This is how it happened:

A few weeks ago I won a free “scholarship” to attend 2-day workshop in the San Francisco Bay area from a powerhouse couple I’ve been following and have learned a lot from. Hemmed, hawed, couldn’t decide if I could justify going what with the airfare and hotel expenditures. Fretted, meditated, hemmed and hawed some more and then just for kicks emailed my dear friend Judy who lives in Houston to see if her sister who lives in Sonoma would be in town that weekend/thinking maybe I’d take her to lunch. Judy replied within seconds: not only would her sister be in town but Judy and her daughter were planning on flying into San Fran that very weekend and she was heading up after the weekend to visit said sister and bro- in- law in Sonoma. And I should just come for a few days. And it was her birthday. And her sisters’ home is lovely and I hadn’t seen her in ages either. And there were wineries; many, many wineries just calling my name. And…note to self: if you ever want to get REALLY cheap airfare, fly on Friday the 13th. Besides 9-11 and Christmas this day has got to be the cheapest day of the year to fly.

Really, how many more signs did I need?

Booked a flight, threw the kid in a closet with her cell phone and headed west.

The workshop had its plusses and minuses. Targeted towards holistic practitioners and coaches, these very successful Internet Marketing guru’s who have made millions sharing their knowledge on smart online techniques and leveraging tools knew who they were talking to and what would push their buttons. Tired of working for x dollars an hour with a ceiling of how many clients/patients you can see in 1 day? We have a fix for that. Tired of working 80 hours a week because you can only charge x amount per hour? We have a fix for that too. They had walked the walk themselves, he being a former life coach and she a former acupuncturist. They knew the pain of trying to get out of your parents basement and build a successful practice. They saw another way, pursued their dreams and figured it out. And now they were passing it along, for a price. Good for them! This, for me, would give me the tools I needed to really walk my own online marketing walk and pass on my knowledge of working smart, not hard, to others.

But wait! Call it a north easterners built in ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’o- meter, call it ‘Have Teenager-Get Manipulation’ sonar; as it turned out the majority of the workshop was spent setting up the scenario of relating to your problems and then sneakily raising emotional desperation for the relief of the aforementioned problems. And guess what – here comes the handout being passed around the room as we speak—if you act RIGHT NOW by going to the back of the room, the good folks waiting to take your credit card number back there at the 40 foot long tables will discount the $2995 program to an affordable $1995.00. For today only.

And on and on.

I’m not naive. I went in knowing full well that no one in business pitches a free event just for the sake of bettering mankind unless they are Mahatma Ghandi. I’ve been to these things before and of course there’s an agenda. Of course. The risk for me was deciding what, if any, value I’d be taking back to Connecticut that would justify the expense, the strength (and exhaustion) of consistently having to say no thank you ALL WEEKEND LONG. Because I knew going I wasn’t spending the money at this point for “more”. Plenty of folks did, and by no means am I judging them or calling the presenters scammers-they know what they are doing, have helped many, many now successful marketers, coaches, consultants and health practitioners get to 6 figure incomes by putting them on the fast track of learning what they have figured out for themselves. They’re saving people time. All good stuff. I just wasn’t ready for it. It wasn’t my time and I can’t help but feeling taken advantage of emotionally, and being just a wee bit pissed off, mostly at myself, for not anticipating the kind of high test pressure that was about to befall me.

So what were the take -aways? Besides the empowerment exercises designed to make us feel comfortable and powerful and in control of our destinies? I mean Toto, we definitely were not in Kansas anymore. No, we were right smack in the middle of northern California. There was a lot of hugging it out. There had to be some more value though. Please.

There was, actually, all really valuable:

  1. I met some great people, and a few I think I’ll stay in touch with and I think a couple of new clients.
  1. A good segment of the program was spent on honing your niche, which was work I’ve really needed to do for myself, as I preach its value to others. You can’t be all things to every one. Who, really, are my peeps? Who, really, can I have the most impact on? Who, really, can I relate to and visa versa so that I am credible and authentic in my clients eyes? It came to me walking through San Francisco airport on my way out of town at 11:00 that night (Red Eye). Sitting at the gate I’d been texting back and forth with my friend Jennifer Covello, owner of Frittabello baby gifts and blogger extraordinaire…see, about a program we’re putting together for this fall – a series of interviews with successful –really successful –women business owners who also happen to be mothers, and how they got to where they are today. What their mistakes were. How they balanced their work with their parenting duties? What their biggest challenges were and what tools, especially marketing and online tools really helped them get to where they are today, truly successful. ….”Mompreneurs”,  as they’re known. So yes, this was who we’d be targeting-other “mompreneurs”. But then it came to me- and for this and this alone I am so glad I attended this conference…..who really needs these skills? Who really needs advice on how to cut through the myriad of choices, and on how to make smart choices- talk about needing to “Work Smart Not hard?” Why single moms, of course (and dads actually)(they’re out there). These are my peeps, and these peeps can relate to me and to Jennifer, another single mom. I can talk from the heart here and be my truest self, and understand the feelings of fear, stress, guilt, overwhelm, sometime helplessness and loneliness….and the list goes on…. and passionately bring folks ways of creating sustainable passive income, while they sleep. And while they’re doing homework with their kids and making dinner with the other hand. With the help of these experts…and with my help. Because I walk the walk…every single day…

You never know why some things happen the way they do. Sometimes it doesn’t even pay to try and figure it out, we just have to trust that it will all make sense and that nothing really happens haphazardly. I think I’ve been spending too much time in Northern California because my inner Law of Attraction doesn’t usually appear as vividly as it has now. So I guess I was meant to go, and get all woo woo. Whatever it takes.



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