Ali larger-than-life on the jumbotron

For the second year in a row, I attended Ali Brown’s Shine Event in Las Vegas last week, a 3-day conference for women entrepreneurs (and a handful of cool men too).  I blogged about last year’s event and thought it only fitting to share my takeaways from this time around as well.

1) Liz Lange Keynote

Liz Lange, the super-successful maternity wear designer keynoted the first day and I absolutely adored her.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I wasn’t too familiar with her, other than seeing her name in the maternity section in Target!  She turned out to be a delight, and struck me as an extremely humble, gracious and sweet lady who just happens to have done amazingly well for herself.  She’s also a cancer survivor to boot.

During her talk, I jotted down some of the more inspirational things she said, which incidentally, were some of the sentiments I most needed to hear at that moment. Here are just a few of her quotes as they relate her business and entrepreneurship in general:

“You have to sort of be a Pollyanna, you have to believe that things are going to work out.”

“I never thought of giving up as an option.”

“I believe in the business.”

“I told myself, ‘You can do this, there’s no reason why not.'”

“Having a Plan B would have led to quitting.”

“Who would I be if I told myself that I can’t do this?”

“Somehow believing, that it’s all going to be ok—sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t—but it mostly is.”

I just love her!  A great big dose of inspiration and fierce femininity on the first day.

2) The Marketing Principles Never Change!

with the one-of-a-kind Suzanne Evans

With the wild roller coaster that’s been the last couple of years in the economy, a lot of business owners have been feeling really thrown.  (Call it small biz whiplash.)

They’re asking: What’s real?  What’s true?  What even WORKS anymore?

One thing’s for sure: the basics are still the basics, and they’re more important than ever.  As Ali shared:

  • Who is your target market? (The more clear you are on this, the easier your marketing will become!)
  • Where can you find your target market?
  • What is your message?
  • What are your revenue streams?
  • How will you reach out to your market?

Simple but crucial—and if you’re feeling way off-balance and a bit “seasick” in your biz, come back to these timeless principles to right your ship again.

3) Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Ugh, right?

Christine Gallagher and Laura Smith

with new friend Laura Smith

In reality, we understand as entrepreneurs this is par for the course.  We knew it from the moment we decided to go off on our own.

But still, it’s…uncomfortable!

Going to the event, and doing that networking thing, and not knowing where the cash is going to come from, and approaching that person, and going after the big client, and doing the speaking gig, and hiring the mentor, and on and on.

There’s a reason that most people would rather work a job.

When Ali highlighted her Top 8 Bad Business Owner Behaviors, “choosing comfort over risk” was number 2.  To illustrate, she drew a stick figure in the middle of a circle with an arrow pointing out at stars that were surrounding the outside of the circle. The stars represent everything that you want—as in, everything that you want is just outside your comfort zone.

Makes sense, but what so often happens is that we begin to shrink back when things get a little dicey, when we start experiencing that turbulence.  But the problem is, that’s precisely when we need to keep going.

The lesson?  Never resist being uncomfortable temporarily if it is going to get you to the next level.  Easier said than done, I know, but think of it this way—when everything seems to be blowing up, take heart: that amazing thing you’ve been wanting so badly is most likely right around the corner.

If nothing else, at least remember the saying: If you keep doing what you’ve always done…

Worth the Trip

with VIP client Karen Dayton

It’s not easy traveling across the country, putting things on hold and being away from loved ones for almost a week at a time. But all things considered, I’m glad I went back a second time.  I met so many wonderful contacts, made new friends, and got generally re-inspired about my business.  (I even got to coach some of my VIP clients in my hotel room at the Wynn while I was there, which was very cool.)

My advice to you?  Get out there—whether it’s a huge conference across the country or a local event in your hometown, there’s no substitute for face time.  We all love social media, but it’s even MORE powerful to meet our online contacts in person, as well as continue the relationship online with the new people we’ve met once we’re home.

Never thought I’d be quoting Woody Allen on this blog, but he’s right: 80% of success is just freaking showing up. 🙂

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