Stop apologizing for who you are :: Fierce Leadership Summit

“Take a risk. Share your passion. Do what you love. Care about the people you touch. The best way to stand out from the crowds is to give a shit about what you do. Stop apologizing for who you are. You are enough. Stop robbing the world of your unique voice.” -excerpt from The Fierce Manifesto, Fierce Leadership Summit 2012

Four days later, I’m still alerting my sister about epiphanies inspired by the phenomenal women I met at the Fierce Leadership Summit. The themes of the day included:

  1. Be your authentic self.
  2. Stop stalling and start sharing your natural gifts with the world.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people.

I took something away from each and every speaker. I walked away from the event as my authentic self, and I don’t intend on looking back. Aside from the event impacting me, I’m floored by the change I’ve witnessed in my sister who also attended the event. Her new enthusiasm for her future is so encouraging, and I am so grateful to Nailah Blades of Polka Dot Coaching for putting on the Fierce Leadership Summit.

I met so many incredible women (and one gentleman!) at #FLS2012, including the gorgeous and witty TV host Sharzad Kiadeh of LuxLyfe, the beautiful and intelligent Marketing Optimist herself Donna Queza, the man who went from no publishing contract to published book in under 12 months Jason Womack author of Your Best Just Got Better, the super uplifting and energetic woman behind the Fierce Leadership website Rema Morgan of Pink Lemonade Creative, and the phenomenal ladies Rona, Stephanie, and Rachel of GraceBlu Designs which is top notch interior design.

I included the specific takeaways I received from each Fierce speaker below:

  • Nailah Blades, Founder of the Fierce Leadership Summit and Owner of Polka Dot Coaching reminded us that we typically introduce ourselves as someone we’re not. With Nailah’s guidance, we all reintroduced ourselves as our “authentic selves.” Rather than, “Hi, I’m Danielle Leslie, and I’m a Marketing Consultant,” it became, “Hi, I’m Danielle, and I love helping people see their potential and do what they love for a living.”
  • Dyana Valentine, a professional Instigator, prodded us to declare our super conditions. I took the liberty of declaring my mom’s super conditions as eternal inquisitiveness and perpetual curiosity. In other words, “she be askin’ all them questions.” 🙂 Dyana’s instigating certainly supercharged everyone in attendance and was a great way to start the day. If you can use some tough questions in your life, check out her Woke Up Knowing Think Tank Retreat.
  • Britt Castro, Founder of Financially Wise Women helped us examine our relationships with money. Britt instructed us to recall our earliest memories with money. This was my favorite exercise of hers because it was the first time I really thought about why I relate to money (and don’t relate to money) the way I do as an adult. Britt also pointed out the differences between working with a male accountant versus a female accountant. If you’re looking for any money-related guidance (e.g. investing, accounting), Britt is your best bet!
  • Erin Haslag, Owner of Well in LA shared a lot of great wellness tips. The huge takeaway for me was paying more attention to how I start my day. Typically, the alarm on my iPhone wakes me up. Then, while I’m still in bed, I check my Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Erin challenged us to avoid the phone or computer for our first hour after rising. She suggested exercising, writing, and similar activities.
  • Melanie Mills, Creator and Owner of GLEAM and one of the Fierce sponsors, shared her story about becoming the Emmy Award-winning makeup artist she is today. I have to say I was so impressed by Melanie—talk about audacity, fearlessness, and humility. Melanie’s motto is: Live it. Own it. Work it.
  • Danielle Dowling, Relationship Expert, is first and foremost a talented storyteller. As she shared a portion of her dating history with us, I felt myself leaning in to catch every detail. What did I learn from Danielle? It’s important to know and state your dating purpose on date #1. If your dating purpose is, “I want to find a boyfriend with the hopes of marrying in the next 2 years of meeting him,” then it’s important to be honest with yourself and the person you’re dating. If you need dating/relationship clarity, definitely seek out Danielle. After all, her super condition is ruthless awareness which comes in handy.
  • Sam Bennett, Owner of the Organized Artist Company helped us wade through our own bullsh*t and declare our priorities. She then challenged us to dedicate 15 minutes every morning towards one of our priorities. She shared that her clients have completed entire books and screenplays using this technique. If you need help organizing the 30+ projects you’re juggling, check out her Get It Done workshop.
  • Alaia Williams, Founder of One Organized Business shared tips to help us refine our all-important personal brands—from considering our strengths, personal style, and professional goals. Alaia stressed the importance of having a business card and in fact provided the nudge for my mom to order her first set of personal business cards. Alaia made her passion for connecting people and cultivating community apparent, and in fact she is responsible for organizing a lot of tech/entrepreneurship-related events in LA, so follow her on Twitter to stay up to date.
  • Danielle Leslie, Founder of We Are BIGFISH and Creator of Do Love Project spoke about how to get paid for doing what you love. I was beyond excited to speak at #FLS2012. It marked me announcing Do Love Project to the world (or the Fierce ladies in the room and anyone watching the live broadcast). I shared the 5 fears that stop us from doing what we love for a living and provided ways to overcome, or at least begin to cope, with the fears. When I wasn’t feeling nervous/anxious, I had the time of my life presenting!
  • Jodi Womack, Founder of No More Nylons was representing Ojai and more importantly has done an incredible job growing Women’s Business Social. She shared tips about cultivating our own networks of smart, diverse, and of course grounded (no snootiness allowed!) women. If you are looking to get plugged into a collective of women business owners, stay updated with Jodi’s events.

And that’s my wrap-up for the Fierce Leadership Summit! If you’re in LA (or have access to internet) when #FLS2012 comes around next year, I hope to see you!