There’s a (sad) fact of reality in blogging and business that you can’t attend every conference you’d like to. Time and money are huge factors here. Thankfully we live in the internet ages so you can still glean some knowledge from the speakers if you can’t attend. I’m a huge fan of hashtag stalking (I’ve written about it before) and it’s a great way of assessing if a conference should be on your schedule for the next year. Below are the 10 things I learned from hashtag stalking the Artful Business Conference on twitter in 2014.
If you want something awesome to happen, you have to do something awesome
Wise words from Karen Gunton there. I had a bit of a reality check on this recently. I thought I had been blogging very “well” this year. Then, just before ProBlogger, a post was put up in the Facebook event group asking for examples of what you had achieved since the previous conference. And I couldn’t think of anything. Nothing “tangible”. I’ve blogged, enjoyed talking to people, and many other things on that line, but I didn’t get a book out, only just started a newsletter…ugh. And it’s no ones fault but my own. I guess I could say I was growing my community, but you can’t slap a sticker on that and brag about it in quite the same way as an eBook.
The things that make you weird, make you shine.
A gem, also from Karen. Nobody else can be you, and nobody else can look for a solution in the same way that you do it. Business courses always talk about USP (Unique Selling Proposition/Point) but remember that can apply to you as well.
Build the business that you really want to build
Another key learning from Jess Van Den. It has always been my goal to work for myself. Over the past few years I’ve tried a number of different types of businesses. Most of these I’ve abandoned and had the business names deregistered. In the end they just weren’t right for me. I learn by doing and I have learned a lot from attempting new things. I feel much more confident about knowing what I want, what it should look like and how to get there.
Know your audience before investing in Facebook ads
I hadn’t heard of Victoria Gibson before, but I love this advice. Facebook are good at making it seem easy to just throw and ad up, but unless you know who you’re targeting, you’re probably just throwing your money away.
We all have awkward early years
No one comes out of the box ready to go. Learning along the way, changing directions and dealing with what comes up is great advice for blogging, business and life. This was from Tess McCabe of Creative Women’s Circle.
Ambition & intelligence have nothing to do with wealth
Denise Duffield-Thomas* hits it home in this one with sheer honesty. I have thought before “How does so-and-so get to earn that much?! I know more about that topic than them!” And I doubt I’m the only one who has thought this. Luckily for me, I do pass those thoughts away pretty fast, but they sure as hell slip in when I’m struggling and people who I perceive to have “lesser” knowledge than me in an area are doing well.
You get to choose what rich means to you
Exactly, Denise! One of the things that gets me over the thoughts in the previous quote above is that I look at the person’s life and see all the things that I’m not jealous of. Maybe they’re on call 24/7 or live away from home to get that pay. Rich doesn’t only mean money, though a bank account to support your life is very useful.
Your family are not your business mentors
I think I love you, Denise. This is so important. Your family should be supporting your efforts to create/work for yourself/whatever it is, but they are not your business network. You need to talk to people who actually do what you want to do/are starting to do.
A happy sustainable business makes a healthy income
Julia Bickerstaff scores a home run! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from setting up various businesses (and abandoning them because they weren’t right for me) it’s that you HAVE to factor in EVERY SINGLE COST. Not just the obvious things like mortgage/rent and bills, but putting money away for retirement, emergencies, replacing broken computers, a new handbag. Whatever it is that you spend money on, you need to know exactly how much it costs per year for all of these things, and make sure that you are charging appropriate amounts of money per hour/client/whatever your unit of measurement is to cover all of these things. And then you have to see what the market will bear for your product or service. Do this first, because without this, there’s no point in being in business.
Step into the spotlight or you will miss opportunities
This quote from Valerie Khoo (founder of the Australian Writers’ Centre – and yes, I was paranoid about getting the apostrophe in the right place then) is one that I feel relates to the first quote by Karen Gunton. You have to put yourself out there and take actions to succeed. All the thoughts and wishes in the world are meaningless if you don’t step up.
Stepping up, getting things done and putting myself out there are my goals for the next year. I would love to be able to respond to a call-out next year to show off what I have achieved. I’ve already taken the odd step, quietly (and scarily) behind the scenes towards one of my goals, and in the coming months I will share that with you.
I was really impressed with the speaker quality and vibe I saw online from the Artful Business Conference attendees this year. No one even tweeted all that much and I still had all of these ten points that resonated with me. I have a feeling this will be going on my 2015 conference list.
Did you attend (or hashtag stalk) the 2014 Artful Business Conference? Which of the above quotes resonates with you the most?
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