5 Things I Learned at the Spirit of Women Conference
Traveling to Atlanta, Georgia from North Carolina turned out to be the best way to spend a weekend at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. When you get like-minded people in the same room together you are in for a win. There is nothing better than filling up on a huge dose of inspiration.
I had heard of Judy Goss through her former job as an editor for More magazine and presently through her radio show: What Women Want Talk Radio that airs each week on LA Talk Radio. That is how I got acquainted with her and her co-host Kristin West a very talented actress and producer
I knew for sure that I wanted to attend this conference after having been a fan of their radio show. If they could inspire me over the air I was in for a treat in real life. I also wanted to extend my gratitude and show my support.
1. Networking Genuinely
The power of a well thought out conference is the ability to have participants network in a genuine way. There isn’t a sense of false pretenses and the people attending are all after something tangible that they can use. That is usually in the form of networking with others.
This conference provided the means to do that with people who had genuine interests. Not only did you get to network you found people from all walks of life that were there to make connections. I found that I was able to make some really great connections with special people.
2. Embracing All Of The Messy Things
Kelly McNelis, the founder of Women for One and the author of “Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools For The Imperfect Woman” had a flair for getting women to talk about all of the messy moments in their life. I can’t say that I was exempt from that myself, but she did it in a way that made you feel like talking about it.
It was like a shedding a layer of clothing that you didn’t plan on taking off.
Growth with your dream takes time. There are some things that you must do alone and some that include doing a bit more. I have found 3 ways networking can spark growth.
First, get out of your comfort zone for starters. It is so much easier to stay within the confines of what you are used to. It’s predictable though and holds no mystery.
However, when you branch out by networking it adds a new element to your plan. There is something to be said for getting around other like-minded individuals. They bring excitement to your goals.
Get in front of other people
By getting in front of other people you open up your potential. You start making connections with people. Sometimes those connections become valued friendships.
Not only are you helping sharpen up your networking skills, but you end up helping others too. Not everyone looks forward to meeting new people. The world consists of both introverts and extroverts.
Connecting with new individuals creates an opportunity to learn from them as well. You never know who you will end up helping in return.
Immersing yourself with networking sparks your creative spirit. Maybe talking with someone that is doing something like what you are doing can fuel your desire to keep going. Listening to a different way that someone talks about your craft can help broaden your vision.
Any time that you are on your own it’s easy to think that your way is the only way. Opportunities to learn from others happens when you take the chance. That often means getting out there and being around other people.
I have made it a point to network whenever possible. Luckily, I have attended a couple of What Women Want National Conferences and I made some wonderful friends that way. Listening to keynote speakers to hear about how they got started with their dream fascinates me.
You gain confidence in yourself
The second way is that networking gives you confidence. Even if you are the type that wants to take flight and retreat it can happen. If you stick around long enough to find out that is. Once you face your inner self-talk and give yourself a pep talk it happens.
By doing something that feels strange, awkward and uncomfortable you break the habit. That habit could be you avoiding networking opportunities. Each time that you participate you learn what worked and what didn’t.
Going to a networking event means that you may not know it all, but you go for it anyway. You break the ice a little each time that you go. You let down your guard enough to start feeling confident to do so.
Gain success by following up
Last but not least is the third-way networking can spark your growth. Once that you attend a networking event it is easy to collect a business card and forget about it. Instead, go over the cards that benefit you the most. What kind of people attended the event that you could follow up with?
Maybe it is someone that is doing something like what you are doing. Possibly it is someone that could use your services or the other way around. Don’t be afraid to help other people. Maybe that contact isn’t for you, but you know someone that could benefit from their services. Right there you will be helping a couple of people.
Following up after a networking event isn’t always about you. It can mean more than that. When you contact someone remember to thank them for speaking with you at the event. Take it from there and the rest will follow.
Networking gives you an opportunity to do all these things. It inspires and motivates you to keep on going and get you excited again. It is like taking in a breath of fresh air.
Give it a chance, think positive and enjoy yourself. Find the kind of events that work best for you. I have definitely found my kind of events and I know that you will too.
Ever get back from a conference fired up to apply everything that you learned? If you haven’t then I highly recommend that you consider the What Women Want National Conference in 2019. I came back from this conference so excited to move forward with my dreams and goals.
The theme this year was to Go Big. Judy Goss put together a conference that had something for everyone. There were a variety of speakers and breakout sessions to choose from.
When you consider attending a conference do your research and be open-minded to what is being taught. There is always something valuable that you can take away from it.
