You know those times when some sort of contest makes its rounds, and you realize there’s probably no way anyone will even see your entry, much less PICK that entry as a winner, but you enter anyways because “what the heck, why not?” That was somewhere along my line of thought when I sent in my entry to Justin & Mary after they announced “The Big Next” event they’d be hosting in their Connecticut home in December. So I sent in a couple of paragraphs about these dreams that I have, dreams that get me out of bed in the morning, dreams that keep me up at night, dreams that push me out of the shower before I’ve remember to wash out my conditioner. And then I forgot about it, because I realized my odds of having a more captivating reason for needing to be there than somebody else were quite slim. But then something amazing happened. I got an email from Mary a few days later telling me, along with five other crazy awesome photographers, that we’d all won a seat as part of the in-studio audience!! It wasn’t my most attractive moment… reading that email in our little kitchen, I shrieked, air-punched, Jersey fist-pumped, and Irish step-danced my way around for a good 15 minutes afterwards. Alright, let’s not kid ourselves. It was more like three days.
The Big Next began Monday night and is going strong through this evening, and I’ve already filled up 13 more pages in my notebook with cramped notes and ideas scribbled in the margins. Far too many of the pages have stars, underlines and “IMPORTANT”s next to them, but that’s because everything I’m learning IS incredibly valuable! I’m being pushed to justify my reasoning and desires behind my dreams, which makes me realize I want them that much more desperately. We’re all being forced to take a good hard look at how we’re doing things, whether or not they’re working, and how we can make them even better for next year. And one of my favorite parts about these three days is that J&M are sitting down with each attendee to do a mentoring session about where they currently are in their stage of business, where they want to go, WHY they want to go there, and how to make those dreams into something doable. At 2:00ish today, I’ll have a chance to sit in the hot seat and talk one-on-one with Mary for an hour about my business in particular.
You guys, I’m so nervous! With the questions Mary’s already asked me and the questions I’ve been watching her ask Eryn, Kori, Gabrielle, Jen & Ashley over the last two days, I know she’s not going to let me weasel of difficult queries with frilly or vague answers. But I NEED that. I need someone to sit down with me, push all the fluff aside, and give me a realistic outside and more-experienced opinion on what seems to be working, where I’m failing royally, and how I can ratchet things up ten more notches. These past couple of days have been so healthy for my too-big sense of self-importance. Seeing these other amazing women, their hearts for their clients and businesses, and the amazing things they’re doing, it’s so refreshing to my soul.
Today’s session starts back up at 11:00 am with Kori‘s mentoring session, and I STRONGLY encourage tuning in on ShowIt LIVE if you’re looking to take things to the next level. Today’s going to be absolutely jam-packed with crazy amounts of GOLDEN information, and it doesn’t cost a single thing except your time.
Pardon the terrible quality of these iPhone photos. I made myself leave the mk3 in my suitcase :).
Here’s to getting real, REAL vulnerable in front of a lot of people today!