My goal for 2016: invest in myself and go to a conference that will help me grow. How I stumbled upon Creative at Heart, I don’t recall. Probably an Instagram post that lead me to another post that lead me to another post and boom: I found the conference I needed to go to. I was a bit bummed when their conference in Denver was only a few months after my son was born, but I wasn’t going to miss their last one of the year, so I signed up for the Memphis conference in November. I mean, Memphis. Why not?
My expectations: I didn’t have any. I just wanted to soak everything in. And as I sit here and reflect, one month later, I still get goosebumps. Never have I met so many like-minded women in the same room as myself.
I’ve always had a hard time explaining what I do:
Oh, you design invitations? Like for a baby shower? (Yes, but it’s more than that.)
I bet it’s nice to work at home and spend time with your kids. (Well, my three kids go to school & daycare so I can work. Have you ever tried to work with kids around? I have.)
I bet it’s nice to work for yourself. (Yes, it is. Except when I didn’t get a maternity leave. And when I’m the only one who works on every aspect of a project. And that business development/accounting/HR/marketing/social media….that’s all me too.)
But these ladies got it. They got it so much when I would talk about my goals, my dreams, my frustrations…heads nodded. Words of encouragement and relation came from their mouths. I wasn’t quite expecting such a connection.
The Peabody Hotel was a great backdrop to this amazing gathering of people. (Yes, I saw the ducks. They were fantastic.) The speakers, top notch. A few I have to point out:
Jen Olmstead with Tonic Site Shop – I loved listening to Jen speak and she was one of my panel leaders and I felt we coulda chatted about marketing, branding, etc all day. She was the second speaker and after her, I knew I was at the right place to get my business to the next level. My takeaway from Jen: Build your brand and your ideal client will come. Connect through content.
Krista & Davey Jones – Loved these two. And they really help me put SEO perspectives into place. I kinda knew what I was doing, but now I know more of the why behind it. Plus more. My takeaway: doing the little things on my website and blog that can make a big difference on the web.
Mary & Justin – My roommate in Memphis said she saw Mary Marantz in the lobby. She was awestruck. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t know who she was talking about. But I get it now. Mary is now someone I follow and want to learn more from. Her talk was on pricing. I have no idea the details of pricing she shared. But I gained a lot from her talk. I loved how she showed examples of where they started to where they are now. I could relate and it gave me confidence to be okay with changes I’ve been considering. My takeaway from Mary: acting like a CEO and be willing to do the work (it’s suppose to be hard….love the photo below).
Katelyn James – Her and Mary are hand-in-hand in my book as amazing business women who have set the bar high. I coulda listened to Katelyn talk all day. She has a great story. So much I took away from her talk. Highlights include: sharing more about myself; live in freedom, not fear; make small changes first.
And I gotta give big props to Kat Schmoyer on her vision of this conference and bringing so many people who can benefit from each other together. I understand the work it takes to put something like this together. And three of them in a year….for real. You deserve a vacation.
I got an email from two of my friend after my conference. They asked how it was. My answer: Life changing. They thought I was joking. I wasn’t. It was. Yes, a conference. And I can’t wait to make some big strides in myself and my business because of it.