The Yellow Conference: My Four Takeaways

 
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Read Time: 5 minutes

I’m a conference junkie. Ten years ago, I had never would have dreamed of going to a conference. Even now when I tell people, they kind of wrinkle their nose in disgust, because “conference” sounds boring.

The conferences I attend are more like inspiring sleepovers with your closest girlfriends.

I’d been to several conferences of this nature before I signed up for Yellow Conference last year. It changed my life. 

At their core, the women of yellow exist to empower creative, entrepreneurial women to become agents of good. I was lucky enough to be able to go for my second time last month and I thought I’d share of few of my biggest takeaways from my time there.

1. There is no right time.

I’d never heard Ashley, founder of The Shine Project, speak, and when I did, I was absolutely moved by her story. Her family has been through unimaginable heartache in the past several years, and yet she continues to shine. She continues to start businesses and brands that matter. She continues to make moves in her own life. Why? She said it best:

“The circumstances and pain in our lives will not just go away. Live a different way. Use it. The right time to start something is right now. Because its the only thing that’s guaranteed.”

This sucker punched me. I often get caught in that cycle of “When I… Then I will…” And that’s a devastating way to live.

Here’s the thing: You’re never going to arrive at the perfect place. You’re never going to get everything on your list accomplished. There will never be a perfect time to start.

Sometimes, you have to look at everything going on in your world, and be okay with it, knowing that it will always feel busy and there will always be one more project to finish. That doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to do the things you love. It doesn’t mean you should put your dreams on hold.

You have to start right in the middle of the mess. Because if you wait until the mess goes away, you’ll be waiting forever. 

 

2. “The work you should be doing is the intersection of the skills and gifts you have and the causes and problems you are passionate about.”

This, it’s such a simple and obvious statement, but I think it’s a good reminder from Kohl, founder of Krochet Kids.

Each of us are equipped with talents that only we possess and we should be using them to help fix the problems that move us deeply. 

It’s easy to get so lost when determining your purpose and your destiny. People start asking you as soon as you can talk, “So what do you want to be when you grow up?”

It's simple. You don’t have to be anything. Be yourself. Do work that matters. To you and to the world.

 

3. “Don’t think about who you want to be or what you want to do. How do you want to spend your days?”

When Maggie, founder of Blink Now, said this, I think I got chills. It’s such an important question, and I’m not really sure I know the answer to it yet. 

But I love that idea. Our lives are made up of days. 

At one point, I thought I wanted to be a wedding photographer, and then I realized: I don’t want to spend my weekends busy and I don’t want to spend the rest of my days editing thousands of photos for endless hours.

How do you want to spend your days? If you work it backward and think of it from this point of view, I think a lot of our decisions would change and we’d have a clearer vision of our future.

I’ll let you know when I have an answer for that question. ;) 

 

4. What do I really need? What does the world need from me?

At the entrance to the Yellow conference, there was a large board with paper tags hanging from it. On the other side of each tag was a word. We all were supposed to pick a tag, look at the word, and then see how that word played out for us personally over the course of the conference. I picked two, because it was just a cool concept and I had to go back for another.

My first word: Need. My second word: Light. 

I chewed on that for a while. As I was debriefing once I got home, I asked myself these questions:

What do I really need? What does the world need from me?

Yellow has taught me much about sustainability, in the things that I choose to buy to the way I choose to live my life.

Is it sustainable? What do I really need? (I’m going to talk more about sustainable living soon.)

And here’s what I realized.

I need to live light. And the world needs me to be light.

Live lighter, not burdened by the stuff that’s overflowing out of closets and drawers. Live lighter, not carrying around burdens in my mind in my heart. Pack light so you can be light. 

I think sometimes, the things we choose to carry keep us from pouring out the most precious parts of us, the the light the world so desperately needs.

When we're not buried by burden, we're free to spread joy and love and light. 

I'm going to live lighter, meshing my gifts with my passions, spending my days on things that matter, and I'm going to do it all NOW. Not tomorrow, not next month, not when I think I'm finally ready. 

Stop waiting. Start chasing.

 

So those were my biggest takeaways. Obviously, there was so much more goodness from those few days. If you’d like to know more about the Yellow Co, check out their website and blog. If you’re a creative woman who wants to do good in the world, consider joining the Yellow Collective! And if you're interested in going to the conference, go get all the details here.

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