Workshops, Conferences, Expos, Oh My

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Today’s post is by guest blogger Sandy Dempsey of

When I used to travel to attend trade-shows, expos and conferences related to my career no one thought anything of it. Family, friends and coworkers accepted it as the norm, part of my job.

But, now when I tell people I am traveling for a conference or workshop they look at me oddly and ask,“Why? Don’t you work for yourself now?”

Yes. That’s the point. That’s why attending learning and networking events is even more important.

Attending workshops, conferences and/or trade-shows is one of the top investments any self-employed person can make.

And, it doesn’t matter if you have one employee (yourself), five employees, fifty employees or more. It doesn’t matter if you own a brick and mortar business or work from your home.

Lifelong learning, staying on top of industry trends, learning new things, meeting people and making connections are even more important now that you work for yourself. You are 100% responsible for your welfare and the welfare and survival of your company. You really can’t afford not to invest in attending learning and networking events.

In addition, when you combine travel with attending conferences, workshops, expos, etc, you receive the added benefits of getting away from your daily routine, time spent alone, time spent with new people and new scenery.

When you work for yourself you get to choose what type of learning and networking event you want to attend and need to attend.

You can choose industry trade shows, web design conferences, creativity workshops, artist retreats, marketing seminars, EBay expos, etc. You can attend an event in your area of specialty or branch out, learn something new and meet new people.

All of these can be like a breath of fresh air. They clear the cobwebs. You begin to look at problems and obstacles in a new way. You meet new people and form new friendships. Your creativity moves into full throttle and you have tons of new ideas. And, even if you are busy from day one and tired from traveling you will often feel energized and have renewed interest and passion in your business when you return home.

I attribute my own evolution from corporate employee to self-employment to the time, money and effort I have invested over the last three years. I’ve attended events related to entrepreneurship, writing, marketing and painting. Some of these events were directly related to my business, others were to help me learn more about myself. Each one has contributed to my success, both personally and professionally.

Invest in yourself. Invest in your business. Invest in your future. Learn something new. Meet new people. Have fun.

Workshops, Conferences, Expos, Oh My. That’s what it’s all about.

If you are interested here are some upcoming events that you may find beneficial.

    Inspired Livelihood – Make a Difference, While Making a Living
    Sedona, AZ, April 16-17, 2010

    Entrepreneur Exposé – A series of motivational events that will present entrepreneurship as one solution to stimulate the economy and provide real options and information for business women
    Basking Ridge, NJ, May 1, 2010

    Un-Job Fair – A Day-long Exploration of Options and Opportunities for Successful Self-Employment
    Denver, CO, May 1, 2010

    Sandy Dempsey, writer, artist and entrepreneur publishes one of my favorite weekly newsletters and can enjoyed at

(Please note, I am NOT being paid to promote or advertise any of these events. They are events I have come across that sound interesting, fun and informative.)

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