Ambitions and goals guides us from one day, to the next.

What are you really doing about accomplishing these dreams?

In the past couple of years, I have realized something that has been a true game changer for me. To be honest, this lesson was reemphasized when I attended #SheLeads2017. Conferences and summits are one of the best ways to actually grow yourself so you can really move forward and achieve what you want.

So, how do you proceed? Let’s dive into it!

#1: Acceptance

Have you accepted that you need to be a lifelong learner? It is mind blowing to think about all the information we don’t know. This is actually a good thing. My life motto is to learn something new or meet someone new every day. As an entrepreneur, it is important for me to constantly grow, network, and assess what works and what doesn’t. Whether you are a model, teacher, engineer, professor, artist, or any other type of profession, YOU have to do the same. Accepting that networking and learning is a must as an important first step for achieving the transformation to turn your dreams into reality.

#2: Do Your Homework

A lot people say the classic phrase, “I just don’t know how to get started” to justify sitting on an idea or not moving forward with a goal. Does that sound right to you? It doesn’t seem to make sense to me when we have the amazing opportunity to Google everything that we need. I wouldn’t have been able to start Dressing Room 8 to consult with brands, coach models and business owners, or take on public speaking opportunities, if I didn’t embrace the vast resources of the Internet. It was up to me to do my research, connect with others, and attend networking events when I needed to do so.

When I lost my job in 2015, I needed to figure out what I was going to do. I couldn’t wait for someone to tell me what I should do or save me from the situation. I had to save myself. I had to be resourceful, determined, and creative. There were no other choices but to figure it out. What did this mean? I needed to create a plan. I needed to find resources to motivate and inspire me to execute my plan. When I invested time and money in my personal and professional growth, I actually transformed my life. She Leads Media, the creator of #SheLeads2017, definitely reemphasized this is something we ALL need to do.

(Left to Right): Alan Kreit, Private Mortgage Banker at Wells Fargo & Adrienne Garland, Founder of She Leads Media

A part of doing research for yourself includes looking up events to attend and thought leaders you want to connect with. When I came across She Leads Media online, I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of #SheLeads2017. So, what did I do? I sent an email introducing myself and requesting to cover the event. What did Adrienne Garland, the Founder of She Leads Media say to me? YES!!!

Do you know how many people will say yes to YOU?

What do you need to do?

YOU have to ask the question.

(Left to Right): Digital Marketing & Social Media in 2017 and beyond Panel Event with Denise Lee, Director of Marketing of Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti LLP & Alliances Committee Chair of NAWBO, Ayat Shukairy, Co-Founder of Invesp, Stephanie Abrams-Cartin, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Socialfly, Gina Jessica Smith, Editor-In-Chief of Good Living is Glam, and founder of GLIG, the creative consulting division, and Adrienne Garland, Founder, She Leads Media

Looking up events, led me to She Leads Media, which led me to an unforgettable day at #SheLeads2017, where I networked, learned, and received the motivation and inspiration to take the necessary steps to grow myself and my business further.

(Left to Right): Stephanie Abrams Cartin, Co-Founder & Co-CEO & Socialfly Team at #SheLeads2017

#3: Prepare for the Big Day

If you are planning for your next conference or summit to attend, what do you need to do to be prepared? Plan…Plan…Plan. What do you want to achieve from the event? Are there specific people you want to meet? Are there specific workshops you want to attend? What will be the story you are sharing? Are you prepared to pitch your business? YOU owe it to yourself to invest time in events like #SheLeads2017; it is worth your while.

She Leads Media offered the opportunity for #SheLeads2017 guests to join the Whova App, containing a detailed agenda and the opportunity to connect with all speakers and guests. This type of resource is a gift that keeps giving. Not only did I have the information to know who was attending, but I also developed additional relationships with attendees and speakers well after #SheLeads2017.

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Video caption: Leadership 360— Positioning & Projecting Your Leadership & Expertise — In person, Online and From Within (Panel Event) with Julie Fogh and Casey Erin Clark, Founders of Vital Voice Training, Christine Li, Ph.D, clinical psychologist and The Procrastination Coach and Courtney Spritzer, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Socialfly.

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#4: Follow Up is Key

If you attended an event like #SheLeads2017, did you come home with more business cards and flyers than you can count? Either way, the most important thing is to FOLLOW UP. Great conversations or the beginnings of a collaboration or business opportunity require you to send a Thank You Note or set up a meeting. Don’t let those business cards stick around for a week or two gathering dust.

Gloria Feldt, Co-Founder & President of Take The Lead Women

It is up to you to put in the work and send those emails. If you don’t, then you are standing in your own way. You know what you need to do. Like Nike says Just Do It.

(Left to Right): SheTek panel— Women in entertainment, music and tech Panel event with Latresa Baker, Founder of Millennial Renaissance Media, DJ Ambi G, R&B Musician Lynda Starr, Kerry Pompeo, Recording Engineer at Concord Music, TeLisa D, FlyTechnista, and L’ay Green, Founder of SheTek

#5: Keep the Ball Rolling

Now that you have gone to the event, sent your follow up notes, scheduled meetings, do you find yourself asking what now? Plan…Plan…Plan. What is the next event you want to go to? Do you want to create your own event? What type of online activities do you need to focus on? What are social media tactics you will utilize? What does your calendar look like three months, six months, or one year from now?

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Video caption: Keynote Speaker Jennifer Ianolo, Founder and CEO of The Concordia Project

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#6: Adjust & Evolve

Since you have actively invested more time and energy in you or your business, have you taken the time to assess what has occurred? What were your achievements? What were your challenges? Companies take the time to assess on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, what is going on. Are you doing the same? Taking the time for reflection allows you to adjust your plan, amend your strategy, and evolve.

Thank You Adrienne Garland for creating #SheLeads2017 you have reminded me of the following tips:

  • Networking is as fun as you make it. (And… I love to network)
  • There is great power that comes from spending a day learning and connecting with other women.
  • You can learn so much from having a conversation with others.
  • Business growth is exciting and inspiring.

What will you do to invest in YOU?