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|The Power of One – A personal Review|
|Monday, 13 February 2012 00:00|
As part of my connection with the Web Heroines project Keri asked me to listen in on one of the sessions and write up a review from the website. I attended one of the sessions on day one which was led by inspirational entrepreneur, public speaker and former librarian, Julie Howell,who was just one of several fantastic speakers who took part in the Emerge Mini Conference.
Who is Julie Howell?
Julie started her career as a custodian of information (librarian!) and has so far taken everything life has thrown at her to achieve what is frankly a brilliant career.This journey saw her win a special lifetime achievement award for her work with the RNIB and her efforts to bring digital access to people with disabilities.
Over the past few months I have worked closely with Keri Lambden and the Web Heroines team so I thought I knew what to expect from the online sessions. However Julie’s session was different as she sums up perfectly what Web Heroines is all about – a celebration of fantastic women who have used their experiences to make the world a better place and continue to use their success to inspire others to achieve great things.
Julie’s talk was titled ‘The Power of 1’. This has intrinsic meaning for each person who listened to her talk, but for me I understood this to meanthe power of the self or the power of self belief.A value which I have developed myself over the years and which has certainly been pivotal to my successes so far.
Julie’s talk was split into sections and she gave us an in-depth and honest overview of her career right from graduating in 1992 up to the work she does today. I won’t go into detail about Julie’s career as you can view her presentation here for yourself. However, I will tell you why it was a fantastic talk and why Julie is an inspiration to us all.
With a very impressive career timeline and awards portfolio,you might expect 40 something Julie to be boastful and over confident. Not at all;Julie spoke humbly and passionately about her life, her career and about the lessons, challenges and opportunities that made her who she is today. Rather than just tell us what she achieved,Julie told us how she achieved it. (I have attended talks and events where people talk at you about what they have achieved or how great their business is without giving any real knowledge away.Julie’s talk certainly was not one of those!)
I am sure some of you can relate to this experience - Have you ever faced a challenge, such as a daunting job interview that you don’t think you have a chance of getting, or starting up a business alone with little support. Perhaps you think you are not good enough, clever enough or experienced enough.
Well not only did Julie tell us how she experienced similar situations and doubts in her life but she opened up about these experiences, and told us how they made her feel, how she responded and what the outcomes were.
Julie gave a very personal and honest account of the most difficult stages in her life; the death of her father who she had a volatile relationship with, the breakup of her marriage, a depressive illness and of course being diagnosed with MS at just 19 years old. Her message was that these ‘watershed moments’, as she so cleverly titled them, are like stepping stones from which we learn and grow from.
What I learnt from Julie
- Anyone can win an award but it takes determination and real skill to use accreditations to get further in life.
- If people tell you that you can’t achieve something, be even more inspired to succeed
- Being successful is about learning. Learning from others, learning from mistakes and successes and most importantly learning about yourself.
- Challenges can and should be turned into opportunities and Julie is certainly living proof of this.
I have been lucky to have met and worked with some fantastic people over the last few years. What makes them fantastic is not the awards they have won, how well known they are or how much money they make. For me there are three attributes that make someone inspirational:
- They are passionate about what they do and the things they believe in.
- They will always go out of their way to help others.
- They have overcome challenges and ooze positivity in all that they do.
Please check out Julie’s website and twitter account.She is always happy to chat and receive comments.
Thank you Julie for inspiring me today!