On November 16th all of Meghan Simington’s hard work became a reality with her re-branded and re-imagined MomInc took the stage as the mSummit – the showcase of her ReInventingM site. The event was a full day down at the lovely Westin Bayshore and the energy from the vendors, keynotes and speakers was amazing.
Sadly I was not able to attend the Mentorship Breakfast with the likes of Jill Earthy and Tamara Taggart and missed most of the morning workshops, but was told that Emily Chow of Chow Communications blew everyone away with her fantastic ideas. I did arrive in time to sit down to a lovely lunch and what seemed like a truly heartfelt talk from entrepreneur and author, Arlene Dickinson.
I enjoyed Arlene’s talk. Her honesty was refreshing. The message at the core of her talk was really – to go back to a cliché – when life brings you lemons, make lemonade, or to be less polite – what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Live in the moment and see opportunity in every situation you find yourself in.
It was the right message for the right crowd. ReinventingM isn’t about changing US necessarily to fit in, it is about being a change maker. Being a mom, let alone a working mom or an entrepreneurial mom is all about flexibility and adjusting to situations as they happen. Our super power is multi-tasking. We ARE change. However I think for many of us we saw being a mom as a negative or at least something that held us back in our career goals.
I still wonder whether the term ‘mompreneur’ should have ever been uttered. I fear that the ‘mom’ in the ‘preneur’ detracts from the business itself and the accomplishment. Instead of looking at the skills it takes to juggle a family AND a business as ‘marketable,’ I still feel that “man’s world” of business looks down on the mere mention of our reproductive accomplishments.
Hence the need still for women’s focused conferences like mSummit. It wasn’t like it was exclusionary to men, but the subject matter and focus on how we WANT to do business is crucial into pushing women up to the next level. I think so anyway. J
As well as helping promote the event, I was honoured to host not one but TWO panels. The first of the day was a panel on Public Relations today. I had an amazing line for the panel with Raj Thandi of Pink Chai Media, Andrea Vance of West Coast Family magazine, and MiYoung Lee, host of CBC Late News. The panel was great because we all agree that thanks to social media and online marketing, PR today is more about community engagement and connecting on a human level with media and vice-versa. Salina Siu and Tazim Damji do a bang-up job of covering the key points. Thank you both for the feedback.
With our addictions to social media and the power that online marketing and technology, the trend for PR, marketing and media has been to reach behind that technology and see the human beings who created the business. The most successful online marketing has been when people have felt comfortable with how that brand interacted online as it reflects how they will treat you in real life. It is the same for mainstream media. They want to be connected to the community and YOU – the business – should be heart of your community, no matter what you do.
I finished up my speaking jobs with a super fun panel about blogging. Janice Croze of Five Minutes for Mom was in another room speaking about monetization at the same time, which was a shame as you can’t monetize until you actually have a site worth the money. Our amazing panel that included Dai Manuel, Rebecca Bolwitt, Eschelle Westwood, Monika Hibbs and Melissa Carr were kind enough to share WHY they started blogging and what keeps them going. Where do they find the passion to keep doing what they do? It was a lot of fun and a great honor to “moderate” a group of such high caliber bloggers. They are all great examples of the many many types of blogging styles out there and what makes them successful is that…they are honest and true to themselves and don’t try to copy other formulas or formats. They all write from the heart and that is what makes your blog successful. If success means monetization….having a marketable blog is the place to start.
My biggest take away from speaking to people at mSummit was that being confident in yourself and what you are bringing to this world is key to your success. I was surrounded by lively and passionate women (and men) who are building the lives they want for themselves and their family. Stick to your convictions. Believe in yourself. Don’t give up.