By Tyler Stafford & Rachel Wilhite, University Of Memphis Entrepreneurial Journalism Students
The “The Kick Ass Female Founders from Everywhere Else” was a success at the Everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference in Memphis, TN. The topics discussed expanded on those typically covered in the male-dominated world of all things entrepreneurial, and this gave the conference a girl power kick in the khakis.
The panelists included Sarah Ware of Markerly; Wendy MacKinnon Keith of Digital Retail Apps; Kelsey Meyer of Digital Talent Agents; and Andrea Livingston of Grit Design, Inc.
Elizabeth Lemmonds, the Chief Brand Officer of Launch Memphis, moderated the event. Danielle Inez of Pink Robin Avenue provided the questions for the Q & A that followed.
One of the most provocative questions asked at the event was, “Can the woman entrepreneur have it all?” Panelists noted that one of the concerns shared by many women entering the startup field, as well as men, is whether or not they can have a family life with a partner and kids and juggle the numerous demands of entrepreneurial ventures.
In her tongue-in-cheek response to this query, Andrea Livingston said that nobody can have it all, but they can make it work regardless. “Our house is like a comedy of errors every minute of every day,” she said.
“No one can have it all, but you can have moments,” said Keith, adding that “it’s about quality of time; not quantity.”
There is a silver lining, though. Not only do entrepreneurs have the ability to create businesses, they can also create their own schedules and set their own priorities.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man,” said Livingston, “you better show up and be ready to work your ass off.”
The Everywhere Else startup community is eager to collaborate together rather than compete against one another. Entrepreneurship is about taking risks, learning to accept failures and respecting others (as well as yourself) throughout the process.
Wendy MacKinnon Keith agreed that women cannot have it all, but that they certainly can have “moments.” She said that it isn’t just the quantity of time that matters, but the quality.
Women in Memphis looking for advice and support in their own business endeavors should check out Upstart Memphis, an organization dedicated to fueling women’s innovation and entrepreneurship at www.upstartmemphis.com.
For more information on the panelists featured, follow them on Twitter:@WareSarah; @gritdesign; @digitalretail; @DTAgents; @SocialDani; @elizlemmonds