Monday, March 26, 2012

Five Things I Learned From The Called Woman Conference

Yesterday was the Called Woman Conference and what a great day we had!  The attendees learned about their personality style, how to discover their mission to guide their life and about the leadership qualities that we all have.  We had three additional speakers who talked about how they discovered their passion and reinvented their lives after leaving a failed business, a six figure income from a job she hated and finally a career that just wasn't a good fit.  We enjoyed  a delicious lunch, networked and left with a bag full of goodies and giveaways.  All in all it was a huge success.

Putting together a conference that encourages and empowers women to make the most of their gifts and talents has long been a dream of mine.  Just as I have attended conferences, consulted with coaches and done a lot of reading to  reinvent my career and life, I wanted to share that journey and that information with others who find themselves embarking on a similar path.  In the beginning, the idea of a conference like this was just a dream, but bit by bit the pieces began falling into place.  The dream began when I read the book, The Path by Laurie Beth Jones which is one of the clearest directions I have found for creating a mission statement.  You'll find it on my reading list.  Next, I toured the MUST ministries facility with my friend and MUST event planner, Betsy Matthews and discovered what a gorgeous community room they have and how they make it available as a way to give back to the community.  Finally, I talked with my friend and fellow author, Kathy Brunner, who immediately and enthusiastically said, "Let's do it!"  when I proposed the idea of a women's conference.  I would never have embarked on the journey without her support and can-do-spirit.  We added Kim Wiggins to the team of planners. She brought her great organizational, technological and leadership skills to the group and we were off and running.  How long did we have?  Six months.  Was this an ambitious plan?  Could we have used more time and developed it more?  YES!  Was it successful anyway?  YES!

Not only was the program successful but I learned five things that will greatly help us as we begin planning our Second Annual Called Woman's Conference for next year.  I think these are valuable things to know whether you are planning a women's conference, reinventing your career or planning a book launch.  Here's what I learned:

  • Dream BIG--I admit that I'm not the best in the group at dreaming big.  I tend to downplay things and dream small but expect growth.  To really grow though you need to dream bigger and begin with the end in mind.  We tend to get what we expect so don't undermine your efforts by dreaming too small.  
  • It always takes twice as long as you think and costs twice as much as you would think to reach your dream.  Dream big but don't forget to count and conserve your resources.  You will need to plan carefully and expect that your dream will take time to reach.  Don't give up when you don't see the results you want right away.  Give it time to develop.  When I first embarked on a speaking career, I spent the first year developing things.  Developing topics to  speak on.  Developing contacts and building relationships.  Developing a plan or strategy.  It was not only exhausting but sometimes discouraging.  But it paid off.  While I continue to do all of those things now, I also usually speak at least once a month, sometimes more.  
  • It's okay to ask people for things.  Many times they are excited that you did.  One of the things that we provided each participant was a goodie bag.  My goal was to have everything in the goodie bag be donated by businesses that wanted to promote their product.  In the beginning it was difficult to ask people for this but I really came to the point where it was fun because so many people were happy and eager to participate.  I also learned a lot by about different businesses and their philosophy about giving.
  • Be flexible and don't give up.  Be ready for people to cancel and not show up.  We had everything from a speaker who arrived an hour late (after the conference was over) to attendees who were sick and unable to come.  I learned to be prepared for anything and to always have a plan B in mind.  
  • Support is critical-you don't have to go it alone.  The two women that worked with me to plan the conference were amazing.  They were both a powerhouse of energy and ideas.  They were creative and hard-working.  We enjoyed working together so much we are already planning how we will work together during the next year to plan our next conference.  What a difference it makes to know someone has your back.  

So there it is.  A successful 2012 Called Woman Conference.  I 'm already dreaming BIG about the next Called Woman Conference for 2013!


  1. Couldn't have done it without you and Kim and wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much as well.
    On to our Mastermind group.
    Blessed to be part of this team of ladies. How wonderful how God just puts the right people in your path!
    Always enjoy working with you, Lynne.

  2. I'm so glad it went so well, Lynne. Thank you for sharing what you learned - I'm sure a lot of us could benefit from it.

  3. Sounds like you have done well, a success and a good time too! There is a lot of good info here, thank you for sharing.

  4. Congrats. You are showing us The Path.

  5. Inspiring and realistic steps towards reaching our dream!

  6. Sounds like I should not have missed this conference, Lynne. So happy it went well for you all and thanks for sharing what you learned. Think I should be there in 2013!

  7. Congrats Lynne, Kathy, and Kimberley! Glad to hear all went well. So proud of you three!!!

  8. @Kathy--Loved working with you too. You definitely know how to dream BIG!
    @Corinne-Thanks so much for your support! You are always so positive and encouraging!

  9. @Jan-It was a huge learning experience for me too--really pushed my limits! A good but scary thing!
    @Janaki nagaraki- I am thrilled to be able to share what I have learned. It is truly a journey.
    @Joyce-thanks for your encouragement.

  10. @Martha-what a great addition you would be to the conference! Maybe you could be a speaker and share your journey toward publishing your first novel!

  11. @Kent-You are our inspiration! Thanks for the support and encouragement.

  12. Lynne,
    WAY TO GO!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING!! I am saving this in my notes file to look back on. What a GREAT post!
    CONGRATS on DOING IT! YOU JUST DID IT! Not only did you do it, but it looks and sounds like a tremendous success.
    Live Beyond Awesome!
    Jen McDonough

  13. Thanks Jen for your comments. Sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff and hope you sprout wings on the way... It was really great fun!

  14. I am sure God smiled and knows you are following after His desires for you. I am inspired to watch your conferences develop and bless many! Thanks for showing this can be done as I was at the bootcamp with you guys and have a very similar dream...proud of you all!

  15. @Tom Raines--So good to hear from you! I do remember you from the bootcamp and hope all of your endeavors are equally successful! Blessings and thanks for the comment!