There’s something incredibly powerful about being in a room filled with passionate, creative women. All of my insecurities are diminished as I see myself reflected in my peers, and my energy tank is filled up, and I have the push I need to keep moving forward towards my dreams and goals. I had the chance to refuel a couple of weeks ago at the Disney On The Road mini-conference in Berkeley.Modeled after the amazing Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, Disney on the Road is the perfect complement to “the big conference”. They organizers have a format that works: keynote by outrageously inspiring motivator who is surprisingly down to earth, Disney reps who really care about the audience that they’re speaking to, and great food. They’ve added an entrepreneur panel to the On the Road event, which adds even more depth to the experience.
I’ve been to tons of conferences and social media events, and have realized that the best way to ensure that I actually take action on what I’ve learned is to focus in on one thing that really resonates with me. At one conference, it might be a monetization idea, at another, it might be about time management. At the Disney On the Road event, the lesson that stood out the most to me was about focusing on family.
Mindee Dooney, the founder of BoogieWipes, shared how she created a product, built a company, went bankrupt, and ultimately gained more than she ever imagined after she regrouped and decided to put her family first. She spoke a lot about balance, and said that “People’s expectations of you and the way that you work is your fault.” And she was right. I thought about the weekends that I spend answering emails, or the nights when I’m doing research on a campaign when I should be reading a bedtime story. Does anyone REALLY expect me to put my family behind work? Only if I make it seem like that’s okay.
The other thing that Mindee said that really connected for me, was that she takes the time to look at the whites of her children’s eyes. She puts down the telephone, turns away from the computer, and really makes a habit of looking at them when they’re speaking. I have been doing that, and it’s definitely different than just glancing over. I’m catching more of Ayva’s smiles, and finding myself smiling more. I’m more engrossed in Ayva’s stories, and I can see that it builds her confidence for me to intentionally focus my attention on her when she’s speaking. Looking at the whites of her eyes really changes things, and it’s so simple to do.
There were other amazing speakers at the event like the brilliant mastermind of the event, Maria Bailey, and inventors/ recipients of Huggies Mom Inspired Grant, Erin Kelly, Alma Moussa, and Romy Taorimi. In addition to that, Disney employees were on hand to give us a sneak peek into what’s coming up at Disney Parks, and we received a media presentation lesson by Michelle Stepney, a Director in the Global Content Development department at Disney.
I’m always grateful for opportunities to network and be inspired, and it’s just fantastic that Disney values mothers and women enough to sponsor the On the Road events. Of course, since it was Disney, there were tears, lots of laughter, and definitely moments of magical discoveries.