The #UnstoppableLATINAS Summit Conquers NYC: Here’s What It Takes to be Successful
The Summit kicked off with a video with empowering messages to Latinas from celebrities like Adamari Lopez to William Levy. Followed by Keynote Laura I. Gómez CEO, Atipica and one of the leading voices in Tech Entrepreneurship from Silicon Valley.
Any young lady or young men in the audience please feel free to push yourself towards learning how to code. It is the literacy of the twenty first century ~ Laura I. Gómez
If you’re in search for the secret ingredient to becoming a successful entrepreneur – ask an unstoppable Latina for positive insight. In partnership with 100 Hispanic Women International, Lynn Ponder, founder and creator of the multicultural social media agency Webcitygirls.com, hosted an unforgettable event dedicated to empowering Latinas working in the world of business.
The #unstoppableLATINAS Leadership Summit, a platform designed to unite, educate, and demonstrate every woman’s potential to becoming unstoppable, conquered the hearts of many strong and inspiring women ready to take on the world as powerful leaders in media and technology.
What made the summit memorable was its extraordinary ability to gather a group of women and tap into the most important question we all struggle with– what is keeping you from becoming unstoppable and living your dream?
The answer to this question was uncovered through a powerful discourse where all keynote speakers focused on sharing their success stories and giving enriching advice on being effective leaders in business.
The Powerhouse Panel
“As women, we have to support each other.”
Facing Your Fears
The first discussion panel of the morning commenced with 4 admirable keynote speakers: EVP of Multicultural Strategy and Sales iHeartMedia Liz Blacker, General Manager and VP SBS Carolina Santamarina, Co-Founder of Access Latina Lucienne Gigante, and VP of sales IBT Media Madelin Bosakewich. Emphasizing on the meaning of true leadership and what it takes to be successful, these unstoppable women all shared one thing in common: authenticity.
While heavily discussing why they believe many with a vision stop from reaching the finish line, each speaker touched based on one important truth. “I think it’s ourselves… I think we have a lot of self-doubt. It’s our voice that make us nervous,” said Blacker. It’s no secret that fear is the culprit clouding our ability to see the potential we have on making things happen. Blacker admitted that while fear stops one from taking risks, learning how to minimize a negative thought process and realizing one’s strength is the key to moving forward.
Gigante was confident in her answer and really focused on how important it was for anyone, especially women, to accept an opportunity that truly matters. “We need somebody to open the door to that room… and then we have to step into it,” she said. Standing out from a crowd in a competitive market is difficult but being involved and showing persistence will get you noticed. The first step comes from making the decisions for ourselves, and coming together to make a difference for all women.
Being an Effective Leader, Working Hard, and Overcoming Failure
What does it mean to be a leader and how do we learn to lead effectively? The key factor to success is accepting the mentorship and mentoring others in an authentic way. Blacker recalled a moment when someone special to her had a positive impact on her journey. “I saw a woman in power. She was all these things I thought I would never be. If you do things by example, through osmosis people just absorb the energy,” she explained.
Like many of the speakers at the panel, everyone agreed that mentorship is the key to grow. “Get a mentor and mentor others. That’s one of the most important things you can do for your career,” said Gigante. One can mentor effectively by simply listening, giving feedback, and sincerely caring about the other person’s success.
However, it takes more than just getting yourself a mentor to see the success you really want to achieve. It’s what you do with the mentorship you receive that really counts. By focusing on self-development and working hard, you will see the results you’re seeking. Like Blacker says, it’s always going to be an everyday hustle and one must always work harder than everybody else.
“I think it’s just a character trait,” said Santamarina, “It’s in my nature. Perhaps it’s a subconscious thing,” she expressed when asked if she’s had to work harder to move up in rank. The advice was clear:
- Always be the most prepared person in the room
- Prioritize your time
- Accept that it will take hard work to achieve a goal you’re aiming for
- Don’t be intimidated by those who know more than you do. Learn from them.
Focusing on your strengths, finding yourself a mentor who will support your vision, and leading with cause were some of the many greatest tips offered, but what happens when an obstacle presents itself throughout the journey? Since failure and success go hand in hand, every speaker on this panel had to fail to learn and rise above the challenges.
“We need to make sure we actually embrace our failures because it’s just a path to our journey at success,” said Blacker. Taking full responsibility and facing one’s mistakes is something people don’t often do. “To be successful, you’re going to have loses along the way,” expressed Blacker.
TIPS FROM OUR LEADING WOMEN
Best Leadership Qualities
- Common sense
- Collaborative “There’s no ‘I’ in team, it’s a ‘we’”
Most Damaging Quality
The Unite and Conquer Panel
“You have to tell yourself, ‘I am strong. I am capable. I am deserving.’” – Ivette Mayo
This is Not a Competition
The second panel of the #UnstoppableLATINAS conference served as a reminder for why everyone was there: to help each other and collaborate as women. Founder of POWER on Heels Network Ivette Mayo, DreamsinHeels.com Founder Olga Maria, and the creator of #UnstoppableLATINAS as well as the Founder of webcitygirls.com Lynn Ponder, shared their perspective on helping others become the best version of themselves.
