women in sports and events

Networking is so important. In a previous post called "Networking isn't for Dummies",  I spoke about this importance but stressed that networking isn't about using people to get what you want. True networking is a give and take relationship that benefits and supports each person. I am blessed with a pretty great network around me and part of the network is a group of like-minded women who work in the sports and entertainment industries.

Women in Sports and Events (WISE) is a networking group that works to "create and support programs that enhance success and growth of women in the business of sports." The brain child of Sue Rodin (Stars & Strategies), WISE was created because Sue faced a situation at work in which she learned the inequality of roles and salary between her and a male colleague. At the time she was looking for someone she could commiserate with about this troubling situation. When she looked around, she realized that there weren't any programs around to give her that opportunity. A while later, she was at an event and basically went to every single table with a woman at it and said, "hey do you want to join a group of industry women chatting about all things business?" It was a no brainer, and the ladies joined Sue. The first meeting ended up being at a local restaurant. There was no real plan, just a need they saw. From there WISE was born.

Some years later they now offer tons of opportunities for women to meet, network and learn. One of these opportunities is the WISE/R Symposium. Last Wednesday I was able to attend the symposium for the 2nd time. It is a great event that has key note speakers, panel discussions, workshops and peer networking circles with women from all areas of the industry. The focus is on the issues we as women face in the wold of sports and business. 

This year the focus seemed to be all about building a personal brand.  They offered a number of different workshops to choose from. I chose to attend 2 of the them.

The first was a workshop on Personal Brand Strategy. Led by two women from The Wasserman Group; Jennifer Van Dijk and Lisa Bregman, they spoke on how to use social media to build your personal brand. With great tips on LinkedIn and Twitter. I consider myself pretty well versed on these platforms and still learned quite a bit from these women. I'll make sure and pay it forward by sharing some of the lessons I learned in an upcoming post and answer any questions you have on the platforms.

The second workshop I attended was on "Presentation as Performance" led by Michael Chad Hoeppner of GK Training and Communications. As a speaker, this was a very interesting workshop to attend. It was full of tips on dynamics, body language, ticks etc. It's all about using more of ourselves and practicing the 4 P's. Pace, Pause, Pitch and Power. But don't listen to me, they provide great exercises to try on your own through their website.

The big draw for me however was the key note speaker. Joyce Roche, author and retired President and CEO of Girls Inc. Joyce spoke all about the "impostor syndrome". Ever heard of it? If you haven't, you still probably know what it is. It is that feeling that no matter how well you are doing at something, that maybe you aren't the most qualified or maybe you don't deserve it. It is based on the self doubt that intrudes our minds in the most inopportune moments. She even writes about it in her 2013 book, The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success.  

So, why am I telling you all about WISE? I am telling you because it is so important that we find places to network and learn from. Maybe you work in the world of sports and events and this is a group you might want to become a part of. If so, check out the WISE website. If you are not in that industry, there are still tons of groups that you can become a part of. Just google "local networking groups", (click here for a great article on the Top 10 Business Networking Groups.) You can also check out LinkedIn, or check out sites like MeetUp. You can even look for groups within your industry. Don't put it off as another to do that gets pushed to the wayside, put aside some time this week to find your own network.

What type of networking groups do you belong to? Share your favorites with the rest of us in the comments below.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Recently I found a survey done on Linkedin. The survey asked 8,000 people around the globe what they dreamt of being when they were kids. Can you guess what types of answers came in? If you look at the list, you might discover one that was on your wish list. However, the survey also discovered that only 8.9% of the respondents actually work in the field they dreamt of. Why have so many of us abandoned the dreams we had when we were young?

10 most common childhood dream jobs.png

The survey gave a number of reasons for the low percentage. They ranged from changing interests, difficulty getting a job, expensive to go after their dream (think cost of college).Of course some had concerns over money. But regardless of the reason, it is sad to see so many move away from their dreams, especially when you consider the quote below.

The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents.
— Nicole Williams - Connection Director at Linkedin

I believe one reason for this is that we are asking the wrong question. Why do we ask kids what "JOB" they want to have when they grow up? Shouldn't we instead be asking them what they like to do NOW? Shouldn't we be asking them what they like to do? We should even be asking questions like what do they think they are good at or what do they lose time doing? It is crucial that we ask them these questions, not just once but frequently

When I found my purpose/passion a few years ago, everything came into focus. I realized I was put on this earth to TALK. I should note that I discovered this while on stage in front of 400 people in a Marriott conference room in North Carolina. I call it my "Beyonce Moment" because it was in that moment on stage when I actually had a conversation with myself.

Dawne, you are killing it. You sound so smart. People are laughing, they think you’re funny and your outfit is on fire. Holy Crap, I love this. If I had a wind machine, this moment would go down as the most epic of all time”
My real life baby book with the proof in my own mother's handwriting. (1976)

My real life baby book with the proof in my own mother's handwriting. (1976)

The truth is I felt like this must be what it's like to be living in your purpose. It was life altering but it also hit me like a ton of bricks. How had I never realized this? Every job I had ever imagined myself in was centered around talking (SNL cast member, Broadway star, the next Barbara Walters, a get the point). To make matters worse, I asked my Mom when she knew I was a talker. She didn't answer me, instead she texted me this picture of my baby book. You'll notice it says that I started talking at 6 months! Did you know the average baby starts talking at 18 months? (Yes, I looked it up). It was always there. I wasn't paying attention because I wasn't looking for what I was good at or what I loved doing, I was looking for a job.

In an effort to help other people find their purpose, I want to share a few of the questions I ask myself. It is important to dig deep and understand what the questions really mean. I keep a journal for just this purpose. Each year I ask myself the same questions. (these are just a few of them) I do this so I can make sure I am not missing anything and I am moving in the right direction.

What did you want to be and what are you doing to make your dreams real? Tell me in the comments.



P.S. I have decided not to suggest a book today but instead I want to compel you to pick up your own journal and start answering your questions now. It is never to late to go for your purpose.It's yours nobody else's. You have to pick the journal that is best for you, but if you want a suggestion, check out Compendium who makes some great books to help inspire you in your writing. Click on the image to find all sorts of great journals.