I never dreamed that blogging for personal reasons would benefit me in other areas of my life, but I swear it has.
+ Last week, I went away for a business trip. I work for a very large, very corporate company. I won an award and was flown to
cold Minnesota for a day, and a half. It was exciting, challenging, and I actually had fun (minus presenting my idea a gazillion times to executives, VPs, and the CEO)! But I was the most entry-level employee at this shindig. It could have been intimadating…but having gone to several blog conferences, I wasn’t as nervous about the networking aspect of my business trip.
Maybe it comes with age, but I didn’t initially know everyone titles, or roles, or experience for this work event. I feel like I jived well with everyone. Something like this would have intimidated me to the point of not going at one time in my life [anyone that knows me now, would probably never think this of me, but it’s true], but I went. If nothing comes of it for me professionally, at least I did it. Not many people in my department will get the opportunity.
+After attending my first blog conference alone last Fall [hey, BlogFete!], I decided I could and would start my own events company. It’s scary, and it is time-consuming, as I work this full-time job, blog on the regular, and attempt to keep a busy social life.
But I am doing it. I met a ton of supportive, and encouraging gals while at BlogFete. I felt so awkward my first night. I only knew Melissa, who was the organizer/creator and was busy playing hostess. I felt like I made a huge mistake in going. But once I set the nerves aside, I had THE best time. To date, it’s still the best blogging conference I have been to. Through it, I made wonderful connections, new friends that get the passion to create things in ways everyone else I know and love may not understand. I have a monthly spot as contributor at The Flair Exchange with it, and several event planners who I message pretty regularly when I have questions regarding my side biz.
+I occasionally get invited to local events here in Tampa Bay. For a while, it was too much. I was afraid to ever decline for fear of never being invited anywhere. But it became more “work” than fun, and I have been better about picking and choosing what I do, and where I go. I’ve made some awesome local, friends. I’ve made new friends that blog, that own restaurants, that just like to explore Tampa like me. If I never said yes to the first invite, I’d not have joined some local groups, and/or made the friends I have. So I have learned to say yes, and also…when to say no from blogging (whoa, that’s deep ya’ll).
+When I went to the Food and Wine Conference this summer, I had no idea what to expect! FWCon was only the second blog conference I had attended, and this time I actually knew people going (and was lucky enough to room with Krystal, and hang with Melissa), and knew there were a lot of folks from the Sunday Supper Movement that I couldn’t wait to meet.
At dinner one night, I sat next to one of the sponsors. We clicked, drank wine, and hung out. Everyone hung out with everyone, really. But I emailed my new marketing friend, and kept in touch, and now I am part of an exciting holiday campaign next month!
Going out of my comfort zone, and attending events alone and reaching out to people I don’t know well…these are not things I would have done three-ish years ago. Blogging has helped me in so many ways. Has blogging ever helped you?