You’ve been to CMA Live before, and you feel a little guilty, maybe even a little disappointed in yourself that you haven’t done anything with what you learned last year.
This is having an impact on you in terms of your decision to buy a ticket for CMA Live this year. In other words, you don’t want to waste time and money (again) if you’re not going to do anything with the information and the knowledge you gained.
I totally understand this. I’m no different to you. I attend conferences and sometimes think “What did I do with all of that information?”
So, you know that CMA Live has been valuable to you, but in terms of tangibility and results you feel like you’re coming up empty, and this feeling is stopping you coming along this year.
Let’s dig in and look a little closer to figure out what might be going on.
1. Managing your own expectations in learning and implementation
We have to be honest with ourselves and think about how much we can really take away from a conference and implement directly and immediately.
Also, we have to manage our own expectations in terms of the amount of learning we can do, and the speed at which we can implement.
At conferences and events we get fired up and motivated. We get excited, but it doesn’t last. It’s no surprise that some people feel a little disappointed in themselves after a few months or a year.
This is why ongoing support form the CMA community is so important. You do the learning, but you also need the ongoing support to implement, and the guidance to know what to to do first and next.
The first thing you have to feel confident about is the why – why do you want to attend CMA Live?
What if you took one thing from CMA Live and it changed your business? Two things? Three things? What if like me it was something that changed your entire approach?
What you will find with personal and professional development is that change in your life and business happens slowly, then all of a sudden, a year or two later you find yourself in a different position. Maybe a complete change in business, maybe a complete change in lifestyle. It could even be a dramatic change in your personal life.
We’ve witnessed people change careers, quit jobs, end relationships and start new ones all because of the special moments that take place at these events.
I’m not saying that everyone will have this kind of experience at CMA Live. Timing is everything when it comes to learning. When you hear the right message, at the right time, it can change everything.
The only problem with this is…you can’t predict it. That’s what makes the people at CMA Live really special. Their mind is open and ready to see what happens next. They have confidence in themselves, the faith that they will get something from CMA Live.
Most people do want to make sure that when they come to the conference they can take something of value and implement it immediately, but it’s important that we manage our expectations because that might not always be the case.
For example, at CMA Live 2016, 2 years ago now, I was sitting listening and watching Ann Handley deliver her Bigger Braver Bolder talk. I had no idea how much of an impact she would have on me.
The lesson I learned from Ann hit me like a truck.
It took me around a year to change my approach and behaviour from the lessons she shared. A year! And during that time something wasn’t right. I stopped creating content consistently, knowing that I could be doing better. Something was missing and it was going to take me time to figure it out.
You could look at this two ways – I went to a conference and it had the opposite effect…I did less. Or, the learning went so deep that it changed everything about the way I approach content. Change is hard, it takes time, and it’s unpredictable. You’re never certain when it’s all going to ‘click’ into place.
That’s why it’s important that we learn continuously.
So, what can you do with this?
- Have an open mind
- Respect the journey through development
- Understand the importance of timing
- Appreciate that some lessons and knowledge can take a long time to have tangible and significant impact
That’s my challenge to you.
It’s a hard one to grasp for a lot of people because we live in this world of instant gratification. We want to see change immediately. But it doesn’t work like that.
We need to change our mindset and our approach to learning.
2. Taking time to reflect and express gratitude
Just yesterday I had a great day at work. We made some sales, things were moving forward, and everything was working out. But towards the end of the day I was giving myself hard time because I felt like I hadn’t achieved anything.
Cara was there to coach me through that and help me realise that I had done a lot and it had been a good day (and that she’s the only one that’s allowed to give me a hard time, not me!).
As humans we have a tendency to focus on what we don’t have or what we haven’t done, rather than what we do have and what we have achieved. And whether you know it or not, you have done some amazing things since CMA Live last year, you just haven’t allowed yourself to reflect on it yet.
I’d like you to do that today.
Think back to the last CMA Live you were at:
- Who did you meet?
- What did you learn?
- What was your favourite presentation?
- How did it make you feel?
- How have you changed?
- What big decisions have you made this year?
- What have you done directly as a result of being at CMA Live.
I want you to dig really deep. Think real hard.
If you do this and you truly have achieved nothing in a year, then please send me an email email@example.com.
In short, I think you’re giving yourself a hard time when you shouldn’t be.
I bet you’ve done lots this last year and all that’s happened is you haven’t appreciated it.
So reflect on your year or time since the last CMA Live and be honest with yourself, and stop giving yourself a hard time.
3. Using CMA Live as a milestone and a fresh start
Many people that come to CMA Live use the annual event as a milestone on the calendar and as a fresh start.
“By CMA Live I will…”
“In the next year I will…”
That’s why we do an exercise with the orange envelopes, I can keep you accountable (we ask you to write a letter to yourself and we send it back out to you 6 months later).
Did you know that there are almost 100 days in the year to have a fresh start? For example:
- Start of the month
- Day after your holiday
- 1st Jan…
…and CMA Live…!
CMA Live is a good opportunity to reflect, calibrate and plan for the future.
Yes, there’s learning to do, yes there are big questions to answer, but it’s so much more than that if you let it become a date in your calendar where you can take point of reflection and a fresh start for the year ahead.
Even if you haven’t had the best of years, you can always start fresh and do something to make your next year better than that last.
For CMA Live this year
So, let’s talk about CMA Live this year and let’s make a change.
Let’s say you’ve read this far and you feel better about being there this year. That’s great, I want you to be there.
How do we make sure you don’t have this same feeling of guilt and disappointment next year?
You need to make a change, so here are my best tips:
- Take notes
- Review them and unpack your notes, don’t let them sit on a shelf
- Pick out 3 things that you will do differently from what you have learned
- Join CMA and review the video content from the presentations
- Seek out support from the CMA Squad to help you implement, learn and get feedback
- Meet all the people, have conversations, meet the speakers and make friends
- Enjoy yourself, have fun
- Have an open mind and use CMA Live as a milestone to allow you to reflect and start fresh
A conference isn’t as silver bullet for your business. You can’t expect to turn up, learn something and then suddenly your business changes as a result.
Personal growth, business growth is slow moving and it evolves over time. Of course it doesn’t happen over night, and it doesn’t happen all on it’s own either. There has to be planning and deliberate action that happens after CMA Live…thats a big reason why the membership community is so effective.
So let’s put this guilt feeling to bed today. Let’s make a change for CMA Live this year so instead you feel confident, ready to learn, and ready to take some positive action.
Go ahead and take time right now to review your time since CMA Live, and jump into the comments section with your thoughts and what’s on your mind. You can also email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d rather share privately.
I really hope to see you at CMA Live this year.
I hope you feel good about yourself and the work that you do.