What happens when a decorated peace activist, a professional optimist, an established actress, and a star athlete walk into a room? 8,000 female entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professionals from all over the state come together to spend the day being inspired and motivated.
On November 19th, the women of Quattro attended this year’s Pennsylvania Conference for Women. We spent the day hearing from speakers, participating in workshops, and attending thought-provoking panels.
At the end of the day, my notebook was filled with the words of many women (and a few men) who shared their business and leadership wisdom.
“Stay prepped, even when nobody's watching.” —Carli Lloyd, American soccer hero, Football Gold Medalist, and Women’s World Cup Winner
There’s no question that Carli is a powerhouse on the field, but she’s equally electric in person. During her panel discussion, she shared an important lesson she learned from her trainer. He said that if she wanted to play on the level of Muhammad Ali or Michael Jordan, she would need to dedicate weekends, nights, holidays, and everything in between to her training. And as much as Carli didn’t feel like being the only one on the practice field Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, she did it. In 2015 alone, Carli became a World Cup Champion, a World Cup Golden Ball Winner, the first woman in FIFA Women’s World Cup history to score a hat trick in a final, and the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year. The moral of her story? Keep training and improving even when no one else is because you’ll go further than anyone else does.
“When you try something, you either succeed or you learn— take failure off the table.” —John Jacobs, co-founder of The Life is Good® Company
John Jacob’s company is famous for its “Life is Good®” tagline, and it’s clear he embodies that motto himself (he kicked off his talk by throwing Frisbees® into the crowd). He shared stories of his company’s slow start and many unexpected obstacles, but also showed how each experience led to the success of his company and its positive impact on others. John’s stories reminded us all that changing your viewpoint to a positive frame of mind helps us to learn from even the toughest moments, and appreciate our successes even more.
“Do one thing every day that everyone else is scared to do.” —Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, social worker, and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Before Leymah Gbowee stepped onto the stage, she was introduced with a mile-long list of achievements in peacekeeping, social activism, and women’s rights. And when she stepped off stage, she was met with a standing ovation, and a few tears from the crowd. In between those moments, Leymah shared her many amazing experiences and anecdotes, all with the message of seeking the positivity in humanity. She called everyone to do something good that day, and reminded us of a famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” But in typical Leymah style, gave it her own twist. Instead, she encouraged all 8,000 women in the room to change the world by doing one thing every day that everyone else is scared to do.
“I needed to be told ‘no,’ because it fueled me to succeed.” —Jessica Alba, founder and COO of the Honest Company® and Golden Globe-nominated actress
For anyone scared to make a major change in life (personal or professional), Jessica Alba’s story will resonate with you. Her experiences during her first pregnancy inspired her to found the Honest Company®, providing non-toxic and eco-friendly consumer goods for parents and children. It was her first foray into business though, so she was turned away from funders and forced to re-evaluate her plan more than she initially expected. However, these obstacles didn’t deter Jessica. Last year the Honest Company grew to 350 employees and hit $150 million in revenue, showing that that sometimes hearing the word “no” can be a powerful motivator.
Feeling inspired, yet? These were just some of the amazing speakers at the conference— the list goes on.
If you’re interested in going to next year’s Pennsylvania Conference for Women, you can sign up to get more information here, or follow updates at @PennWomen. If you went to this year’s conference too, tell us some of your favorite moments from the day on Twitter @QuattroPhilly.