AST – An Investment In Your Business

My first ASTs left me nauseous – it wasn’t the company, mind you – everyone is friendly, open and honest.  What was sickening was the long list of To-Dos that each AST generated – there were so many great ideas, tips and tricks I heard and wanted to implement that I was overwhelmed with how immature my company was.

Fast forward to recent years and I am now less prone to feelings of insecurity – my business fires on most cylinders most of the time and I’ve learned to better triage my To-Do list into short, medium and long term goals, as well as the “Its Never Going to Happen In My Lifetime’ list.

The point being, its takes fortitude and confidence to spend 2 days talking with your peers; it requires honesty, transparency and curiosity, but the payoff is enormous.

If you haven’t been, you must attend.  It is the single most effective investment you’ll make in your business.

– Nigel Costelloe, Catchlight Painting.

Planning Ahead

While I truly hope you have something fun and fabulous planned for the summer (I myself, am counting down until our week at the beach in June with the entire Neill clan – 3 generations and 32 of us in all), if you haven’t already done so, please block out a few days in September as well (14-15) to be a part of the 13th annual Advanced Shop Talk Conference.

Registration is now open, but if you do nothing else at the moment, at least call and make your hotel reservation. Room rates are only $109 per night, and anyone who attended last year can attest that this is a steal for the Oak Brook Marriott in Chicago. The rooms are clean and updated, the lobby boasts several flat screen tvs and comfy sofas for hanging out and watching the game, and there’s even a Starbuck’s tucked next to the restaurant for those of you who need your morning grande fix.

The conference programming isn’t too shabby either. We listened to all of your suggestions and have allotted more time for roundtable discussions. We have also divided the conference into two specific segments to help stay focused. We will spend one day working “in” the business and the other day working “on” the business. Hopefully you won’t miss all of the extra “hats” as we go back to the drawing board and make the adjustments needed to take our businesses to the next level (or just eliminate some of the chaos).  Looking forward to seeing everyone in Chicago..

Save The Date

I hope 2012 is off to a good start and that you’ve saved the dates for AST 13 on Sept. 14-15, 2012. Our planning committee is hard at work putting together great programming to keep us all moving forward in our businesses. If you have ideas or suggestions, please send them our way so they can be included in the selection process. Our ultimate goal with each conference is to provide you, our members, with the most helpful and relevant content to keep you inspired and moving forward. Our ears are always open and we’d love to hear from you. 🙂

AST 13 Brochure.