Real life events can serve as major catalysts moments… those moments that we get in life that you can look back on and say, “after that everything changed for me.” Cathy shares her secrets on making sure every in-person event you attend is a game changer, and that you make the very MOST of your investment.

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Full Transcript:

Hey everyone, this is Cathy Olson and welcome to the Secrets of Gorgeous Design Podcast. Oh my goodness. Today. So I’m kind of like, it’s a bittersweet topic for me to talk to you today about. And the topic is really something that has changed my business a lot. It’s both exhilarating and exhausting. I’ve just come back from back to pretty much back to back events. So my September’s and falls are always filled with real life events and they are awesome and can be exhausting too and can cause a lot of money if you do them wrong. So I want to talk to you about my top tips for real life events today. So let’s jump into this episode.

My name is Cathy Olson. I’m part of a group of entrepreneurs who are the founders and creative directors of their businesses who have a discerning eye and a ton of heart.

If you ask those get rich quick types, they would say that pretty designed, isn’t functional and doesn’t sell. Yet. We are proving everyday that beautiful and thoughtful details do sell and in fact attract unstoppable beauty and wealth. We believe that we can have it all and that sales can be gorgeous. These are the secrets of gorgeous design and we are here to make creativity, lucrative, build gorgeous brands and sales funnels and to make the world of business a gorgeous place to be. All right y’all. I hope you are ready for some real, real talk today because I am just like right in the thick of the aftermath of traveling a ton. So I, Gosh, it’s basically August, September and October of every single year is my craziest every year because it’s Kinda like this intersection of me traveling a bunch for events, for either speaking events or events that I’m attending that I’m paying to attend.

Right. Instead of them paying me. And I also it, it’s like the beginning of the really busy season for love inspired, which is my design agency. So it’s kind of like this perfect storm of awesome business. Um, and, and also it happens like right before all of the holidays hit too. So it’s kind of crazy. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I love it. I mean, obviously I can say no to all these events that don’t have to speak at events, I don’t have to attend events, right? Um, and I don’t have to take on all these clients so it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s definitely voluntary, but I will say that there’s ways to do a wrong. So when people kind of get burned out from real life events or don’t want to get to go to a real life event or get it freaked out to go to their first real life event, it’s kind of a culmination of all of these things.

And I think you, maybe you’ve heard some, some like horror stories about people who have gone to real life events and they were a waste of money or um, or maybe it’s just scary period to make that kind of investment in your business because as soon as you go to a real life event, your, your costs start to like, you know, exponentially add up, right? Because you obviously have to take time off of work. You got to, you know, deal with real life situation where if you have children or something, you’ve got to deal with childcare, you know, all of that stuff. And then not to mention all the travel costs that are incurred, flying, eating right, like where are you have to stay, all that stuff. So I know it can be really freaky for people. And actually what kind of made me started thinking about this was that I was interviewed for a magazine about events and about real life events and what they did for my business and it made me really kind of look back at all of the events that I’ve gone to over, you know, Gosh, whatever, 10 years.

And I’m really made me start thinking about all these little different moments in these touch points that really changed my life. There were like the catalyst moment I made an in person connection and met someone that would forever change my life after that point. And that’s happened several times. It’s not just like this one event that I went to write. It happens pretty much. Not Pretty much. It happens yearly every year. Um, there’s probably several people that I meet that I, that change the trajectory of my life so, and I can say, you know, there’s a good handful of people that I can just name off that have totally changed my life and I met them at real life events, so, um, and as such as the people, but the things, the little moments, um, the little [inaudible] and stuff like that too. So I want to today kind of give you sort of a survival guide, I guess of sorts, something that can, that you can use like three things that you can do to really make events work for you and make them worth the investment of your time, of your energy, of your actual money.

Right? And so the first thing that you need to do when you go to a real life event, and also I should say to you, the reason I’m kind of dove into this is because I’m actually throwing my first real life event, um, in February here in San Diego. So I’m really excited about that. So it’s again, I’m also go like, this is coming from both sides of it, from the side of me attending events for 10 years and then also now I’m throwing my, my own event and I’m trying to kind of create these connection points within the event. So all that to say, okay, so my first number one is that you want to focus on getting two things. Basically I’m getting strategy out of it, but also getting inspiration out of it. So there’s a lot of times people, some people will, people go to events, they basically think, oh, I want to get, you know, this thing out of it.

