Hey friends! I just returned to Dallas from a fun-filled, informative weekend in Chicago! My primary purpose was to visit my best friends (Jan and Lakshmi) but in the midst of our patio chillin’ and fine dining I received some valuable business inspiration!
I read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso during my flight. Have you read it? It was a funny and inspiring read that got me in “empowered entrepreneur mode” for the duration of the trip. My main take away from the book is to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND EVERYONE ELSE WILL BELIEVE IN YOU TOO.
My in-flight reading! #GIRLBOSS
The weather in Chicago was absolutely perfect, sunshine with a cool breeze. Lakshmi, Jan and I enjoyed several cocktails on the patio throughout the weekend. Jan is a member of SoHo House so we also had a yummy lunch on the roof. So fancy huh?
Having a drink by the river and enjoying the awesome weather
On Thursday night, Lakshmi invited me to an exclusive party that her company, 1871, was hosting. 1871 is Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. The party was their annual fundraiser celebration that also highlighted the companies in 1871’s community. Throughout the night I got to chat with fellow founders/CEOs. Nothing inspires me more than hearing success stories from young entrepreneurs like myself. There’s hope – yeah GRIT Fitness!
Lakshmi, Me and one of the 1871 Entrepreneurs
I was excited to put on an old dress that I love – it’s a metallic, fitted Alice & Oliva dress – an oldie but a goodie. I wore it 2 years ago the Dallas Autumn Ball (see here at the bottom of the post) and was pumped to get some more wear out of it this weekend. I love fancy events – great drinks, lots of dancing and engaging conversation – what more could I ask for?
Oh hey – show stopper! LOL
The fun didn’t stop there. On Friday morning I got to attend another exclusive event with Lakshmi (yeah – she’s connected). It was a private breakfast and discussion at the Virgin Hotel for a hand-selected group of 1871 entrepreneurs. Alistair Campbell, former spokesman/press secretary British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the keynote speaker. He talked about his new book, Winners, and having a “winning mindset.”
Alistair Campbelle (right) and moderator (left) at Virgin Hotel Breakfast event
I found his comments very thought-provoking. Especially this one…
THE WINNING MENTALITY IS BASED OUT OF ADVERSITY.
Deeply engaged at Alastair Campbell’s talk. Photo by Cloud Spotter
He elaborated with numerous sports examples. But his bottom line was that the feeling of “not being good enough” can really drive some people more than anything. As a small business owner and a “grit” enthusiast, I couldn’t agree more. Nothing motivates me more than overcoming obstacles and proving to myself and to others that I am capable.
The rest of the weekend was filled with laughs, deep conversation, a sweaty ride at SOUL CYCLE and a final farewell home-cooked dinner at Lakshmi’s place. While the fancy events were nice, I gained the most valuable insight and inspiration from my dearest friends. Every time I’m around them I feel so good about myself because I know that they love me for who I am. I can be 100% myself, silly-jokes, crazy comments and all. And this brings me to the last secret to start-up success = CREATE A BRAND THAT IS TRUE TO YOU.
At the end of the day, there are unlimited products and services in the world that are essentially the same. However, winners are able to deliver value in a different/unique way. A way that makes people feel connected to them. The best way to be unique is to be yourself! Let that uniqueness shine through in your brand.
Remember, nobody can be you like you can be you! xoxo, Brit
Me, Lakshmi & Jan taking a selfie before I headed back to the Big D