So last week, I took a little road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina with my buddy Kathie to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. It was a landmark day for many reasons: I finally met many computer friends face-to-face (and we like each other even more now)! I took some time out for me and focused on my blogging/creative side. And I just had a rip-roaring wonderful day being inspired and motivated by a room full of go-getters.
I mean, seriously, we started the day out with a powerhouse: Shannon Miller, a former Olympic gymnast who is now a Health and Fitness Advocate, Mom, and a cancer survivor. A friend of hers encouraged her upon her diagnosis with a comparison to gymnastics: you’re going to fall but you have to get back up. Having tried gymnastics for a few years and remembering my absolute dread at doing balance beam, I totally understood the analogy she was making! I also appreciated her desire to control her brand and had a kindred spirit moment when she said she went to law school! She also stated that “social media magnifies the power of Mom” and that really resonated with me. We moms are an influential bunch, which makes sense when you hear the statistics that 8.5 million women are business owners and 5.5 million of them are moms! She also told us we should ask what we are doing to help one another each day. Women need to help one another, not view each other as competition. As a motivational speaker, she really nailed it!
Next up was Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager for Disney Destinations. Ms. Spencer is affectionately known in the Disney sphere as the Pink Princess because 1) she loves the color pink and 2) she leads the Pink Posse of Moms Panelists (sorry Dads, I know you wear blue but the Panel’s signature color is pink). The sidesplitting moment of the day came when Laura commented that she only had one child because childbirth was too much…for her husband! She also encouraged us to love what we do and put our all into everything-our family, our kids, & our business. It helps if you surround yourself with people who give back and don’t put out negative energy. By the end of her presentation, the room was filled with nothing but positive energy for sure!
Our final Keynote speaker was the lovely Tiffany Krumins, who had appeared on Shark Tank and invented AVA the Elephant, a childrens’ medicine dispenser that cheers them on as the take their dose. She came up with her invention idea while working as a nanny for a special needs boy. She went from earning the backing of an investor on Shark Tank for her product–to the ultimate low when she had to undergo radiation for her cancer diagnosis. I was most moved by her presentation because of her journey and how she described a kayak excursion after her cancer treatment as one of the ultimate achievements in her life. Not the fact that she is set to become a millionaire this year but that she came back from the lowest point in the life to accomplish something she feared she might never do. Now THAT is inspiring! It didn’t hurt that her toddler daughter was there (and cute as a button)!
A common thread between the speakers was the idea that we shouldn’t have mommy guilt for pursuing our passions because our kids see us going after our dreams and they emulate that. As a mom gradually increasing my work load as the kids grow, I know this is a concept I should embrace.
Maria Bailey, the host of Mom Talk Radio, moderated the event with ease and imparted advice that was truly beneficial. She asked us this question: “what is your product–and how does it make you money while you sleep?” I had never thought of my writing as a “product”, and certainly it hasn’t been something I have parlayed into a source of income (but should I say YET?) And one of the Mompreneur panelists advised that you have to make a business plan or you are merely expanding on a hobby. I’ll stay optimistic and also keep my mind open to what other products I can put out there. Stay tuned!
All in all, it was a fabulous day that reignited my enthusiasm for social media and sparked my drive to do more with my blog. Road trip success!
*Full Disclosure: Disney on the Road was a free event. I did not receive any compensation for this post. All these comments are my own 🙂