Right? But I think that sometimes those goals are a little too lofty, especially if you’re trying to get something to completely finished before you leave. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to do because what Ha, what ends up happening is, you know, we, we say, oh, I’m going to buy this ticket to this event, got to learn how to do this thing. And then I’m gonna come back and it’s gonna be all awesome. But what kind of ends up, especially if you have implementation in mind, but what ends up happening is you get into a room full of other likeminded individuals and entrepreneurs and we just want to talk to each other, you know, especially the smaller events that were, you were, you do are allowed to talk to each other, you know, and kind of fellowship with one another. We start to talk to each other and that kind of takes over.

I’m like, oh my gosh. It’s like we finally get around people that understand us. And so we just started talking, talking, talking, talking and making these friendships, which is great, but you can kind of leave feeling a little unsatisfied if all you did was kind of talk and hang out with people, right? So this is why it’s really important that you focus on something that’s actually doable within your construct, right? Something that you might think you’re going to have a lot of downtime to work, but probably you’re not because you’re going to end up meeting people and talking to people. So, um, that’s why my two goals are always to get strategy. And to get inspired because either way you’re going to get both of those, whether you have a lot of time, a lot of downtime in between, you know, the sessions or maybe you’re alone and you don’t know anybody.

So you are gonna get a lot of downtime or maybe it’s one of those ones where you have no downtime and slash or you’re talking to people a lot. I’m either way either type of event, you can still get strategy and you can still get inspired. So what I mean by strategy is you want high level strategy, you want to go to an event that someone where someone is teaching something that is basically something that you haven’t tried before, right? Um, of course there’s always going to be situations where you’re like, oh, I’ve tried it that way, but maybe maybe it’s a new opportunity as far as like, it’s a different way to do the same thing. So maybe it’s something you’ve learned before, but there’s some kind of strategy that you were missing or something you haven’t tried. So those are always the things that I’m gathering and basically gathering strategy ideas for whatever, right, for whatever type of event it is.

And then, um, the second part of that is to get inspired. So I think what I mean by getting inspired, it’s not like getting inspired by necessarily the speaker or like feeling warm and fuzzy, but getting inspired by what is possible. So sometimes I get inspired by the people around me and not having anything to do with the people on the stage because sometimes when you’re attending an event or even speaking in it honestly, um, I get inspired from the fellow speakers, but it’s kind of that idea of seeing what is possible with someone who’s in the same boat as you. So sometimes all it takes is just seeing one other person that’s doing something that you’ve been dreaming of doing and to give you that permission to be like, okay, cool, I can do it too. So those are the two things. Those are my goals I guess.

Um, when I go to a real life event is to get strategy and to get inspired. And that’s enough. And if I get those two things or cup, you know, a few different versions of those two things that I’m happy. The second thing that you need is you want to utilize as much as possible time to bounce ideas. So if you are able to talk to other people or if they or if the event has like a group setting where you can talk to other people, bounced those puppies as much as you think those ideas as much as you possibly can because a lot of time this is what we don’t have in our own business. Right. This, you want to utilize this as much as possible because once, as soon as you go home and you’re sitting in your office and you’re surrounded by your dog or whatever, right?

Like there’s no one to talk to anymore and you’re and maybe even do have a couple employees, but that’s just such. It’s like an insider thing, right? It’s kind of in that at that time, at that point you’re just sort of bouncing the same ideas off of each other and you’re not getting any new perspective. So if you at all have any time whatsoever, anytime throughout the event to bounce ideas off of each other, even if it’s like, hey you got can you meet up for coffee and can I bounce some of these ideas that I’m having off of you or hey, can I walk with you, you know, to get a sandwich or whatever it is, right? Like just make some time to bounce ideas off of each other because there’s, they’ll, you know, other people will help you see kind of holes in your idea, but they’ll also just like give you practice to just talking it out and saying it in a different way and explaining it in a different way.

