Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Simple Illustration to Finding Your Purpose

I loved this and wanted to share with you!

























If you are like me, even at age 40 years old, I'm still seeking my purpose.  Don't get me wrong, I'm literally doing what I love and feel extremely blessed to be able to say that but I've learned that purpose can change and evolve as you evolve as a person.

Be inspired to find the profession that matches with your vocation that will allow you to mix your passion with your mission!

Que
@QSwerve
Curva-Lish
curvalish@gmail.com

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Six Words That Rocked the World

Get Forbes here
I've written about Nobel Prize Winner Malala before but the six words she said in her Nobel Peace Prize speech is worth repeating and has given me so much inspiration as I pursue my own dreams.

Malala, in recounting the effects of what it was like to have been shot by extremists for being firm in wanting an education (something not allowed in her home country), said:

'My Weaknesses Died on That Day'


When Malala said these six words, the room of attendees and those watching live from around the world wept, cheered, and were deeply touched that such a young girl could exhibit so much character and courage.  I really believe her words were so impactful because all of us can identify with how much it takes to have courage in the face of insurmountable odds, let alone the courage it takes to believe in something so strongly that has yet to be unfolded.

So my question to you today is: What weaknesses need to die in you today before the pages turn into a new year?

When you think about that, don't think of it in the context of new year's resolutions.  Think in terms of what weaknesses have held you back from maximizing your potential and being your best light in the world? 

Here are some tips for using the last couple weeks of this year to finally decide to let your weaknesses die so that you are no longer held back from your highest potential:

Tip #1: Let go of your past...it is impossible to move forward unless you make a conscientious choice that no matter who has hurt you, how awful of a tragedy you have experienced or how many disappointments you feel were unfair, YOU MUST LET IT GO! 

Tip #2:  Don't contain yourself into only one way that your dream can be realized...there is no one person on this planet that has the exact same experiences as the next person.  Variables and scenarios are always different. Malala had no idea that her brave choice would one day cause her to win the Nobel Peace Prize! So don't look at your dreams being realized in a vacuum; stay open!

Tip #3:  Be resolved in your mind and spirit that whatever you do to pursue your dreams will take courage.  Those butterflies in your stomach, those negative voices telling you you can't do it, those given traditions (like the case with Malala) aren't going to go away.  Keep pressing forward anyway!

Tip #4:  Get a support system...in Malala's case, she has a very solid support system in the form of her gracious parents.  Long before the world cheered for her courage, Malala's parents stood in solidarity with her to get an education.  But keep in mind your support system won't always be family and friends.  Sometimes it will come in the form of a group of people who share an interest, an association of members, etc.  And you don't need many, even one person that can serve as unconditional support is enough (quality over quantity)!

And here's an exercise that I have done before that was ceremonially very powerful:  
  • Write down your biggest weaknesses on strips of paper.  As you write each one, crumble it up into an open container.  
  • Once you are finished writing down your weaknesses and things that have held you back, take each piece, read it out loud and then say out loud "I will no longer allow this weakness to hold me back".  
  • And then light that piece of paper on fire.  Yes, I said it...light each piece of paper on fire as you read the weakness aloud and follow it with your power statement.   (Please be safe and be near water so that as each piece disappears from the fire, you can put it in water.)
Here's hoping  you are inspired by Malala and this post to make your weaknesses die the last two weeks of this year so that 2015 can be your best yet!

If you are ready to move forward then take advantage of my life strategy coaching session special...I'd be honored to be a member of your support system!

ONLY $199*
 



* Discounted from regularly priced $399-$599. Special for one month of weekly sessions starting January, 2015 to make sure you have your game plan for 2015! Expires soon and limited slots available!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvLish
Curva-Lish
curvalish@gmail.com   

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When You're on Top Stay Humble, When You're Low Stay Hopeful

Unlike times of past where business was all about getting big, squeezing out profits no matter how much it hurt employees and fulfilling capitalistic self interest...we have never seen so many companies adopting social missions balancing profit with doing good by both company employees and clients/customers.

