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The Texas Conference for Women, Hearing Brene Brown Speak, and Meeting Danielle LaPorte

by Ashley on October 25, 2012 · 4 comments

I’ve been trying to think of the best way to describe yesterday and my experience at the Texas Conference for Women. I keep returning to the same words: inspiring, business-affirming, and life-changing, but somehow, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Yesterday completely blew my expectations out of the water. Yesterday was revolutionary.

To be completely honest, I only met two women the entire day and I didn’t share a single business card. But really, once I was in the convention center, I realized my ideas of hours spent mingling and passing out business cards wasn’t exactly realistic. In fact, I didn’t see anyone handing out their cards or talking with other women. It seemed that the attitude for the day was to attend the sessions, listen to the speakers, take notes, laugh, feel incredibly inspired, smile at each other, and move on. Which I am totally okay with (even if it didn’t take as far outside of my comfort zone as I was planning.)

I took five pages of notes and have hundreds of new ideas swirling around inside of me now. Ideas for business restructuring, ideas for product launching, ideas for blog posts, ideas for simplifying life,  ideas for books to write, and ideas about the person I want to be. Exactly what I wanted to get out of the day.

The first opening keynote speech was given by Charlotte Beers, “The Most Powerful Woman in Advertising” and the “Queen of Madison Avenue”. In her 30 minute talk, she changed the way I think about sharing my gifts with the world by encouraging us to think about the force field around our work that allows it to be seen and used. She explained that leadership is driven by artful communication which requires you be clear, memorable, and overtly persuasive. She said, “Speak from the center of who you are about something you care about greatly”, which I think is something we all need to be reminded of once in a while.

Then Gretchen Rubin talked about her new book Happier at Home and shared a bit of the back story behind the book. She also gave us her most valuable tips for being happier at home such as getting enough sleep, exercising, embracing good smells, making your bed each morning, and filling your space with possessions that are a projection of your identity into your environment.

I attended Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love and Lead for the first seminar session. I’ve been a huge fan of Brene Brown for the past few years, so I was looking forward to hearing her speak, but I had no idea what a huge impact it would have on me. I was literally holding back tears during her talk, more than once. I’m planning on writing more about this soon, but she talked about how what we often feel as vulnerability looks like courage to other people. Such a huge realization for me. You can be vulnerable and courageous in the same moment.

For the second seminar session, I attended Career Path in 2012: Defining Success on Your Own Terms which was a panel discussion with Alyce C. Alston, Lauren Berger, Wilka Toppins, and Danielle LaPorte, and was moderated by Alexis Sclamberg. This amazing group of women discussed how we define success on our own terms, how GenY is redefining success, the epidemic of the imposter syndrome. One of my favorite moment was when Danielle LaPorte was answering a question from the audience and stated, “What you walk away from will define your life as much as what you say yes to…” When we get so bogged down with “failures” and saying yes to every opportunity in front of us, this a good reminder that saying no can be just as impactful.

After this session, I went up to Danielle LaPorte and told her that I’m a huge fan and wanted to introduce myself. I told her that my favorite way to spend a Saturday night is to read her book, The Fire Starter Sessions, drink wine, and listen to French music. She laughed at me (in the nicest way possible), gave me a hug, and said she was a glad to be my date. She was so kind and down to earth and made me feel like she cared about what I had to say. Love her. Then we look a picture together and everything was right in the world.

Next was lunch which was delicious. Brene Brown spoke again and had a room full of 5,000 women laughing, singing, and dancing. It was the best time.

To wrap up the day, I attended a breakout session, Your Big Beautiful Book Plan: How to Create a NY Times Bestseller, again with Danielle LaPorte. Seriously, could not get enough of her. I don’t have any immediate plans to write a book, but it is on my bucket list and something I want to accomplish in the coming years. This session was exactly the push I needed. Admittedly, much of the information was about publishing and agents and flew right over my head, but it was inspiring and motivating to hear Danielle share her story and answer questions from the audience. My favorite piece of info from this session was Danielle’s tip that the stories that won’t leave you, that you can’t stop thinking about, those are your message. There is a theme inside them and that’s what you need to share. And when you write those stories on your blog, that’s the spine of your book.

After a day like yesterday, I can’t NOT feel changed. My mind is racing with ideas, plans, and ways to move forward and create magic. Reorganization, redesigning, reframing. Big changes are happening and I love it.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephany October 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

This sounds like an AMAZING day! Some amazing sessions and something totally up my alley. I’m glad it was such a great day for you, even if you didn’t get to hand out your business cards & network like you wanted to. I want them to come to Florida, ha. :)

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Clare October 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

What a special day! Thanks for sharing it :) x

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