I spent a truly phenomenal afternoon on March 19th in the company of some of the best and brightest buConnectCsiness minds and hearts in the Region. The Connect.Women event organized and hosted by the Whitby Chamber of Commerce was a first-class professional and personal development event that rivals anything I have attended anywhere else.

Beyond the beautiful location, amazing vendors, scrumptious luncheon and terrific company, the highlight of the day had to be Barb Stegemann’s heartfelt, deeply personal, and highly relevant keynote presentation. More than being a phenomenal business person, Barb showed herself to be an incredible person with a level-headedness married to a deep passion that I found inspirational.

Here are my top takeaways:

  1. Set your expectations incredibly high, for yourself and for others. Never apologize for having, and setting, high expectations. Establishing lofty expectations give you, and those around you, something to reach for, to steer towards, and to grow into. Expect the best and accept nothing less.
  2. You can be unstoppable if you are loved and supported. Never underestimate the power of the company that you keep. Those who surround you have the ability to bring out your best, or encourage or enable your worst. Choose which version of you that you want to be, and only spend time with those people who celebrate and support the best in you. If someone, or someones, in your life are dragging you down, let them go and move on.
  3. Never ignore you gut. Your intuition is a gift from the divine, and it always knows what is right. Don’t doubt your natural and innate ability to sense danger, to see opportunity, to connect to possibility.  

I really feel like I could go on and on, but that starts to smack of gushing so I am going to stop here. Suffice it to say that I was profoundly affected by Barb’s story and her wisdom. I know that I will return to my notes from her session, indeed from the entire day, and will continue to discover new learnings each and every time I do.

Finally, kudos to the entire team at the Whitby Chamber of Commerce, and the Connect.Women planning committee for once again exceeding expectations, and creating a space for learning, growing, connecting and building. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next year… sign me up!