Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Create Upstate for my third year in a row! It’s important to network as a freelancer, and this event is half networking, half party time! I’ve gotten to know the three founders pretty well, and every year as the planning progresses, they continuously blow my mind. The conference was amazing – I love the two tracks that they covered (working independently & working with teams), and the venue’s were out of this world! I felt honored when they asked me to do a makers station where people could come and get creative during the breaks between each speaker, it was a blast!
If you’ve ever been to a networking event, or a creative conference – you’ve probably been on the networking roller coaster.
First you’re nervous/excited about the couple of days (or hours) that lay ahead of you, who you’ll meet, and the energy you’ll walk away with. You’ll make a new friend (find someone sitting alone, or a group, and introduce yourself) or maybe you see someone you know, and things get started. After about 20 minutes or so – you’re making your way to the top of a peak! You’re feeling great, you’re taking in a ton of new information, and life is good!!! It isn’t until you’ve had a chance to sit down and really evaluate what you’ve learned and how you can use it, that you start to head down (which sometimes is the best part! it’s terrifying and such a rush!). When I started feeling like this – I thought to myself “what am I taking away from this” “what action steps can I take”. By asking myself these questions, I can quickly climb back up to the top of the “feel good” peak, knowing that I have specific steps I can take when I get home to put all the amazing ideas into action.
If the event is spread out over a couple days, or there are multiple “parts” you might experience this more than once – and that’s okay!!! Just remember to check in with yourself, and dedicate a page in your notebook to “reflection” or “ideas” so you can keep track of all the things you want to come back to, and do your best to be fully present so you can take in as much of the goodness that lays in front of you.
I don’t know about you – but I love roller coasters, so hopefully you can see why riding the networking roller coaster isn’t a bad thing! The point of these events is to get inspired, find clarity, new ideas, reflection, and fun! So if you’re walking away with tons of ideas, or feeling like you want to revisit old projects and redo them, or change something about your business/process, the event has done it’s job! Remind yourself to break those BIG daunting tasks into actionable steps so you can start to make progress!