Today’s post is by guest blogger Sandy Dempsey of .thedreamingcafe.com
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 http://thedreamingcafe.com
(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.)
In a blog post earlier this week, titled ‘The Natural Habitat of Winners’ Barbara Winter said, “When you are willing to spend your time and money to expose yourself to new ideas, new techniques for doing things, and new people who can add their enthusiasm to your dreams, you’re also sending a strong message to your subconscious mind about your own worth.”
The past couple of weeks, I’ve been receiving emails from readers saying they’d love to attend the Inspired Livelihood Workshop in Sedona but don’t have (or think they should spend) the money right now.
When I had my last retail business, my friends with neighboring shops used to complain about how slow business was and when they asked why I was doing so well, I cited advertising as one reason I had more customers and better sales. Of course, these merchants would complain that they didn’t have enough money to spend on advertising because business was slow. They also didn’t have fresh, timely merchandise because they wouldn’t spend the money to attend trade shows and keep up on current trends. This thinking made no sense to me as I watched many of them go out of business. When things are slow, that’s when it’s most important to spend money to make them better.
“In times of change,” said Eric Hoffer, “learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.“
The *Early Bird price of the workshop is $397. That’s for 2 days of focus on your business in a small group with three entrepreneurs who’ve made a career of making a living without a job by investing time and money in lifelong learning. While those who use lack of funds as a reason to not invest in themselves are still stuck in unsatisfying careers, even in what the media calls a weak economy, weekend workshops with price tags of $3000. are full with hundreds of attendees. I’ve met entrepreneurs at those workshops who “couldn’t afford the tuition but couldn’t afford NOT to attend.” It’s no coincidence that the following year, those same entrepreneurs who knew they were worth the investment were back with stories of prosperity and satisfaction.
Not investing this way also sends a strong message. As Sondra Ray says, “When you say, ‘I don’t have enough money to go to that self-improvement seminar or buy that book, it’s almost like saying, ‘I am not a good investment.’ The best way to make money is to invest in yourself.
Are you worth it?
Barbara knows, “If you truly want to join the winner’s circle, take advantage of every resource you can find. You never know what might happen if you do.
You could be sitting in a roomful of strangers and suddenly meet yourself.”
Read Barbara’s full article here
Thanks for caring about the planet we share.
PS *After March 15, the price of the workshop goes up to $497
learn more about the event HERE
My friend Alice Barry (www.entertainingtheidea.com) calls March the Month of More Meaning. Throughout the month of March she’ll be focusing on and exploring the many ways we can contribute to the world in meaningful ways through our businesses. As you know, the mission of “Inspired Livelihood” is to support, inspire and encourage artists, musicians, authors and aspiring entrepreneurs to make a living while making a difference in their community or the world.
As Barbara Winter, author of ”Making a Living Without a Job” said in her recent Joyfully Jobless newsletter the “search for meaningful work that makes a positive impact in the world is a huge motivator” of the successfully self employed. If you are ready to activate your inner activist and add the meaning/purpose piece to your bottom line, the “Inspired Livelihood Workshop” is for you. .
Join Alice, Barbara and me f in Sedona, Arizona on April 16 & 17. With this exquisite community as our backdrop, we’ll explore what it means to create a business that is both profitable and meaningful. Read about this exciting event HERE
The old idea of philanthropy as writing a check or volunteering after you’ve made your fortune in a high level job is 20th Century thinking. A trend we’re seeing at universities worldwide is to prepare graduates to build a business that makes money and embraces social change. A business degree is definitely not necessary to start a business, but it’s worth noting that major business schools are turning out a new breed of MBAs who want to make a buck while also making the world a better place. The old MBA model turned out graduates with the goal of landing a solid corporate job. If a student’s goal was to make a difference, they’d go into social work or the non-profit sector. In a recent article in the Independent, a UK publication, Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship was quoted as saying that “rather than separating where they (new MBAs) make their money from where they do good, they are convinced that it is possible to live comfortably and dedicate their careers to pursuits that are fundamentally innovative, philosophically positive and morally compelling.”
Are you ready to join the ranks of 21st Century Entrepreneurs who are creating businesses that improve the lives of individuals, families, communities and countries by using their passions and creativity to solve local and global problems and create social change? If you’re ready to learn how you can create a profitable business that means something more, I’d like to invite you to join Barbara Winter, best selling author of “Making a Living without a Job” , Idea Artisan, Alice Barry of “Entertaining the Idea”and me, Terri Belford, self-employment muse for a life and