I spent last Thursday through Sunday at a conference/vacation called Being Boss in Miami. I didn’t know a single other attendee and shared a hotel room with a total stranger. I still kind of can’t believe I went, because it’s so not something I would do. But I did, and yes, I’m proud of myself. But more than that, it was actually FUN. Like, so fun that I’m already wondering when I can do it again.
I went from being someone who would never ever attend a conference to someone buying a ticket and booking a hotel room in the span of 5 minutes. I’ve been a fan of the Being Boss podcast for over a year and am active in their Facebook group, but I had never at all considered going to any kind of in person thing. Sitting behind a computer is a lot more comfortable, you know? But they announced their next vacation was in Miami and it suddenly felt like something I should do. Miami’s only about 4 hours away, so how could I not? I really don’t know what motivated me exactly, but I immediately bought my ticket. I didn’t think about the trip much up until the week before, when I started to get nervous. I sent a few “what was I thinking??” texts to my bestie and probably would have canceled it if I could.
But Thursday morning came and I loaded my suitcase and drove south. 4 hours later, I knocked on my hotel room door to meet my new roomie, Liz Garcia. We hugged and all was well. I really recommend having a roommate even though that might sound scary. It was so nice to have someone that I could lean on a bit in the beginning.
As soon as I started to meet the group, I totally relaxed. Seriously, everyone there was so friendly, so easy to talk to, and just plain cool. Every single person I met was someone I’d like to know better. I think we just got lucky and it was a great group. It was such a good mix of bosses — I met coaches, lawyers, a nutritionist, a chef, social media strategists, a wedding planner, writers and authors, fellow designers and developers, a visual recorder, photographers, branding experts and more. It was really fun to talk to people who totally get the working for yourself gig. You know, being boss. The whole event was mostly a vacation filled with talking, walks and wine on the beach, a party on a yacht and eating yummy food.
It was a total game changer for me in how I perceive networking. It truly eradicated any yucky feelings that I have long associated with that. There was no selling here, it was just about connection. And that’s how it should always feel, I think. I’m going to start getting out there and attending more networking events locally and try to recreate a little of the magic.
Part of the vacation was watching a live recording of the Being Boss podcast. It was so fun to watch Emily & Kathleen do their thing. They’re such naturals and the podcast is a great mix of fun entertainment and truly good advice. I even asked a question during the live show!
I’m so glad that I jumped way, way out of my comfort zone. And so happy to have met everyone that I did.