Just because “content is king” and readily available, doesn’t mean that its quality meets your needs for your personal and professional development and growth. Not even close… Indeed, there are many great ways for you to “sharpen the saw” as Steven Covey discusses in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”—and getting out from behind your desk to attend conferences, workshops, and live trainings offers you an opportunity you’ll simply never find anywhere else.
Too busy, too introverted, too costly, too overwhelming, too (insert just about any excuse here) and I’ll completely agree with you. You don’t belong at conferences.
Entrepreneurs serious about the success of their business, on the other hand, know the value of person-to-person connection and exchange and in fact, budget for it annually and consistently. It is an integral part of their business strategy.
You see, what happens when you choose to show up at conferences can never be simulated behind the desk. Period.
DEVELOPMENT and GROWTH
Getting out from behind your desk to stimulate your mind in new ways from other people in your industry gets your own flow of new ideas going. In fact, coming back from a conference more often than not welcomes new, sharper and more strategic ideas for you to follow through more efficiently and effectively. This is why I think we see certain individuals in the same industry bust through glass ceilings while others just keep the cycle of trial and error going. Nothing beats live and often hands-on learning you can only get at a conference.
New environments outside your cubicle helps you flex that mind and find new perspective you might not have been able to see before. This is why teachers take their students outside to learn, or on a greater scale…why at least one of several board meetings are located away from the office. For entrepreneurs (often solopreneuers)—even if you’re sitting in a conference room at some hotel 400 miles away…it’s still new and away from your desk and in front of people sharing their expertise. It’s a win. Every. Single. Time.
Meeting people in your industry through a conference is an excellent way to share, connect and exchange. Conferences have the capacity to bring people together from all over the world you would otherwise never have had a chance to meet.
Networking is an excellent asset to building your reputation which in turn builds trust and opportunities for future partnerships, new clients or even your new mentor. Yep…that can’t happen as often sitting behind your desk.
When Maria Flynn (Your Digital Formula Operations Manager and creator of OneWiseLife.com) and I were able to meet in London for our first Your Digital Formula Event, the exchange solidified both our professional careers. Maria contends that each conference she’s attended has deepened professional relationships that expanded her business in ways even she didn’t dream of. Maria says many of those came purely from chance meetings at conferences she’s attended.
SUPPORT and SOLUTIONS
Working alone, we tend to forget that others out there have already been though what you’re going through now. Networking, exchanging ideas, and talking shop more often then not brings you support and solutions. Because you're at a conference, you’re naturally pre-disposed to mingling with people in your industry (both ahead of you and those just starting off). You may not only find support and solutions, but you may also be the one supporting and solving something for someone else. That feels good. Frankly, it’s those moments I love most because it also reminds me of how far I’ve come.
Nothing beats the feeling you get from offering a helping hand to another which only fuels me to keep going and growing my own business. This is part of being a heart centered entrepreneur, isn’t? Being of service is valuable. Being of service also goes a long way to building that Know, Like, Trust factor with others—and that’s hugely valuable to you and your business.
Well run conferences offer the opportunity for you to seek advice where you need it by offering question and answers sessions, break out sessions, or even smaller scale mastermind sessions—all of which help you focus, learn, find and offer support and keep you solution oriented.
Growth minded individuals coming together in one room with the intention to improve and develop themselves and their business creates an energy boost you're sure to experience. It's true, the level of energy is unclassifiable and undeniably one of the best experiences for entrepreneurs—especially online entrepreneurs who far too often find themselves doing everything “online.” It’s why entrepreneurs have their go-to conferences (they schedule around them, and they attend them, without fail.) Never. Never. Never will you find that alone behind your desk. Never.
The value of learning and networking for your own personal development and business growth is one that only you can place. Getting out of a rut and your comfort zones can be as easy as choosing to leave your desk to stimulate your brain in new ways.
You have to ask yourself…
“Is what I’m doing worth it?”
“Is what I’m doing meaningful enough to invest in the value of a conference, for myself and my business?”
“Is the education or ‘sharpening my saw’ important to me?”
You have to recognize the value of a conference and then have that internal discussion if you think you are worth it.
Well run conferences ensure distractions are at bay, the speakers come prepared with value and immediate take-aways, networking is made available, your interests in the education is top notch and beneficial to you (because conference leaders want you to experience success…and they also want you to come back for more the following year).
Investing in a conference is wise and it weaves seamlessly into a business strategy that often leads to some of the best ROI.