One example of this phenomenon is a company I recently bumped into called lokai (all lowercase). What intrigued me was the mission of their small company. The company is centered around a bracelet that has particular meaning in the story of lokai (as noted on their website):


Sometimes you’ve hit a low, Stay Hopeful.

A few years ago, Steven found himself in a moment of sadness, for his grandfather who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The black bead of the lokai bracelet holds mud from the Dead Sea to represent this moment, when he felt at his lowest point.

Sometimes you’re on top of the world, Stay Humble.

Yet at the same time, Steven was struck by a feeling of immense gratitude for where he was in life. The white bead of the lokai bracelet carries water from Mount Everest to represent this moment, when he felt like he was on top of the world.

Find Your Balance

Steven brought these two key elements together because life is full of cycles. The rest of the beads are clear, because we all have our own story of balance to tell.
Life is full of joy and sadness, and we can all relate to its highs and lows. I hope that lokai will remind you to stay balanced and centered along your journey.

-Steven Izen, Founder of lokai


Adding to all this positive and authentic goodness is 10% of proceeds are donated to charity!

Purchase your $18 lokai bracelet and let it be a reminder to stay hopeful, stay humble and always find your balance in authenticity along your journey.

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
www.curva-lish.com

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's Never Too Late!

A few weeks ago I was speaking with a friend sharing our goals. One thing I had thought about during our discussion is that she seemed to be on a fast track to make all her dreams come true in the shortest period possible.  She had some big goals so I was a bit perplexed at what the rush was???

And then she made a statement that answered the need to hurry...harboring in the back of her mind was the fact that she had children at a young age, which lead her to just now study for her four year degree in her 40's. So even though she is a fantastic mom and friend, inspired believer and overall great human being, she still felt like she was behind and needed to somehow catch up to other people her age.

I was shocked!  I think the world of this friend and just because her journey is different from someone else's journey, doesn't make it too late.

During our conversation, she actually said, "I feel like I'm running from behind and it's too late."

So I told her that for the next few days, I was going to send her texts that encouraged her and gave her examples of people who have done things at the ages of 40 and above with the tagline: "It's Never Too Late" #INTL.

Here are a couple of texts I sent to her as examples of it's never to late:
  • Man gets fired, becomes successful...then comes back to buy the building: Raymond Hill was fired from his sales job--get this--for making too many sales, then started out on his own and eventually bought the same building where he worked before.  He was entitled to $1 million in sales commissions that wasn't paid to him by the owner.  He struck out on his own and ten years later, due to the success of his company, he was about to purchase the building that once housed the company he used to work for! It's never too late. See full story here.
  • Estee Lauder
  • Quote from Estee Lauder in her autobiographical book "Estee: A Success Story": "I started late.  It's never too late to start a business just as it's never too late to make yourself beautiful.  Women of a certain age are seasoned enough to bypass frivolities.  It takes a certain tunnel vision...older women are not quite so easily distracted.  Whether they've decided to improve their faces or their fortunes, women are usually more successful when they have an advantage of years." Love this quote...it's never too late! (FYI: the book is old but is a constant source of inspiration for me as I build Curva-Lish)

This morning, one of my good guy friends Rob posted a link to Bernstein's TEDx Talk about the dialogue we tell ourselves that we have to live up to some pre-set rule on when, where and how we can do something or accomplish something.

As Godin says on his blog, he hears this quite often "I'm too old to make a difference, take a leap, change the game..." This is a seductive story, because it lets us off the hook. Obviously, the thinking goes, the deck (whichever deck you want to pick) is stacked against me, so no need to even imagine the failure that effort will bring. Better to just move along and lower my expectations.
Hannes Schwandt has published some interesting research on this. Regret seems to peak at 50, and then, as people start rationalizing that they're not expected to make much of a difference going forward, life satisfaction starts to increase. Of course, this is doubly backwards... we can (and must) contribute as we get older, and freedom is nothing to fear."

Robin Sharma, motivational guru, said it best in his principles of success: "Always consider your reference point. Your 60's is not too old if you've ever seen Mick Jagger in concert.  Make him your reference point of what it means to age well. He rocks during a two hour concert with more energy than most people in their 30s."

