Every so often, you find yourself in exactly the spot you’re supposed to be at exactly the moment you’re supposed to be there. Maybe you took steps to get there or maybe it happened by accident, but in that moment, you’re completely at home. That was me earlier this week when I attended the Military Influencer Conference in Dallas.
I was so excited to be a part of more than 250 military entrepreneurs, bloggers and companies coming together to network and share ideas. But I was also insanely intimidated: by the success, by the number of people, by the overwhelming “small fish in a big pond” feeling. But I shouldn’t have been! This was the most welcoming and encouraging groups of people I’ve ever come across, from bloggers just starting out to multi-million dollar companies. Everyone was ready to engage with all who crossed their path and the energy was contagious.
Learning from those around me, meeting individuals I admired and finally connecting with my Internet buddies all made for two and a half fantastic days. I took so much away from Dallas, beyond just business cards and new contacts.
Takeaways from the Military Influencer Conference
Takeaway #1: These are my people. I posted yesterday about being a military spouse in a primarily civilian world. Because of this, I tend to feel a bit isolated from people who get my lifestyle, so being at this conference with so many other military spouses was a breath of fresh air. There was this unspoken understanding between us all, this immediate feeling of camaraderie. We got each other, no questions asked. I made connections that I foresee lasting long beyond the hotel ballroom.
Takeaway #2: The military spouse community is mighty! At a conference that was billed for military influencers, I was so incredibly impressed with the large number of military spouses in attendance. I’d guess that we made up at least half, if not more. I felt lucky to find myself in the company of so many inspiring men and women who are busting their butts to take care of the home and their families and a business. Our interests and backgrounds may be varied, but our passion for supporting the military community binds us together.
Takeaway #3: Community over competition is where it’s at. Most people perceive the world of business as very cutthroat with everyone out for just themselves and to some extent, that’s true. But I didn’t find it to be true at this conference. Even individuals who did similar things were more than willing to help each other take their business to the next level. People kept saying that there was room for everyone in this niche and that’s so true. I didn’t walk away feeling like I needed to compete with people I met so that I was the only voice, but instead, I left feeling inspired to learn from people I met so we’re a strong collective voice.
Takeaway #4: I want to make Countdowns and Cupcakes a thing. Ok, so this was probably my biggest takeaway, but it was the easiest one to settle on. As I listened to our keynote speakers share their stories of success, as I networked with companies and bloggers, as a I sat in on educational sessions, all I could think was “I’m ready to take Countdowns and Cupcakes to the next level.” I started making a list of my 2018 goals right there at the conference because I was so pumped! First on the list is growing my alternative social media platforms such as instagram. One of the other bloggers recommend upleap as an effective way to generate followers and likes, so I’ll have to check that out.
I have grown to love this little corner of the internet so much and I am so passionate about it continuing to grow, on the blog, in the shop and on social media. I so hope you’ll be a part of it!
P.S. The conference is coming to Orlando on September 23-25 next year! If you couldn’t make it to Dallas (or we didn’t get the chance to connect), I can’t wait to see you in Orlando.