The Love of Learning: What I’ve learned so far from the Next Generation Revolution Summit

Author: Melissa Engasser, MS, BCBA

Author: Melissa Engasser, MS, BCBA

Coming into this, I really had no clue what to expect. I was just one little lady that was in love with a science and wanted everyone else to love it too. I consider myself lucky enough to have met Mark and Ryan. These two guys are almost as idealistic as me, and we have been able to put together our passion for the science of applied behavior analysis and create a platform to share it with the world. Of course, this has been no easy feat, but the lessons I’ve learned throughout the journey thus far, have been life changing.

1. Never Be Afraid to Reach Out

Prior to this journey, I was much more insecure and timid regarding contacting people that I did not know. Well, in order to bring our summit to life, it was necessary to make connections with people (in particular behavior analyst). I found the process to be intimidating at the start but soon learned how wonderful and supportive people can actually be. I had the pleasure of meeting some outstanding behavior analyst, doing some really nice work outside of autism and related disabilities. For example, I was able to connect with AJ (AKA @thebehaviormomma), who has a site dedicated to empowering behavior analysts that are moms (to children and animals), and to disseminate accurate and easy to understand behavior analysis information to other mom’s outside of the field of applied behavior analysis. Another behavior analyst that was able to connect with was Natali Perilo (@natalijewel), who is a behavior analyst making waves in the female business industry. I would have never had the opportunity to connect with these wonderful women if this event had not created that establishing operation (EO) to begin getting the word out regarding the event.

2. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

I had to do so many things that I am extremely uncomfortable with in order to really get this event on the road. One of those was filming myself talking on Instagram, facebook, snapchat, etc. I am extremely camera shy, but I knew I needed to wear my big girl pants and get stuff done! I received so much encouragement from social media when I posted these short clips, which of course reinforced my behavior to continue posting them. I learned that getting out of your comfort zone is a must for growth. I got over my fear of being on camera no matter how awkward I think I look or to care what people think.

3. Be Open to Learning New Skills & Don’t Be Scared

Prior to this event, my social media skills were quite poor. I had no clue how to write a proper Instagram post, create stories, etc. I also had no clue how to create a quality video. I quickly had to take a crash course in effective social media content. Oddly enough, one of the ways that I learned on how to post effective social media content was via a live Instagram broadcast by @jeremymcgilrey. This guy gave such great tips on how to hashtag, create a profile correctly, and other great tips. Once I had some of these basics, I was able to take my behavior analytic training and do the analysis of each post, in order to see what kind of posts drove the most interactions, what day and time of day were best for me to post for my followers. I now have a nice system for posting effective content, and though it’s not perfect (you need a ton of man power for it to be perfect), it’s a whole lot better than what I had prior to this journey. I also learned how to record, edit, and post YouTube videos.

4. Macro-Mirco, Hard Work, and All That Jazz.

I want to thank Ryan O’Donnell for installing the views of Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee). Gary Vaynerchuck is an entrepreneur who is the CEO of Vayner Media, which grosses over $100 million in revenue (As mentioned in CNBC’s ‘Follow the Leader’ Uncovers the Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success). Gary, in addition, has his youtube vids “ The Daily Vee”, in which he provides advice to novice and experienced entrepreneurs alike. The guy gives you a kick in the ass most of the time, and keeps it as genuine as possible with the ever-echoing mantra of “Put in the work.” Aside for that, he preaches that in order to achieve great success, one must work at “micro speed” but must have “macro patience”.  Basically, in today’s world you have to work extremely fast at putting out as much content as possible, yet be patient with the outcomes. Greatness is built over time, but focusing on doing everything you can do to get there some day is essential. Due to his honesty and hard-work ethic, I am a daily @Garyvee listener. This guy lights a firecracker up my behind and gets me really motivated to continue to hustle. I have learned a love of the process of creating something great and if it wouldn’t have been for this summit and Ryan introducing Gary to me, I would have never understood these concepts.

5. Learning How to Prioritize

Not surprising since Ryan is all about goal-setting and what not, he has taught me to learn how to prioritize. Putting together an event of this magnitude can be daunting, especially when we are two people doing the background work to organize and pull this off, not to mention we both have full-time jobs. I was really amazed at how much Ryan accomplishes in one day (Read his blog series ‘A Week into a Behavior Analyst’s Hustle and Grind), and it's really about how structured he is and how he prioritizes tasks. Though I have a long way to go, I have to say I have become better at prioritizing. I wouldn’t consider this a skill that I have fully learned yet, but more so as a skill that has begun to emerge. I wouldn’t even be working on this part of growth if it weren’t for this event at hand and of course, great friends like Ryan to push me.

In all, I have learned so much, but have so much more to go. I hope this inspires you to never give up on your dreams, no matter how hard it gets.

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