Recently I had the opportunity to attend my first eWomen Network Conference in Dallas, TX. This wasn’t the first conference I have attended by any means but it was the first one that was predominantly attended by and presented by women. And nearly all those women were entrepreneurs. Having come from industries that were very heavily populated by men this was a big change for me. To say that it was different is a monumental understatement. It was nothing short of transformative for me personally and for the future of my business.

eWomenNetwork is a networking organization geared to women who are looking to grow and scale their businesses. And the conference was all about bringing those women together to meet, collaborate, and learn together. In four short days, I met women that will be my future clients, developed ideas that will be my future products, learned a tremendous amount about business and myself, and forged relationships that will last me a lifetime.

This experience was different from other conferences in part because of my attitude. I went prepared to step out of my comfort zone and embrace my unknown zone. I pushed myself to reach out and meet new people. To not sit with people from my chapter. To take every opportunity to do more, to be more, to reach for more. And it paid off.

Our first day there we took a break for lunch and headed to a restaurant in the hotel. I had stopped to talk to someone so I fell behind my group. They immediately started to make room for me at their already full table but I said no. I immediately sought out another place to sit with the woman I had just met. We ended up being invited to a table with two more women. One of those ladies I had an instant connection to. We spent the rest of the conference seeking each other out and now have a meeting scheduled for this month to begin working on an amazing project she is undertaking. I know that connection would not have happened if I had gone to the place where I knew everyone. To paraphrase Robert Frost, I choose the path less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

During those four days, I had a clarity that allowed me to capture amazing ideas that will move my business far beyond where it was when I walked into the conference. I also became so sure in my ability to develop those ideas and execute them that I came home prepared to set the world on fire. Each session I attended I went in with an open mind to let the content resonate with me and look for ways to scale it to my business. What I soon found was that I needed to embrace what my business could be and the way it will change the future for my family.

One of the most transformative things for me I alluded to earlier. I walked away from Dallas with a firm belief that I am meant to do amazing things. That my path is the right one and that not only am I going to turn other entrepreneurs’ ideas into profitable realities but I am going to do the same for myself. And in the process, I am going to change the lives of those around me. I walked away from Dallas unstoppable. I walked away committed to my vision and my calling in ways I have never been before.

So, if you ever get the chance to join an eWomen Network group close to you and then attend the conference in Dallas do not pass it up. It will ignite a fire for you that cannot be extinguished.

But until then here are a very few of my Ahh Haa moments or esights from the conference.

  • We must surround ourselves with people that will help us rise.
  • Build your tribe carefully.
  • Say yes when you align with someone. You don’t need to know all the details in the beginning.
  • Believe in what others see in you.
  • Transform your business into a Premier Provider instead of a Low-Cost Leader. You can’t ask people to think of you as Neiman Markus if you are charging Walmart prices.
  • Just because something used to be done a certain way doesn’t mean it is still done that way or that it must be. I had a moment where a friend convinced me to attend a workshop that “just really isn’t for me” and boy did she do me a favor. Because I walked away with ideas that will be game changers for my business.
  • Women must stop behaving in business like we behave at home. But it is still okay to go home to be a wife and a mother. You can be all those things without apologizing.
  • Most of us face the same challenges and should therefore not feel alone. And we should ask for help.
  • It is possible for women to stand strong together and not tear each other down.

Sandra Yancey is the founder of the eWomen Network and she is incredible at delivering one liners that are moving and motivating. They aren’t always original to her but she finds ways to make sure they come at the perfect moment. Here are a few of my favorites from the conference.

  • Never allow waiting to become a habit.
  • You can’t steal 2nd base and keep your foot on 1st.
  • Visionaries don’t go day to day they put a stake in the ground and then work towards it.
  • You cannot wait until you are ready.
  • Eagles soar above the storm.

In the coming weeks, I will be working to map out my plans and transform all my ideas into profitable realities. I know that I will come across obstacles along the way but I have strengthened my tribe in ways that will make those little bumps instead of mountains.

By: Amy Matthews, CEO, AMI LC