S.Y.A.K (Send Yourself A Kiss) : An Alt First Timer's Story
Last week I spent four whole days surrounded by fellow women in business at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. I went to network and start the buzz about my new body care line, Fig&Honey.
When I decided to go to Alt, it was last minute, with a pure heart, and with not a lot of expectations. I had no specific needs from my time at Alt, other than to network and to learn.
If you haven't attended Alt, it's almost like a brief collegiate experience, with masterful perspectives, fringe detailed informational sessions and design camps, and exceptional celebrity guest speakers.
That said, from well before Alt began, the networking groups online were atwitter with people talking about the life-changing essence of Alt, and also several first timers who were voicing how intimidated they were by clothing, shoes, and general acceptance. I dove deep into the warm and inviting entrepreneurial pool and swam around, frantically taking notes, and soaking up information for future analysis and real consumption. Each day I met legions of women who were having an exceptional experience, but at least one person who was feeling overwhelmed, outcast, or interrupted.
One week later, I still feel like a computer that is in the middle of a massive software update, where the loading bar reads "load time 5 minutes" then it switches to "2 hours" then back to "10 minutes". I am cycling through all of the information, both analytical and interpersonal, that I took on at Alt, and I am coming out of that process with a lot of goodness, and the desire to spread some strength to my fellow woman-preneurs.
The most important message that I learned from this experience was this. Trust in yourself is a gift....and it is MY gift. I haven't always had that quality about me, that self-possession, but I did last week, and I am not ever planning to let it go.
Under all circumstances (but particularly under pressure) we as women need to stay clear.
Have faith in ourselves. Be confident and authentic. Smile a great deal.
And stay open.... because you never know -- lightning could strike. At Alt, I had a couple of once-in-a-lifetime level connections. I met lovely people. And in that bunch, I met many exceptional women with a great deal of self-doubt, discomfort, insecurity, and fear of failure.
In allowing myself to observe and trust, I was able to give myself the greatest gift possible for this kind of situation. I opened my mind and my heart. I didn't let myself get jaded or overwhelmed by other people's baggage. I trusted myself and by being confident (though I was an upright sleep walker by the last day) I had genuinely, intuitively, and completely consumed the experience and made it my own. I did what has historically been a Herculean feat for me - focused on myself and Fig&Honey, and let everything else be background noise. And it worked! People connected to my clarity and authenticity. And at the end of the day, that's all I really want.
I can't wait for another Alt experience, but I have liberated myself from worrying about how I measure up. If people like me and want to do business with me, they will. If they don't, they will stay clear and I will be better off.
The best thing I can offer my new friends (and any reader) is this. As you find yourself in situations of extreme acceleration and self-examination, trust yourself, trust your path, trust your timing, and trust what the future offers you.
Take a moment to reflect, slow down, and S.Y.A.K. (Send Yourself A Kiss).