I started my last week at an Author Conference in Austin. As many of you know, I’ve published 4 commercial books since 2008 and am working on the next one this year. So, why would I come to a gathering of authors, literary agents, publishers, PR people, etc. to talk about the book publishing process, business, and practices?

Three reasons that you too should considering in growing your portfolio of competencies:

1. One Relationship, One Idea – If I meet one relationship or gain one unique idea that I can apply to improve my condition, I will have measured last week or any other event I attend a success. Many of us work in isolation, so when you sit and observe ideas, perspectives, behaviors, or unique insights by others, it helps you sharpen your lens. What’s one idea or one relationship worth? I’ve learned that it can be the trajectory between new heights and the status quo!

2. Best Practices and Best Practitioners – People fundamentally gather for two reasons: Content & Community. What can I learn and who else will be there. At many events you hear about best practices but I’ve found, that’s very different than actually meeting the best practitioners and gauging whether what or how they thought about or implemented an idea, could be replicated, by me! We all read about how other individuals or organizations do something. What we neglect to pay particular attention to is the contextual difference between them and us. Start focusing on not just what others have done, but what has to happen for you to create similar success given your circumstances.

3. The What vs. The How – I can read all about what someone did to write a more compelling book. But when you hear Seth Godin or Tim Sanders or Nancy Duarte talk about how they did something, it brings more actionable texture to your focus. The how makes an idea practical, pragmatic, and actionable. I can replicate the how; I can’t always replicate the what. The how creates forward motion. The what is often noise. Tiger Woods can tell me what to do with a golf club; I dramatically improve my swing when he tells me how to do it.

I’m on the road some 200 days a year between global consulting and speaking engagements. I still make time to attend at least one event a quarter, where my only responsibility is to sit in the audience and observe, soak in the insights, and think differently about my personal and professional growth. I’ve always found them to be worthwhile investments.

How are you growing personally or professionally? #NeverStopGrowing
Make it a great week, David

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