Kate White, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, one of the world’s sexiest women’s magazines for many decades, was one of the greatest highlights of my conference experience and women’s networking sessions this past weekend.
White left her position as editor in chief just last month. She has since hit the book tour and speaking circuit with her new book, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. This past weekend she gave a keynote address at She’s Connected in Toronto, a conference where brands and bloggers meet. It was, for me, one of the best parts of the She’s Connected experience. I was slightly star struck by White, who has written several fiction and non fiction books. Her latest is a book every woman alive should get her hands on, just for the insightful tips. White is also a married mom and has successfully juggled it all for decades. That – ladies and gentlemen – is a killer feat for anyone.
This past weekend two great conferences jockeyed for brands and bloggers and attendee’s attention and money. Blissdom Canada and She’s Connected, for whatever reason – perhaps rivalry – ended up scheduled on the same weekend. Many sessions overlapped on Saturday and attendees had to divide their time and attention accordingly. There were also numerous things that went on this weekend both personally and professionally that has me, and many bloggers, shaking their heads. It saddens me when, even still in 2012, women wind up being their own worst enemies, hurting each other out of spite and jealousy. My first conference I attended in this business, was Kelby Carr’s Type A Mom, back when it was still Type A Mom. (Now it’s Type A Parent) and something she stated stuck with me. "There is more than enough to go around." Simple as that. The on line writing, branding and business opportunities are endless. There is room for everyone to be kind, respectful and remember their manners. We are stronger together when we share. It’s for this reason that Kate White’s speech stuck with me.
Five Lessons I learned from Kate White:
(I want to share because sharing is good)
1. Go Big or Go Home – Kate recounted a time when, as a working mom, she still tried to volunteer for things at her children’s school and was needed to bake cupcakes for a bake sale. She felt poorly about having to resort to a cake mix box recipe to make the goodies. Despite the initial misgivings, she eventually told herself well, they may not be the best cupcakes, but if I slather a ridiculous amount of icing on each one, they will still be a hit. Go Big or Go Home. Don’t settle and don’t forget to take risks. In life and career.
2. The Difference between men and women in business is that women have mentors and men have sponsors. The difference is men use sponsors to open doors and it is done without having to ask. Sponsors open doors. When women are bouncing ideas off mentors about work and life balance and what to do about children and work commitments, men are making real connections and helping each other get ahead. Women – go find yourself a sponsor.
3. When You Are Ass Deep in Alligators, Don’t Forget to Drain the Swamp. This was topic of debate among my friends last weekend. What I took this as personally for me, was don’t forget to let the negativity and the outside distractions vanish. They are time sucks for everyone. Leave the high school cat fights in high school. Move forward and let all that is negative fall to the wayside.
4. Exfoliate. Asked how she still looks so good at 60+ she answered exfoliation.
5. Don’t be so hard on Yourself. Asked if she could write a letter to her younger self, what would it say: she stated: Don’t be so hard on yourself about the things you think you might screw up.
What did you learn from the conferences, if you attended? Did you leave inspired? Come share with us on the #linkedmoms twitter chat every Wednesday at 8 pm. EST. Tonight we will be talking conference wrapup. Join us and share your tips, posts and lessons.