Persistence is one of the biggest keys to success. It means that you keep moving forward even when you feel like quitting. Many people give up on their dreams at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. Nothing in life worth achieving ever comes easily. Sometimes you need to fight for your dream. Sometimes you need to let your sheer will and persistence carry you through despite all the negativity and opposition you might face.
Since its founding three decades ago by then Governor George Deukmejian, the California Women’s Conference has been bringing together women from all over the world to learn and to grow from each other. The purpose of the conference was to address the failure rate of women in business in California. For most of that time, the event was organized by the first lady of California, the governor’s wife. But in 2012, Governor Jerry Brown’s wife decided to discontinue the event. Mrs. Brown’s decision really affected and inspired me. As an experienced producer of large-scale events, I decided to take over the conference, determined to keep it alive. I locked down a venue, built my team, developed a plan and started to execute. I had a burning desire and a definite plan of action.
Over the next few months, I signed up thousands of attendees, brought in over 250 exhibitors, and secured over 150 speakers. Everything was off to a great start but as the event grew closer, things were not going according to plan. I had two big setbacks that jeopardized my dream and the event. First, the team outsourced to handle sponsorships grossly inflated their projections; they were nowhere near what they should have been. Second, the funding that was expected to come for the business failed to materialize. When a payment came due for the production, I realized my business was $1.8 million in the hole. The event was in danger of being cancelled and we had just 17 days to save it.
With a definite goal – to put on this event and to provide resources to thousands of women who needed it, against all odds, I kept at it. No matter how many people told me to shut down the event, I just kept the end result in mind and stuck to the plan. I pulled in all my resources together and stuck to the plan.
Together with my team of advisors, I went from being shut down and considering bankruptcy to reducing what was owed from $1.8 million down to $150,000. By persisting and having a positive attitude I was able to make the 2012 California Women’s Conference extremely successful.
This is when I realized how important partnerships are not just in business but also in life. I was able to go back and talk to every single person I had ever worked with over the years. To my utter delight, they were generous and willing to help me. They believed in my and my cause. Without their suppose the event would not have gone on.
To know more about my story and how I used partnerships to fund my big ideas join me on via Twitter on Tuesday September 24th at 4pm PST, use the hashtag #speakerchat @womenspeakassoc. I will be answering questions and sharing what I have learned over the years.