Well – almost. I am in the pre-launch stage since I have an idea and have started working on research and a plan.
I also learned that less than 2% of women business owners generate more than $50k, and that doesn’t make them failures. They are quite the opposite as many deem this an adequate level of income and appreciate the flexibility to spend more time with their kids. (I know I would!)
I’ve been mulling a business idea for almost a year now and I want to move forward and network in a community of like-minded women. So when I learned about the summit a month ago, it was a no brainer for me to sign up:
1) It was inexpensive ($35) and local
2) It was on a Saturday
3) It promised an intimate network of women business owners
Of course when Saturday came, these factors were working against me – along with my self-esteem:
1) It was inexpensive enough for me to forego it
2) It was on a Saturday – a coveted day off after a long week at the job
3) It could be an extremely intimidating environment of 50 woman who were way out of my league
I hate wasting money so I went … with a plan. I’d walk in late, sit in the back, and leave early (since my babysitter arrangement fell through).
But once I was seated in the little room at the Hyatt Place Atlanta/ Perimeter Center, I felt an instant connection. The first speaker – Angela Stalcup , Ladies Who Launch Atlanta- spoke to me (literally and figuratively).
She quoted the statistic I mentioned earlier – along with others – and posed a myriad of questions and statistics. Then she asked the audience “How many of you don’t even think you’re an entrepreneur?” (gasp).
I raised my hand a little – not too high – enough so that she saw me. Then I had to stand up and give my business idea.
And that was just the beginning of the summit! This conference was not just about hype and motivation. There was a lot of focus on how to make money and protect yourself in the process. Lawyers Latoicha Givens , Phillips, Givens, LLC, and Helen Rice, Robinson & Miller, P.C., schooled us on intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights, etc.) and avoiding common small business mistakes. Andrea Amir, Smart Money Chicks, had worksheets and calculations simulating real business scenarios to drive home how to make profit.
I missed the afternoon heavy hitters like Allison Babb Phillips, Joyce Brewer, Rayann Larsen, Kyle Young, and Adrienne Graham – business owners, marketing & branding coaches, authors, talk show hosts, and just dynamic presenters. There was also an hour of intentional/ orchestrated networking (not just exchanging business cards during the break).
I did a little networking (not my favorite thing to do) and it wasn’t so bad. Women actually reached out to talk to me – first! (that never happens). During a break, the woman sitting to my left, Alefiya Bhatia, Crescerance, gave me an insightful marketing idea and opportunity. Then, the woman sitting to my right, Tonya Tibbs , The V-Bar Lady, shared with me her phenomenal progression from being homeless to appearing on Dr. Oz with her natural soap products. She inspired me, encouraged me, and gave me an important takeaway – “Someone wants your product.”
The Propel Summit was so good I was seriously considering, “What’s the worse that could happen if a 4y.o. and a 2y.o. were left without adult supervision for an hour – two hours tops?”
I tore myself away but I left feeling like I got my money’s worth. Two days later, I am still PROPELLED.
I know I still haven’t mentioned what I’m working on – that’s coming 🙂 – just know, I am an entrepreneur. I am an expert. And I’m on my way to running my own business. 🙂