Taking my business to the next level
Being one of four fortunate business women who were chosen to be a part of the Women President’s Organizations annual conference was nothing short of extraordinary.
Marsha Firestone graciously allowed four Gro Your Biz women in business to join this ever growing and ever incredible conference held this year in Dallas Texas.
I quickly learned that taking my business to the next level while fueling economic growth would take some serious “two –step” on my part as I have lots to learn!
Lynda Applegate gave us an insight to how she linked the know-how with the people with the resources to create business models that can transform how we work, play and learn.
One of the things she said that struck home with me was , “ Never lose your gut instinct” which resounded with me as I often listen to that and what impacted me most is our ability to use this “instinct” which is so very different from our male counterparts.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Keys
When I think about the future and all the potential of not only myself but all women (and yes, even some men!) I am awestruck and enthusiastically want to take a two- step bogie to get to where I believe I can go!
The photo, above depicts the relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard for resources currently controlled and this is how I see myself today courageously embarking on growing my business with the support of the Gro Your Biz members and also the WPO Members.
Community gives me the courage to do so.
I attended a session titled Heart, Head and Hand: The science of persuasive communication and learned that I already do much of what was taught naturally as I share my “story” and have been known to be a “good listener”. This session just reaffirmed what I already do naturally but was re-framed for me in a way of “offering a little gift of myself to my listener” and looking for the “gift” they would give me in communication.
By speaking from the heart, we connect in a real and meaningful way to our listener, whether that is a client, an employee, our friend or family member. It connects them to me.
Our Keynote address speaker, Marshall Goldsmith spoke on “What got you here won’t get you there” and shared effective strategies on how to develop myself to the next level and taught me to understand why the challenges that come with increased success are crucial to the success of my company. Some take home thoughts would be:
Find REAL Meaning.
Be fully engaged
Build positive relationships
Set clear goals
Make progress toward goal achievement
Our real values are what we do, not what we say.
The real clincher was the thought of what my 95 year old self would say to me today?
Would “she” give me personal advice or professional advice? Most likely both, and today I will set my course and work backwards from the 95 year old me and listen to what ”she” would say.
In the evening, there is a reception honoring the 50 fastest growing women owned/led companies and we arrive to a room full of 800 formally dressed women who are honoring the 50 women who have accomplished that and it is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
My heart was stirred to keep “two-stepping” my way towards my business goals.
Some “Lessons I learned along the way” from Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole can be summed up in this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson : “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Some insights include what she learned from her father who said, “Doing for others is just the rent you pay for time on this earth.”As I ponder these quotes, “everyone has a right to SOAR” and also, “Remember to lift others as you climb!” I can learn that while I am busy setting goals and achieving them I need to be mindful of those I need to take along with me on the climb. It takes a team to do what I do, and it is not all about me.
I found this seminar to be the most inspiring as I was reminded of what we, as woman can do in the future and have done in the past, such as the Women’s Rights and Anti Slavery Activist, Sojourner Truth who changed a nation by ensuring women’s rights to vote and fought for equality for all. The story goes something like this:
“The tumult subsided at once, and every eye was fixed on this almost Amazon form, which stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eyes piercing the upper air like one in a dream. At her first word there was a profound hush. She spoke in deep tones, which, though not loud, reached every ear in the house, and away through the throng at the doors and windows and she ended with this statement that echoes throughout the course of history, ““Den dat little man in back dar, he say women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wan’t a woman! Whar did your Christ come from?” Rolling thunder couldn’t have stilled that crowd, as did those deep, wonderful tones, as she stood there with out-stretched arms and eyes of fire. Raising her voice still louder, she repeated, “Whar did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothin’ to do wid Him.”
Harriet Tubman who was an American bondwoman who escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War. She led hundreds to freedom in the North as the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses organized for that purpose.
Her words spoke to me “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”– Harriet Tubman
These kinds of women are the kind that shows up each and every year at the WPO annual conferences and each one has a story to tell. Each women present has gone where no “woman” has gone before and left a trail for us to follow. Each woman shares from her heart her successes and failures and as we do so we free ourselves as women to be who we are. I listened to one woman share her struggles at home and with tears in her eyes speak of leaving her three teenage children with her husband and how she could only come to one day of the seminar as the family structure required so much of her and how she wondered if she was appreciated. I encouraged her and told her that indeed she was and one day, they would say “Thanks Mom”. I listened to some women share their current struggles and how the finances were a going concern for the business. I listened to laughter and shared many times with these amazing women who shared from the heart. I felt pain for one woman in particular who had just gone through a horrendous event and I understood what it meant to be a woman. I learned that women are capable and we have the propensity to care for one another in a way that men cannot and that is what makes us special and unique in business and we should not try to be like men, but fully embrace all we are and use our gifts to make this world better, one women, one moment, one meeting at a time and that is what I learned as I journeyed along the way doing the two step in Texas with women in the WPO.
On being Mom
One day you’re just but a girl and then a baby is placed in your arms and you become a mother.
Do you recall that moment when your wee one was placed in your arms?
I do, except mine was anything but tiny.
Weighing in at 9lbs 10 oz and 23 ½” long, a boy was placed in my arms and my life was forever changed.
Two years later, another gift—a girl this time, weighing less (thankfully) and with a smile that still lights
up the world.
Five more years passed and another blessing, a girl who—at 9 lbs. 11 oz., beating her brother’s record—
wanted to be sure I knew she had arrived.
During the years of being a mom I learned that you love from the depth of your soul, no matter what.
I learned that children are the best teachers and that God uses them in our lives to help us to become
I have wonderful memories of being a soccer mom, a basketball mom, a ballerina mom (short-lived,) a
skating mom, a motocross mom, a school mom, a mom to all their friends, the cookie mom, the come-
on-over-for-dinner (again) mom, the come-and-live-at-our-house mom, the wedding planner mom, and
the Sunday dinner (every week) mom.
I wouldn’t change a single moment—with the exception of letting go of the little things and embracing
more spontaneous moments like wrestling, laughing until your gut hurts, tousling more hair, and letting
the house get dirty (well, maybe just a little).
I would tell myself that life goes by quickly, so embrace each moment. And I’d make sure I let my kids
see my eyes light up each time they walked in the door.
For Mother’s Day, why not take the time to embrace your kids, since they make us exactly who we are-
Make a reservation at Tracycakes Bakery Cafe and spend time with the ones who helped make you who
you are—or order High Tea to go! (I see a picnic in your future!)
From a girl to a mom and now to a nana…the next chapter has begun!