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Creating Successful Leaders

WBB Stillwater, MN

A presentation I gave at the Women’s Business Bridge in Stillwater, MN

If you’re like me, you see invitations in your inbox regularly for skill-building workshops or conferences. They might be focused on networking, sales, leadership, work-life balance, social media, finances, or any number of useful topics that could help you thrive individually or improve your organization. And, if you’re like me, you click the DELETE button a lot!

There are a million reasons to say no, right? “I’m too busy.” “I don’t want to spend the money.” “I might not get anything out of it.” I probably won’t know anyone else there.” But, what if you said YES?

I encourage you to truly consider saying yes to opportunities that arise. If an event truly speaks to you, go for it! At the very least, you’ll meet others who are also interested in the same topic and you’ll get a chance to expand your network. I find that workshops or conferences energize me and help me to better focus my career goals.

One recent example: Last week I attended the annual Women in Networking (WIN) conference. I have been to this conference before, but every year I seem to forget just how wonderful it is until I get there! This year’s conference was just as empowering as always. The speakers motivated and inspired me; my interactions with fellow conference-goers were positive and supportive; and I ended up connecting with many wonderful women. In short, I left feeling invigorated—ready to take on any challenge and improve my business.

It would have been easy to not go to this conference. I could have talked myself out of it and instead met with a couple clients or tackled some work in my home office. But I decided to stretch beyond my norm and get myself out there, and I’m so happy I did.

The lesson? Stretch yourself. Take risks. Jump on opportunities that make sense for you. Go to the conference!

Margaret Smith is a career coach, licensed Insights Discovery practitioners, founder of UXL, and co-founder of The TAG Team. You can visit her website at


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