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You are listening to episode number 3 of “The Grace-Filled CEO”. Hey there! I am PUMPED about this episode because it is all about productivity and getting your booty moving after a conference. I think we can all agree that conferences are GREAT. They can be so life-giving and energetic, and sometimes so much so, that afterwards, we crash. Our brains and bodies are tired, while simultaneously spinning with all the ideas and things to implement. Today I am going to share the top three actions I take after I attend a conference that get me an immediate return on my investment. I might even share some high-level pro tips for organizing the chaos that is our brains. Do I have you hooked yet? Let’s get to it.
Now before we get into today’s topic, This episode is sponsored by my deep love for ClickUp, a project management software that can not only help plan your projects, but get more done, provide reports, automation, and so much more. I seriously love it so much. If you want to check it out, head over to my website: jilliandolberry.com/resources to learn more.
Alright now let’s get to the show!
YALL. I just got home from an amazing conference. For the past 5 years, I have attended the Business Boutique Conference in Nashville, TN. It’s a quick drive for me, which is great, but more than that, the reason why I keep going back is that every year I learn something new about myself, God reveals something new to me, and I learn something that takes my business to the next level. That is a conference where I gladly say TAKE MY MONEY year after year.
Aside from the conference experience (which is always TOP NOTCH), there are always amazing speakers. Some that I expect to be amazing, and some that surprise me. I am a learning junkie. I want to soak up all the things from people who are smarter than me. So I am taking millions of notes, in the fill-in-the-blank areas, but also the margins. My workbooks look like an ink bomb went off in them, no joke. For years, I would leave feeling so energized and then drive home. My brain is ALWAYS churning and by the time I get home, I worry I will lose all of the million-dollar ideas I had. And sometimes I do. This year was different though. This year I knew I needed space afterward to process all that I had learned. I also knew that this was an opportunity for me to take that much-needed CEO time and take care of myself as well as my business. What I want to share with you is what I did within 24 hours after the conference to propel my business forward and get an immediate return on my investment.
The first thing is I DOWNLOAD.
I literally download any pictures of slides I took or any freebies, lead magnets I found interesting. I file them away in a task/resource folder called the name of the conference I went to and what year it is. So “Business Boutique Conference 2021”. I also download the names, contact info, and Instagram handles of people I want to stay connected with. This could be someone you personally connected with, someone you want to nurture as a lead, collaborate with, learn or purchase from. I put them in that same place because they will be forever associated with that event in my brain so when I recall that person who sells the things that I need or offers that service I need, I know where to find it.
PRO TIP: I heard someone share this years ago and it changed everything for me in attending conferences. In your notebook (because if you aren’t taking notes of some sort, what are you doing there?!), use a tagging system to know what you want to do with the information you are consuming, This could look like icons, or little doodles, or starring something. For me, I put a question mark with a circle around it for all the questions I have. I put a checkmark with a circle around it for all the tasks/todos I need to move to my list. I put a star next to something I want to come back to and think on, like a big concept that I may not have had the time to fully process. I put a small book with a circle around it to know that is a book I need to add to my wishlist. I put a little lightbulb for the ideas I have. And the list goes on. When you do this, go back through your notebook after each day, and categorize these things. Put them in that same place with the slide pictures and your connections.
Next, you are going to PRIORITIZE.
Prioritize the tasks you need to complete. Prioritize the ideas, the to-dos, the people to follow up with, the books you want to read, the research you want to do, etc. Not everything is the most important. So figure out what is and then move to the next phase. Why don’t you plan first and then prioritize? Great question. Ultimately you can swap those if that makes sense for you, BUT if you are into saving yourself some energy… like me, then setting priorities first will be the way to go. Otherwise, you are spending the time planning things that may never be a top priority. Here’s the thing: just because it feels urgent, doesn’t mean it’s important. And while you may have one million ideas, all you need is one good one. Don’t put pressure on yourself to plan out 10 ideas you had in a day and a half.
Lastly, I want you to PLAN.
Pick your top 1-3 ideas (the number depends on how big they are – think about your capacity here), and plan them out step by step. Starting with an idea and making actionable steps to get there is worth its weight in gold! This is something my clients ALL love getting help with. If you have a team, involve them in this. They will think of things that you won’t. If you don’t have a team, ask a few business friends, or trusted friends at least to share their feedback with you on what you might be missing or how to make that idea better. We are better together so when we can cheer each other on and collaborate, we have won already. We make each other better. Iron sharpens iron.
Something to think about as you plan: let the first round be messy. Jot down all the ideas, all over the board with things marked out, random arrows, the whole messy glorious thing. Then categorize. Maybe it’s through WHO can help you do it, or stages or phases, or timeline. Start to break it up into smaller pieces. Then rinse and repeat a few more times, until you have specific tasks assigned to the people who will accomplish them and when.
As an OBM, this is something that gets my juices flowing. It’s the mess-to-organization thrill that we live for. At the end of the day, you are creative, and sure not all creatives are good at this, but more importantly, not all creatives WANT to do this! This is where having some help in your business, and collaboration with people with different gifts can really serve you in taking your business to the next level.