Have you ever been to Vegas? Do you remember your first time stepping into a casino? The flashing and ching-chinging of the slots are thrilling. Especially if you have never experienced it before. That was QB Connect 2016 for me – big, bright and green. Everything was green. Walls were papered with QuickBooks Online signage showing satisfied users and banners with green logos. Give-away water bottles were green. Even the employees all wore green Converse tennis shoes. It was hypnotic.
And I came prepared. I had spent weeks getting my game on; combing the speaker and breakout session schedules to pick the right ones. This was my chance to learn as much as I could about the Intuit world and meet as many people as possible in three days. Facebook lit up with conversations about what to pack – and I took careful notes. Bringing the wrong computer/laptop/iPad/Chromebook to QBO Advanced Certification would be like getting caught with a Smurf lunchbox in 8th grade. My practice needed to be overhauled, updated and refreshed…ready, set, go.
In hindsight, I’m not sure if I was enthusiastic or panicked. It felt like a time clock was ticking and I had to have the right answer before the music ended. Attending the conference was a large financial commitment and there was this pressure to make the time as valuable as possible. So I threw on the afterburners – handed out hundreds of personalized poker chips, attended every session I could and drank more coffee than I had since college exams.
But it’s funny how it goes sometimes. How you head out to learn one thing and you end up learning something completely different. After being inspired by the keynote speakers, attending the great seminars – checking out the cool apps and meeting so many wonderful people, I came home ready to change everything I had been doing and start anew.
Then I walked into my office…on my desk was a legal pad and mechanical pencil. Everything at QBConnect was so high tech — but my paper and pencil were so welcoming. Weird, right? Then the phone rang – a client called to review a cash flow issue – and it rolled up on me again – that same welcoming feeling from just a moment before. I loved my time at the conference, but there is something so wonderful about being at home and in my office.
It had been so easy getting lost in the glitz of the show. So tempting to feel like I should upgrade my whole practice. But in doing that, I lost sight of what I had built…the foundation of who I am and who I want to be.
So about QBConnect – The “QB” is really great – but the “Connect” is the heart part – my connection with my clients, with my co-workers, friends and family – and my Smurf lunchbox.
Beth Melcher is the straight-shootin’ Wrangler of Financial Chaos and Founder of MoneyFit, a small business consulting company specializing in workflow efficiency. She has spent more than 25 years corralling numbers in QuickBooks and spreadsheets. Beth and her family live in Traverse City, Michigan where they can often be found shoveling snow, building igloos and enjoying those sweet 90 days of summer. Beth can be reached at email@example.com or on Facebook @moneyfittc.