My dream is to plan and execute a Women in Business conference at BYU. Unlike some of the other dreams I considered, this concept met all of my “dream needs” (which, of course, I didn’t know I needed until I was working through the options). The conference filled a need in a community I care about - no other forum exists to connect LDS women in the business community (current professionals, students, and those on paid-work hiatus). Both the planning and the execution would connect me with interesting women (often a challenge for me as a SAHM). Most of the work in planning the event could be done from home, and during naptime (I decided at the outset that I did not want this dream to take away much from time with my children). Most importantly, pulling this off would require the use of many my talents and the development of some of my weaknesses.
1) Sharing your dream can be scary. I am a confident woman. Yet when it came time to my dream with others (even my husband and dear friends), I was nervous. What if they thought my idea was dumb, or that I wasn’t up to this task? I was really surprised to feel this way (junior high was long ago!), and it kept me from moving forward for a short while.
4) Roadblocks can provide opportunities for fine-tuning. After finding the right champion, she still needed to receive support from her governing board. As always, I was certain they would love the idea and give the go-ahead. I was a bit disappointed when the group requested we put together a survey to gauge interest in the event. “Of course there is interest!” I thought! “Everyone I’ve talked to loves the idea!” However, as I put the survey together, I realized that instead of a roadblock, this was actually a great way to publicize the event and ensure the topics I’d come up with were of interest to my intended demographic. And if no one wanted to come, it was best to learn this before detailed planning got underway. The survey results were wonderfully encouraging. Even the Marriott School dean was floored by the response. Over 700 people responded, and almost half said they were likely/very likely to attend. The validation we needed came in droves.
Another roadblock came when more and more people requested to be involved in the approval process. Though this certainly pushed back my timeline, it also forced me to ensure I was clearly communicating the value of the event and the quality of the women who could potentially speak. Speaker approval is still underway (again, pushing back the timeline), but as I’ve prepared the speaker bios (and provided more and more information as requested) I’ve moved from a strong list of speakers to an amazing list of speakers. Now I just hope some of them will agree to participate.
This event will be a valuable tool for professional women (those currently in the workforce and those taking a hiatus)--providing an opportunity to expand networks, make interesting personal connections, and explore ways to live in faith while developing talents and maintaining skills. In addition, the conference will help students better understand the various paths available to them in management and identify role models and mentors who can help them as they make important career and life decisions.
I don’t yet know how this will all turn out, but the journey thus far has been exhilarating. I’ve learned that I can pursue a big dream and still fulfill my role as a full-time mom and that big dreams take time and perseverance. Most importantly, I’ve developed a repeatable model for identifying dreams worthy of pursuing. One dream in the works, many more to come.
There is so much to learn from Kristy's process of pursuing her dream.
What is do you find is applicable as you pursue your dreams?
P.S. When the website is up for registration, I will post a link. In the meantime, if you want to be on the mailing list for the conferene, you can e-mail Kristy at kristy dot rae dot williams at gmail dot com.