Last week I had the extreme pleasure of attending my first Business Chicks event in Brisbane. I had been on the mailing list for BC for a while, contemplating attending an event but never quite made it over the invisible line to actually purchase a ticket and go – partly because I often hadn’t heard of the speaker before and partly because I’m busy slack.
But when the invitation arrived in my inbox for the upcoming event and I saw that it was Sophia Amoruso who was going to be hosting the breakfast, I finally made the commitment and bought myself a ticket. Annnnd #NoRegrets!
For those of you who are late to the #GirlBoss party, Sophia Amoruso is the founder of Nasty Gal, a pretty epic online retail store. She has also been listed on more than one of Forbes’ various different lists of rich, entrepreneurial or movers-and-shakers and she is also the author of a memoirs-come-self-help-come-internet-business-model book called #GirlBoss. Which also happens to be on more than one of the New York Times’ lists as well as having been made into a Netflix series and a podcast. Like, I mean, #NBD, right?!
I guess the reason that Sophia stood out to me compared to other speakers is the fact that I perceive myself to have more in common with her. Don’t get me wrong, the other women who have hosted Business Chicks breakfast events have all been strong, amazing and independent women who are kicking goals, breaking records and just being general bad-asses… but often the challenges that they have had to come overcome to achieve those goals are challenges that I can’t identify with, like having kids (while I am a proud fur-mum, I don’t think 2 dogs and a cat count in this scenario), losing someone close to them, being married, representing a minority or overcoming a horrible disaster.
Sophia on the other hand is a “millennial” (I hate that word but I guess it serves a purpose), comes from a middle class white family, has no kids and her business is very much a digital business. I also tick all of these same boxes. Listening to her story (and then reading in her book), has resonated with me more because she came from a similar background as myself and made herself an empire using all of the same resources, skills and tools that I too have access to.
So What is a Business Chicks Event Actually Like?!
For all of you who are still in the ‘contemplating’ stage, considering whether to go to an event or not, I would say just do it. I really got a lot out of it – and not just the big bag of freebies that every attendee receives!
There is something really empowering about being in a room full of successful and driven women; every single lady at my table had their own story and their own thing going on. I was lucky enough to be seated next to a wonderful woman who has just opened up her own Psychiatrist business. She told me how she was sharing an office space with a male colleague and her business had outgrown that space and now she has gone out on her own – she is both terrified and excited at the same time. Now if that ain’t #GirlBoss then I don’t know what is!
The event ticked all of the boxes that any business-networking-type-event needs to (great food, easy location, inspirational speaker etc etc etc), but the number one thing that makes Business Chicks events worth attending is the atmosphere. I walked into that event a shy and timid business owner, proud of what I had achieved but not particularly confident in myself. I walked out of that convention centre, along with 700 of my new BFFs, a new woman! Motivated to get back to work and keep kicking goals, keep growing my business, keep building a name for myself and continuing on with confidence.