A Grown Lesson From The Blogalicious Conference

You’ve got to be smart enough to know when you’re the teacher and when you’re the student. Really successful business people are often students, especially with those in their inner circles and on their payroll; they engage and hire people who are smarter than them! And they recognize any thing and any body can teach when you’re a willing student.

2013-10-10 14.33.48I went to Stacey Ferguson’s (@JusticeFergie on Twitter) Blogalicious Conference last week in Atlanta, Georgia and WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! She is brilliant! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more collaborative group of people.

Interestingly this was my 2nd year attending. Last year I was there as my beau’s (Alfred Edmond Jr) guest while he represented Miller/Coors’ Business Pitch Competition. It was at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas and I had a ball! Not because of the conference. I love slot machines. It’s something about those damn lights, ding-ding-dings and my Sanguine nature that make me happy! I was not thinking like a blogger then – had NO IDEA what I was missing.

This year Alfred was invited back to judge the Wells Fargo Business Competition, but I paid to go and went ahead of him – there every day as an eager student.

Zara, why aren’t you on that stage? People need to hear what you have to say. You should be up there!” said a sweet dear talented young woman who knows my brands.

Me: Girl, you’ve got to know when you’re the teacher and when you’re the student. I need to be my behind right here in the audience – taking notes, asking questions, networking – learning!

The Pros Attitude
I know what I know. In my space of understanding and teaching personal growth I belong on platforms, but that’s not all I need to know to be successful. Alfred and I have created an amazing space with the Grown Zone from our individual platforms on social media, and based on how the community is growing we will have one heck of a story to share one day on how we did it, but today we’re still learning.

Always An Amateur
Really smart people know that they’re always an amateur at something, which means they’re always learning.

I’m in awe of some of the people I met at Blogalicious last week. All are younger than me, but I’ve learned from each of them and even if only from afar I consider them mentors because I’m watching their every move!

BMWKRonnie and Lamar Tyler (@blackandmarried on Twitter), founders of Black And Married With Kids.

I crashed a private dinner they were having for their writers and partners – best wayward action I’ve taken in a long time (LOL! I didn’t REALLY crash it. I wasn’t exactly invited either, but I did get permission via a 3rd party). They don’t know it yet, but we’re now connected at the hip! I see them as poster children for the creative economy – not waiting for permission, rather innovative and leading the way in the blogosphere.

Jessica McFaddenJessica McFadden (@jessicamcfadd on Twitter), A Parent In America.

Jessica was on a panel and gave tips on vlogging. I asked a question and her advice resonated with me so much that my editorial calendar turned right-side UP! I’d been struggling for a while trying to figure out how to differentiate between what needed to be a blog, a video, or as part of our podcast. All of a sudden I saw how to make the best use of all of my talents. Jessica and I connected later over a libation in a green bottle which turned out to be both of our fave! 😉

With Diana Ramsey

Diana Ramsey (@siswithbeauty on Twitter), Sisters With Beauty.

This little cutie-pie is a rising star shining brightly. She recognized me as co-founder of the Grown Zone and Alfred Edmond Jr’s partner which sparked conversation, but then we clicked over natural hair! I learned more from her in one conversation than I have over the past 3 years of growing my natural hair. She’s a huge promoter of doing it yourself and through her website she shows you how. Not only is she talented, she’s a dancing machine (a dance-off between her and my beau is inevitable), and I usually reserve that term for Alfred; few can get down like he can. Hugs ‘n Love, Butterfly! 🙂

In a very short time I learned a lot from each of them and picked up lots of stuff from others throughout the conference. I’m often “on”; teaching, guiding, validating and sometimes (lovingly) chastising, but I know when it’s time to turn it “off”; to be a student because there’s always something to learn.

Although I have expertise, I’m not always the expert. Sometimes I’m the novice, and I’m smart enough to know when I’m the teacher or the student. Are you?

That’s living in the Grown Zone! Here we GROW…Grown IS Sexy! ;-)

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