Thursday, July 17, 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers Conference July 2014 - My Story

I have been blogging all this week about my experiences at the Teachers Pay Teachers First conference in Vegas!  If you missed my previous posts, you can find them here:

                                                                          Session 1
Session 3
Session 4

Now time for my story (I hope it doesn't put you to sleep! LOL!). Make sure you read (or at least scroll to) to the bottom - I have a few freebies and resources I've found for you!

Anyway, it started in February when this happened.

I am really bad about doing things for myself.  My hubby convinced me to register and said it could be my birthday/Christmas present since I hadn't asked for anything.  I agreed and excitedly waited and counted down the days until July.  

My TpT sales were steadily increasing, so it made me feel a little better about making the trip and spending the money.  I am not going to lie, the trip was an expense, but it was so worth it!  My advice to you, start putting away a portion of your TpT sales away each month towards next year.  If your not making enough, make it a goal to at least get there!

I had attended BlogHer a few years ago, and was completely overwhelmed!  There were over 3,000 bloggers there and I never felt so alone in my life.  I didn't meet any bloggers who blogged about things that I blogged about, and I felt a little out of place the whole time.  I was a little nervous that this might happen again.  Luckily, there was a post on the forum at Teachers Pay Teachers about other bloggers who were also nervous.  They also were planning to meet for dinner while at the conference.  I was lucky enough to meet up with Nancy from the Apple Basket Teacher and we decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory.  

Unfortunately, I had no idea where I was going and couldn't find the Cheesecake Factory. Fortunately, I met up with a few teachers who were attending the SDE conference and they walked me the whole way!  They even snapped a few pictures for me!

Nancy and I had a great dinner and chatted like old friends! 

 Then we headed back to the Venetian for a blogger meetup where we met several other blogging buddies.  Meeting all of these wonderful ladies set my mind at ease for the conference.  Teachers really are a wonderful group of people and are so warm and welcoming.  If you are worried about going because you won't know anyone - get that out of your head because you WILL make new friends while you are there!

Even the bigger name bloggers were open and willing to talk to anyone who came up to them.  I got to meet:

and Laura Candler (one of my idols) 

as I was walking to pick up my registration packet and swag bag.  This bag was filled with a water bottle, a pen, and a bumper sticker.  I forgot to take a pic!

The morning of the conference the jitters kicked in a bit as I wasn't sure where to sit.  I didn't see anyone I had met the night before.  

But, again teachers are so warm and inviting I was able to find a table next to some more lovely people.  Besides, I was there to meet new people right?!  If you go next year, definitely step outside of your comfort zone.

At the beginning of the conference they asked us to stand up based on when we had started selling on TpT.  I started way back in 2008 - Rachel Lynette (TpT's 2nd millionaire) was one of the few to stand up with me.  My journey has been much different from hers, and from this conference I realized that this was ok.  Everyone is on their own journey.

A few people balked at the idea of posting on Facebook daily, or even having a blog.  I think that is perfectly ok.  Every one of us should have our own journey and our own pace.  Deanna Jump had said at the beginning that "comparison is the thief of joy" quoting Roosevelt.  I couldn't agree more.  We should each be happy with the road we are on.  Maybe we will all be TpT millionaires and maybe we won't and that is ok.  Each of our paths are different.

Erin Cobb had mentioned that she gave up on things and sacrificed in order to get where she was.  Maybe some things are not meant to be sacrificed by all people.  If you have small ones at home - they need your attention too!  If you didn't go to the conference because of that - again that is ok.  You need to make the decisions that are right for you.  I am going to share my own sales graph. I couldn't commit the time I do now when I first started - I had 6 boys to take care of!  Now 3 of those boys are grown and my other three are 8, 12, and 13 and don't need as much time as they did when I was nursing and potty training.  Even though I am no where near millionaire status, I am very proud of my journey!

I am also proud of the fact that I can share my picture on my blog (I have always been self conscious about that, and I'm not going to be anymore!  I will leave you with this final shot from Vegas at the end of the conference.  I went in the photo booth with Nancy (ignore the middle picture - we thought we had a lot more time than we did! LOL)

During my entire TpT journey (not just the conference) I have gained so much more than the money.  I have gained life long friends, confidence, and empowerment that I never would have had before!

I have a few ideas for collaboration that I will be sharing in the upcoming days.  If you would like to be a part of it send me an email, and I will be sure to let you know ahead of time!

I found a few freebies from other sellers about the conference to share:

Deanna Jump Inspirational Quote Free!

This was a quote from Deanna Jump's keynote speech.  Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd made a few different versions that you could print out and hang near your work space.  I know I will be hanging this up along with my goal pages.

Tips from the TpT Premium Seller Conference ~ Las Vegas 2014

Mrs. Renz' Class put together a set of tips based on her notes from the conference. 

TPT Seller's Conference Notes: Las Vegas 2014

Lisa from Lisa TeachR put together her notes in this free PowerPoint.

I hope you have enjoyed this series!  I also hope that you stick around for other upcoming projects that I hope will be just as useful!

If you have any other TpT or blogging questions (beginner or advanced) let me know!


  1. I have absolutely LOVED reading your posts this week. Thank you so much for sharing all the fun things you've learned with all of us that weren't able to attend this year. I hope you don't mind, I shared on my blog about these wonderful posts. {}
    Thank you again so much, I've had so much fun reading them and learned a lot of fun tips! I'm your newest follower!

    Jungle Learners

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all your notes and your thoughts about the conference. I wasn't able to attend this year, but it was nice hearing about what you took out of it.

  3. Kelly,
    Thanks so much for sharing your conference experience with us! I have enjoyed reading your posts and learning.


  4. Hey Kelly! We started our blogs the same month back in 2012 so I remember the beginning of this journey you're on. I'm so happy for all the amazing experiences you've had. Thanks for sharing.

    Little In Betweens
    (formerly Teach on a Limb)

  5. Hi Kelly! Thanks again for sharing all of this awesome information with us! I am glad to have an idea of what was shared at the conference, and hope to go next year.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!
    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

  6. Wow! Thanks for posting a link to my powerpoint. I learned so much at the conference. I already made my blog ( and Facebook page ( The Seller's conference really opened my eyes to the possibilities. Thanks for sharing!



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