Conferences, camps, and other gatherings of all things creative provide me with energy and determination to keep pursuing my dreams. WordCamp Birmingham did that, and so much more. It allowed me to connect with some amazing people, to share a little of their journeys, and to reach out to help and to be helped.
10 Things I Learned from WordCamp Birmingham 2016
1. I learned that the key to everything- in business and in life – is to know your purpose. Unless you know why you are doing what you are doing you will struggle in the doing. Cory Miller was the keynote speaker and he kicked off the event by reminding us that the two keys to future success is having the ability to pivot and the focus of purpose.
2. I learned that one of the biggest challenges I face is a crisis in confidence. Nathan Ingram shares ideas to help me see past what I deem my limitations (by only focusing on those ahead of me) and to see my proficiencies by looking around at those that are behind (and those that are beside me as well.
3. I learned that the way to know what I am good at doing is to take the time to look at what I am doing. Nathan Ingram again opened my eyes to the understanding that where I stand out from the crowd is usually the place that is most natural to me so that leaves me wondering why anyone would ever pay me to do it. He suggested that if I take time to look at what I am doing and be alert and aware to what I am doing then I will be in a position to discover my greatest proficiency.
4. I learned that time doesn’t necessary equal money – which made sense but was still a challenge to understand. Kyle Johnson shared thoughts on ways to separate the time aspect out of the income equation. He recommended focusing more on things that didn’t require additional time to help increase income potential.
5. I learned that my brand is an experience – and if I want people to be brand ambassadors then I better make sure that the experience is a positive one. Kristi Oliver at FlySoloMedia.com shared some amazing tips on how to define brand and create that experience. She said that when people understand what you are about then they are drawn to you and they have an experience with your business that meets their expectations.
6. I learned that I need to keep learning. Kristi Oliver kept pushing me to be more than I am right now. She challenged me to perfect where I am but to keep investing in learning – even within the craft that I had perfected.
7. I learned that not all learning goes on in a classroom – or session. Amazing lunch conversations with the dynamic duo from Junior Davis & Associates, Inc. provided me with some information to chew on and also some challenges for moving forward.
8. I learned that the after party is not just about having a party. I had the chance to visit and engage in a way that doesn’t always get to happen in a rush between sessions during the meat of the conference. These engagements reminded me that when I laugh and share I connect in a way that will build foundational relationships that allow me to continue to build and grow on this journey.
9. I learned that we are all struggling in something. A developer may not understand (or want to understand) the content side, and vice versa. And not only are we all struggling but we all have something to offer each other – so if I am willing to learn then there is always something to learn from everyone that I encounter.
10. I learned that I am not always as funny as I think I am – at least others may not think I am as funny as I think I am – but I also recognized that it’s okay because that just makes me want to laugh more and try more because it all is better with a little laughter thrown in.
Any opportunity to connect and engage with others that are on a creative journey of one tilt or another is a great day in my book. I look forward to being a part of the WordCamps of the future and growing the connections that I made in 2016.