How many times do you hear people give advice and watch them operate by a different set of rules? For me, way too often! So I’ve taken note and am making a conscious decision to take my own advice or quit giving it.
Since the last Freelance Conference in October of 2015 the notion of working in a vacuum has become all too real, and listening to myself tell freelancers to stop this habit rang true for me to take to heart. The first two conferences were amazing, from the speakers to the venue space to the experiences created, I could not be happier with this creation. The growth from year-to-year is proof that I’m on to something, and not just a little something … this thing is growing faster than I can manage – in a vacuum.
But I’m scared; what if I screw it up? What if I can’t be creative enough? What if … the list goes on and on.
A couple months ago I stood in front of a mirror and began to ask myself these questions out loud, and then I answered each one as if I were advising someone else. The answer was clear – don’t do it alone, get out of the vacuum. So the search began, the search for what was missing in order to grow this conference and who would be a perfect match.
The first gap was clear, the experience has to grow. I’m good at coming up with experience ideas, but I’m limited in bandwidth and experiences of my own … I need to think bigger and funner! In steps Elijah May. A man I’ve adored for many years for his ability to not only come up with experiences that blow your mind but can also make them come to fruition … he’s the one!
In the meantime I’d had lunch with a young man here in Austin that was struggling with how to get out of a messy freelance arrangement and was asking for advice. Throughout the conversation the conference came up, I started to tell him about how I needed a kickass marketing person to help launch the conference out to be national. And guess what he said next … he had the perfect person! Anna Cummins, a woman I’ve known virtually for years, was on this same project and was leaving for the same reasons. He had seen the monumental success she had achieved on the team, he looked me in the eye and said “I think she’s the one you need to talk to, in fact, I bet she is looking for her next great adventure”. He was right, Anna and I spent the next month talking multiple times a week and hashing out what it meant to partner up.
It only took minutes for her to see the potential and feel the excitement of building a conference freelancers need and deserve … and after a month of back and forth she was ALL IN!
Back to Elijah. It took me months to actually ask him if he’d like to join this crazy journey, I was nervous and intimidated – but determined. It turns out he was blown away that I’d choose him – HE’S IN, no questions asked! YAY!
We have a Trike!
In my years as the co-founder of TEDxABQ out in Albuquerque I learned the value of having a strong leadership team of three – we called ourself the Trike. I’ve wanted to re-create that structure again ever since and find a project we could run with, it’s here. The Trike of The Freelance Conference has been formed and we could not be more excited to build a conference committed to the celebration and success of freelancers. #BlessedToServeFreelancers #FREECON