Yellow Conference – So Much Goodness
Authored by: Rachel McCormick, Account Executive
Last month, I was fortunate enough to attend the Yellow Conference in Los Angeles. The Yellow Conference is aimed at hard working women who aspire to accomplish something much greater than themselves. The conference brings together creative innovators from all over the world to connect, get inspired, and receive practical tools and resources to help turn dreams into tangible realities; and ultimately make the world a better place. I was there to gain insights on entrepreneurship, and see how individuals combine a mission and profit to build a sustainable business. It was a two-day whirlwind, jam-packed with incredible speakers who work in industries that make an effort to give back, each with their own unique story to share. Here are just a few highlights I took away.
How to be a creative party of one?
–Golriz Lucina, Head of Creative @ SoulPancake
Golriz started at SoulPancake when it was just a passion project. The company has grown into a full-fledged media and entertainment company that creates meaningful and uplifting content targeted to the Optimistic Millennial. She shared some great tips on how to brainstorm ideas that ignite creativity, community and storytelling:
1. Embrace constraints – use limits and boundaries to fuel innovation.
2. The best of ideas sometimes start as the weirdest of ideas.
3. Get outside and get out of your head – look for inspiration beyond your desk.
4. Never underestimate the gut check – believe in your instincts.
5. Banish the namesayers – your environment is important. Don’t fill it with negativity.
Golriz ended her speech with the idea that creativity is not a limited resource, which stuck with me since I work in an industry where the possibilities can be endless. It reminds me to always be on the lookout for a better way to do something or see something differently, since that it the epitome of growth.
Millennial activists – we all want our voices heard.
–Natalie Warne, Activist and Speaker
Natalie Warne is a woman with a calling. She participated in political activism starting in high school, and delayed college to volunteer with Invisible Children, a group challenged to shut down Joseph Kony and his enslavement of child soldiers in Africa. With this group, she led a peaceful protest in Chicago and succeeded in grabbing the attention of Oprah Winfrey to help raise awareness for their cause. Natalie spoke of the importance of activism as an act of social justice – a hot topic in today’s political climate. She focuses on teaching millennials how to get involved, which I believe can carry over to brands as well. Brands can listen with intent, look at activism as a lifestyle choice, and contribute with honest conversations that provoke a real sense of vulnerability. This connection to causes could give depth to a brand’s mission, and influence its voice with its target audiences. Social justice campaigns do offer some risk since your brand will ultimately be picking a side on a political issue, but taking that risk sets you apart and enable a brand to make a statement – harnessing a voice more powerful than any marketing strategy.
Overcoming mental blocks and anxiety.
In creative industries, deadlines, budgets and client revision (after revision after revision..) dictate the creative process, where designers, at times, yield to the pressures of a project rather than inspiration. This panel featured ladies in a variety of creative fields, where they offered advice and tips to conquer pressure and other mental issues, like anxiety and depression, that can develop at work. Key takeaways from the conversations were:
1. Learn how to rest so you don’t have to quiet.
2. Recheck your negative self-talk. If you are in this mindset, write down a list of things you are grateful for or change your environment to help reboot your mind and focus on the tasks at hand.
3. Surround yourself with people who won’t let you complain.
4. Go on a social media or online detox. Sites like Pinterest and Dribbble can offer inspiration, but if you find yourself questioning your abilities while scrolling through them, take a break and begin brainstorming ideas yourself.
5. Set realistic goals. Don’t overdue your to-do list with crazy expectations. List out your priorities for the day, and focus on getting those completed. The rest can come later.
Tell me about yourself?
–Holley Murchison, Founder & CEO @ Oratory Glory and Writer of Tell Me About Yourself
If someone gave you 30 seconds to pitch yourself, what would you say? Holley is a true savant in owning your voice. She believes that the world needs your story because self-actualization is the pathway to communal actualization (Aren’t those some wise words? Blew my mind when I heard them). Her goal is to empower individuals with their 30-second pitch, diving down to the root of a person’s passions, aspirations, and unique experiences to formulate a one-of-a-kind, self-fulfilling, bad-ass answer for when someone asks, “tell me about yourself?” Holley makes you want to discover who you are, really dig deep into your purpose on this planet. Her words, “if you are not adding, you’re subtracting,” are an important life lesson to extinguish fear and doubt to allow your voice to shine and inspire you to enact change, to influence, to network, to establish a name for yourself, to pursue passions and not let anyone or anything get in your way.
Needless to say, I walked away from Yellow with more perspective on who I am as a person, what I want to do, and how I can shape my career to fulfill my purpose. It is a work in progress, as I am sure it always will be, but this self-reflection brings me one step closer to understanding what passions I want to pursue in my work life. And these passions I speak of might possibly be the power to make others dreams come true. With MonkeyTag, we help bring brands to life through storytelling. It is fulfilling it its own way to work with companies trying to make their mark on the world. I also work in an environment that encourages positivity, ambition, innovation, and fun. MonkeyTag is a place where you can share your wild ideas, while also being tested on the challenges agencies face every day. I am lucky to be at MonkeyTag and Yellow reminded me of that.
P.S. Wondering why it is called the Yellow Conference? The founder was inspired by bees. She liked how bees worked together in a community to produce something good, and how bees play an essential role in keeping ecosystems alive. A testament to ladies in the workforce.