“We want to help you be successful… we each have a gift and each one of you are special,” said Ponder. In a world where competition seems to rule over cooperation, these three influential Latinas stressed the importance of teamwork. “We should compete with ourselves instead because it’s all about personal development,” expressed Maria. Their goal was to create a platform where there would be no fear or competition existent amongst a group of successful individuals.
“There are women and men who want you to succeed. In exchange, you will help them succeed, too,” said Ponder. Finding someone who believes in your purpose and vision will help you grow on your journey to the finish line.
You Must Become Unstoppable
What are the steps you need to take to become unstoppable? First, you must ask yourself what is really holding you back from just going for it. “It’s starts with you. Let the fear hit you but get through it,” said Mayo. Believing that you can make things happen and taking control of your life is when you finally begin to realize that the only thing stopping you from chasing your vision is yourself. Our leading women came up with important pointers for becoming an #unstoppableLATINA:
- Build a circle of influence around you.
- Focus on the objective.
- Have a plan of action and stick to it.
- Work hard every day.
- Make it a practice to ask for help.
Getting advice will give you a different perspective, and not being afraid to collaborate with other women will empower you to see that communication is the foundation to the success of any team. “If someone is smarter than you that’s even better. You are going to learn from them,” expressed Ponder. All panel speakers shared one admirable characteristic: the passion for what they love to do provided the drive to succeed and never give up. It takes determination and tenacity to be a fearless individual.
Q. What advice do you have for others who are inspired to start their own community or organization?
A. Start by developing your vision and mission. Think about what problem you want to solve. If you don’t have the money to invest on a website, you can open a Facebook group or business page which is how Latinas en New York started. You can announce your inspiration, intentions, mission, etc. all in your group and business page. Be patient. Hopefully you want to help the maximum number of people possible. But you won’t be able to help for long unless you engineer your organization for longevity. Make sure you invest by registering the organization’s name and follow local business registration laws.
Q. How important is it to work with partners such as Webcity girls /#UnstoppableLATINAS and focus on building a strong relationship with them?
A. It is very important, Lynn and I met at an event and soon right after we met, we decided we needed to work together on this. I knew that my predecessors were not familiar with social media because this is a recent evolution and that was something that the organization needed. And so when you are not familiar with something, you know you have reservations on how you are going to use it. This is why we partner up with people who are the experts like Lynn Ponder Webcitygirls.com
SIDE TIPS FROM OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
- Chase the vision, not the money.
- Do not give your problems the focus or the energy.
- Do not be afraid of not knowing. Keep learning, and be authentic.
- If it has a purpose, it works.
- Invest in yourself. You must get scared to get it right.
Radiance and Well-being Is the New Business Card
Setting a Personal Goal
The conference ended with a workshop designed to help the audience work on setting up their personal goals. Certified life-coach Maria Caso challenged everyone to question their capacity. “You can do anything you set your mind to,” she shared. To do what you set yourself out to get done, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable and let people see you for who you really are.
Here are Caso’s steps to success:
- Have a goal or an action plan
How else will you figure out your true vision? If you don’t have a goal or an action plan already set, your mind is already leading away from a direct path.
- Set calendar reminders
Caso calls this the created future. “It doesn’t live unless it’s on the calendar,” she says. Therefore, setting calendar reminders will help keep you on track with that goal you really want to achieve.
- Be authentic
Keeping your word is extremely important. You want to make sure you are showing everyone the real you. Being transparent goes a long way.
Your Thoughts Have More of an Impact Than You Think
Self-doubt gets in the way of our productivity and we must put a stop to it. If we have the strength to do so, then we’re able to achieve so much more than was anticipated. “Stop your limited thinking…It’s not your business what other people think of you.” Caso said. If we believe we are of small value with no great abilities or talents, we let others convince us we are not capable of achieving great things.
Our thoughts are more powerful than we think, and it’s important to remain positive even in the face of adversity. Often, we let others dictate our lives, and when we live by somebody else’s rules, we begin to regret the choices we never made for ourselves. Caso’s purpose was to demonstrate how in control we can be with the decisions we make and the dream we decide to chase.
“Be authentic to yourself. We are all unique beings… most people fail because they aim to low and hit,” Caso explained as she also expressed her disbelief in playing it safe. If we have the power to create our own path, then we can be fearlessly unstoppable by staying focused on a plan of action.
Anyone can be successful if they want it bad enough, so what’s stopping you from making your dream a reality? Don’t be afraid to aim high, and just go for it!