I returned last night from Dallas, after spending the last four days at the 7th annual eWomen Network International Conference and Business Expo held at the impressive Hyatt Regency hotel. Over 2500 business women, mostly business owners, joined together for what was an unbelievable production of inspirational speakers, power networking, fundraising, and some good old friend making.
What was more impressive, though, than the shiny, tiered bar graph of a hotel was the amazing speakers…Linda Kaplan Thaler of the Kaplan Thaler Group, Stedman Graham (the accomplished marketer & brand expert, and yes, Oprah’s significant other), Tory Johnson (Founder & CEO of Women for Hire, and Workplace Contributor on Good Morning America), the amazing Patricia Russell-McCloud (Professional Orator and Author of A is for Attitude), Carly Fiorina (the first women Chairperson and CEO of Hewlett-Packard), Michael Port (Author of Book Yourself Solid), Carol Gardner (Founder and CEO of Zelda Wisdom – those cute greeting cards and books of the bulldog, Zelda, dressed up in funny costumes)…and many, many other fantastic and inspirational speakers.
Executed flawlessly by Sandra Yancey, CEO of eWomenNetwork, and her staff, the conference included a Power of the Purse Silent Auction, an on-site Origins Pampering Spa (yes, there were masseurs, manicures, pedicures, and facials available with all proceeds benefiting the eWomenNetwork Foundation) and what was dubbed “An Evening of Chocolate Decadence”. Despite my love for chocolate, I opted to experience a little bit of Texas and for the first time in my life, attend a real Texas rodeo – at Resistol Arena in Mesquite, Texas. Not only did I get a chance to watch bucking bronchos and bull riding, but the evening wasn’t complete without the special events of “Mutton Bustin’” – where children under 55 pounds ride on top of a bucking sheep, and my favorite – a cowboy monkey riding on top of a dog.
While nice to experience a bit of the local flavor, I came to Dallas to learn from some very accomplished business people. Here are some quotes I heard throughout the weekend that I’d like to leave off with…
- “Don’t focus on the marketing tactics, focus on building trust & creditability in your marketplace.” – Michael Port
- “Only work for clients that most inspire you, for then you will do your best work.” – Michael Port
On Success in Business…
- A change in attitude is the change from ‘Duh!’ to ‘Ahh!’” – Patricia Russell-McCloud
- Leaders don’t look for followers, they look for other leaders.” – Stedman Graham
- “Passion and curiosity are more important than intelligence.” – Tory Johnson
- “Think big, set a big vision, for they will push and propel you.” – Sandra Yancey
- “Don’t become a victim of circumstance, become a victor.” – Stedman Graham
On Balancing One’s Life…
- “If you don’t replenish, the well runs dry.” – Oprah, via an email sent to Stedman Graham to read at the conference
On Being a Women in Business…
- “Well-behaved women don’t make history.” – Patricia Russell-McCloud