Wow is Me!

08.30.11 Posted in Working Writer by

I spent this past weekend in San Francisco. I’d gotten the incredible opportunity to meet Adryenn Ashley, shameless self-promoter and business-growth guru of Wow is Me! Productions. The event, Red Carpet Results, was a two-day workshop/seminar designed to provide the secrets of growing your business.

Did it help? A little. I learned quite a bit, got some great ideas, got some long-held, often-disregarded ideas reinforced. Mostly, though, I learned 5 major things about the grow-your-business and self-help seminars that seem to be popping up all over the place:

1. I hate networking. Let me clarify: I have no problem meeting and talking to interesting people. I love sharing my stories and having them share theirs. What I hate is entering a room full of entrepreneurs peddling business cards, all of us trying to sell each other. I prefer the structured networking – divide us into groups, force us to talk. That’s more my style. Or let it happen organically. Don’t just set us loose – it feels weird and none of us like it.

2. I need to eat. If I’m going to shell out the thousands it costs me to attend, not to mention the lodging, transportation, and time costs, you could at least give us some coffee and danishes. Something.

3. I want a workshop, not a pep rally. Don’t make me stand up and dance, do conga lines, blow kisses at people who volunteer to speak… Maybe that’s just me. I just don’t like the artificiality of all that. How ’bout some good old fashioned applause? Don’t make me do exercises in my heels and trousers. That’s not why I’m here, and it’s impossible to not feel silly doing them.

4. I need an agenda. If I’m there for two full days, I want to know what’s happening when, when I’ll get a break, what topics are covered on what day…if I have to sneak out and pee, I want to know what I’ll be missing.

5. It’s time to stop creating businesses whose primary goal is “to empower women.” Stop calling yourself an inspiration guru, a goal engineer, an executive confidence coach…what the heck do you DO, exactly? What does that mean? Do you get paid to pat me on the back? What makes me feel empowered is knowing that I’m spending my money on a service I need.

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