My Two Days at the Massachusetts Conference for Women
I spent two days in Boston and a day and a half at the Massachusetts Women Conference. This was an incredible experience that I had the privilege of attending along with 12,000 other women. It was full of inspiring speakers, networking, panels of women who have been there, workshops for almost anything and MORE. The only complaint I have is that I didn’t have enough time to do everything. So, I’ve compiled a list of major takeaways, notes & memories from what I was able to experience to share with you.
The Night Before (Day One)
There were three Keynote Speakers who blew my mind away.
Elizabeth Gilbert; the Next Women’s Revolution
Up First, Elizabeth Gilbert. This will probably have the most takeaways and information because she covered so many different topics and I just loved everything she had to say. If she had a book/memoir on her experiences and thoughts, I’d buy it!
Elizabeth Gilbert is a New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love & one of the most viewed TED speakers all time. Follow at @gilbertliz.
- Ask yourself, “what are you willing to give up to get the thing you’re pretending you want to be?” You can’t blame everything on time when you are giving your time to television and friends and everything that isn’t what you say you want to be doing.
- Don’t be everything to everybody. You need to understand what is valuable to you and the people who understand that, that is your tribe. Learn to prioritize what is truly important.
- “Only I’m allowed to mess with me”. I can put myself through shit, but I can’t let the world treat me like shit. You need to manage your expectations from yourself and the people around you. The people around you need to be elevating you.
- We are all the descendants of creatives. We are all born creative and we lose it as we get older. Children are born doing art and somewhere along the way, they lose it. No child ever says “I can’t paint, I’m just not a creative person” like they just create and don’t care what anyone thinks of it. We all need to bring creativity back into our vocab and remove the word passion. Change passion to curiosity. Let it be the quiet friend that lets you try new things and explore. Take tiny clues and trust them.
- Perfectionism is fear. Sometimes, done is better than good. Don’t perfection yourself until you crash. It almost always takes a crash before you change your direction. Try dialing down to 70% and see if anyone notices. Don’t let every little thing stress you out because you’re too busy trying to make it all perfect.
One fun fact she also shared was regarding marriage. Did you know that marriage in every sense of the way is more beneficial for men. When a man gets married, they are going to be healthier, live longer, less likely to die of murder, less likely to suffer from depression, less likely to die from suicide, less likely to have high cholesterol, less likely to have heart disease, and more. When I woman gets marries, everything it the opposite, they are more likely to be less healthy, to die of murder, to suffer from depression to commit suicide, and more. But recently, that gap is closing as men and women are becoming partners in their relationship.
Franchesca Ramsy; How to not let “THAT” escalate quickly
Next speaker was of How to not let “THAT” escalate quickly! With Franchesca Ramsy.
Franchesca Ramsy is an actress, producer, director, influencer, and best-selling author of Well, That Escalated Quickly. Follow at @chescaleigh.
So this talk was really something I can’t exactly put into takeaways. If you can hear her speak in person, I promise it will be worth it.
- “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
- “Elevate the medium and elevate the conversation.” Don’t just
Aly Raisman; Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything
The last keynote is about Fierce: How competing for myself changed everything with Aly Raisman.
Aly Raisman is a gold medal-winning gymnast, activist, & Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient. Follow at @aly_raisman.
For this talk, I didn’t spend it taking notes, but I spend it listening to what she had to say.
3 Simple Takeaways:
- Fight for what you believe in, no matter how scary it is.
- Be confident and comfortable in your own skin.
- Everyone’s journey is different
Day Two: The full day of events
Picked up breakfast and coffee from @TatteBakery, which I am now in love with! One day when I live in Boston, I will be going here to do all of my work every day!
The day started with 3 keynote speakers over coffee, but two of them really left me with some takeaways.
Elizabeth Gilbert (again) spoke, with a whole new subject. There are more takeaways above, but here are just a few from this mornings speech.
- Relax in the middle of the tornado.
- Stop cranking; when there is something for you to do, you will be told. This could be from God, the universe, your gut, but in the meantime, you need to relax and let what is happening to happen.
Shawn Achor on Happiness
Shawn Achor, the New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness spoke about Happiness, the research behind it and what it truly means. This was one of my favorite speakers all day. From experiencing what he was saying and absorbing all of his thoughts and events, it was quite an inspirational speech.
- Don’t sugarcoat the present.
- Not pleasure, but joy moving towards your potential. Pleasure is in the small, but joy is the “in the gut” feeling of happiness.
- Use rational optimism.
