Tammy Helfrich

Life begins right where you are.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone

Last weekend, I attended my third Quitter conference, hosted by Jon Acuff. If you’ve read my blog or any of my tweets, you know what a big influence Jon has had on me over the last year. He has helped me learn to dream again, and learn to think differently about life. For that, I am incredibly grateful.

I went to the conference to help encourage other dreamers. I also went to gain inspiration and insight from people who are living their dreams. THAT is something that completely energizes me. I love to hear about what people are doing and be excited for them. My dream is to help others realize that their dream matters.

The energy and excitement that is in the air at Quitter is very difficult to describe if you haven’t been there. Every person in the room wants to live life differently. They want to change the world. It’s not very often that you get to be surrounded by and interact with 399 people who believe it.


Quitter Conference


I was thinking about how I could use the great insights that I learned. I take notes, and typically go back and look at them, but I wanted to do something different. Last year, my friend Christine did something that I really liked. She took visual notes from the Killer Tribes conference. I loved looking at them. Since I have difficulty drawing a stick figure, I immediately told her, “Wow, I could never do that!”

But, guess what? I decided that I needed to push myself completely out of my comfort zone and try it. I believe in the messages that Al Andrews, Matt Chambers, Jeff Goins, Alli Worthington, and Jon Acuff shared.  I’ll be blogging more about what I learned in the weeks to come, but today I am sharing my own visual notes.

This is a huge step for me to actually share these with anyone. I look at these and think about how someone else could do them better. That would be fear at its finest. However, maybe somebody will enjoy seeing them. I’m learning that in order to create, we sometimes have to be very uncomfortable when first showing our art to the world. That is my big step for today. Sharing these with you.

*My apologies to Alli. I was so fidgety during her session, that I ended up standing in the back of the room and didn’t take notes. I loved her session and really love her heart. One of my favorite lines from her session was “admitting what we are ashamed of kills shame.” Isn’t that so true?

Al Andrews

Download the pdf here: alandrews

Matt Chambers

Download the pdf here: mattchambers

Jeff Goins

(Special thanks to my 9 year old son who drew me a bridge after about 100 failed attempts on my part!) :)

Download the pdf here: jeffgoins

Jon Acuff

(I could do 10 pages, but tried to narrow it down to one!)

Download the pdf here: jonacuff

Is fear holding you back from something today? If so, face it head on and just do it!

Feel free to link to your work in the comments. I’d love to help you face your fear and share your art with the world.



  1. I love your visual notes – great info there…Thanks for sharing, Tammy!

  2. Tammy, these are amazing! So glad you decided to push past that fear and take a shot at doing something a little different!

  3. I love these, Tammy! I thought about going to Quitter this year, but my schedule wouldn’t allow it. I would love to pick your brain a little bit — I feel like I need to find a dream again.

    And I’ve done visual notes for awhile — I remember talks so much better that way. I’m so glad you were brave and shared these! :)

    • Thanks, Anna! I’d love to talk with you more. YOU are awesome at visual notes and are very artistic, which is why I’m always nervous about even trying it! Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it!

  4. Those are awesome, Tammy! I love the idea. It was great meeting you at the conference!

  5. these are so cool, Tammy! I especially love the Jeff Goins and Jon Acuff ones! we’d love to share this post in an Adventure Challenge highlight post on the tour blog if you don’t mind? this week’s challenge is about facing a fear and this fits so well! http://youtu.be/6d5u69ihoZ4

  6. These are so cool Tammy. Great way to help people visualize it.

  7. Beautiful! We would have missed out, if you hadn’t drawn and shared – Thank you!

  8. Tammy these were fantastic! I love Jon’s idea “Play to the size of your heart, not the size of the crowd” – that’s powerful!

  9. That’s awesome Tammy! And to say you couldn’t draw a stick figure. Those are great drawings. Looks like you got quite a bit out of Quitter. Thanks for sharing the insights.

  10. This is awesome! I took notes but nothing like that. I need to rethink that process and go back through mine. Love the visuals and seeing you break through that fear barrier. Great job! And keep going!

  11. I love the visual notes! As I’m trying to process through STORY and do it justice in a blog post, I feel like this is the only way to do it. If I had any creative handwriting/drawing talent, I would totally copy this idea. Instead, I may just fail trying. 😉

  12. these are great, Tammy! I never thought about doing visual notes like this but it really helps put it all together for someone who wasn’t there 😉

  13. LOVE these, Tammy! This is how I take notes, and try to get my students to do the same. So much more fun, and memorable, I think!

  14. Congrats, Tammy! It is so important to face those fears. Great notes, and cute, too!

  15. I love this. I may have to steal this stolen idea. :)

    I have a good friend who is a great artist, and she does stuff like this often. She draws in her journal when she doesn’t have the words, and I love it. I tried drawing in my journal too, and always felt that they paled in comparison to hers. But it’s my art, not hers. :)

  16. I love this idea! What a great way to visualize the conference! It was soooo AWESOME!!

  17. Finally got to read this Tammy & I love the post. Super creative & inspiring. Now I must go back & look at my quitter book again for more inspiration. So easy to stuff things in drawers & forget. I had such a great time at quitter I want to keep on remembering. I will definitely have to attend another conference!

  18. Just found your blog. Very cool! That stuff is so right. You can’t listen to the people not willing to dream. I did that for years. It wasn’t until I stopped listening to everyone say I couldn’t that I got my own office. Nice blog.

  19. Truly great stuff here! I hated that I was traveling and missed the Quitter conferences. But resonate with many of your words here.

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