Run The World conference: inspiration from amazing women
This weekend I joined 500 female entrepreneurs and leaders at the League of Extraordinary Women’s Run The World conference. Queue some Beyoncé, ten amazing speakers, heaps of inspiration – even a cheeky flash mob, this was the place to be for everyone who wants to #runtheworld! (and yes, I mean everyone, there was even a couple of unsuspecting boyfriends in tow!)
Ready to run the world?
Without further ado, here are six powerful lessons for business and life from Run the World:
1. Be the Purple Cow. We kicked the day off with Jodie Fox of Shoes of Prey. I have been a big fan of Jodie’s for a while now, an ex-corporate lawyer who co-founded Shoes of Prey, the amazing website where users design their own shoes. Cool huh?
Purple Cow is a business and marketing book by best selling author Seth Godin. The premise is simple: imagine driving through the countryside past paddock after paddock full of brown cows. Then imagine driving past a purple cow, standing out in the crowd. You would stop and take notice, right?
Jodie urged us all to think about what makes you, or your product, stand out from the crowd, ie a Purple Cow. Last year, shoesofprey.com had over five million unique viewers online (which resulted in users spending over 60 million minutes making millions of pairs of shoes!), demonstrating what you can achieve when you really focus on your Purple Cow. Be remarkable.
2. To create your Purple Cow you need to take action. You will never be remarkable if you spend all your life sitting on a great idea! This flows straight into the second lesson: don’t wait for things to be perfect.
This is definitely a tricky obstacle for all of the perfectionists out there (I am certainly guilty of this), but this piece of advice was emphasised over and over again by the amazing speakers… and clearly they know what they are talking about!
Having practised what she preached, Jane Lu, founder and CEO of Show Pony, explained how she built her first website single-handedly by Googling how to code! These days Show Pony is absolutely killing it, especially after Jane closed down her bricks and mortar stores and became fully digital. In Jane’s words, the more you learn and grow, the more you learn about, and can overcome, your shortfalls. Test and validate everything, but don’t delay!
3. Kick ass in your business, but don’t kick yourself. I love this little gem from the hilarious Bec Derrington, founder of Source Bottle. In Bec’s words, “guilt is the dish best left unserved”. Enough said.
4. The fourth lesson is a life lesson from Melanie Gleeson, co-founder of Endota Day Spa: responsibility gives freedom. Straying from the business stories that the other presenters focused on, Melanie’s Run the World presentation was inspired by a process of reflecting on and writing down her beliefs, as a tool to guide her life.
The idea that “responsibility gives freedom” is extremely powerful. Melanie urged the audience to stop playing the blame game and move on. When you take responsibility for the issues that will inevitably arise in life and business, this will allow you to take the steps you need to solve and overcome the problem.
5. Perception is reality, so always put polish on everything you do. This piece of advice came from the amazing Samantha Wills, the self-taught creative behind the ultra glam jewellry brand Samantha Wills.
Samantha shared invaluable personal branding advice, and urged the audience to always act like they had made it already. I love this, having always lived by the quote “fake it til you make it”! She even suggested going as far as always saying yes and figuring it out later. Then behind closed doors, hustle like it’s nobody’s business!
Samantha told stories about the early days of her business like answering the phone to find someone asking for her “Marketing Department”. Samantha would ask the person to wait, give it 20 seconds, then return to the phone saying “Hello, Marketing Department, Veronica speaking!” These days Samantha lives in NYC, designing amazing jewellry and sharing her story and empowering messages with her cult online following. There is no doubt that she has made it!
6. The final piece of wisdom I will share is one of Kelly Baker-Jamieson's “7 Deadly Dos”. Now repeat after me, “I am not here to be average, I’m here to be awesome”. Aim high, and don’t let anyone ruin your shine.
Get get ‘em!
Looking forward to Run the World 2015! See you there?