I’m a blog conference veteran. Doesn’t mean I know everything about everything when it comes to blogging and conferences but after a while you do start to get a sense of confidence and security. A bit of the “been there, done that” mentality. And I kind of went to BlissDom with a bit of that feeling. I ended up walking away learning things I never expected to.
- I didn’t expect to be introduced to so many bloggers that I didn’t know. Just when you feel like you know almost everyone in the blogging space, you’re reminded of how incredibly HUGE the blogosphere is. For example, the first night at the welcome reception, I ended up sitting next to @PrettyHandyGirl, a DIY blogger who lives practically next door to me. I met at least 6 bloggers that I didn’t know lived close to me.
- I didn’t expect to need a map to get to and from my hotel room. I only got lost twice. Okay, maybe three times.
- I didn’t expect to feel overwhelmed. As a Community Leader, my job was to help put everyone at ease. It finally dawned on me that there was nobody to put me at ease. So it was a little stressful. No worries though. I minored in theater so I played the part well anyway.
- I didn’t expect to have tears in my eyes at the welcoming rah-rah video. It was a piece of quality video with the message and music that made you want to say, YES! I AM A BLOGGER AND I CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
- I didn’t expect to like our Welcoming Keynote speaker so darn much. Jon Acuff (@jonacuff) is what I would normally consider a churchy, Christian type (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). So I thought he’d be just another motivational speaker. I honestly thought he was amazing. As in, AMAZING. Funny, smart, and insightful when it comes to social media and balance in life.
- I didn’t expect to listen to Holly Hamann talk about being an entrepreneur and really think that she got it. If I’m being honest, I tend to have more respect for people that are successful in the blogging space that have been successful outside the blogging space as well. I walked away with exactly what I needed to hear to make me feel confident in Charitable Influence. (see my notes at the bottom of the post)
- I didn’t expect to be blown away by Stephanie Smirnov (@ssmirnov) as someone who gets that popularity doesn’t equal likeability. And more importantly, I didn’t expect to have such a a lively and engaged table during our small group discussion. (see my notes at the bottom of the post)
- I didn’t expect to be so taken in by yet another motivational type speaker and come out so emotional on the other side. The session on building a life plan was something I thought would be a little too touchy-feely, loosey-goosey for me. And yet I went anyway. I walked away with a lot of insight into my own life and a need to reprioritize what I’m doing (and no, I’m not going anywhere).
To be honest, though, I didn’t have any expectations of BlissDom. Instead, I went in with an open mind, set off to experience new tracks, and connect only with brands that seemed right for me. While I’m exhausted, I came home totally fulfilled and ready to start a new day.
Hmmm. Maybe I’ll become a motivational speaker…
My notes from some of the sessions:
Is Your Idea the Next Facebook? How to think like an entrepreneur
5 key questions you need to answer:
- What problem are you solving?
- Who are you solving it for?
- How big is that problem?
- Who will solve it (team)?
- How will you make money?
A poor economy is a bad time to start a business.
Obsessive, relentless, curious = makes you better than anyone else.
This idea is too crazy.
Example: chicken diapers
You have to raise funding to start a company.
Bootstrapping is very common among start-ups.
The market doesn’t need one more.
There is ALWAYS room for innovation.
How can you be innovative:
- low cost provider (Walmart)
- luxury (Mercedes)
- faster (Intel)
- smaller (Smart car)
- stylish (iPhone)
- high quality (moleskin notebooks)
- special needs (Udi’s)
- social good (Tom’s)
- quieter, more unique, softer, new flavors, signature names, etc.
Top 10 skill sets to build as an entrepreneur
- Ability to recognize opportunity
- Ability to build teams (can’t be controlling, type-a)
- Ability to drive innovation
- Ability to gather and process information
- Tolerance for risk
- Willingness to be wrong
- Network of mentors (techstars)
- Learn how to talk about money!
- there was a 10th one but I missed it!
“Who you choose to team with will be the single most important business decision you’ll make.”
Likeability 2.0: women, influence, and the social web
- You don’t need to be widely liked to be likeable
- In the workplace, the perception is that the more likable you are, the less competent you are
- Build a brand around your lifestyle, need transparency to be likable
- Example, Creative professional Donna Karan possesses 3 key qualities: Accessible, Authentic, Engaging
How do you build your own influence?
Appeal + Talent + Audience that cares = Influence
Appeal = be polite, be professional, have integrity, don’t be a bitch
Talent = SEO, writing, networking, photography, videography, BE GOOD AT SOMETHING
Audience that cares = consistently engage, take action