gentlemen, but just turn around mentally and look at where you've come. Look how much you have changed. Do some reflecting inward. because when you hit that floor of inbound and you start to do the networking and you start to educate, fueling yourself up and empowering yourself with how dope of a fricking human you are and have been, and how far you've come from that, you know, 18 year old dishwasher or burger flipper at whatever restaurant or, you know, whatever your hangup is, realizing that's no longer you, and this could be the year, this could be the precipice, this could be the canon, the catalyst for whoever you are over the next 5, 10, 20, 50 years. That's the mindset you want to get in as you enter inbound this year.

[00:29:50] Liz Moorehead: You know, I, I resonate quite a bit with what you said as well, Devin. I mean, I'm the same thing. I never finished college either, and I actually remember the first agency I joined Quintain with Kathleen and John Booth. I. You know, they saw a lot of promise and potential in me, but one of the things we agreed upon is like, Hey, I was gonna go back and finish my degree.

And what was so funny is that it ended up being moot. Like once I, once I got into the inbound and HubSpot ecosystem, you know, I, there was no time, not from the perspective of like lacking time management, it's just like, what is the purpose of getting the degree? Is it just to have the piece of paper or is it actually something meaningful?

And when I thought about how I wanted to be educating myself, self-education, work, education, all of those different things, I wanted to pour my heart and soul into those efforts. And what I'm finding interesting thematically about this conversation is that it seems like entering this HubSpot and inbound ecosystem by way of the event for each of us, It was kind of like a heart and soul opening moment.

Like we saw, it's like HubSpot held up a mirror to us and we saw ourselves in a completely different way that we didn't think was possible. And so my curiosity here is peaked. What do you think about, what do you think it is either about inbound as a community or the event itself that sets these conditions?

Because the three of us are completely different people, completely different backgrounds, right? And we even have Chris and who's watching live and the comments going, my biology degree is gonna crush it at inbound. You're right buddy. Let's go all the amoebas and stuff. Um, but like, what is it about the community or the event that sets these conditions?

Why do we think that this happens? Because you and I, George and Devon, I know you have as well, we, our stories rhyme. With so many other people, why?

[00:31:41] George B. Thomas: Yeah, if I take a step back, and I think about this, it, it's interesting. I'm gonna go a couple different directions. I'll try to keep it succinct though. One thing is inbound is not easy. Inbound is like, fricking triathlon. It's like so many sessions in so little time and you're walking around the B C E C, you know, you're like, there's so many food trucks and there's so many parties and there's so many conversations in the hallway.

It's literally like a three to four day mental triathlon. And so there's these layers of uncomfort, mentally and physically that you have to push through. it's also an incubator because there's so many different mindsets in like, things being thrown at you from so many different smart people. Um, people who have been there, done that.

like it's just so much. I feel like you, you're almost taking yourself and you're like, and I'm gonna microwave myself for three days and be like, like Liz, you talk about, it's funny. You talk about, uh, baking a cake, you're a cake in the oven and you're not fully done yet, right?

[00:32:52] Liz Moorehead: Nope.

[00:32:53] George B. Thomas: like, if I was to correlate inbound and humans, it's like, let me take that human out of the oven for about three days, throw it in the microwave, knowing it's not still gonna be done, but let me go ahead and put it back in the oven so it can still cook a little bit.

Oh, next year, let me throw it in the microwave a little bit longer. It's like this, if I look at my life, it's like these expedited, expedited hills of growth, hill of growth, inbound hill of growth, inbound hill of growth. and again, I just think it's because it takes courage to go. It takes, uh, effort to learn.

it, it takes the physical fortitude to like make it through with such little sleep. It's, it's just this, like, I don't know how to ex like, I wanna say incubator.

I wanna like, I don't know how I'm trying to explain this, but it's just this ecosystem, this vacuum, this, and, and it's the same type of people for so many years. It's getting different Now. I'm not gonna go that direction because I can't tell you the amount of people who've reached out to me on the inbound app that have tried to sell me stuff already anyway.

