On today’s podcast, Mika will tell us all about attending Alt Summit, and her 6 takeaways from the week-long experience.
Mika just spent the last week at Alt Summit, an annual conference in Palm Springs, CA for entrepreneurs, business owners, influencers, and really any creative soul.
In this solo episode, she’ll tell us about what she learned that week including how to travel alone as a mom, Pinterest & SEO, and how the trip renewed her love for her hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona.
In this episode, you will learn:
• Are conferences worth the time & money?
• 6 things Mika learned at Alt Summit
• Why she doesn’t use FaceTime while traveling
• The power of networking and relationships
Mentioned in this episode:
• Russ Perry on Instagram
• Mika Perry on Instagram
• Mika Perry on Pinterest
• The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
• The Russ Perry Show
• Alt Summit
• Riviera Palm Springs
• Joanna Gaines / Magnolia
• Fixer Upper on HGTV
• Gabrielle Blair, creator of Alt Summit – Design Mom blog
• MikaPerry.com – Local Guide: Scottsdale
• Natural Calm | Magnesium Supplement Stress Relief
• GTBH Episode #42: Finding Motivation After a Vacation
• Daniel Tiger – GrownUps Come Back
• Picklecon 2019
Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!
Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I Mika Perry, and you’re listening to Good To Be Home.
Russ Perry: Good to be home as a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety and how we balance our business and life.
Mika Perry: From our family to yours. Thanks for joining us and welcome to our home. Hi Guys. Welcome to Good To Be Home. I am your host Mika Perry and today is a solo episode. Russ is busy and that’s okay because I have a topic that I can definitely talk about on my own and it is my recent experience going to a week long conference. I wanted to be sure to get this out to you guys while it was fresh in my mind and share with you six takeaways from this experience. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what it was like. Is it worth it? What did you learn? These are the things that I’m going to share with you today. The conference I went to is called Alt summit, ALT. It’s actually short for Altitude Summit. This is a conference that started 10 years ago, and it started off as a blogger conference and it grew and as it grew it turned into a conference that is also aimed at business owners and entrepreneurs, especially those in the creative space.
At this conference, you totally get the vibe that everyone is there with a creative spirit. It’s not a really dry, boring technical business conference, which I’ve been to for example, a few months ago, maybe a month ago, I can’t even remember now. I went to Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego and that was super, I wouldn’t say dry, but almost. Still, tons of knowledge, but definitely much more like business. It wasn’t very creative. Now Alt Summit, there are photographers, there are fashion designers, there are influencers, there’s you know, business coaches. Just a really great group of hundreds, maybe a thousand. There may be more, I don’t know of mostly women and I can’t wait to share with you some of the great takeaways I had from this and why I felt it was very worth it. This conference is basically a week long. I arrived on Sunday and I stayed at a place called the Riviera in Palm Springs.
Last year is that Palm Springs. This year is Palm Springs. They’re also doing it. Next year they’ve already announced the dates and that is also in Palm Springs. I checked in on a Sunday and it events even started Sunday night. There was a welcome party and then sessions and speakers and keynotes started right on Monday morning and I was in and out of sessions throughout the day from 8:00 AM to 5:00, 6:00 PM every day until Thursday night, so jam packed with tons of information and the keynote and a little bit of what made me want to go initially was that Joanna Gaines was the opening keynote. Now if you haven’t heard of Joanna Gaines, she is the wife of the duo of Fixer Upper. You may have seen her line at Target. There is a store and just an entire lifestyle concept called Magnolia that she and her husband ship run and they also have some bestselling books.
I feel like the audience listening to this right now probably knows who Joanna Gaines is. I was really excited to go see her and see her or hear her keynote and I have to tell you, it was so awesome. Everyone was so excited. What a great way to kick off a conference like this. What I learned is that Joanna actually got a start in all of this, this huge career in business that they’ve built by having a blog post on the blog of the Alt Summit founder. So Gabrielle Blair started Alt Summit and her blog called Design Mom is like one of the OG blogs, meaning it was a blog before Instagram and it’s when people just had blogs to get their content out. Joanna had a post on Design Mom and it was of her house and it got picked up by EGTV got on their radar.
