Kick Competition to the Curb

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Last month, I attended CRA Live. Stacy Boegem, my dear friend, hosts this annual event in South Florida. It’s a major highlight on my calendar as it always reunites me with old friends, allows me to meet amazing new connections, and inspires me with the keynote speakers. In short, I would describe it as a means to rebooting my mojo that never fails.

For each, the day is broken into three parts: Connect, Relate, and Activate. There is a running theme to each of these incredible, high-energy days. Last year, it was overcoming fear and taking action. This was encouraged through wonderful presentations by the likes of Lois Barth, author of Courage to Sparkle, and Luly B., author of Balance is Bullshit. At the time, they said just what I needed to hear. This year, an incredibly diverse group of women came together again to spend a day learning about having the courage to create. The crucial takeaway from this day: there’s no such thing as competition.

Many of us in attendance on that sunny day in early April work in very similar fields. Many of us are friends, but, as Stacy clearly stated in her opening remarks: “No one else does exactly what you do in exactly the way you do it.” You could hear the inaudible amen circling around the room at the audible acknowledgement of this sentiment. As a result of this clearly worded statement, many of us have gone on to work together by collaborating and pooling our resources to accrue greater business opportunities.

Over the course of the day, we heard from a number of wonderful and inspiring businesswomen, including Liz Becker, Diana Castro, and Tonya Seavers-Evans. But the one that struck the deepest chord (pun intended) with me was Share Ross, the bass player of newly reformed female hard-rock band, Vixen. Her speech, “Be a Business Rockstar,” just took hold of me, from start to finish. She was a badass. I immediately wanted to be her BFF. And, truth be told, I think everyone else in the room did, too.

Sidebar, before I go into the core of Ross’ message, let me tell you what cemented this woman’s authenticity. At the end of her talk, she put up a slide with all the usual information, plus her phone number. She told us to please reach out by text or phone—she’d love to hear from us. I was shocked. Who does that? This woman has been backstage with the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Steven Tyler. This very small act affirmed, to me, that this woman was the real deal.

Ross’ message truly and deeply resonated with me. I feel an obligation to share it with the rest of you badass women out there. To start, think about this: out of the 90 billion people who have walked this earth since the beginning of time, no one has your voiceprint. Now, sit and think about this for a while. It’s pretty integral to your unique and badass way, right? When framed like that, it knocks the concept of competition right out the window and amps you up with the energy you need to take control and get moving.

So, be unashamedly you. Show up with integrity to every day and every opportunity you are blessed with. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” This is such a universal truth. No one else sees the world through your eyes and no one envisions things the way that you do. Embrace it and believe in yourself—that’s the power move. Don’t be afraid of the big boys and assume they offer a better product or service than you. They don’t. Only you are you. You show up to the world and offer what only you can offer.

At the end of the day, as Ross so perfectly put it, “who is your dream asking you to become?” Now, stop. Forget the many paths you could take to get there because that’s up to the universe. Belief is the key to standing out, and if you’re dreaming it, it’s calling you. Let me hear a Hallelujah. And an amen.

Now, go be you.

Categories: Career & Finance, Succeed

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Hannah Litman
Hannah's writing career began as an 18-year-old intern at Elle magazine and The Daily Telegraph (London, England). Here, she experienced the heady world of fashion under the watchful eye of industry leaders such as Hilary Alexander, Fiona McIntosh and Melanie Rickey. This in turn led to contracts with WGSN, Women’s Own, Woman & Home, NYLON, M, Condé Nast Traveller, Daily Candy, and more. At 25, Hannah jetted off to New York to pursue her dream and, at this young age, in a new Internet world, she pitched, co-founded and directed Profile magazine and its content development offshoot, EMagMaker. The stars were aligned. It was here that Hannah realized her niche talent for developing bespoke content solutions and on-brand communication products. .In the years that have followed, Hannah has segued into marketing communications. In this capacity she has acquired and worked with an impressive portfolio of start-up and corporate clients across the lifestyle industry spectrum, including Tommy Hilfiger, Chico's, Soma Intimates, Zumba, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Silversea, getAbstract, Sandow Media, Shops at Bal Harbour, Royal Flowers, Killing Kittens, Beauty & the Dirt, South Beach Group, Zindigo, Entertainment Benefits Group and GinnyBakes. With an instinct on the pulse of what’s about to trend Hannah has always been ahead of the curve. Indeed, her strategic thinking and innovative creativity are what clients often point to as Hannah’s key differentiators. This is what makes her badass.

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