I’ve had the honour of facilitating professional development workshops and presenting education sessions and keynotes at conferences and other events many times over the past 20 years. This often affords me an opportunity to take in other speakers and to learn from the masters. After each event, I spend time reflecting on what went well, how I can improve, and general takeaways from the overall experience. I take notes while things are fresh for the purpose of revisiting them later, journaling about my personal and professional growth and making notes about adaptations for future speaking opportunities. Until now, these musing have been private. Until now.
What’s different? A lot. And in a very short period of time.
I started my own company earlier this year and have been nudged by people smarter than me toward blogging as a valuable tool in serving others. I love helping subject matter experts succeed and grow, so this got me thinking about a couple of skills I’ve picked up over the years that have allowed me to do that, and blogging is certainly not among them. Not yet.
A few weeks ago, I attended Social Media Day Halifax (#SMDH18) and learned from the blogging experts that visibility and an active online presence is a must in serving people.
Then, last week, I shared the speaking roster with some well-known Canadians, seasoned pros with impactful nuggets to share – my audience small and concurrent with eight other sessions, their stages keynotes to the full delegation of, I’m guessing, 800 or so people.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, a champion for the rights of women and girls, talked of pushing through the fear, taking risks and showing vulnerability.
Senior editor, MacLean’s magazine, Paul Wells talked about learning from others’ mistakes, taking stock, and fixing for next time – it’s how the best leaders grow.
I can't even believe I missed the early days of the conference during which Dr. Roberta Bondar spoke - surely an astronaut, physician and photographer who was the first Canadian woman in space would have expanded my horizons.
The end of June also marked the wrap-up of a hefty client project and months of long days with few breaks, following which I took the long Canada Day weekend to unplug. To really disconnect from work. To connect instead with family in our nation’s capital.
To recharge my batteries.
Come up for air.
And think about whether or not to start a blog.
It's not the first time blogging has crossed my mind. I keep waiting for an epiphany worthy of sharing. Blogging puts me outside of my comfort zone - it also offers another avenue through which I can share lessons learned. I fully appreciate that it takes time to strategically ensure that each post offers value to the reader, and all sorts of other parameters that I will finesse as I learn out loud.
Right now it feels unnatural and onerous.
I will likely get a lot of it wrong.
But someone recently told me that the greatest learning can come from the mistakes we make. Perhaps vulnerability and taking risks will expedite that.
I’m game. And I hope you will come along for the ride and guide me with your feedback.
- Tisha Parker Kemp