My year doesn't really kick into gear until I come back from my first conference--Alt Summit. Alt Summit is a business conference for creatives and bloggers. There are sessions on entrepreneurship, using your business to do good, social media promotion, and more.
This was my third year attending Alt Summit and first speaking so I had a different frame of reference going into the conference than years past. Here are the seven things I learned at Alt Summit.
1. There are no rules.
Think someone is too big for you to go talk to them? Think again. The worst that will happen is that you hear no.
2. No isn't personal.
No can mean I don't have enough margin to do justice to your amazing project at the moment.
Practice getting no's. Tiffany Han has a 100 Rejection Letters project she's doing in 2015. The goal isn't 100 rejections; the goal is to just start, to find the one yes--the yes that represents the right collaborator, her dream brand, and so on.
3. No one has better answers for what you need to do than you.Many successful entrepreneurs, creatives, and bloggers often feel like frauds, like they're just "faking it" until they make it. They have doubts about what they're doing just like you. When Lisa Congdon's keynote video goes live you absolutely have to listen to it (sign up for their newsletter (go to their home page scroll down and add your email address under Connect With Us) or stalk them on Twitter and Facebook--disclaimer: I consult for Alt Summit).
There is incredible power and connection when we realize we're all in this together and we're all making it up as we go along. Start with an educated guess, assumption, or hypothesis. Do the work. Look at the results. Refine your hypothesis. Repeat.
4. Thank you's and genuine compliments are the highest currency you can share.
Solo entrepreneurs, creatives, and bloggers often work alone. There is little affirmation that you're making a difference--you hope you are and you hold that in your heart, but you never know for sure.
At each of the past two Alt Summit conferences I have attended, someone has told me I made a difference.
This year was the first time I spoke at a conference. When someone told me my roundtable was the highlight of their conference I was overwhelmed with emotion.
5. Work (or a set, fixed plan) is never that important.
You may think that attending every session or event is what matters and where you'll get the most value. Trust those accidental hallway encounters.
For those conversations where I was truly present, I learned something about myself and formed a lasting connection even if our paths only cross virtually in the future. One discussion spawned an idea of working through Hilary Rushford's Four Part Entrepreneurial Cocktail eBook. If anyone wants to work through the eBook with us, sign up for my free Letters to Entrepreneurs (bi-monthly) newsletter and purchase her eBook (the best $28 you will ever spend if you do the work; I'm not earning a referral fee for saying that or making the recommendation). We'll go through the workbook and questions together and hold each other accountable.
6. Find yourself a "moment trigger."
Dallas Clayton talks about finding a song or a something that can pull you out of the grey times. Your trigger lifts you up, clears your head--it always makes you smile no matter what is going on around you.
My moment trigger is "Best Day Of My Life
" (*affiliate link) by American Authors. And when I discovered Gilit of Shoes Off Please (update 3/1/17: site was last updated 12/2015) and The Bannerie (update 3/1/17: the shop has since been closed) had the same song as I did for her trigger I got chills. I play this song at least (if not more) each day. It reminds me that no matter how crazy a day may get, I chose this. The craziness wasn't forced upon me or my team as a result of an arbitrary, managerial decision.
7. FaceTime is a parent's best friend, but it's not perfect.
I missed a few FaceTimes with my family, but seeing other business owners, creatives, and bloggers also sneaking FaceTime chats in between sessions or events, reminded me I'm not alone. We're all juggling motherhood and our businesses.
We're all faced with making "intentional neglect" choices--what area of our life or business will we temporarily put on hold. And sometimes our timing is off; little ones aren't always interested. Kipper and Monkey George often come first.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
DISCLOSURE: I currently consult with Altitude Summit as Social Media Director and did not pay for my ticket to this event.
This post contains affiliate links, followed by (*affiliate link). I feature products that I own or that I am considering purchasing. I own all of the products included in the post. All opinions presented are my own.