10 Things I Learned about Life from Conference Planning

1. Compromise is required. For everything.

2. Disappointment happens. Get used to it, and move on. Options B and C might be just as good as or better than failed A – who knows?

3. Set high standards and expectations, and reach for them, so you still get far even if you can’t get to where you’re reaching. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, we’re all of us in the gutter – but some of us are looking at the stars. Who do you think will climb out of the gutter first?

4. People will do what they want. In other words, you can lead them to the wiki, but you cannot make them join.

5. It takes minions. Having the support, assistance, etc. from others is key in life. No woman is an island, as Simon and Garfunkel have so famously said.

6. Start early! This allows for minor periods of procrastination (i.e. “breaks”) later on, instead of using up your break-time at the beginning of any project.

7. Being organized helps. No, really. It seems so obvious. But organized processes, systems, and products make so much more sense, to you and to others. Not to mention it makes everything easier. Try doing it both ways – you’ll see what I mean.

8. People love to talk about things that interest them. Encouragement is all that is required.

9. Have Plans B, C, and D – in case Plan A falls through. Experience says that Plan A will fall through at least 50% of the time. Be prepared, in case it happens, and you’ll still be able to pull off something great.

10. Trust is essential in any endeavour, partnership, or relationship. Without trust, you might as well work on your own (see #5).

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