It's been almost two days since I attended The Atelier Collective event in Toronto and I'm still buzzing from the energy created by more than 700 crazy talented and smart women. I enjoyed the event so much that I wanted to share some of my key takeaways.
For those of you who don’t know, The Atelier Collective was created for ambitious women in business, BUT this event was SO much more than that. The theme this year was LIMITLESS. It focused on the idea that what we can achieve in life is truly limitless if we nurture our mindset and dissolve self-limiting beliefs.
Photo Courtesy of: Acre75 Gift Box Co.
NOTE: I know not everyone reading this is a woman but the theme is universal. If you don’t feel that’s so, then please feel free to share this with your wife, sister, mother or friend. They’re surely able to gain something from what I’m about to share.
The day started by with a powerful guided meditation from Canada’s first Nike Master Trainer and Life Coach, Eva Redpath. She asked us to close our eyes and envision our future selves. Where were we working? What did it look like? How did we feel? Who was with us? etc. She told us to hold that image in our minds and revisit it often. She explained that there is so much power in visualization. It helps us to focus on our thoughts and desires in order to turn them into reality.
KEY TAKEAWAY: What we focus on CAN/WILL become reality.
Next was Life Coach Raia Carey and Lifestyle Blogger Sarah Nicole of The Birds Papaya. I LOVED these two! Their stories hit home for me and I loved their insight. Both had a lost a tremendous amount of weight, had disappointing failures in their lives and struggled with rejection. They had a message to share about confidence. The overall message was that confidence isn’t something that comes easily to everyone, but it IS something you can develop, and ANYONE can develop it – but it takes practice.
KEY TAKEAWAY from Coach Carey: Every failure is an opportunity to do better or try something else. Be grateful for your life’s experiences. Gratitude attracts abundance.
KEY TAKEAWAY from Sarah Nicole: Confidence doesn’t come when you reach the markers you set for yourself in your mind (eg. when you lose 100 lbs., when you earn 6-figures, when you find a good man, etc.); it comes when you change your beliefs about yourself. Practice self-love and acceptance.
In between speakers there were opportunities to get hair and make-up done, get headshots, shop the pop-up market, take an inspirational selfie, taste delicious food and wine or even try an alcoholic freezie! The space was truly beautiful and catered to making the day feel super special.
Me posing with fellow Interior Decorator, Melissa Heaman of Harbourmill Design
As I mentioned there were SO many great speakers and topics, but I’m really trying to give you just a quick overview of the thoughts and ideas that really spoke to me.
Tanya Burmaster from Snuggle Bugz presented shortly after our first break. Tanya spoke of the time investment required to be an entrepreneur. She talked about working long days, long nights and working weekend to try to stay on top of everything – all the while feeling like she could never get ahead. I TOTALLY identified with this. Being an entrepreneur is a wonderful thing, but it’s exhausting and often leaves you feeling ridden with guilt about all the other arenas in your life that are taking a back seat to your business goals (family, friends, fitness, eating healthy, etc). Tanya said that after a few years of working full boar on her biz she had an epiphany. The reason she started Snuggle Bugz in the first place was to have more time for her family. However, she’d been working SO HARD on her business for the last few years that she had little time for her family. She took a step back and evaluated her priorities. She LOVED her business, but she loved her family more. Tanya and her husband held a family meeting. They decided to sell their house along with most of their belongings and move into their cottage. They used the money from the sale of their home to invest in a team to work at Snuggle Bugz so that they would have more time together. Tanya said it was the best decision they could have ever made. Snuggle Bugz is doing really well and Tanya and her family have reconnected.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Evaluate your priorities and stick to them. Where there is a will there is a way.
Next up was Devon Brooks. Okay first of all, she was STUNNING! I mean, can’t take your eyes off her beautiful (well at least to me). Anyway, aside from that, she demonstrated that she’s a real go-getter with true tenacity. After surviving a rape at 18 and then a year later being held at knife point for 9 hours and forced to write her own suicide note, she still managed to start her own biz at age 21. That company (Blo Blow Dry Bar) now has 52 locations in four countries and she still continues to innovate. Watch out for her latest project Sphere. Devon could have easily surrendered to the tragedies that traumatized her, but instead she’s moved on and up. She even said she forgives both of her assailants – she can only imagine what has been done to them if that’s how they treated her.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Stay strong and don’t let ANYTHING get in the way of your goals.
This isn't Devon's company, but there was a hair styling station at the event that was pretty awesome.
Oh goodness, this short recap is becoming long! The last two guests I’d like to talk about are Jessica Mulroney and Jillian Harris. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I really didn’t know anything about Jessica before Tuesday (except that she was married to our former Prime Minister's son). It’s sad, but true. Oh wait…about me not knowing anything about her – not that she’s married to Ben! :) Anyway, let me just say she was such a breath of fresh air. Honest, open and down-to-earth is how I would describe her. She talked about how hard it is to balance being a good mom, being a supportive wife and being a successful entrepreneur – again, something I really relate to. I was surprised to hear her speak so candidly about life away from the camera. She explained that she struggles with anxiety and she DOESN’T balance her life well at all. Jessica raved about Ben being a HUGE support for her and said that even though her life is not always balanced, she schedules quality time for her family just like she would tasks for work. She acknowledged that she’s not perfect and she’s still figuring out how to manoeuvre her life….everybody is. Quote: “ Nobody has their 💩 together, and if they say they do, they are lying!” - Jessica Mulroney.
KEY TAKEAWAY: We’re all human. Nobody’s perfect. Do your best and make time for everyone and everything that is important to you.
And lastly, one of my favourite people ever….Jillian Harris. I loved her before and I love her even more now. Jillian had 25 minutes to give us her take on business. She opened her talk by thanking all of the attendees for our kind words and notes of excitement about getting to see her at this event. She was so humble and seemed genuinely touched by all of the sentiments. The next 20 minutes was like speed coaching. Jillian raced through her top 6 biz tips and what she called her “Evolution of Failure.” It’s this “Evolution of Failure” that I want to mention. Jillian talked about messing up her first real job and costing the owner a TON of money, not getting chosen on The Bachelor and then getting cheated on when she chose to marry Ed when she was The Bachelorette. She told us how she was shattered and began drinking too much, eating too little, sleeping all the time, self-sabotaging opportunities that came her way and how she battled depression. She laid it all out for us. I’ve been following Jill for years so I already know that she’s real, authentic, kind, fun, hilarious, strong, etc. But, I think what impressed me most about her after seeing her on Tuesday was her self-acceptance. After all her mistakes, she’s able to just own them and use them to help others see that EVERYONE has imperfections and THAT’S OKAY. Jillian explained that sometimes being vulnerable can break down barriers with people you don’t know so that you can connect with them and I think that’s exactly why SHE connects with so many of us. She’s willing to share the good, bad and the ugly wholeheartedly.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Be yourself. Love yourself. Take risks, make mistakes and LEARN from them.
All in all a pretty fantastic day…and these were just the highlights! Honestly, I could share more, but these were the people and things that really resonated with me personally. Thank you to Angela Osborne & Taryn Herritt for putting on a fabulous event. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for next year!
Okay ladies (and gents if there are any still reading), that’s all I have for now. I hope you felt inspired by some of the takeaways I’ve shared. Know that you are amazing and the opportunities and growth potential that are available to you are truly LIMITLESS! Such a great message. Please SHARE!
Until next time, take care of yourself. Next time I drop in, I’ll be talking about interior decorating - promise. :)
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