It’s that time of the year when we reflect on the year that’s past and look to what next year might bring. Amongst the end of school concerts, Christmas drinks and frantic gift-buying, (hello online shopping!!) it’s important to take a moment to reflect.
This year I’ve had a number of great learning experiences. The two that really stood out were
- I undertook some one-on-one coaching with Rick Roberge that transformed the way that I think about my business and actually do the work. He has continued to be a great friend and mentor.
- I attended INBOUND14. A marketing conference that has been on my wish list for a long time. I finally went this year.
INBOUND 2014 was a complete overload of amazing, thought provoking and inspiring speakers. Of the three full days of content, there wasn’t a dud speaker or session amongst them. It was well worth the long flight from Sydney to Boston and I’m already penciling it into the calendar again for 2015.
At INBOUND amongst the stellar line up of speakers, Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, David Meerman Scott, Brian Halligan & Dharmeh Shah, the one that made the most impact on me and brought me to tears, even though I was fighting them all the way, was Shiza Shahid.
Shiza is the CEO and co-founder of The Malala Fund. I had previously heard of the terrible story of the young Pakistani girl who had been specifically targeted and shot in the head just because she insisted on getting an education. Malala took a stand and was vocal about it Shiza could have easily laid a big guilt trip on all of us, educated, westerners, whose minds boggle at the danger that Malala and her friends face every day, just to go to school. But she didn’t. Instead, she was inspiring, thought provoking and uplifting.
Here are a just a couple of her thoughts that have stayed with me long since INBOUND 14 wrapped.
- Stand up for your rights. You don’t need to wait for anyone else to do it for you.
- We are all just normal people, but that does not mean that you cannot make changes. Make change in the world if you think you should.
- There is power in being an advocate for something
- Always look beyond the obvious. To understand in a different way you need to look beyond face value.
- Live a life of curiousity and empathy
- Have big dreams, care about something, be brave
- Look deep within yourself and find the source of fear that’s stopping you from doing what you’re passionate about.
- You are stronger than apathy
- You are stronger than the status quo
- You are stronger than anything you are afraid of.
Inspired by Malala, and committed to being stronger than what I’m afraid of, I’m taking the plunge into a joint venture with Rick Roberge and Carole Mahoney to help entreprenuers have their best 2015 ever.
What are you stronger than?