Lessons From Alt Summit / by Emmily Jones

Photo: Brooke Dennis 

Photo: Brooke Dennis 

This past week came and went so incredibly fast! I had the awesome opportunity to attend Alt Summit, a creative blogging and business conference that takes place at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City every year. This is my third time attending the inspiring gathering, and I must say, the most successful for me and my business. Third time's a charm, I suppose! I'm also very lucky to live literally 8 blocks away from the hotel, which made life a whole lot easier for this 26 week pregnant lady (especially when Mr. Braxton Hicks decided to crash the party).  

I want to highlight two key takeaways that instantly influenced my brand and my own personal goals. Both are from the lovely Alison of The Alison Show during her class called "Building an Awesome Brand."  

YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAND - When Alison said this I hesitated because of course you want your brand to be a reflection of you, or else it seems it would be hard to keep up with authentic content. However, she meant you should not be taking the business personally. When you lose 15 followers over an Instagram post, you need to remember they unfollowed your brand, not you personally. This statement has encouraged a new approach for 2015. I used to have an app that would inform me of who would unfollow Charming Details and a lot of other silly statistics that are totally not productive to growing a business, especially if you want to keep any sort of positivity. I deleted the app during her class and will never look at it again. It was poisonous to my entrepenerual spirit and also personally deterring. I would constantly ask questions like, "oh, shoot, why do they hate me" or "what did I do to lose their respect?" The app was detrimental to keeping me focused on continued progress.   

YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT - This is already something I say ALL THE TIME, so of course when Alison said it's something she always lives by, I had to jot it down as a reminder for when the industry gets me down. I plan on framing this one for my office. Blogging and creative business ownership can be the most uplifting and empowering industry and the most frustrating and exhausting. It's so easy to feel inferior and therefore unable when you are constantly comparing yourself to others. It reminds me of a quote by Jon Acuff, "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle." 

It only makes sense that someone like Alison would be such an influence on me and my brand. For one, she might be the only person who says the word awesome more than me. Two, she speaks vulnerably and authentically. And three, she genuinely goes out of her way to make you feel special (which I feel is somewhat rare in this industry, not because people are rude, but I think most people, myself included, are so focused on our dreams and ambitions that we rarely stop to listen to others'). Go Alison, you are awesome. Thank you for your powerful influence!