Sometimes our gut and our heart speak to us and guide us towards something important that we’d like to accomplish.
Just a few years ago, 2019 to be exact, speaking at the United Nations was a far-fetched dream. I thought that if I could speak on behalf of Sustainable Development Goal #5, Gender Equality, I’d somehow be able to empower even more women to have a bigger voice and impact.
There were all sorts of reasons why this dream made NO sense, why it was unlikely at best and why it was NOT likely to happen. But dreams have a funny way of becoming reality when you're committed to doing what it takes for ‘what’s next’. Let's dive into how the journey unfolded and the actionable lessons you can apply to your own path.
Visualize Your Goals
In 2019, I set a goal in my speaking mastermind with Bo Eason. I wanted to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal #5: equality for women and girls. So, I drew a picture—husband, client, kids, audience, stage. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was my vision. And I looked at it often. The act of visualizing your goals is more than just wishful thinking; it's a form of mental rehearsal. Studies have shown that visualization can improve performance and increase the likelihood of achieving your goals.
Seize Every Aligned Opportunity
I practiced daily and took almost every speaking invitation that came my way. Each opportunity, no matter how small, was a stepping stone toward my larger goal. It's easy to overlook these moments, but they're the building blocks of your journey. The more you practice, the better you get, and the more confident you become. This confidence radiates, attracting even more opportunities your way.
Be Resourceful and Persistent
Here's a twist: I applied to speak at Microsoft's Women in Cloud conference a few years back and was initially declined. But instead of walking away, my husband and I volunteered to register speakers at the event. That's how I met George Sifakis, the CEO of Ideagen who would turn out to be an important partner in my work with SDG #5 and the UN. This experience taught me that sometimes you have to create your own opportunities or find a different door if one gets shut. Being resourceful and persistent can open doors you never knew existed.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Over the years, I've had various conversations with George and his wife Adriana about their commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Once they heard about my Fearless Female Leadership enterprise journey, and I heard about their partnership with the UN, we partnered on a panel at the UN. Relationships are not just transactional; they are ongoing, giving, and transformational. Building meaningful connections with people who share your vision can exponentially increase both of your impacts.
So, what's your United Nations speaking event? What's the dream that seems so far away right now but could be just a few strategic steps from becoming a reality? Let's harness our collective courage and take those first steps, however small they may seem. Because every step forward is a step closer to making your vision a reality.
If you have any questions or if I can help you or your team in any way, please reach out directly to [email protected].
Cheering you on always,
Do you feel like everything is catching up with you?
Overwhelmed by your current schedule and possibly underwhelmed by the progress you’re making on initiatives that matter to you?
It’s definitely that time of year, and you are not alone. The good news is that you can have a "mini intervention" with yourself, your schedule, and the impact you’re having, so you can feel less overwhelmed and more in control and on purpose. You’ll likely be more fun to be around too:)
This "Get to Know Yourself" questionnaire will help you next-level your understanding of who you are and what’s important to you. You’ll be looking from a perspective that may be unfamiliar, but this can be a catalyst to ignite momentum and inspire consistent action.