Why you can’t afford to miss Emerging Women Live 2015

“How can we go to this? Women just like us! This needs to happen!!!”

That was the commentary I sent, along with the link to register for Emerging Women Live 2014, to my buddy Nat on April 5th last year.

Little did I know, this was the start of a journey that would change everything…

(This is a picture taken on my iPhone, when Nat and I accosted Danielle LaPorte in the lobby at EWLive14 to tell her that we came all the way from Vancouver – where she also lives – to see her in New York City.)

And I almost didn’t buy my ticket.

In the months leading up to the Early Bird registration deadline, I went through a huge personal shift.

That July, I walked away from a toxic business partnership that was supposed to have been my solid plan after leaving my 6-figure corporate job in December 2013. I had no income and only a seedling idea for a business called “Secondhand Therapy.”

Paying for my ticket to Emerging Women Live was terrifying. I had to take money out of my retirement savings to pay for it. I kept worrying that I couldn’t afford the conference and the trip.

Thankfully, I listened to that tiny whisper inside of me that said I should just go.

My weekend MBA in NYC.

It is almost impossible to capture the lightening bolt that hit my soul during the four days I immersed myself in the Emerging Women Live experience. I have since joked that I learned enough to qualify for an MBA during that long weekend.

I sat on the edge of my seat as Brené Brown said the world needed more “badassery” and challenged us to discover what we needed to give ourselves permission to do and be.

Right then and there, I gave myself permission to be “little kid” excited, make new friends and play Show & Tell with other entrepreneurs. I still write myself new permission slips when I am scared.

Over the next few days, I was overwhelmed by the wisdom from women who had learned from their battle scars.

I learned how to “snatch back my dignity” (Wokie Nwabueze), to create my own “I have to’s” list (Arianna Huffington), to play bigger and “share what I already know” (Tara Mohr), to “know the season I am in” (Kris Carr), and to trust that the NO’s I say will be the key to my success (the inimitable Danielle LaPorte).

In the midst of all this was this woman, Chantal Pierrat. As Chantal introduced various speakers, she shared parts of her own story. I was in awe of how she created this Emerging Women Live experience through her passion, determination and her belief that we must surround ourselves with incredible women.

The new friends.

Although I came to NYC with my dear friend Nat, I was excited about the opportunity to meet new women who were on similar journeys.

During the Power Circles that kicked off the conference, I met Katy, who just two weeks ago told me that it was time to enjoy a new phase in my business because of what I had accomplished. She insisted that I pitch this blog idea to the Emerging Women team – and it worked!

I also met Chelsea, who was also on the verge of “going live” with her business. We had regular check-in calls after the conference to encourage each other to take brave steps.

During dinner on Friday, I met Dawn. I ended up having to take my glasses off because I was sobbing as Dawn shared how her husband had passed away a month prior, and her brave next step was to head to this conference. For the record, I don’t cry in public, but this weekend changed that permanently.

Dawn is a kindred spirit who has brought me light and encouragement and joy in the most unexpected ways. I feel as if we have known each other for decades.

And there were so many other smaller interactions with like-minded women who left their fingerprints on my life…

The after-math.

Simply put: I became a woman who stepped fully into her calling.

Within weeks of the conference, I was published in both The Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, a self-improvement blog with 1.5 million followers.

I used my new status as “Huffington Post contributor” to start a series of interviews with inspiring authors such as Gail Larsen (speaking coach for Danielle LaPorte and Kris Carr) and Shasta Nelson.

I went on to secure several speaking engagements, appear on a couple of podcasts, become an official blogger for my local TEDx event, contribute to the Tiny Buddha book being published by Harper Collins in Spring 2016, and write bi-weekly for Vancouver’s largest blog, Vancity Buzz.

I built and launched my own website, and hustled to complete an 8 module “Introducing You” eCourse. I developed a workshop called “The Seduction of Stress,” which I presented to 200 women this past May, and was recently booked to transform the presentation into a full day workshop this coming October.

My email list had 60 people on it when I showed up at Emerging Women Live 2014. It now has over 1600 subscribers on it, without having to spend any money on advertising.

None of this was due to extraordinary talent or connections or luck. It was a direct result of putting into action everything I learned at the Emerging Women Live conference.

I decided to be brave and hustle and pitch and trust and relax, and most importantly be the woman I want to be.

Reflecting back.

“What if we had not gone to EWLive14? It scares me to think of how small our lives would be,” I recently observed during happy hour with my buddy Nat.

It is frightening to think how close I came to deciding I couldn’t afford to attend.

I would be a shadow of myself if it weren’t for those four days.

I wouldn’t have known what I was capable of. I wouldn’t have connected with the women who are now my biggest cheerleaders.

Am I going to Emerging Women Live 2015? You bet!

I couldn’t risk missing out on another life-changing weekend.

