This past week I had the great opportunity and pleasure to attend Alt Summit, an amazing conference for bloggers, small business owners, artists, makers and entrepreneurs held in Salt Lake City (they also hold a summer conference and smaller conferences in other locations).
It was a jam packed affair filled with lots of new and old friends, panels with some of the best in the biz, round table discussions, free advice tables (lawyers, stylists, editors oh my!), amazing inspirational keynote speakers (Lisa Congdon, Jess Lee, Susan Petersen and Dallas Clayton), amazing parties, and LOTS of swag from incredible sponsors (I'm looking at you Airbnb, The Honest Company, Lindt, JoAnn, Overstock, Freshly Picked, SQUARESPACE, BabyLit and more!). Pretty much I felt like I was trying to drink out of a firehose, a really really delicious/smart/brave firehose.
But as I've sat scratching my slightly fevered brain (literally, I must have picked up something from shaking so many hands), I've been able to gain some clarity on the really important things I learned. So in no particular order, here is my imitation firehose:
1. Know who you are. This came up in lots of sessions on lots of topics, especially surrounding branding and identity. But it's a good one. Knowing who you are means knowing where you are headed, what you want, what you stand for, what you value, who your audience is, what your 'look' and 'feel' are, and how to communicate all this in your design, packaging, product, social media, blog, etc.
2. Lisa Congdon said a lot of amazing things, but here are just a few quotes that have really stayed in my brain:
- Let go of the idea that it will all someday be perfect. It won't.
- Dull women always have immaculate houses.
- You may never feel like you have 'arrived', and that might be a good thing.
- Do ALL the work.
- The messiest situations give birth to the beautiful.
- Take time to do the things that will give you energy to do the work.
3. Read every email that Pinterest sends you. They have good advice yo.
4. Find/create your community and engage in your community through liking, commenting, celebrating, sharing stories, experiences, respond to questions, etc.
5. Only put quality content out there (photos, content, product, etc.)
6. Have a #hashtag strategy #momsstuffsalve #superfoodforskin #momsstuffmiracle (ideas? guys?)
7. Only work with partners (brands, stores, bloggers, etc.) who GET you and BELIEVE in you. Anyone else will waste your time.
8. Think ahead! Have holiday/seasonal content and product ready to go well in advance, have a calendar.
9. As my dad always says: Have your poop in a line. Meaning, be ready for big orders! Get your production and operations tight and ready so you aren't caught in a place where you can't meet demand. Going along with this sometimes the biggest threat to your business is growing too fast. Take time to slow down and have a solid foundation so you can grow sustainably.
10. Find people who believe in you and get support from them.
11. BE INTENTIONAL. Know your priorities and stick to them and stop trying to do it all. Do what you do best.
12. And last, my friends, DALLAS CLAYTON. What a rockstar.
- "There's no rules"
- Get lost (literally). Have experiences. Push yourself #beyoncetothemoon
- Magic ahead! and find something that gives you your magic back (Spin Doctors)
- Stand here and think about someone you love
- You can do good things for people, but you have to push yourself
- You can make up your job
I know a lot of this might just sound like a string of inspirational posters, and maybe it is, but man these are some helpful inspirational posters to me. I came out with a clear vision of what our next steps here at Mom's Stuff Salve will be and am so excited to get them going! Look for some big awesome things this year! (new product(s), Kickstarter, inventions)
So thanks Alt, and thanks to all the wonderful, kind, warm, generous people I met. So happy to be connected to such a caring and rad community.