If you follow along with my Facebook page, you probably saw that this week was a crazy one for me because I was in Boston at a marketing conference for work. I've already touched on the fact that I have been loving my new job and how happy I am to be learning about inbound marketing. Well this conference just took it to another level.
I was able to really get the emotional feel and widespread success of inbound marketing at this conference, which is affectionately called "Inbound." The conference, hosted by the the leader in inbound marketing software, HubSpot, was amazing and inspiring to say the least. I got the opportunity to see several famous keynote speakers including Malcolm Gladwell, Martha Stewart, Shiza Shahid, Simon Sinek, and several others. Their collective message was clear and resonated with me: be inspired. be bold. tell your story. inspire others.
Although this was a marketing conference and I attended for work, I felt like its message really hit home. This is what I've felt like my calling has always been: to help others, to inspire, to make a difference in the world. Growing up and in college I always told my mom, I want to help people! I just didn't know how I could achieve this until now.
When starting my blog, I never realized my story would inspire others. I never thought I would be receiving emails, tweets, and Facebook messages from people just telling me thank you, that I helped them, that they saw some of themselves in me, or that they passed my blog along to a friend or family member who is struggling. Somehow, I had stumbled into doing what I had always wanted to do.
Why am I mentioning this in my post about an inbound marketing conference? Well, this conference taught me that everything you do should be done with inspiration. To write is to inspire. To quote one of the speakers, Simon Sinek, "Business is human for the very simple reason that we are human." That's refreshing isn't it? And so true! After listening to how 'human' business and marketing actually are, I know that I am in the right place and at the right job.
My favorite speaker I saw at the conference was Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund. The talk she gave moved me, my coworkers and several other people to tears. She is young, smart, inspirational, and she took a leap of faith. She left her dream job to start the fund and change the world in her own way. Her talk was full of hope and inspiration. She said "I believe we are the ones that we've been waiting for," meaning anyone can achieve their dreams, that sometimes you just need to get up and do it, and let your path find you. If you don't do it, who will? Another quote from Shiza, "There are certain times in your life when you have to decide who you are, in those moments let your heart guide you." She reiterated that she didn't have all the answers when she took her leap of faith, but she knew in her heart this is what she should do, and she would figure out the rest She knew that education is a basic human right and the fact that girls around the world are being denied that just isn't right. We all have the power to create change. This is a powerful message and one that speaks to me.
The speakers at Inbound, and in particularly Shiza, confirmed something for me - inspiration is the way to make human connections and make a difference in the world. I've already begun to do this by starting this blog and sharing my personal struggles with alcohol. Who knew that putting my story out there would lead me on the path to inbound marketing? Now, I get to inspire every day by going to work and writing passionate, remarkable content for my clients. I learned so much at Inbound 2014, it makes me eager to do more, be more, create more.
I know the first step in this process is to be bold and continue to share my story - be the difference I want to see. After the knowledge overload last week, I know I want to become a better writer and the one way to achieve this is to become a better human being.
Above all, I've learned I am exactly where I am meant to be.