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My Online Role Model Has Died: A Tribute to Scott Dinsmore

After a long week of hustling in my design business, a much needed self-care just for me day was long overdue.

Sitting at my favorite restaurant enjoying my favorite appetizer, fried pepper jack cheese sticks, I scrolled my Facebook feed to catch up the latest and greatest news of the day.

Amidst the pictures of my friends’ kids first day of school and the news of Facebook’s launch of their new Dislike button, a status update popped into my feed from Zen Habits.

The name Scott Dinsmore caught my eye.

Scott Dinsmore - I Miss You Deeply by Leo Babauta

“Leo must miss Scott a bunch”, I immediately thought.

It had been several months since Scott and his wife Chelsea embarked on a year long around the world trip. They had sold all of their belongings, packed up a couple of back packs and set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

I was envious and a little jealous.

I took a sip of my drink and continued to read the rest of the headline.

Scott Dinsmore, creator of Live Your Legend, died in a freak accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro a couple days ago. He was one of my best friends in the world.

I instantly burst into tears.


Disbelief raced through my thoughts. This must be a dreadful mistake. Maybe Facebook was messing up my News Feed again.

I searched the Internet looking for verification or better yet, someone to debunk the story. I prayed it was a hoax.

It wasn’t.

At 33 years old, Scott Dinsmore had been struck in the head and fatally wounded by a falling boulder while hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

“How could this be?” I thought, my face now drenched in tears.

“Why was I so emotional about Scott’s death?” I wondered. Sure, I had followed him online, watched his TED talk, read his blog posts and followed along in his Live Your Legend community, but I had never met him personally.

Little did he realize he had a tremendous influence on my life. An impact which resulted in you reading these words today.

Scott Dinsmore helped me start writing and blogging.

It was 2012 when I discovered Scott Dinsmore and his “Live Off Your Passion” course. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have a clear “why“.

I had lots of passions, but couldn’t see how a particular one could bring in enough money to live off of it.

The first task in Scott’s course was to do something so far outside of your comfort zone that the very thought of doing it makes your heart pound like it was going to jump out of your chest.

“Hmmmm…” I thought. I wasn’t sure what that would be.

I opened the local newspaper, like I did every week, and saw a small ad for a newspaper reporter/writer.

“Could this be what Scott was talking about?” I contemplated.

“Oh what the hell”, I thought and contacted the newspaper editor.

Two days later, I became a stringer for the paper and was given my first assignment. My editor wanted me to interview a little boy who several months earlier had been accidentally shot in the head. Before his injury, the little boy thoroughly enjoyed playing with trains. During his recovery, his family had arranged for him to take a ride on a real-life train when his doctor’s felt he was healed up enough to go.

I kept the entire thing a secret – even from my friends, family and husband.

I wasn’t prepared for the rush of energy right before the interview. I was invited to ride the train and in between questions, shot pictures of the adventure to give to the family later on.

The story ran in the paper the following week. I was so excited and almost spilled the beans to my hubby on several occasions.

It was the moment I saw my words in print that I became hooked on writing. 100%.

Who knew?

I didn’t. My husband didn’t.

Scott Dinsmore did. Scott’s course pushed me to stretch outside my comfort zone. To reach for something I didn’t think I could achieve. To fearfully take a step into an area that I had no experience in and hoping that decision didn’t come back to bit me in the backside.

The tears have returned as I write these words.

They’re a mixed blend of happy, sad and missing you tears.

Thankfully, they’re grateful tears. I’m indebted to Scott for creating a course and space for thousands of us to discover our passion and follow it with all our hearts, minds and souls. His legacy will continue…….


Did Scott have an impact on your life or your business? I’d love to hear your story too. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Colleen Conger

Colleen Conger is owner and lead pixel alchemist (graphic designer & photo specialist) at Digital Photo and Design, LLC and web designer/developer at Think.Web.Go. She's a font freak and geeky tech girl. Connect with her personally on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. You can also follow Digital Photo and Design on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Dribbble.