They contacted Joanna and the rest is history. Kind of a cool story that I didn’t know and gives, I think everyone a little bit of hope that even something as small as a blog post could be that one catalyst for something huge. All right guys, so I want to share with you the six things I learned from my experience at Alt Summit. Number one, Scottsdale is pretty great. So Scottsdale Arizona is where I call home. This is where Russ and I live and work and I had actually never been to Palm Springs, which is where this conference was. I had been to Palm Desert a few times just in passing between California and Arizona. When you think of Palm Springs, I think you think of colors and retro and Mid-Century Vibes. While that’s definitely true there, and I know a lot of people who live in southern California, LA love coming out to Palm Springs because it’s a quick vaca spot, very desert Palm Tree vibes.
I actually, after going and staying there, was like you know what? This actually reminds me a lot of Scottsdale as far as the climate and the way that it kind of looked like the environment, but I kind of like Scottsdale better. If you were to choose for a vacation spot between Palm Springs in Scottsdale, I would almost encourage you to really look into Scottsdale. The reason why is because you get that vibe, that resort vibe and there’s awesome design here. Tunes Scottsdale. But the resorts, the hotels, I think they’re better here in Scottsdale. We have awesome resorts that have beautiful rooms and pools and just so many offerings. Even the town of Scottsdale itself, like old town area, there’s so many restaurants and cool places to go. I mean I’m not trying to knock palm springs. I will happily go again.
I know a lot of people love it, but it just seemed kind of old and not like in a good way. I just wanted to like put my sense in there for team Scottsdale and it just kind of strengthened my love for my hometown because I was like, you know what? More people need to come to Scottsdale. If they liked Palm Springs, they will love Scottsdale. I have a guide, a local guide to Scottsdale on my blog, Mikaperry.com. You can go there and check out that blog post. I tell you’ll like my favorite hotels, restaurants, places to work, even if you need to like catch up on work, places to go shop or go play with your kids. I have a whole guide up there. Feel free to check that out. I hope to see you in Scottsdale sometime soon.
Number two, traveling has helped me be more confident and being alone. My kids be more adaptable when I’m gone and has helped me adjust easily to new places. What I noticed is how stress free I felt. You may say, okay Mika but it’s because you were by yourself without your crazy kids, and it was almost like a vacation. That wasn’t the case. I really didn’t approach this week as a vacation. I went to go learn and get as much as I could out of it and I took it very seriously. But I realized that there were a few things that I have been doing and experiencing and implementing in my life that made this whole experience really stress free. I noticed that some of the attendees there were like stressed out about leaving home or really worried and also didn’t like being in new places or it was kind of uncomfortable maybe had, they hadn’t traveled a lot.
I just wanted to like give credit to the blessing that I’ve had in my life and in our family’s life to have been able to travel so much, many times to amazing exotic destinations. Sometimes just like a quick stay cation at home, but the more I’ve done it, the easier it is for me and it’s totally not stressful. That means like for packing I am a packing pro now because we have been doing it so much and that not only do I know how to pack things into my suitcases, but I know what to take, figuring out what kind of outfits and items I was going to take for this was so stress free and easy because I know my go to outfits, my go to pieces, I add some few fun things, especially being Palm Springs. I added some colorful things, colorful pieces, grabbed my favorite shoes, my toiletries and travel items are ready to go.
I just knew what to take and it wasn’t stressful and I don’t know, it was very seamless. Same with setting up the room. As soon as I arrive at hotel rooms now I unpack immediately. I know many of you listening probably do the same, but I also brought along things that I do at home to make the place more comfortable and also to be able to continue my daily routines. Some of the things I brought were my diffuser and my oils. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you at all, but I set it up on a counter. I have all my oils lined up in color order. I fill my diffuser and I get that going as soon as I arrive and start unpacking. I also know that most hotel rooms, will have a fridge. So on my way out to Palm Springs, I will mention that I drove, I grabbed celery juice for my local juice bar and brought that with me.
