Monday Motivation: Why do we waste money like it grows on trees...
So as some of you might have guessed by now I really love going to conferences. They are such a great way to find out about new products or services within a particular niche, as well as discovering like-minded people and/or brands to build relationships with.
Then some of the bigger conferences have unbelievable swag/gift bags that will have you out here screaming "YAAASS!" But one of my favorite parts about going to conferences is getting to bask in the wisdom, knowledge, and energy of the speakers. So this particular conference I went to was at the end of 2016, and it was called Black Business Women Rock (which I can’t disagree with lol).
But it was open to the general public, and I was actually surprised by the number of men that I saw in attendance. I found it on either Facebook or Instagram on a whim, and at the time, I was really obsessed with learning more about business.
So on a rainy afternoon on a Saturday in December, despite getting invited to a salsa birthday party down in San Diego, I decided to check out this conference.
We were only halfway through the conference, and if you were to have seen my arms from the outside, you might have thought that they needed to turn down the AC. But in actuality, the large wave of goosebumps that you saw running across my body we're coming from how intensely I felt the words coming from the speakers.
Many of the speakers spoke with such a conviction, and sense of passion that truly ignited my spirit. They really inspired me to start thinking about what my future would look like outside of BuzzFeed. While in the middle of a speaker break, I got into a conversation with the woman sitting next to me that I'll never forget.
She was a little older than me, and I'm not sure how we got on the subject, but we talked about her experience growing up in a post segregated Arkansas school system (which I'm sure y'all can guess was pretty shitty). We then started talking about how amazing the conference was going.
“I'm obsessed! I'm so glad I found this conference!” I exclaimed to her.
“Yes, I know. It's such an amazing conference. I came last year, and loved it,” she said.
I asked her about her business, and she said that she was working on developing a plus size fashion line for older women.
“That's so cool,” I said to her. “Doesn't all of the energy from the speakers just make you want to run out, and get started tomorrow?” I asked.
What she said next truly took me by surprise.
“Oh, I don't know about all that. I don't think I'm ready for that just yet.”
I couldn't help but cock my head slightly to the side as her words took me by genuine surprise.
“What do you mean?" I asked. "You heard one of the speakers-- we can't focus on the how. We just need to know our why, and the how will figure itself out in the process.”
“I know,” she said. “But I just don't think I'm ready for that right now. Maybe next year.”
I didn't want to push her any further so I let it go. But I couldn't imagine what was the point of paying $50 to sit in a space of positivity, and motivation towards actualizing your goals if you already knew going in that you weren't going to apply any of the knowledge-- and worse, that you were going to come back to potentially do the same thing in a year.
This isn't saying that she should have literally quit her day job right then and there. But it is to say that many of us I'm sure have spent hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars on trainings/books/courses that we never take advantage of.
We go to absorb the good energy, or to have the knowledge in our back pocket for the “perfect” time, but we never take the steps to allow it to actually make a difference in our lives. And what I think is even crazier, is that sometimes we will go into these trainings already knowing that we are not going to allow this positivity to actually make a difference in our lives.
So as we go forth to reimagine our Monday, and think about the ways in which we can take more control over our lives, I want you to keep in mind how important it is to be mindful of getting the value of what you spend.
Paying for conferences/trainings that you will never apply the knowledge you get from them is a waste of two very precious resources; your time and your money. So my personal rule of thumb is that I only pay for trainings/conferences that I know I will actively seek to apply the knowledge immediately.
I also want you to think about a time in which you were either offered or paid for a resource that you didn't take advantage of. I want you to go back to that resource, if possible, and make an attempt at applying the resource into your life.
Don't just let that knowledge sit, and grow cobwebs in your brain. Apply it! See how it works for you. Don't give in to the fear of not getting the same results, or that it seems too hard.
And if you need a quick zap of motivation, check out this article on the surprising advice that these two psychologists would offer to people looking to become more motivated.
Much love, peace, and unapologetic fierceness, my Queens!