Last Thursday, I took the day off and went to Houston to attend the 10th Annual Texas Conference for Women, the state’s premier networking and educational event for women.
The day kicked off with a continental buffet breakfast and opening keynote speakers, Isabel Allende (award winning author), Marcus Buckingham (strength strategist), Tory Johnson (CEO of Women for Hire and Good Morning America’s Workplace Contributor) and Dr. Mae Jemison (first black woman to rocket into space).
While all the morning’s speakers were excellent and inspirational, I must say that Marcus Buckingham blew me away. I didn’t know anything about him before attending the conference, but my colleague who attended the conference with me could not say enough positive things about him; and after seeing him speak, I now know why!
Marcus is an internationally renowned consultant, speaker, best-selling author, and overall strength strategist! During his speech, Marcus explained that 73% of women tried to fix their weaknesses instead of focusing on their strengths. Take just a moment to think about the implications of women thinking like this, not good. Marcus goes on to say that we all need to build on our strengths and manage around our weaknesses, because after all “a wasted strength is like a sundial in the shade” – Benjamin Franklin. Marcus’s latest book is, “Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently”, which I am definitely adding to my reading list for The Work at Home Woman.
For the morning’s breakout session I decided to attend, Beyond Web 2.0 lead by, Kami Watson Huyse (Principal of My PR Pro), Brooke McMillian (Online Community Director for Livestrong) and Elisa Camahort Page (COO of BlogHer). Let’s just say this session really delivered, all the speakers were well spoken and very knowledgeable about their subject matter. There was SO much discussed that I’m just going to break it down into some simple bullet points.
Social media insight
- Social Media has leveled the playing field by amplifying the distribution of information and by breaking down physical barriers and obstacles.
- Work-at-home moms can now compete against the big dogs.
- Social Media has created a global neighborhood where people are not restricted by geographical, class, educational or any other barrier that exists in traditional neighborhoods and groups.
- Social Media promotes third-party credibility where your reputation precedes you.
Tips for starting a successful blog
- Be authentic, think of a blog as forever, research bloggers who are doing it right, look for the topics that people are not talking about.
- Find your voice and be passionate about what you’re blogging about.
- Know that most people do not make money from their blog, but because of their blog – blogging affords opportunities that may not have existed otherwise.
The luncheon keynote speakers consisted of Suze Orman (Financial Guru), Christy Haubegger (Founder of Latina Magazine), and Nastia Liukin (Olympia Gymnast). I’ve been a fan of Suze Orman ever since I saw her on The View, and seeing her in person was quite the experience! Full of energy and life Suze gave a ton of fantastic advice for women! Once again so much great advice that I’m going to utilize bullet points to break it down. If you ever get a chance to see Suze Orman speak, DO, she is amazing!
Here are a few of Suze’s money-saving tips
- Debt is bondage. If you have a credit card with a balance, pay it off! If you must carry a balance switch to a credit union, they have lower interest rates.
- Have an 8-month emergency fund available.
- Save for your retirement! Make sure to take advantage of your employer’s 401k match. Invest in Roth IRA’s or traditional IRA’s (non-deductible). The reason for these types of investments is that you pay the taxes now, taking advantage of the lower tax brackets, instead of paying the taxes in the future when the tax bracket will be higher.
- Purchase a home now if … you have 20% down, an 8-month emergency fund, and you find a steal of a deal.
- Pay off your mortgage as fast as you can.
- Make sure you have a will and a living revocable trust.
Besides the fabulous keynote speakers and sessions, there were book signings, a career fair, resume critiques, a mentor match program, a fashion show and exhibitors galore. This was such a fantastic event I will be attending next year.
Did you attend? I would love to hear from you!
Images courtesy of the Texas Conference for Women via Facebook.