I just got back from attending WeddingWire World in DC – a fantastic industry conference for both professional development content and connections with other great folks – and the big question is “now what?”

I go through this every time I leave a conference or workshop or class, so I thought I’d share with you what I’ve figured out works best for me, and what I suggest to my clients.

As soon as you are home or back at work, take out all of the notes you took (whether it’s on paper or electronic), and read them all through at once.  Yes, all of them.  Once you’ve read them all, write down what your first to-do items are.  I recommend that you break it down into what I consider the five key business areas: marketing tools, social media, business systems, reviews and reputation, and financial management.  And that you focus on only three to do items under each area.  So, after this first read through and decision-making process, you should have a total of 15 things you want to work on first.

Then, here is one of the keys: put your notes away!  Yes, once you’ve decided on those 15 things, put the notes away, as otherwise they will totally distract you, since I expect that there are plenty more ideas on there, but then you’ll not focus and get anything done.  Once you’ve done these 15, then go back and re-read your notes for more.  But in the meantime, trust that you chose the right 15 to focus on and stick with those.

Another key: as tempting as it can be, don’t just pick the easiest 15 things.  I know, I know – I totally understand about how great it feels to cross things off your to-do list, as I live for that!  But if they aren’t the right things to move your business forward, you’ll only get frustrated with yourself and think that the conference wasn’t impactful for your business.  So, instead, choose items that will make an impact in and for your business and move you forward.  Then crossing those items off your to-do list will feel fantastic!  Plus, pssst, will motivate you to go back for more.

Enjoy, and I look forward to hearing what you decide to do for your business post-conference!