Alright ladies, I am writing this a little biased because I’m a total fan girl of the Gritty Movement creators pictured below, Sarah and Jessica. Don’t hold that against me because this conference is so much bigger than the intelligent and beautiful creators.
This was my second year attending the conference. Last year was their first conference and it was really good, but I wasn’t ready to receive the message. I enjoyed it and thought they executed the whole event flawlessly; however, I wasn’t in a place emotionally to let my guard down and fully absorb all the knowledge that was being dropped on me.
THIS YEAR WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!
Why? For starters I cried in a room full of women, microphone in hand asking a question to one of the guest speakers Mara Lecocq, Community Director of @fishbowlapp founder of @wherearethebossladies and founder of @secretcodepower. Her transparency moved me literally to tears when I was sharing a side hustle I wanted to turn into a dream job. I didn’t realize until I asked for advice on making this personal dream a reality how strongly I felt about it and motivated I was to abandon other dreams to make it happen. (more on all this later, unless you attended and already watched me lose it)
BTW: I am not a cryer but I lost it, I mean ugly cry high pitched voice talking through the tears. I was mortified, but felt safe enough to let out some things I have been holding on to for a really long time.
Moral of the story…
If you let your guard down you will be more susceptible to receive what is being freely given. I was ready mentally, emotionally, and spiritually open to the possibility that maybe I don’t have life all figured out and guess what, NO ONE DOES, and that is okay. It doesn’t mean I am not going to be successful, a good leader, and make a change in the world. It doesn’t mean I have to be fit into a square that society tries to put people in (thanks Mara for showcasing this). I can have 2 jobs, 3 side hustles, a family, a happy marriage and be passionate about them all. It is okay to abandon childhood dreams that no longer suit my life. I needed people to tell me this over and over again. And yesterday, I finally heard it! It pierced my tough exterior and I will never be the same again (in a good way). This is what you will experience at the Gritty Leadership Conference.
In one day, it will transform you if you let it. But I did more than cry. I also learned practical lessons such as how to fight implicit bias, how your emotions can strengthen your workspace, leading through change, how to pitch to investors, as well as how to go from scrable to scale in your business from a Google mastermind. Lastly, finding fulfillment while chasing your dreams (this was the part I cried).
So how did this conference help me get there and why should you go next year? I’m glad you asked.
From the beginning they appealed to the fact that we live in a visual world and truly enjoy pretty things. Before you enter the venue, which is an old warehouse called the Sandbox, you are greeted by a vibrant balloon bouquet that was larger than life. Inside the stairs and corners were filled with flowers that I though were fake because they were perfectly arranged with delicate blooms, vibrant colors everywhere, inspirational quotes on the floor, walls, and bathroom mirrors. They even had a photo booth with a backdrop I contemplated loading in my mini van when no one was looking. This all led you to the main stage, a picturesque stage fit for a queen. Every detail was gorgeous and a visual representation that we can be gritty leaders without sacrificing our womanhood or our love for esthetically pleasing things like a wall filled with balloons.
But they are smart enough to fill their stage with game changing, hard charing business experts. From PhD professor Dr. Tara Ceranic Salinas who researches, studies, and teaches Business Ethics at my alma mater, the University of San Diego. She is amazing and I deeply regret not taking her class. Now I have educational FOMO.
We heard from Adam Leonard of Google’s People Development department. Yes a real GOOGLE insider. A powerful team of angel investors, women who represent the 1% of the 1% of women who have capital that invest in other women. How amazing is that!?
The stage was also jam packed with boss babe entrepreneurs like Kopari co-founders Gigi Goldman & Kiana Cabell, lawyer extraordinaire and business owner Kelly Duford from Duford Law, to Jina Javier owner of my favorite wellness nail studio Leo by Liv3 and so many more.
For the complete list of speakers click here: Gritty Movements Leadership Conference
The good, the bad, the GRITTY.
This conference was jam packed on and off stage with powerful, successful, pioneers who have lived through and succeeded despite adversity in the workplace. Women who have knocked down the doors of sexism, punched holes in glass ceilings, and paved the way for women like us and men who are standing up for women and pushing against gender stereotypes.
There were two tracks to pick from – Corporate or Entrepreneurs. I was on the corporate track and wish I could have cloned myself so I could attend both. Each session had a theme while each speaker unpacked their journey with lessons they learned along the way providing tangible steps to take in our own path to success – whatever it looks like.
We were all scared, maybe even apprehensive, but I know every person walked out of there with a new found confidence, focus, and even a few new friends and business partners. I don’t want to give everything away because I want you to experience it for yourself next year.
Gritty Leadership 2020
The Gritty Movement team has not released dates for next years conference, so follow @grittymovement on Instagram and subscribe to their blog for tips and tricks and a breakdown of this years conference.
Top Secret: I can promise you this, next year will be jam packed with even more powerhouse women and men that will help you navigate your way to success and make you feel less alone in your journey to finding out what the heck you are doing with your life and how to do the damn thing. Until then, subscribe to their blog and keep your eyes on the Gritty Movement Instagram
Thank you Gritty team and sponsors for a transformative conference, the swag, and supporting Gritty Women like me!
Sponsors for the Gritty Leadership Conference: