Soulful. That was one of the words used to describe this year’s conference. With its theme of resiliency, much of the time was spent hearing from speakers about how resiliency had helped them get through some troubled, tough times.
The overall conclusion by all who presented is that resiliency is not a part of your DNA. that you either have it or not. More it is a skill, a mindset that you can learn. A muscle you can develop.
Normally our biz tools sessions in the afternoon are devoted to learning new business skills and tools – like how to develop a Facebook group – but this year our focus was on developing the individual because resiliency is an inside job.
As I sit back a day later and reflect on the heartfelt, touching stories we heard, I am struck at how vulnerable each presenter was in order for us to better understand just how she’d had to be resilient in order to survive whatever had happened in her – be it finding yourself a widow with four young children while climbing the corporate ladder, raising yourself as a teenager following the death of your mother, going from success to failure because of business burnout or trying to survive and make your way in a man’s world.
I’d selected these women because I knew they would share their stories in an impactful, meaningful way. But what I didn’t know was just how much the #metoo movement had also touched their lives.
When Paulette Senior shared the work of the Canadian Women’s Foundation with such care and passion, I felt proud we have such women leaders in place to change our world.
The conference is always an inspiring day, bringing women together in community, but this year, it was more. It was a community with far-reaching powers. We had seven sets of mother-daughter duos there and that is an amazing place to start. Because it is side by side with our young women that we can start to make an impact on the change that needs to happen in our society.
Yes, we had less of the practical, hands-on tools that you need to succeed in business, but I would argue that, if you don’t have the right mindset and mental attitude, success won’t magically appear no matter how hard you work.
Running your own business is not for the faint of heart. You have to be comfortable with ambiguity. You have to develop that resiliency muscle so you can bounce back, be flexible and ride out the tough times. It is only then that you grow both personally and professionally.
I want to thank the presenters for sharing their vulnerabilities with us. For some, it was the first time they’d done so in a public way. I commend their courage and am grateful that we have created a safe environment where women can speak up, be who they are, with no judgment and only support from each other.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.