Not really sure how to start this post. Maybe because there is just so much I want to say? I'm just gonna dive in, and hopefully you can keep up with my ramblings. :) I am recapping this for you and for me. For you, because maybe you are where I was---Never attended a workshop/conference before, has a hard time justifying the "higher-priced" business investments that you don't get an immediate $$ return from, or maybe is just uneducated on what they are all about needing some insight if "it's worth it". And I am recapping for me, because I need to remember my experience there and never forget the feelings of motivation, excitement and gratitude I felt walking out the canvas studios door that day.
What is Gather Athens?
Gather Athens is a workshop for creative entrepreneurs, to help inspire, clarify and encourage. Honestly.. thats basically all the same words from the website, but re-arranged. Don't think this as a sales pitch though… because I truly left Canvas Studios feeling like I got all those things and more.
Real talk.. I almost didn't go. I saw the instagram post and thought, "that looks fun.. it's fairly close (so I could drive there and back in a day) and I would like to meet those ladies.. the ones I follow (on social media, not real life) and admire. BUT it does cost some money, it's a three-hour drive, and what will I really get out of it?"
Thats embarrassing to think I questioned getting anything out if it, because these women who hosted are some of the most honest, caring, smart, committed women you will ever meet. I am blessed to have hugged their necks and heard their stories. How could I NOT have learned so much from them! Those were honest thoughts though. Some other thoughts..
Will I get anything out of it?
Should I spend this money on this?
Is it worth the money and travel to just meet people?
Will people even like me or what I do?
Am I legit-enough to attend one of these workshops?
Will I learn anything from the speakers or topics?
Maybe you have some of these same questions, so I will answer them based on my experience at GA.
Will I get anything out of it? Of course, you silly goose. I don't think its possible to not get anything out of it. If there were no speakers, topics to discuss, or head shots being taken, the least you would get from it was some new friends, who do what you do and love what you love. They get you and your journey, challenges, small victories, and life! To me, that is what life is all about and one of the greatest gains of all.
Should I spend this money on this? You know your own financial situation better than I do, but GA was affordable for me. It still made me nervous about spending the money for my ticket and for travel, because every-penny-matters, but I strongly believe that the wealth of knowledge and community was worth every penny.
Is it worth the money and travel to just meet people? Is it worth travel costs to go on vacation where you have an awesome time, rejuvenate, and spend time with lovely people. Yes? Then it's worth it to go to Gather Athens.
Will people even like me or what I do? This question makes me so sad, but I actually felt that! What I love about the speakers and the attendees of Gather was that it felt like family. Talking, laughing, sharing stories, passions, insecurities and dreams over donuts, chocolate and coffee? The best. And you? People are going to love you, because you have a calling and you are chasing you dreams. That's more than lovable.
Am I legit-enough to attend one of these workshops? Do you breathe air? Then yeah, you are legit enough. :) All of us are trying to figure out how to make it happen and we all start somewhere. I wish I had the guts to do something like this a long time ago. No matter where you are on your journey, it's never too late or early to be inspired or encouraged.
Will I learn anything from the speakers or topics? HECK YES, you will. I am still looking back at my notes and reminiscing from my time there, and reliving my epiphanies! Each speaker had a unique topic that was totally relatable and applicable. Not to mention hearing their stories! I think that was my absolute favorite part. Hearing their stories of faith, challenges, and hard-work.
If it is your first experience attending a workshop like this...Be prepared to be changed forever, because I sure was. It was the perfect one for me, and maybe it is for you too. If you are on the fence? If you can, please do it. You deserve to have this experience, no matter where you are in your dream-chasin' journey.
They are working on an October session! You should do your self a favor and sign up when registration opens. You won't regret it. Also, Kaitie, Mattie, Amanda, Brittany and Hillary are amazing human beings. I am so thrilled to have met them and they will LOVE you.
TATA for now.