Spark and Hustle

Who doesn’t need a little Spark and Hustle in their lives? Exactly!

Tory JohnsonI just returned from a wonderful conference in Boston where I had the opportunity to enjoy a speaker-packed day with a room full of women (and a few men) that focused in on all the things women entreprenuers need to know to be successful.  I met Tory Johnson in person, and if you haven’t heard her story of rising above a “down sizing” to carve out her own success, you’ve missed a fabulously inspiring story.

The day-long conference was packed full of energy, awesome swag, laughter, most excellent advice and tips, and a whole lot of women. Like…a lot of women.  For once, there was only one man on the agenda (vs. always seeing only one woman) and there were very few men in the audience.  It made for a very interesting and completely different vibe in the room. It. was. AWESOME.

Elaine Young at Spark and Hustle

Here I am at the beginning of the conference. Notice the awesome swag on the tables?

There were many things that made this conference especially inspiring for me….naturally I’ll share them here!

  1. The Road Trip: I had the pleasure of spending a car ride back and forth to the conference and a great night on the town in Boston with Kim Dubrul and Candy Weston. These two women entrepreneurs inspire me with their strength, creativity, and courage.  They are following their passion every day. They remind me that no matter what the obstacle, you can overcome it and do awesome things.
  2. The Speakers: The speaker line up was really powerful. Women entrepreneurs sharing their experiences and their advice. The kick off speaker was one of the co-founders of Birchbox.  Katie Beauchamp talked us through what it took for Birchbox to launch — from crazy idea (wait, people will pay for samples from fashion brands? Oh yes they will!) to what it is like now that they have funding and continue growing.  What was major fun for me about this one was that as I live tweeted about the company, I actually converted a sale for Birchbox!  There were so many other great speakers but two really stood out for me.  Corissa St. Laurent  with Constant Contact did a super job talking about “Engagement Marketing”.  So super in fact that I retweeted a Constant Contact post and won a copy of  Gail Goodman’s new book, “Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wines in a Socially Connected World”. Can’t wait to receive it!  Finally the woman who spoke about Accounting was super funny, totally engaged, and had everyone wishing they were her clients.  I, of course, was thinking, “I wonder if she has thought about teaching!” Seriously. Follow this woman. Her name is Dawn Brolin and she co-hosts a radio show called RadioFreeQB (no I’m not kidding).
  3. This Inspiration: I walked away from this conference inspired to push myself even more, start blogging again (yeah, it’s been a long time), fired up to work on my sabbatical project (oh yeah, I’m on sabbatical! More on that later.), and ready to get more serious about my own speaking. It’s time for me to expand beyond the classroom and do more speaking engagements, so as you look around my blog you’ll see that I’ve added a page on booking me as a speaker or workshop presenter.
I walked away from this conference with inspiration, closer friends, and pride for the wonderfully strong, passionate, and courageous women I met and interacted with at the conference.  It just takes a little “Spark and Hustle”.


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