Bimbo Banter

Shattering the Ceiling

  • Leadership
  • October 4, 2016
  • by Laura Barnett


I recently returned from the Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference in Novi, Michigan full of knowledge and inspiration. We were delighted to receive our certification as a Women-Owned Business earlier this year. If you’re familiar with Spaeth, you’ll know we’re not only women-owned, but women comprise our entire team.

The conference was a wonderful opportunity for networking, professional development and overall growth. It afforded more than 1,000 business owners – and their teammates – the chance to meet face-to-face with small businesses and Fortune 500 corporations.

Much like our training and consulting clients will tell you, the key to success at these types of events is to “know your audience.” Visiting the exhibit hall was an education in manufacturing and the automotive industry – and why not?! We were 30 miles from such vehicle giants as Ford and General Motors. Understandably, most of the conversation was a bit foreign to this Dallasite. At first I was a bit intimidated that I didn’t have the depth of knowledge that the people on the other side of the table did. But this is where curiosity comes in handy. People love to talk about themselves and what they do. Tap into that and you will have accomplished the first step in meaningful networking.

The next step is to ask questions. I relied on my reporting background and asked a ton of them – coming away with plenty of contacts and great stories about the friendly, hardworking women business owners in Michigan.

Not only did I visit with car companies, but also a woman who trains leaders at those companies and another who owns a quality assurance company. One woman I spoke with made a great observation: “I’d love to bring my daughter here. She needs to see all the ways woman are becoming successful.” I couldn’t agree more! Here’s to the next generation of women business leaders. We can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish.

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