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10 Things I learned at the Create & Cultivate Chicago Conference

A few weeks ago I attended The Create & Cultivate Conference in Chicago. I was so excited to hear so many incredible women speak about their journey and share their insights about owning their own business. I am still blown away by all the inspiring stories I heard and the incredible advice I received so I wanted to share a bit with all of you!

Stay true to your brand: This was a huge reoccurring theme throughout the day and it doesn’t just apply to a business owner or blogger. It applies to everyone. It is also much easier said than done, especially in the world we live in today with so many variables that can influence who we are, what we wear, what we should be eating, shouldn’t be eating, what kind of shampoo we “need”, you get the point. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and loose sight of who you are. Having a blog has really challenged me to learn what my “brand” is. As much as I thought I knew who I was and what I stood for, after I started my blog, I realized I still had a lot of fine tuning to do on my own “brand”.

If you want to own your own business you better be ready to work harder than you could ever imagine: Every woman who spoke had an incredibly unique background, story and journey to achieving success in their careers, but the one thing they all had in common was that they have worked their a** off and continue to do so.

Don’t take shortcuts: One hot topic was the importance of having an authentic following and engagement. For those non-bloggers out there, this translates to – don’t cheat your way to achieving your goals. At the end of the day it does nothing positive for the future of your business. At times, I get pretty down on myself about my progress with The Lovely Lo Down, but I can tell you one thing that always lifts me up is knowing that I got where I am today without taking shortcuts. While this is a blogger specific example, this is another piece of advice that applies to everything in life. Taking short cuts will only hurt you in the end.

Authenticity is everything: Social media makes it look like everyone has everything all figured out but I will tell you that is 100% a big fat lie. Life is hard and no matter how much someone “has”, there will always be something they are struggling with. One of my biggest goals for The Lovely Lo Down is to start more conversations about some of those hard things in life that people don’t like to talk about or admit they struggle with.

Don’t compare yourself to the past: I really had never thought about this but when I heard this piece of advice I realized how much I compare myself to the past and who I used to be. For example, I used to get up at 5 a.m. and run 7 miles everyday (who was I?!). Now I’m lucky if I work out 4 times a week and it usually consists of a 30 min workout tape in my living room. For a while I was really frustrated with myself but now I try to remind myself that I was at a different point in my life then. You can not dwell on what you were able to accomplish in the past, you just have to focus on who you are today and who you’d like to be tomorrow.

Recognize moments of happiness everyday: I’ve heard this many times in my 26 years of life but always appreciate the reminder. It’s so important to recognize and acknowledge the good things in your life. I have days where I barley get anything done, everything seems to be going wrong and feel completely worthless. To combat that, I’ve started to log everything I accomplish throughout the day and write out my blessings so at the end of the day, I can look back and focus on what I DID get done. Even if my only positive accomplishment was making Dinner and listening to how Ryan’s day was there is still purpose in those things and they are positive happy moments in my day that I always look forward to.

Disconnect: I’ve always told myself that I’m going to do this but have never  been serious about it until I heard how many incredibly successful women preach the importance of disconnecting. Recently at night I’ve been plugging my phone in across the room so I don’t scroll through Instagram while I feel asleep. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is. I’m going to start locking my phone up a lot more often.

Be present in the journey: Boy did I need to hear this! I am such a planner and always so focused on the future and where I wish I was in life, in my career, etc. As great as it is to plan ahead and have a 5 year plan, you need to be present in the current journey to succeed in your end goal.

Always be willing to learn: My mom has always told me to never stop learning and I couldn’t preach this piece of advice enough. I absolutely love learning new things and in a world that is moving and changing so incredibly fast you MUST be willing to learn to keep up.

There’s a reason horses race with blinders: I love this and try to remind myself of this everyday. As a blogger, I compare my self to everyone, from the girls who started blogging the month I did to the girls who have been blogging for 10+ years, which is completely ridiculous. What they are posting about, how successful they have been, what opportunities they get, etc. does not apply to me and shouldn’t influence my journey. This rings true for just about everything in life – stay in your lane, focus on your journey and stop comparing yourself to others.

This doesn’t even being to scratch the surface of all the amazing things I learned at Create & Cultivate Chicago but I hope it helps you with the journey that you are on! If you ever have any questions or topics you’d like me to discuss please feel free to email me!

 

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