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Saturday, April 20, 2013

On talking a leap of faith with Bliss, aka Why go to a Blog Conference?


Tickets for Blissdom 2013 go on sale in under an hour. And behind the scenes there's plenty of chatter from folks excited about going and from folks trying to decide if they want to go. So here in public I am going to repeat what I've been telling my friends in private. Do it! Take the leap.

When I bought my ticket for Blissdom 2011 I had never been to a blogging conference. My blog was not yet a year old. I had never been to a conference period, blogging or not.  I didn't have a sponsor, I couldn't afford to go and the thought of leaving my house and meeting a couple hundred strangers terrified me. Why the heck did I buy a ticket? It wasn't because of the fantastic speakers or sessions they had lined up, because none of that info was released until much much closer to the actual date. Honestly thinking back I am not sure why I decided to take the leap, but it was a fortuitous moment. A moment when my blogging path forked, and become something more.

Online I read as total strangers said, "Do this thing. It's important to network. You will learn stuff. You will take home swag. You will take home ideas. Your blog will be better for it. Do it." And I read as my friends said, "I'm thinking about going, what about you?"  And somehow it all just gelled and I took the leap.

When tickets went on sale I was there with credit card in hand. There was a whirlwind of chatter on Twitter. Tickets sold out in under 90 minutes. I felt like I was one of the lucky few, to have managed to snag one. I bought that ticket thinking I might have to sell it, but somehow everything fell into place. The support of my family, the support of financial sponsors, it all lined up.

Which lead to the absolutely terrifying moment when I boarded that train for Toronto, not knowing quite what to expect from the conference. Heading hours away from my home to a place filled with hundreds of complete strangers, where I would be rooming with three ladies who I had spoken to online but had never really met. Terrifying. I had so many second thoughts. Yet I stepped onto that train and I went.

And somehow once I was there, I mixed I mingled, I spoke. I discovered that being sick to my stomach nervous made me chatter non-stop (Or maybe it was the limitless supply of coffee). I felt like once I took that first step on to the train that I had jumped into a foreign land, so far outside of my comfort zone that anything was possible.

I met some fantastic ladies. I had some amazing conversations. I sat through fascinating panels, scribbling copious notes. I learned things. I was inspired. I connected with brands, and those connections launched some amazing opportunities. Opportunities I would never have imagined staying safe within these four wall at home. Once I pushed myself out beyond my comfort zone it was almost magical how everything just lined up.

So today I'm going to pay it forward a bit and give my advice to those who may be thinking about going, who may be considering buying a ticket today. Whether it's Blissdom, or some other conference you're considering. Do it. Take the leap. Think of this as investing in your blog as your business. Trust me when I say it's money and time well spent.
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Hi, I'm , a Canadian stay at home mom to two rambunctious little girls.
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