Many of you know that a little over a week ago I headed to Charleston for Haven 2018, my first ever Haven Conference.
While I was super excited to go, when it was over I was a little sad. Not just that it ended. But because it had been happening for so long and I never even knew.
But I quickly got over it on my drive home as I had the opportunity to reflect on the experience and how grateful I was to go now.
As part of my reflection, as I always do, I reflected on everything that I gained. Even in spite of not taking home the prize from the Home Depot orange tank competition. I didn’t lose my friends. But I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Haven is a DIY blogging conference. And apparently, it has been going strong now for 8 years. It is made up of social, informational, and hands-on sessions.
It’s a lot squeezed into a few short days. But it is nothing short of amazing.
I just wanted to take a moment to share how this conference was massively beneficial to me.
5 Takeaways from Haven 2018
I have owned a DSLR for roughly 6 years. I have used it the most ever in those six years in 2018. I have used it the best for shooting indoor pictures of my home for the last week.
That is all thanks to the photography session put on by Rachel Paxton of Maison de Pax.
She broke it all the way down.
What I have come to realize is that photography is big and my apprehensiveness to approaching it was because I thought you learn the rules. You apply the rules. You take good pictures.
Depending on what you are shooting, different things apply. And while the fundamentals are the same across the board when you niche down to shooting particular things there are some advanced equations you need to know.
I stepped my food shooting up at the top of the year thanks to Food Blogger Pro. And while I still have a ways to go, just knowing the food shooting equations are helping me get better.
Because of my attendance at Haven, I am now on the upward movement towards shooting better interior pictures.
That alone is worth the cost of admission.
When I am Uncomfortable I Grow
I entered the Home Depot Orange Tank Competition before I had even bought my conference ticket, after I shared that Home Depot was my dream brand to work with, in one of my Facebook groups.
I then realized that I needed to be at this conference. While I had been entertaining going the competition solidified it for me.
At the nudging of a mentor and friend, I applied for all three categories and was pleasantly surprised to have not only been selected. But selected for the top tier of 5 Thousand Dollars. I did not take home the prize, but I did not lose.
I say that because had it not been for the competition, I may not have attended the conference. I didn’t know a single soul. And the thought of getting up and presenting in front of a room full of strangers without anyone to cheer me on made me so nervous. But I did it anyway.
And not only did I do it, but I told people I met about the competition before it started and I had people that came to support me.
Which leads me to my next point.
I Am Not As Socially Awkward As I Thought
It was no mistake that I went without knowing someone.
I now realize that when I have the safety net and comfort of a familiar face, I am less likely to interact with people I don’t know.
And it was completely to my benefit that I didn’t know anyone. It forced me to interact with people from the very beginning. I even went to dinner with three ladies, two of which happened to be from the Raleigh area, my first night there.
Seems small. But for this little introvert, it’s big.
I Am Pretty Dope
I like doing so many things and while people I love always tell me they love what I do. It was pretty dope to meet new people who don’t know me and share my stuff and not only be encouraged but supported.
When I met Timisha of Toolbox Divas and shared with her about my business services I just started offering, she not only purchased. She sent an email to other people who she thought would also be interested.
My mind was blown.
My People Are Out There
And piggybacking off my last point. This further encourages me that my people are out there. People who not only get what I do but why I do it.
People who do similar things from the same or similar space. People who are rooting for my success in making and doing things I love to support me and my family.
I am beyond grateful for the experience. And even more than that I am ready to head to Atlanta next year for Haven 2019.