For the better part of three months, I hemmed and hawed before finally deciding to participate in the convention of the International Association of Business Communicators in San Diego, California. I had a number of concerns, foremost of which was the fact that the convention would take me away from my children for at least a couple of days. Since I am a strict follower of the one-hour rule (I’ve always believed that at any given time, I should be just one hour away from my children, just in case they need me), I wondered how I’d be able to manage that given that the convention would have me crossing time zones.

Another concern was the sheer cost of it all. Apart from the airfare and the accommodations, I would also have to pay for membership at the IABC and participation at the convention. And believe me, it ain’t exactly cheap.

But through the years, I’ve learned that nothing gets my mind going on overdrive than listening to great ideas from great minds, and communicating with my fellow communicators. So after much thought, I found myself on a plane to San Diego.

And I tell you that it was all worth it!

More than a thousand business communication professionals from more than 40 countries congregated in San Diego. In just four days, the convention mounted around 70 conference sessions. At any given time, there were eight or so workshops going on, all of them terribly exciting. I had a very hard time choosing which one to attend because frankly, I wanted to go to all of them. Ay, if only I had a clone or two or three who could go to all those other workshops!

But apart from all the workshops, I took this golden opportunity to talk with my fellow communicators. I made sure to talk to as many people as I can—indeed, I met most of the speakers in the workshops I attended as I positioned myself strategically in front—and exchange cards with as many contacts. With the global marketplace getting smaller and smaller every day, I figured that my business will only be helped by the network I can establish in the international arena.

In my next few entries, I will share my learnings with all of you. For now, I’d just like to say this: If an opportunity presents itself—whether in your business or personal life—then go for it! Who knows where that golden opportunity may lead you!

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