Kindness, compassion, stick-to-itiveness, shift happens…these are just a few takeaways I learned at last week’s NAWBOWBC conference in Minneapolis. From the National level, down to each local chapter member…everyone was there to lift one another up and inspire. The “Together We Dare” theme was evident throughout the entire conference.
Meeting people from other chapters was one of my favorite parts; complete strangers one minute and total comradery the next. The women who have been involved with NAWBO for years and their stories of inspiration and how many times I heard “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for NAWBO”. That phrase was uttered to me many times throughout the conference.
Trying to wrap my head around the many things I learned at this conference brought me back to a workshop I attended last year. One phrase our business coach told us which has stuck with me for so long is “take care of your corner”. If everyone took a corner of their life…their family, their neighbors, their loved ones…and really looked out for them, supported them, encouraged them, gave them aid when they needed it…our world would be okay. But we tend to get wrapped up in the “what’s in it for me” mindset that we don’t take care of our corner, which is why our corners everywhere are suffering the way they are today.
NAWBO Cleveland Chapter
This conference showed me that NAWBO is a huge believer in “taking care of their corner”. They take care of one another…they lift each other up or lend a hand when it’s needed. It’s a true sisterhood for businesswomen. This conference showed me that this concept really does exist when you’re in the right circle. When you find the right group of people who have the same goals and desires as you do.
I also became so much closer with my chapter “sisters”. We had 3 people sharing a room…not ideal for everyone…but perfect for me. When I had people ask me “how is that”? I could only smile and say “awesome”. It was like an adult slumber party! We learned so much about each other…talking about our families, our businesses…our successes and failures.
In short, I think if I had to sum the entire experience up in one word it would be grateful. Grateful that I found NAWBO this past February…grateful that I decided to join and even become a committee member right away so I wouldn’t “fade” by not being involved. Grateful that I was asked to be on a speaker panel for this conference; I probably would not have gone if I didn’t have the motivation of being a guest speaker. I hadn’t attended a conference like this before and had no idea what to expect.
They say you have to get out of your comfort zone to grow…and I’ve never felt that more than at this conference. Attending alone was out of my zone…being part of a speaker panel was even further out of my zone. But when it was all said and done…I feel revived. I feel rejuvenated to get home, back to work, and implement the many ideas I came away with from the different presentations and people I met.
To see how many of these ladies started with nothing and have excelled beyond their own goals & beliefs gives me the motivation I need to implement ideas I’ve been on the fence about. Nurture new relationships I formed when I was there. Collaborate with other amazing, like-minded women who have the same drive, desires, and goals that I do.
Anything really is possible. It takes drive, determination, getting uncomfortable, and having the support that you need to go farther than your dreams can even take you. “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey.
That’s what I learned from attending the NAWBOWBC. If you’ve been on the fence about checking out NAWBO, attending a conference, or any group for that matter…DO IT. You’ll only regret what you didn’t do.