Luna Chix Cupcake Challenge
I was beyond excited this year to be asked back for the 2nd year in a row to Clif Bar Headquarters to help kick off Luna Chix Summit! I was asked to not only create a cupcake workshop for the teams, comprising of over 100 women, but to also speak to them about my company, experience, and women in business. What?! Me?! Though I was honored, I was frightened. But...I did it, and the speech and workshop were both a success. The ladies, let me tell you, were so creative in their cupcake designs!
With limited materials, colors, and time, each team created a set of cupcakes that represented the city from which they came. They did amazing! A huge thank you to Clif Bar and the Luna Chix for another great opportunity to work with these amazing ladies. Thank you for allowing me to inspire you for a quick minute... but mostly for inspiring and encouraging me!
Below, you will find the speech I gave at this year's Summit kickoff dinner. #lunachixsummit2015
When I was asked to talk to you ladies about woman in business, I really wasn’t sure what I had to offer. Here you are, members of teams, professionals… you’re strong, and athletic, competitive women. You are leaders, changers, advocates for health and movement. What could I possibly contribute to the topic of women in business that you didn’t already know?
And then I realized that was my problem. I didn’t think I had much to contribute because I was always comparing myself. I just did it with you guys. I don’t know any of you personally. I can guess what kind of people you are and stem some kind of analysis on why you might be successful in what you do. But I don’t know you or your story. I was looking outward at others in their successes and seeing that as my own failure. Here I am, doing what I love, being able to work from home and be a support system for my family while working, hearing people ask me, “How do you do it? You must be Super Woman!” And that still wasn’t enough. I’d see a woman with kids, a happy marriage, and a successful business featured in magazines and newspapers, being voted as a successful woman by their peers, and I wondered what was I missing? I found myself being upset that my business was not like theirs. As a competitive person by nature, I expected to some degree to be able to match their successes. I’m competitive, hard-working, and motivated. But I was still wishing my business were like someone else’s.
So this comparing of myself and my business to others in my industry was ultimately what was holding me back. I didn’t know who these other women were, what their experiences were, what their challenges were, and what their successes eventually became.
So instead of challenging my environment, I decided to use it as a resource. We are so connected these days with social media, and I wasn’t using it for success, I was using it to measure my success. I decided to reach out to people in my field. Women that had businesses like mine. Either they decorated cookies, cakes, or managed full events. I started by encouraging them; leaving messages and notes on their social media pages, letting them know they inspired me. Within days, I was getting feedback from them as well. My encouragement for them turned into encouragement for me. That was the first step. Then I started connecting with these women by email, by phone, through conventions and meetings, similar to what you ladies are embarking on today. I reached out, and to my surprise, I formed alliances instead of competitors. Whether I thought they were already successful or not within their business, I realized that no matter where you are in your life, we all need encouragement and support.
I noticed myself becoming happier in my work. People who I thought were competitors before were now people I could call friends, people who understood the insanity that a creative line of work can produce within oneself, and thus became my support when I felt like I showed up for the job, but my creativity didn’t. An example of that is my two assistants that are here with me today. Today, they are my supporters. They both own their own business. They both have their own separate successes, but they are here, nonetheless, supporting my business right now. And it’s because I reached out, used my environment as a resource, and decided to inspire rather than compete. The happiness that transpired from all this in turn inspired productivity. I was suddenly able to take on more, to do more, to open more doors. I learned that the people that I was once comparing myself to had their own sets of challenges and might be slacking where I was successful, and vise-versa. By reaching out to these women, we were able to form a team in some respect. And without even growing my business as far as hiring more people to work for me, I’ve been able to conquer more because I teamed up with these other women in my field. So now when I ask myself what I contribute, I say I contribute positivity and a realization that no two companies are alike because no two people are alike. Stop comparing yourself to others; accept you have limits, you have hurdles, and you have challenges. But use your environment to be successful despite them.