When the time is right for something, there’s a certain energy and excitement you can just feel—like the hundreds of women business owners and community of supporters did at this year’s National Women’s Business Conference (WBC2019) hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in Jacksonville, Florida.
They came together at a time when women business owners are starting and growing companies at a pace faster than ever before. They are at the table in more executive boardrooms, speaking out on more important issues and becoming key contenders and players in Washington, DC and in their state and local government offices. And they are paying forward this success by reaching down to the next generation and out to women around the globe to bring them up.
That’s why the WBC’s theme—Our Time Is Now—resonated so personally with attendees from the main stage to every stage.Amazing women entrepreneurs who are proof positive that our time is now helped to inspire as keynote speakers. Sophia Amoruso, CEO of Girlboss and author of #GIRLBOSS, shared candid moments and takeaways from her rise and fall, and rise again. “It’s important to share your failures,” she said. “You never learn when you don’t raise your hand.” Sophia also encouraged women to give back to one another and support young women entrepreneurs.
“Compete less and compliment one another more,” she said.Tiffany Dufu, CEO of The Cru and author of Drop the Ball, continued to inspire. She shared challenges in fulfilling all her perceived work and life responsibilities after becoming a first-time working mom, and how it all came together for her when she embraced “dropping the ball.” Or in other words: focusing on what’s most important to you and not feeling guilty about the rest. “Releasing unrealistic expectations of doing it all—dropping the ball—is how I think of it now,” she said.In between keynotes like these, connections were made and strengthened with other women business owners, sponsors and exhibitors over meals, in breakout sessions and while exploring the exhibit hall.
There were some incredible firsts, too—like the Next Generation Track launched this year for young entrepreneurs who will make sure our time continues to be now into the future.It was an incredible three days that can be best described by the women who were there to “feel” the energy and excitement. “This is my fourth year coming to the conference, and there’s always something relevant to what I want,” said Dina Petrutsas of Concordis Practice Management, LLC and NAWBO-San Antonio.
“There was one speaker who got us up and had us chanting and motivated. You could feel the energy in the room.”Olalah Njenga of Yellowwood Group and NAWBO-Greater Raleigh adds: “It’s an amazing experience to connect with women entrepreneurs from all the other chapters who are on your same journey and have visions and aspirations similar to yours. You come here and are instantly connected with women who get you. They understand your pains. They understand your wins and successes. And there’s no competition, and that is amazing.”