This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Cosmopolitan ‘Self Made Summit’ on behalf of Very.
The Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit is a jam-packed weekend full of networking, talks and workshops all designed to help your achieve your career or business goals. Now you might be wondering what I was doing there seeing as I am predominantly a travel blogger with a dash of lifestyle and beauty BUT I am the queen of having a side-hustle. I wrote about it here on Plus Minus Magazine where I am Features Editor and I also covered the prelude to last year’s Self Made Summit here.
Read more: The #VeryValentines Event
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
The day started off at 9.15am with my favourite meal of the day – breakfast. On the weekends I don’t drink caffeine as my Saturday afternoon perks me up, but as I had a late night on the Friday, two coffees were necessary to get me through a day of talks and networking. The breakfast was so good with everything clearly labelled incase you had any allergies or intolerances. I indulged in way too many of the mini pastries and soon it was time to head to the first keynote session the day.
Keynote with Emma Willis
Emma Willis is someone I have always respected as a presenter as she has a great personality, genuinely is funny and feels like someone who you could really get along with. It was really interesting to hear about her life and how different it was before the age of social media and back then she’d have to go around with an A-Z to castings versus using an app now. This highlights something about today’s generation, we have so many tools and opportunities available to us, as individuals and embarking on the world of business. But what matters is how we use them and what we want out of our ventures.
Everyone measures success differently.
After the keynote with Emma Willis and Cosmopolitan Editor, Farrah Storr, I browsed the pop-ups and had my lashes done by the Eylure team. I wear contact lenses, so I hate feeling like my eyes are heavy which is why I only wear lashes on occasion. I should really wear them more often as they really make your face ‘pop’ and bring a look together. I just need to get practicing again!
You can shop them here.
The first talk I had signed up for was with Marcia Kilgore, the woman behind Soap & Glory, FitFlop and her latest venture, Beauty Pie. I had no idea she was behind all these successful businesses and it was so inspiring to hear about her humble beginnings, what life was like for her in NYC and how she got where she is today. Some things she said that stuck our for me were:
“There is a myth of overnight success”
I completely agree, people are so obsessed with results and highlights, we forget the path to success is full of mistakes and failings.
“Know your brand like you know the words to Happy Birthday”
“Don’t waste your life complaining about stuff”
“Networking is crucial”
“Know your customer inside out”
“Stay true to you”
All important words of advice when it comes to starting a business solo. You have to embody your customer, be authentic to yourself, network and not spend time dwelling on the negative.
Lunch opens doors
After this it was time for lunch where I got talking to someone who had also come to the event solo. I’m going to write a post about going to events solo but if you’re at event alone, you can tell who has come their own, so my top tip is just go up to them, ask if anyone is sitting down at their table and start conversation. Networking is crucial! You never know who you’re going to meet. I gave this lady my business card at the end of it.
I missed the second keynote with Tess Holiday as I was getting this done at the Skinny Dip stand:
Session two was called ‘Disrupting the Fashion Industry’ which wasn’t something I was keen to attend but turned out to be interesting anyway. It echoed much of my first session where staying true to yourself is key. However, I did wonder if it focused too much on influencers and social media versus actual ‘businesses’. I do get that technically an ‘influencer’ is a business but I felt that this wasn’t how the talk should have been guided. It should have focused a little more on tips to stand out and how they’re staying relevant and keeping customers in 2018.
Usually after an event, I’m straight out the door because I’m either tired or I have somewhere else to be (like my bed), but I decided to stick around and brave an hour of networking. I met three other ladies who had also come solo and all for different reasons, we now have a WhatsApp group and I’m hoping this is the beginning of something special in terms meeting like-minded people who want to start businesses or have a goal in mind.
I came home from the event feeling inspired and ready to take on the world. I truly believe you can conquer anything if you have the right mindset. I’ve always had dreams of setting up a cosmetics line and whilst it’s just something I’m in the idea stages of at the moment, it’s important to ‘just do it’. Life is way too short to let self-doubt and fear take over. Go and get the world… or just read my travel section.
I attended the event on behalf of Very (thanks guys), but all views are my own of course.