I remember one of the first times I traveled for business when my children were little. I had worked so hard arranging all the details so things would go smoothly while I was gone. There were six pages of notes! The babysitters were lined up. Carpools arranged. Food purchased and prepped. I’m somewhat organized so you could say I did a thorough job planning for my three-day excursion.
But what I didn’t plan for was the emotional tangle that hijacked my heart as soon as my plane took off. “What if I die on this plane,” I thought. “My children will never forgive me for leaving them!” And then… “How could I do this to my husband? He’s going to resent me and my business!” And finally, “Why on earth am I doing this?” I immediately decided that I had made a horrible mistake.
I’d like to tell you that within the first few hours of the conference I changed my perspective. But the truth is the entire three days were riddled with guilt, confusion and regret. Imagine being 300 miles from home on a January afternoon and getting a call from the 16-year-old babysitter that the water in the house had been shut off. I had three babies in the care of a teenager and they had no way to eat or bathe or even use the potty. And of course, this was all my fault.
It took me a long time to recover from that business trip – emotionally. But I know for certain that it was the first step in a much needed transformation of my heart. I learned that my family WILL survive without me there every minute of the day. I learned that I cannot control everything – despite my best efforts. And I learned it’s good for ALL of us to have some time apart every once in a while. Oh – and I learned a heck of a lot of valuable stuff about running a business and I met new friends who are still, to this day, a part of my life.
Since that trip, I’ve made a regular commitment to invest in myself and my business each year through conferences, retreats, masterminds and coaching events. They are not always business events – I like to include at least one spiritual or creative retreat as well. Here are some of the events I recommend (or am considering attending) this year:
Top 10 Conferences and Retreats for Christian Mompreneurs in 2014
March 14-15, 2014
Gathering with thousands of moms, Hearts at Home main sessions are high energy opportunities to laugh and learn. Through drama, music, and speakers who understand the real challenges of motherhood, you’ll find your vision refreshed, your heart full, and your perspective transformed. (This event is a LONG way from home for me, but I felt right at home when I was there.)
April 7-10, 2014
Helping speakers maximize their business. Whether you are a professional speaker—or just want to be—Launch Conference will teach you how to start where you are and take your business to the next level. (Note – I’d actually prefer to attend Michael Hyatt’s Platform Conference instead but he hasn’t released the details yet, so this is another option. He also hosts the SCORRE Conference in May in Orlando. I’m betting than any of these will be jam packed with information and great networking!)
May 1-3, 2014
An open conversation between moms, marketers and media. Meet smart people. Hear success stories. Discover what’s working. Discuss ways to create smarter creative content, impactful web-based marketing, as well as new programs, people, and platforms that engage your audience and build relationships. (I haven’t attended this event before but it’s been on my list for a couple of years!)
July 24-26, 2014
She Speaks is a unique combination of spiritual inspiration and practical application for Christian writers, speakers and ministry leaders. At She Speaks, every attendee chooses either the speaking or writing track. Regardless of which track you choose, all attendees have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with some of the top editors, publishers, and literary agents in the Christian market. (I cannot begin to do this event justice. I will only say that if you feel called to attend – just go. Just do it. You will not regret it.)
September 19-21, 2014
Type-A Parent Conference 2014, the world’s top conference for mom and dad bloggers will feature killer sessions, opportunities to network with bloggers and companies, and some of the brightest speakers in social media. (I loved the annual conference last year and learned so much! There are also two Type A Parent bootcamps – I’ll be at the one in Orlando in March at Walt Disney World!)
October 23-25, 2014
The Allume conference exists to offer a gathering place for kindred spirits to connect, learn, grow, and be refreshed so they can persevere in being a people who bring hope to the world through the social media medium. (This is another event I’ve been wanting to attend. You just might find me here in October.)
Various Dates and Locations
Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Live events are no fluff, just practical wisdom on winning in business. No leader should lead without these principles. It’s what your team members need to see in you, and what you want to see in them. Sign up for the EntreLeadership Live Event of your choice, and put 20 years of proven business principles to work for you. (I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and would love to attend one of his events. At the very least, I’ll be paying a visit to his studio in Nashville in February!)
Various Dates and Locations
Blogging and social media conferences for women. This is a gathering of smart, motivated, kind women who believe that when one of us succeeds, we all benefit. That sharing the secrets of our success matters. And that there is nothing more powerful then a room full of women encouraging and supporting one another. (Here’s another event I’d love to attend…if only I could travel more often!)
Date and Location TBD
Created by BSM Media, an award winning market to moms agency, SheStreams is a one-day conference of informative and engaging sessions intended to catapult women and brands into the future of social technology. Attendees from tech savvy millennials, to mom bloggers and business executives, united through social media and technology, are given the unparalleled opportunity to connect with brands offering the latest products and services that will help them effectively define their voice and continue to develop their overall influence in the online world. (I missed this last year and would love to attend depending on the location. Maria Bailey is so brilliant and generous with her knowledge – I know it will be fabulous!)
Date and Location TBD
Here’s another conference that has yet to be announced but keep it on your radar because Christine Kane is a fabulous teacher and she attracts some of the most creative and kind people on the planet. Last year it was held in June in Atlanta. What’s with all the conferences in Atlanta? If you want to get a taste of what she teaches without the travel, start with her free video training series here: Cracking the Cashflow Code. (I’ve been to many of Christine Kane’s events and I guarantee you will walk away feeling encouraged and empowered to take your business to the next level.)
I know I promised the 10 conferences, but here’s a bonus event that I simply cannot leave out because it’s our very own conference hosted by the International Christian Mompreneur Network! It’s my opportunity to share with you everything I learn from the events I attend, trainings I complete and real world experience making imperfect progress every day as a mompreneur!
Virginia Beach, VA
The premiere training and networking event for Christian mom entrepreneurs! We haven’t released the date yet but it will take place in fall 2014 in Virginia Beach, VA and I’d love to see you there! If you want to receive early registration information, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!
What about your travel plans? Are you headed to a conference, retreat or event this year? Please share your plans with us here!