A few weeks ago, I packed my bags and flew to Chicago for my second She Did It Her Way Summit. 11 months of anticipation and it was over in just two quick, life changing and mindset altering days.
I’m honestly still unpacking and digesting everything we learned close to a month after the fact, not because it was too much information, but because it was the just the right information.
The right steps to take in my business.The right way to plan content. The right way to run my business as a business. The right way to look at my business and operate to my vision.
But what I took from the Summit and my time in Chicago wasn’t just information and guidance from the speakers’ presentations. It was the interactions in the downtime, the people I met and went to lunch and dinner with, the excitement and enthusiasm, and the realization that we all belong, we all have a seat at the table. It was the last decision to join a few kickass ladies at a completely separate entrepreneurship event that first evening, where I learned that the hardest parts in life are life, and not business. That we, as women, often need to not just fight tooth and nail for our seat at the table, but that we need to make sure the people we bring into our lives, whether it be for business or personal, align with our own mission, vision, and values.
Here are just a few of the many incredible takeaways from this year’s Summit:
I hustle. Those of you who know me personally know that I do a lot in my week. I work full time, attend classes at Sandbox Fitness at least 3 times a week, write blog posts, record podcasts, attend networking events…the list is literally endless some weeks. I’m always saying ‘no’ to going out unless it’s a networking event or music related so I can stay home and work on my projects. I also seem to pick up more craft projects than I would like to admit (Michael’s is strategically hidden throughout my apartment).
I’m always on the move and finding ways to fit in self-care, find a work-life balance, and just get things done. I’m a serial blog creator, project starter, and my mind jumps from one shiny object to another. I definitely experience squirrel-syndrome at least once a month (okay, once a week).
Abbey Ashley hit the nail on the head when she presented “The Power of One.” One business, one product, one traffic source, one mentor…you get the picture.
Oh how true. For years I’ve prided myself on being able to multi-task and hustle like crazy, start new blogs, and dive into every resource possible to learn about business, entrepreneurship, and the music industry. What actually came out of that? Abandoned blogs across the Internet, unfinished craft projects, a stack of half-read books on my night stand, and me still working out how I’m going to bring Broken Glass Media to the forefront.
We as women, especially in the music industry, feel like we need to be the multitasker and the hustler to be successful, to gain experience, to get noticed. But in the process, we wind up stretching ourselves too thin, putting less effort into each project, ultimately exhausting ourselves both physically and mentally.
What if we focused on just one business? One product for our business? One main social media account? How much less stress would we feel? And how much more effort can we put into our main offerings to make it the best as it can be? What kind of impact could we actually have if we were singularly focused?
Profitability > Popularity
I’ll admit it, I was never one of the popular kids growing up. I teetered between being a band nerd and nerd but still hung out with some pretty cool people. As adulthood hit, I still felt that lack of popularity. Parties and events I planned would pretty much be a bust (shout out to my ride-or-die gals for always showing up) and as hard as I tried I couldn’t build the audience I wanted.
But Natalie Bacon, on day one of the Summit, literally in the first session said something that absolutely hit me in the gut: “profitability over popularity.”
In some ways I knew that, various professors, podcast hosts, or business authors always mentioned that 1000 die hard fans will impact your business so much more than 10,000 casual fans, but it was the way Natalie put it that totally shook me down to my soul. My childhood and teenage years literally flashed in front of my eyes - maybe I wasn’t popular, but I had some of the best friends that I am still close friends with today. I may not have a ton of Instagram followers and my podcast downloads may be small, but I have some committed listeners - friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and even strangers - and I can see the impact I'm having on just those few people.
We shouldn't focus our efforts on quantity, but rather on quality. That will speak volumes for our businesses, our work, and us as people. And in the end, our businesses will be far more profitable, our careers will be more successful, and we’ll be happier, more fulfilled versions of ourselves.
Visions and Promises
The beginning of The Broken Glass Blog looked a little something like this: highlighting and advocating for women music. And while yes, the podcast highlights kickass women in music, that's not just what Broken Glass Media is about.
We thought about the vision for ourselves and our businesses: Where did we see ourselves in one, five, ten years? Where did we see the business in that amount of time?
We thought about our story: What are our principles? What is our brand promise?
I can sit here and blog all day, talk on the podcast about something that might help women in the music industry, and offer services, products, or events that might help some women, but is it all focused around one vision, one promise? Does it relate, or is it just something I'm throwing out there to maybe help someone? Am I operating to my vision or am I simply trying to see what works?
Thinking about my vision and brand promise to you took me back to January 2018 and my why for starting The Broken Glass Blog. Why did I start this? What was my goal?
Now I’m looking to my vision, my mission, and my brand promise to develop content and a brand I can be proud to own.
Personal Limiting Beliefs
While each session provided excellent information and action items I can implement, but my biggest takeaway didn't come from any particular session - it was what I learned about myself in those two days that was my biggest and most important takeaway: how overcoming personal limiting beliefs, fears, and anxiety has turned me into a different person.
Last year I attended the Summit with excitement but some trepidation and anxiety. I’d held on to many limiting beliefs about myself and my business, and for the most part, kept to myself during the those two days.
Walking into the 2019 Summit, I only had excited energy. I felt completely different than I had the year before, and I knew that it 100% had to do with my mindset shift over the last 365 days. I wasn’t afraid to talk to attendees, to get to know new people, make friends, and connect. I knew that despite my business only being a part-time gig right now I belonged in the room.
And while I felt different and knew that there had been a change in the last year, it wasn’t until I stood across from a woman I met last year that it really truly hit me that I had learned to overcome these beliefs.
“You seem different,” she said to me.
I immediately launched into “Well, my hair is so much longer than last year. Oh, and I lost weight in the last two months.”
“No, no. That’s not it,” she commented. “It’s something else.” And as we dug into it, I realized that it was my confidence, how open and receptive I was to meeting and talking to new people, how I carried myself, and how I showed up.
That realization is at the front of my mind each and every day now - how I’m showing up to work, to the business, to networking events, and to conversations with people. And it never would have happened had I not booked that trip to Chicago on a whim last year or made the decision to attend again just weeks later.
To hear more about the limiting beliefs I overcame, give episode 15 of the podcast, Overcoming “I’m Not Enough” to Grow and Succeed in the Music Industry, a listen.
Take the Opportunity
I am 100% an introvert, and while most times I would rather sit in my room with my cat watching television, I have never regretted attending a single event. Every time I travel cross-country or just across the city, I’m making an investment in myself, in my education, and in my business. I’m a different person because of these events - aware of myself, who I am, who I show up as, and how I can be the best version of myself.
So if you are ever presented with the opportunity to attend a summit, conference, retreat, or other networking event, take it. Who knows what you could learn, who you could meet, or how it will completely impact your life.