Make the Ups and Downs of 2020 Part of Your Story

conference planner

Photo Credit: Dragon Images/Shutterstock

By LaToya Williams, CEO of LNW Enterprises LLC

The year 2020 has been one that the majority of us have never experienced. Full of ups and downs, highs and lows, both professionally and personally. Home-schooling, pivoting to hybrid, virtual, working remote, or working remote with a home full of kids and a spouse can be challenging. No one is alone; we are all in it together — just experiencing it differently.

The hospitality industry has taken a huge hit this year: conferences canceled, trainings going virtual, smaller gatherings. Most are Zoomed out! How do we transition from full in-person conferences to virtual, and back to in-person again? The same way we would in any other industry — safely. The No. 1 priority in every industry is safety — that truly is the only way we can be successful.

As women, we must get creative and tap into parts of ourselves that we may have never considered before. Women are resilient; we are the epitome of strength and multitasking. "Pivoting" may not have been the issue; likely, the concern truly is, what is next? What is next for me professionally, within my family structure, and will I be successful?

We'll Figure This Out

For me personally, the past 25 years have been all things hotel-related — as director of sales of a hotel, and most recently, CEO and full-time conference planner. I second-guessed myself when the pandemic hit: Was I doing the right thing? Was the industry that I loved going to return? Could I succeed in this industry as a planner when conferences were no longer being planned? Could I handle the stress of a slow business, children at home, being a wife, and simply surviving?

My answer, after much thought and self-talk, was a resounding yes, not because I had all the answers, but because when you're passionate about something, you figure it all out. The ups and downs become a part of your story, your legacy, and the lining to the fabric that literally holds your business together.

When you're passionate about something, you figure it all out.

You often hear, "If I can do it, anyone can," yet you never hear the intricate details of how it all came together — the late nights, the tears, the rejection, just to get that one "yes" that starts to rebuild back your confidence in your talent and the morale booster you needed in life.

What's next is a layered question. The only way to answer is to make short-term and long-term goals, adapting to the new climate we are all in, and working at it daily. As we all have seen, doing nothing results in nothing happening, yet doing something, even if not 100% right, results in getting a little closer to your goal.

If not you, then who? Take a look at the first female Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris. I am sure she is living out her wildest dreams and aspirations, and it started with taking steps. We may not all aspire to be VP, but we all aspire to be successful in our own right, and that is something no one can take away. And that only happens when you begin to move.

The world as we know it will never be the same. That isn't necessarily a negative thing, and it should give us the ammunition we need to get moving on our next thing. Write the plan, work the plan, achieve the goals! We all have something in us the world needs, and there is no better time than now to bring it forth.

What's next? You are. It's time to bet on yourself!

   

LaToya Williams, CEO of LNW Enterprises LLC, in Buffalo, New York, thrives on helping organizations plan and execute successful conferences and events. From inception to contracting to completion, let's plan together.

CircleAround is partnering with NAWBO (the National Association of Women Business Owners) in a series of posts exploring the following prompt: "What comes next?" Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice of over 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States.


CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves adult women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

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