I’m slowing getting back into my daily grind after spending a few days in the beautiful LA area. I had a wonderful time on the west coast (first time ever, but won’t be my last) for the 4th Blogging While Brown Conference and the first ever live Black Weblog Awards. I wish I could have stayed a little longer because I didn’t want my amazing vacation to end. Even though my good time has come and gone, the memories and friendships made will last forever. I wanted to do my wrap up a little different this year, mainly because I didn’t take a lot of personal pictures. More about that later. As I was waiting for my return flight home, I started to implement a few tips I learned when I got the idea of this post.
9 Lessons I learn from attending Blogging While Brown 2011
#9- Network, Network, & Network some more
Before I left, I set out to make sure that I reconnected with a couple of people as well as meet my fellow tweeps I’ve been chatting it up with online. You can plan all you want but you just has to go with the flow. Last year I came back with tons of business cards. This year I only came back with 5 and I remember my conversations with each and everyone of them. I think that’s more valuable. Next steps are reach out to them again to keep that bond. A lot of the networking is done out side of the panels, which as a shy person like myself is hard to do but the more events I attend the better I am becoming with breaking out of my shell.
#8- Stop hoarding your G.I.F.T.S and share them with the world
During one of the break I stumbled upon a group of attendees having an unconference and they were sharing their gifts. You could see the passion in everyone who was sharing their stories. My GIFT is being a nerd because I love (besides the candy) technology, coding HTML//CSS, anything that others may consider “uncool” – that’s me. Other GIFTS that were shared was the ability to make connections and empowering others through technology. Shout out to actress and comedian Kim Coles for allowing us to be part of her G.I.F.T.S: Gratitude – Intentions – Forgiveness – Triumphs -Self-Love.
#7- I’ve been staring at my niche right in the face
Everyone around me was talking about their blog’s niche, who their readers are and how their target them. Then I thought to myself I don’t have a niche. I blog about my design work, freelancing, designing and blogging. It was something Jessica aka That Tech Chick said during the “From a Side Hustle to a Career” panel. She’s a web designer and blogger and helps other bloggers. Which then got me thinking about a conversation that I had with Nick, a Web Developer and Photographer. These two wonderful people made me realized that my niche are other freelancers. No matter what our lane of focus is on we have a lot of commonalities. Plus my last couple of posts (few upcoming ones) have all been about freelancing. I been have a lot aha moments lately and I’m loving it.
#6- My Tech Game is skipping.
Man listen, this techie gal need a serious tech makeover. I love my gadgets and this past weekend I was in tech heaven. By next year’s conference I need to seriously step my tech game up and add at least 4 new gadgets in my life.
- The famous homie BrothaTech had this charger called powermat. So instead of traveling with a charget for all of your gadgets, he had this 1 device that could juice up is iPad, iPhone, and pretty anything.
- NO FREE internet! What? Crazy!. I can’t wait to see my phone bill to see how much I am going to get charge for using it as a hotspot. Never again because the homie Scott introduce me to this great tiny device – Clear WiFi Hotspot. My plan is to not only use the it for travel but for at home so I can get rid of my sometimes not so reliable DSL.
- I don’t read manuals and I am sure the answer to my problem with my camera might be in there. For some reason some of my photos come out redish-orange and then other times they be clear. So I had to use my cell phone to take pics during the panels. Thank goodness I switch to an Android because I know my blackberry wouldn’t have cut it. A new camera is in my future.
- I left the ibook at home and traveled with Cupcake (yes I name my gadgets) my HP netbook. It felt great not having to carry my heavy mac around but I couldn’t help but to notice all of the tablets around me. I been fighting the need to get an iPad but the smaller tablets are looking pretty cool.
#5- Blogging is a job all it own.
I need to step my blogging game up big time for next year. This weekend it was like I was back at school but attending that one class you just love going too because of the teacher. My blogging sistas and brothas were so open to sharing a lot of information. It was all about helping each other take our blogs to the next level. I have ready started making changes.
#4- Nothing can replace hard work
“…I always believe that if you work hard at one thing long enougj, you don’t have anywher to go but up. evern if that thing stasrat off as a hobby…” – Angel Law, Angel’s Laws of Blogging
The ending keynote presentation was beyond amazing. To hear someone story about following their passion which has brought forth so many wonderful opportunities for them, it make me strive for more. I am so thankful that Angel Law and the amazing team of ConcreteLoop came out to share with us.
#3- BWB is more than just a conference, its a family reunion
I was truly nervous traveling for the first time west of the Mississippi. As I got closer to my departure the panic started to set in. All that faded away once I was in the air and on my way. I couldn’t wait to touch down and catch up with some of favorite bloggers/tweeps and meet new people. I received such a warm welcome it was like I going to my family reunion. When it was time to go it was so sad but I know all of our paths will cross again.
#2- No more living on Highway Information Overload
The keynote presentation by Scott and Adria “Effectiveness vs Efficiency: practical ways for dealing with information overload online” was a great way to start. It made me realized how truly unproductive I am being.
Effectiveness is doing the right things. Efficiency is doing thing right
I tend to make everything important and must get it all done right now or end up feeling like a failure. From now I am following the 4 D’s: Do it, Drop it , Delegate it or Defer it. Even before I return home I started to unsubscribing from lists and set up emails filters. I get emails that I don’t need to look at right at that momennt, so now they skip the inbox and go to their specially marked folders for later. I now have set office hours with a set block of time to schedule calls/meetings with clients. There will be no communication outside of that time period. I need to treat my business like a business so my client can treat it like a business. No more browser tab hoarding, will start using instapaper again. this presentation has change my outlook.
#1- Jetlag is no joke!
So LA is 3 hours behind NY. I heard of jetlag but didn’t pay it any mind until it hit me and trust me it hit hard. I arrive in LA Thursday. I attending a meetup and hung out with friends by the hotel pool. As it got close to midnight (mind you it slip my mind that it 3am in NYC) I started to feel tried which is normal for me since when I’m home I am up pass 11 and when I work late I stay up until 1 or 2. The next morning is where jetlag truly hit. I was wide awake at 5am even though my room was completely dark. My body thought it was 8 am (my typical wake up time). The next morning I woke up at 4am and I couldn’t get back to sleep. There no beating jetlag, if you tired just go to sleep. Jetlag – 1, Me – O.
Well that what I took away from attending Blogging While Brown this year. Can’t wait for them to announce next year’s location so I can start planning. It would truly make my year if I could get a sponsor.