Good-bye Fear, Hello Growth!

It’s hard to believe that our new website has been up and running for a month and a half now. When I think back to the week leading up to our launch, the excitement of a brand new design and allowing people the opportunity to shop 24 hours a day was great but I was filled with fear. I knew the design and navigation of the site would be fine but I was scared to introduce myself to the world as a speaker from Worthington, MN. If you know me well, you know I love to talk and I really love to speak about issues I am passionate about. So it might surprise you I was scared for people to see the Book Amanda to Speak tab on our website.

When I think back to my ninth grade speech class, it surprises me speaking is now a part of what I do. I will never forget the day I got up in front of the class to give my first speech and my nerves got the best of me. I started out my speech and then started to laugh hysterically. I could not stop laughing and not a word of my speech would come to my mind. My teacher had me sit down. I remember being one of the youngest students in the class and after this embarrassing experience I had no idea how I was going to overcome that fear and get back in front of the class. Thankfully, I had a great teacher who was willing to work with me to overcome my fear of speaking (she was one of many incredible teachers who inspired me over the years). To this day I am grateful for Mrs. Vincent and her patience and her belief in me. She saw something inside of me that I did not see. Little did I know then, that speech class and being on the high school speech team would be helpful later in life.

Fast forward to two years ago when I heard Tena Pettis speak at Minneapolis Mart. She was talking to retail business owners on how to use social media to grow a brick and mortar store. Social media was something I was already passionate about and in Tena’s one-hour presentation I learned so much. Of course, that day I started following Tena and her business on social media. I took one of her online courses and soon after hired her as my business coach. Life has not been the same since! She has challenged, encouraged and pushed me to step outside my comfort zone.

Last year Tena and her team put on their first ever before.con. It was AHH-MAZING! The speakers were top notch and small business owners and entrepreneurs walked away with clarity and strategies to grow their organization. This year’s conference is April 27 and 28 at Hotel 340 in St. Paul. According to the before.con website, “This is a grab your pen + notebook and get stuff done kinda conference.” Yes, it’s all of that and so much more! This year’s lineup of speakers is incredible. Mark LeBlanc, a small business expert and author of “Growing Your Business,” is the featured keynote. Returning speakers from last year’s conference include: Angie Weber, Ursula Mentjes, Teri Johnson and Elizabeth Hagen. I can’t wait to hear these women speak again. They are the real deal and some of the best speakers I have listened to. I want to invite all of my small business owner friends from near and far to attend this year’s conference and Tena is offering a savings of $100 off of a ticket if you use the code amandaguest at checkout. Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone, do that one thing that scares you and invest in yourself! For more info about the before.con visit