It's Never Too Late

Throw out those negative voices telling you it's too late, stop comparing yourself to someone else's journey, create a new reference point of someone who's done something pretty amazing in an unorthodox way and go for it!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
curvalish@gmail.com

Shop with Walmart this holiday season and save!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How Andy Puddicombe Defines Success

Recently, The Wall Street Journal asked an illustrious group of people how they defines success.  Andy Puddicombe's response was profound and I wanted to share:

"When I was young, I thought success was defined by others.  I've realized that, for me, success is caring less about what other people think and it's getting out of my own way.  What I often hear from people at the top of their fields is that they feel trapped.  They've sought this idea of success, and they've projected that image to the world, even if it's not who they really are.  In kind, the world has projected that image back to them, creating a sense of obligation.  They've worked so hard at being what they think everyone else wants them to be.  It can take quite some time to unravel all that and find out, what am I really about?  The answer very often is, not as much as people might think.  We all do it..."

Have you ever felt that way?  How do you define success?

Puddicombe is a mindfulness expert and the founder of the meditation platform Headspace. You can sign up for free and find out how meditation and mindfulness have benefits for you and those around you.  

1 FREE Audiobook Credit RISK-FREE from Audible.com
Headspace also has its "Take 10" program of practicing mindfulness 10 minutes a day that can help you "smile more,  sleep better and love better".

And you can always comment or send me an email if Headspace (or another resource) has helped you define success.  I'd love to hear about it!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
curvalish@gmail.com

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Quick Inspiration: Making a Difference with Your Life





** If video doesn't show up above, go here.

Be an inspiration: forward this email/page to spread the inspiration!

Make the most of your dash!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
www.curva-lish.com

Monday, December 1, 2014

Planning with Your Passion In Mind

In my research to blog and write about all things that can inspire and empower women towards a lifestyle of authenticity, I have the privilege of bumping into some pretty amazing things.

Recently, I learned of a Kickstarter project whose aim is to provide a tool for people to not just plan, but plan with their deepest passions in mind.

This project is the work of a dynamic young lady named Angelia Trinidad.  According to Kickstarter, the planner is an appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.

Passion Planner is a paper planner designed with your passions and personal goals in mind. It seamlessly balances functionality, personal reflection and goal setting in one beautiful handcrafted planner.

What's even better is that until 12/3/2014, you can download a the Full PDF version of Passion Planner 2015 for you to print and use to chase your passions!  All you have to do is make a minimum $1 contribution to get the full PDF!  If you want, you can also make a contribution to get the full planner sent to you starting in December.

It is not too early to start thinking about how you can accomplish your goals for 2015.  The brilliance of the Passion Planner is that instead of planning according to some goals that won't make you happier, you can plan according to your passion!

Have fun!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish@gmail.com
www.curva-lish.com

Friday, November 21, 2014

Use Your Language to Empower Your Life

Yesterday I had the pleasure to hang out with some amazing women from the local "Lean In" group and after the event, I had a great conversation with a young professional woman who had an interview today for a new position.

Be Confident and  Empower Yourself
As we chatted in our group, she practiced some of the things she planned on saying in the interview and some feedback that I gave to her was the inspiration for this post.

As I've mentioned before, I am a strategy and leadership coaching consultant of my own firm and so collaborating on the success of women is a core service.  I have noticed how much the language of people is really important but I think we all aren't necessarily aware of it.

For the young lady I'll call Rebecca (not her real name), she mentioned that in the interview, there would be a point where she'd say:  "If you don't mind, can I ask you a few questions?" (Note: she had done some research and was well prepared for the interview.)

My response to her was why doesn't she re-phrase that to "I have a list of questions I prepared for the interview that I wanted to ask so that I can more clearly understand some of the responsibilities of the position."

Do you see the difference in the language?

The reason this is important is that from my 15+ years working in corporate, I was constantly confronted with not only my own language and how I presented myself but also, I observed the language of my female colleagues.

An Example of How Your Language Can Hurt You
For example, I would spend closed door time with a female executive colleague before a quarterly Board presentation or a team project. My colleague would speak with confidence and assured-ness due to preparation, their knowledge and experience...even if they were nervous, they were prepared.

