The 5th Annual Get RADICAL Women’s Conference attracted hundreds of women to Washington, D.C., and overflowed with motivation and tangible tips to take charge of your life. This event not only featured speakers from The Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels to bestselling author Lisa Nichols, but is so impactful that several attendees quit their jobs to pursue their passions within a week of returning home. We caught up with the conference’s founder and life coach Doreen Rainey and ESSENCE Festival empowerment speaker Nichols to get their secrets to achieving RADICAL results.
Define Your Radical
“Radical is relative,” Rainey says. “It’s such a strong word people sometimes think they have to do something huge and amazing. It’s really about what is radical to you. I had a client who hadn’t changed her hair for 20 years. For her, radical was getting a new haircut. For some people it is starting a business and for others it’s going to ask for a raise. The definition of radical is to define success for yourself and then have the guts to go after it. If you don’t have what you want, you probably haven’t had the guts and courage to do what you need to do. Be committed to finding what success looks like for you.”
Answer Your Call
“Being radical has transformed my life to something barely recognizable,” says Nichols, who gained an international following after being featured in The Secret. “This was not an overnight thing. I didn’t wake up one morning and a light was beaming down telling me what to do. It was night after night of feeling like I wasn’t doing what God had put me on this planet for. For three years I didn't do anything because I was scared and had plenty of reasons to stay put. I had a six-figure salary, benefits and a three-year old son. But your dream will keep you up at night and I just got tired of feeling guilty. God kept calling me and I said call me back later. God kept pressing redial. I had to get the courage to speak and stop saying I was going to wait for the perfect time or until I lose 10 lbs.”
Assess The Risks
“There is no reward without a risk,” Rainey says. “You have to let go and know that you will land on your feet. A lot of people aren’t willing to take that risk and bet on themselves. Learning the process of decision-making helps to be a smart risk taker. If I want to quit my job, what will that mean? What needs to be in place? Most people make decisions too quickly. There is a method to the madness of how you can lay out best-case scenarios, worst-case scenarios and everything in between. Once you have all of that, you can find your line of what you can risk and what is a non-negotiable. You will find your threshold. Most people think it’s all or nothing and it doesn’t have to be.
Find Your Community
“For a long time my vision had me walking by myself because radical can be perceived by others as crazy,” Nichols says. “I had to get comfortable being with myself so that I could be of service to the world. I also found my community. I love my family but they weren’t the people to pull me to my dream. They were the people to catch me if I fail. The first community I found was predominantly white and so that made me uncomfortable at first, coming from south central LA. They were all about self-development and they helped me. People love to share what they know. The key thing to my journey is humility and curiosity. Will you allow yourself to be brilliant and clueless at the same time? It’s vulnerable. I’ve become good at surrounding myself with people who are going in the same direction and they don’t have to look like me. I got here because I sat with brilliant people and asked the questions. The number one question to ask is can you tell me the answer the question I don’t even know to ask.”
Push Past Fear
After bringing her vision to life and hosting the first Get RADICAL conference, Rainey announced the next year’s event. Then paralyzing doubt started to creep in if she could pull off another successful fete. As her website promoted the conference’s on-sale date, no details were confirmed and her contract from Michaels sat unsigned. “Sometimes we get so caught up in our fear and our anxiety, even when we step out and do something,” she says. “We’re still questioning and wondering if it’s really worth it.” On the morning tickets were to go on sale, one woman emailed to say the link wasn’t working. That jolted Rainey into solidifying the conference, including following up with Michaels and booking a hotel space. Hours later she emailed the woman that the error had been fixed. “You are never one and done,” she says. “As you move from each step there are always new emotions and new fears. Each time you have to choose to keep going.”
Visit getradicalconference.com for more information and see Lisa Nichols live at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival.