In many ways, it feels strange to be talking about female CEOs in the 21st century as though it’s a novel idea. At the same time, it’s such an honor and privilege to be part of a conversation among a special group of ladies who lead successful companies and, in the words of moderator Jen Widerstrom, gathered together for an afternoon to “hopefully show that we’re not that different than you are.”
The “Founded by Women” panel at our Cincy 2019 Wellness event brought together women from areas as diverse as music, fitness, the corporate world, sport, and social media, to discuss the universal themes of fear, self-doubt, failure, and intuition.
This is a conversation about leadership, personal success, and finding yourself. Each of the women on the panel have a unique story that led them to where they are today – as do we all. There is inspiration to be found in each of their stories, no matter where you are on your journey.
The discussion begins with fitness founder Jen Widerstrom confiding that self doubt is a very real presence in her life. Jen starts the discussion thus:
“We all know the loudest voice in the room is in our own heads. Sometimes the dialog is positive. More often it’s the hardest on us, and that drive is obviously what creates success.”
A common thread among all the panelists is believing in yourself:
Karena Dawn overcame a chaotic upbringing to become a leading fitness personality and business owner by refusing to give in to fear of failure.
Katrina Scott sets goals, and separates winning on the court from winning at life.
Jewel reminds us that “Nobody is expecting any human to have it all figured out at any given moment. We’re in a process.” She’s a big fan of setting your intention, and not being stuck on one outcome, but figuring it out in real time as you go.
Samia Gore believes that there’s no such thing as failure, only lessons. She adds, “If you don’t go for it, you’ll never know what you can succeed at.” As a result, she no longer fears failure – she knows with each effort, she will either succeed, or gain valuable lessons for next time.
Julie Smolyansky rightly instructs us that women need to take more risks, reminds us to follow our intuition rather than ignoring it, and suggests we use the haters and the doubters and the naysayers as “fuel to prove them wrong”.
And Iris Simpson says something we all know to be true, but still deny – “We’re all our own worst critic.”
We’ll explore deeper the wisdom each of these women share in future posts. Meantime, feel free to share this video online with your friends and colleagues. Use the hashtag #ShineOn to see what other readers have learned and shared, and to share your own unique insights with a community of women pursuing wellness, balance, health and fitness.