- Other brains will process your joy as their own. Spread the positivity and happiness, by just showing your own happiness. They will process happiness, meaning, joy and purpose.
Followed by two breakout sessions…
Boss Up & Beat Burnout
The first breakout session I attended was Time Saving Hacks to Boss Up & Beat Burnout with Emilie Aries of Bossed Up, Courtney Carver of Project 333, Laurie Santos of Yale University and Sally Bament of Juniper Networks.
This session was a full house with incredible speakers and was aimed towards people who think that having more time to do what you want and less stress would be optimal. But, making intentional, purposeful choices to create a life with more clarity and ease when you feel so harried is challenging. This session is meant for those who feel overwhelmed by busyness, trying to balance work and home, or just looking for more time-saving tips, this session explored how to “un-complicate” and achieve the simpler, more intentional lives we desire with less clutter mentally and physically.
- You can’t just cut everything out at once, you should be cutting them one at a time making for an easier adjustment.
- Forget #SelfcareSunday, you shouldn’t be doing all of your self care in one day. Spread your self care throughout the week. Doing It in small doses will make sure that all your stress, anxiety, etc doesn’t build up for It all to be solved in one day. One full day, after shoving everything (as in you) in a week aside just won’t be beneficial.
- You have control over your reactions. You can’t control other people or what will happen, but you can control how you react to what happens.
Survive & THRIVE Your Next Career Pivot
After that, I went to the How to Survive (and THRIVE) Your Next Career Pivot with Cate Luzio of Luminary, Yvonne Albert of MilliporeSigma, Katie Rosen Kitchens of FabFitFun and Lauren Smith Brody of The Fifth Trimester.
I really enjoyed this breakout session, especially all of the speakers. I did expect it to be aimed more towards the younger generation for people entering the workforce or new into it, but overall it was still a great conversation. It was focused around giving your career a reboot so you can thrive, not just survive Monday through Friday.
- Create an FU Fund. This is a 3 month emergency fund so that if you wanted to leave your job, you’d survive. Not saying you will leave your job or lose It, but It will empower you to take risks in the job place that you wouldn’t originally.
- Give yourself a runway to get yourself to move forward.
- Be “confident in compromise”. Create a list… name what you like about your job, the parts that make you want to work there and then list what your workplace gets out of you.
We had lunch with more keynote speakers. I didn’t get to take as many notes and takeaways, but they were all amazing to hear and experience! The main three I heard from were Jesmyn Ward, Maysoon Zayid, and Amal Clooney.
She is a novelist, memoirist and essayist. She spoke of her past and how it brought her to this point. How the choices you make affect you and how sometimes you don’t have a choice.
Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, writer, and disability advocate. If you haven’t watched her speak, you need to, she is hilarious and all with meaning behind it! Click here to watch her on a TED talk.
Amal Clooney is a British human rights lawyer practicing at Doughty Street Chambers in London, where she specializes in international law and human rights. She spoke of her work across the globe including who she recently represented such as three political prisoners: Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was convicted in the “Al Jazeera trial” in Egypt; former president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, who was imprisoned on false terrorism charges; and award-winning Azerbaijani journalist “Khadija,” who was arrested in Baku after reporting on corruption by the Azerbaijani president. All have now been released from detention. She is currently counsel to Nadia Murad and other Yazidi women who have been sexually enslaved by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, working to secure accountability for the genocide committed by ISIS in national and international courts.
Followed by another breakout session: Foster Your Inner Entrepreneur and Innovator
I went to Foster Your Inner Entrepreneur and Innovator with Nataly Kogan if Happier, Inc., Kathy Krisch of Bose Corporation, Melissa Ben-Ishay of a baked by Melissa and Raquel Lachman of S’Well. This session focused on how being an entrepreneur isn’t just about starting a business, but about being a pioneer and leader of thought.
- Pay attention. Find what needs to be done, look
- Give yourself permission. Create a plan and figure It out. Stop waiting for someone to tell you what to do. You see a problem, find the solution.
- Find your community. Share with them to help you grow and go further. Create your own “board of directors” for your personal brand. Which can take time to find the group that works for you, but doing this can help you grow yourself and your business.
- See every challenge as an opportunity.
- Test and learn. Listen to the feedback that you get.
Last, but not least, wine and networking to end the day!
This was an incredible experience which was full of learning, listening and having a conversation with those around you. I will suggest going to this if you ever have the chance! If you want to learn more click here! Now after a long weekend, I’m off to practice some self-care before this long work week.