I also brought some sparkling water and I also brought my protein powder, my calm powder, which is like my magnesium powder and brought some L glutamine, which is like a powder I take from my natural path. I brought some almond flour crackers and some walnuts and some other snacks. Brought some grapefruits and really tried to set up not necessarily the comforts of home to replicate home, but to be able to continue those routines. We actually have an entire episode on how to come back from vacation and how to step back into life. But conversely, when you’re traveling, it’s important I think for your health and your mental wellbeing to keep some of the things that happen at home going, it really just like lessons that the shock of being somewhere new and also I think helps your body to, from your digestive system and your sleep to keep things the same.
I even brought my alarm clock and had that next to my bed. Lots of the same things I think really helped in just jumping right in. As for kids, Russ really helped with the kids while I was gone and I know he learned a lesson or two. Maybe I can have him on the podcast here to talk about what he learned from me being gone for a week. But I will note that my kids, you know, they … I have traveled without them so they know when mom leaves, she comes back. In fact, there’s a Daniel Tiger episode I think on grown ups always come back. That’s kind of something that I have sung with them and they know is that, you know, Mommy’s going on a trip, she’s going on an airplane or she’s driving and then she’ll come back. One thing that I don’t do when I travel is I try not to FaceTime too much.
When Russ and I are traveling together without the kids, we do check in and FaceTime with them more for us than for them. We miss them so much, but I know that when we do that, sometimes it gets upsetting for them, especially late at night when they’re a little bit more tired and emotional. So you know, they’ve been doing fine all day and then all of the sudden, mom pops up on a screen and they remember how much they miss us and it can actually have like a negative effect. This conference I went in with the intention to not really communicate back home too much. Just because it would keep both myself and my family at home in a good mindset. It was like, you know what, mom’s going to go do this thing, you’ll be fine. I’ll be fine and I’m always going to come back.
What also helps is that Reese loves gifts. That’s her love language. So I promised her I would give, you know, come back with a gift. Lastly with, you know, this being alone, traveling piece here is don’t feel guilty for leaving. I purposefully set my guilt aside and said, you know what, this is something that’s going to help me grow. And the more I grow in, the happier that I am, the better I am for us and the better I am for my business and the better I am for my kids. I view this as an investment in myself and I was going to make the best of it. I know, you know, traveling without your kids can leave a mom feeling very guilty for that. I know that, that was echoed by many of the attendees. They felt guilty for being there. I saw their Instagram posts talking about leaving and I think everyone battled with that to a certain degree, but I just said, you know what? This is going to be worth it and I’m going to make it worth it.
Number three, my third takeaway is all about Pinterest and SEO. So this takeaway goes out to all the business owners out there and all the bloggers and influencers listening. I went in with a purposeful intent to learn more about Pinterest and SEO. So there were a lot of topics being presented on there that I already knew. So for example, email marketing, pitching to brands. While I don’t necessarily pitch to brands, you know, a lot of people, there were bloggers and influencers that, that’s kind of like their bread and butter and that’s, you know, they get sponsorships and how they make an income. I have worked with partners and I will continue to do so, but even that, you know, I sat in on one of the sessions and it was talking about how to create the perfect media pitch and, and explain, you know, give an example for an email.
I was like, that’s exactly how I write my email. So there were certain topics that I was like, okay, I got it. Like, I can check this off. I have the skill set. Also, photography was something they offered a lot of sessions on and for the most part, you know, with my photography that I do and also using a photographer for my content, I felt like I got a pretty good handle on that. But there’s definitely a lot of sessions there for anyone interested. Podcasting, there were several podcasters presenting them. I think we got podcasting down. However, I think there’s always something new to be learned no matter what. I don’t think anyone can say that they’re a 100% expert and they’ll never need to learn a thing again in any topic. So for myself, for podcasting, I just wanted to connect with other podcasters there and see what I can learn about taking this podcast Good To Be Home to the next level and reach a greater audience.
There are things that I knew that I was like, all right, I’m not going to focus on these sessions. There were two things though that I felt like I didn’t know and that was Pinterest and SEO. So let me tell you about these two. Pinterest, you guys, Pinterest is not dead. I don’t know why, but I feel like a lot of people stopped using Pinterest. But as evidenced by speakers who spoke on Pinterest, whether they were bloggers or had businesses, if they use Pinterest, well the traffic to their website was insane. They gave examples of data, their analytics of the time and effort that they’ve spent on social media like Instagram and the traffic that drove to their website versus the time and effort they spent in Pinterest and the traffic that it drove to their website. Like the difference was insane. The monthly views on Pinterest were astronomically more than Instagram.
My takeaway from Pinterest was I need to do Pinterest more. If I have a blog, if I have a podcast and I want more people to hear it and see it and read it, maybe don’t put all my eggs in a basket on Instagram. I mean I already know that, but Pinterest is a platform that I have not been active on. I have a huge Pinterest like page with lots of boards that I actually started way back when. Like many people. You guys are welcome to go and check it out. I think it’s just Mika Perry. So search me and find me there and you can see all of my boards and pins. It’s kind of fun, but as a business, if you have any visuals that you can share like you do on Instagram, convert that over to Pinterest, invest in Pinterest because the return on that is really, really worth it.
The other thing I went in wanting to know more about is SEO, search engine optimization. I have not SEO optimized anything on my website to the detriment probably to everything that I’ve been creating content wise, to be honest, I just thought SEO sounded scary. It sounded too technical and out of my league to really be able to understand it and implement it. Well, turns out it’s a really simple concept based on keywords and implementing that into your blog post or your website pages. You don’t have to be a blogger to utilize SEO. Anyone with a website should invest in SEO. I now know a lot of things about it that I am going to now put into my website so that more people can find the content. What was really cool about SEO that I learned is the patterns and the ways in which people search for information online.
For example, if you go on Google and you want to search for pantry organization, what are the things that pop up and what of those websites done so that they would be higher up on the Google search result for a pantry organization. It’s really cool if you have a website or a blog to go in and see where you rank. When someone searches for something that you talk a lot about, where are you like when you pop up in, a really cool thing that happened is that I did this and I found out that my file folding blog post, and you guys, this is the first blog post I ever wrote on the blog. It is the top blog post for file folding. I think it was spurred by Marie Kondo file folding everything in sight, but I didn’t know that if you search that on Google, my blog is the first that pops up.
Without any investment into SEO, that just organically happened. But it just makes me think, okay, now what if I put actual intent into there strategy? What’s going to happen? So just wanted to let you guys know if you have a business, definitely take advantage of these two things.
Number four, the power of relationships. Now a lot of people go to conferences to network and Alt Summit is certainly the case. There’s so many friendly people there. It’s such a positive, uplifting, connecting like tribe feeling. But I have to be honest that I went in without the intention to network. I kind of went in with an intention to just be a hermit and go to all the sessions, soak up all the information and then go back to my hotel room and chill out and work and catch up on things and go to sleep early and just take advantage of being by myself.
Well, it turns out I ended up meeting a ton of new awesome people. I guess I couldn’t help but network and meet people. As I was going between sessions, I met people that listen to this podcast. I met people that I knew from back home and they were there too. I met podcasters that I had been listening to and I got to meet them in real life. I just met a random person sitting next to me during the Joanna Gaines keynote. Turns out she’s a friend of, Joanna’s and we ended up like driving. I have my car, so I gave her a ride over to the Sahara hotel to see another session. Just really fun people there that I was like, you know what? Man, I can’t help but network here. What I like is that it’s not necessarily like, hey, let’s network, here’s your business card, here’s mine.
It is like, Hey, what do you do? Awesome. And sometimes you’re like, that’s where it ends. But then other times it’s like, oh wow. Like I am interested in that. Or I know someone that could totally use your service, or oh, you know what, you should really know this person or follow this person on Instagram because I think it really like what they’re doing to just really cool. Just another testament at conferences, don’t discount the power of relationships because at the end of the day, what I think of after this after Alt Summit are the people that I met and I’m really glad now that I’m connected to them. I follow them now on Instagram and we’ve been messaging and it’s just a really cool result.
Number five, this is very important. Application at home is just important as learning it. What this means is when you go to something like a conference, when you go to an event, when you go to learn something, what can be challenging is then applying it once you come home. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a conference, but maybe you know that feeling of overwhelm. You’re so excited, all the new things you’ve learned and then you’re like, wait, what? Where do I start? Where do I begin when I’m back in regular life at my desk on Monday, how do I implement all these ideas?
Some tips that I want to share with you that I’ve done is one, when you’re in the sessions, make sure to take notes. I am not a note taker even though I have the worst memory on some things like movie facts and Trivia, I have really weird memory on like speeches and content and like for example when I listened to podcasts, I can remember the things that people say really well. That sometimes means I don’t take notes, but I am so glad I took out my notebook and wrote down notes for some of these sessions that I sat in on. I also use the notes app on my iPhone. What I found out that was really cool about the notes app that I didn’t really … maybe I knew but had never utilized is I took notes and then afterwards I also took photos of like the slides that people presented on and later on I attach, I uploaded those photos into the notes on those presentations.
I had a visual in words and in like an image of the slides. One thing that I thought was really cool was that many people, many of the presenters offered their deck of slides, their presentation to the audience. They didn’t have to sit there and take furious notes of everything that they were showing in their slides. So what a lot of them said that up front said, “Hey, I’m going to give you a link at the end of this presentation that you can go and download my presentation so that you don’t have to focus on writing all this.
You can focus on listening to me and then you gonna take notes just outside of what is written in the slides that kind of stands out to you. I thought that was really cool. So that’s a little tip for anyone giving presentations. If you do that in your life, at some point, offer the slides at the end to those there because you know you want to help them. That’s why you’re there. Why not offer that information? Cool thing if you’re on the business side is that when you offer those slides, you have to enter your email and then now they have you as a contact. So if you’re trying to build your email list and your contacts there, that’s one way that you can get that person’s email. Another tip to applying at what you’ve learned at home is to reread and re watch everything that you got immediately.
If you took videos, if you downloaded like slide presentations, if you wrote down bunch of notes, reread and re watch those immediately so that it’s solidifies in your mind yet again, another tip is to write out a plan. When you get home, write out a plan of what you’ve learned. So say example, like you learned social media. Write out a plan of how you’re going to implement that in the next two weeks. Break it down week by week, day by day. What are the tasks that are going to help you put this into action? What was really great for me is that on Monday, the Monday after I came back from Alt Summit, my new assistant was starting. It was her first day, so what I was able to do is I wrote down a list of all the tasks related to Pinterest and SEO that I wanted her to implement.
She already knows how to do Pinterest, she has blogging experience and so it was a perfect fit that I could just take these and give them to her to start implementing into my business. If you go to a conference and learn about email marketing, schedule out your next emails that you’re going to send out. If you go to a conference and you learn about health and wellness, make a change when you get home to what you eat that week or what you do for your exercise. Really intentionally put it into practice so that it sticks with you mind, body, and spirit.
Hey guys, we wanted to quickly send a personal invitation to you for an upcoming event we have here in Scottsdale.
Russ Perry: It’s called PICKLECON. Obviously inspired men, the name of my graphic design company, but this is the conference for creative entrepreneurs, me and Mika are assembling our top influencers, folks that have influenced us, entrepreneurs, business owners, people just getting started in their business for two and a half days here in Scottsdale.
Mika Perry: There are a few reasons why we think you should attend. One, if you haven’t been to Scottsdale, this is your chance and we will be offering multiple sessions of coaching and personal development and you are going to hear from some amazing entrepreneurs on their personal journey and have a ton of takeaways for you to take home with you.
Russ Perry: Right now if you’ve been to entrepreneurial business conferences, you know they can get pretty big and gnarly and this is not one of those conferences. It’s small, it’s intimate and it’s going to be a lot of fun. If you’ve never been to a conference, this is your chance to get started. I’m telling you, you will walk away clear and inspired for what you want to accomplish in 2019.
Mika Perry: It doesn’t matter if you have a small business, big business, what type of business you have. You are all welcome to join us for these three days of intense awesome learning and growth.
Russ Perry: Early bird ended, but we’re extending a special offer for Good To Be Home listeners. You can use the code GOODTOBEHOME and get our discounted early bird pricing, which is going to be the best pricing we’ve offered this entire time. Just head over to picklecon.us and use the code GOODTOBEHOME when you buy your ticket.
Mika Perry: We really, really hope to see you there.
Russ Perry: Hardy one. Now, back to the podcast.
Mika Perry: Finally number six, and I think this is the big question that I get and that is, is it worth it? Well, my answer to that is it’s worth it. I think any opportunity to go and learn is worth it. There really isn’t anything that you can go to that I feel like you wouldn’t learn. Some of you may say, well, there’s terrible conferences or I have been to a bad event and I didn’t learn anything. Well the here’s the thing is that you can still use that as a learning opportunity. You can learn about how not to run events. You can learn about, okay, these are things that I don’t want to do or if you already knew everything that you went and heard, you can say, all right Mika, you are on the right path. These experts are doing the exact same thing you’ve been doing.
That is like kudos to you. You’re on the right track. But I honestly think there’s always an opportunity to learn. Even if it’s someone maybe that doesn’t have as much experience as you, their story can have a little nugget or a little takeaway that could be applicable for you. I think it’s important to research the speakers. Alt Summit published the schedule before the conference so you could see what some of the speeches and sessions and round tables were all about so you can craft your day of what you were going to go learn and get an idea of what are some of the takeaways that you can be looking for. I think it’s really important to plan ahead, set intentions of why you are going and what you are going to learn. Like I did with Pinterest and SEO, those were the things I was interested in, so I wasn’t expecting the conference to teach me everything about everything.
I didn’t expect it to be everything and more. I just went in with specific goals and therefore it gave me the return. Now one thing about conferences I will mention is a lot of times they’re pricey and many times out of your comfort zone. This one was actually, this conference was a gift, a Christmas gift from Russ because he made a conscious and very sweet and kind decision this year to invest in my personal development. He had been going to Warrior Weeks and all sorts of masterminds and events and I hadn’t had that opportunity as much, so he gifted this to me as a Christmas gift, and I’m so glad he did. But if I were to pay out of my own wallet for next year, totally would. I think a really important thing to note about any investment in yourself is that the more you pay for it, the more seriously you’re going to take it.
I think for things like workouts for hiring a trainer, that’s kind of why it works because you’re going to show up because you paid for it. So for a conference you may not be able to really afford it or you may not think that you can, but think about what you are going to learn from it. That is then going to pay for itself. I think it is worth looking into conference opportunities that are out there. You never know what big aha moment or takeaways or you never know what kind of people you’re going to meet. You may meet that one person at a conference that’s going to take you to the next level, or you may meet someone at the conference that really needs what you’re doing and you can take them to the next level. And how cool is that? Right? So here are the six things that I learned.
Just to recap. Scottsdale is pretty great. Traveling has helped me be more confident in being alone, my kids being more adaptable and for me to easily adjust to new places. Three, Pinterest and SEO. Don’t ignore it for the power of relationships. Don’t forget about networking. Number five, application at home is just as important as learning it and six it’s worth it. I hope this episode has been helpful for those wondering what Alt Summit is all about. Would it be a good fit for them? What is it like and more broadly, what is it like going to a conference? Is it worth investing my time and money? Now I want to take a moment to give you an opportunity for a conference that Russ and I are part of this year and it’s PICKLECON. I didn’t plan for this episode to then lead into this, but just because it’s happening at the same time and it’s so on topic, I need to share this with you.
PICKLECON is a conference that we’re hosting here in Scottsdale which I just mentioned is a pretty great city in May, May 22nd through the 24th. I will be one of the speakers. Russ is presenting a bunch of awesome sessions and we have a whole group of awesome entrepreneurs speaking on all different types of topics based around profit automation and scale. Everyone with a business, no matter what kind of business it is, is welcome and I hope that you will take advantage of a special code that I want to offer here on Good To Be Home. You can go to Picklecon.us and use the code GOODTOBEHOME and you will get our special discount on this event. Right now it’s April. This event is next month. I hope you will take into consideration some of the takeaways I shared with you today on my experience going to a conference and hopefully we will see you here in Scottsdale.
If you have any questions about PICKLECON or what I’ve shared with you here today about my experience at Alt Summit, feel free to send me an email. You can reach me at hello@goodtobe homepodcast.com and thank you guys so, so much for all of the reviews and ratings that you’ve left. I see that number climbing of how many people have given us a rating. It really helps us to perform better on the podcast app on iTunes so that more people can listen in. It means so much to us as we work to grow this podcast and we’re really, really grateful for you being here and being part of our family of listeners. We’ll see you next time. Bye.
Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of good to be home.
Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.
Russ Perry: See you next time.