Back in March, I attended the Connected Women of Influence Awards Luncheon (CWI). It was a luncheon dedicated to honoring women business owners who were nominated for a variety of awards. They could be nominated for awards such as Champion of Women Award, Gamechanger Award, Woman to Watch Award, Women Breaking Barriers Award, the Women’s Advocate of the Year Award, President’s Award, and more. I was there because my boss was nominated for the Gamechanger Award. Although she didn’t win, I had a great time and I was so happy I was able to be there to support her.
What is CWI?
Being there to support my boss during her nomination is the purpose of CWI. In fact, co-owners Michelle Bergquist and Jaimee Pittman crafted this amazing mission statement to articulate what their goal: To build a strong, professional community that fosters growth, support and collaboration through the development of high-performing professional relationships, alliances, and partnerships among b2b women owners, executives, and professionals.
In plain terms, Michelle and Jaimee are aiming to create a community that helps support and connect women business owners, executives, and professionals. It is a group of women who are focused on bettering themselves, lifting up others and making the world a better place. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? I know I would.
What Did You Do While There?
Well, this was a luncheon that was set up to honor all of the nominees and winners of these awards. Naturally, I was there to enjoy the food! Actually, I was there to support every single woman who was nominated and even those who weren’t.
I showed up and actually got the opportunity to meet Dana Malstaff, someone I have worked with previously, in person! I got to hear amazing stories of women who worked their butts off. I got to listen to some awesome advice from some of the top women in San Diego. It was a chance to see what it looked like after all of the hard work of setting up a business had finished and working IN the business began.
Why Do I Care, Kaylee?
I know it may seem like this was an experience that can't affect or help anyone else since I wasn't expected to make any type of financial investment to attend. You may not even care that I went to this luncheon because you looked at their website and saw their membership fees and immediately clicked off.
I want to let you know that this isn't about CWI specifically. I wanted to use this post to show you that no matter where you go, for whatever reason, there is always a chance and an opportunity to learn and to network. Join a networking group and actually attend the classes and events! Make it your mission to develop relationships and not just clients. There is so much benefit from doing this that it is crazy everybody doesn't do it!
would you go back?
ABSOLUTELY! I can't wait to go back. Attending this luncheon allowed me to kickstart my motivation, gave me mentors and role models to look up to, and all in all was an extraordinary experience. I was able to form a relationship with Michelle, one of the co-owners, and be able to attend a class on time and inbox management. I have been closely watching their event calendar and am working on being able to attend another event! I've linked their event calendar that gives you all the details, if you're interested.
The best way to grow and improve your business is by getting out of the house and networking face-to-face with people. As a millennial, that's the worst thing I can possibly say. I hate leaving my house and interacting with people. I normally do everything online, but my experience at one CWI event has completely changed my mindset and proved to me nothing can replace actual interaction with amazing business people.
If you want your business to truly succeed, take time to form relationships with other business owners.