I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration last week in NYC. If you follow me on twitter you probably saw most of my tweets, shared in my excitement and read a few tidbit of lessons learned from the conference.
This was my 1st Disney Conference so I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprise at the wealth of information given to us. We had an impressive panel of mompreneur with real life examples to share. Each of the ladies had a story we can all relate to. Like us they were mothers, who wanted more out of life and with determination, hard work and perseverance – today they’re part of the millionaires’ moms club.
The story that resonated with me the most is that of Cotton Babies founder Jennifer Labit our Keynote Speaker. She had a humble beginning, she was home-schooled, got a scholarship to attend college but opted to join the workforce as a webmaster only to be laid off two days before finding out she was pregnant. While living hand to mouth, contemplating whether to buy food for her family or diaper for her newborn – the idea for cotton babies was born. She started the company with just $100, that was back in 2002, she has since launched bumGenius, flip and Econobum today Ms. Labit has a multi-million dollar company. With Econobum her goal was to create a system that would work for any family regardless of their income.
Disney Social Media Moms Celebration
Lesson learned from Ms. Jennifer Labit
- Have a goal and focus on your goal
- Take a risk and learn from your risk and failure
- Examine and learn from other peoples failure – so you can avoid it in the future
- Don’t be afraid to create – The more you create, the more authority you have, the more influence you have – that’s the road to being a leader
- Know what you want – Apple only wanted a fraction of the cell phone market – what do you want? Know it, own it
Ms Labit share with us how she finally got around to getting a degree. With only a high school diploma, she contacted Washington University to inquire about applying to their Master Program and today she’s a proud Alum of Washington University with an Executive MBA – talk about fast track. Ms. Labit also shared with us a program close to her heart “Share the Love”– a community supplied diaper bank, a program that provides cloth diapers to families in need.
Another speaker that got me thinking seriously about the next step in my life is Ms. Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio. “Every good business has an exit strategy – what’s your exit strategy?” That sentence has been playing over and over again in my head – I can’t get it out. Ms. Bailey emphasized the importance of having an exit strategy. Having an exit strategy will help us reach our long term goal. She also cautioned us about getting too attached to our business plan, if it isn’t working – we need learn to move on to something else. Follow your dreams, you’re a shining example to your kids – be a good one.
We also got a chance to ask the Mompreneur panelists some questions – a golden opportunity to pick the brains of real life successful mom entrepreneurs. Susanne Budofsky and Robyn Spritzer of Greater Than One Kids, Sandra Frawley, Founder of Babybindle®, Lauren Levy of Magnificent Baby and Bonnie Marcus of Where Fashion Meets Paper were all on hand to answer our questions.
- Intellectual Property – Trademark your work, hire a patent lawyer and obtain a patent, its expensive but well worth the effort in the long run
- Non Disclosure Agreement – Don’t give away too much of your secret and make sure you hand out an NDA to protect yourself
- Getting Notice – Put yourself out there – attend trade shows not only to meet manufacturer and vendors but also to see who your competitors are – ABC Baby Show Vegas is a good starting point
- Getting your product on the shelf – Have the guts to ask the tough questions, what do you think of my product? Have the courage to accept the answer
- Resources to get idea off the ground – Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant Program – offers $15k grant, to get your idea to the next level
The conference wrapped up with a presentation titled – “Get Ready for Your Close Up” by Michelle Stepney, Disney PR Content Director. Ms. Stepney shared with us her love for fashion and the importance of always having our best face forward when dealing with the media. Here are key things to remember when dealing with a media outlet
- Stay on message
- You only owe the reporter a response not an answer
- Stick with your expertise
- Be confident in representing your brand
In addition to the knowledge gained by attending the event, I also got a chance to meet a few of the ladies, I’ve interacted with various times during the past few months, it was nice to finally put a face to the words.
I also met Gary Buchanan, Disney Social Media Managing Editor, a delightful character, who enthusiastically filled us in on all the new happenings at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. I left the conference feeling empowered, motivated and excited for the next stage in my life. Although, I don’t know what that is just yet, listening to these women, definitely inspired me to be brave, and dream beyond what is now. So here is to me having a dream bigger than I am.
I highly recommend checking out the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, it was time well spent and I know you would enjoy it too.