It was 4-business impacting days, some fantastic women, 5 extraordinary VIPS, inspiring special guests, exclusive image building tools, and a never before seen team-up of popular speakers Renee O’Brien and Debbie Sardone. Combine that with exotic ports of call, lively connection with like-minded ladies, nightlife, dancing and tons of fun, and you have the May 2010 Smart Women Maid Rich conference held on magnificent Carnival cruise ship Destiny.
You may know the basic facts, but what really happened behind the scenes at the conference? Well, you can see some must-see video from the boat, and some chats with some of the attendees by clicking on the video.
For me, I had an all around blast, but also there were some real highlights that stood out that I would like to share…
First, I have to say I was so surprised at how moved and inspired I was with the VIPs. We selected five women cleaning business owners to speak as VIPs, that all were selected to show a different side of “success” of women leaders, and WOW were they powerful! I mean the room was laughing, crying, and truly moved by the personal stories of Cindi Bermudez of Maid to Clean in Washington DC (previously featured in publications like Washington Post, Bethesda Magazine, and more), Liz Trotter of My American Maid in Washington state (fantastic business and I think the most creative mind in the cleaning business!), Deanna Hains of Zen Home Cleaning in 2 locations New York and San Francisco (previously featured in over 10 major publications including, the Wall Street Journal, Daily Candy, and the Sundance channel), Lanette Richmond of Life Maid Easy in Arizona (award winning and a master at reinventing her business to adapt to a changing environment), and Carrie Kiser of Champagne Services in Virginia (award winning and one of the first trail blazers in the organization, connection and training of professional cleaning businesses; and a shining example of building a family owned business through adversity, and building a balanced life). Their stories were amazingly mindset changing. Also, these ladies were a ton of fun! The wine tasting event was a hoot, with maybe a little too much tasting on my part. Thank you!!!!
If that was not enough, we were super lucky to have special guest speaker Sharon Cowan, CBSE a 27 year veteran of the janitorial industry who owned and sold a successful commercial and residential cleaning company grossing millions. Sharon is a true woman-owned pioneer buying a cleaning business for pennies and building it into the millions, in primarily the commercial cleaning market. At the conference she shared her vision, and some real big picture planning tools. What I find with Sharon is that she thinks big…often the most silent in a room, but then thought-provoking words of wisdom that give you a new perspective are shared that makes you go “hmmm…I never thought of it that way.” Experts say that if you want to be successful then surround yourself with successful people, and feel very lucky to have Sharon Cowan in my circle of peeps. I can’t help but come up with good ideas around her, and be moved to go and do them!
And of course, another huge takeaway for me was the material and energy that Debbie and I built working on this project for more than a year. We were both very passionate about really capturing the material and an experience that would change businesses. We were both insistent that we cover never-presented-before professional skills topics that truly make the difference between success and failure of woman owned businesses. The amount that we wanted to cover was far more than what we could pull off in a 4 day conference so we battled, and fought for our topics until we arrived on the schedule that we did…and we couldn’t have been happier with the result. I’m just so proud that the topics were just what we wanted: “Extraordinary Success”, “Leadership Part 1”, “Taking Charge – Leadership Part 2”, “Self-Assured and Sensational”, “Show Me the Money”, “Fearless Sales Skills”, “Time Management”, “Having it All”, Debbie’s personal story, Renee’s personal story and tons more.
I find that the most memorable moments in anything are always in the mistakes and mishaps. You should have seen the look on Debbie and my face when we arrived on the boat to find that our carefully every-detailed-planned event was about to experience a mishap, and they have mistakenly moved our sessions to be held in a cocktail lounge. Eeek. I mean picture this…a black walled, mirror covered room with 12 inch across round tables bolted to the floor room that surrounded a piano bar. I personally watch grey hairs grow out of our heads. We did some fast talking and bargained our way into the not-yet-available conference room with a stunning view. We can laugh now, but our hearts both skipped a beat.
Everyone wanted to know “what’s next?”, “how can we keep the vibe going?”, and of course “when is the next cruise?” The answers to all of those questions is here. We are announcing that we are starting the Smart Women Maid Rich Club, which will keep the energy and action going all year!! And there will be another cruise (registration will be discounted or free to club members; see site for details)!!! For both opportunities space will be limited…and in the club’s case, space is limited to one business per state (nearly half of the states are already locked up now), so get involved quickly if you want to participate www.SmartWomenMaidRich.com .