I had the privilege to attend the first ever Mary Kay’s Women Entrepreneur Summit at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, TX last week.
It was the first event the company has sponsored of its kind. The summit brought together thought leaders from various industries for one common good: inspire bad ass boss ladies. We had a wide range of attendees including self-made Mary Kay rockstar director Gloria Mayfield Banks to Ingrid Vanderbilt who is empowering a billion women by 2020.
What I appreciated most about the summit was the practical advice these women entrepreneurs shared. Below are some of the highlights that reminded me of the importance of surrounding yourself with a strong network of women and men who can help you carry your vision.
- Skill Management
This includes time, personal and financial management. If you are not good with money, don’t hide behind it; get yourself a financial or business adviser who can help you. Most of all never stop learning.
- Be Determined
Learn to make decisions. Set a goal and follow it. For inspiration, create a vision board to keep you inspired and on course. This will aide as a visual reminder on why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re struggling with this idea, remember your childhood and your ability to imagine. It’s hard to get anywhere without visualization.
- Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Good things, like good wine, take time to perfect. If you’re leaving a comfortable corporate job, realize it will take time to get your business bootstrapped. There are plenty of resources for female-owned businesses, so take advantage of them. Valerie Freeman, founder of Imprimis and Freeman+Leonard, talked about networking and leveraging resources. The Women’s Business Council and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses are resources you can look to for support. At minimum, get yourself a mentor and play an active role to ensure you’re getting the most of the relationship. And don’t forget the #1 reason small businesses fail is due to not having sufficient funding.
- Women Are the Bedrock of Society
Women rock and we are better collaborators by nature. All women, moms and non-moms, have natural skills and abilities to nurture a business and a team. This skill is what differentiates us from men. We shouldn’t fight our nature. Like Cindy Williams, another Mary Kay director mentioned, we can choose to be victims or victors and we must choose victory every time. Making this affirmation on a daily basis reminds us of who we are.
- Build Your Brand
Image is important and, let’s face it, it’s so much more complicated for women than men. From fashion to accessories and beauty itself, we are held to a different standard. They say we have seven seconds to make a good impression, so keep that in mind the next time you meet a potential client or the next person at the networker. Beyond image, being transparent, honest, answering emails and calls when people reach out to you is part of the personal brand you’re building.
- Discipline and Hustle are Still the Name of the Game
Having self-discipline is everything in life. No entrepreneur makes it without this. Hard work, sweat and runny mascara are part of the journey. (Note to self: check out Mary Kay’s waterproof mascara). These attributes are the bedrock of your business, brand or whatever you’re passionate about. Great days make great weeks. Great weeks make great years and great years make for a great LIFE.
Thank you again Mary Kay, The DEC and the extended communications team for putting this summit together. I had the honor to meet many entrepreneurs and give them tips on quick ways to better market and promote their business. It was great energy in the room and I look forward to attending with my extended team year two!