2010 Shine Convention Inspires Entrepreneurs

Debbie Markham and Kim Doyal at Shine in Las Vegas Sharing custody of my kids has shaped my life. I work harder with more focus when they’re with their dad, so that every second they’re with me I truly savor them. When deciding if I wanted to attend “Shine” entrepreneurial conference in Las Vegas this past week, I would really miss my kids for 4 days. Knowing I’d lose my “allotted days” with them, makes traveling on my days that I’m scheduled to be with them a difficult choice for me.

I DID need to kick my photography business up a notch (if honoring my latest fortune cookie  “You posses executive qualities” should hold true.) And since inspiration was the driving force of Ali Brown’s convention, I decided to attend. I had an amazing experience that I wish all women could feel.

After 3 days of brainstorming business plans and strategies, listening to enlightening speakers on marketing and branding ideas, attending motivational sessions, and networking with fellow delightfully-engaging entrepreneurs, I felt passionate with hundreds of new ideas yet at peace with the knowledge that we’re all on our own journeys and none are more or less “right.”

I attended the closing session, with guest speaker Susan Wilson, who is one of Fortune magazine’s Top 10 Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs in the nation and last year received one of the Winning Women in Business awards from The Ernst and Young Firm.  When she accepted the award amongst very notable business men and women she said she realized they were just other hard working people, no smarter, no better than herself (although she’d assumed so for years and aspired to be in their “elite successful-business-club.”)  Hearing of this experience was eye-opening, and so sweet of her to share, since I often find my mind in that place of “I wish I were more successful.”

It reminded me of a line my tennis buddy John Brannon always spouts off when I’m rambling about my latest “I wonder if…I just worked harder in this direction… or did X, Y and Z differently.” He just looks at me and says “Debbie, we’re all amateurs.” I felt a chill of happiness sitting there, as my mind remembered that line. I then laughed out loud listening to Susan’s story referencing the Mafia, and how they probably didn’t have a perfectly outlined “business plan” when they started, so just f***ing do it (JFDI.)

Picking up my kids from school today felt like heaven. I did miss seeing them, but the experience was also so inspirational that they’ll reap the benefits of my mindset.  Thank you Ali for organizing such a fabulous event. I’m now on the road to re-branding my photography business with lots of great ideas.

I wish you all awareness of your beautiful lives just as you are, every day! And as always, I love hearing from you.


  1. Kim Doyal says:

    Nice post Deb!
    I have to admit Susan Wilson was probably one of my favorite speakers at Shine as well (there were many- but her direct & very hilarious approach were refreshing).
    Was awesome to attend this with you- looking forward to the next event! :-)

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