A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

02-02-2017 1:21 PM

I've never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, but I have started two businesses. Each lasted for about five minutes. I quickly learned that being a boss lady, big cheese entrepreneur requires far more discipline than I could ever muster. Maybe I'll try again someday but, for now, my role is laser focused on helping the millions of Mary Kay entrepreneurs that span the globe.

Regardless of who inspires you, it's easy to identify and feel inspired by Mary Kay Ash. For me, I'm inspired by her grit and determination. How many people told her she was crazy before her dream company launched? Probably countless. And did that sway her? Certainly not. I often think that Mary Kay and I would have been friends in a different time and place... and that means that someone telling her she couldn't do something, made her dig in her heels that much deeper.

Mary Kay's entrepreneurial spirit transcends her founding of Mary Kay Inc. back in 1963. Imagine the millions of women who have started their own businesses because of Mary Kay Ash and the business opportunity she created for them.

We recently celebrated strong women like Mary Kay Ash everywhere with the Mary Kay Women's Entrepreneurship Summit. Hosted in Dallas, we convened head honchos at the top of their Mary Kay game, as well as entrepreneurs across all industries for a day-long summit devoted to lifting up women, celebrating our similarities and differences, and strategizing on how we could do better, be better and climb to the top of our game. You've heard the saying "a rising tide lifts all boats?" Well, that's what this event was all about. Women supporting women. Sharing tips, tricks and the secrets of their success. We even hosted the first ever PINK TANK! Modeled after ABC's "Shark Tank," women entrepreneurs applied for the opportunity to fast pitch their businesses in front of an expert panel of judges. The winner was awarded $5,000 in funding from the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

It was a great day, with countless highlights. After memorable experiences and big projects, my colleagues and I often call out a the "quote of the day." For me, the quote of the day came from an attendee who turned to me and said, "I don't know how it's going to happen, but one day I will be on that stage." What a perfect response to seeing powerhouse women passing on their knowledge.

Check out photos from the event, and tell us what makes you feel empowered and successful in the comments below. Be sure to also search #marykaysummit to get a first-hand look and see what attendees shared on social media.

Today's blog post is from Kirsten Gappelberg, who has what she considers to be her dream job. As Mary Kay's Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Kirsten builds programs to support the company's charitable efforts to transform, inspire and empower women's lives around the world.