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image source: Westerville Chiropractic

I just returned from the Blissdom ’13 conference. It was the push I needed in my life, both personally and professionally. You see, for quite a while, I have been stuck in a rut, one of my own creation, unable to just make one step forward. I went through major circumstances in my life two years ago (more on that later), and after the dust finally settled, I couldn’t figure out who I was. I know I am a wife and a mother, but I just didn’t know who….I….was. I stopped blogging during that time, too overwhelmed to find the words and I lost my self in the fray.

So I jumped in and signed up for Blissdom last Fall and it was just the shot of adrenaline I needed. I heard from amazing speakers such as Scott Stratten, Susan Cain and Jon Acuff just to mention a few. I stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas, TX. And I made connections with bloggers from all over the country, many with the same mission, to build our passion for blogging into a worthwhile career.

The closing address was from writer and speaker, Jon Acuff, author of the book Quitter and the soon to be released Start. Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters. As I listened to him speak about how I allow my fears and excuses keep me from leading the awesome life I was destined to live, I felt he gave me that lifeline of insight and I with all my self-doubt and vulnerability, reached from the audience and grabbed it.

One of the rules he taught us on the road to awesomeness that stuck with me was,“The starting line is the only line you control.” For better or worse, it is me, and me alone, that controls it. Whether it’s financial freedom, getting healthy, or even writing this blog, I determine when it begins. I prayed that rule all the way home, into the hugs and kisses of my family and never knew that my life was about to change from living out that lesson.

The day after I returned, I went to my weekly chiropractic appointment for my neck and shoulder issues. Dr. Chambers, who has a practice in chiropractic medicine and acupuncture, has been wanting to build his practice in a new area he is passionate about, Functional Medicine. He and I have been having casual conversations of his need to have someone help him with social media. After our previous conversations, I would put self-doubt in my own head that I may not be good enough to offer my services and potentially turn it into a professional gig. On the plane home from the conference I decided to engage in a conversation and hopefully get hired.

So here I am in my appointment, ready or not, trying to find the courage to open the dialogue. He asked as usual, “How are you today, Tara?” I replied, “Pretty good, I just returned from a conference in Dallas.” “That’s nice,” he said, then silence. “It was a Social Media conference,” I added to spark his interest. Still silence. I sat there, feeling the fear begin to creep through my body, and the voices inside, telling me I was going to let this chance slip through the sand if I didn’t act, and I mean ACT NOW.

“You know, Dr. Chambers, I did a lot of thinking about how Social Media could really help you in promoting Functional Medicine and I have some ideas.”

I could feel the vibration of his neck, the muscles, the ligaments, move his head from typing on his computer and look up at me, smiling.

I told him my ideas (and stay tuned for the details) and he…loved…it. SCORE! I now have my first client and my life is finally moving forward professionally again.

I am writing up a proposal, informal, but still necessary in keeping us both on the same page, and eager to get started. I can’t believe I almost let this opportunity slip away. And it would have been my fault alone. John shared a quote from Stephen Covey, “Begin with the end in mind.” I realized that if I want to make change in my life, awesome change, I need see the finish line first, step up to the start line, and START!

Want to pre-order a copy of Jon’s upcoming book?

http://thestartbook.com/?ictid=acuff.sb

My time at Blissdom has been an amazing journey so far. I am learning a ton of stuff for building this platform, but I am also learning so much more about myself and why I need to grow through this experience.

To all my new kindred ones I am meeting here at Blissdom and to those I am to meet everywhere, thank you so much for visiting my website. I look forward to your visits again as I grow and connect with you.

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Today I leave for my first conference on blogging, BLISSDOM ’13 at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX. I am excited and a little nervous as to be expected. I’ve gone through tons of scenarios of what to pack, what to wear, do I design a business card? It can keep girl up at night. And let’s not mention the website. What we have here Grapevine, it a WORK in PROGRESS.

So I did all the math, and decided the following:

  1. What to bring: My iPhone, my iPad, a notepad/pen and a smile
  2. What to wear: layers–whether inside freezing in air conditioning or roasting in the sun, a nice tee or cami and a cardi with nice pants or jeans is the way to go. Shoes? Nice slip ons, ballet flats, now is not the time to rock the heels and suffer for fashion
  3. Business Cards: I debated weeks on this one. I chose, not this year. I want to focus on Blissdom, not crafting a logo that I will sure to wanna redo as soon as I get back.
  4. Be Tara. At the end of the day, I want to represent me, and who I am now, not who I think I should be.