It should be obvious to anyone that Chloe of the Mountain is not making any appreciable money. Laughably, I was once accused of making money from my blog (as though that would be a crime!), but I can assure that nothing could be further from the truth.
It isn’t exactly like I haven’t tried to make money. I briefly played with affiliate ads, but they cluttered up my sidebar and made my blog ugly.
The couple of pennies I made weren’t worth the aesthetic offense. I’m not against ads per se, but they have to be ads that fit.
I have done some product reviews, but I’m extremely careful because I believe that too many of them, or the wrong ones, diminish my credibility as a writer. For that reason I will only review products I use and love. (Botox® Cosmetics, I’m still waiting for your call!)
So, since I’m not exactly making a living by blogging (yet), one might wonder why I attended an event like Creative Alliance 12, and what I took away from the experience. That story is as incredible as the women I met there. And in the journey, I learned four important lessons I want to share with you.
1. Speak Up!
A month ago, within one day, I had three different women (Darryle Pollack, Molly Campbell, and Jane Gassner) ask me if I was going to Creative Alliance 12. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I’m not so dense that I can’t realize that if three–seemingly unrelated–people ask you about something in one day then maybe you ought to pay attention.
So I looked into this conference, but it was long sold-out. Besides, the event started on a day I was scheduled to work and we’ve been so busy I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the day off even if I tried. So I let it go, but I didn’t forget about it. I asked people to remember me if a ticket came up.
Normally I don’t tell people what I need. Somewhere deep in my psyche I’ve internalized the false message that if people know what I need then they can hurt me. I’ve decided to make a paradigm shift and start believing that if I tell people what I need then they will HELP me.
And look what happened.
In an amazing twist of very last minute fate, I not only was offered a ticket from one person, and a private suite at a reduced rate from another, but a way miraculously presented itself for me to get the day off I needed in order to go. And just like that, in a matter of minutes, I was going to Creative Alliance 12 in Ojai.
2. Embrace the Unknown
The truth of the matter is that I sat there with a ticket, a room, and a ride to an event I honestly knew next to nothing about. All I knew for certain was that I was supposed to go, and that the Universe, which I sometimes affectionately call “God,” had gone to great lengths to make sure I was going to be there.
3. Be Prepared
Just before the event, I received a flier that said that I needed to arrive ready to answer three questions:
- Who are you? (Not as easy an answer as you’d think.)
- What is your goal in being here? (I didn’t even know what the hell the conference really was! How was I supposed to know what my goal was?)
- What is one thing that would come as a surprise to everyone else? (Since nobody there really knew me I could have said just about anything.)
This was not the first blogging conference I’ve attended. I’ve long been thinking about these questions that have seemed to have no satisfactory answer. What exactly is the purpose of my blog? Why do I write it, and what is it I want from it? How does it fit into the big picture of my life?
4. Take Risks
When was the last time you seriously considered your goals? More to the point, when was the last time you were invited to share them with an engaged audience prepared to listen and help you achieve them?
Having only a day or two to ponder my answers to these questions, I struggled with whether or not to risk it and say out loud to God and other human beings the one thing I believe I am meant to do.
As I drove to Ojai, I imagined myself saying the words out loud—for the first time in my life—to someone other than my husband.
On Friday night, gathered under a large white tent, the women spoke their hopes and dreams into a precious circle of trust. It felt sacred and important, as though the words themselves had the power to shatter limitations and change futures.
And when it came my turn, I took the risk and said out loud the one thing that I think I am meant to do in this life. And guess what? Other people could see it too. Someone even said, “You are meant to do that.”
As I drove home, I felt different. I am beginning to see how it all fits together. The confusing fog of indecisiveness has lifted, and I clearly see the path set before me, at least up to the next bend in the road.
Video and tent image by SuebobDavis.