Hi! It feels like literally forever since I’ve written anything for you guys! 2019 has been a whirlwind that is for sure. But… I’m here and excited to share my Create & Cultivate experience with you! If you’ve never heard of Create & Cultivate, it is an online platform as well as an offline conference that is for women in business. The main objective is to help women cultivate the career of their dreams! How cool is that!?
I got the amazing opportunity to attend the last conference in Miami with a few of my girlfriends who also have their own businesses, and I have to tell you guys that it was one of the most inspirational conferences I’ve ever been to! Everything from the venue ( it was in a transformed parking garage! – Sounds crazy but it was so cool!) To the speakers, panelists, vendors, swag, people…everything about the day was so incredibly centered around success, growth, and learning that I couldn’t help but be inspired to come home and kick myself into higher gear in my own career. (Ugh. that rhymed.) LOL.
I thought it would be fun to share my five biggest takeaways from the conference so that if you’re on the fence about attending something like this, maybe it will help you make a decision! Also, I totally get that not everyone can attend events like these and I want to be able to offer help and to support you right here for free!
Number One ~ Run Your Own Race
I couldn’t help but notice an overarching theme that seemed to be on every successful speaker, panelists, or special guest’s mind. It is, and was to “Put the blinders on and run your own race!” This is something that I know I struggle with, and I know, if you’re in a business that requires you be social on the social media… that you probably struggle with too. It’s hard not to look around and feel like you’re not good enough, not smart enough, don’t have enough of this or that or something else to succeed. I totally get it, believe me. As someone who showed up to the Blogger party, lightyears after everyone else…. I know the feelings of “Will I ever catch up?” or “Am I even doing this right?”. But here’s the thing. EVERYONE has these feelings. Even the person you are stalking on Instagram and wanting, wishing, hoping, to be like one day. She too is looking to someone who she perceives to be more talented, further ahead, more beautiful, have more money, etc. etc. etc. and is having the same exact feelings that you are.
NO one is perfect. NO one is without fear. No one is without doubt and uncertainty. We’re all just here trying our best to succeed, and the best way to do that is to follow the nudges that pull at you, take action on the things that light you up, and know that your success story will always look different than someone else.
Number Two ~ It Takes Time
Something I heard over and over from the women on the C&C stage was this. There are no overnight successes. We may perceive someone to have blown onto the scene taking the internet, or tech world, or the fashion industry by storm, but the truth is that more often than not it’s what we don’t see or hear about that leads to their success. Things like three failed businesses before finding their true calling, or being on the verge of bankruptcy before finally making it big in their industry, or being turned down, told no, or told that their idea would never work for years before someone finally took a chance on them and their idea.
Perception is our way of coping with the fact that we are not where we want to be just yet, and it is taking too long for us. It’s our minds way of jumping ahead and looking at other people’s successes and generating excuses on why we can’t play at that level. We see what we want to see and generalize that successful people have something we don’t and therefore we aren’t capable. Only looking at people’s wins and their “Right Now” is not an accurate description, road map, or recipe for success. If you want to know how someone got to where they are, start with their failures, ask them how they adapted to hardships, look at the things that were stacked against them, and then, ask them what kept them showing up every day despite it all.
Number Three ~ Give Value
This is a hard concept for most business owners to understand at first simply because usually, our main objective is to have value (money) given to us to for our efforts. I’ll admit, this is a tough one for me at times because as an entrepreneur it is hard to concentrate on how you can add value when you are constantly worried about how you will fund all the value giving. But… Here’s the thing. There’s always a thing! If you focus on what you can give, and make that thing so incredibly valuable to your customers, audience, or clients, you automatically raise your or your companies value in their eyes. It’s kinda like the “You have to give to receive” thing. Once you focus on what you can give and full heartedly give it… more opportunities, better-paying clients, or more lucrative deals will come your way.
Come up with a way that you can offer value to your customers, clients, or audience for free. Maybe it is in the form of a blog post, or a video or a special members-only perk. Whatever it is, make it no strings attached and come from a place of truly wanting to help or show that you care about them. Building these types of relationships with your tribe will not only open more doors and foster more opportunities, but it will help your clients to get to know you and the type of person that you are. Giving freely builds trust and helps your audience or customers to see that there is a person behind the business whom they know, like, and love, and whom… they feel good about spending their money with when you do make them an offer.
Number 4 ~ Stand Out
It can be hard to feel like you stand out or are saying anything different from the hundreds if not thousands of other people in your industry. The pull to conform, to look the same, or to sound the same can be strong… but the ones that are successful, the ones who are standing on the stage and showing us how to do what they do, they know that conformity, blending in, and or parroting the same tone and voices of their competition is not only not going to work, but it’s going to run the risk of them or their business looking inauthentic, boring, and well… same ole same ole as everyone else.
Giving your followers, customers, or clients, a reason to follow YOU and your unique message is the only way to grow a sustainable brand.
Make an effort to show up in a way that is unique to you. Say something in a way that your audience may not have heard before. Share a message, share an idea, share a pair of shoes if that’s your thing… but make sure that what you are sharing is being shared in a way that looks, feels, and comes across as something that only you can provide. If your followers, customers, or clients can get the same exact thing somewhere else…why should they give you their time or money? It has to be because they LOVE you, and get something out of the way you deliver your message.
Number 5 ~ Community over Competition
This kinda comes up all the other four points together but again, was an overarching theme from the conference. Building each other up, sharing other people’s ideas (while giving them credit of course!), pointing out someones wins or accomplishments, and valuing the things that others bring to the table is the only way to grow. Everyone wants to feel like they belong and creating a community for your tribe and sharing in successes with them is by far the best way to feel proud of what you are building. There is more than enough to go around, and that pertains to followers, clients, customers, money, and space in our industries! 🙂
When it comes down to it, those who share the spotlight, celebrate other’s wins, and genuinely want to see others succeed… they are the ones who get to experience success in the biggest ways. The universe has a way of giving back to us what we push out to it. So, getting in the habit of being a joyful, caring, sharing, and helpful business owner is the secret sauce that so many of us are looking for.
Alright, ladies! This was long!! But so overdue. I wanted to make sure that I had the time to write out my thoughts and takeaways for you so that you could implement any nuggets you find here. My hope is that if you’ve heard these things before, perhaps over and over, that today, maybe you received it in a different way that resonated with you. 🙂