A week ago today I was rising and shining in our beautiful City of Toronto to attend the BConnected Conference for Digital Influencers. Eight months into my blogging journey, it was time to step out of my blogger bubble and get out to meet some of the incredible people I’ve enjoyed connecting with virtually and meet some other talented, inspiring experts in the social influencer realm in person.
When I heard the BConnected Conference would be so close to home in Toronto this year, I felt compelled to attend. Blogging is incredibly rewarding, but can also be an isolating and static endeavour. It was time to step out of my comfort zone and engage with some awesome people. A highlight was a candid convo with Julie Cole – conference MC, inspiring Mama of 6 & co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. Love her raw + real energy, and meeting a fellow mama of large brood turned Mom Boss fueled my motivation.
The conference was a two day event, but regrettably, I was only able to step away from busy family life for the 1st day. I am certainly glad I did. The organizers did a fabulous job, and the speaker line up was incredible, with so many takeaways I will not soon forget. Here they are, in no particular order:
Aha Moments from My First Blogger Conference
1) The reminder to focus on productivity, not perfection. You’ve already heard me cover my journey as a recovering perfectionist in my “Six Lessons Learned 6 Months Into Blogging”. I’ve learned this will always be a work in progress for me, and many of us who pour our souls out for the world to read. No matter how confident we are, blogging is an act of courage that needs constant encouragement. Elayna Fernandez (aka @ThePositiveMom) in her eloquent, yet powerful delivery reminded us small focused steps are better than stalling for a flawless start. Get busy creating. Getting good at something starts with the courage to begin.
2) Stop diminishing your worth. You know, how we repeatedly discount our efforts by bringing up what we feel are setbacks (“I only have ___ pageviews”, “I only have ___ followers”). We all begin somewhere. A small audience is not a failure. It’s progress. We need to celebrate our small wins. The way we speak of our progress directly affects how others perceive us. There were many reminders to acknowledge the power of positivity and owning your successes along the way. This was encouragement I and so many in the room needed to hear. Blogging is A LOT of work. At times it can feel like being stuck in the mud, and makes you question if what you’re doing is going anywhere – queue the flood of insecurities even the most confident can’t avoid feeling. A great reminder to celebrate our progress no matter how small, for it will attract more to celebrate.
3) The encouragement to ditch comparison and competition. Not to see the blogosphere as a stadium of gladiators competing, but as a community. Comparison is the greatest block to creativity. When we focus on what others are doing, we’re spending time on envy instead of staying in touch with our own gifts. A HUGE “a-ha” moment was when Elayna said “If 1 Influencer hits a million views on YouTube, that means you can too.” YES! When we shift our perspective to be inspired by another’s success and not discouraged by it, we can truly embrace the “community over competition” notion that is often brought to light in the blogosphere . When one of us wins, we all win!
4) This last “a-ha” was a culmination of several sources of inspiration that came my way that week. The reminder that having influence is not about elevating self, but lifting others. The greatest thing about being a blogger/social influencer is not the free stuff/compensation (I mean, let’s be honest, those things are wonderful and rewarding), but being of value to others. Our story, our experiences are our power. They are what make us relatable and forge connection with our audience. Each of us has a message to share. When our readers reach out expressing how inspired they were, how you helped them feel normal, how you encouraged them to step outside of their comfort zone, that is truly where the real reward and magic lies, IMHO.
I am grateful I was able to attend this Conference, even if for only 1 day. However, missing Erica Ehm’s speech on the 2nd day may be a lingering regret of 2017 (ef!). Not only a Canadian icon, celebrated TV Host, Writer and Songwriter, she is a trailblazer for woman empowerment, an originator in the blogosphere/social influencer world, and social media marketing guru, who’s YMC.ca platform paved the way for women turned moms to thrive on their Motherhoood journey. Being someone who is all for Moms pursing their passions outside of parenting, Erica is a true inspiration and role model for how to make sh*t happen alongside a busy family life.
It wasn’t easy to step away from our crazy family life to attend this event, and I’m grateful for a supportive team of Daddy and Nana holding it down at home. As a woman and a Mom, it’s easy to make excuses and bypass great opportunities in favour of all the responsibility that lies at home. I am well aware of how investing in ourselves can be perceived as selfish our unMom-like, but I’ve learned to ignore the judgements, as personal growth filters positively into all of our other relationships, I’ve discovered, and while carving out time is challenging, any Mom is worthy of investing time into her aspirations.
While I walked back to my car at the end of an uplifting day, this little nugget of wisdom popped up on my feed:
Amazing encouragement to ditch the Mom guilt, and validation that investing in personal growth and visions is time well spent. Being surrounded by driven, motivated and influential people is exactly how I want to be spending extra time outside of the demands of parenting.
This experience was entirely worthwhile, and helped me get a little more focused on what I need to do to grow the blog. Sadly, it was the last year for BConnected, but I will actively seeking opportunities to attend other conferences in the future. Fellow digital influencers, send me your recommendations!
How are you investing in yourself and your vision?