I'm not gonna go there. I'm not gonna go there. But there was so many years that the ecosystem was just this concentrated flood of great humans that liked to help each other and like to help others. They're doing it from like a purist form. And I just think, I think that was like a, a hotbed for what has, what has made many of the stories that other people could probably get on this podcast and tell, like, think about it, the, you know, the, the hub heroes or the inbound journey.

We could probably have a thousand episodes of people saying things much like, or even quite different or more dramatic than what we're talking about today.

[00:34:34] Devyn Bellamy: Everything that he said.

[00:34:35] Liz Moorehead: dto?

[00:34:36] Devyn Bellamy: basically, the, the, I think it's about the fact that the information. is very high level. but it's not gated. It's not like you have to have a certain level of education to receive this, and you just have to have a certain level of aptitude. And that's one of the things that I love about inbound is that it levels the playing field. regardless of your level of education or your educational background, like you, you could have a biology degree, but if you show up to an analytics talk and you're able to wrap your head around it, then you're that much better regardless of where you came from. so I think the fact that Inbound is about community and it's about learning, to.

Of the major reasons why it's been so impactful and, and the fact that it's not about HubSpot. and it never has been. It's been put on by HubSpot, but it's not about HubSpot. That's not, and I can say we, because I work at HubSpot now, but that's, that's not why we do this. Um, it, it's not about us just going out and saying, Hey, all these sessions are gonna be about how to use HubSpot better, and all these sessions are going to, be about our tool and they're gonna be try and sell you something.

It's like, no, we have a space on the floor for that. but 90% of what you're gonna learn in the break breakouts is platform agnostic. You can apply this stuff to anything anywhere and buy anyone as long as you have, the capacity to do it. And I think that's, that's the biggest thing is that it's. It, it's, it's not about big sprocket.

It's about being better. It's about growing better.

[00:36:24] Liz Moorehead: You know, when I think about it, you know, in terms of how I look at it, I know, I know it's become a bit of a, like a gag. You know, when we go, George, say, humans say humans one more time. You know? But I think the key for me, when I think about like what the conditions are that HubSpot sets with this event and this community, I, a lot of it I like, I'm ditto all around to everything you all have said.

The thing that jumps out at me though, is I'm, I go back to this moment from our episode last week with Mark Killins. And I remember I made an observation just out of pocket where I'm like it, I think it says everything that HubSpot Academy is considered a community initiative when it could easily be considered like, kind of like a two dimensional, like content initiative or marketing initiative or like whatever you want to call it.

It could be a thousand different things. So when I think about, when I, when I go back to my first inbound, which was 2014, and I think about what happened to me and how I, what that unlocked within me and what it revealed within me, it's the overwhelming feeling I had is that, pardon my French. It's not just all about the humans.

HubSpot genuinely gives a shit about the humans. And not only that, It challenges everyone to give a shit about each other and to stop seeing everybody as an entry line in a database or a C R M. It's all about humanizing what could otherwise be a very sterile, toxic waste heap where the worst of humanity could be allowed to proliferate instead of the best.

You know, I know a lot of people when they think about inbound, they're like, oh, but they have all these big speakers and da da da, and like, what does this have to do with inbound? And I miss inbound from a long time ago and you know, we can get into like what we miss from inbound's past, but like, first of all, there are still what, like hundreds of breakout sessions that are all about inbound, but also they go out of their way to curate conversations that challenge us to challenge ourselves.

To think differently, to grow better, to be kinder to our fellow humans, to be kinder, most of all to ourselves. You know, I, when I think about what the conditions were set for me, it's that I walked in and ins and, and I came in with a mindset of, okay, I'm gonna try to fit in. I'm gonna try to learn a lot, I'm gonna take a lot of notes, I'm gonna do a lot of this.

