QBC 2019 Recap – My “Main Stage” Performance
November 10, 2019
I just got home after my 6th QuickBooks Connect. As always, it’s been a week of personal and professional growth. QBC is a top-notch conference, with excellent education, networking opportunities…and swag!
This year I taught three breakout sessions, one each day: Advanced QuickBooks for Specialty Retail (Gas Stations and Convenience Stores), the QBO Mobile App, and Cool New Features in QBO (with the fantastic Heather Satterley co-presenting about what’s new in ProConnect Tax Online).
I also participated in Brain Dates, an innovative way of democratizing expertise, as well as making strategic connections. Any participant was welcome to post their availability to share their knowledge in their area of expertise, and attendees could pick any sessions and a time to meet. Brain Dates allowed everyone to learn from everyone!
The Society of ProAdvisory was one of my highlights. It’s a mysterious secret society for ProAdvisors…but we’re ALL already members! The artwork and “proverbs” are intriguing, enigmatic, and elegant. Stationed in the out-of-the-way Hilton, you had to seek it out, but your adventure was rewarded with stations highlighting ProAdvisor benefits you may have overlooked. Visiting the six stops got you stamps on a punchcard, redeemable for swag from socks to posters to laptop cases. A juice bar sharpened your mind with healthy elixirs. My favorite part was the build-your-own-shirt station, where you adorned a black t-shirt with up to ten white transfers including sophisticated graphics of the Society’s owl, lion, fox, keys, hourglass, the Society of ProAdvisory, and QBC. I wish I could have made ten shirts to wear as my new work uniform!
The conference theme was “Own the Future.” From the “Own the Future: It’s Yours” convention center entryway to the custom tote bags, we were immersed in the opportunity to envision our practices and take steps to make it happen.
I was delighted that my own personal journey was right on theme. I have always been a “Master Manifestor,” and even have a website called creatingafuture.org (although I haven’t updated it in 10 years). This week I owned my future! Let me tell you a little story…
When I showed up at QBC six years ago, I was wowed. Intuit went all-out in every way, from food to fun. I went to a full slate of workshops about QBO, and soaked in as many tips and tricks as possible. While watching Michelle Long and Laura Redmond on stage teaching Advanced QBO certification, I looked at them up there and thought to myself, “I have a Master of Arts in Teaching. THIS is what I want to do!” I applied to be a speaker in 2015, and now I have 4 QBCs, 3 Scaling New Heights, and a QuickBooks Road Tour under my belt.
It gets better. About two weeks ago, I was rehearsing my Cool New Features workshop. I asked myself, “What’s next for me? Where can I go from here? I know…I want to be a MAIN STAGE SPEAKER!” This was an out-of-my-comfort-zone goal, because my specialty is software training. I’m good at hard skills, not interpersonal skills. What could I say that would be uplifting and inspirational to my peers?
I stood there in front of my bathroom mirror, riffing off-the-cuff about what I would say if I were ever on Main Stage. The secret to manifestation is to declare what you want, and create the future in the now. So I did. To an audience of none.
Then about a week ago, Heather pinged me. The Connect app said that our session room was…Main Stage! I contacted Alison, thinking it was typo. Sure enough, it was true…ish. Main Stage had been taken down, and a huge 700-seat breakout room was set up in its place to hold Heather’s jam-packed Zapier session and our Hot New Features class.
While it wasn’t really Main Stage, it said “Main Stage” on the app, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I asked my attendees to indulge me for five minutes, and told them my story about manifesting this “Main Stage” appearance:
“When I showed up at QBC the first year, in 2014, what initially struck me was the sense of community that Intuit fostered. All of us are in the same profession, and we all have different skills and areas of expertise that we bring to the table. Instead of being competitive, we all encourage each other, learn from each other, and help each other’s businesses grow. Instead of fighting over slices of the pie, together we’re baking a bigger pie!
“Now contrast that with where I came from. At that time, I also owned a jewelry company, where I made astrology charts into necklaces. I would go to astrology conferences to make people’s horoscopes into wearable, readable bracelets and necklaces that were mathematically accurate and expressed their unique energy. At these conferences, many of the faculty were quite conceited, placing themselves above the attendees. And the attendees would gush fanatic-like about the speakers. Yet after just shy of 20 years on that circuit, there were faculty members who had never heard of my jewelry.
“I went from that environment, to Intuit’s world. You would think that astrologers would be all woo-woo and loving, but the truth is that this group of accountants was much more supportive and fun. The difference was striking, so what did I do? I sold my jewelry company and jumped in to QuickBooks with both feet! I decided I wanted to be a Speaker. I applied the following year and was accepted!
“I would like to give a shoutout to Intuit, for being such a great corporation to work with. They treat us like royalty, they listen to feedback, and they take us in visionary new directions. Every single person in this room is making more profit as a result of this strategic alliance.
“As you can see, Intuit has allowed me to Own my Future. And I have ownership of YOUR future. I look forward to learning and growing together. Thank you for allowing me to guide your journey.”
I then went on to my “normal” content, showing off all the cool features released in QuickBooks Online in 2019, and a bunch of hot tips to make it easier to use. Heather Satterley brought the session home with all the newness happening in ProConnect Tax Online. Together we ended the conference, since it was the last session on the last day.
So that was my “Main Stage Moment,” and my fond memories of QuickBooks Connect, brought to you by the letters Q, B, O, and the number 2019!