what i learned at alt summit + alison's brand school
If you read the blog regularly, you know that I’ve been excited about Alt Summit + Alison’s Brand School for months. In fact, the real reason I wanted to go to Alt was to attend Brand School (also, Palm Springs). It’s amazing what happens when you finally do something you’ve been called to do. I will say that my best day BY FAR was the day of Alison’s Brand School, but the experience of Alt Summit had a lot to offer as well. Here are my big takeaways and a little about how I’ll be moving forward with the business in the wake of this amazing week.
1. Find Your Why and Everything Else is Easier
When I first left my job, I was desperate to find my ‘why.’ All the self-help gurus talk about it. I bought books, listened to podcasts, and generally obsessed over it – which in case your wondering is the exact way NOT to get what you want. Over time I just got frustrated and decided that I didn’t need to have one single purpose to move forward in life, which was an excellent decision at the time. BUT – in Alison’s Brand School, we focused a lot on what you want/why you want it and something just clicked. I feel like the heavens opened and I could see exactly what I want from my brand and it was LIBERATING. She had us distill it down to a single word so that you can hold that word and the meaning of it close to your heart when things get hard. It is also already helping me reframe all the conversations I want to be having through that point of view which makes me feel much more confident in what I’m saying. It feels clear, decisive, and empowering and that’s exactly everything I’ve been missing in my life.
2. Use Your Experience
One of the sessions I sat in on was about using analytics + goal setting like a large company. Honestly, the only reason I went was because I needed a filler session. I went in with the attitude of “oh I already understand analytics, but it’ll be interesting to hear their take.” Boy, was I wrong. The speaker was a Product Lead at Airbnb – literally my previous profession – and she reminded me of everything I already knew and wasn’t using. It was a wakeup call that I need to be using my previous experience and strengths to benefit me in this business. Now I’ve got a goal setting session scheduled for this week!
3. Play to Your Strengths but Don’t Use Your Weaknesses as Excuses
One of the greatest things I did for myself during my week at Alt was book an Airbnb instead of staying in one of the conference hotels. I LOVE connecting with people on a deeper level, but struggle with surface level conversations, so meeting new people can be somewhat draining for me. Being away from all the other conference attendees on my off-time was so good for me. It allowed me to recharge and go back to sessions or meet-ups with the energy I needed to put my best foot forward. I never want to use introversion as an excuse or miss opportunities because of it so I use my on/off time wisely to set myself up for success.
4. Everyone needs connection
On the topic of surface level conversations – it’s amazing what happens when you do make a true connection with someone. It was helpful for me to remember that every human needs connection and that everyone is hoping to meet people they vibe with at a conference. It’s much less alienating to look at a room full of people you don’t know through the lens of “everyone is looking to meet someone here. I wonder if we’re a good match.” It takes the pressure off and allows you to look for those connections that bring true value to both parties.
5. Changing things up is energizing
The energy at Alt was amazing. Of course it was – there were thousands of creatives in one room and that’s a magical thing. But outside of that, mixing things up for yourself and doing something out of the norm is really great for your energy. I have a tendency to stay at home in my bubble. Not because of my comfort levels, but because I forget to push my physical boundaries. I’m quick to get uncomfortable when it comes to personal growth, but I forget that sometimes that means literally changing the scenery every once in a while. I want to get better about having days where I seek out new experiences because as Alison says, “If you want different results, you have to do things differently.”
Those are my personal takeaways from Alt + Brand School and things I want to refer back to when I’m stuck or maybe not seeing the results I want to see. Finding my why and having a concrete message for my brand is SO EXCITING and I hope you guys enjoy the content that’s coming your way.
One other thing I wanted to mention was that this whole experience was something I NEVER would have expected. The Universe showed up for me and found a way to get me to Brand School, and I believe that happened for a reason. We all have unique gifts to give the world. I fully stepped into that belief this week and am grateful to have the chance to share my gifts with you. I hope that you know you have that same ability and that someone out there needs what you have to offer. So let’s get out there and change the world!