And it’s so, it’s so powerful because a lot of times you write stuff down and it’s just not the same thing as if we bounce off ideas off of other people. So that is the number two thing you need to do. And the number three thing is that do try to take some quiet time without distraction. So, and actually this is kind of what makes real life events really important versus, or really unique. I guess in, in, you know, instead of taking a course online is that you do kind of have that quiet time. They’ll always be some time, even if it’s a really busy packed schedule, especially when I’m a speaker, I’m an event. My schedule’s pretty packed full because I’m basically on the whole time for, for the most part and if I have a roommate too than we really are on because we never stopped talking.

So, um, but if you schedule it or just make sure that you utilize that quiet time because like I said, you will get some, whether it’s on the plane or in a car ride or you know, right before you go to bed or like, or during a break or I don’t care. Even if you’re in the bathroom, um, try to use that time. And if you don’t have a lot of quiet time at, at when you go to a real life events, make some, you know, let your family and your friends know that you’re busy, that you’re out of the office, turn on your out of office, you know, turn off your phone, whatever it is. It’s distracting you from the real world, like back in, you know, where, where you live. I’m just protect that quiet time and be there right before the present and when you are just just take advantage of that chance that you get to like go away from real life for a couple days.

Right. And actually just soak it in and just fill in this space that you’re currently occupying and just be there. So use that quiet time without those, the real life distractions. Right. Because you wouldn’t have distraction at the event, but I mean like use any little moments that you have just on your vacay away from real life to just really think things through and maybe you need to grab a notepad, you know, like I said, make some quiet time. Maybe you have to miss a session or two in order to take some quiet time and just go off alone. That was something that was really, really hard for me in the beginning. And Gosh, I mean it’s still, it’s kind of hard, but I’ve pretty much gotten over at this point. I had this really, really strong sense of Fomo, right? Like fear of missing out.

So I would never miss any sessions, especially like in a bigger conference. I would never miss any sessions. I’d go to every single one and just pack it in, back in and pack it in. But then I realized I’d be so exhausted at the end of the day and I would have never had any time to actually recover and think about what I was learning. So for me, you know, it just took a lot of practice for me because because of my fomo was so bad. But now I will take time to listen to my body. If I’m really tired, I’ll go get you know, some, a breather and walk around or take, grab a notepad and maybe just take some quiet time to think or reflect or just do something. And if especially if I don’t have it, like on a plane ride, like on a long plane ride, I always get that.

So I don’t necessarily need to take it during the event. But if you’re driving or something like that and you don’t really have like a lot of time to just be totally still then, you know, trying to make some time in really these three things are the things that I am making sure that my event is all about. So the event that we’re creating is, it’s for our inspired pro people, so our high end graphic design program, it’s this real life event we call it actually inspired irl, which stands for in real life. Um, so it’s basically like the real life version of it and not just the online version of it, but that’s like what we’re like number one, getting you know, strategy and getting inspired by others and what’s possible. Right. That’s what, that’s the number one important thing to me. Number two, having, you know, making time to bounce off ideas off of each other, to talk to each other, to say, here’s what I was thinking, what do you guys think?

It’s so important. And number three, to have that quiet time without distractions, we’re actually going to have times when I’m not going to allow people to talk. It’s like a quiet time where you go, you go in your own little room. It’s actually at this I’m really cool. $6,000,000 mansion in La Jolla overlooking the ocean. It’s amazing. Incredible. Um, so I want people to be inspired by being quiet and just listening to the waves crash and getting away from other people and actually spending that time. So these are like the three things, kind of like the cornerstone, like pillars of what I’m creating for this event because it’s the three things that I do at every event to make them worth my money and make them, you know, able to be a catalyst for growth, for growth, for my business, right to you, to really utilize these events to and just like spend the them as much as I, you know, the best way that I possibly can in order to make the biggest impact. So those are the three things that you can start doing at your next event to make it worthwhile and to make it amazing and a game changing moment for you. So thank you guys so much. I hope that was helpful and I appreciate you so much. I’ll see you next time.

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