Getting my butterfly back has not been easy. My wings are tired, my energy levels are low, and I would like to go back into my cocoon.
It has been 5 weeks since my husband had open heart surgery to bypass two arteries that had given him problems in the past. As soon as we knew he needed the surgery my inspiration in my work withered. My motivation took a detour away from me and I found myself on a highway to Hell paved with the ups and downs of exhaustion, fear, stress, and yes throw in terror when he almost bled out and needed a second exploratory surgery.
Bringing him home 11 days later meant I became his caregiver, chauffeur, and all those other things he used to do but couldn’t (and still can’t in some cases for 3 more weeks.)
Now it has been 8+ weeks and I am in search of getting the butterfly back. I had put two podcasts on hiatus. In January I had started a new community project and that went on hold. I also had a big light bulb moment to help grow my husband’s business and that also went on hold. You know how that excitement feels when you have a brand new idea that you know is just fabulous and then you suddenly find yourself having to take a detour? That is me. I was treading water in a sea of disappointment.
I am on a mission to regain my excitement and I know it will happen but dammit I am not a patient person and I want it back now.
Yesterday while we were putting the finishing touches on our Federal Income tax filing Larry told me how this year it is imperative that we set aside money every time we earn it. For the past 12 years we have attended conference after conference together and we had big travel expenses and good deductions to take. Right now we have no business conferences scheduled because we have conference sized medical bills to pay for first.
This got me thinking about conferences in general and why it is important to be very selective in what you choose to attend and of course the cost involved which includes the potential for return on investment.
Without meaning to sound egotistical I do know many major thought leaders in the world of online marketing, podcasting, creating, because I have attended some of the biggest and best conferences in the country.
I selected conferences that gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with people I would never meet locally. This is why I do not attend local conferences. My business is national, make that international and in making this choice I have become actual friends with some super terrific people, I have had them as guests on my podcast show, and when I ask them a question, I get an answer.
I am not saying attending local conferences is a bad thing but you should be attending conferences where the person heading it is well-respected in the industry, and truly cares about helping the attendees succeed and not just the money.
Do your homework, vet the people speaking. Vet the person holding the conference. This is your money and you need to spend it wisely.
Choose a conference where you can meet people that can make a difference in your business. We all go to learn so make sure that you are leaving with new ideas that you will use.
Conferences are an investment and while this year may not be a conference year for me, I do have my eyes on NAB next year (National Association of Broadcasting) and possibly a conference in podcasting as long as I can learn something new as well as meet exciting people I can build relationships with because I can have lunch with my local peers year round, but a stellar conference opportunity may come only once a year.