Don’t fall into the mindset that you think you know everything about what you do.
I’ll bet there are times when you’ve thought about going on a workshop or seminar and dismissed it because it’s a subject you know about or you don’t think you’ll gain anything from it. Let’s face it, times are hard and every penny counts, so workshops can be pretty low down on the list of good ways to spend your money.
But by dismissing them you could potentially be missing out.
Take this summer, it’s a fairly good example.
I sponsored a day-time social media workshop. It’s not something I often do, but I love the idea of Highland Social and a series of road-trips that travel the highlands bringing workshops to those areas that are traditionally avoided because of their remoteness is something worth encouraging. I was due to present a little talk of my own and sat in on the workshop thinking it would be a good chance to meet new people and perhaps learn something new. And it was the best thing I’ve done in ages.
Whether you think you know the subject or not, meeting up with like-minded individuals will open your mind to new ideas, new networking opportunities and yes, you will learn something. Even if it’s just gaining a new perspective on a subject, you will learn something. Don’t dismiss a gathering because you think you know the subject backwards… there is more to be gained than subject knowledge.
We had a great day, we worked our way around social media, we talked tips and tricks and discussed what to do and what not to do. In these days of super-quick changes in social media one size does not fit all; different people and businesses need different things. Michelle from Highland Social guided us through the maze of social media; we talked so much that the end of the day arrived far too quickly. But not before we’d devoured a lovely lunch and some amazingly good cream scones.
The folk that didn’t attend the workshop because they thought they knew all about social media really lost out. It’s during workshops that you really have time to think without distractions, to talk to new acquaintances and to get a different point of view… and it’s these added extras you don’t get from sitting at home or in the office. Days like these really are like workouts for a weary work brain.
In the evening we went along to a local tearoom and had a two-hour session with more people attending (and some fab cupcakes – that day was SO not good for my waistline!) … it was a great networking opportunity, but I couldn’t help thinking that the attendees would have benefited from the day-time session.
How many times, especially being a freelancer, have you seen a workshop advertised locally and talked yourself out of attending? It’s too expensive, it’s during the day and you don’t want to take a day off work, you’re a bit shy among people you don’t know, or you think you know it all??
Here are five reasons you should seriously think about attending.
- You DON’T know it all, no one does. Don’t be silly (or are you being arrogant?)
- You will meet new people (it’s great for networking, even if you’re shy the others probably are too, take your business card, get yourself known)
- It will get you out of your comfortable office (aren’t those same old four walls boring you yet?)
- You will be helping the local economy (even if the workshop provider isn’t local, the venues need to survive, you will learn what other attendees are doing and how you can help each other survive in this tough old recession)
- You WILL learn something new, you will give your weary brain a workout and come away from the day with a new outlook, refreshed and ready to put ideas into action.
And yes… I learnt something new. I realised that making a Facebook business page was less scary than I thought… so I went straight out and created one. You can visit it here, pop along and say hello.