24 hours at BlogHer–Friday sessions on funding & entrepreneurs

BlogHer is big this year, and I heard lots of comments around the themes “There are so many new people,” “Is it  more corporate?” (50 sponsors), and “panels are uneven.” At the same time, most everyone I’ve seen has ranged from fully engaged to over the top delirious to be here. While I’m not sure what the verdict on the different panels so far is, there’s no question but that hundreds of women have come to BH with groups of friends, just like I have, and part of the joy us hanging out with people you kn ow in this incredibly woman-positive atmosphere.

But that doesn’t mean partying is the only thing. I was doing–or seeing.  I ran two sessions back to back yesterday–one with the wonderful Patricia Handschiegel, founder of StyleDiary (and architect of a successful exit/sale)–one about funding opportunities–both tech incubators and non-profit programs–and the other about women entrepreneurs (with Patricia, the perfect person to speak on this.)

 Both our sessions were packed–50-60 people crammed into a small room for each, most fully engaged. In short, the hunger to learn more about how to start your own business, how to get funded, how to make it work, is huge for the BlogHer crowd–as is the wish to connect with other women entrepreneurs and learn from them.
 
 Anne Corriston, one of the participants, took some notes, and here’s the link and some of the comments she captures (thanks, Anne!):

Inner challenges are the hardest to overcome. You shouldn’t ask, “Who am I to do this?” but rather, “Who am I not to do this?”

A great entrepreneur is someone who can live in chaos and uncertainty. Entrepreneurs say, “I think there’s a better way.”

Follow your passion.

Sometimes what holds us back is not the glass ceiling but the sticky floor.

Don’t let anyone discredit your value.

Success is about persistence. Keep fighting your way through.

Figure out how to keep going no matter what.

Your recovery strategy is what’s important; avoiding mistakes is not.

Know that you need help. Ask for mentors.

Combine believing in what you’re doing with riding through the absolute fear.

You
must have three things: 1. Passion about your interests. 2. Truth – be
real, be honest about what’s going on. 3. Belief in yourself. The ones
who fail stop believing in themselves. (Note: these words of wisdom
came from a male participant in the group whose name, I believe, was
Mikhail.)

I keep moving.

Play to your strengths. I’m not
good at everything and I don’t have time to learn everything. Find
someone at a price you can afford who can help free you to focus on
what you have a track record of being successful at.

Stand tall within yourself. Define what success means and stay true to your entrepreneurial vision.

Entrepreneurship
is like a soccer game – sometimes you’re running, sometimes you’re
kicking, sometimes you’re sitting on the bench.

Failure is in the eye of the beholder. You’re in charge of how you’re going to view what’s happened.

Balance is great but balance doesn’t make you great.