Being your own boss, setting your own schedule, choosing the work you want to do…these are all amazing benefits of owning your own business. But like anything, the cons come with the pros.
I recently received an invite to INBOUND 2013—a four-day marketing conference by HubSpot. The event looked amazing…held in beantown and including such prolific speakers as Seth Godin, Scott Harrison, and Nate Silver…all of it for the low, low early-bird price of $999.
Or is it?
Let’s add up the total cost, all figured very conservatively:
$ 999.00 — Early-Bird Registration Fee
$ 300.00 — Lodging at AirBnB
$ 425.00 — Airfare
$ 50.00 — Ground Transportation
$ 120.00 — Meals
$1,000.00 — Billable Hours Lost
It all comes to a grand total of $2,894.00. Con, meet Pro. Pro, say hello to Con.
In my first year of running Keyhole Marketing, this inability to easily receive training and grow my networking circles has been perhaps the hardest adjustment out of the corporate world. I miss the days when continuing my education simply involved management signing an approval form and subsequent expense sheet. Today, invites to high-priced conferences come in, and then go out…right to the trash…along with my stagnant skillset. I’m tired of feeling stale. Dormant. Out of touch.
But enough lamenting.
In 2001, Godin wrote a book called Unleashing the Ideavirus, which he—in a Fast Company article—defines as “an idea that moves, grows, and infects everyone it touches.” The ideavirus “starts with an idea manifesto, a powerful, logical ‘essay’ that assembles a bunch of existing ideas and transforms them into a new, larger idea that’s unified and compelling.” Though, it doesn’t have to come in an essay. It could come in an infographic, a tune, a product, etc.
And with Godin’s inspiration—his ideavirus—here’s my manifesto for the organizers of INBOUND 2013 to embrace:
We're HubSpot, and we love business. We don't discriminate...we embrace. Young companies and old. Large businesses and small. We're simply "pro business" no matter the appearance. And now, during National Small Business Week, we're extremely "pro small business." We stand by what we've said about this segment: there's really nothing small about them. The ideas that spark them, the minds that lead them, the risks that advance them, and the heart that goes into them -- they're all pretty ... big. And, we acknowledge that being a small business in today's marketplace ain't easy. Concerns about the economy, technology's fast-paced advancements, and growing competition all make it challenging for small businesses to get bigger. But we also know that small businesses, as a whole, aren't going away anytime soon. And so we vow to link arms with this community. We want to be more than observers of their evolution, we want to be partners in the revolution. And we vow to start now. Today. This minute. We'll start by putting INBOUND 2013 under the microscope and examining how well we're serving small businesses. We'll create new ways to include this group in the conversation, making sure its always feasible and accessible for them. We were once a small business, and we must not forget our roots. Thank you.
If this manifesto just stays here for me to read, then it’s pointless. But I didn’t write it for me. I wrote it for the people who need to embrace it and move with it. Help get the word to them. Together, we can change the conference game. Together, we can make sure that HubSpot and other large conference organizers get the message that we, small businesses, also want to “come together,” “get inspired” and “be remarkable.”