By Carly Clegg
It’s 4am on a Saturday morning and after a night of what felt like Christmas Eve, I’m up at 4:01 with a “let’s do this” attitude–that desperately needed to be fueled by coffee. (One of those *wake up before the alarm goes off because you’re scared you’re going to oversleep* kind of mornings.)
I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN CONFIDENCE ALONE!
BESIDES, WHICH YOU SEE, I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN ME!
Miraculously, my husband and I are in the car, on time, headed out to Palm Springs from San Diego for no-not Coachella, not Stagecoach; but for a Create & Cultivate Panel to network, talk shop and grow my professional community. V efficient (and cheaper) than a music festival, I’m just sayin’.
Create & Cultivate is a leader in establishing a community that encourages just that. It’s a safe space to discuss vulnerabilities in and out of the workplace, it’s lead by women who emphasize that it’s important to be proud of yourself/your business and pimp yourself out; it’s honest and open conversation that keeps it 100 and discusses the truths behind what it takes to be an entrepreneur and be successful at it. If you don’t know, now you know.
FUN FACT: It also holds a significant place in my heart because it brought Eleanora and me together amidst the streets of Austin during SXSW 2018. Truly, I spotted Ellie Morrison in her fabulous garb per usual, and called out her Instagram name at the time, and now…here we are–so you can definitely say Create & Cultivate attracts confident, determined, humble and inspiring women. It’s a room you want to be in, filled with women you want to be at the table with–trust me.
These kind of things are my jam: the girl power movement of it all, the wisdom that’s shared, the collaboration over competition mentality – but I ALWAYS get nervous, because 99.9% of the time, I roll solo.
So here I go again on my own *rock on emoji* .
As I put on another coat of lipstick, I reach for my yellow platform shoes in the backseat of my car with my left hand, and with my right hand I comb through my hair once more and quickly change my top, take the last swig of Red Bull, all while listening to my pump up song, I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross.
Earrings, check. Phone charged, check. Nerves flowing, check.
Jessica Franklin, Annie Lawless, Brittany Xavier, Jill Wallace and Carolina Lindo
After a pep talk and a kiss goodbye, my husband drops me off at the venue and suddenly I feel like it’s both the first day of second grade and Elle Woods’ first day of Harvard Law School. (“What, like it’s hard?”) Let me preface that this is not my first rodeo. Without fail, I’ve been anything but lonely at a networking event when attending alone. My secret sauce? Putting my pride aside, making the first move in striking up conversation, asking all the questions (skip the small talk sesh) and always being willing to lift others up around me.
Lindsay Albanese, Jaci Marie, Keltie Knight and Nicole Willians English
Walking up to the Ace Hotel, I see a line forming, I make my way (towards a group of the raddest looking gals mind you–aka intimidation station) and with a hello, “I love your outfit,” and the underlying commonality of female entrepreneurship, friendships are formed. That might sound too middle school summer camp; but believe me, there’s an overflowing sense of unity and empowerment that is so thick in the room you just can’t help but feel like each other’s wing women as we all work towards our career goals.
The day proceeded with lite breakfast bites, a wake up dance party, panel sessions, photo ops, meet & greets, lunch break, pool hangs, mingling & motivating, afternoon speakers, wisdom overload, topped off with giveaways & gift bags, complete with endless rosé and walking away a changed woman–booya.
Create & Cultivate Founder Jaclyn Johson and Carly Clegg
Below are some mic drop moments that personally struck a chord with me:
-Trying is winning
-Make space don?t take space
-Ignorance is bliss in starting a bizz
-Hard workers ONLY; if you got it, you’ll make it happen
-Tap into your resources–you know more people than you realize
-Follow up gets the fortune
-Finding your white space
-Sometimes the answer is leveling up what you’re currently doing
You’ve heard it before, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” That includes showing up for yourself and being surrounded with people that cheer you on and root for your successes. Break free from fear, insecurities, self-consciousness and external judgement. Be your biggest fan and go for it, girl!
What would you wake up at 4am for?
Carly is a Texas Native living in San Diego, California with her husband and English Bulldog. She studied Telecommunication Media Studies at Texas A&M University and has been chasing dreams ever since. Currently, she is the proud Digital Content Director for a woman-owned online boutique, Town & Key headquartered in Dallas, Texas that embraces individuality and empowers women to express their unique style. A performing arts enthusiast, her passion for production led her to positions at entertainment and media giants like the Walt Disney World Company and iHeartMedia. Always open for thought-provoking conversation and connecting with others over an iced coffee, you can find her on Instagram at @carlyclegg.