Friday, May 31, 2013

A day to remember

It has been a couple of days since the conference and I admit I have just chilled, enjoying the emails flooding in from women saying how much the event had inspired them.  For some even life-changing.  Wow.

When you plan an event for a year, it’s easy to lose track of the impact it may have on the participants.  Particularly as closer to the event, you get caught up in logistics, who sits where, what to have to eat, and finalizing all the last minute registrations.

But as I listened to the speakers throughout the day, and heard the buzz in the room, I knew we’d “done good.”  Without realizing it, there seemed to be a real theme, a thread that wove its way throughout the day.  I never know what the speakers will say, but each message seemed to underscore and lead to the next.

We got off to such a lively start with Liz in her gangnam dance.  I knew she was going to do it, but frankly, being a YouTube luddite, had not heard of this video, so didn’t really know what she was planning to do.   She must have lost at least five pounds with all that bouncing and dancing.  Still it was all for a good cause – creating a fun, upbeat start to a day that would transport many to different and new horizons. 

Dr. Ginger Grant was quick to tell us that as women entrepreneurs we were the underpinning of the economy and we need to step into our spotlight (thanks Tsufit) to shine and share our talents with the world.   I could have listened to her for hours as she shared her wisdom and learning about creativity.   

While Ginger piqued our brains to start us thinking and going down the right creative path, our Courage Panel awakened our emotions. Linda Lundstrom, Fay Chapple and Trey Anthony were so open and honest in their discussions.  There were times when it was raw, and you could feel the pain and yet the message was clear.   You have to do what it right for you.  Life is too short to be stuck in a job, a relationship, a business that no longer feeds your soul.  My sense is this was the life changing moment for some in the audience.

From the opening Dragon’s Den clip that showed Barb Stegemann converting Arlene Dickinson and Brett Wilson to take on her business, to her frank discussion about her humble beginnings and then the development of a profitable business that also helped build the economies in war-torn countries, Barb had everyone spellbound.  So much so, that our afternoon plans had to be diverted as crowds gathered to purchase Barb’s book and perfume.

So in plan B, we had to somewhat shorten the group discussion and turn our immediate attention to the experts.  But then we had our own Making the Pitch challenge. It takes courage to enter something like this, and I commend all three finalists for taking that leap of faith.   Our congratulations to Daina Makinson for winning both the audience and the judges over, not just with her video clip, but her sense of humour.

So all told – an eventful day that while it didn’t altogether go to plan, was truly inspiring and impactful to all who attended.  My challenge, I can see, as I tend to compete with myself, is to make next year's conference even better.  See you at the 8th Journey 2 Success conference.

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