It never failed that as soon as my female colleague was at the presentation, her language would completely change!

My colleague's language would go from strong language in our closed door prep meetings of: "We exceeded our projected numbers by 30% for the quarter and even though we see challenges from our competitor's new product line, we are preparing in advance to focus on our core customer relationships and our marketing efforts."

To once my colleague was speaking in front  of (normally) an all white male Board meeting: "I think we did a good job this quarter because we increased our numbers by 30% but Jimmy (punting to her male colleague) has stated that we need to be more proactive with the threat our competitors presents."

Do you see the difference in the language?

And this matters!  I can't tell you how many executive management and human resource meetings I have sat in where management was not confident in the decision making and leadership skills of my female colleagues.  This was due to the language my colleague used and how they presented themselves (not because of their results which should have mattered the most).

Best Tip for Using Your Language to Empower Your Life
Understand that your language tells other people how to perceive you.  And because of that, YOU are in control of what that perception is, whether positive or negative. So don't see this as a negative, see this as a point to be empowered.

For example, if you know you are up for a promotion and one of the key requirements is the ability to connect people, at least 6-12 months before you apply for the position, at every single meeting with your manager (or person who will influence the selection of the person getting promoted), you use the words/phrases like:
  • "I was happy to connect our team for project X by doing __"
  • "I really enjoy connecting with other departments...."
  • "Connecting with people is something I really enjoy..."
Do you get it?

YOU be empowered to train that banker, manager, HR department, potential partner, etc. of what you want the outcome to be based on who you are using your language BEFORE the actual point of decision and before you know it (mark my words) those people will start using that language about you!  It will start appearing in your performance reviews, in meetings, etc.

For more helpful tips on being great in the workplace whether that's empowering your language or other practical tips, don't forgot to sign up for a one-on-one coaching session with me!


Be great and empower your life with your language!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
www.curva-lish.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Inspiring Story and Tips for Proving Your Doubters Wrong

Recently, I was inspired by the Inc. cover story (by Lindsay Blakely) of Jessica Alba in a feature about "How to Prove Your Doubters Wrong".  I was inspired by the story because no matter what you are choosing to do in your everyday life that is driven by your passion (or necessity), at some point, you will have doubters.

Jessica Alba of The Honest Company
Inc. Interview Quick Summary
See full interview here and summary below:
When actress Jessica Alba first conceived her idea to launch a line of nontoxic household and baby products in 2008, skeptics tried to push her toward the same tried and true starlet formula: Why not just be the face of a new perfume? A few years later The Honest Company is expected to pull in more than $150 million in revenue in 2014, has a reported $1 billion valuation, and is poised to go public. Take that, Hollywood.

I founded The Honest Company on this idea: Everything that touches you and your family--everything in your home--needs to be nontoxic, needs to be effective and beautiful to look at, and needs to be affordable. Wouldn't it be great if you could pick five things and get them delivered through a monthly subscription?

Everyone I approached was skeptical. There wasn't one person who said, "Yeah, that can happen." I heard "Just do one thing really well and then you can expand" a lot. But I wanted this to be a whole lifestyle brand. 

Friends want to help you, but they're also going to be the most critical. We launched with 17 products. Even my husband, Cash, thought the idea was too big.

Whenever I tried to sit down with them about it, they would just get this glazed look on their faces. They see you only as something else. But all that just gave me fire to move forward."
  
My Example of Dealing with Doubters
Doubters come in the form of people who love you, people who misunderstand you, people who are envious of you...no person who has ever successfully accomplished something will be able to escape the fact that a doubter will speak against that invention, that creative solution, your triumph after many months of hardship, etc.  Expect it.

The difference between success and failure is your reaction to adversities, including doubters.

In TCW Press Room with Diana Nyad
For me, I recently had an experience that came from being driven from doubters.  For eight of my 12 years of schooling, I was told by English teachers that I'd never be a great writer. I was told this because I write very conversationally as opposed to according to proper English prose.

Imagine my excitement and fear when I decided to create this blog knowing that I'd have to write and be vulnerable to people who may have an opinion of my writing skills (or lack thereof). 

