1) A full house can boost your confidence. I love speaking about topics I am passionate about- online marketing, social media, community building, but a room full of twitterers can make the best of them feel a little nervous. One wrong move and it’s cyber tomatoes for you. I never thought a full room could boost your confidence. There had been a mix up on the schedule (I was double booked for a panel and my talk on Facebook!), so I wasn’t expecting many people at all. I was truly gateful and humbled when I saw people sitting on the floor with their laptops and standing by the door. At that moment, I realized that I couldn’t let the crowd down. I couldn’t afford to be nervous! I had to give them a presentation that would make standing at back of the room for an hour worth it! I truly felt empowered by the people’s trust-and it’s a great feeling!
2) Face-to-Face connections are crucial. Since my work (and the company itself!) is virtual, it’s easy to forget how funny and heartwarming personal interactions can be. Virtual watercoolers are excellent, but there is much to be said about real interaction. It was a pleasure meeting people I have only connected with online. There were lots of dinners, inside jokes, and yes…twittering.
3) Never let someone else’s limits be your own. This is such a big lesson, it can be a post on it’s own! When you start a business, you have to start with some boundaries-mostly for sanity’s sake. But as it evolves, you also have to be able to find what works for you. Yesterday’s boundaries may not work tomorrow. This lesson didn’t come out of any one session in particular, but was just a looming feeling I had the entire time. And what do I do when I get that feeling? I take the business to the next level. I am like that woman in the movie Chocolat where she feels the change shifting in the wind. (Hint: Cool changes coming soon).
4) The ability to work virtually is an amazing gift. While I basked in meeting my online colleagues face-to-face, I also rejoiced in my ability to not miss a beat with my clients. If I had my laptop with me, I could keep working. I replied emails, scheduled training sessions, and even spoke to prospects. It fills me with gratitude to have so much flexibility in my work.
5) No amount of planning replaces action. Okay, so this lesson I knew. But, boy was it reinforced at Blog World! I have copious amounts of notes, a plethora of ideas, a vision so bright that I am glowing, but I know that none of it matters unless I have put it into action. If you don’t see some exciting changes in the next few months, find me on Facebook and ask! I love how accountable you guys keep me.