Author, podcast host, and motivational speaker Kari Chapin urged attendees to make their Public Library Association (PLA) conference in Denver a long-lasting success and gave ideas for how to make that happen. Her session was filled with laughter as well as serious business advice on setting and achieving goals.
Conference-goers received a “Little Guide for Your Big Ideas” created by Chapin, filled with tips and templates for pinpointing ideas and making plans, including a 30-day challenge to keep the conference flow going.
The author of Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business (Storey Publishing, 2012), Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online (Storey Publishing, 2014), and The Brilliant Ideas Launch Pad: Generate and Capture Your Best Ideas (Chronicle Books, 2015) acknowledged the library for helping her achieve her first business goal. “When I was starting a new business, the first place I went was my public library,” she said. She found business planning and marketing tools through materials at the library.
Some of her tips included planning your day, setting goals and following through, networking, writing down ideas, and creating a 30-day plan for continued success. “I hope you have big, deep thoughts, and I hope you don’t forget them,” she said. Her sure-fire way to do that is to write the thoughts down.
“The minute you have an idea, write it down, as well as the information to capture the essence of it,” she said. Writing just “shoes and peanut butter,” she noted, would not help her figure out what that great idea was later, so it needed more detail.
Chapin also offered suggestions on how to network (find the most populous place in a room and go there to find other people who want to network, get people to talk about themselves, ask for a business card, and write down what you talked about). She pretends she is an actress, and it makes it easier for her to be less self-conscious.
She spoke about a couple of tools that remind her of goals and keep her going for them: futureme.org, in which she writes an email to herself to be delivered in the next year at a specific time, and dontbreakthechain.com, an online calendar and motivational tool used by Jerry Seinfeld. Nothing succeeds like a little guilt.