Voce Nation kicked off a Valentine’s Day-inspired blog series aptly titled “What do you love?” Throughout February, Vocians are challenged to wax-poetic about the things that inspire love and passion in our lives. Quite the tall order for a working mom who barely has time to think between struggling with elementary school homework and washing soccer gear.
Alas, I never deny a challenge, so I decided to take a moment to reflect, think and write. What do I love? Well, I love my family, friends and good red wine. I love CrossFit, my adorable Westie and traveling. That was easy. Too easy. So, I decided to ask myself what do I need? That was much harder.
What does a 40-something year-old working mom need in 2016? Sigh. Sounds so cliché. Can defining what I need help me define what I love? Ugh, now I sound like Elizabeth Gilbert.
Turns out, it just took a glass of wine and another birthday to make me understand what I need: This seasoned communications professional needs to light a fire in her gut strong enough to conquer the back half of her career. She needs to be pushed, challenged and inspired. She needs to surround herself with people who are smart, accomplished… and searching for excellence with her.
Fortunately, my timing is kismet… I am about to embark on an exciting journey with 5,000 women who also are looking to be pushed, challenged and inspired. That certainly is something I need… and love.
Watermark Conference for Women
I recently joined the social media “street team” for the Watermark Conference for Women in San Jose on April 21, 2016. At first, I volunteered because the social media director is a stud… and then I did my homework. The Watermark organization seems amazing. Watermark is a community of executive women in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose mission is to increase the representation of women at executive levels to drive innovation, human development and economic growth.
The Watermark Conference for Women is designed for women seeking professional development and networking. It offers community and connection, information and inspiration, motivation and momentum. It is designed to help people discover what they want and achieve it. The conference features A-list speakers who share wisdom and expertise on a wide range of personal and professional development topics, helping attendees find clarity on personal goals and what is needed to accomplish them.
Learn from the Best in their Business
Once I signed up for the street team, I looked at the conference keynote speakers and nearly fell out of my chair: Mindy Kaling, Abby Wambach, and the CEO of Life is Good. Oh. My. Heart. Here’s my take on the keynotes and why they inspire me:
Mindy Kaling: Actor, Writer, Producer, Director
Favorite Quote: Why not Me? (It’s also the title of her latest book.)
What It Means To Me: I love mentoring and helping others reach their professional goals – and it’s also okay to help myself. I need to make my career a priority as I encourage others do the same.
Abby Wambach: World Cup Champion
Favorite Quote: “The most important thing is that sometimes you have to go through hard times to get to the good stuff.”
What It Means To Me: The phrase “hard times” is relative. As a long-time agency person, hard times typically means losing a client, finding a new client, or hiring and firing staff. I must remember that the hard times are what make the good times happen.
John Jacobs: Co-founder of Life is Good
Favorite Quote: “The only true currency in the world: your time.”
What It Means To Me: This one hits home, and not because my clients pay for my time. My time is valuable beyond 9-5. I need to wisely use my time with my work, clients, colleagues, friends and family.
The Best is Yet to Come
The keynote speakers will be amazing, no doubt, but I am most excited to explore what I can learn from other women as I embark on my journey to be pushed, challenged and inspired:
Pushed: Will I find a new mentor to push me when our paths serendipitously cross over a breakout session?
Challenged: Will I be challenged to get out of my comfort zone, overcome fears, or admit my potential is limitless?
Inspired: Will I be inspired with a new career-changing idea that never even occurred to me?
This conference is the first step on my journey to determine what I need… to define what I love. The Watermark Conference is April 21, 2016 in San Jose, Calif. Won’t you join me? I would love it if you did.
Filed in Voce People