I don’t think I was mentally prepared for The Influence Conference. It knocked me on my butt early Friday morning and I don’t think I fully recovered until sometime the following week.
I can’t wait to do it again next year.
I followed the strategy track for the breakout sessions instead of the lifestyle ones. When it comes to business and strategy, I’m lost. I teach kids for a living and as much as the world and our government think running schools like a business will “fix” them, teaching is kids not numbers (woow, tangent). So I was unaware of 99.9% of what to do with my blog on the business side of things. And because this whole teaching thing is killing my soul (more on that next week), I’ve been needing some schooling in business.
And, boy, did I get schooled.
John Saddington pretty much changed my life. You know the saying “you don’t know what you don’t know”? Well, now I know. And John taught me. I left John’s session thinking if I didn’t learn anything else for the next few days, I still got my money’s worth. I kind of just want to follow this cute Asian guy around and do everything he does. Even have Cool Asian Hair like him. I just can’t help it.
Then I got to see one of the creators of the conference, Hayley Morgan of the Tiny Twig. She’s an Indy-based stay-at-home mom who has turned her blog into a legit business. And she’s a big dreamer. I think that’s the most important thing I took away from her session: that dreaming big is the only way to dream. Because big dreams lead to big things. Sometimes this type-A personality needs to be reminded dreaming big is healthy and doesn’t hurt a bit.
Next I listened to the sassy Nish Weiseth from Nish Happens. I might love her in an unhealthy way. Her no-holds-barred look at people and blogging was refreshing and honest. She seemed like someone I would be best friends with in real life and I think that comes across on her blog. Which is what a good blogger does. Although, she just tweeted a couple days ago that she’s thirty weeks pregnant and has gained 1.5 pounds. So maybe we couldn’t be friend in real life because that is just ridiculous.
I got to meet Jenna Weber, a blogger (Eat.Live.Run) & author (White Jacket Required), designer & blogger Allie Lehman, listen to Jessica Turner from The Mom Creative, have a meeting with Amanda, the awesome lady I hired to create a killer new blog design, and be encouraged by one of my favorite bloggers, Casey from The Wiegands. I also got to meet her and her little baby, Apple. I might or might not have cried when that happened. I blame it on the lack of sleep, crazy conference emotions, and way too much caffeine.
This conference was what I needed, even if I didn’t know it months ago when I bought my ticket. After my unscheduled blog break, I was searching for where to go and what to do with Trusty Chucks. And while I hadn’t voiced it out loud, God knew my heart and put me in all the right places. And that place was The Influence Conference.