Even if you are not a hardcore extrovert like me, that doesn’t mean you can abstain from attending live, in person training, workshops, or networking events. These events are just too valuable to avoid because you are uncomfortable.
I love conferences. I always have. Every since I was old enough to go to church camp, large gatherings of like-minded people have been my thing.
Maybe that’s why I love being a speaker so much. There is no better way to attend a billion conferences, than to be “working.”
Most of the conferences I have attended were out of town trips. Noisy airports, large crowds, rooms full of strangers just waiting to become my next best friend, that is the stuff my dreams are made of.
Even if you have the opposite reaction to a sea of new faces, a live, local event or workshop can take your business to the next level. Stepping outside of your business and into your community is valuable practice and here are four reasons every entrepreneur should make live events a priority:
- You will discover how productive it is to look up from your work from time to time.
Entrepreneurs are always working. Even when you aren’t officially working, your brain is still dreaming and scheming. Ever had a brilliant idea in the shower? See, always working. Keeping your head down and your effort focused is the best way to get things done, but if you never take the time to look up and connect with the world outside of your clients and deadlines, you won’t grow as an entrepreneur. Live events are a fantastic way to look around the business world and see what’s new.
- You will get to practice your pitch.
There is no better way to hone in and perfect your 15 second elevator pitch than to attend a live training or networking event. If you have been struggling with nailing down exactly what your business or brand offers, sign up for a live event to give yourself a deadline and then schedule some time with a pen and a notebook to write down a quick, clear, and impactful description for your brand and biz.
- You will meet some folks a few steps ahead of you.
At one of the first live trainings I attended after deciding to pursue my writing career, I met Holly Fisher, a local freelance writer who had been writing full time for years. A few weeks later, I was invited to a planning meeting for a new writer’s group and there was Holly. Through these events, we have become friends and she has always been quick to answer my questions about everything from working with an editor to public relations.
- You will realize how small the world really is.
Walking into a room where you don’t know anyone is nerve-racking for even the most out-going extrovert. But once you do the brave thing and walk in and strike up a conversation, it won’t take long for you to find common ground and connect. Maybe they have the same taste in shoes as you, love the same sports team, or live in the same area of town. At my last live event, I connected with Hannah and we soon discovered she had taught at the same elementary school I had attended. Even though she had taught there decades after I had attended, we still knew some of the same teachers.
I know it’s a little scary. Feeling nervous before you do something new is totally normal, but you can’t let your feelings decide your fate. You are brave and courageous! You are tough stuff!