As a dinosaur in blog land, I’ve attended many conferences & events. When you’ve been blogging for seven years, you’ve heard it all, been there/done that, and seen everything. That’s not entirely true but that was how it came to feel over the years. So what did I do? I quit going. I focused on family and did my own thing, but there’s something to be said about Mom 2.0, so I’m saying it.
For the last month or so, I’ve been praying for purpose and inspiration so when Dove reached out and offered to sponsor me to Mom 2.0, I felt like it was a sign. I hadn’t ever been to this conference and had always wanted to attend so I was tickled to death at the opportunity. I went in with no expectations.
Upon arrival, at the very posh Ritz-Carlton, I already began to wonder if I needed to be there. It definitely didn’t feel like my type of environment or crowd but then I thought to myself, “What am I, chopped liver?”. I clearly needed to take Dove’s message to heart (more on that later). Keep in mind, I live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. Unless I’m doing a church thing, I’m not around a whole lot of women, plus, I hadn’t went to any conferences in a while. As the evening came though, I quickly noticed the scared, deer-in-the-headlights look that many of these women had, and knew I had to chin up and embrace the dinosaur in me. I smiled and greeted ladies who looked as scared as I did at my first conference. I offered chairs when they looked like they didn’t know where they could sit, and I walked away with new friendships. This is not so easily done at some of the big, very overwhelming conferences which is why I was so thankful for a smaller conference. I already felt a sense of peace.
I had very meaningful conversations with some delightful PR folks and I don’t mean just business conversations. Several of us talked as if we had been friends forever. It felt real and it felt like it was the beginning of a long term relationship that would benefit each other in the form of business and friendship. We all listened to Lisa Ling speak about how important it is tell yourself, your daughters, and other women that ‘you’re beautiful’ and that when so much of that is missing from a girl’s life, they quickly embrace any male figure who will tell them, and how that can even end them up in the sex trafficking circle (more on that later). As I soaked in the messages of Lisa and Dove, I noticed that while I don’t have a daughter, much of what they said applied to me when I was a little girl, some of which still resonates with me. Take the Dove commercial, for example, on how the women see themselves and how others see them. I can only imagine how I would have described myself and how that sketch would have turned out. And it makes me sad. I will never be comfortable with praise or compliments but it’s necessary for me to love who I am because I am an influence to other women around me. My friends, strangers, and my kid’s friends.
Shitake mushrooms were a hit at the cooking demo with Whirlpool & Lowe’s. The appliances were drool worthy, the charging stations were savers, but I especially loved my conversation with Habitat for Humanity which was behind all that.
The panels and sessions I attended were exceptional. I attended a few and walked away with several pages of notes, front and back. Not only did Mom 2.0 bring in some fabulously smart panelists, they put together outstanding topics and content. The swag was fantastic and everyone was gracious.
Here’s a few things that stuck out to me, some you may have heard and need to hear again, and some you haven’t.
- Do what you do best and hire out the rest.
- One of the greatest causes of unhappiness is comparison.
- Knowing your weaknesses is the best thing you can do for yourself.
- Have your friends describe you to you. You’ll learn so much about yourself.
- If you don’t know what they think is a successful campaign, you can’t GIVE them a successful campaign.
- Girls have the ingredients for a self-confident life but sometimes need a recipe.
- The greatest barrier to success is fear of failure.
- Waste nothing.
I left Mom 2.0 with gained perspective, creative insights, and tearful inspiration. I left there feeling like I had attended my very first conference and it completely rekindled the small flame inside me that was slowly burning out.
I am thankful to each and every sponsor (and person) that helped make Mom 2.0 a success. I’m thankful to Dove for allowing me to have the opportunity to experience all these things, and I’m especially thankful to my son Toby, who encouraged me to go even though it would mean I’d miss his prom. I would miss helping him with his tie and taking photos of him, with him, and watching him drive off to pick up his prom date. He knew that I needed to be inspired again and what an awesome chance this might bring for just that very thing.
There is so much more to be said about Mom 2.0…………………and I will say it.
Disclosure: Dove sponsored my trip. I had no obligations, other than to share my experience. I am grateful and will always share my honest opinion, always.