This year I am focusing on the specific types of clients and work I want to be doing and how I want my business to grow.
Part of that growth involves getting out there and meeting people in my industry. So I decided to go to Circles Conference in Grapevine Texas. A two day gathering for creatives meant to inspire and ignite passion in the work that we do.
I'm always game for traveling anywhere new and I was in need of a little solo adventure so it was the perfect fit.
I'll admit, I was nervous about going because I didn't know anyone who would be there aside from the people whose work I follow online. The first night was a meet and greet with drinks at this little country bar on Main St.
As I walked in I had to give myself a little pep talk be open, be open, be open, be open ... because everyone was already sitting together and talking and I felt out of place.
Then I saw someone sitting solo at a table and I said F-it go talk to him! Soon enough a bunch of other "solos" ended up at our table and the rest of the night was filled with good chats.
I walked away feeling great and totally at ease about the next two days.
My advice to anyone who fears these types of events is simple: be open.
If you go in with an open heart/mind others will pick up on it. If you go in closed off and feeling like a porcupine others pick up on it. You may or may not make lasting connections but if you're open in the moment you can learn so much from other people.
The other great thing about taking a solo trip is if you don't feel like chatting you can go explore, take photos, catch up on emails/texts and jot down some thoughts.
I found the alone time really good because there was so much to process I actually needed the down time. Plus having a cold beer by myself in a faraway town I've never been to is some serious fun for me.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to: Jessica Hische, Jay Argaet, Matt Lehman, Lee Steffen and Danielle Evans they were inspiring, articulate and all around smart people who gave some great practical advice. You can read more about them here.
I didn't take any notes because I preferred to sit and listen but here are some points I scribbled down that have stuck with me.
Only show work you want to do
Get a cheap laser printer and print your work out and look at it OFF screen
Be a light (your work matters and can change lives)
Seek out the work you want to do, don’t just sit idle “say no to inertia”
Never stop creating and working on passion projects because they can lead to real work that you love doing
Now onto the most important part of the trip: BOOTS
As I was exploring Main St. I came across this shop that carried all of these restored vintage boots and I swear I died and went to boot heaven.
I have a serious love for boots. So I was ready to lay down some $scratch$ and would you believe not one pair fit. I mean, I tried on EVERY PAIR in my size. Sigh ...
So if you're on the fence about taking a solo trip like this I encourage you to go for it.
I felt empowered to be in the company of so many people who do what I do.
Stay inspired y'all!