As I look back over the past eight years, a few things stand out as peak experiences.
Oddly enough, most of them include this introvert getting her butt out of her house to attend live events.
Yes, generally I am that entrepreneur who works at her laptop, talking with clients across the globe by phone.
Recently, I have been enjoying video calls as well. In the past, I tried to avoid them. The longer I work for myself and am alone most of the day, the more I actually look forward to face-to-face interactions with clients and colleagues.
Here are three events that changed everything for me. (They are no longer offered, unfortunately.)
I attended my first live event a few months after I started my business because I thought it would dramatically improve my learning curve. It was hosted by a respected coach who trained other coaches on growing their businesses. I flew from Chicago to San Francisco and spent three days in uncomfortable hotel conference room chairs with other newbie coaches.
I did get quite a lot of value from the content, including how to market my business and create a signature system. However, the biggest benefit was connecting with three lovely women and having a weekly mastermind group call with them for months following the event.
In fact, we are still Facebook friends and support each other seven years later. These are people I never would have met if I hadn’t attended the live event.
The second live event I went to changed the trajectory of my business and enriches my life on a daily basis. SOBCon was an event with about 120 attendees where egos were checked at the door. I met well-known thought leaders like Chris Brogan, Michael Port, Steve Farber, Barry Moltz, and so many more.
In addition, I deepened my relationship with Carol Roth, ultimately becoming the editor-in-chief here at Business Unplugged™ for the last seven years.
I also got several long-term clients and dear friends from attending SOBCon. It was one of the best things I have ever done. I met brilliant heart-centered entrepreneurs.
Another event that continues to inspire and educate me was Michael Port’s Heroic Public Speaking Live event that I attended three years ago. This event had fantastic content and incredible speakers. I learned a ton and immediately added some of the techniques into my speaking, taking my speaking to a higher level.
Like SOBCon, this event attracted a great group of talented and highly motivated professionals.
Michael and his team nurture an active and engaged community on Facebook. Checking in daily to see what everyone is working on is a bright spot in my day.
Your Right Event
So, given that there are a zillion events you could attend, how do you pick the right one?
Personally, I like smaller ones – about 100-120 attendees. I tend to get overwhelmed in very large and loud settings. And I don’t hear well over crowd noise.
You can look for skills you want to learn, a subject you are really interested in, or the attendees the event could attract. It’s a big win when you find an event with all three!
Attending live events can sharpen your skills, inspire you to do bigger things, and help you find your people. I strongly suggest you plan on attending at least one per year. It’s fun to shake things up now and then.