Early in December 2015, I attended my first national convention of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) in Halifax, NS.
That was a good move.
Besides getting 5 minutes to perform on the main stage (an honour at any point in one’s speaking career), I met and connected with some wonderful new people.
While being a solo-preneur has its perks, at times there can be a sense of isolation despite constantly being surrounded by crowds of appreciative, curious people.
What this convention allowed me to do was to be myself, have fun and feel like I’ve found my professional family. I haven’t felt something like this since getting introduced to the world of creativity back in 2012.
That first weekend in December 2015 will stand out as one of the most amazing weekends of my professional development. I don’t feel that I was lucky to be there. Rather I was fortunate to have had the foresight to know that I was supposed to be there, and I was prepared to do whatever was necessary to attend.
To make the trip more cost effective I’ll bet that I was the only participant at the convention from out of province who actually didn’t stay at the hotel. Instead I stayed with a wonderful stranger named Scott who was my host through something called Couchsurfing. This is a traveler network with over 10 million members worldwide. He lived a 7 minute bus ride / taxi ride from the hotel and was a superb host. I had my own room, some great conversations, amazing coffee and even a pork roast dinner one night.
Furthermore, I had the privilege of connecting with cousins from both sides of my family and got to catch up over some meals and chats.
So the next time you have an opportunity that you think you should chase after, but don’t quite know how you can make it happen, give it a shot.
Sometimes it’s just the act of getting ourselves out there that provides the stage for us to shine.