I did my homework to make sure it was legit, had several people do a once-over on my piece, used a secure method of payment, and submitted to my first contest. Well, my first PAYING contest. High-school and college literary journals don't really pay. If I don't get anything, I have my next two contests with this piece lined up. I could simultaneously submit, but then I would have to notify all the contests that I've done so, and to me that would reduce my chances of winning. The submission guidelines don't say so, but if I were running a contest, that might be the difference between publishing one good piece over another.
So the waiting begins again. Two months.
That doesn't mean I can't write/submit OTHER pieces other places. In fact, that's a strategy I learned at the conference. Have several finished pieces of several genres/types and rotate them around so you can send each to only one contest at a time but still enter several contests.
I've made a calendar in a folder to keep track of all my contest/agent queries. This way I'll know when to look for results/re-query when the deadline passes.