My fear was silenced when, for example, I walked into the Austin Convention Center last week to cover the Texas Conference for Women (TCW).  My press coverage included working alongside journalists, news outlets and other amazing bloggers.  My smile and excitement for the day wasn't just for the events taking place...it also gave me a deep set of satisfaction knowing that I am proving all those English teachers wrong with every great blog post I create!

And I can't explain the extreme pleasure I had when the media director responded that my coverage of the conference "was wonderful" and their social media folks tweeted it to their 10,000 followers! Nice!

Tips for Dealing with Doubters
KNOW that any great endeavor is going to include fear.  However, don't let that fear get mixed with the opinions of doubters.

Be clear about your truth.  Like Alba, her truth was clear in that she knew The Honest Company would offer something different that would resolve an unmet need.  The hard part was then building the company, people and processes...but her truth never changed.

Never stop giving grace to yourself.  Any pathway is littered with failure, confusion, disappointments, etc.  These things doesn't mean that your goal is not worth pursuing or that you should give up.  Most people talk about extending grace to others but in this instance, I'm referring to extending grace to yourself!

Know the source.  Opinions are going to come regardless.  One of the most wise things I've ever heard from a friend's Mom is to know the source.  For example, someone may have a strong (even valid) opinion of the viability of a goal but be cautious of "accepting" that opinion into your truth.  I have had people give me opinions about the viability of my company but knowing the source helped me filter that the person "failed in business" (and therefore, that opinion is coming from a bitter place) or is not doing the same type of business I'm doing.  No thanks!

Be encouraged, believe in your truth and most importantly, don't ever stop believing in yourself and the impact you can make on our world...

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
curvalish@gmail.com

* No copyright infringement intended in summarizing Inc. story.  Also, Curva-Lish is a Brand Ambassador/partner with The Honest Company.  Therefore, Curva-Lish will earn a commission for all purchases using links above.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Make 2015 Your Year!


In addition to being the creator of Curva-Lish, I am also an strategy advisor, volunteer, and life coach with more than 15 years of experience working with women in leadership, as a strategy advisor and lifestyle coach.


For the holidays, I am offering a unique opportunity to be coached one-on-one by me that is not only at a greatly reduced rate but also, it will allow me to seasonally employ a single mom who needs work during this holiday season.

This holiday special is intended to get you set to have the best year of your life for 2015.  Don't approach your year with the same mind-set, goals and wishes as you have in years past.  Let me be your coach and strategy advisor to create an effective plan that can:
  • Clarify your personal and professional vision so that you can assess the effectiveness of how you spend your time
  • Assess your intentions and how they impact the results you are getting (or not)
  • How to deal with fears and activities that steer you away from your goals
  • Create a vision board that is updated and that correlates to your evolved goals and what you want to achieve
  • Exercises that will help you be more courageous and take actions towards your maximum potential
2015 is Your Year!
This special allows you to have up to four 30-minute one-on-on sessions with me and includes exercises that will cause you to have breakthroughs in key areas of your life and/or profession.

Don't let 2015 be a replay of 2014, 2013, 2012 or 2011...it's time for you to experience your biggest life with someone who is living hers and can save you money and time running in circles to experience yours...and it is all at a discounted price that will seasonally employ a worthy single-mom (to help me with company projects).

ONLY $199*
 


Click on the link above and let's get started!!!!

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
curvalish@gmail.com

* Pre-pay required, nonrefundable.  You will be contacted within three business once payment received! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Super Gathering of Women that Changed Lives!

Johnita Jones, President, TCW and ExxonMobile Executive
Get ready to buckle your seat belts as I recap the Texas Conference for Women (TCW) that was as big as Texas!  Not because of its sheer size, although there were over 6,000+ amazing women in attendance...no, it was Texas sized because the themes from every direction at the massive Austin Convention Center was that when you empower a woman, it changes a home, community, business, board, nonprofit and government!

Upon entering the convention hall on Thursday, the first thing I noticed was how beautifully diverse the attendees were carrying their gift bags around scurrying to the next not-to-be-missed session.  There were all races, background, ages, career levels and interests represented.  Surely the hard working organizers, including the founder of the conference First Lady of Texas Anita Perry and conference president Johnita Jones are aware of their reach after 14 years and over 80,000 attendees.

#DesireMap Creator Danielle LaPorte
For this post, I wanted to give you the experience and feel of the conference so that you can catch the fire that was also re-ignited in me after a day of hit-you-hard love, empowerment, high-fives and pats on the back.

While there was no way I could ever make it to each session, I wanted to share some brilliant nuggets that were themes throughout the day:

One of the most refreshing quotes from a session was from Danielle LaPorte, Desire Map creator and accompanying "Creating Goals with Soul".  During my session listening to her and taking notes, someone asked about her thoughts on "work/life balance".  Without hesitating, LaPorte said she thought work/life balance was bullsh*t and a myth.  LaPorte went on to say that she believed the pursuit of work/life balance is causing more stress than the actual feeling of imbalance.  

I wish you were there with me to know the sigh of relief, cheers and high-fives that occurred around the room of about 1,000 session attendees.  I spoke with an executive with FreeScale Semiconductor after the session and asked what part of LaPorte's speech she liked the most and she immediately said the work/life balance part.  With tears in her eyes, she said LaPorte's comment made her feel better about herself and her inability to achieve the "lean in" balance that LaPorte also stated was a myth.

LaPorte ended her session with "...life wants you to win.  And then you'll realize it is your soul that is calling you (to a life that wins)...so listen up, get closer, and decide to rise."  Yes!

Surviving and believing with the gracious Tamara Mellon:  Mellon was perhaps the biggest surprise of the whole conference for me.  I was very familiar with her background but the graciousness in which she spoke during her interview with Soledad O'Brien and her responses to my inquiries were deeply authentic.

Soledad O'Brien, Anita Perry, Diana Nyad, Johnita Jones
During her O'Brien interview, she shared how most people don't believe they can relate to her because she not only comes from money but she married a man with wealth.  Even though she didn't have a want for anything, she shared how she created Jimmy Choo so that she could prove to herself her own worth!

Mellon also shared how she battled self-esteem issues and for the longest time didn't want to be the face of the Jimmy Choo brand even though she was doing most of the heavy lifting to operate the company.  For years no one knew she was the mastermind until she became brave enough to "own it" and get acknowledged for the hard work.  We were all inspired and could relate to what it means to get up the courage to "own it" in our lives whether we literally own the brand or if it's as simple as speaking up to voice our contributions.

In response to my inquiries to Mellon regarding how can women show more authenticity in their lives no matter if they are a stay at home mom, politician, board member, or community advocate, Mellon stated, "Authenticity is being true to your values. Being honest and staying with your values."

When I asked Mellon her thoughts on what has motivated her she said, "The first thing that motivated me was the fear of not being able to take care of myself. Don't give up.  Your passion is the most important thing you have.  And if you follow your passion, then the rest will come.  Do what your passion is even if it's cooking, working for a charity or picking the kids up from school.  Follow your passion."

A Fireside Chat with Diana Nyad
One of the highlights of the conference was a "fireside chat" with the very frank and real Diana Nyad, endurance swimmer and author.  Before our chat, I had already heard all the buzz from attendees from her compassionate and honest keynote lunch address.  Scores of women were very moved by her heartfelt desire to "use her platform to impact humanity".

What was shocking was that during the keynote lunch, Nyad shared (for what I believe is the first time publicly) that she had been traumatized when at 14 years of age her beloved mentor and swimming coach raped her.  The shock around the room was palpable.  She went on the encourage women that no matter what happens or what someone says or does, don't ever give up on something that fuels you and that you deeply care about.

Women Receiving Coaching Sessions at "Coaches Corner"
During our fireside chat, Nyad brought tears to the eyes of every person in the room with her direct responses to how she views authenticity and doing your part to help humanity.  She also shared, "There are over 7 billion people in this world who don't have choices (what they can drink, eat, or sleep due to poverty)."  She went on to say, "The thing that I hate to see the most is when you have perfectly capable people sit on a couch while their lives passes them by.  Get up and do something!  The heroes are not the people who will necessarily ever be rich or famous. The heroes are the people who do something for someone else!"  Wow!

