Setting My Soul On Fire: WITS 2017
Now that I’ve had over a week (and another road trip) to digest my time in Milwaukee, I would like to share my top takeaways from the event. You can learn more about the Summit here. My simple summation is it was a collection of the top women travel bloggers, writers, and entrepreneurs coming together to share their wisdom, stories, and hearts with one another. A place where I learned to better myself, our brand, and my mission in life. Here are my top 6 lessons learned at WITS 2017:
Something magical happens when you bring together women who come with open minds and open hearts. There was no concern over what anyone was wearing, what size, shape or color anyone was, how much money someone made or where they came from. We came with one unified goal of bettering ourselves and learning from one another. We purposely sought out others to connect with instead of hiding in a corner on our phones and took the time to truly listen to each others words. While the amount of knowledge I took away is incredible, this part was priceless. I am incredibly honored to have been a part of something so powerful.
Being an entrepreneur is in my blood. Listening to the presenters who spoke on various aspects of entrepreneurship reconfirmed my path in life. Working for yourself and building your dream from the bottom up takes grit, guts, and facing fears head on. It’s so easy to question yourself but listening to other women’s stories of success, failures and determination helped me to see I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.
You can build a brand/blog/company that serves the greater good while making an income. Those two often feel very apart. We feel as though we can either save the world or make decent money when you can, in fact, do both. And, you do not have to apologize for including financial goals in your plan. One speaker touched on the fact that women, especially, are spoken of negatively when they are making a lot of money while men are praised. It was refreshing to see brands and bloggers run by women, making an impact, doing good, and making a satisfying income.
The majority of people at the event were bloggers and writers so we came to it with a bit of a different perspective being more of a brand that is dabbling in blogging. It was great to learn about the flip side fo the coin and gain a deeper knowledge of what bloggers and travel writers are looking for when teaming up with a brand. It’s more than just giving things away, missions need to align and there needs to a mutually beneficial relationship in place.
You can learn something from everyone. Everyone has a unique life story and we’re quick to dismiss the ones that don’t quite fit with what we think we’re looking for. At one of the sessions I attended I was immediately turned off but where the topic was heading and her approach however, I took a minute to adjust my mindset and forced myself to be open and listen. I took away some very helpful tidbits and gained a better appreciation from where she was coming from based on her life experiences. I made a conscious goal after that session to seek out others who are very different from me and who may make me uncomfortable at first. This uncomfortable feeling leads directly into my final takeaway. . .
Get out of your comfort zone! Get comfortable being uncomfortable and scared. I actually think I’ve been tackling this one head on for the past year or so but this event helped to push me even further forward. Approaching strangers, sharing things about myself with others, and taking steps into the unknown in pursuit of something bigger. One speaker said something like, when you’re an entrepreneur you will never not be scared. There’s always fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of waking up feeling completely clueless and overwhelmed (not sure she said that one, that may just be me) but in that fear lies the beauty. I would not have made such amazing friends on this trip if I had been too scared to go talk to a stranger. I would not be in the middle of pursuing 2 very large dreams if I let the fear of failure take over. That uncomfortable feeling is what takes you to the next level.
I could go on for pages about everything I learned at WITS before even touching on the tangible take aways from each speaker but I’ll stop here. I think you get the idea. If you are curious to learn more, please check out Wanderful and WITS or send us a message and I’d be happy to chat more about the event. And, if I had to leave you with one larger lesson it would be this: Face your fears, find a tribe that supports and encourages you, and refuse to settle for less. Figure out what sets your soul on fire and wake up every day with plan to pursue those dreams and live a life full of wonder, adventure, and love.