What do you get when you put 300+ creative women together in one room? A lot of estrogen and a whole LOT of passion.
The past two days have been a whirlwind of emotions, as women from all over the country gathered together for The Yellow Conference in Los Angeles, CA. I soaked in an INCREDIBLE amount of knowledge and connected with so many amazing souls, that it is going to be extremely hard to compile everything into one blog post - but here it goes.
If you’ve been following me for a few months now, you know I’ve had the pleasure to work with Yellow Co., contribute to their blog and even host an event in Tampa, FL for the creatives in my city. Harbr Co. + Oxen Made worked with the Yellow team to film the conference and this killer intro video below.
With 10 keynote speakers and 2 workshops, my notebook was packed with advice and quotes that I did not want to hoard in there forever. We heard from speakers like Eryn Eddy Erikson, founder of So Worth Loving, Sean McCabe, writer + podcaster at seanwes, Jocelyn Hefner, Writer and Righter of life, Vik Harrison, Creative Director of charity:water and world renowned photographer, Jeremy Cowart – but that just scratched the surface. Each of these speakers brought a mix of practical advice and heart-wrenching stories, explaining their journeys as creatives and entrepreneurs.
Below are a few pull quotes and advice that I want to share from a few of these speakers that really struck me in my personal life (as a creative itching to make a difference through my career), while being surrounded by ladies who all wanted to do the same. How cool is that!?
To kick off the conference, Eryn Eddy spoke about her journey and how she started So Worth Loving, a clothing company that celebrates everyone who has been broken, hurt or abused in some area of their life, yet constantly reminds them that they are SO worth loving.
First, she started off by saying, “Those who can’t be led, can’t lead.”
That really struck me because our generation is filled with entitlement. We feel entitled to get a job right out of school because we have a degree, we hate being at ‘entry-level,' and we feel like everyone needs to listen to what we have to say at all times. Until we humble ourselves to realize that in order for us to be successful, we have to learn from others or we won’t be able to lead ourselves.
She also said, “Vulnerability doesn’t make you weak, it makes you accessible.”
This theme was prominent throughout the conference, as I realized that everyone tapped into on their brokenness + insecurities to recenter their heart and passion. Let people in. Show your true colors and find your WHY to be able to tell your story with authenticity. One of my favorite quotes of this conference was by Eryn’s grandmother. She said:
WOW, you guys. I don’t think that really needs an explanation, other than the fact that we need to continue to work hard, making sure we are fully satisfied with ourselves.
Liz Forkin Bohannon, of Sseko Designs, talked about design thinking and said “Perfect becomes the enemy of good.” Y E S. We need to stop striving for perfect because we will never achieve it. We need to be good, always. And realize that the strive for perfection is a never-ending cycle.
Sean McCabe talked about writing, and how he is 100% transparent in all of his business ventures. He said, “People don’t notice announcements, they notice consistency."
Another big theme of this conference. To be noticed, you have to be consistent in everything you do. If you’re focusing on one big push for a product or your business - don’t expect continued returns. Build it up, talk about it every day. Eat, sleep and breathe your passion.
Jessie Simpson, founder of 31 Bits and Vik Harrison spoke on practical advice on ways to successfully create and market your brand online. They talked about how visuals are so, so important and creating content that resonates with your target market are key to gaining and retaining customers.
Two (of many) incredible stories came from Jeremy Cowart and Ruthie Lindsey. Cue the waterworks. These humble souls have experienced so much pain, and suffering yet they are both able to use these stories to empower and uplift people all over the world.
Cowart, a photographer, shared his story of living in the mindset of “I can’t do this” for so long, but when he finally took a risk and found what he could do (thanks to Phil. 4:13), he realized he had the lens to bring stories to life through photos and made a difference in countries that experienced unspeakable tragedy.
Lindsey’s physical pain and suffering empowered her to find joy in everything. At her lowest point, she realized we have two options when we’re down – to live in a place of bitterness and sadness, or to find the good. She shifted her mindset and found the good in everything and said, "It is so important to surround yourself with life-giving people."
Find your people.
The final theme that many speakers spoke about. Find your tribe - these are the people who will be there for you in your lowest of lows and and highest of highs.
Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People gave the analogy that we need to think of ‘our people’ as a our own personal round-table of advisors. He said, “you don’t always want people who affirm your decision right away.” We need a mix. We need those who challenge our decisions and mentors that will be there to listen when we need a sounding board.
Although I could go on forever (and trust me I will if you ask me in person), I think Jocelyn Hefner spoke three truths that are key takeaways. These steps are her guidelines to calming your mind and finding grace within everything we do:
1. Empty the bowl: get rid of the thoughts that don’t serve you or move you forward.
2. Be aware of your principles: let the principle be bigger than your personality.
3. The next single thing: what is the next thing that will align you with grace? What is the SINGLE next step you need to take?.
I know everyone at The Yellow Conference unlocked a new piece of potential, found a new connection and left ignited to create change.
Whew, that was a lot you guys – I'll leave you with this:
Be vulnerable. Be consistent. Find your people. Eat tacos. Make a difference.