Why Big Takeaways Can Be Overrated
This month I spent four days in San Diego attending Social Media Marketing World. It is definitely my favorite conference to attend every year. This is the largest live event in the social media world and the world-class influencers in the business are in attendance. I’m still exhilarated and bursting with energy from seeing and engaging with smart attendess from all over the world.
A common question to come up as the conference neared the closing ceremony was, "What is your big takeaway”? Hmmm...whose splendid advice would I be taking home and implementing? I wondered what they even said again.
The expectation seemed to be to determine what my next big move would be, how I would resolve my lead generation challenge, or something like that. But I did not have any big ideas or a-has. I did not feel empowered to develop a cool new service or anything such as that.
Although the speakers were wonderful and I was having tons of fun networking, I just felt sort like “whatever”. Mind you, before attending any live event, I create a plan for the time I am there:
So you see, I do really prepare.
Interestingly, I was falling in love with the wonderful staff and other attendees who were there with me and finding myself disclosing all sorts of random, minute details of my life. Yes, this introvert had the most relevant and shocking facts of my life just tumbling out of my mouth as though they had been just waiting to be liberated for quite a while.
I wasn't even aware that what I was actually doing was allowing myself to really be seen. Instead of showing up as a business owner trying to solve lead generation issues or other business challenges, I was showing up as a whole woman. And this whole woman was taking that time not to think about what my next business move would be. Those things would surely come when the timing was right.
Then, this week I had a one-hour call with a client where we spent most of that time hashing out her 90-day marketing strategy. We connected and were having a good time. And then we got into a totally unrelated conversation about our children. We went approximately 40 minutes over talking about the fun things and weird things we like to do, the difference between children before having a business and business after, our favorite outings with them. We could have gone on for hours.
Both of us agreed that it was a big relief to have a conversation that wasn’t about business. Both of us are mostly obsessed with our businesses and talking about nothing else for several years. We delighted in the fact that we didn't wake up that morning immediately started working and that we had both sacrificed forfeited our revenue goals in favor of showing up in the world as a real woman. What a gift.
I can’t wait to see what comes next for my client and what comes out of this for me. My next big move likely will not come from any business book and perhaps not even from the next big conference that I attend. It will likely come from sitting with what is, paying attention to my body and giving living my life the priority, rather than always trying to earn as much money as possible...although I'm also excited about doing that.
I am blessed that my business is in a place where I’m able to do that occasionally. It doesn’t require me to always put in long days because I don't even embrace that model. We've had beautiful weather for the last couple of weeks—both in San Diego and San Francisco—and I'll be cashing in on all the hard work I've done this quarter and allowing myself to enjoy it.
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