How do you make the #WIBN afterglow last longer?

Increasingly, we network by e-mail or through social media. It’s a godsend for shy people. We can listen to conversations and chime in on our own terms. But sometimes, like at the Women in Biz S.M.a.R.T. Conference, our networking and connecting is done face to face, handshake to handshake.  

The WIBN Team understands that devoting a full day to a conference can be challenging – so every second counts. We challenged all of our speakers to bring smart, easily executable strategies to the stage. We wanted to send our attendees home with information they could use to grow their businesses immediately.  

If you attended, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. And if you weren’t with us, here’s a quick recap of what you missed.

Breaks and lunches are business building sessions in disguise

How many creative campaigns have you dreamed up with friends over coffee or drinks? Instead of looking at the conference breaks as a chance to fuel up, we challenged attendees to use them to network and truly connect with each other. Phones were put away and friendships formed.  

Kathy Buckworth and Neil Hedley talked about how men and women network and why the foundation of both starts with friendship.

At the end of the day, I told the audience about my board of directors for SocialNorth – though they don’t know they’re my board. By connecting with and supporting others, I am supported in turn.

Be fearless

Small business owners who attended WIBN know taking risks is part of the game. I advised attendees that when they get home, they’d be jacked up and ready to make BIG moves. But I reminded everyone: we have a natural instinct to protect people we love from risk and discomfort. When you ask your spouse or mom or girlfriend what they think about your new ideas, the answer may be more about love than it is business. 

Kimberley Seldon talked about planting your flag in the ground as a serious business owner and letting the world know you came to win. Demanding payment in real money is a good start. She understands how risky that stand feels but she also knows that without taking a stand, there is no growth. 

Amelia Earhart said, "Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying."

Find a way to make the day last

Conferences inspire us to change the world just by the sheer force of all the new skills we’ve soaked up. It’s called conference after-glow. The sad truth is we lose that shine quickly and failures dot the landscape of the coming days and weeks – that’s called conference hangover.  

If you attended WIBN, you’re smart, motivated and creative – and can overcome those failures. How can I be so sure? You showed up and invested in yourself – that’s the smartest move any business owner can make.  

Anastasia Valentine challenged us to get our ideation hats on and crowdsource each other. She offered the winner a complimentary spot in the SandBoxPM Launch Bootcamp ($3,000 value). Two women worked so hard that Anastasia felt they both deserved to win – so gave them each a spot. 

Jaeny Baik took the stage as a how-to-make-your-own video instructor but her talk quickly turned inspirational. Jaeny dared us to think bigger and bolder and stated that we don’t serve ourselves or the world by thinking small.

Be more than your business

You are a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But notice how your job is the only thing you’re actually evaluated on performance?  

As women we’re told to lead with our heads, not our hearts, but in the days and weeks, I dare you to let some decisions be emotional. Susie Parker led a pre-conference workshop on intuition and its place in business – and why we need to listen to that small voice in our hearts once in a while. 

Clare Kumar shared a story about her father’s death and how it forced her to reevaluate everything she does in business – and in life. If you leave a work task undone in order to have lunch with your spouse, you might be shirking responsibility. But then again, if you miss a lunch date with a good friend, you’re shirking your life.

Great isn’t always the goal

Ever notice the more we stress about our business, things kind of go…wrong? Forget that old cliché that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Sometimes a good swipe at something (whether it’s the bathroom sink or your business plan) is better than no swipe at all.  

Judy Croon told a story about a donkey and a well, which I’m not going to attempt to retell here. But I will tell you that when she finished, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing at attention. I felt inspired to employ a 1% change in everything I do. If I’m 1% more organized, 1% more confident, 1% more fearless, that puts me 5% further ahead than last week. Brilliant strategy. 

Were you in attendance at WIBN? What are your conference take-aways? Leave a comment below or drop a link to your blog post? I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and feelings! 

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