I just attended my first professional seminar/conference and it was a great experience. I have never been to Austin before either, so that was a lot of fun. Cool city, although much of it is under construction. Some of the guest speakers were Alan Ball (Academy Award winning writer of American Beauty), Carmen Cabana (DP from Narcos series on Netflix), Marshall Adams (DP from El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie), Phillip Youmans (Director of Burning Canes, which won Tribeca Film Festival this past year). Oh and he is 19 years old. Pretty remarkable.
He was the most inspiring for me. Often times I can let resources get in the way of getting a project done, like, oh this camera isn't going to be good enough, I need these lights, these lenses, etc. But he didn't let resources stop him for a second. I think he was 17 when he went out to shoot this feature film in his native Louisiana with his 3 high school friends. They borrowed a decent camera (one I would have said is not good enough) and did everything themselves. With that, his film went on to win Tribeca, and at the age of 19 his film career is off and running.
It just goes to show you, all you need is an idea and passion. Don't let gear or resources stop you.