I said ‘YES’! And, I’m so glad I did.
This caused some introspection, as it was not an “impulse buy”, by any means. I bought an event ticket (VERY reasonably priced, by the way), a plane ticket, booked lodging and a rental car, and set aside the time, with a fair amount of planning, to attend. I’m not a podcaster, yet. However, this is an area I wanted to learn more about, so aside from seeing and supporting my friend Shannon, I knew that this was the right choice and the right time for me, above all other conferences so far this year. The introspection came about because, although I’ve never attended, I’ve always been drawn to SXSW in Austin, Texas, an annual industry event which took place within a month of this conference. And, another conference surrounding the Social Media industry happened in San Diego, culminating the night before Podcast San Diego. Many, many of my business associates and friends were in attendance there, as well as SXSW. Why did I say yes to one, and not to the others?
As with most industries, mine offers almost weekly opportunities to register and attend a plethora of conferences, workshops, and meet ups. I’ve learned to choose carefully, and through the years, my criteria has changed. I used to attend just for fun; to “see and be seen”. I sometimes lament that I don’t attend every conference or meet up, and then I remember MY WHY, a cornerstone of my life, being at choice.
I admit, I’m a very thirsty girl. Every time I say “yes” to appearing somewhere in person, I consider several factors. One of the most important is the impact it will have on my personal and business growth. I make it a point to “stay thirsty”. Since I was a kid, my parents have told me that I used to sit and watch people whenever they had gatherings at our home. I quietly observe human behavior. This is true, even today, at airports and other large gatherings. I’m very much like that proverbial sponge, always soaking up lessons – whether in every day life or at conferences I’m attending. And I do it by watching, and listening.
“Time is money”, as my Mom always says (I’d argue even further that experience is invaluable). As with anyone, my time is at a premium.
No one has a corner on the “busy” market. We are all “maxed out” in some form or fashion. This makes my choices even more clear.
I attend events based on people. I purposely seek out certain people who I know I will be able to sit down and catch up with, and I make that happen, eye to eye. Bonus: I got to be with my dear friend Tim McDonald (catch him doing good at NoKidHungry and sign up for his #365DaysOfGiving – he’s giving away something FREE every day this year!). Double Bonus: I met my friends Shannon Hernandez and Jeff Sieh for the first time in person. And, I met an entirely new community of people who are fabulous. Wins!!
I attend events based on my thirst for information, which, for me, naturally leads to growth.
My personal thirst for knowledge and connectedness grows with time. And while it’s true that it’s important to stay thirsty, it’s nearly impossible to drink from a firehose (have you ever tried that, actually?). This is where being at choice, purposefully, really plays a part.
I attend events based on my priorities. Doesn’t everyone? And all of this is, of course, super subjective, with no “right”, “wrong”, “good” or “bad” – only we, as individuals get to say what is true for us.
The result? I can honestly say that I think audio broadcasting (aka podcasting) is in my future. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, on a teeny-tiny scale, and with the information and inspiration I gained during my time in San Diego, I’m ready to jump in and swim (or sink, as the case may be).
Have you had similar experiences where you have so many choices laid before you and you go through the questioning of your own criteria and motives? Please feel free to share. I’d love to hear your experiences as well.
Footnote: If you are curious about the message you see on our t-shirts, please visit my friends at the Be Good To People movement to find out more, and order your own cool stuff with a message that needs to be shared, especially in public places, while traveling; people watching.