If you do nothing else to alter the status quo of your life and business, attend a conference hosted by a leader in your industry.
Venturing out on your own to work on your business (or life, health, relationships, etc.) is a huge game changer!
Last weekend I went out to Long Beach, CA for Lisa Sasevich’s Impact and Influence conference. What an eye-opener! The experience changed my perspective and attitude, allowing me to focus on systems and strategies rather than the rote tasks that usually consume my days.
While I welcomed the shift, I knew I wouldn’t be completely comfortable. Travel means lack of sleep and a change in regular diet and workouts. No yoga, no kickboxing. Ouch. (I did manage to get some weightlifting in at the local Golds Gym, thank goodness.) It also means leaving your home and business in someone else’s hands for a few days — time to trust the other team member at the helm. It’s a surrender, but all journeys have the ability to change your life in some way. The hard part is finding time and space to venture out.
If the prospect of your productivity lapsing for a day or two, or the thought of losing your stride makes you nervous, you might need some extra motivation to justify the investment in a trip like this. If that’s the case, let me help you out. I was worried about that too, but when I returned home I realized I’d given myself, my clients, my family and my business a gift by taking this trip. If you’re having trouble justifying a trade show, conference or retreat, let me share a few very good reasons to take the plunge.
1. Meeting people with a similar mindset, purpose or objective reminds you why you’ve chosen your path.
2. Seeing new, interesting sights jumpstarts creativity.
3. You get the chance to study something new without distractions. It might seem a little self-serving, but recognize that’s a good thing — especially if you are in the business of serving others.
4. The thrill in meeting a coach whose work you admire and immersing yourself in his/her teachings.
5. When you change your routine, you learn to accommodate unusual working conditions. Responding to email, working from your laptop, and making phone calls on the road is different from doing them at your desk in the usual places. The shake-up forces you to do it differently and with new eyes.
6. It’s good to get away from the usual 5 people you surround yourself with. You know the old adage about how you become like the five people you are around the most? Taste life with new influences upon you and you see if your usual acquaintances are serving or hindering your higher mission in your work and life.
7. Making new choices — like what you choose to work on given your insights from your journey — triggers insights in to what is important to you now and what your next steps will be. Pay attention to these choices while that door of possibility is open because it will close quickly as soon as you get home if you let it! Write those discoveries down.
8. Traveling alone highlights your bigger life journey. If you are in a gregarious phase, you will meet many new people. If you are feeling more introspective you will absorb more information and how it applies to you and your business. Your conference experience amplifies where you are in your life.
9. You’ll create new challenges for yourself. Use down time between sessions to sort through next steps. Decide what you will use and what you will leave behind at the conference.
10. If you work from home, it’s a great opportunity to walk and talk like the professional you are. Maybe you’re like me and you spend half your time working in yoga pants. A conference is a great opportunity to step out.
11. You get to squeeze in some shopping or sightseeing in a new locale.
12. Opportunity to engage in charitable giving and discover what other people need. If you pay attention, you’ll be exposed to causes you would never have heard of before.
13. It’s a great opportunity to blog and post new content on social media sites.
14. You can ask questions from a new group of people and get new kinds of answers you’re not be used to hearing.
15. If you actually implement what you learn, your investment pays off.
16. It’s a little uncomfortable — especially if you venture out alone. Travel alone so that you are free to talk to strangers and follow where the spirit moves you. If that scares you a little, take heart; bravery raises the grain in your character and opens your mind to new skills.
17. You expand your circle in no time, forming easy friendships with those you dine, drink, laugh and even dance with. Yes, we cut a rug after the first day. What a way to grease the wheels of friendship!
18. Networking! You’re guaranteed to form new business liaisons. Meeting new people opens the possibility of expanding your business in some way, either increasing leads or recognizing new affiliate relationships. The opportunities are everywhere.
19. Imagine the confidence you’ll feel knowing that everything and everyone survived just fine without you for a few days. In fact, your colleagues, friends, children and spouse will reap the benefits of your rest and rejuvenation.
20. You’ll return with renewed purpose. If you’re doing what you are meant to be doing, your path seems like it has fewer kinks. If you’ve been off course, you’ll have a better idea how to correct it.
21. Long term effects: When you return home, you’ll probably have a thick binder full of course materials to consume, projects to finish, people to contact, and references to investigate, etc. If you enjoyed the experience, you can easily keep the momentum going after a well-orchestrated event. You’ll have more than enough on your plate to keep you busy and engaged for at least several weeks after the conference.
If you’re on the fence about attending that out-of-town conference and you’re not sure if you can afford to take a day or two off, consider this last point. What is it costing you to do the same old thing? Occasionally venturing out to meet and learn from “like minds” is required to take your business to the next level and drink in the motivation and energy to take those next steps. Just do it.