Last week was such an important week in my life that I thought I would share some of the background as to why this year’s eWomenNetwork Conference was so significant to me.
I quit my corporate job towards the end of 2006 and opened my store Parlez Wireless. In 2007, I found out about eWomenNetwork and in 2008 I attended my very first conference in Dallas, Texas.
I remember sitting in the audience at that time wishing that I was one of the speakers and feeling in my gut that I had something to offer the people who were there.
My challenge — I owned a Canadian Wireless Store.
I left that conference inspired to step out and do something different. Around the same time, I discovered Social Media because it was becoming more and more important to the mobile world. BlackBerry had launched their first device with a Facebook application and I knew I needed to learn more.
When I started to explore the world of Social Media, I immediately saw such incredible potential for business owners. One day a woman pulled me aside and said “Lisa, we would pay you if you would teach us what you know.”
That conversation changed everything.
I took immediate action on that piece of feedback and that afternoon ten people signed up for a Social Media workshop I was hosting. Talk about building the plane while I flew! I didn’t even have an outline to teach and people were still interested in learning.
Fast forward to last week where it was announced at the eWomenNetwork International Conference and Business Expo that I am the new eWomenSocial Advantage, Chief Social Officer.
In 2011 I was a break out speaker for eWomenNetwork, this year a break out speaker, main stage speaker, and new business partner with Kym and Sandra Yancey.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that has presented itself in my life. I am however, not lucky. This is not about luck.
The day someone first told me people would pay me to learn, I took action.
When I decided I wanted to speak at the conference, I hired someone who could help me be skilled enough to do so. I looked for opportunities to speak at smaller events in preparation for what I desired. Once again, I took action.
When I was ready to speak, I took massive action. I called in every person I knew who could vouch for me to do so. I looked for ways to differentiate myself from the other 1400 people who applied to speak. I took tremendous amounts of action even when I was scared I would fail, and terrified that people would not think I was good enough. I stayed true to the path.
This year when Kym Yancey mentioned us working together I got on a plane and flew to Dallas to talk strategy – armed with the best outline of a plan I could come up with. I took the conversation extremely seriously and showed up prepared.
Leading up to the conference I experienced chatter in my head once again: “What if I was not good enough? Who am I to do this? What are other people going to think?”
This is the thing, we all experience negative self talk. Your power comes from acting in spite of your fear.
I am going to say that again because it is really important.
Your power comes from acting in spite of your fear.
It is the only way to eliminate the fear I call tension from your life.
The first step up onto the big stage on Thursday night, I tripped over my words I was so nervous. Friday night I got three hours sleep because I decided at the last minute to re-write my talk and for the first time ever, I did a keynote without slides.
Putting yourself out there is scary. It is frightening and it is liberating at the same time.
I also did something that scared me more than speaking. I wore dresses at the conference.
This might sound silly to you but 30 years ago when I was first diagnosed with Crohns disease I went from 80 lbs to 140 lbs in two short months. It ravished my young body with red stretch marks and shattered my self confidence. Once an athletic student, I now refused to get changed into shorts for gym and had a doctors note that excused me from the activity because it was so traumatic for me.
In my mid twenties I got over it to a certain degree and started wearing shorts in public. Up until last week, I have NEVER showed my legs in public for any type of professional gig. I have kept myself covered up, safe from criticism and judgement.
If you saw my legs you would tell me it was all in my head. And today — I would say you are right.
Two weeks before the conference I decided to embrace who I am and I bought five dresses for the conference. Scared to death of being judged but more afraid of my own inner critic, I did it. I wore those dresses, hose free and felt liberated.
Why am I sharing all this?
Because I want you to know the journey of stepping out in spite of being afraid. I am guessing you are afraid just like I was to step into your true potential.
I hope this letter inspires you and gives you confidence to just do it anyway.
A friend of mine, Ray Zahab from Impossible 2 Possible says “Limitations are 90% mental and the other 10% is all in your head.”
Get out of your head, into your heart and live that life you desire!
If you would like to see more photos of the fun that we had at the eWomenNetwork Conference, check out the eWomenSocial Advantage Facebook page!