This past weekend the James Patrick Photography team had the opportunity to be a part of an event which is illustrating what is important in our industry, FMI.

Fitness Model International is a regular conference hosted to help educate and inform talents and entrepreneurs in the fitness, sports and athletic industries. Several times a year the conference is held in a different city to gather together talents, photographers, speakers and great thinkers to come together and say “we’re all in this together, let’s figure this out and go somewhere great.”

This was about my sixth time participating with FMI as this past weekend I had the pleasure of lecturing on online marketing strategies for talents as well as photographing so many fantastic people with inspiring stories.

There simply wouldn’t be room to list all the great people I met and the fantastic experiences and conversations that were held.

However I did want to note  that I got to see and photograph my great friend and Los Angeles based fitness talent Danielle Pascente who spoke to the group on her story of taking chances to uproot her life, move to a new city and pursue her dreams of being a fitness talent. You can actually read a recent interview Danielle and I did on this blog.

In listening to Danielle talk it got me thinking about the feelings that many feel after leaving this conference. Having attending so many of these, I’ve felt many of the same emotions.

There are the post-conference blues. You just had the opportunity to meet and connect with so many people and now you have to return to what you feel is “just your normal life.”

There is the post-conference head spin. The overwhelming sensation of being bombarded with hours and hours of great information and trying to figure out how to navigate through it to figure out what to do first.

Then there is the post-conference adrenaline rush. The desire to try and get as much done as humanly possible as quick as possible.

Hearing Danielle talk about what her life was like post FMI, I thought of developing a list of steps and tips to help managing the post conference whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.

Step 1 – In the first week after the conference, take this time to stay connected to those you had the opportunity to meet. Input the info from the business cards into your outlook or address book. Keep the lines of communication open with them.

Step 2 – Once your brain has time to settle and before you go off to purchase a domain name and pay a graphic designer, begin with your goals. There was a bevy of information shared. Allow yourself the time to think through it to determine what it is that you really want to do. Write these goals down (whether it is one goal or twenty).

Step 3 – Determine the necessary actions to help get you closer to achieve those goals. Is it a website? Is it a certain campaign with your Facebook page? Perhaps it is a series of video testimonials you will create or to order business cards or comp cards. Most likely it will be a mix of several different things. Realize that you cannot do it all at first, so think about what seems most important now. Write all these actions down.

Step 4 – Set realistic milestones for when you feel these things could and should be done. I got this tip from listening to Danielle who talked about a tangible list of all the things she wanted and needed to get done before she moved from Arizona to California to pursue her goals in modeling. She talked about how some months she would only be able to cross one thing off that list. Other months she would be able to cross off half a dozen.

Step 5 – Consistently check back in on what your goals were (from step 2). It is very easy as you continue down a path, you can spend a lot of time working on something or investing into something and then when you look at it in hindsight you realize that it was not even pushing you towards your goals. Keep your goals in mind as you continue down the path to achieving them

Step 6 – Enjoy the process. Once you achieve your current goals, they will no doubt be replaced by new larger goals in what is truly an ongoing cycle. I encourage you to put as much enjoyment into the process to achieve the goal as you do when you actually accomplish it.

James Patrick