It’s taken me pretty much all week to mentally sift through all the incredibly interesting, inspiring and informative teaching I heard last weekend at this year’s Problogger Conference a.k.a #pbevent.
As some of you may know, Problogger himself is Mr SnS, and while being married to him for the last thirteen years means I’ve picked up a fair bit by osmosis and observation, the fact is that things are always changing and evolving (in the blogosphere as much as everywhere else) and there is always something new to learn.
About the world and about oneself.
Over the two days I spent at Problogger, I went to over a dozen sessions and heard many excellent speakers.
While they were talking primarily about aspects of blogging and growing a business, I think a lot of what I took away can be useful for all of us.
So in today’s post, I’m sharing the three things that really struck me and about which I’ll be pondering in the coming weeks, if not months.
You might like to ponder these questions in the context of your own situation. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below too.
1. Mistakes are Part of the Deal
This message came through loud and clear from a couple of speakers including Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies and Brandon Cowan from Crazy Dog Apps, an app designer, lost dog foster carer and former Geek (on Beauty and the Geek).
While I think a lot of us know this rationally – and as parents, we say this to our children all the time – for adults embarking on something new, the fear of failure can be paralysing.
I know that when I started this blog, the public nature of it amplified these feelings for me.
Failure is one thing, but public failure, for me, was ten times worse. I eventually pushed on in spite of it, as my motivation to have no regrets won by a whisker over my fear of failure.
I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process and I am so glad I hit publish on my first post. (Here’s the back story of that if you’re interested).
Now, as I think about new projects and possibilities, in amongst my excitement and enthusiasm, I can still hear that quiet voice and feel the nervous energy.
I’ve learned though (and was reminded last week), that we need to give ourselves and each other permission to fail and understand that often, if not always, failure is part of the path to eventual success.
And there is freedom and relief in that for everyone.
The added bonus is that by letting go of some of that fear, we’ll hopefully have more energy to channel into more productive avenues – like doing things that actually energise us and help and inspire other people.
After all, sometimes you actually succeed and things turn out to be awesome. Better than you imagined in fact.
So I’ll be reminding myself of this as I try a few new things and I’ll also make an effort to encourage others doing the same or trying to take that leap.
Is the fear of failure paralysing you? What would you do if fear was taken out of the picture?
2. How Are You Spending Your Time?
This was one of the three questions asked by Darren Rowse aka Mr SnS in his opening keynote.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot this year. I know there are only so many hours in the day but I want to make the most of the time I have.
Every single day.
It’s been a tricky year for me logistically with my four year old at sessional kinder and occasional care three mornings a week. The thing is, while it’s great to have some time to work while he’s busy having fun, those two and a half hour windows aren’t really long enough to get stuck into anything.
I can get a bit done, but never enough, and so I feel frustrated a lot of the time.
I also feel guilty as I try to balance giving Mr 4 the attention he deserves, with my work and the never ending domestic admin.
The fact is that even though I am a relatively organised, productive person, like many of us, I am still often overwhelmed by the many and competing demands on my time.
Sometimes, I’m all over it and high five-ing myself, amazed at what I can achieve in a single day.
Other times, I walk into rooms and can’t remember what I was doing. Or I sit down to make some phone calls and draw a total blank.
I’ve employed a few strategies along the way – for example, setting the oven timer to limit the time I spend on Facebook – but I know I could do better.
Darren shared his weekly routine and I’ve been thinking I’d like to do something similar. I want to devise a weekly routine so that there is a time for everything and less time for overwhelm. For example, for me, this might be working for two of those two hour kinder blocks and doing domestic admin in the other.
How are you spending your time?
3. Even though the world is already full of interesting, inspiring and creative people, there is only one YOU.
This is something I’ve been reflecting on a lot this week, post #PBEVENT.
Whilst I absolutely love being around a dynamic and creative bunch of bloggers and business people, many of whom I count as friends and mentors, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed on some level.
I’m a reasonably confident person (so I’ve been told) but I often wonder what is left to be said, photographed or written about.
Sometimes, it seems like the world is saturated with sameness, a styled conformity of sorts, and everything has been done or said already.
That there is nothing new or original to contribute.
And, as a textbook middle child, I need to do my own thing. I crave originality.
But then I know, intellectually, that there is only one me.
One person with my feelings, experiences and world view. And what I can contribute is different to the next person, even if the topic is the same.
I would not want my kids to go through life feeling like they had nothing to contribute creatively, or to feel that it has all been said and done before, often by very talented and creative people.
It really is a skill in life to be able to run your own race.
To not be put off by other skilful players.
To not compare yourself or be overly self critical.
Taking a good hard look at yourself is important of course, but so is the ability to recognise and build on your own strengths and to value your own unique contribution.
Do you know that you have something to offer that only you can give?
Finally, I wanted to share this classic photo which was taken at the ‘Shine’ networking party. It’s of a great group of bloggers/friends who continue to support, encourage and inspire me.
We’ve dubbed this pic our Wedding Photo – I reckon I could do a lot worse than Colour Me Anna and take a look at these smokin’ hot bridesmaids …
What was your take home message from #pbevent? I’d love to hear your responses to the questions posed above too.