We usually don’t release a post from NASMM’s Members Only listserv, but we thought the post (below) that came through this week required a more public forum. Plus, it just warms our hearts on this polar vortex kind of day. Check it out:
From: Sharon Cofar
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 02:23:30
Subject: The Conference for Me
To My NASMM colleagues,
Only 2 more weeks! The highlight of my year is seeing my SMM “friends” again. It was 10 conferences ago when I got off the plane excited about starting my new business, but apprehensive about the days ahead. I was attending a conference where I knew no one and knew so little about Senior Move Management that I was intimidated. I had completed training; however, I hadn’t even had a client yet! Would the other attendees talk to me? Would I fit in? I had expected to feel intimated and maybe even lonely. But the minute I got on the shuttle and met someone traveling to the same hotel for the same conference, the whirlwind started – new friends, new ideas (lots of ideas!), positive feelings, and excitement all around me. I was welcomed into the fold, and never felt lonely or that I had made a bad decision in my new profession or in attending the conference.
There were only about 35 attendees at my first conference, which was NASMM’s second one. (Now about 400 will be attending). I had no idea this event would be the beginning of a live long love affair – so deep, so enriching, so challenging, so many ups and downs (mostly ups, thank goodness), so many achievements, so many happy clients, and so many new friends. My bonds with my NASMM sisters and brothers have deepened though the years, and I treasure our times together and our friendship. Though we do not see each other often, and we do not speak that many times over the year, it is always such a wonderful feeling to connect again. We share our triumphs and our disappointments, and we give advice (if asked) and receive guidance (if we ask).
This is my 10th conference. For those of you who it is your first, you are in for such a treat – such an indescribable few days. Every minute of every day, you will be with people who speak your same language. You will be with people who care about seniors, about their issues, and about your success. Talk to everyone. This is not the time to be shy. There will be sharing at meal time, in the elevator, at the bar, walking to and from the sessions, in the hot tub (yes, we did that several years when it was warm) and even while going out for late night ice cream. (I am always up for that midnight run.) There will not be enough minutes in the day or night to feel satiated. At the end of the conference, you will leave overwhelmed, drained, and exhausted, but excited about all the new ideas you want to implement. Seasoned move mangers will feel renewed, revived, and stimulated. And everyone will be anxious to get back and take their businesses to a higher level with all the fresh ideas they gleaned from the weekend. This is the way I always return.
Can’t wait to give my old friends a hug again, and I also look forward to making new relationships with people I will hug at the next 10 conferences! Hope to see you in San Diego!
A Move Made Easy, Inc.
In our 11th year of service!
Serving Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties in South Florida
Former Board of Directors of NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers)
Vice President and Board of Directors of ESRN (Elder Services Resource Network)
Member of the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk committee