I recently attended a conference in Raleigh, NC called Creative @ Heart and it totally changed the way I see myself and my business, but not in the ways you may expect.
When I signed up for C@H in February 2017 I had decided to niche down my business. My plan was to focus all of my marketing efforts on designing and developing websites for creative female entrepreneurs. In order to do this, I needed to connect with some women (my ideal clients) and this conference seemed like a great way to do that.
Time went on (as it does) and things shifted (as they do) and by the time the conference came around in August 2017 I had decided to completely shift my business, focusing all of my efforts on bringing the designs to life as a working WordPress website.
As the conference got closer I began to dread attending.
I, a self proclaimed “non-girlie-girl”, was going to be spending 3 days around 130 women in a sea of light pink and glitter. I kept telling myself that it would be good for me to practice networking and that I might learn a thing or two about business. If nothing else I’d get to enjoy some time away from my kids, living an independent life once again.
My days (and evenings) at C@H were spent meeting inspirational female business owners, listening to heartfelt speakers talk about authenticity and intentionality, watching fellow attendees crying with joy and sadness, and witnessing countless women share about their lives and their struggles.
As the event came to a close women all around me rushed around to say goodbye and give hugs to those with whom they had shared their hearts.
In those last moments I found myself standing there alone. I had no one to say goodbye to.
There was no one in that whole room that I had made a connection with that warranted seeking them out and say goodbye, so I left. I got in my car and drove the the three hours back to Charlotte – sobbing the whole way, flooded with built-up emotion from the days preceding.
Now, I’m not usually a very “emotional” person so this surprised me (and my husband).
During the drive and in the days following I listened to my heart to figure out what had made me so emotional. What I realized is that most of the struggles in my business have nothing to do with time and knowledge (my consistent excuses).
My struggles are vulnerability and confidence.
Blogging and social media have always been an uphill battle for me because it requires me to be vulnerable, to put myself out there with the confidence to say that I am valuable and “good enough.”
It takes me years to form trusted relationships because I don’t allow myself to be vulnerable enough to make a connection, and I’m not confident that anyone truly wants to connect with me.
I’m not telling you all of this so that you feel sorry for me. I’m writing it because I want to overcome my struggles with vulnerability and confidence.
I want to put myself out there with confidence and purpose. And it all starts with sharing.
Looking back I am so beyond thankful that I was able to attend C@H. If I had not been put in such an uncomfortable position around so many full-hearted women, I’m not sure when I would have realized what’s really been holding me back.