And all of a sudden it was like somebody turned on the lights in a giant palace and said, Hey, did you know all of this was possible? And we consider you equal with everyone else here.

[00:39:06] George B. Thomas: Yeah, it's almost like they said, Hey, did you know this is yours?

[00:39:11] Liz Moorehead: Yeah,

[00:39:12] George B. Thomas: Welcome to Your Kingdom Take. And it's funny, the reason I think my brain's going that way is because, again, in 2012 it was, don't call me customer. Call me human. And I feel like mentally I ripped the baton out of HubSpot's hand and have run for the last 11 years with, don't call 'em customer, call 'em human.

It's about the human. It's about, you know, being good. It's about adding value into the world. It's about education and entertaining content that can move the needle, that can be the catalyst. And what's funny, Liz, I got hit with a mental two by four while you were talking because I used to be a firm believer in the statement.

Good guys come in last. No they don't. Not anymore.

[00:39:58] Liz Moorehead: Not anymore. So. A lot of our listeners have been members of the HubSpot community for a really long time. Maybe there, this isn't their first inbound, but maybe for some it What advice would you give to someone regardless as to where they are in their inbound journey? Whether that's a question they can challenge themself with this time or something you'd you'd like to see if they can look at differently.

I'll leave it to you all to determine what that advice should be.

[00:40:24] Devyn Bellamy: I'd say excellent piece of advice is to stop spamming people on the inbound app.

[00:40:32] Liz Moorehead: Okay. Petty inbound app grievances aside.

[00:40:35] George B. Thomas: no, it's, it's funny 'cause Noah, make sure you leave that long pause in there because I want everybody to realize the, the weight in which Devon and I were putting to the question, there's a ton that we could save, but we both realize the impact that Inbound has had on us and we realize the words out of our mouth moving forward, the impact that it could have on the listeners or the viewers who happen to see this clip. So here, here's what I'm gonna say, because inbound has happened for so many years now, and because I think I do understand how humans work. We go into class, we pick the same seat, we book a hotel, we go to the same place. We go to an event, we wanna see the same speakers. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the same people in my session or Marcus Sheridan's session overridden over and over again.

And sometimes we say the same thing. Sometimes we say different things, but we are creatures of habit. If this is your first inbound, your second year, 10th year, 12th, whatever it is for you, my honest advice for you is break all of your historical habits and make yourself get out of the comfort zone and go in new directions and learn new things and talk to new people and treat this like it is your very first, your very first come in like a pupil if you're a master.

[00:42:07] Liz Moorehead: Devin, did you wanna stick with your petty grievances about selling through the app?

[00:42:10] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah, of course. But also, um, use an opportunity to meet people. Go to meetups, go to networks, exchange LinkedIn information. if you're a salespeople person, stop selling. Don't go to inbound to sell, go to inbound, to network, and, and, and, and genuinely make, make genuine human connections. I can tell you firsthand, they've changed my life.

it's what it's, it's what it's there for. It's what the people are there for. The networking, the community. it is something that unfortunately a lot of people don't take enough advantage of, cause they're only there for the breakout sessions. Or to think that they need to come back with enough business cards to put into their fodder.

Like, I, I won't talk about the people that are in my inbox right now. like this guy who is clearly has no idea who I am or what I do, and trying to sell me on his service that newsflash we already use. So like why, wh what, what's the point? I mean, dude, leave me alone. but if he had, you know, questions about literally anything that is human.

like we have a conversation about like, the greatest hamburger that I've ever had in my life, uh, this past Wednesday. they called it the Greek Burger. And it's like, imagine, a, a euro or a gyro depending on where you're from. Um, it's a year. Yeah, it's a euro, um, I imagine a Euro, but instead of lamb you have a hamburger.

