Oprah’s Gal Pal, Dr. Robin Smith, Shares Her Empowering Keynote with NAWBO at the Beyond the Glass Ceiling Gala
Dr. Robin Smith and I think alike, as you can see from our unplanned color coordinated dresses. Her empowering keynote speech for women entrepreneurs was the highlight of the annual Beyond the Glass Ceiling Gala, honoring women advocates, trailblazers and leaders in South Jersey. The author of Hungry: The Truth About a Satisfied Soul started her keynote speech by encouraging the audience of 250+ women (and a few men) to get real with themselves, asking, “What are you hungry for?,” meaning what do you really want out of life? That’s a big question. Dr. Robin went on to share that most of us go about our day wearing a mask, and when someone asks, "How are you doing?" we falsely reply, “Great!” We’re afraid to open up and show our vulnerability by sharing how life is really going. Maybe our marriage really isn’t so wonderful, or we hate our job, or our kids are not the perfect children we make them out to be. To the outside world, it’s all good.
Dr. Robin Smith spoke about a chapter in her book titled Identify Theft, a reference to the fact that we allow others to define who we are, stealing our true identity. I sat in the audience nodding in agreement, thinking about the first chapter of my book, titled You’re Not Who Everyone Thinks You Are. She was speaking my language. We’re so busy living up to everyone else’s expectations, we don’t have the courage to be who we truly are. Dr. Robin said, “Like a plumber whose pipes are always broken, I felt like a fraud. Here I was on Oprah, advising an audience of millions how to fix their lives, while I was starved for my own personal fulfillment. How could I tell my mother, who loved telling friends that her successful daughter was on Oprah, that I wasn’t the happy, fulfilled woman everyone thought I was?” Oh yeah, I’ve been there, done that. Hunger is the reason I left a successful corporate career, going from riches to rags, to follow a crazy idea and become an entrepreneur. My mom wasn’t too thrilled to tell her friends that her BMW-driving daughter decided to downgrade her car, her job, and her lifestyle. There went her bragging rights, which I now know fed my mom’s own hunger for self-acceptance. Turns out hunger is a vicious cycle.
During the awards gala, each of the honorees was encouraged to share their own “hungry” story. Instead of giving the typical acceptance speech, they opened up and shared empowering stories of real life. How refreshing! Trailblazer of the Year, CJ DiRoma, CEO of The Asterism Group, told the story of her six year old daughter. She peeked up from her coloring book while CJ was working from home to ask, “Mommy, what should I be when I grow up?” CJ’s initial thought was a reach-for-your-dreams answer like, “First Woman President!” Instead, she held back, replying, “Whatever makes you happy, honey.” As soon as it came out of her mouth, CJ realized that somewhere along her crazy, busy life she forgot about happiness. Instead, she was doing what everyone else expected her to do. It was time for the Trailblazer of the Year to blaze her own trail. I hope you do too.
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.
One of my key messages for women entrepreneurs is to not be afraid to put yourself out there. I found out I needed to listen to my own advice when I was nominated to be a Top 100 Small Business Influencer last Fall, awarded by Anita Campbell and Ramon Ray via SmallBizTrends.com. After all, I’m “just” a regular Jersey Girl working from home, doing my thing. Sure, I built a multi-million dollar direct sales biz, wrote a #1 best selling success book, host a radio show and speak to national audiences. Where was that girl when I needed her? Turns out, I have the same self-doubt every other woman has. Thoughts of “Who the heck am I to win this award?” frequently popped into my head, especially when I saw the list of nominees. I nearly fell off my chair when I got the email notifying me I won.
Love is in the air. Thanks to the economy, many women (and men) have been struck by Cupid's arrow, forced by a job loss or pay cut, to reinvent and become an entrepreneur. We’re living in a decade of ReinventPreneurs (you heard it here first). It’s a beautiful world where the glass ceiling for women disappears and the gender gap is turned on its head. We are only limited by our thoughts and the size of our entrepreneurial dreams. That noise you’re hearing is your heart, beating fast from excitement. Or maybe that’s fear creeping in. Going on the first reinvention date can be kind of scary. It’s easy to slip from infatuation to wanting to take Cupid's arrow and stab him back in the heart. The shower scene in Psycho comes to mind. Where’s a reinvention restraining order when you need one?
5 Tips to Fall In Love With and Embrace Reinvention
Best Advice From Direct Sales Guru Deb Bixler: When You Consistently Work Your Business, You Get Greater Results!
Deb Bixler, multiple winner of the prestigious Direct Selling Live Power 50 Awards and host of the Cash Flow Radio Show, is one of the most recognized experts in the direct sales industry. Join Deb and Lynn on Million Dollar Party Girl Talk, Thursday, February 6 at 2pm EST, to learn how to consistently work your business and get greater results. You will learn how to use a big impact habit in your home business.
Deb Bixler says:
Women have been sold the “you can have it all” mantra since the 1980‘s, when we were just hitting our stride in the work place. I believe the simple answer is, no, women really can’t have it all. Striving to be the perfect mom, wife and career woman will only give you more mommy-guilt. Sure, I bought into it, climbing the corporate ladder after college and enjoying the fruits of a two-income household that included a BMW in the driveway, a 4-bedroom home in the 'burbs, and a daytime nanny to care for my two daughters. It all looked good on the outside; but I was miserable on the inside. There was still dinner to prepare, bedtime rituals and laundry to do. At day’s end, I’d climb into bed exhausted, only to wake up bright and early to rinse and repeat my hectic schedule. I suddenly realized my corporate income was affording me a mommy-fill-in, while I was missing out on all the important milestones in my daughters' lives. What the heck was it all for?
I returned my “have it all” life and left my corporate career behind to have it my way as a Mompreneur, taking a leap of faith to start a PartyLite direct sales business in 1990. Learning a new business model and figuring out how to manage working from home with a 3 and 5 year old in tow presented new challenges. I soon discovered the sound of a ringing phone turned my well-behaved daughters into little monsters. For some unexplainable reason, their little fingers would suddenly be inspired to draw on my walls with bright red lipstick. Hanging out in jeans all day and driving around in my down-graded car chipped away at my ego. The important biz lady I thought I was began to disappear, along with my friends' and family's perception of what I did for a living. To the outside world, work-at-home Moms are "not real business people". They think we’re hanging out with nothing to do but wipe the snot from our kids' noses. I know this because friends would frequently call to ask me out to lunch or shopping, saying, “What are you doing today?” I wanted to respond, “Running a multi-million dollar business, how about you?" Instead, I’d just say, “Oh, the usual. Working.” Enough already!
Here are 5 Tips To Kiss Mommy Guilt Goodbye: