February 3, 2007

Women in Charge conference

As I mentioned in the previous post, I attended the Women in Charge conference this past week.

It's such a pleasure to be surrounded by fellow women entrepreneurs: strong, confident women going out and getting what they want out of life. It was truly a "charged" environment.

The keynote speaker was Kim Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Woman" (and yes, wife of Robert Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" - quite a dynasty going on there!).

It's always hard to envision successful people as having struggled. Even when I know their stories, it takes some work to imagine that they were once like me, doing what they had to do to get by.

The Kiyosakis' struggle included a period of time when she and her husband were homeless and living in their car. Wow. That's the kind of story that makes me think, "If they can do it, so can I!" And that was the intention of the story - and the keynote.

Kim stated at the beginning of her speech that in 2003 more women declared bankruptcy than graduated from college. I don't know how many women graduated from college in 2003, but I bet it was a lot. She promotes financial self-sufficiency for women, and I can use more than a few of her tips.

I think my favorite story was the one about asking a friend with a car wash if they could try selling 18 copies of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" (when first self-published) in his shop. You might think that selling books at a car wash makes no sense, but it was a strategy that panned out and set them on their path to eventual success.

A key message from her speech was "Make a lot of mistakes, so you can learn from them." The more mistakes the better, according to Kim. It's very freeing to give yourself permission to make mistakes, especially when you are running your own business and there's no one else to blame when things go wrong.

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