Photo: Ashley Pieper Photography
As 2017 winds to a close, I can't help but begin filling up my calendar with exciting events and travel plans to look forward to in the new year. With 2018 business planning nearly wrapped up, this season of goal setting has opened my eyes to several areas of my business that need more attention: namely, the fact that I need to invest back into myself and my business!
Armed with that hard fact, I've set a big goal for myself in 2018: to attend one creative conference a quarter – even if those conferences are out of state and require travel.
Are you hesitant to take the leap into investing in conferences and business-related travel for yourself? You're not alone. Here are the three reasons why I'm prioritizing attending creative conferences in 2018 anyway:
Bye, bye, comfort zone.
As I've grown older, I've noticed that I can be very set in my ways: I want to begin working at the same time each day, from the same desk, while listening to the same playlist. It's super easy to fall into a routine, and before you know it, another year of your work life has come and gone.
How scary is that?!
Because of that reality, I want to say no to my comfort zone and yes to feeling uncomfortable. One of the places where I feel the most uncomfortable? At conferences and events. These experiences can be incredibly overwhelming, but they're also the experiences that I've walked away from with the most confidence, best new ideas and amazing network of potential new friends and clients.
Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. You'll look back and be glad that you felt the fear and forged ahead, anyway.
"Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. You'll look back and be glad that you felt the fear and forged ahead, anyway."
Treat yo'self – because who else will?
Although my business is young, I've already found that I tend to deprive rather than reward myself. If I land a big, new client contract, I'm apt to stash away all of my earnings into savings rather than indulge in a celebratory happy hour. I'm inclined to just deal with the uncomfortable office chair that I have now rather than buy a new one.
Why am I this way?!
If you're asking yourself the same thing, it may be time to face the truth: in business, you deserve to treat yo'self from time to time. And I'm not talking about going on a lavish shopping spree just because you met a deadline. But treating yourself through experiences that benefit you and your business: like investing in a creative conference, an entrepreneur's retreat or a masterclass that's going to take your business to the next level.
Doing business alone...isn't worth doing.
This is the biggest one for me. As a creative entrepreneur who works at home, it can be easy for me to put my head down and get a lot of work done each day – without sharing it with a single soul.
However, I believe that as creatives, we're not meant to walk this business journey alone. We need each other: for support, friendship, advice, brainstorming sessions and accountability.
I don't know about you, but I find it hard to sometimes connect with my non-business friends on the issues that keep me up at night: why is the Instagram algorithm so tricky to crack? How can we create a cohesive social media presence that converts? What is the best way to present design work to a client?
People who attend creative conference? They're going to get you on all of these topics – and then some. Because who doesn't want to come home with a few new friends?
What creative conferences are you looking forward to attending in 2018? I'm sharing a list of a few that are on my radar below!
2018 Creative Conference Wishlist
Create & Cultivate Los Angeles: February 24, 2018 - attending!
Yellow Conference: 2018 conference TBD