Soul Food: My Biggest Take-Aways From the Small Business Summit 2019 That Apply To Every Part of Life

October 20, 2019

I've been lucky enough to have always been surrounded by ambitious, creative people. Even as a kid, I was consistently in environments where people wanted to be the best versions of themselves and ferociously went after their dreams. I believe that growing up in positive environments like that helped me to believe that literally anything was possible. But as I've gotten older, life has thrown so many obstacles my way that have led me to seriously doubt myself in the past 3 years. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

 I love discussing my insecurities with my friends and learning to not be ashamed of them, but I also know that the only way to create the life we want is to learn how to overcome those mental roadblocks and get to fucking work. But pushing past those negative beliefs can feel like pushing a heavy bolder up a fucking mountain. It's a lot to take on by ourselves. That's why I made a simple little rule for myself in 2018 to ensure that I am constantly rejuvenating my spirit through impactful events. Each year, I challenge myself to go to a minimum of three career/personal development conferences. And I'm happy to declare that I've met this goal for the past two years.

Yesterday, I attended the Small Business Summit in NYC ( a conference for women, by women, designed to help us create the businesses and lifestyles we desire) by Create & Cultivate. Create & Cultivate has been one of my favorite career and personal development resources for the past few years. I actually attended another conference by the company back in May. But I loved how hyper-focused this event was. I walked away feeling so inspired and powerful.

In my opinion, there is nothing more vital to our sense of self-fulfillment than investing in ourselves. There were so many amazing pieces of advice shared during the event and I was able to connect with so many intelligent, creative, driven women. I left the conference feeling re-energized and excited to take action instead of letting my negative thoughts stop me in my tracks. But I wanted to share a few of my top take-aways from the event with you so you can feel recharged to. So here we go:

Lesson One: We are capable of giving ourselves everything we want.

We live in a time where technology allows us to have access to pretty much every tool and resource we need to make our dreams happen. Isn't that insane? Although there is definitely a dark side to being exposed to too much technology, past generations have never had access to so many people, sources of knowledge and global resources. We don't need to wait for anyone give us permission to do anything anymore. if you want to be a director, start making movies and publishing them on your own website or youtube. If you want to be a chef, start creating dishes and sharing them on social media. If you want to be an artist, start creating work in your free-time and sharing it with your community. We can teach ourselves almost anything to help us stand out in our desired industries. Like, damn, who knew that you and I were this freaking powerful?

Lesson Two: The road to success is going to be really uncomfortable, and you have to accept that if you want to win.

One of the Co-founders of Health-Ade spoke about how she was living on $300 a month and delivering her products in her own car while starting her business. But Now Health-Ade is in every bodega, grocery store and convenience store I go to. It just goes to show you that we really can survive the hardest times if we stay focused on our dreams and stay frugal/savvy.

Lesson Three: Execution is so much more important than the idea.

There's really no point in freaking out over competition or being in an "oversaturated market"... pretty much every single freaking market is oversaturated. Just focus on providing the most value, delivering the best product/service you possibly can, or developing the most vital skills in your industry to be a top employee.

Lesson Four: "Don't let yourself be stopped by disappointing outcomes" - Stacy London 

Stacy London and Sophia Bush shared incredible advice in the last panel of the summit. They both talked about a few heartbreaking failures they had experienced in their careers and how easy it is to give up once you experience the pain of disappointing yourself. The stressed how you have to learn how to constantly get back up off your ass after you cry and scream and eat ice-cream and learn how to solve your own problems because no one else will ever solve them for you. You are the only person who can change your life and your circumstances. They are both HUGE advocates for therapy and for finding a small tribe of friends who are like family to help you through the hard times. Living am extraordinary life will never be easy. Even if your version of extraordinary is living on a farm with your family, that's totally ok as long as it's what you actually want. But we are all going to face a ton of road blocks during this lifetime, but there's always something beautiful on the other side.

I hope these top take-aways help you boss up this week. I have a feeling we are all on the cusp of creating something magical in our lives. After all, autumn is the season of magic and wonder. What has been the biggest lesson you've learned this week? I'm excited to keep growing with you guys. Until next time my friend.

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