For those of you who may not know, Alt Summit is a blogging conference that brings together hundreds of bloggers to learn and network. Consider it the mothership for bloggers. It was started by a couple bloggers/sisters in Utah, and has grown to three different conferences in Salt Lake City, NYC and now San Francisco.
The day was broken up by keynote speakers, panels, crafting, eating and drinking. We got to hear some inspirational bloggers like Design*Sponge and Garance Doré, experts from the field of social media, branding and user experience design, as well as eat some delicious food. To top it all off, there was a cocktail party after the conference on the roof of Martha’s building, where Miss Martha herself made an appearance.
Today I thought I would share the takeaways that I learned at Alt Summit. I think they are helpful to bloggers and non bloggers alike. Just think of it as some life lessons, free of charge.
1. I have decided that I want to be friends with Garance Doré. Is that weird to say out loud? What about if it is true? Garance Doré, our closing speaker runs a fashion blog and could not be any cooler. She gave a number of lessons/takeaways on ways to survive and thrive in the blogging world – like haters are going to hate, and make sure to get out of your own way. Plus she is French and has the best accent ever.
2. Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge, also someone else I want to be friends with, opened the conference and gave some great advice, including – ask for what your want because you might just get it. Hmm this could be dangerous. I might just start asking for what I want on this blog.
3. Embrace Rejection Therapy -This was another one of Grace’s ideas and it is fascinating. Basically rejection therapy is a way to get over hearing the word “no.” You are supposed to ask someone for something every day as a way to push yourself away from the scary word that is “no.” For example, you want a picture with Martha? Ask her, what is the worst thing that could happen? She says no? The goal of this is to get over hearing the word “no” which in turn will help you ask for what you want (see #2)
5. Tate’s Cookies - are the best cookies on the planet. Done. The owner of Tate’s came and spoke to us about Tate’s Bake Shop and how she got to where she is today. She also left her cookies all over the conference area and I was eating them by the handful. Sidenote – they are especially great with ice cream smushed in between 2 of them.
6. Superwoman died of exhaustion – Isabel Kallman from the blog Alpha Mom spoke about how in this day and age, we are all addicted to urgency but most of what we do is not urgent. Can we tell the difference between urgent and important? We need to remember that we can’t do it all, even if we think we are superwoman.
7. I discovered the site They Draw & Cook - Run by this amazing brother/sister duo, They Draw& Cook is a food blog that uses illustrations instead of photographs. Genius. I can’t seem to get enough of them. Check out their website.
8. Keenan Cummings from Days showed that it was ok to cry in public, especially in front of a room of girls, and we all loved him for it.
10. Social media is here to stay. I was amazed not only at the amount of time that was spent talking about social media (Twitter, Instagram etc) but they started the conference by giving everyone hashtags for Twitter so we could be in on the same Twitter conversation while at the conference. People were listening to the conference and simultaneously tweeting/instagraming. Talk about multi-tasking. I was still taking notes with a pad and paper. So if you haven’t noticed (or if you don’t follow me) I am attempting to tweet more. Not sure if that is a good thing. Yesterday was my all time tweet high with 3 tweets, one of which was about cheese curds. Maybe this is the reason I don’t have that many followers.
11. The last and final takeaway – Martha Stewart reigns supreme. I know what you all are thinking. She is a crook! She doesn’t seem very nice! She went to jail! So what? She started a business when she was 35 years old (which is pretty old compared to all of the tech gazillionaires who are barely old enough to drink) and was the first female self made billionaire. Regardless of what you think of her, you got to hand it to her, she is a hustler. Plus she looks amazing at 72 years old. Gives me hope that I can be a wrinkle free self made billionare when I am 72.
Alt Summit was exactly what I wanted it to be - it was great to meet new people and learn some ways to make A Life Well Lived the best it can be (please feel free to give me feedback on anything you like or don’t like).
Move over Martha, with all this knowledge from Alt Summit I am starting my empire.
(**All images by the super talented and super cool Justin Hackworth – check him out **)