how Influence strengthened my mind (part one)

One week ago yesterday, I blogged in advance of Influence and said I felt a bit like Polly Pocket among Barbies. The founders of Influence reminded us early and often that insecurities and egos and attitudes weren’t welcome and should be checked at the door. And anxiety, despite the biggest and boldest shoo-ings, still shows up sometimes.

I was also anxious because of this pull between my mind and my heart. Networking is my jam . . . but this pull shows up at every social/networking hybrid. My mind wants to learn learn learn and build my brand and build my business. My heart wants to connect connect connect and love and make friends and return smiles.

By design, two tracks were available at Influence: Life and Strategy. If only I could have been in two places at once! I attended mostly Strategy sessions, but a few Life sessions too. And all the sessions will be available on audio, thank-you-lucky-stars, so I can hear those I didn’t see in person.

Emily Freeman wrote Grace for the Good Girl. If I made a top-10-books-of-my-life list, hers would be on it. Emily’s presence at Influence was a driving reason why I signed up.

Art, Emily shared, is being yourself. It is being aware of those around you. Artists wake up in us a desire to see our true selves. Work hard, she advised. Believe truth. Surrender to the art. And then do it all again tomorrow.

What if we don’t know what our art is? Emily suggested we listen to our Barbies. How did we play with them? Did we build and decorate beautiful dream homes? Did we dress them up in lovely outfits? Did we fixate on their interpersonal relationships and build precious dialogue between Skipper and Midge?

For me, it was all about the work/life stuff. Barbie was a teacher one day, a writer the next and then a scientist the day after that. My Barbies were Renaissance dolls all right, and they loved every minute of it. And then in the evenings, she’d hang out with Ken and her girlfriends.

How we play, Emily said, shows what we’re made for as adults.

After she spoke, I asked her to sign my copy of Grace for the Good Girl. When I told her how that book’s truths impacted my life, I cried. And her eyes teared up a little bit too! I will never forget that.

The second session I attended: Do It Right the First Time, by the mesmerizing Hayley Morgan of The Tiny Twig. She shared words of business wisdom that touched this little entrepreneur core of mine.

First, multiple revenue streams. I never quite had a term for well-I-write-a-lot-of-things. After hearing Hayley speak, though, no longer will I call it “passion ADD.” Nope. It’s just multiple revenue streams, and if we make a living that way, we should own it boldly.

Hayley’s parting words touched on reputation. Be wise, she advised, about who you put your stamp of approval on. Temptation to endorse is everywhere, and our word carries more weight when we choose carefully.

Nish Weiseth spoke about blogging dangerously and writing beyond your comfort zone. (Immediately intrigued, right?) What makes us different from the latest sensation is that blend of openness and vulnerability. When grace and glorification is at the forefront of how we write and what we write, we just can’t go wrong.

Furthermore, Nish advised, hold opinions loosely. Craft your opinion on the story you have to tell about it. We can’t control how someone reads what we write. But we can control how we communicate. And if it’s hinged on grace and understanding and love . . . then we’ve done well.

(part two on its way . . . just too much good stuff for one post, friends!)

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