A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Michelle Bell, CEO Virtual Work Wife

Ok so a) did anyone get the musical reference or am I really that old?

And 2) it was actually a conference, not a forum.

Last week I hauled my cookies over to Arizona for the PKON conference. I wasn’t originally planning on going this year.
You know how it is.



TSA rules.

Plus, you actually have to go outside. 

I’m far too pale to be outdoors.  In Arizona.  Just sayin’.

If you’re not sure what PKON is, it’s a 3-day event hosted by Keap for Certified Partners.  They typically offer a ton of networking, some pretty good speakers, and the occasional round of karaoke.  I do love going to this event, even if it means forcing myself out of my rut.

See, I’m more than just a Certified Partner I’m also an Ignition Partner.  A designation I am honored to have.

Turns out, someone thought I’d be a good role model in the Partner community.
Me.  (yeah, I was surprised too)

And so I ventured outside my beautifully curated sun-free office.

Being away from the normal routine of business gave me a chance to catch up with people I admire like Jamie Gilleland (@jamiegilleland).  And I got up close and personal with the ones I shamelessly stalk on social media, like Jade Olivia (@taquito.con.queso).  She’s freakin adorable!  What’s not to love 🙂

But here’s what I wasn’t expecting:

As I wandered the halls trying to decide which breakout session to attend, I walked past countless people reading books or charging their phones.  Normal stuff, right.  But then I heard someone say, “Hey I know you.  You’re Michelle Bell.  I follow you on Instagram.”

For a moment I was like, surely she’s talking about the singer who shares my name, and thought how funny that the singer would be at the same hotel.  But then she looked right at me and said “how are your cats?”

Ok wow, she’s actually talking about me!  

I mean you do all the things, and you try to make a name for yourself, both within your peer group and on the internet at large but it’s very surreal when someone actually recognizes you and is genuinely excited to meet you.

Hello world, I have arrived.  It doesn’t get any better than this right?

but wait there’s more!

Not long after that encounter, I had the opportunity to sit down with a certain copywriter I’ve been following for years.  She’s sooo much more skilled than I’ll ever be at writing and I’m truly amazed by her capacity to create volumes of content with ease.

So there I am, just generally happy to be sharing the same air as Stephanie when she says “I quoted you in one of my newsletters”.  Ummm, what?!? She actually said she reads all my emails.  Like the whole email.  And all I could do was sit there thinking … “ummm, is this heaven?  Am I dead?  What’s happening right now?” “Do I smell toast?”

Why am I sharing this;  I mean it does seem like bragging.  I assure it’s not about the brag.

I came home excited, elated, a little in shock and even a tad bit in denial.  But mostly I came back inspired and empowered by my peers, and the realization that what I’m doing is being seen.  What I’m doing is being appreciated.  I’m validated.

We all have those moments when we have the choice to go forth into the world and mingle, or skip it and stay home in our 3-foot bubble.

I almost stayed home.

What I would be thinking right now if I hadn’t gone to the event?  What would I be writing about if I wasn’t inspired to share my story and hopefully inspire you?

The next time you have the opportunity to go to an event and your critter brain tries to take over and convince you to stay home, remember this cautionary tale.  You never know who you might meet or what impact they might have on you.  Someone might brighten your day … or you might be the one that brightens theirs.

Go forth and mingle ya’ll.


About the Author,
Michelle Bell

Michelle Bell is a Marketing and Workflow Automation Expert and Keap Certified Partner with a passion for creative solutions. She excels at identifying needs and resolving them, creative and genuine communication, understanding business process efficiency, simplifying the complicated, facilitating relationships, and being herself in all things. She began her career in finance, later moving into regulatory affairs for the local public utilities, before finding her passion for working with small businesses and coaches. Michelle is all about family and believes you build work around your life, not vice versa!