Hello WYJUANA SPEAKS family! You probably wonder what this pic of food has to do with Austin, TX. Well, I travelled down from Oklahoma City on the Greyhound bus last night (that's a whole other adventure I should share) and had the pleasure of enjoying the hot, fresh and totally delicious Pakistani cuisine from Atia's Kitchen, in the South Austin Thicket Food Park. Yes there is an actual Food Park, complete with Pakistani, Mexican, Argentinian, Chinese, Greek, Vegan and good old American soul food from Granny's Kitchen (but Granny was missing last night, maybe she needed a break! The atmosphere was made complete by live music from a hippie band. Anyway, what you see here is my delicious dinner of Beef Samosas with a yummy green sauce to dip them in and Chicken Karhai, a dish made of juicy bits of roasted chicken in a tomato-based sauce garnished with cilantro over a bed of hot, steamy basmati rice and I had Mango-flavored Aloe Vera juice to drink...what more could I ask for?
So why am I here in Austin? I'm here because as I always teach you all, I am taking advantage of an amazing opportunity that came my way. One day when I was searching for events relevant to my business as a motivational speaker and author on Eventbrite, I came across the BE Conference. This conference is part of the large and very popular SXSW (South by Southwest) series of events for 2 weeks in March of each year. I love what SXSW stands for:
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.
So in January or early February, I stumbled upon the Be Conference hosted by WrapWomen, who are part of SXSW and found they were giving away a limited # of General Admission Scholarships ($299 value) to potential attendees. All I had to do was complete an application sharing who I am, what my business is about, my business goals for the year and what I hope to gain by attending this conference. Did a bit of fear and what if I'm not established enough hit me, yes, but only for a split second, then I shook it off and went to work on the short application.
I was so excited to learn about a week later, that I had earned the scholarship...look at God! To make a long story short, this conference is filled with some 50 amazing mentors in every industry (New York bestselling authors, renowned public speakers, photographers, CEOs, film directors, actresses (incl Sasha Alexander from Rizzoli & Isles which I watch faithfully), etc). There will be networking, speakers, breakout sessions, small group mentoring sessions which I get to be part of and matched to me based on what I do.
And to put icing on the cake, they posted an opportunity for attendees to have 5 minutes in Soapbox Corner to pitch their business or solicit help to resolve a business problem or brainstorm marketing ideas. I was one of the first 5 attendees to respond so I get to pitch Bold, Brave and Courageous in Soapbox Corner and my idea of getting it in the hands of large regional and national organizations that serve girls in my demographic. I really believe that I am going to make some key connections at this event to help me BE all that I can be as a speaker and author.
So the moral of this story is, take advantage of every opportunity and you too may find yourself at the Be Conference (https://www.facebook.com/BeConferences/) in Austin, TX, one year.
The fun and life-changing work for me begins at open session tonight!
The voice of WYJUANA SPEAKS