One such opportunity came along as an answer to my heart’s desire and an answered prayer. (This being Open, by the way, is one of The Four Steps to FLOW.)
Finding Joy and Flow When You Decide What You Want
I have been in the entrepreneurial space for ten years. It’s only been within the last year that I’ve focused on what I truly wanted: to be a full-time writer and to write books.
That dream came true with my first book: God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement.
But being a writer can be a lonely business. It’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of a radio station, where I spent twenty-two years as a manager and account executive at various places. I was around people all day.
While I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a local mastermind group, none of the participants are professional writers. What I truly wanted was to create a local writer mastermind group and find a community of writers to give and receive support.
Being Open to Opportunities
An opportunity came in the form of a writer’s conference in Franklin, Tennessee called Tribe. Its creator and organizer is Jeff Goins, a New York Times best selling author who also has a podcast called The Portfolio Life.
I became familiar with Jeff’s work when a retreat center director sent me a link to a podcast where Jeff was interviewed for his book Real Artists Don’t Starve.
I had been listening to The Portfolio Life for several months where Jeff promoted Tribe. It was being held during a time when my husband and I were supposed to be moving, so I never gave it any thought about attending.
The moving date was pushed waaaay back. The deadline for Tribe registration was approaching and I thought maybe I should go. (I call these type of thoughts God nudges.)
My husband and I had just returned from a trip. The house needed to be cleared out to get it ready for sale. But this desire to find a writer’s mastermind and community was no longer a nudge but a push! Maybe Tribe held the answers to what I was seeking.
I talked to Robert about the conference. He said, “Go.” So, I did!
Letting Go of Expectations Good or Bad
Another step to FLOW is letting go. In this case, it was letting go of expectations.
Deciding to attend the conference was so last minute that I didn’t feel a lot of excitement. There was so much to do on the home front with the house.
You’d think with a five-hour drive from St. Louis that I’d be daydreaming of the event. I felt kind of numb. It was pouring down rain and was a white-knuckle drive for the first seventy-five miles. So, safe driving was my focus!
Prior to going, I joined the Tribe Facebook group. Dozens of people had arrived a day early and had already bonded. Many had attended previous Tribe events. I scanned the many pictures taken over dinner the night before and at coffee the day of.
I was starting to have expectations, but they weren’t positive ones. What if this was a mistake? What if I don’t bond with anyone? What if I return home without the writer’s community I had hoped to be a part of for mutual support, my one huge desire.
I’d left in plenty of time to arrive in Nashville by 4:30, the first day of the conference. I did, but I didn’t arrive in Franklin until 6PM because of traffic! Registration was at 6:30.
I barely had time to dump my luggage and head over to the conference. Finding a table, I sat down. Introductions were exchanged, but there wasn’t much time for connecting on a deeper level.
Open Yourself to Others and They Will Open to You
One of the participants, Greg Longoria, opened up in wanting to connect with other non-fiction writers. The meetup would be at a coffee house prior to the start of Saturday’s conference.
Putting the prior day’s negative expectations behind me, I decided to open myself up to lend any support that I could.
I arrived at the coffee house and saw that a group had gathered, all wearing their Tribe lanyards around their necks. I walked up to the gathering and said, “Is this where all the fabulous and talented writers are gathered?”
The question brought smiles, and I was greeted with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
Greg took command and suggested we go around the table introducing ourselves and stating why we had chosen to come to the Tribe conference.
People opened up and shared. Instant bonds were made. Now, at the conference, I was finding a table and saving seats with a new set of kindred writing spirits.
Find Joy and Flow When You Open Your Heart, Mind and Imagination
There’s a reason, I believe, that Jeff Goins chose the word Tribe. In the simple definition it means a group of persons with the same profession or interests. I’ve found my writing tribe. : )
So, as the two-and-a-half-day event continued, I opened my heart, mind and imagination to the wonderful speakers.
I also opened up my journal to record the wisdom being shared.
7 Takeaways from the Tribe Conference
My journal is full of notes from the conference. But here are 7 major takeaways:
Tim Grahl: 1) Be relentlessly helpful 2) We say what our soul is saying to help other people express their soul. (For any new author struggling with marketing, this is a great resource: Your First 1000 Copies – The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book)
Marsha Shandur: 1) People will always follow your physical cues and that is what they are going to believe. 2) Fake it until you become it. 3) You give people the four most important words: you are not alone.
Melissa Dinwiddie: 1) Think quantity and not quality. If you take care of the quantity, the quality will show up. 2) Think tiny and daily. 15 minutes is enough to get into flow.) 3) Self-awareness + self-compassion = the key to everything good.
Amy Landino: Create something for the one. Jeff Goins had something to say along this line as well in the 7th takeaway.
Chase Jarvis: 1) You can’t stand out and fit in at the same time. 2) Be different, not better. 3) He quoted Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” (Can I have a Wow and Amen!??!)
Paul Angone: 1) What would my work look like if I were okay just being me? 2) Stop OCD, Obsessive Comparison Disorder : )
Jeff Goins: 1) Do your work for someone, not everyone. 2) If you are not having fun in what you are doing, you’re doing the wrong thing.
Being Open and Answered Prayers
Out of this being open to the opportunity attending the Tribe conference, I not only have an online group of writers to lend and receive support, but I am now part of a local writer’s mastermind.
The fun and surprising part is that I never met or connected with the writers for the local group at the conference! They reached out to me after I returned.
I can attest that you will find joy and flow when you are open to people and opportunities that come your way.
If you are a writer or creative and looking for a supportive community, then attend Tribe, September 6-8, 2019. It will be the last year for this conference. I’ve already bought my ticket. You can take advantage of a special rate that ends November 11. Find out more here: Tribe Conference.
If you’ve attended Tribe or plan to go, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you! And connect with me on social media through the various ways below this post.
Want to join me in living life with joy and FLOW? Click here for The Four Steps to FLOW.