A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet some of the most creative and inspiring women in Virginia at the Creative at Heart Conference. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was one of the more random, overwhelming, and emotional decisions I’ve ever made, and I don’t regret a single second of it!
Not to long ago I was really sick and getting a bit stir crazy, and with that came a lot of self doubt! I felt like I was doing everything wrong as a business owner and was feeling unreasonably doubtful in myself! And what better way to accompany those thoughts than by sulk/stalking successful entrepreneurs on instagram!
However this time, I just so happened to stumble across “Creative at Heart”. I went to the web-site and felt immediately uplifted. I've been wanting to go to a conference, but I always talked myself out of going to them because I didn't want to take time off of work, I didn't feel like I was ready enough, and the financial reasons. But I really felt God on my heart telling me to take this leap. That I did not stumble across this particular conference to add on my "one day" list, and with that I did the riskiest business move I've ever done. I invested in myself!
My introverted, afraid to take vacation, stressed out to leave the house for over a night, went all the way to a town in Virginia I've never heard of before by myself to a conference that has never been done before! Seriously I don't know what I was thinking, but I just knew it was right. I kept telling myself how important it is as a creative to take time to speak with other creatives. How you NEED to invest in yourself. A lot of my lack of confidence came from the fact that I was not making the proper goals to do that. If you are a small business owner I cannot express enough how important it is to take these risks!
If you keep giving yourself excuses to not invest in yourself. How are you going to expect people to invest in you!
The first day of the conference I can remember sitting in front of my folder with my cup of coffee just anxious to see...
...what have I gotten myself into!
Well, after the first speaker I really got the perspective of what I got myself into. I was going to get the heart of these small business owners! Like the deep down being of who they are as business owners. It was so inspiring, encouraging, and eye-opening. I really learned that everything I was going through I was not alone! A mix of that and learning marketing strategies, dealing with e-mail, work/life balance, branding, the ins and outs of social media. But what was so amazing was the breathing space we were allotted and encouraged to go up and talk with the speakers and panelist. Asking them questions, laughing, and sharing that you admire them as a creative! Sharing books, podcasts, secret weapon tools. Laughing and awing over client stories. Really just understanding the amount of hard work you put in every day into your business. Completely relating to the fact you can feel like a "Boss Lady" and on top of your day and the next day feeling like a failure.
In our panel group we had such an intense debate and conversations about auto-response e-mails, putting price lists on your web-site, the pros/cons on having coffee with a future client. Really just the nitty-gritty business stuff, that isn't as fun as speaking about off camera flash, how to pose, or what to do in tough lighting situations.
Instead we talked about the behind the scenes elements that make you professional, successful, and legal.
Seriously I just want to thank every one of these small business owners from the bottom of my creative heart! Each one of you poured so much into me.
And this absolute wonderful group of friends I made along the way. I get so excited to see all the new revamping of web-sites, branding, and blogging, how we are still reaching out to each other. How we are