Someone asked me recently about how it was that I came to be in a position of working full time from home, even with having and raising and homeschooling five kiddos. The truth is, every major project, opportunity, and job that has come to me has been through connections made with brilliant colleagues at quality conferences and events like New Media Expo. The first year I spoke at New Media Expo I was 35 weeks pregnant and connected with someone who not only became a friend, but later recommended a large client to me. Years down the road, and totally unexpected, I might add.
And I think that’s part of the beauty of these things for me. Looking back five years down the road you see threads of connections, introductions, and opportunities that you simply cannot plan out in advance. In many ways, though, I think it’s inevitable. When you invest in yourself and invest in your business, and then connect with brilliant people who are also invested in their entrepreneur endeavors, magic can happen.
When beginning bloggers ask me about how to take things to the next level investing in a good quality conference is one of the top things on the list.
Overcoming the Challenges to Attending:
“I can’t afford it” is a common complaint but I will tell you – I’ve never attended a conference that wasn’t worth the money in some form or fashion. Whether through a direct client, new friend that I’ve made, or someone who inspired me to continue on my journey. I regularly reinvest in my business and have a dedicated 10-20% of any earnings earmarked for the future. I also go frugal – I’ve even packed foods in my suitcase to save money when I was on a tight budget. Share a room with someone to split the costs because if you conference right you won’t be spending much time in the room anyway.
#NMX Special Twitter Chat and Giveaway! RSVP for a twitter chat about New Media Expo and be entered to win so you can save even more money that way too! Let’s connect on Twitter this Wednesday, March 18th at 12pm EST.
“What about my kids?” Oh man the kids. Kids can be a huge challenge for a work-at-home mom but I’ve handled this a variety of ways. I’ve brought someone with me to caretake a nursing baby during the times I was speaking at conferences with a tiny baby. Sometimes my husband can get off work and watch the kids, or they go to grandma’s house for the weekend. I’ve even brought a homeschooled teen along who would have day-time availability, experience with kiddos, and would be able to take advantage of the fun things to do around the area.
I give 100% to my kids almost every day – 24/7 most days of the week. So I think it’s important for them to ALSO see their mother learning new things, going places, speaking, and taking risks. And that’s really what it boils down to. Investing in yourself and your business can be a huge risk. It’s much easier to sit and do the same old thing than to take a risk and go through the hassle of breaking your typical routine. But it’s SO WORTH IT.
This year I’m going to New Media Expo and I’m so excited to be getting back. Since the last time I attended I’ve published two full-length books with Penguin House publishing, self-published three books, launched the Homestead Bloggers Network, launched a course to help other aspiring self-publishers achieve their publishing dreams, and began working full-time with Element Associates as a content strategist. So I’m in a very different place than I was 3 years ago but more excited than ever to see the great line up of speakers and catch up with everyone.
I’m not sure if I’m more excited about seeing old friends, meeting new people, or learning something awesome. For me they are all key to keeping my business moving forward. What are you going to do this year to move your business forward? If you haven’t scheduled something yet – put it down in writing and made that investment – this is the time! May I suggest coming with me to New Media Expo? See you there!