Business Boutique: In Review ~ A Bouquet of Peonies

As the calendar was turning to 2016 I was thinking about goals for this year and one that I wanted to accomplish was to invest in myself somehow this year related to growing my own business. As a social media follower I have seen great conferences, gifted speakers, destination locations which would all be a dream, except they all had hefty price tags and that wasn’t where I was this year.  #oneday

In early April I scrolled by an Instagram post from the {well} studio about Business Boutique; including the speakers, a link for more information plus a coupon code. I immediately clicked into the link and started reading what I could find about this event, hello coupon code and how much does this thing cost?! Here’s what I found: Annie F. Downs was hostessing the event (an author I really like), it was for small business owners to “make money doing what they love” (and I have a little starter business), it was affordable and it was located in Ft Worth (one of my favorite cities and near one of my besties).

Here’s what I got:  an AMAZING weekend exceeding all of my expectations!  Read on… 
After I did a little research and made sure the dates worked for me (we were finishing an audit at work and I wasn’t sure I would be able to get away for Friday) I signed up. Next was thinking about where to stay; I’ve stayed at hotels by the Convention Center before for work, so was familiar with the area but was thinking I would end up staying with a friend due to the cost of hotels. I ended up going out on a limb (because I’ve never done it before) and used Priceline for a hotel, getting this great room at a fraction of the cost listed online. Still not 100% sure what I was in for, my excitement was swelling and I couldn’t help but think I hadn’t “stumbled” across this, it was intentional and this is where I was supposed to be, including this awesome hotel at an affordable price.  
Throughout my nearly 20 years of corporate work I’ve been to lots of conferences, even spoken at one and I typically check my watch throughout the day wondering when we will be free for “me time”. Business Boutique started Friday morning at 8:30 sharp with Christy laying foundation for business, which was simply like a friend talking to you, sprinkling stories and coaching through a process, all the while encouraging us to pursue our God given gifts and talents, as that is where our businesses stem from. Don’t think I checked my watch all morning. After a full morning we had our first VIP lunch session and I got to have a quick minute to chat with Christy. Fun fact – we both wear Nine West heels all the day long, tried and true fans of the Nine West. 🙂 
Here’s a peek into the rest of Day 1…
Annie F. Downs is just as endearing and funny in person as her books, blogs and social media. 
A Rabbi delivered a convicting message on dignity, morality and overall goodness of being in business.
A co-founder of Elf On The Shelf told her story, and I was reminded that stories matter. 
Chanda (that same co-founder) spoke truth into me at the end of the day. 
Lunch with a panel of experts answering questions and sharing wisdom for over an hour. 
A copy of Annie’s new release Looking for Lovely for each of us at lunch. 🙂  
Insight to taxes and business ownership from a CPA. 
Session of truth about comparison and loving MY life from Rachel Ramsey Cruze
The story of Grace and Lace and reminder to grow at your own pace in Business. 
Meeting Melissa, founder of Grace and Lace, who is so gracious. 
Christine Caine’s powerful closing to the day…saying YES to who God called me to be.
Also grabbed a copy of her latest book, Unashamed, which she signed.

Leaving Day 1 I was so thankful that I had seen that little square box and post that caught my eye. This was exactly what I needed, for exactly where I am, and I believe I was exactly where I needed to be. I had a hard time going to sleep, so many things were racing through my mind from the Speakers, and believing God that I am equipped and gifted to do what HE has called me to.  #overwhelmedinthebestway

Peek into Day 2: 
The day was beautiful as I was walking over in the morning, refreshed and ready to go again. 
A passionate message from Christy on crushing fear. 
Did you know “fear not” is in the Bible 365 times…one for everyday!! 
Natalie Hodson’s message from her heart on self-worth, vulnerability and negativity in business. 
Tactical sales methods from Tiffany Peterson with a reminder business is all about using gifts to serve. 
SWSWSWSW #sowhat 
I also talked with Tiffany for several minutes during lunch on Day 1, such a genuine and gifted coach.
Go and do it now wisdom on social media from Amy Porterfield.  
Etsy how-to’s from Melissa, founder of MakerySpace.
Monetizing online platform with the Money Saving Mom, Crystal. 
Non-Profit guidance from Akola founder, Brittany Underwood. 
Life balance and content development and wisdom sprinkled and poured all day from Christy. 

Beyond the schedule I took away so much from these two days: 
The tag line: Equipping women to make money doing what they love” is in EVERY aspect of this conference.
This conference applies if you want to make extra money to pay for family needs or if you want grow your business to quit your “real job” and I never felt out of place or “too small”. 
Every one of these businesses is a ministry, no matter what it is called, or who served, they are using their God given gifts and pursuing dreams He has given while being responsible and generous. 
The workbook is a beautiful journal and I love good notebooks and journals. 
The Speakers took time to really listen to you in conversations, give feedback and they remember your names. That goes a long way and speaks volumes.

I was able to meet almost every Speaker and tried to get photos with them; often times the photo was blurry or not the best – but reminded, that is life – living in the moment, sometimes it is fast and furious, the people, words and experience are what matters way more than a perfectly posed and clear picture. 
Looking back I couldn’t believe at 6-weeks out I could still get the VIP ticket with coaching, seriously the first 25 people who click to register and those seats should be gone. 
But, thank goodness I did.
I was right where I need to be. 
This week I was putting a bouquet of peonies in a vase they immediately connected for me; leaving Business Boutique I feel like a bouquet of peonies about to bloom. There are so many layers to starting a business, tightly bound and complex, unsure of exactly what the business in bloom will look like, each flower unique and showcasing the individuality God created in us, but collectively resulting in a beautiful bouquet. 
Because of Business Boutique I can cross Invest in me at a conference off my list for 2016. I am equipped, enabled and validated in my pursuit of business. As long as I continue to pursue God my business will bloom into exactly what He intended it to be; a bouquet of my story, gifts and heart. 
Thank you Christy for following your heart, pursuing your dreams and sharing your story with us; 
Business Boutique is a beautiful bouquet of stories, gifts and hearts. 

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