Another workshop or a focused attitude – which does your business need most?

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An online friend of mine – someone met at a workshop years ago and we’ve casually kept in touch – direct messaged me on Twitter the other day to ask which of two upcoming workshops she should attend as she “needs a boost this year”.

The people putting on the workshops aren’t important here as I’ve been to conferences hosted by both and they do a great job.

The real question here is *WHY* my friend believes she needs to go to either of these in order to get the boost she’s seeking in her business.

When to go to conferences and workshops

  1. They’re offering something you want/need in your business AND you’re going in with a plan of how to get the results you’re seeking.
  2. Your ideal client is also attending AND you’re going in with a plan of how to connect with her/him and start a relationship (notice I didn’t say “sign them as a client”).
  3. Other business owners you’d love to strategically partner with are attending AND you’re going in with a plan of how to connect with her/him and start a relationship.
  4. Part of your business is to attend lots of conferences and workshops and report back on them to your clients

When NOT to go to conferences and workshops

  1. You’re looking for a quick increase in revenue and believe the conference/workshop will be the magic pill you’ve been seeking.
  2. Your ideal client is also attending AND you’re planning on signing 3 new clients right then and there (even writing this feels desperate, imagine the energy you’re putting out in this case).
  3. You’ve always gone to this person’s conferences and workshops and they’re like a reunion – you don’t want to miss out on seeing everyone. In this case, remember the price tag you’re paying for the conference plus any travel and meals, not to mention the time away from your business and then decide if it’s worth it.
  4. You’ve got so much to do in the office, the project you’re working on just isn’t coming along as quickly as you hoped and you need a little break, but not a vacation, so this conference will be just the thing to keep you productive while giving you that break.

Conferences and workshops can be marvelous investments in your business or they can be an expensive distraction from what you should be focused on.

Make It Real — My Request to You

With conference season fast upon us, now’s the time to determine whether or not it makes sense for you to attend any of the several out there.

Before you make the decision, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What results/information will I return home with?
  2. What’s my plan for implementing everything I learn? Do I have the time/budget to implement everything? Will I need to hire a support team? Can I afford one?
  3. What’s the TRUE cost of the conference/workshop? Including ticket price, travel, hotel, meals, time away from home/office (What won’t get done while you’re away? What can you delegate?)? Can you afford it without charging up a credit card? Is it worth it TO charge up a credit card?
  4. Emotions aside, is now the best time to attend a conference/workshop on this topic? Why or why not?
  5. What does your business need most right now? The information from the conference or for you to buckle down and get things done?

Like so many other things, your intuition has the answer – just clear away all the clutter and let it speak true.

And if you’re having trouble clearing that clutter, take the above questions and write the answers down (don’t just answer in your head, it doesn’t have nearly the same effect). Once done, the answer usually will be clear.

I'd love to know what's going on for you right now — are you gearing up to attend a conference or workshop this fall or are you hunkering down and getting stuff done in your office?