The wealth of information that I can uncover at events like WordCamp Birmingham continues to amaze me. Not only did Tammy Hart from 10up help me with a website issue that has been plaguing me for months, but Jerry Brown and Andrew Searles from infomedia were some of the folks that helped me to stay entertained in between sessions. It was a time to learn, to share, to laugh and to just come together with others that are on this journey to become the success they desire.
I know that no event will ever offer everything I want or expect – if I choose to go in looking for the flaws. Attending events, like WordCamp Birmingham, with an open mind and an eager mind, makes everything possible.
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from WordCamp
1. I can learn from anyone or any session IF I am willing to learn. Yes, I attended the Freelance workshop because I am a freelance writer and I am always looking for ideas to grow my freelance business. But this was freelance developers. I was disappointed and considered slipping back out of the room. Instead, I dug in and listened up. I took two pages of notes before I was done. It is not in the presenter, the presentation or the subject. I can find new information or opportunities anywhere I am willing to look.
2. Simple is still the best way. We all want to stand out, and that begins with a concept that is simple to express and easy to find. “People are going to Google what they know.” (Jenny Munn, WordCamp Birmingham 2014) Create concepts around those simple, well known ideas.
3. It is all about me. I have been trying to explain this to my husband for YEARS, but it does not mean what I thought it meant. Freelancing as a writer, a designer or just growing my own business means that I am selling myself and that requires growing trust with potential and existing clients.
4. It all revolves around relationships. Building trust begins with growing relationships. Making the right connections begins with being connected with the right people. Investing in meeting new people, connecting with new businesses and clients and then growing those into relationships will open up the doors to my success.
5. There MUST BE A PLAN. I have to put down, in writing no less, a plan for my success that defines my output, my income and my break even. It needs to include what I will pay myself and how I will make that happen. Anything less and I am just asking for disaster.
6. It begins with a goal – whatever IT is. A set finish line makes it possible to make plans, take steps or change directions as necessary. Without a goal, it is just one attempt after another, throwing it all on the wall and hoping something sticks that will be beneficial.
7. It is about the vision and not the tools. If I can dream it, then there is a way to create it – if I am willing to put in the investment, the resources, the energy, the time or whatever else is required (or if I can get others on board with the vision). “Masters of their craft focus on a vision and bend the tools to their will.” (Jake Goldman, WordCamp Birmingham 2014)
8. It is all about others. It takes a focus on helping others solve their problems. It takes a desire to make people happy (or at least content in the job you are doing). It takes helping others connect with me to the point that they share me (my business) with others.
Maybe it was not EVERYTHING I need know, but there was a lot of information available if I was willing to look. Some of it I heard before, but I obviously needed to hear it again. Some of it was new and exciting, but I still need to put it to practice. The answer to all that I am doing begins with me – and then through the relationships I build – but it is encouraged, motivated and grown up through events like WordCamp Birmingham.