Key Takeaways from The League Of Extraordinary Women’s ‘Run the World’ Conference
I first discovered the work of The League of Extraordinary Women when I attended the Clare Press book launch for Rise and Resist. The League describes what they do as – “Our mission is to create a community that focuses on connecting female entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to form and create authentic relationships and friendships” which is exactly what their Run the World conference was all about. And wow… was I lucky to nab a ticket!
Considering there was close to 9 hours of non-stop inspiration across the Saturday event, I have decided to share a brief break down of my personal key takeaways from each speaker in the hopes that it will ignite something within you too.
P.s can we take a moment to praise this artwork by my good pal Steph of St Clement Creative?
Geneva Vanderzeil – A Pair and a Spare
I don’t fan girl too often, but when Geneva walked past me, I lost it. I’d been following her insanely beautiful instagram for more than 6 years, and in my earlier uni days had often experimented with the easy to follow DIY fashion tutorials found on her blog. Her talk was so light, charming and relatable. It felt like the perfect way to kick off a massive day of inspo. My key take aways were:
- Break the phone addiction and stop letting it rule your life. Setting time limits like no phone between 8pm and 8am is an easy way to start
- Don’t wake up at check your emails (sounds obvious, but I’m guilty of this!) instead – make a nice cup of tea
- Stop obsessing over numbers, and instead focus on creating quality content
- Don’t end your day scrolling
Overall, her talk made me reflect on my current use of social media and how I need to actively start working on ways to tear myself away from the screen, focus on self care and create better content that comes from a more authentic place.
Ale Wiecek – Founder and Chief Empathy Officer at Sqr One
Ale was a ball of energy and enthusiasm. This is the kind of person you want on your team when you’re ideating and coming up with business solutions that are going to change the world. The fact that she started her talk by having the audience participate in a “Mexican Wave Poll” was testament to the fact that she doesn’t like to do things traditionally.
- Stepping out of the box and creating a truly memorable experience for your customer will give an impression that can last a life time
- To better understand the wants and needs of your customer, you have to empathise and put yourself in their shoes
- Having “bad ideas” is part of the process. Fail and move on.
- Being goofy and playful helps strip away the rigidness that can come with running a business and instead opens you up to new ideas
Her talk was fun, optimistic, energetic and packed full of useful tools.
Women and Work Panel – Jessy Cameron of Molten Store, Jasmine Dowling of Studio Jasmine, Helen Jacobs, psychic at @helenjacobs.co and Alison Rice of Offline the Podcast
This panel addressed all the challenges facing working Women today, and weaved in and out of so many interesting topics.
- Jessy Cameron – “The day you start your business is the most wrong you’ll ever be”. Jessy shared so many good insights about the ups, downs and pivots of owning your own business. She talked about the importance of having first hand, face to face customer feedback in order find holes in your product and make it better. My strongest takeaway was to remain flexible and to roll with the punches if you want to grow.
- Jasmine Dowling – The best thing about hearing Jasmine talk was how much I related to her struggle with self censorship on instagram. She shared about how she got to a point where she felt too afraid to write or post anything out of fear of offending or hurting someone, which is often how I feel. What it came down to was that at the end the day, when someone has a problem with you, it’s their problem. You can’t make everyone happy, and everyone won’t always like you, and that’s ok. You do you. It was refreshing to see someone with such a massive following be so honest and candid.
- Helen Jacobs – I thought it was great the way she takes time to prepares herself mentally and physically for events such as the conference, which will inevitably be energetically draining. Prioritising self care is key. Mediation and grounding exercises help her from absorbing the energy from all the people she interacts with.
- Alison Rice – She actually made me want to experiment with Podcasting! Her confidence and strong demeanour made me feel like I can really tackle whatever business/workplace challenges come my way.
Jess Ruhfus – Founder of Collabosaurus
I could literally listen to Jess talk all day. Collaborating is such a huge part of my blog, and it was so awesome to hear a fellow young woman talk about the industry with so much passion and enthusiasm. I feel like she’s started a brand that is going to keep expanding and growing all over the world (and it’s already happening).
- Define exactly what you want to get out of the collaboration, before you start – example, growing your instagram following. Make sure you are able to measure the success of collaboration in some way.
- Start potential collaborations by stating what you can do for them – not what they can do for you
- Find the right partner and make sure they align with what you’re about/your style/your goals
- Take the time to make emails personal when you’re reaching out – none of that copy paste bullshit!
- When two parties equally exchange talents that the other lacks, anything is possible – regardless of your budget
Branding Panel – Fi Nguyen of Girl Friday IP, Bec Villanti of vegan condom brand Jonny and jewellery designer (and old friend) Bianca Mavrick.
- Fi Nguyen – If you’re smart, you’ll make your intellectual property as important as all the other elements that make up your brand. Protecting yourself shouldn’t be something you consider when it’s too late, it should be built into the very foundation of your brand.
- Bec Villanti – Even if copy cats do pop up (and chances are, they will) know that they’ll always be one step behind you. Stay in your lane, and focus on doing the best work you can.
- Bianca Mavrick – There is a way to handle design theft with grace, and Bianca is a testament to that. It was amazing to hear her share how she discovered a large commercial brand had basically ripped off a set of her earrings after seeing them pop up in an instagram add, but the good news is there are things you can do, and it doesn’t involve bad mouthing. Get a lawyer on board!
Pru Chapman- Founder of Owners Collective
How Pru stayed upbeat and fresh after hopping off a plane from California will remain a mystery to me!
- Be courageous! Fighting through 5 seconds of will fear can lead you to the most amazing experiences in life
- Life can tell you to slow down in pretty harsh ways – stop and pay attention
- You don’t have to say yes to everybody – cultivate the art of saying no
Sarah Holloway – Founder of Matcha Maiden
Sarah was such a pro. A confident and engaging speaker, the perfect way to end a massive day.
- Find your joy – this doesn’t have to be a thing that makes you money, or defines your future career. It’s as simple as finding the thing that brings happiness to your day, and making time for it
- Get your product to market ASAP – it doesn’t have to be perfect. The sooner you do, the faster you can fix the problems that you’d never have anticipated
- Make an MVP (minimum viable product) to test assumptions about your product before investing too much time and money into making it “perfect”