Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie
I took a chance last week. A giant leap of faith to better myself, understand entrepreneurship, and create something of my own. I signed up for a two-day entrepreneurship summit, bought a plane ticket to Chicago, and booked a hotel room.
I knew absolutely no one in Chicago, had only ever been to O'Hare, and had watched enough Chicago Fire, PD, and Med to make anyone wary of traveling to the city. I went anyway, leaving all my doubts, fears, and anxieties behind because I want this. I want to create a business and the life that I want to live. Even if the trip didn't live up to my expectations, I was going to take that leap and that risk, because "a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there."
In some ways, I was right. The summit wasn't what I expected. It was so much more. It was worth every penny, every anxious moment leading up to stepping on to the plane, and the risk that it might not turn out to be the thing I needed.
Here are just a few of my takeaways (among many) from the She Did It Her Way Summit.
Alignment and Brand Awareness
Business school taught me the basics of mission statements, value propositions, and branding. I understood enough of it to complete projects and take exams, but I just didn't quite understand how to apply it to my own business.
When you're an entrepreneur, you are the business. Do the values, vision, mission, and brand of your business align with your personal values, vision, mission, and brand? Are you being authentic to your core truth and connecting to the "being" side, or are you just hustling? Balance is key in creating a fully aligned, successful business while avoiding burnout.
When you're authentic, consistently staying true to your values in both your personal and business life, you're already creating your brand. The rest - the logo, the color scheme, the website, the social media - is just the icing on the cake.
Stories Stories Stories
I am a great business writer. If you need a proposal, a go to market plan, or a business plan, I'm your gal.
Marketing copy with emotion? Blog posts that inspire and draw people in because of the emotion in them? Not so much.
The funny thing is, that I used to love writing stories as a kid. As soon as I learned to use our brand new PC with Windows 95 (or its predecessor, I can't remember) and how to save to a floppy disk, I wrote pages up on pages, chapters upon chapters. And then school and academic writing happened, and I learned how to write structured research essays that allowed little room for creativity. I dabbled in blog writing after college, but I could never get that spark of creativity back. I got into my own head and thought "no one will ever want to hear this" about nearly everything I tried to write.
You know what creates a great blog, a great business, and what great speakers possess? Stories.
Each speaker at the Summit came up on stage and shared their journey to entrepreneurship. They shared hardships, illness and injury, the loss of jobs, their tipping points. Every story had me choked up, hanging on their every word. They drew me in and when they started talking about their topic, I listened and took in every word because I trusted them. They've been there. They've been where I am now, where I'm headed, and where I want to be. I trusted ever
We, in the entertainment industry, are storytellers. We tell stories through songs, through concept albums, through television, and movies. What's your story? How are you going to tell it?
Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe
I'm sure you've heard this. Did you realize how true it is?
I never realized the truth behind it until I sat in a room full of energized, supportive, entrepreneurial women. I walked into Evolve Her the first night, excited and energized with an open mind, and so did every other woman who attended. Instead of letting my social anxiety rear its ugly head and keeping me in the corner, I boldly introduced myself to every person I came into contact with. I felt confident and comfortable because these women were just like me.
And if I can feel like this here, what's stopping me from holding onto that energy, bringing it back to LA, and attracting a tribe of women in LA just like me? What's stopping me from harnessing that energy, putting it out there on the Internet, and attracting a tribe of women in music who are just like me?
Nothing. There is nothing stopping me from keeping that vibe and attracting a tribe of powerful, energetic women ready to take on the music industry. Are you with me?
Take the Time to be a Tourist
When I was a kid, my dad traveled a lot for business, and he still does. Every time he returned from a trip abroad, I would ask him what cool things he saw. You know what he saw? The inside of a conference room, a hotel, and restaurants. He traveled to so many places that I could only dream of visiting, but on most trips he didn't have the time or the opportunity. I'm a wanderluster at heart, and I vowed to myself that if I ever had the opportunity to visit a new city, state, or country, that I would take the time to explore, learn, and experience all that location has to offer. Business trip or no business trip.
So instead of heading straight back to LA on Friday night or early Saturday morning, I made sure to book a late Saturday flight and spend the day exploring Chicago. It was 42 degrees and windy, but that didn't deter me from visiting the spots on my list or from walking the entire day. Sure, I could have taken an Uber but you know what I would have missed? That coffee shop with a kickass turmeric latte, the view of the Chicago River from the bridge on LaSalle Dr., that cupcake shop tucked away on E. Illinois Ave. on my way to Navy Pier.
I left Chicago on Saturday night feeling energized and inspired not only by the incredible speakers, my new friends and supporters, but by the energy and beauty of a new city.
Are You Coming With Me Next Year?
For you doubters out there who say you've been to business school so what else could you learn? I've been to business school, twice in fact. There's something about the energy in that room, the friendships created, and learning from people who are currently living the entrepreneurship life that you just can't replicate in a standard classroom.
Are you in? Are you coming to the She Did It Her Way Summit 2019 with me?