If you know anything about me at all, you know that among many positive things, I am a “serial entrepreneur.”
Venturing out on my own this year to follow my true passion; I have committed to taking Taleno Enterprises to the next level with the addition of Iliana Taleno & Associates, the comprehensive event services & event talent/rental concierge company.
Looking into creating awareness for my own brand, I came across what seemed to be a great opportunity for me to learn and network with fellow women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Success Summit IV.
Just your typical afternoon, updating my social media accounts, I was invited to an “event” and when I followed the link to the summit’s official website, I was very excited at my find.
The Women’s Success Summit IV: “Risky Business,” was sure to be an amazing 2-day vessel to learn the in’s and out’s of going “all in” as an entrepreneur. Michelle Villalobos, Brand & Personality Marketing Expert and founder of W.S.S. along with Jessica Kizorek, Chief Badass Business Woman put on a phenomenal conference.
Two packed days of learning the how-to’s of a successful business straight from the source- successful women entrepreneurs.
I jumped on the VIP pass and made arrangements to drive up from Homestead to the Gulfstream Village. I was not going to miss this!
On the first day, I sat in the front of the stage and took many notes. I listened carefully and hung on almost every word.
I learned in-depth what it was to “sell” my personality and to create awareness for my brand through this. The case studies, interviews and presentations were motivating, enthusiastic and powerful.
At the end of the first day, I was inspired and empowered! I couldn’t wait to start applying what I had learned from these amazing women.
On my long drive home, I couldn’t get one thought out of my mind… the W.S.S. was by far one of the greatest tools out there to help women.
Remember my 2011 Initiative? To lead a more positive life and motivate other women to do the same? Well, one thing I admire most about Michelle and the Summit she has created, is that it is to lift up women and help them get to the next level. True, the Summit focused around business but it also zoned in on the personal aspects of being a woman.
Participants learned how to overcome their own doubts in getting to the next step, as well as, how to better take care of themselves- heart, soul and mind. End result a genuinely better women first and foremost.
As I arrived on the second day, I spotted Michelle outside the restroom.
Haunted by a poignant moment shared by Jessica Kizorek on the first day- I couldn’t let this moment go by without introducing myself to Michelle and thanking her for such an incredible experience at this Summit.
We all have that one person or a couple of people that we admire and hope to one day meet. Well, Michelle, as well as, Jessica- was now on my “must-meet” list.
I thanked Michelle and made it a point to share with her what I had promised myself I would say to her if I got to meet her one-on-one. “I want to be you when I grow up,” I said to her. I meant it. I don’t know her personally but I know that, like her, I want to be a successful entrepreneur that also helps other women get to their best potential.
I believe that we are all ever-changing and ever-growing. It’s not that I refuse to “grow up,” but rather that I haven’t reached my full potential yet.
Day 2 was far more than I expected.
Looking into the program, I was aware of the speakers, panelists and case studies to be presented. But I had no clue at the level of energy that was going to be dispensed.
Day 2 was definitely much more interactive. VIP pass holders were able to partake in a “speed networking” event during a break. The presenters and panelists took questions from the audience and, I felt, were more personable at recanting how they made IT happen.
During the speed networking, I was able to “perfect” my “elevator pitch” and made quite a few connections with fellow event service business owners. It was an exhilarating experience! 2 minutes to pitch, listen and make a connection. Wow.
After the restroom encounter with Michelle, I was pumped to be my social self and meet new faces.
I introduced myself to a few women in the course of the final day of the Summit. I don’t regret it! I met some amazing business women and even found myself a mentor. Now this is what it’s all about!
As the second day came to a close, we were joined by a panel of highly successful male entrepreneurs.
I won’t lie, there were quite a few lookers on the panel. Sorry, Raul, I only looked!
The gentlemen had boatloads of advice to give and only a short time to do so. I jotted down every piece of knowledge they had to throw at us and came up with pages of treasured how-to’s and motivational tidbits. I was eager to get home and share them with Raul. I knew that as an up and coming businessman and entrepreneur himself, he’d appreciate the knowledge.
The Summit was over and as we were thanked for coming and kindly ushered out, I decided I wasn’t going to leave without a picture with Michelle and Jessica. I spotted Michelle on the stage and politely made my way over there to offer my help with the upcoming W.S.S. Summit V, as well as, ask for a photograph. She was happy to oblige.
It’s been a few weeks since the Summit and I find myself applying lessons learned each day, step by step.
My personal take-away from this experience is that Michelle, Jessica and other great women I had the chance to meet at the Summit, embodied what I hope to be when I get to my full potential.
I’ll tell you what, I am forever changed by the Summit. The lessons learned, the connections created and the friends made were all worth the long drive two days in a row.
Bravo to all the amazing business women who helped put the Women’s Success Summit IV together!
Iliana Taleno Swain is Miami’s up and coming Social Events Planner. She is an expert in designing events that create everlasting impressions. Former Visual Brand Marketing Manager in the Fashion Industry she specialized in VIP Client social events. As a mom-preneur herself, Iliana is now helping busy housewives, moms and professionals create impressive events. Trust her training and expertise to design an incredible event that will impress you, your guests and on occasion, your clients, too! Contact her today for a complimentary Event Consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org | 305.482.1211