I talked a little bit about the activities and overall vibe of Create and Cultivate in my last blog post. In this blog post, I wanted to talk about the 3 keynote speakers.
From what I know, this year’s conference was supposedly the biggest and best one yet, and the 3 keynote speakers certainly reflected that: Jessica Alba, Rachel Zoe and Chelsea Handler finished off the conference with their own entrepreneurial and creative journeys.
Each keynote is a successful businessperson and were interviewed by a close friend in their business and life. I always love hearing people share their stories, because we all come from different industries and experiences and there’s always something to take away from each conversation. This was no exception:
Here are some quoteworthy moments from each. (Sorry if they’re not exactly word for word, I was trying to transcribe as much and as fast as I could)!:
Jessica Alba- Actress turned entrepreneur/Founder of The Honest Company
“I was super insecure about not having a college degree or a sort of conventional education and it really felt like I wasn’t smart or didn’t deserve to have a seat at the table. I always made jokes and excuses for myself, because I felt like a fraud, but it took me getting over that for the company to actually get on its feet. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know everything. Surround yourself with people who have done it before and people who support your weaknesses with their strengths. And don’t be afraid to fail. Failures are the best lessons. I went through so many avenues and roads before going down the right one.”
On the strength to keep going:
“Being an actress is like being rejected by the hot guy at school all the time, everyday, all day. It’s so tough. Being in an industry that batters you down and tears you apart taught me that you just have to find your own voice and inner strength. When people kept saying no, instead of it defeating me it just gave me the fire to keep going.”
Rachel Zoe- stylist, designer and founder of the Rachel Zoe empire
“Be honest, kind and forthcoming. That’s how I govern my business and my life.”
“Before I had children, I was so obsessed with my career and didn’t see anything outside of work. I feel like all of a sudden I got better at my job as soon as I had my first child. I was able to focus, prioritize, look at important things in a different way and handle them in a sane way and not get worked up about all of the small things.”
On her husband being her business partner:
“It’s a really strange thing. We’re independent but very co-dependent. We’ve been together for 25 years. We started off on different paths (I was a stylist and he was in investment banking) but I just wasn’t making big decisions without talking to him. When my business started to go beyond styling, I just kind of looked at him one day and said “so, how about it.” We started working together and it was the most fun thing ever. Overall it works for us. We’re best friends and there’s no one I trust more in the world, and he works on a different side of the business than I do.”
and last but not least:
Chelsea Handler- Comedian
“I’m inspired by directness and no bullshit.”
“I’m not fearless. I live in fear. I just want it to go away, so I’m constantly trying to swim toward something with floaties on. I want to embrace fear and I want to know that I’m going towards something.”
“You have to believe in yourself otherwise no one will believe in you.”
On her motivation to do what she does:
“Maybe it’s because I come from a family of 6 children but I just wanted people to know who I was.”
Needless to say, at the end of the day, I left reassured, excited and re-inspired for everything that I’m doing. I’m looking forward to the day that I too can reach their level of success and be on stage, giving back my experiences to a group of people through wisdom and wit. The cherry on top would be able to introduce other women onto the stage as leaders, role models and my friends.
Who would you want to see on stage/ hear from?
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