Inspiration and information are what I look for in a speaker; in a break-out session.
I found both in Lena West at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.
In fact, if she hadn’t repeatedly reminded participants to “Ask for what you want. What do you have to lose?” I might not have asked her to be part of the Confidence Chronicles – True Stories Of Becoming Strong series. What a loss that would have been. Fortunately, she inspired me to take action.
Who’s Lena West And Why Should You Listen To Her
Here’s 5 things I learned about her. (Her bio’ follows.)
- She has a delightful straightforward style.
- She’s smart as a whip about women entrepreneurs and social media…and, I’d bet, many other things.
- She’s wonderfully human, warm, and accessible.
- Her laugh is hardy.
- She walks her talk.
Lena is an award-winning social media consultant, blogger, speaker, journalist, technologist and the founder, CEO & chief of InfluenceExpansion.com, the only social media training program created exclusively for women business owners and leaders.
Lena is also a columnist for American Express OPENForum, former Entrepreneur Magazine blogger and columnist, expert blogger for FastCompany Magazine and guest blogger for Lipsticking.com and bplans.com. West strongly believes that social media is a catalyst to uniting the world’s people and will continue to lead businesses and individuals toward greater levels of environmental accountability, social responsibility and corporate transparency – hence her passion for the medium. Influence Expansion’s goal is to help women business leaders expand their influence, increase their income and ROCK the world! In 2009 Forbes said Lena West is one of the 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. You can find her @LenaWest .
The Interview – Part 1
Since starting The Confidence Chronicles series, I’ve discovered a bit of a paradox.
Articles I read tell me video is the way to go. That’s the future in social media. But my audience and metrics tell me a different story – there is a preference for the written word. I want to listen to you, my audience, and I also want you to see and listen to Lena. That’s when you feel her energy. Her passion. Her straightforward style. So I’m doing both.
Here’s the video. (It takes a moment or two for the sound to start). Below it, written, are the highlights & my take-aways. If you choose to go there first, I feel the need to say: ***SPOILER ALERT*** !
Video highlights and my take-aways from Part 1 of my interview with Lena West.
- Lena talks about the value of having a life strategy, while recognizing that life is dynamic so your focus and strategy will change over time. As has hers.
- She emphasizes the importance of not doing or becoming what other people want you to be. If Lena had done that she’d be a lawyer today, not a happily successful social media consultant.
- Defining moments can happen in your life even when you’re not feeling confident. Always be paying attention.
- Lena provides an example from her life of how, in the midst of trying something she ultimately didn’t like, she discovered her true passion.
- A quote: “It doesn’t pay to be a follower. You have to set your own course.”
- As a single parent, I particularly related to our discussion of how Lena’s mom, single parent, led by example. She taught Lena not to just accept what someone says but to ask questions and much more. Listen in.
- Lena’s story about remembering the day she set the intention to have her own business so no one had to choose between work and family is a powerful one. When she talks about the workplace, she talks of collective responsibility.
- When Lena spoke on Capitol Hill about how women are portrayed in the media, she provided the social media perspective. She was undaunted by Capitol Hill and her sister participants because “This is my life’s work. It’s in my nature. I can’t be anything else but me.”
Full Transcript Requests
If you’d like a full transcript of this video interview or others in the future, let me know and I’ll provide them. Cherry
Come back next week to hear the second half of the interview with Lena West. Her energy, passion, and experience will continue to make your socks go up and down.
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