Growing up, I can remember loading in our Dad’s Ford pickup truck every morning to head to school. We’d climb the tall outside steps of the vehicle and plop down on the leather seats while waiting for the diesel light to turn on so he could start the engine. Most mornings were spent listening to our father’s favorite rock station 96.5 and our days would begin with John Boy and Billy. We used to call our family the “Ford Family” because everyone owned a Ford. We come from a family of entrepreneurs and Ford was a pivotal asset to their sheet metal company
Now, 20-some years later, it only made sense to partner with Ford while attending the Women on the Rise Conference and Empowerment Expo. Ford represented the strong males in our family, and as Shannon and I celebrate five-plus years of running our own business, we felt Ford aligned with WOTR’s mission: Be Fierce – Be Bold – Be Powerful – and the 2019 Expedition encouraged us to be those three things as we entered the conference and hereafter.
You are not Alone:
As women entrepreneurs, it can feel daunting and intimidating at times to exist loudly in the work field. Both of us are expecting newborns within the next month and yet, we put in the hard work day in and day out to live purposeful lives. We feel called to help other businesses grow intentionally, all while making our clients feel loved and supported.
When we arrived at the Women on the Rise Conference we really didn’t know what to expect. We were greeted with smiling faces, bubbly personalities and welcomed into a room full of women who said, “You are not alone in this.” It felt so refreshing and empowering to know there are women out there who are just as passionate about community over competition as we are, and who believe in the power of sharing their knowledge in hopes of helping other women grow.
From topics that covered legal business questions to self-care, every speaker left us speechless and in awe of the perfect timing of attending this conference in this particular season of our lives. We literally left the conference feeling like we went to church and then some.
Dr. Asha Field-Brewer, an inspirational writer and speaker, closed the conference with six main points to existing loudly:
- Community over Competition
- Opportunity over Opposition
- Experience over Excuses
- Purpose over Perfect
- Christ over Crisis
- Don’t outpace your Peace
In a world where everyone’s day to day (or highlight reel) is so readily available to us just by the click of a button, it’s so easy for women entrepreneurs to feel as though they aren’t doing enough. When we began our business, the word ‘Hustle’ was trending to define a woman’s success in her business. If she wasn’t hustling then she was missing out on an opportunity. Maybe two years later we noticed a shift. Everyone was tired of hustling and missing out on living their lives with purpose and for a purpose. We all were striving for a perfection that didn’t exist and instead of existing loudly, we all were just jumping from one to-do to the next and wearing ourselves thin. We became our own competition, told ourselves that the lack of experience could and should hold us back, and there was no time for rest. But that shift said just the opposite. Rest became the new hustle, and just like Dr. Asha shared, “You may be super and you may be a woman but you don’t always have to be Superwoman.”
International Women’s Day:
Today, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day, and we felt sharing our hearts about the Women on the Rise Conference and Empowerment Expo on a day like today was only fitting. We are two women, building a business after watching the men in our family grow a sheet metal company from the ground up, growing and raising our families all while trying to live our lives on purpose and for a purpose. Some days are hard to juggle it all and we don’t believe in a 50/50 balance when it comes to work-life/home-life but over the years we’ve experienced a gift like no other – a gift of meeting other women who are just as passionate about building each other up, leaning on one another through the tough seasons and who say it’s OKAY to let your voice be heard – to Be Fierce – Be Bold – Be Powerful.
Henry Ford once said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success,” and this Empowerment Expo full of engaged sponsors, a panel of encouraging speakers, and empowering experience rooms was exactly what each woman in that room needed to prepare for their success to “Exist Loudly.” Before we left the conference we were encouraged to share who we are and how we exist loudly and we encourage you to do the same.
“I am strong. I am worthy. I am enough.”
“I am passionate. I am loved. I am His.”
Disclosure: Please note, this post was sponsored by Southern Ford, however the opinions stated in this post are our own.