Be Contagious at CFC 2013!

Damien GoldenAs I get ready for the Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC) later this week, I am prepping my mind to be open and positive. And I hope you are too!

You’ll be meeting lots of people from various backgrounds. Everyone has a story — some are courageous and overcoming and some are just starting out. So keep that in mind when contributing to the conversation.

It is so important to get your mindset right. I’m not saying don’t be real, truthful or transparent. What I am saying is don’t verbally throw up on the new guy or gal. Keep your critique and harsh criticisms to yourself. If you have feedback for a speaker or want to vent, do it one on one, not with the new solopreneur next to you.

CFC is like a buffet. Most of the speakers are going to have a plethora of experience and knowledge that will really help you. Then there may be one that doesn’t connect with you and that is ok. That’s why CFC is so great– there is something for everyone. It’s like a buffet, a really good one.

Why do I feel compelled to share this with you? Great question! The first CFC I attended I went to lunch with a lovely copywriter and we got to know each other and hung out a few more times over the course of the conference. The next day at happy hour, after a few drinks, the copywriter started with the negative criticism.

I thought, “Ok, she is voicing her opinion. No harm.” However, I chose right then and there to discard her words and take in more of the positive the conference had to offer.

I learned a valuable lesson – I am an ambassador to my profession and to CFC and should act accordingly. I realized the mind is so valuable and what you let in can greatly impact your future. If you are naturally a pessimist, being around other positive CFCers will work wonders for you.

Be sure to catch Dyana Valentine’s session Pitch Perfect and then catch her again the next afternoon when she and Jim Krause do their 30 in 60 session. Their quick back and forth will wake you up after lunch and give you concrete ideas to infuse into your business. With Dyana’s contagiously energetic vibe and Jim’s creative design aspect and extensive experience, you’ll be pumped.

Luke Mysse says the only difference between who you are now and who you’ll be in a year are the books you read and the people you meet. Be careful who you associate with and who you take counsel from.

Attending CFC will put you in some of the best company and that will surely help you grow, hone your craft and possibly pick up a mentor and make creative friends.

Jenny Poff shared her experience and growth which are phenomenal. I had the honor of meeting Jenny at last year’s CFC. Now I’m a member of her accountability group (a.k.a Designers Roundtable) which is insightful, inspiring and helpful.

So come to CFC with your questions, your needs and an open mind. You never know when you hear that one line or meet that one person that could be the golden key for getting your career or business on track or even better – look for that tidbit that helps you evolve personally.

So in review:

  1. Get your mindset right!
  2. Expect great things. I promise some of your burning questions will be answered this weekend.
  3. Know what sessions you are going to, but leave a little wiggle room to be spontaneous.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone
  5. Be Positive
  6. Be ready to come out of the conference with some goals and a lot of focus.

And know that if you need further help, there are plenty of tools to do so.

  • Stay in touch with friends and colleagues from CFC via LinkedIn
  • Facebook (look for the HOWies group)
  • Follow #CFConf and #HOWLive on Twitter.
  • Check out HOW University which has great online courses
  • Ilise Benun is a great mentor who can help direct you in your growth too.

See you at CFC and Be Contagious!