We all know that post-conference feeling: “I’m going to conquer the WORLD! I’m going to run back and share EVERYTHING I learned, implement it with the agency, and make a million dollars!”

It’s great to leave with that kind of fire and motivation…until reality hits.

You get back the office, get back in your normal routine and quickly lose that momentum you knew you were going to hold on to. You have a million emails (you should be using Slack BTW), you have a client call here, and something happen at your kid’s school there, and the list goes on and on and that FIRE turns into a candle-like flicker in a few weeks. 

Well here’s a piece of advice - STOP DOING THAT.

Why are you investing $$$ to help yourself when you really aren’t helping yourself make any changes and instead are constantly making excuses? I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. And I’m not going to throw any stones – I’ve been completely guilty of this too – but the good news is I’ve found a few things that help me stay on track and keep the fire going.

The event may have been fun, but if you’re not going to take ideas away to actually implement, then it’s just a waste of time. Let’s focus on making it more productive.

1) Pick ONE thing you want to focus on when you get back to the office before you ever leave the conference. Many times, there are so many new ideas bouncing around when we leave, that we want to word-vomit everything to everyone about what we learned. But we know that’s also the best way to end up overwhelming your team and getting no traction.

Before you jet out to share everything with everyone, prioritize the new information you learned and pick the ONE thing that you want to focus on. Visualize and write down what success for that one thing in your agency will look like. Then write the next and the next. Once you check the first one off the list, move on to the next. Prioritize. Stay Focused. WIN. 

2) Commit to the change. Once you pick the ONE thing, commit to it and see it through to its success or end. Commit to stay on track and commit to set a goal that is SMART. I think you get the theme here…COMMIT. 

3) Use resources to help you stay on track. Put time on your calendar to remind yourself of the ONE thing. Use a task management system (Asana, Trello, etc.). Write it on paper. Basically, do whatever it is you need to do in order to make follow-through attainable. 

4) Measure it. Have what I love to call an accountabilibuddy (accountability + buddy). Whether it’s your colleague, business partner, spouse, whomever, just make sure you have someone that’s aware of your ONE thing and keeps you in check. 

5) Repeat. Once you’ve successfully or even unsuccessfully implemented your ONE thing, move on to the next. The most important thing is to learn what worked and what didn’t. 

Voila! If you truly stick to this method, you’ll be back at the next conference telling us all about how you were able to implement everything that you chose because you focused, committed, used resources, measured it, and repeated the process!

 Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens

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