The Better Social Business BlogJournalizing work in the trenches of all things web, social & interactive
On 23, Jun 2010
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to present one of the breakout sessions at the Women Grow Business Boot Camp 2010 event in Washington, DC. I was so grateful to @shonali for thinking to include me as a speaker and for @deannie who was so happy to be my commuting buddy on Saturday morning.
You know, as a long time “entrepreneur” … I wasn’t sure what exactly I would learn or takeaway from the boot camp. No, I don’t pretend to be a business owner know-it-all. Hardly! That said, I’ve been at the small business ownership thing on and off since the mid 90s and have learned a lot since then through a combination of successes and failures alike.
Still, I went to the boot camp with an upbeat attitude and open mind. I can’t say that I learned as much as, say, possibly a newbie small biz owner would have (and should have) learned … but I did stumble upon a few key nuggets of value:
- “Every conversation is an exercise in leadership!” … a meaningful quote from our very own guest blogger Jill Foster and original editor for the Women Grow Business community
- “Giving things away for free diminishes your own value.“ … well, it’s not like I didn’t know this, per se, but boy … to hear it put into these words was refreshing and just a fabulous reminder to always keep in mind.
- “Hoping + wishing are NOT strategies!” … again, this is common sense but to hear it said, especially by an experienced business leader such as Marissa Levin … well, it is a fact that just can’t be heard often enough!
There were some anecdotal stories of value and an occasional, good tip here and there which were great and which I’ve definitely “back pocketed” for future reference. However, what I learned most — which was a refreshing lesson, reminder and truth — is that I am *not* alone in my challenges, goals, dreams and aspirations. The boot camp was packed with many women in business … many of which are at different points in their business ownership adventures but nevertheless, most women shared the same plight and issues as I face every single day. How will I grow my business? What strategies can I improve or implement to retain clients and attract prospects? How can I improve or leverage my existing network of like-minded folks who will provide support, resources and guidance, when needed?
I remember thinking on my way back home after the boot camp that the visual image of seeing so many women attend the event was a strong one; and knowing that while we each are all navigating our own ships, we are sailing on the same ocean and that was incredibly validating and reassuring. There’s just an incredible comfort in knowing that I am merely one of scores of women seeking precisely what I seek: mentorship, knowledge, resources, direction, support and best-practices for the betterment of our businesses.
In between professional engagements, Mayra guest blogs and contributes content regularly to a number of publications both in and outside the Washington DC metro area. Mayra is also the editor of The Better Social Business Blog, "Pet Tech" columnist for the Virginia Maryland Dog Magazine, contributes an “e-Trends” column to the Loudoun Business Journal and is founder of the Loudoun Fairfax Local Bloggers Meetup group which mentors and helps local bloggers network, learn and exchange ideas.