It’s a gorgeous day outside. The kind of day Melbourne turns on so very rarely; warm, sunny, a gentle breeze and not a cloud in the sky. It would take something pretty special to drag an auditorium full of young women indoors on a day like this.
Hearing ten of Australia and New Zealand’s most inspirational female entrepreneurs give up their secrets to success – yes, that’s pretty special.
Run the World, the League of Extraordinary Women’s first major women’s conference, opened to the soundtrack of girl power’s Queen Bey as hundreds of enthusiastic young women packed into the RMIT lecture theatre. From the moment the first speaker took to the stage, it was clear that even the brilliant sunshine streaming in through the windows could not tempt the audience away.
The League’s motto is Be Inspired, Be Empowered, Be Extraordinary. And the line-up of talent on the stage was dizzying. I literally filled an entire notepad – both sides of the pages! – just trying to keep up! It seems criminal to try and condense that much inspiration into a single article so it is with the following disclaimer that I attempt it:
* This article is merely the tip of a gigantic iceberg of awesome. If you want to know what else happened, you’ll just have to go to the next one!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way… Each speaker offered infectious passion, self-belief and a determination that anything is possible. And each tackled the problems of business in completely unique ways, proving that there are many roads to the top and possibly anyone with enough guts can get there. I will try to distill for you the single most glistening pearl of wisdom each one had to share.
Naomi Simpson – founder of RedBalloon – kicked off the day with her bone dry wit and crackerjack sense of humour. Starting with an ugly dud of a web site and no customers, Naomi built a multi-million dollar business and has many awards to hang on the back of the toilet door. Her advice to women starting out in business is don’t fear technology because it’s the key to a global shop front and limitless expansion possibilities.
“Without technology you will always have a business that is in the realm of what you can see in front of you. Technology gives you access to a global market,” she said. “The reason we don’t see more women running bigger businesses is because women are afraid of technology. Don’t be.”