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What I Learned About Entrepreneurship at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit

Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit

This year, I attended the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Cleveland, OH. For three days, 5,000 attendees gathered in the Summit Hall to learned about how to become successful entrepreneurs from former listers, Forbes employees, and industry change makers. This was one of the most exciting and inspiring events I’ve ever attended in my life. Each speaker brought something new and interesting to the conversation, sharing their failures, their highs, and lows about growing their business. I heard inspiring stories, made invaluable connections, and learned more about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. As someone who is forging a new space for women entrepreneurs, I only thought it fitting to share the best snippets I pulled from the conference. While my initial impression of this conference felt intimidating, I walked away feeling empowered. Never before have I felt this confident in myself and my business.

Every interaction and moment of this conference was beneficial to building my network and knowledge base about being a successful entrepreneur. But there were a few select things lessons I took away that I’m confident have changed my perspective and approach to entrepreneurship moving forward. If you’re interested in hearing more about the event itself, listen to my podcast ‘My Experience at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit!

30 Under 30: Entrepreneurship Takeaways

Show up with Unwavering Confidence

My primary takeaway (and this might be a bit controversial) was to never waver in your business idea. We are constantly told as entrepreneurs that we’ll need to pivot, especially in the beginning. There are so many people in our ears contributing to our big ideas. And while having mentors and friends that can help us develop our ideas and think things over, there are boundaries. When you start getting to the level of needing investors or hiring on other executives, sometimes the original vision becomes convoluted with other ideas. It’s so important to set boundaries and know where to draw the line with outside contribution. The majority of people who become entrepreneurs are doing so because they see a gap in the market and know how to fill it. The businesses we often come up with feel so personal and become a part of our identity.

As our businesses grow, and we do reach the level of needing investors or hiring an executive team, more voices become a part of the mix. Which is why it’s so important to go into your business growth with unwavering confidence. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t want your idea to grow or change organically; but there’s a difference between growing and pivoting. Whatever you decide you want your business to be, don’t let other people change your mind about that. Don’t let someone tell you you’re doing it wrong or it’s not a good idea, because those are not the people you’re meant to work with. Show up to your business with the confidence you know it deserves.

Nurture your Network

This is an idea I’ve been building on for a while now, but my understanding of the importance of your network was solidified at the conference. It really is all about the people you know, but it’s not what you may think. Not only should be consistently be working on building out our network, but it’s so important to nurture the network you already have.The entire point of me attending the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit was to help me start building out my network as I launch my community (join the waitlist here)! It’s something I haven’t prioritized in the past and I wanted to start getting my foot in bigger doors and seats at important tables. Building out your network and nurturing those connections can make a major contribution to your level of success.

Numerous speakers brought up the people that helped them along the way of their entrepreneurship journey; specifically, the people that were there when they felt inches away from failing. Your network shouldn’t feel like a ‘grab and go.’ Your network is your community. And letting someone in your network know that you’re thinking of them with a kind email reminds them of your value. It makes a difference when it comes to referrals and when they put your name out there for you. Nurture your connections, spend time writing a thoughtful email or setting up a lunch. Let people know you’re there for them on their journey, and they’ll show up for you.

Do Business the Way That Works for You

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that my business was born and continues to grow based on the unique model and combination of spirituality and smart business building. I’ve invested a lot of time and money learning from both sides on ways to develop out my business with balance between my spiritual beliefs and what I know will logistically work for me. This point certainly goes back to the idea of not letting too many cooks in your kitchen. Some people might find it silly that I rely on my spiritual beliefs and connection with the Universe to trust that my business will grow and thrive; but, again, those aren’t necessarily people I’m interested in working with. I’ve built my business and continue to let it grow based on what I value personally and morally. I believe in building a business that empowers women.

Two of the speakers at the summit touched on this a lot. Both were females with women-owned business that exclusively work with women. They emphasized their commitment to a business model that worked for them, despite what others thought. They spoke about how this commitment churned up more no’s then they were hoping. But it was because of this commitment that when they got the yes’s, the were the yes’s that they really wanted from people they were excited to work with.

Xo,  lauren

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