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Post Conference Follow-Up Hacks

Post Conference Follow-Up Hacks

I’m coFounder and Organizer of PodCamp, which is coming up in a week or two, and I just got an email from a fellow podcaster asking me about how I’ll be planning to manage the influx of business cards, ideas, and conversations/follow-up this kind of an event will bring with it. I thought this might prove useful to anyone attending conferences or events in the coming months (as that season gets underway in earnest in the US at least).

Directly after the Event

Well, directly after the event, I’ll kiss my wife and children, and thank them for understanding why I was completely absent for an entire weekend. But then…

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  • Gather up your new business cards in a pile.
  • If you’ve got a nifty card scanner, have at.
  • If not, send a short email to everyone you met. You can template *some* of the text, including your signature and stuff, but be genuine in your reply.
  • This gives you a digital copy of their email address to add to your contacts list later (in most software).
  • In the mail, mention that it was great meeting them, and mention one or two lines from your conversation. “I was really happy to talk with you about rototilller podcasts. I hope we can develop something on that line in the coming months.”

And this raises a point. Put a “call to action” in the email that prompts them to contact you (if that’s important to you). Mention something specific and actionable that you’d like them to do with you in the future.

Make Links

Here’s a nice touch: You might’ve spoken with 200 people, and through this process, you might learn that Michael and Sam both have the same things in mind for the future. It’d be nice to send a note to Michael, asking if he’d met Sam, and send one to Sam asking if it’s okay to put the two of you together. (Luckily, this is an example. Michael and Sam, who we reference at Lifehack from time to time, are blissfully married).

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Carry this process in your head onto other opportunities. Did you meet four different vendors doing the same thing with different colored bunny ears on top? Invite the four of them to the same lunch and let the shoot-out happen in the open. It’ll save time and make it much easier to endure the repetition.

Load up your Calendar

The best time for action is within the few weeks following the event. Everything’s fresh in everyone’s brain. Entropy hasn’t set in. It’s all still a ball of energy and possibility. Use NOW as a great time to schedule meetings and try to build on the momentum of your personal contact at the event. Especially in this virtual world, that little bit of facetime sometimes catapults new relationships to the next level.

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Keep the Cards

I play “shuffle up and email” often. I take my cards from past events, and then send someone a random email (hopefully with value to what they’re doing, and mindful of what I’d want to do with them). The email is a “ping,” a chance to show them that I’m still out there, and that we might still have business. Further, it might just be the thing that gets someone thinking of me for another opportunity.

Your Tricks

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When you finish a grueling 3 day event in a foreign city, what do you do after reconnecting with your family? How does it relate to what you do for work? Are you in sales? Do you consider your experience to be as your title, or a chance to interact as YOU, the brand?

–Chris Brogan is helping with PodCamp Boston. He’s developing a new framework system for time management and life skills at Grasshopper Factory.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnancy in life, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help.

Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

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1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths.

Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation.

What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem.

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If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave.

Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future.

These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

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4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’re 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward.

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Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years.

On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

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Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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