Becoming Your Best Self: Inspiring Lessons from the 2019 Women in Business Retreat

5 min read

Molly Kruger, our director of sales and marketing, is an ambitious person. She’s not someone to pass up a great opportunity—which is why she jumped at the chance to attend the Sixth Annual Women in Business Retreat on February 28th and March 1st at The Alexander Hotel in Downtown Indianapolis.

The retreat not only allowed Molly to network with plenty of other like-minded women from around Indiana, but she also got to hear advice and perspectives about what it means to be a successful woman in 2019. She thought she was going to learn a lot—and she did.

So…the Women in Business Retreat. Give us a bit of background.

It’s a two-day event hosted by the Indy Chamber, and I was really impressed with how it all came together. I have to give a big shout to Michael Huber, CEO of the Indy Chamber, and the effort he made to make this thing happen. He’s an outstanding and mindful leader. It’s encouraging to know he understands the importance of women in leadership roles.

So the event was basically a bunch of speaking engagements, and they all featured women talking about life experiences both personally and professionally, the challenges they’ve run into, and how they overcame them. There was a focus on facing adversity, and it was kind of a choose-your-own-adventure format. So that was great, because I was able to go see the speakers I wanted to see, and there was a huge range of topics. These included the growing role of women in politics and civic activism, the importance of failure to success, and how to be memorable while influencing others.

Oh, and the event was an amazing networking opportunity! I met so many women that, even in just two days, I already consider new friends.

Let’s back up for a sec. Why did you decide to attend this event in the first place?

Well Done Marketing is a member of the Indy Chamber, so that was one reason. Another was because my leadership coach, Patty Prosser (the Queen of Indianapolis), is a board member of the Indy Chamber, and she suggested that I go. Especially considering my role here at Well Done, that made a lot of sense to me.

What were the speakers like? Who were your favorites?

The lineup this year was amazing. Seeing all the things these women had accomplished in their lives—and what they’re continuing to accomplish—gave me some serious motivation.

The first speaker I saw was Jean Deeds, and she set the tone for the event. Jean gave up a great career at the age of 51 to hike the Appalachian Trail for six months, and today she’s in her 70s and still going on adventures around the world. Her journey has been incredible, and her story really touched me.

Another speaker who stood out was Blair Milo, a very driven, accomplished young woman. Blair is in her 30s, and she’s already been the mayor of Laporte, Indiana—and she’s currently the Chief Talent Officer for the State of Indiana, serving under Governor Eric Holcomb. Her talk was mostly about how to have a bold vision, be authentic, and capture people’s attention. (She’s really good at that.) She discussed the importance of constantly thinking about your mission and goals, and how this strategy helps you conquer fear and achieve whatever it is you want out of life.

What were the most important things you learned?

I could go on for days about what I learned, but I think the best way I can sum it all up is with a few of my favorite short quotes from the featured speakers:

“If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.” – State of Indiana Chief Talent Officer, Blair Milo

“Say yes and figure it out later.” – President and Founder of Tru You LLC, Sonal Sheth Zawahri

“Be you with excellence, not perfection.” – Emmy-award winning journalist, Catt Sadler

“Bold is different than aggressive.” – Senior Vice President of Events at Hulman Motorsports, Allison Melangton

There are plenty of others, but those four really stood out. They summarize what I learned: Confidence is key, getting out of my comfort zone is a good thing, I should always be true to my authentic self, and that when I put my mind to something, anything’s possible.

How is this event creating momentum for ambitious women?

Getting so many smart, ambitious women together in one place really reinforces that we’re in this together. It makes you realize that no matter how successful you are, you’ll still have setbacks and challenges. In fact, if you’re really successful, you might have even more of them. I came away from the retreat feeling supported and encouraged.

How does this retreat help you in your role at Well Done?

This is still a pretty new role for me here, so I’m working on getting out of my comfort zone and gaining confidence. I walked away from this event very optimistic about being bold in my role here—and now I know it’s ok that I won’t be great at everything right away. But this gave me a serious drive to keep getting better, to always give my best effort, and to keep a happy spirit. And it’s a wonderful thing to know there are so many women supporting what I’m doing.

It also doesn’t hurt when you’re surrounded by a team like we have here at Well Done. Just like the women at the retreat, the people here really have my back. That goes a long way—and they know I’ve always got their back, too.