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.
Saturday 20th of July 2013
Yes, and I'm learning that "hustle and hard work" is important, but NOTHING beats family time. It's all about balance (with more weight on the personal side!)
Wednesday 17th of July 2013
This is such a great event to be at! Putting family first is so important, by making that one change, looking into the whites of your baby girl's eyes, seems to make the world of difference. You're right to its such a simple thing to do to. Good for you for hearing that message during the conference, making the change in your life and leaving work for "work time". Taking notes ....
Saturday 3rd of August 2013
Yes! This week I'm looking forward to really learning to make this a practice while I'm on vacation!
Monday 15th of July 2013
I totally loved attending this event!! The things that I learned still inspire me to this very day! I won't soon forget all of the wonderful memories and connections! :)
Friday 19th of July 2013
Me, too! I keep find myself referring back to some of the quotes, particularly about balance, when I'm making decisions about what to do next. It was GREAT!
Friday 12th of July 2013
There is definitely something magical and exciting about being in a room full of people who are as excited about their visions as you are about yours.
Friday 19th of July 2013
And doesn't it just get your blood pumping! LOVED it!