Not the floating above the crowd, Glitter in the Air Pink, but the daily-dose-of-career-advice Little Pink Book Pink, whose 6th Annual Fall Empowerment Event I attended this past week. The event was hosted by Atlanta TV personality Suchita Vadlamani and featured a powerful panel of women including; Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, Pam Blalock, VP MetLife, Penny McIntyre, Group President, Newell Rubbermaid and New York Times Bestselling Author Emily Giffin. Well over 400 women were in attendance for the panel discussion and while it’s impossible to reproduce the feeling of being in a room with so many inspirational entrepreneurial minds, I can share with you five of the many things I learned.
1. This lesson was WAF’s Facebook‘Thought of the day’ earlier in the week, and although it might sound harsh, it’s true – Hope is not a strategy. Hope is great, necessary, can help us get out of bed on a Monday morning and motivate us to make it through the day, but hope is not a strategy. A strategy is a systematic plan of action. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. So if strategy is the cake, hope is the decorative rose on top – everybody loves the candy rose, but the cake is the main thing.
2. Advice can come from anywhere – and at any time. Lisa Price shared the story from the first year she was in business. Her husband was delivering product to customers on roller blades and they were still selling product out of their home. She was buying some products from a woman who told her that if she was ever asked to speak to students, she should just say yes. At the time a speaking engagement was something that was not only unfathomable, but terrifying. Two years later she was asked to address a group of students at university, and she remembered that woman’s advice and though petrified, said yes. Fast forward to today and several speaking engagements later and despite the current economy, Lisa recently broke a Home Shopping Network record by selling more than $2 million of product in six hours when she debuted Mary J. Blige’s first fragrance.
3. Don’t let your haters stop you from doing what you came here to do. Bestselling author Emily Giffin talked about quitting her job as a lawyer and deciding to move to England to work on her first novel. She recalled being on an elevator with one of the partners who had given her hell while she worked at the firm. He made a snide comment about hearing that she was leaving to “write a book” and scoffed. Emily talked about during the process of writing her book remembering his comment and thinking, “if this doesn’t work, I’ll have to go back there and he’ll know I failed.” Five bestsellers and a feature movie in the works later and it’s pretty obvious she did exactly what she was supposed to.
4. A million dollar idea in $10 shoes – I don’t like networking. Despite my sometimes incessant talking and alleged big mouth, I am a bit of an introvert, choosing to stay home with a good book over a networking event any day. But networking is a necessity so I’m working on getting better at it, but because I tend to hang back and watch people, I learn a lot of these types of events. I watch how people interact and notice the types of people other people gravitate to. One of the things I’ve learned is this – a lot of people will step over a million dollar idea because it’s wearing $10 shoes. Great ideas don’t always come in the shiniest packages or the “best” wrapping. Remember the old saying, don’t judge a book by it’s cover? It’s still true today. The next time you’re at an event, listen to the softest voice in the room, many times she’s the person with the most to say.
5. Do you – It’s become so trite now, it’s almost embarrassing to repeat, but it’s trite because it’s true. No one can or will do you better. Doubt, discouragement, frustration is magnified when we try to be someone we aren’t. If you find yourself acting, speaking, thinking in a manner that contradicts who you feel you are at your core, stop. If it’s not you, you won’t be able to keep the act up for long and it will show. You might be a small mom and pop out of your garage, or you might be a million dollar enterprise destined for the Home Shopping Network – find your happy and live there.
Read more about Pink’s Empowerment event and its panelists here.
If you’ve got a Five for Friday you’d like to share, email me at contribute(@)womenatforty.com, and it could be featured in a future post!