Morgan brought me to The Business Woman’s Circle (BWC) Annual Forum a few weeks ago and it was such an awesome day! After going to the forum last year, I was inspired by the amazing women who spoke and was excited to go back this year.
The theme of the forum this year was all about connection, which I really loved. With my job at construction2style, a lot of time is spent behind the computer screen answering emails, creating floor plans, writing blog posts, designing pins and content, and sourcing material for clients. Since we live in such a digital and technology world, it was powerful to spend an entire day away from the screen and be fully present to learn from and connect with other women.
It was also a great reminder that connection is an important part of our lives and is something that we need everyday. I loved the focus on making people the main priority and creating those connections, more than just getting one more thing checked off my to-do list. Chelsie Lopez captured all these amazing photos and I love this one, showing how engaged all of us were in what the speakers were sharing.
1. Disconnect to Connect
Anthony Ongaro is the creator of Break the Twitch and was the first speaker of the day. He talked about the “twitch” that all of us have in the in-between moments in our lives. This twitch is the result of trying to fix something we’re feeling, like boredom, loneliness, or desire. So many times when there is a moment of downtime, we reach for our phones to scroll Instagram, buy something on Amazon for no real reason, or grab that bag of chips. He focused on recognizing the twitch and acknowledging it and then being able to move past it.
If I’m always reaching for my phone in any situation where I don’t know anyone or jumping straight to my emails, I’m missing out on real connection with real people for something that does not have lasting value. This focus on disconnecting to really be able to focus on others was a great reminder.
2. Focus on People Over Productivity
Hannah Ubl is the Co-Founder of Good Company Consulting and she did an incredible job talking about “Why Connections at Work Matter.” She really focused on the people side of connecting and how we can so easily lose touch with that fact.
One of the biggest takeaways from her talk was shifting from focusing on productivity over people, to people over productivity. Ever since high school, I have been a person who wants to get as much done as possible in the time I have. Since I was very involved in both high school and throughout college, I needed to make use of every minute I had. In my job, I can sometimes get too “heads down” and focused on completing tasks, rather than stopping to connect and make people the priority. This was a big reminder to keep my focus on others because everything will get done and people are more important.
She also talked about how working from home more than 2.5 days a week is not healthy for our mental health. Although it can be easier to focus and get things done when working from home, I was reminded that the loss of human connection is a result of that too. Making time to connect with others through phone calls, a simple text, or at a coffee shop can bring that human element back into our days.
3. Celebrate Failures
This was another great reminder from Hannah. In the design and remodeling world, mistakes happen. If I let every mistake or failure ruin my day or impact the rest of my week, nothing would get done and I would be focused on the negative, rather than moving toward the positive. Instead of seeing failures as a horrible thing and focusing on them, Hannah reminded us that failures are the way we grow. Overcoming failure and problem solving to come up with a solution creates victories and those create change and growth.
4. Show Up With Heart
Megan Tamte, who is the co-founder and CEO of EVEREVE, was the last speaker of the day. I loved hearing her story of starting her company and what she has learned along the way. She shared her values for her business and life with us by talking out how to show up with “HEART.” Here’s what each letter stands for:
- Humility – We don’t always have to have all the answers because everyone brings different gifts, abilities, and imperfections to the table.
- Empathy – Understanding the value and perspectives of others and where they come from allows us to see that they’re doing the best they can with what they have.
- Authenticity – Show up as you are and don’t think you need to be perfect or have it all figured out.
- Relationship – True relationship requires us to share with others and connecting takes work, so we need to get out of our comfort zones.
- Tenacity – Let go of trying to control the outcome and really go for it. Chase your dreams and don’t be afraid of hearing a no.
5. Take Time for Others, but Also Yourself
This was a theme that I heard time and time again from all of the speakers. Not only was connecting with others part of the theme of connection, but also taking time to connect with yourself. Before being able to serve and connect with others, we need time to rejuvenate and reconnect. I loved how Megan talked about waking up early to have quiet time to journal, read, and reflect, before letting the craziness of the day get in the way.
What an awesome day focusing on connection and hearing from all of these incredible speakers!