Attending business or industry-related conferences is a critical component of keeping your “pro” skills relevant and up-to-date. Earlier this month, I was blessed to attend one of the most informative and inspirational events that I have ever been to.
I initially decided to go to this particular event, called 2×4 Live, because one of my clients co-created it. She and her three other colleagues—all of whom are seasoned business women in their fields—would be the keynote speakers.
I would have a chance to learn from leaders with a combined total of more than 50 years of entrepreneurial wisdom!
Although, I have about 20 years of experience working for large corporations or non-profits in the editorial world, I am fairly new at running my own business. So, for me at this point, it made more sense to invest in a business conference rather than an industry event.
As I expected, the speakers’ messages were amazing, and chalked-full of practical how-to information to move my current business and new business ideas forward.
And, the conference also blew away my expectations in a few unexpected ways:
- I benefitted from hearing wisdom that will apply to my business challenges well down the road, but I received the extra blessing of planning for those situations now.
I could not have predicted how much I would learn from my fellow attenders/entrepreneurs. They had questions that I, as a relative newbie in entrepreneurship, would not have thought about asking. People around our group were at all different levels and had various types of expertise.
- The commraderie and the friendships formed faster than I could have imagined—we had a new community less than 48 hours after we met. People talked about future get-togethers and extended invitations to visit in their homes.
- My husband got to come with me unexpectedly; having two minds collaborate to apply what we learned will be so much more productive than if I had been on my own. We also felt blessed to share the story of our adventures—from how we met later in life to how we grow closer together as we explore God’s magnificent creation. You can read about some of those adventures on my husband’s blog, Hiking with Your Honey. He shares lessons from the trail that apply to marriage, relationships and life.
So, what are my additional “pro” take-aways?
- Be openminded, and you will learn from people and places you had never thought of. I had no idea how much I would learn from people, 95% of whom are in a completely different industry. But because many of them are writing books, they may become clients.
- Follow leaders and do what they do. I went to this conference mainly because someone I respect had created the event and was speaking.
- Keep learning and interact with others along the way. I personally feel more comfortable learning anonymously to a recorded teaching, but I know something much more powerful happens in personal interaction. Online live events or phone calls are a great start, but try to plan to get away at least once a year—or even more often, if you are able to. I know I wouldn’t have even thought of starting my business without my writers’ group. So, find a group of people with common interests locally that you can have face time (not just screen time) with. These are often available through churches, through meetup.com, Facebook and other sources.
- Record whatever you learn, and type up your take-aways shortly after you return. I believe that God orchestrates every step I take, and I don’t often understand the timing of circumstances right away. But, as I go about my daily life, being diligent to complete the tasks in front of me, the dots start to connect. I begin to gain understanding and I start to see the pieces fit together.
Be blessed in your own “pro” journey!
P.S. If you are considering writing a book or if you are nearly finished with one, you would benefit from taking an upcoming phone in class “An Overview of the Editing Process,” Monday, May 9, 2016, at 8 p.m. EST. I am co-teaching this class with the client I mentioned above, Kayla Fioravanti, a experienced serial entrepreneur, who owns Selah Press.
If you register before May 1, the class is only $7.