They ran a competition on their Instagram page to win tickets to the conference and our very own Belinda Galloway from The Windsor Workshop won! Blog post below...
Run the World 2015
Let me start by saying I never enter competitions. I just find the constant ‘unluckiness’ of never winning a bit of a downer.
Call me a bad loser, but that’s just the way it is.
But last week, Bree, my business partner / bloody good friend / winner of every competition she enters / future mother in law to my four year old (yes, our kids are getting married – their declaration, not ours), tagged me in a competition that Inspriationery was running on Instagram.
I love Inspirationery, and all that they stand for, and it seemed only natural that they were giving away two tickets to the “Run the World”female entrepreneurial conference hosted by the Extraordinary League of Women.
For some reason, without hesitation, I entered their competition. Bree has since told me, she had a funny feeling I would win, and sure enough I did (broken my bout of ‘unluckiness’, eh?).
My entry went like this – “after 9 years of working for someone else, I finally found the courage to ‘go it alone’. I’ve started a business with two other women whom I admire greatly – life is about embracing change, challenging yourself and making the best damn decisions for your family’s wellbeing. This conference is so timely for me and we would love to go!”
So with that I took myself to #RUNTHEWORLD2015 conference and left feeling enlightened and ready to dive head first into the unknown!
My first overwhelming realisation was how authenticity, in some form or another, played a major role in each speaker’s journey.
How often do we edit ourselves in business to appeal to someone else’s agenda? How often do we change the way we talk or behave in order to appease someone else? And how often do we alter the person we are in order to ‘get ahead’ or ‘succeed’ or ‘win someone over’?
Staying true to yourself and allowing your personality to shine through was clearly evident in each speaker – they allowed us to see their vulnerabilities in sometimes less than 30 seconds; they allowed us to see their true selves – with no apologies and no uncertainty; they allowed us to laugh at them and to laugh with them; and they showcased to me, the importance of just being your self. Allow others to bask in the glory that is you.
Authenticity in business, eh? How bloody refreshing.
Attitude is Everything
My second discovery was that attitude really is everything. I know, I know. We have all heard this a million times. Time and time again, throughout my life, I have been told the importance of being positive, of hanging in there when times are tough, of living your life ‘glass half full’ instead of ‘glass half empty’. It is not until you are really faced with serious stumbling blocks do you realise how imperative it is that you adhere to this philosophy. Again, it was a common thread between each speaker, and it was a light bulb moment for me to accept the fact that these stumbling blocks, these impossibilities, these hurdles, will strengthen my character and propel me forward with more gusto than ever before.
As Amanda Walker Koronczyk, Co-Founder of Lord of the Fries said, “People will say ‘don’t bother’ – JUST BOTHER!” Don’t let the obstacles put you off – every leader, every business owner, every person who has worked a single day in their life knows there will be hurdles to overcome. And believe me, no one knows hurdles like Daniel Flynn from Thankyou! His attitude surprised me – talk about ‘just bothering’! His story is one of overcoming adversity – not just once, but time and time again. Instead of allowing these difficulties to make him question himself or his abilities, it restored his determination and reinforced his strength of character.
People will criticise you. There will be the ‘non-believers’. People will tell you how impossible it is. Choose to surround yourself with people who believe.
And as Daniel (and Muhammad Ali) suggested, “Impossibility is only someone’s opinion, not a fact”. Yay to that.
Be Comfortable Being You
My last moment of clarity came in the form of Eli Censor from Nutrition Bar and KX Pilates and KX Cycle. Wow – talk about being comfortable in your own skin! Eli exuded confidence beyond her years. But the one resonating moment for me was her admission of “…being ok at everything, but not excelling at anything”. Wowzers – how humbling to have someone admit this to an audience of 800 women. This is how I have felt my entire life – and I have to confess, I have not been happy about it. I think there is an undercurrent in business and entrepreneurial ventures of ‘find what you excel at (your passion), and you will not work a day in your life’. But what if you are, frankly, not ‘good’ at anything? But still have the drive and passion to do something in an entrepreneurial context? Is there room for people like me and Eli in this world of success and triumph? “HELL YEAH!” is the resounding answer!
I think it comes down to “finding your ‘why’” (thank you to Thankyou’s Daniel Flynn for this little gem). Once you have found this, you can just get down to business – literally. Team up with people who can compliment your strengths and more importantly, your weaknesses – by doing this, you actually don’t need to be the master of everything. You don’t need to be across every little thing to be successful – in actual fact, you just won’t be able to. Discover your purpose and “…don’t wait for perfection…”, as Pia Muehlenbeck from Slinkii suggests. Wise words Pia – I’ll take it.
So in a little, tiny, pistachio nutshell, these were my highlights from Run The World 2015. Thank you to Cassie from Inspirationery, and to The League of Extraordinary Women – I feel more equipped to face the challenges and to embrace the change that comes with starting a new business. And to you – be courageous, be generous, be unwavering in your convictions, and most importantly hold true to yourself. If nothing else, excel in these qualities – the rest will fall into place.