Thinking about attending CRC Los Angeles in 2016? Check out these reflections on CRC St. Louis by CRC speaker and attendee, Mary Aviles:

This past year has been one of significant change in my personal and professional lives. This month, after 11 years, I’m launching my brand as a stand-alone entity and rolling out my website. Early last week, I attended the Marketing Research Association’s Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC) in St. Louis. Among many highlights, I LOVED the Wells Fargo session, the Hallmark session (she was CHOCK full of practical, affordable nuggets and so ingenuous), the Gongos session (loved that it was in Prezi and found his concept of CONSUMAN and the Chief Aggregator function in companies intriguing) and the chance to share the stage with three of the most entertaining and supportive colleagues I know.

Chasing CRC St. Louis with TEDXDetroit, I spent the whole week learning about fostering innovation–and the timing felt like a significant point of inflection. Undoubtedly, the atmosphere of both conferences was incredibly upbeat and invigorating. In addition to stimulating my intellect, I kept thinking about how elemental individual personal mindset is in achieving organizational goals.

With both organizational and individual impact in mind, I was left wondering: I’m only one person. And, I don’t work in a large organization. As a consultant, often working alone in my home office, what can I do to inspire change?

Two answers surfaced on my walk today. My walking partner shared that she’d been so encouraged by the story I told her about Wells Fargo’s public relations research that she was looking for a way to apply it in her own organization! I often feel that way myself at the end of these walks, equipped with something new and immediately applicable, reinforcing that TED mantra that“fresh inputs really do lead to fresh ideas.” And, it’s powerful to know that you made even a little impact in someone’s day.

The second answer to what I can do is embedded in the first. I can approach both my professional and personal lives with enthusiasm and genuine appreciation. I keep a quote up in my office to remind me of this:

It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do…think about the miracles in your own life, and be grateful for them.” – Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

See you next year at CRC Los Angeles!