Remember that not every single part of a conference may be a fit for you. This usually depends on the topic and who it is geared towards. Examine the parts that you think might be for you. How can you apply them to what you are doing now?
Fitness and Inspiration
Cathryn Marshall of Simple Fat Burn was a great speaker talking about diet, nutrition and fitness. All things that I am familiar with. I was reminded that I needed to up my water intake. She talked about sugar being in a lot of foods including some fruits and vegetables.
Even 10 minutes of exercise at home is beneficial. It is easy to make things more complicated than what they must be. She reminded us about getting our daily dose of greens too.
Nikki Walter was there with her daughter Addie to talk about their journey. There were some heartfelt moments throughout her story. It’s easy to be inspired by such a beautiful woman that is a hard worker and still finds a way to balance it all.
She was the perfect example of someone holding down a full-time job, a fitness powerhouse and a wonderful mom. The kind of woman that gives other women hope that they can do it too.
Lesley Jane Seymour was a great speaker as well. I connected with her talk. She is all about reinvention in middle age through her platform called Covey Club. I enjoyed her strength and examples of being resilient through some hard times.
Amy Newmark publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul shared inspiration from some of her books. I have been a huge fan for many years. I couldn’t leave without asking her for a tip on writing for her someday.
The good news is that her tip resonated with me especially on my flight home. I was reading one of the stories when there was a light bulb moment for me. That is what many people can take away from attending a conference. That golden nugget that will be the game changer.
We all have those epiphanies when we are strongly engaged to a speaker. It is about being a listener first, asking questions and then applying those principles. Without the application you stay in the same place.
Put in the Work
Anyone can attend a conference, but not everyone will do the work afterwards. I know that I wasn’t going to be that person that didn’t. Have you ever attended a conference that made you want to do more? Aside from learning things you get the opportunity to network.
You get the chance to establish new friendships. The in between moments when you can talk with each other are the best. People tell you their story and their plans.
What I loved about this conference is that it made you want to go after your goals. This time it made me feel more determined more than ever. Let’s face it when you hit midlife you start realizing that you don’t have all the time in the world.
So, to all the younger people out there go for it! For all my midlife people keep going and don’t stop. You will reap the rewards before you know it.
If you are looking to change your current situation find a conference near you. Buddy up with a friend. Start local then eventually travel to one that is 6 hours or less from you.
Don’t make up all the excuses of why you can’t. I almost wasn’t going to be at this conference this year. However, I made the decision to do whatever it took to be there.
Your Time Is Now
Judy Goss is someone that I admire and respect so much that I knew I had to be there. I am so grateful to her for what she has created and this community of women helps us empower each other. Attending a conference like this makes us see the bigger picture.
Yes, your time is now because we all get the same number of hours in a day. I left this conference feeling so pumped up to Go Big. I can tell you that a year went by fast since I attended last year’s conference. It may be Fall of 2018, but so much can be accomplished before the end of this year.
Boyce Farms has been known for their gorgeous Christmas trees and their excellent customer service. It is a place where you feel right at home and you end up coming back year after year. Creating beautiful wreaths this season was a wonderful experience.
It is my pleasure to highlight them because they have been my go to place for our Christmas tree every year. Last year I missed it because I waited too long, but rest assured we will be getting another one soon.
This year marked their first ever “Wine, Wreaths & Christmas Trees” event. I signed up when there were a couple of available spots. A last-minute decision turned out to be a great way to spend my evening with great company.
Jennifer Lavrack was a great hostess for the evening along with the other amazing team of people. It was a nice way to unwind after a long day. I am sure the other women that attended were happy to get together with their friends too.
Even if you did not go with a friend you had a chance to meet new people. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and go alone if you don’t have a friend to go with. Everyone will make you feel welcome.
These were some of the tools that were used to construct our freshly made wreaths. I loved being able to cut my pieces with the hope that it would come out pretty. The tutorial was easy to understand. It was a matter of finding the right pieces and in the end, we all had our own unique wreath.
This fire pit created a warm ambiance as we made our wreaths. Plus, you had a great view of all their Christmas trees.
These centerpieces made me want to cuddle up back at home in front of our fireplace. A variety of wreaths were available also.
At the end of the night we had a new wine glass to take back home as a souvenir. Making a wreath was so relaxing and it added to my favorite time of the year.
I love my wreath and will also be adding some additional Christmas decorations to it. As of now it is already on display on our door.
If you are looking for a fun night out stop by and get a taste of tradition, kindness and all the goodness that comes out of your visit to Boyce Farms. You will leave there with a little more holiday spirit in your heart.