Relationships and Big Dreams | My time at Creative at Heart

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?

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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