Other highlights I experienced and observed during this awesome whirlwind of a day included:
  • There was a "Coaches Corner" sponsored by the International Coaches Federation that I participated in with a lovely executive banker from Plano.  We immediately delved in on transitions of life and she was a source of encouragement to keep pursuing my dream.
  • "Resume Review" focused on helping women by reviewing their resumes, getting clarity on what jobs they wanted to either pursue or transition to or how to best be positioned for a promotion.  There were some powerful things happening through my 10 minute observation.
  • I was truly delighted by the "Young Women's Program" track that included talks about "Turning Your Dreams Into Reality" and an inspiring time discussing Alexis Jone's "I Am That Girl".  Jones created the organization to advise young women to be the best version of each of us and not to let the bombardment of messages make young women question who they are...brilliant!  I loved knowing about this program track because when I interviewed college attendees Joey H. and Jaquelin H., they both expressed their fears and with living up to expectations and their future in finding the right career paths.
  • The "Small Business Roundtables" included sessions led by expert facilitators including Jeanne Corrigan.  I met Corrigan and her passion for working with clients on how to market to women through her company Mosaic Insight Group.  Corrigan's session included marketing to women from customer service to storytelling and contest promotions.  She shared how a woman is very brand-loyal and can be an enthusiastic brand ambassador to her friends, family and colleagues.  It was insightful and a must for any business that markets to women.
There was an onsite book store that featured some of the best works by the speakers and I have tracked the ones I would highly recommend to you based on where you are in life:

One of the sold-out sessions was "How to Become the Social Entrepreneur of Your Own Life" which had 3,000 attendees packed into an overflowing convention room.  The session were centered around "Teach a Woman to Fish" and how women who are passionate about changing the world can use their talents by leveraging their professional skills to make a difference in the nonprofit world and globally.  The attendees LOVED this session!

"Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message" was also a very popular book and theme from the conference.  Author Tara Mohr saw how women were "playing small" in their lives and careers, were frustrated by it, and wanted to "play bigger."  While not all women aspire to end up in the corner office, every woman aspires to something. "Playing Big" offers tools to help every woman play bigger—whether she’s an executive, community volunteer, artist, or stay-at-home mom.

Kerri Zane was a hoot in the session I attended where a panel discussed "Survival Strategies in a Lean In World'.  Zane is the author of "It Takes All 5" about a single mom's journey to get her life back! The book is a guide to getting your life back on track by healing the whole woman inside and out. The book is centered around using the Five-Finger Philosophy which encompasses the physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and sexual part of every being for an authentic and renewable "REAL"ationship.

"A Path Appears" co-authored by Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize.  Her book is a narrative of how everyday global citizens is transforming lives everyday.  WuDunn and her husband are also the authors of the ground-breaking book "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" which I'd highly recommend!  Both books will inspire you to assess how you can do more to impact others on a small scale or bigger...

Tamara Mellon's "In My Shoes: A Memoir" is recommended because it will inspire entrepreneurs building their companies.  The central theme is based on advice from Mellon's dad who told her never to let accountants run her business.  The struggle between “financial” and “creative” would become one of the central themes as Mellon’s business savvy, creative eye, and flair for design built Jimmy Choo into a premier name in the competitive fashion industry.

I hope post effectively captures for you the essence and themes that I kept hearing over and over from the day regarding fears, joys, transitions, designing a life of meaning and impact and overall, evolving to be whole women who makes contributions that positively empowers our families, communities and places of work.
Michele Ruiz (far right) "Leveraging technology is pathway to profit!"

This conference is a must attend and if I were you, I'd make it a goal to attend the conference next year because after 14 years, there doesn't seem to be any signs of it lowering its level of exceptional and powerhouse speakers and empowering experiences that changes the lives of women...

Que
@QSwerve
@CurvaLish
Curva-Lish
curvalish@gmail.com

Thanks kindly to Getty Images for all the photos and permission to use, including help from Julia Ballantyne (Media Affairs Director).