Takeaways from the Innovation Conference for Boston Business Women

By Matter

A group of lovely ladies represented Matter Communications at the first annual Boston Business Women Innovation Conference last week on Monday, May 9. The event featured an impressive list of female speakers, who each took the stage to share their insight and experiences with the community, including Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post. When asked to reflect on their favorite key takeaway, here’s what our Matter attendees said:

Be fearless.

Whether it’s at work or in your personal life, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for what you want: From going outside your comfort zone and being the first to say “hello” at a networking session, to taking on work that may be outside of your job description. In the end, it will position you for future success. In the workplace, don’t be afraid to show emotion, it demonstrates that you are presenting your true, authentic self to your colleagues instead of hiding behind a mask that is untrue. This authentic self is very important as we move from a technology-centered era to a human-centered era supported by technological innovation.

Life is all about choices.

Many speakers spoke about choice and the role it plays in creating our own paths. Kip Hollister, founder & CEO of Hollister Staffing, said, “We are all the creators of our own reality through our moment-to-moment choices.” Taking ownership over the choices we make at work, at home and in our everyday lives is very powerful and can contribute greatly to our overall well-being, happiness and satisfaction. Colette Phillips, CEO Colette Phillips Communications, said that when faced with a challenge, “You can choose to be bitter, or you can choose to be better.” This is an empowering way to take ownership of a situation that takes you out of your comfort zone, no matter where you are.

Passion and purpose are key.

Colette Phillips spoke about living life by the three “Ps”: passion, purpose, and plan. This simple motto is something we can all apply and live by when it comes to our careers, but it also beautifully transcends work into our daily lives. You must not only take what comes at you with determination, grace and positivity, but also have the confidence to shape your own outcomes in order to achieve true happiness and fulfillment. That is unique to each individual, so whether it means writing your own job description, asking for that salary adjustment, developing a more positive mindset or taking the first step toward a healthier lifestyle, we have the power to initiate the change we want to happen … we just have to have the courage to ask for it.

Make time to think.

Thinking is where the magic happens. The more time we invest in creativity and generating ideas, the more meaningful progress we’ll make toward 10,000 hours and “expert status” in our field. Beginning her career as a receptionist at Hill Holiday, Karen Kaplan, now CEO, worked hard to think clearly and become an expert in every position she held. She said, “Mind your time spent transacting—answering an email, cleaning your inbox—versus thinking. Thinking leads to creativity and ideas, and creativity and ideas level the playing field. They transcend age, gender, race, nationality, ethnic background, rich and poor.”