Last week DAC attended Lean In Canada’s monthly speaker and networking event. This month’s theme was Women and Entrepreneurship: How to Lead and Succeed. The event took place at the Art Gallery of Ontario in downtown Toronto, and the panellists included CBC weather anchor and reporter Karen Johnson; Tanya Walker, founder of Walker Law; Christine Carlton, founder and CEO of The September; Jenn Harper, founder of Cheekbone Beauty; and Nicki Laborie, owner of Bar Reyna. 250 guests from various sectors learned strategies and tactics to win in competitive industries. Below are four key takeaways from the event:
- The importance of mentorship
“The more women help one another, the more we help ourselves.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In Canada CEO
Whether it’s a friend, a colleague, or someone you met at a networking event, investing in mentorship is a critical part of career success. Surround yourself with an amazing team of people who will inspire you to focus on your goals and motivate you to reach your full potential, regardless of what challenges get thrown your way. Some of the most influential and successful people in the world can easily tie their career-defining moments back to a strong mentorship program or relationship they had or continue to have. Take the time to step outside of your comfort zone and invest in relationship building, networking, and attending events outside of work hours to build your personal brand and learn from other like-minded individuals.
- How to be successful while remaining human
While the business world is highly competitive and today’s job market is becoming increasingly challenging for millennials and Generation Z to excel, it important to remember that we are all humans trying to make it. Tanya Walker, founder of Walker Law, shared insights on how crucial it is to be a decent human being and to believe in your ability to push boundaries and challenge the status quo: “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. If you believe in yourself, you have a greater chance of success.”
- The impact of social media and online presence management
While everyone knows that social media has radically changed the digital landscape, it is undeniable that it has also created tremendous opportunities to start, build, and grow winning companies. It has opened new selling channels and provided brands with the opportunity to widen their audiences. Nicki Laborie, owner of Bar Reyna, discussed the importance of managing your customer sentiment: “You have no control of the online world. Reviews and what your customers are saying and posting about you can impact your bottom line”. All members of the panel agreed that word of mouth continues to be a critical success factor in driving brand awareness and conversions, along with the integration of other digital marketing and data analytics efforts.
Knowing your customers, where they come from, and what their shopping patterns are like can help businesses make better decisions on how to create personalised experiences. This has proven to be successful for Jenn Harper, founder of Cheekbone Beauty. She attributed the importance of data in the process of product and service optimisation: “When you understand how to leverage data, you are able to offer your consumer what they want even before they do—and that’s powerful”.
Kaora Genest is DAC’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator and Laura Hincapie is DAC’s Business Development Manager and both are based out of Toronto. For a list of events DAC will be attending, check out our events page.