Big huge thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winners!
Big news, you guys! I’m happy to let you all know that I’m giving away not one, not two, but THREE free tickets to Alt for Everyone, the online version of the wildly popular Altitude Design Summit in SLC. Alt for Everyone will be happening September 26th thru the 28th and there’s a wide variety of topics you can learn about. Yours truly is speaking on the topic of branding on Friday the 27th and I’d love to have you in my class.
Ok, included in the giveaway with each ticket (a $135 value) is the following:
- 7 online classes of your choice
- 1 online keynote session
- 1 virtual social meet-up
And don’t forget a box full of goodies will show up in your mailbox as well! Happy commenting, and good luck!
This last weekend I was honored to be included as a speaker at Amber Housley Inspired, and it was a fantastic experience. My friend Whitney says it best – “there’s nothing like bonding with other creatives in a ballroom.” Or in this case, a meeting room at a hotel. I learned so much from some really amazing creative women – people who I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise if I hadn’t shown up. Speaking of awesome creative women, you should really check out Jess Lively, Amy Flurry, and Cathy Olson. You’re welcome.
Stacy Nance and I drove out to Nashville last Wednesday together and let me just tell you, it gets real with people REAL FAST when you spend 10 hours in a car with someone. Stacy is totally my girl – we get each other, and it was really fun to have that much time to really understand who she is, what she’s about, and what she wants to become. The next morning bright and early was the beginning of the conference and it covered all different kinds of topics related to small business for creatives – everything from blogging to branding to web design & SEO, financial planning, you name it. I came away with LOADS of new ideas, new contacts, new friendships, and more.
I’ve been to a handful of creative conferences, summits, and workshops now. And it’s never a cheap endeavor to go to one of these things. Initially there’s usually hesitation – “Am I really going to benefit from this?” And beyond that, it can induce major anxiety, especially for those who might be more introverted and aren’t sure about meeting new people. These experiences have great potential for becoming majorly overwhelming – and almost stifling, if you let it. But I honestly believe that showing up is half of the problem. All you have to do is make the decision to go – and I PROMISE you’re going to benefit from it.
For me, I want to connect with people at these things – so I think it’s really important that even if you go with a group of other people that you know, try to get out of that group so you’re forced to interact with people you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Alt Summit is a great way to do that – it’s overwhelming for sure, almost like the first day of college – but my number one piece of advice is try to go sit down next to someone new at every single panel. Sit at a different lunch table. You won’t regret it.
Rooming with people is another great way to forge some long-lasting friendships and support groups. Simon always looks at me like I’m crazy when I’ve told him that I’m rooming with people I don’t know (like at Stationery Academy last year). But again – those late night conversations that happen when you’re figuring out the problems of the world really are the best parts. Those are the places where the magic happens. Ideas are born, collaborations are formed – big stuff goes down.
I always come away from an event like Amber Housley Inspired with pages of notes of things I want to accomplish. It really is refreshing to go to something that forces me to focus on who I am, and what I want to become. It’s a retreat almost – I’m meeting with my tribe and even though it’s exhausting, it’s the thing that will light my fire for the next 6 months.
What are all those big things I want to accomplish? More on that at a later date – but in the meantime, I’m going to keep mentally watering the seeds of all the good stuff that was planted in my brain over the weekend.
image source // graphics by me for PSS
One thing I’ve learned after attending a few extremely-inspiring conferences is that you come home on fire and with approximately 2.38billion ideas in your head. WHAT WILL I DO?! WHERE WILL I GO?! WHO SHALL I EMAIL NOW?!?!?!
So what do you do with all that post-awesome energy? You channel it into a tangible list of to-dos. Here’s mine:
1. I’m not going to lie: this one is the hardest one for me. Hiring help. Isn’t it true that most of us have a hard time asking for help? I know I do. So I’m going to be working on developing a plan to hire an assistant to help with Etsy convos and customer service issues. I need more time to focus on design – the thing I do best.
2. Additionally, I want to launch an eCommerce site this year in addition to my Etsy site. My traffic is finally big enough to support it (blog traffic has grown 30% in the last month ALONE! You guys ROCK!)
3. Attending the media kit panel was a good choice because there were some great ideas thrown out there on how to improve your media kit.
4. Additionally, I met with some fantastic sponsors who got my wheels spinning on some great ideas. More on this later.
5. Licensing has been a fantastic thing that grew out of my experience at Alt Summit in 2012. I’m hopeful to expand that facet of my career into 2013.
6. No more explanation needed on this one: I’m always looking to improve Pencil Shavings Studio’s look with better photos, better product styling, and better packaging.
7. Finally, I want to attend Surtex and the Stationery Show this year in May. I’m not looking to exhibit, but I want to attend as a way to meet new people and make new connections. This has been on the list for YEARS, people. YEARS. 2013 is the year of MAKING IT HAPPEN. This is going to be the Year of the Show Stopper.
Are you fired up yet? Because I am. What are YOU going to make happen in 2013?
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