And instead of pita, you have, buns and like the cucumber, roasted peppers, dki sauce, all of it, lettuce, like it, it is, and, and, and in a perfectly seasoned hamburger. And, and, and it is a double burger at that. So the thing is massive. Like I, I will talk to this guy about that all day. But as far as the solutions his company offers, that I'm very well aware of, 'cause again, we are customers, like we.

That, that, that doesn't resonate with me at all. It doesn't matter to me at all, and it makes me never want to talk to this person again.

[00:44:13] George B. Thomas: So, so Liz, in inquiring minds, wanna know, what advice would you give people?

Yeah. I'm not letting you off the hook.

[00:44:22] Liz Moorehead: you, you, and it's like you knew I was about to literally come to you, George, with a final question. It's like you knew, you could sense it, you could just sense a disturbance in the force.

[00:44:30] Devyn Bellamy: Stuff didn't freeze now.

[00:44:31] Liz Moorehead: My piece of advice to

[00:44:32] Devyn Bellamy: Oh, you froze for a second there. I, I thought you were trying to like, you know, fake. I'm going through a tunnel to get out of the question.

[00:44:37] Liz Moorehead: Uh, what I,

[00:44:41] George B. Thomas: You're breaking up. I can't hear you.

[00:44:43] Liz Moorehead: I, I've tried that before. I'm going into a tunnel. Liz, you're standing in a hallway. Um,

[00:44:48] George B. Thomas: it always helps. If you have a little cellophane to crinkle in it,

[00:44:52] Liz Moorehead: I know.

[00:44:52] George B. Thomas: works. It sells it, but no, seriously. Liz, what advice would you give people?

[00:44:57] Liz Moorehead: Ask yourself, who is the version of yourself that you're going to meet there, and then approach answering that question over the course of those three days from a place of curiosity, not assumption.

[00:45:07] Devyn Bellamy: That was clean. It was like she had that in her back pocket the whole time.

[00:45:11] George B. Thomas: Somebody needs to rewind that. Yeah, some. Somebody needs to rewind that. I can just feel it that somebody was listening to that and they need to rewind.

[00:45:19] Liz Moorehead: George, I want you to take us out with your answer to this

[00:45:23] George B. Thomas: Oh god. Okay.

[00:45:24] Liz Moorehead: You have the ability to walk up to George who has just stepped foot in club inbound for the first time. He's looking around, he's taking in all the lights, and you're able to gently come up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder and say one sentence, what is it?

[00:45:40] George B. Thomas: I hate this by the way.

[00:45:41] Liz Moorehead: You are welcome. That's what you get. That's what you

[00:45:44] George B. Thomas: Liz knows that I get emotional anytime I get a chance to talk to myself. And so she loves to ask me this question. I I, I really, at this point this year with, with what's happened, I would just put my hand on my shoulder and I would be like, dreams do come true, dude. Dreams do come true. You dreamt about this in 2012. Guess what? you're here now. Go get it.

[00:46:09] Liz Moorehead: And on that note, I wish everyone, the marries of inbounds. Gentlemen, I appreciate you indulging me in this conversation this week. cause I think these are the types of conversations where personally I think this is what makes our show, our show.

Because, and, and I'm gonna say this to the listeners as well, and if there are ever any other big questions you want us to tackle, please don't hesitate to let us know in our community community dot hub heroes.com.

But I wanna throw this out there. Some version of these conversations should be existing wherever inbound it is discussed in your organization, wi among your teams, among disparate practitioners connected by a community. At some point you have to hit the pause button and say, how did we get here? Where are we going?

Why is this important to us? What's changed? What's stayed the same? Now, today's conversation that we had really was centered around inbound, but it could literally the event itself, but it could literally be about anything. So I would ask you all to take a moment. And with curiosity, again, probe, what are the conversations you're not having?

What are the questions you haven't asked of yourself and of others? And next week I'll be back with terrible poetry. That's right, guys. But not this week. Keeping it

[00:47:23] George B. Thomas: Dang it. I didn't hit the stop button quick

[00:47:26] Liz Moorehead: I know.