Lessons from the Women's Conference

  • November 21, 2013
  • INK Team

It’s not everyday that you get to be in the same room as a Noble Peace Laureate, a Wall Street powerhouse and the woman responsible for Facebook’s first marketing team. A few INKers had the privilege of doing just that at the Texas Conference for Women this year and man, were we blown away. Here are some takeaways from the 2013 conference.

The Texas Conference for Women

You can learn from failure

 Instead of sharing lessons from her long list of accomplishments, Sallie Krawcheck – a woman called “The Last Honest Analyst on Wall Street” by Fortune magazine – chose to share what she learned when she was fired. Sallie was fired from one of her high-profile jobs on Wall Street for disagreeing with her boss on an issue of ethics, which taught her: when it comes down to ethics or your job, go with your ethics. You can always find another job. When you’re met with a difficult dilemma, try to make decisions based on the person you want to become. You’ll make the right decision every time.


Stay energized and innovative

How do you remain innovative as a business owner, entrepreneur or employee? Burnout happens often in this country’s fast-paced work culture and it’s tough to keep innovation, creativity and energy high when the wheels are turning so quickly every day. Mauria Finley, founder of Citrus Lane suggests regular “Look Backs,” times for you and your team to pause, look back and see how far you have progressed. Having a moment to remember that your small team of five grew to ten this year, or that your business changed leaps and bounds from the year prior keeps spirits high and minds invigorated. Mauria suggests taking pictures throughout the year to keep tabs on how much things have changed over time.


Be brave enough to be different

“We want to make a difference, but we don’t want to be different.”

Diversity expert and coach Vernā Myers kicked off the morning keynote with a loud, enthusiastic message about having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and explore differences. Workplaces should create an inclusive environment that invites everyone to have a voice, even if it goes against the grain. On a more personal level, being different is what makes our voice or our personal brand, stand out.

As author Esmeralda Santiago said during her keynote: “If we are not creating ourselves, we are creating what other people think we should be.” Don’t be afraid to create a unique you, a different kind of business, or a brand with a new perspective.


It’s ok to unplug

We listened to Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media and sister to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, talk about the power technology has over us today. We’re all glued to our phones, our social networks, our digital lives more often than we’d like to admit. And while technology has sped up and made easier the way we live and work, it can also be a source for disengaging in real life relationships, a stomping ground for cyberbullying and a productivity killer, among other things. How do we navigate our complicated, love/hate relationship with technology? The most important thing we can do is UNPLUG every once in a while. That’s right, people. The first marketing director of Facebook said it’s OK to unplug from social networks for the sake of our sanity. She said that her and her family practice a “digital Shabbat,” in which they stop engaging online and shift their focus to what’s happening in the real world around them. Just remember– it’s ok to unplug and recharge. Randi said so.


Did anyone else attend the Texas Conference for Women? Share the lessons you learned with us in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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