Andi Fisher is. And boy, is she excited about it. She wrote a post about making her decision and it carries some special meaning for me – because Liz had the very same effect on me last year.
Over the past month, since returning home from [another] conference, I have been visiting Liz’s blog and reading the information time and time again regarding SOBCon. But each time I have dismissed it as a conference for the “Big Dogs,” and as the owner of a personal blog that is less than a year old and a business that is just a little over a month old, I thought I didn’t fit the label.
But then a couple of things have happened.
A couple of months ago, I purchased a program from Naomi Dunford, of IttyBiz.com. I was in the incubation program with Ladies Who Launch for my business and was looking for resources to help me. I bought the information but didn’t do anything with it (dumb, I know, but the truth) and from time to time I think about pulling the materials out and going through them. Then on one of my lurkings on the SOBCon site, I saw that she was a sponsor, was this a sign?
I kept going back to the SOBCon event site, and then closing the window. This past Tuesday, I said, “Screw it, I am just going to email Liz and ask her about this damn thing!” And I did, and she answered, and she said (among other things):
“…Everyone is a big dog at SOBCon — that’s my rule. Check Naomi Dunford’s blog … IttyBiz.com She’s a full sponsor this year. Her business is just her….You won’t be sorry you came. You’ll leave with 100 or so very important friends. Some will be friends for life. ”
I thought about that all day, and Tuesday night I went to a Ladies Who Launch workshop, a workshop that I thought was about business strategies, but mistakenly (my misunderstanding) it turned out to be about honing and honoring your intuition. Now, I feel like I have pretty good intuition, I have hunches and feelings and I usually follow/honor them, but I was dismissing the feelings I was having around SOBCon, why? At the end of the workshop, we did a visualization exercise. Me, being the practical person that I am said, “oh here we go…” in my head, but decided to just do it anyways.
At the end of the visualization exercise, we were told to write down what came to us.
Mine was, “Go to SOBCon.”
Well, now. After reading this I needed to talk to Andi about her upcoming SOBCon experience. We had a great little chat on the phone and she graciously accepted my request to answer a few questions that I thought would add some punch to her post.
How has planning to go to SOBCon changed your outlook and your business model?
I am not sure it has changed anything significantly yet. My business is just starting out so I am still trying out lots of new things, whatever feels right. My business model is still taking shape and I think it is a great time to attend this conference because I am flexible and nimble enough to incorporate new ideas and concepts with having to “re-do” a lot of work.
After we spoke on the phone it sounded like you had to re-learn some things that you already knew in a different context. What insight can you share with someone who might be “on the edge” of deciding to attend a conference?
One of the key factors that someone thinking attending should consider is what the personal ROI will be? Will putting in the time, effort and money bring value to you and your business (blog, etc)? Also they need to consider what their expectations are in terms of what that ROI is. Are they in it for immediate gratification or do they understand that meeting people, making a connection, building a relationship with genuine context takes time and investment? I believe that those who are serious about their desire to connect and build their businesses through authentic means should look no further than Liz, her network of influencers and influencees, or her business community to find that. And SOBCon is the manifestation of those people, guided by authentic principles, which make this event a “do not miss.”
What is the main thing that you are looking to learn/discover/create at SOBCon?
I am interested in understanding the business-model of some of the tier-1 professional bloggers out there such as Chris Brogan, Problogger, Copyblogger, Remarkablogger, Havi and Ittybiz. The blogging community always amazes me in that the people within the community are constantly opening themselves up to new members, sharing their knowledge, and taking newbies under their wings. Having said that I want to know why they choose to do business one way over another, what knowledge have they gained along the way (that they are willing to share) and what are some pitfalls to avoid. I hope to engage in interesting conversations and suck up knowledge by osmosis just by being around some truly remarkable people.
Thanks so much Andi, I really appreciate your time and participation!
I look forward to participating and brainstorming, I enjoy these activities immensely (and I am secretly hoping that other people in whatever groups I am part of enjoy presenting because I abhor it!). It should be a conference of vibrant, intelligent people and the interaction should be fantastic.
I hope to gain ideas for mainly for my business, including my business blog, but also for my personal blog. I’d like to increase readership and marketing/co-marketing opportunities in the areas that I enjoy.
How about the rest of you? What are you looking forward to at SOBCon this year?