How about you? What impact did EWLive have on your life? Please share with us in the comments below…

Announcing our Emerging Women Live Winner

Meet the lucky winner of our Gaiam TV + Emerging Women Live contest: Suzana Zavila Pejovic. Suzana and a friend will be joining us in San Francisco in October to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent and more at Emerging Women Live.

We love learning more about the women in our community, so we asked Suzana a few questions about her experience as an emerging woman.

Suzana Zavila Pejovic 
EW Contest Winner & Education Activist

How are you emerging in your personal/professional life?

My emerging process began back in March of 1992 with the start of War in former Yugoslavia (Bosnia).

I was a 20-year-old aspiring student at the Faculty of Law, pursuing my interests and living a life full of dreams and hopes. In March of 1992 all of that changed and my life path took a major detour. I was faced with unimaginable life changing circumstances, and the next 2 years of my life were spent in a survival mode.

Finally, in December of 1994 I was able to immigrate to Canada, arriving at the airport with one carry-on bag and 40$ in my pocket. I was starting a new life in a new country, and would be faced with many new challenges.

Fast forward 21 years: I am a proud mother of three amazing sons (ages 8, 14 and 17) and married for 20 years to an incredible life partner. In 2008 I went back to school and obtained a BA degree with distinction in Sociology/Education. Since my graduation I have been employed at the leading University where I hold the position of Program Coordinator.

For the past few years I have been interested in the subject of “slow learners”, children who fall in the educational gap between students with learning disabilities and students with mental retardation. These children are not currently qualified to receive educational assistance like students with learning disabilities and mental retardation are.

My intent is to create an Independent School which will cater to the needs of students categorized as “slow learners,” while offering support to their parents and siblings. I am very passionate about this project as I believe that every child matters and deserves the best possible chance to grow up and become productive and valuable part of our community.

What drew you to want to attend Emerging Women Live?

This is an incredible opportunity to find out how successful business women lead with power and authenticity. It’s an opportunity to learn practical methods and tools for starting and growing a business, and it’s an opportunity to connect with other women participants in order to exchange stories and offer support to each other.

Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

The most influential person in my life is my mother. She is the quiet guiding force in my life and her wise presence has helped me face many of the life challenges . My mother thought me that we can all rise above our circumstances, negative thoughts and complaints and create a beautiful life – a life of purpose.

“My mother thought me that we can all rise above our circumstances, negative thoughts and complaints and create a beautiful life – a life of purpose.”

Connect with Suzana and other like-minded women in the Comments Section below!

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How’s Your Business Ecosystem? – #emergingnow

Greetings from New York City!

I’m in the midst of a three-city tour (Austin, NYC, and Boston), pitching Emerging Women to investors, meeting our community, and connecting with friends, old and new. On trips like this I’m always amazed by how important each encounter is, no matter how seemingly random.

It wasn’t until I became aligned and “on purpose” with my living that I began to see the intentionality and relevant interconnectedness of everything around me.

When we announced Dr. Jane Goodall as a speaker, I talked about the importance of plugging into our natural ecosystem for energy, connection and rejuvenation. Here’s the thing — your business has an ecosystem, too. And at the core of each ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.

“At the core of your business ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.”

Here’s a story: I met a young entrepreneur in Austin who had a business that piqued my interest. After connecting briefly, I asked for her card and offered her mine. She looked at my card as if it were coated in something not-so-savory and explained that if I was memorable enough, she would be motivated to track me down – that was how she stayed in touch. Needless to say, she did not have a card herself, and so we parted empty-handed.

Admittedly, I may have challenged my brain cells over the years in ways I would guess this perky, barely-25-year-old had not, or perhaps she has mega-memory super powers.

But what struck me the most here was the missed opportunity. She might have been part of my ecosystem, maybe in a way I wouldn’t learn until much later, but I was curious to find out. I might have been able to connect her to somebody that would complete a vital corner of her world. Alas, I can’t remember her business or even her name as I write this…

If you can hang with the view that everything that enters your field has the potential to nourish your ecosystem, you will find yourself leaning into every encounter with eagerness and true curiosity.

Your ecosystem will naturally grow and flourish – because when you approach things from this open vantage point, you tend to accept a wider variety of species into your world. And doesn’t that make for the healthiest of systems?

“Diversity leads to resilience, which leads to proliferation, which leads to the opportunity for evolution.”

As much as I wonder about the paper waste of business cards (which I could wallpaper my office with at this point), I see them as totems helping me treasure each encounter I experience along the way. I can feel the ecosystem that is Emerging Women growing into a vibrant jungle of feminine power.

What makes your ecosystem thrive? Share your insight with the tribe in the comments – who knows who you’ll add to your ecosystem that way!

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Nothing stimulates ecosystems like 4 days of inspiration, courage and connection at Emerging Women Live. Early Bird tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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What makes your ecosystem flourish? Share your insight with the tribe in the comment section.

