Femfessionals Interview with Stefanie Monge | Think.Start.Do. Conference
What was your inspiration to start your conference?
I’m a serial entrepreneur who works mostly from my home office when I’m not with clients. The life of an entrepreneur can be lonely. I found myself wanting to connect on a deeper level with other women who could relate to my experience as a female founder. I also saw a lot of value in bringing women at different stages in their business journey together to learn from one another.
As you gather an amazing line up of phenomenal women to participate at your conference, is there a common theme you hear from them tips for success?
The one thing that keeps coming up as I talk with speakers and panelists is the fact that there’s no one way or “right” way to be an entrepreneur. You have to be flexible and willing to make mistakes until you figure out what works for you. And then you have to be willing to repeat the process over and over again. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and not get too hung up on setbacks.
Which panelist/speaker do you think has the most inspirational message/story?
All of the speakers are truly amazing women and allies who’ve built their businesses and brands from the ground up and have fantastic stories to tell. But one speaker I always love hearing from is Stacey Flowers. A teen mom-turned MBA holding international speaker and consultant – Stacey is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. She talks about overcoming society’s expectation of your ability to be successful and achieving great things. Stacey teaches women how to live happier and more intentional lives. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say in Chicago.
What is your intention to all that attend the conference?
My intention for ThinkStartDo attendees is that they take this time to embrace a spirit of collaboration. For those of us who mostly work alone or in small teams it’s easy to get carried away with work and go into hermit mode. Sometimes it can feel scary finding new business partners, especially within the same industry. But establishing the right strategic partnerships can help your business and brand grow exponentially. Speaker Sarah Baker of the Balanced Babe media company is giving a talk on how to form productive and mutually beneficial partnerships to help attendees make the most of their new connections.
What are some topics women entrepreneurs are in need of learning more of?
In general I think women entrepreneurs can benefit from participating in a more honest conversation about the realities of running a business. I’m especially looking forward to moderating a panel on how successful entrepreneurs deal with failure and setbacks. Too often we gloss over the tough parts of startup life. The truth is that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. You have to be able to cope with setbacks and be resilient enough to recover and change course if needed. We need to learn more about how to cope with those ups and downs.
What have you personally learned about business through this process?
My biggest lesson has been to just ask for help. I faced a series of challenges throughout this process – including three deaths in my family in three weeks and losing my intern to a full time job six weeks before the event. This experience has shown me that while I can do everything myself, I don’t want to. Reaching out to ask for help when I was feeling overwhelmed was a game changer. I realized that my assumption that people didn’t care or were too busy or unwilling to help was completely wrong. I was amazed by how genuine these women who I didn’t even really know could be in offering their help and support. I’ve learned not to underestimate the value of an outstretched hand.
What will make your conference stand out from the others?
At ThinkStartDo we know that feeling as your motivation and excitement starts to fade after an event ends. You’re so inspired when you’re there and make all these big promises to yourself, but as time goes by it’s easy not to follow through. We want to change that. We’re offering accountability groups and peer mentors to everyone at the conference. We’re also giving everyone one year of free website hosting to help them get their projects off the ground. We’re working to keep the community connected after the event to encourage ongoing collaboration and support.
Any final tips for women entrepreneurs?
Be brave. Just keep going. This isn’t going to be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it. You have to remember that the work you’re doing is an investment in your future even during those times when you might not be earning a lot. One of our speakers, TV cooking personality Momma Cuisine, said it best when she said entrepreneurs spend a few years living like most people aren’t willing to, so they can spend the rest of their lives living like most people will never get to. Keep investing in yourself and eventually it pays off.
Follow this link to save 40% on your ThinkStartDo All Access Pass. Registration ends Tuesday, April 5th.
More About Stefanie. Stefanie is the Founder of Think.Start.Do., President of Femfessionals Omaha, International yoga & meditation teacher, serial entrepreneur & consultant.