This year the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration hit the road and in addition to their annual conference in Disney World, Florida they hosted four half-day celebrations sprinkled throughout the country. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the event in Bethesda, Maryland earlier this month and I’m so excited to share my experience with you! You can find some of my favorite quotes from the session in the gray boxes. I hope some of them jump out and inspire you, too!
So what is Disney Social Media Moms?
The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was created as one of the first family-friendly conferences where social media savvy moms and dads can network, learn, and share knowledge of social media while experiencing the magic of Disney with their families. Our goal is to provide an intimate experience packed with access to industry leaders and opportunities to network with peers.
For me the conference I attended served three purposes: I was familiarized with the latest and greatest news about Disney Parks; I was inspired and motivated by some awesome women speakers; and I got to meet and network with some great bloggers. I came home feeling refreshed, something a Mom needs help with every once in a while.
What’s new at Disney Parks?
Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor for Disney Parks shared some pretty exciting stuff about what’s new at Disney Parks. We’ve been saving up to take the kids and I cannot wait to go after hearing about the new features! This summer at Disney World in Florida is the “Monstrous Summer,” celebrating Monsters University. This is the first summer season to enjoy the New Fantasyland, the biggest expansion in the history of rht park! There are now 3 castles including Price Eric’s castle from The Little Mermaid, and the Beast’s castle from Beauty and the Beast. It even snows inside the Be Our Guest restaurant. How cool is that?! There are new interactive games throughout the park and on the Disney Cruise Line ships, too.
“Keep calm and spin on.” ~Gary Buchanan
Disneyland Resort in California also has some pretty cool new attractions. The one I’m most excited about is Cars Land because I happen to have a 4 year-old boy that’s a Cars nut. We’re counting down to the released of Disney’s Planes so we can find some new characters to obsess over! Mickey and the Magical Map is a new live stage show that features Mickey Mouse in a musical as he goes through scenes with all of our favorite Disney characters: Mulan, Pocahontas, King Louie, Tiana, and more. Sounds like one amazing Disney tale!
The Disney Social Media Mom Conference was hosted and moderated by Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio. This was my first time meeting her or hearing her speak and I was a fan immediately. Maria’s a busy working Mom (aren’t we all?!) and offered so many great bits of wisdom and advice and reassurances to all of us juggling our businesses and our families. We all feel some measure of guilt when we pursue our own passions and our work and maybe have to sacrifice some time with our families. The message that I got from Maria is that your children are learning and benefiting from your example even when you’re not there. You’re teaching them that it’s important to pursue a dream, to make their goals a priority.
“Teach your children it’s important to have a dream, to have a passion, to do what they love.” ~ Maria Bailey
You don’t have to sacrifice YOU for your family in order to set a good example and teach your children important life lessons about living their dreams. I love that message, and it’s one I need to hear once in a while.
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Labit
The Keynote Speaker was Jennifer Labit, founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum. She’s a rock star, having built her business from the ground up while still being a stellar mom. She had the newest addition to her family, a sweet baby boy named Louis, in tow and somehow manages to stay on top of all of it. Jennifer shared her story with us, how she started selling baby slings out of her house and grew to owning her own thriving business with three lines of cloth diaper options. She also offered lots of food for thought to chew on about how to best guide the decisions you make to run your business and care for your family. In other words, how to juggle all your balls!
“If you’re not willing to fail you’re not able to succeed. Never, ever, ever quit.” ~Jennifer Labit
Here are the ones that ‘stuck’ for me:
- Who am I? What is most important to me?
- What do I really want? Fame? Money? To make a difference?
- What does it mean to get what you want?
- What is your exit plan?
Jennifer also pushed the importance of going to school if you have the chance, deciding who you want to follow,and knowing what determines success for you.
“The answer is always no if you never ask.” ~Jennifer Labit
One thing that Jennifer said was really a stand-out for me. She said to look around at the people who are like you. If you follow them you’ll never be bigger than they are. You need to look forward to get where you want to go. I love that! Makes so much sense, doesn’t it?! What an inspirational speaker she is. I hope to meet up with her again some day!
Inspiration and Motivation From Moms Who Are Living Their Dreams
We also got to enjoy an awesome panel of mompreneurs who had so much energy. Their motivation was contagious!
On the panel (and from left to right above):
- Frederique ‘Fred’ Campagne Irwinis, founder and CEO of Her Corner
- Anastasia Dellaccio, co-owner of Dolci Gelati
- Christina Daves, founder and creator of CastMedic Designs and MediFashions
These ladies, along with Maria Bailey lead a fantastic discussion about what it means to juggle a business and a family.
“It’s not a hobby. It’s a business.” ~Frederique Campagne Irwinis
And the bloggers in the room had some great questions, many that resonated with me which was reassuring. So many of us are struggling with the same issues when it comes to being a working Mom. Knowing you’re not alone is comforting. And seeing the women on this panel that successfully manage their businesses and home lives is so inspiring!
“Don’t be afraid to take the plunge to make it to the next level.” ~Anastasia Dellaccio
Some of the ideas the group discussed were to have set hours that you work. Decide when you’re not available and stick to it. If you want other people to respect your boundaries you need to respect them too. This was a great tip for me since I feel like I constantly have something I need to do. I could be plugged in at all times and always have work to keep me busy. I love the idea of having hours when I know I’m done. Now I just have to figure out which hours those will be!
“Don’t give up on your passion. Things will go wrong but don’t quit.” ~Cristina Daves
Get Ready For Your Close-Up
The final speaker of the morning was Michelle Stepney, Disney Parks & Global Content Development & Disney Parks Blog Author. Whew, that’s a mouthful! And she’s a smart lady that had TONS of great tips on how to put your ‘best face forward’ when talking to the media. She said you need to actually have a story – look for tips, trends and something with a local impact so you can find a hook. Stay on message and stick with your expertise when you’re talking. Favorite quote:
“You only owe the reporter a response, not an answer.” ~Michelle Stepney
Good to remember, right?!
Networking With Other Bloggers
I, unfortunately, didn’t have a ton of time to socialize and network with the other bloggers in the room before I had to hit the road. It was pouring with rain that day and I had a rough 3 hour trip there and another rough 3 hour trip back home. But I loved seeing my friend Rebekah from DealPeddler and finally meeting a few bloggers in person that I know online, plus making a few new friends with people I’d never met before. One of the bloggers at my table had actually driven from Florida to attend the event! It was just awesome to spend the day with other Moms (and there was a Dad or two in the group, too!) that can relate to the daily juggling act that goes on in my life.
I hope some of what you’ve read here resonates with you. I definitely learned some great new tips for balancing my load, and was so motivated to keep going, keep working hard, and watch it pay off. It’s so challenging to run your business and be there for your family at the same time. Both are important, and they’re not mutually exclusive. I’ll leave you with one last quote, another one that struck a nerve with me.
“We give away our time quicker than we give away our money. And time is money.” ~Maria Bailey
Follow along on Twitter with Disney Social Media Moms to stay up to speed with their latest news and events and inspirational tidbits!
I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On The Road Conference at no charge. No compensation was given for my attendance. The opinions and experiences in my posts are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.