Juicy Bites This Week: Authentic Networking Makes for True Connections

This week we find out:

 

  • Arianna Huffington’s re-imagined definition of success
  • How to avoid forced networking and achieve authentic connection
  • How the success of a women, from a remote Indian village, is the foundation for many more leaders and game changers to emerge
  • Why women should not be afraid of failure
  • What are the habits of wildly successful people
  • How we adapt when it comes to learning under stress

 

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:
 

“How would you describe, in one word, authentic networking?”

 
We would love to hear from you, so make sure you leave a comment at the end of this post.
 

1. Arianna Huffington: ‘The third revolution is to change the world that men have designed’ via The Telegraph

 

This week, Arianna Huffington was in London, leading The Huffington Post UK’s first-ever women’s conference, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power.” The focus of the conference was to discuss a more sustainable definition of success, one that includes well-being, wisdom, and our ability to wonder and to give back.

‘It’s a model of success that’s not working for women, and it’s not working for men, either. Our workplaces are fuelled by sleep deprivation,’ says Arianna. The term ‘success’, she believes, should include the values of wellbeing, wisdom and kindness. Go-getters, she hopes, will become ‘go-givers’.

Arianna Huffington sees women leading the charge because, by coming later into the boardrooms of business, women have the clarity of vision to see them for what they are.

Continue Reading…
 

2. Permission to NOT network. (And to wear gold pants.) by Danielle Laporte

 
Danielle Laporte comes out with the truth and says: “Networking? Loathe it. And unless there’s a dance floor, I always leave the party early.” She makes the point that there are important distinction to make about networking: “ There’s fear-driven connecting, and there’s pure-enthusiasm connecting. There’s having unrealistic expectations about a connection, and there’s in-the-realm-of-possible kinds of connections.” Danielle encourages us to ease up on the forced networking and embrace true connection, and to try this:
 

“Only bust a move when you’re truly enthusiastic about doing so; when you feel you have value to offer; when you can feel a beautiful pull.”

 
Continue Reading…  
 

 3. Innovation Lessons from Shantha Ragunathan, an illiterate woman from a remote Indian village via HBR

 
Shantha Ragunathan lifted herself and her family out of poverty, bought a home and put her kids through college — all because a microfinancing scheme allowed her to buy a cow.

Shantha had strong business acumen and innate leadership qualities, even though she had no formal education. “Although she was poor in resources, she possessed the innovation mindset shared by many game changers,” write Vijay Govindarajan and Srikanth Srinivas. Continue Reading…
 

“Shantha Ragunathan is truly a game changer. Shantha’s success spread in a ripple effect from her family and her village to dozens of neighboring villages, ultimately affecting thousands of individuals. […] Even more important, by serving as a role model, she created the foundation for many more such leaders and game changers to emerge.”

 

 4. Five Reasons Why Women Fear Career Failure (And Why We Shouldn’t) via Huff Post Women

 

Women entrepreneurs deal with plenty of obstacles, but, according to a new study, the biggest challenge they face is something self-created. It’s the fear of failure which disproportionately impacts women. Julie Zeilinger identifies 5 reasons why women across career fields fear failure:
 

  1. Women’s unique history of exclusion adds pressure not to fail.
  2. Women define success differently — and thus what works for us may look like “failing.”
  3. We’re taught to view success as a linear progression — and anything that deviates from that progression as failure.
  4. We believe failure is permanent.
  5. When women do experience failure, they try to hide rather than acknowledge it. This silence creates the myth that they are the only ones who have failed.

 
Continue reading… 
 

5. Getting ahead: Habits of wildly successful people via Fast Company

 

There is no recipe for success, but, you can definitely move ahead by developing healthy habits. Here are some of the habits of highly successful and productive people:
 

  1. Get up insanely early
  2. Keep promises, no matter how small
  3. Learn how to tell stories
  4. Lead, don’t dictate
  5. Don’t be afraid–or embarrassed–of your failures
  6. Ask questions, a lot of them

 
See the entire list here
 

6. Balancing yourself: Study Shows that Brain Makes Adjustments to Learn Under Stress via Huff Post Women

 

Our brains are pretty adaptable when it comes to learning under stress. When we have to acquire new knowledge under stress, the brain generally employs unconscious rather than conscious learning processes, a Ruhr-Universität Bochum study finds.

Although it’s quite an interesting study, we know that the brain functions optimally when it’s not under stressed. Previous research has shown stress to have a significant effect on cognitive functioning including poor memory, decreased focus, and trouble learning. Continue Reading…
 

“To minimize stress and super-charge your brain power, try incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life. The practice of cultivating mindful awareness has been associated with lower stress levels.”

 

This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women is:

“How would you describe, in one word, authentic networking?”

Let’s start a conversation. We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.