Friday, July 1, 2011

SheCon Lovely: Lakesha Brown

The SheCon Lovely feature is my way of introducing my readers to the new friends that I made while attending SheCon '11 in Miami, Florida in May. Rather than doing one post with only my thoughts on the conference and telling you about those that I met, I thought it would be more fun for you to read opinions from more people while meeting them firsthand through a guest post.

To read what the previous SheCon Lovelies had to say, click here.

Today I'd like to introduce you to Lakesha Brown, who I really only met the night before we left! I truly wish I'd had more time to spend with her. 

*Tell us a little about yourself and your blog (your name, your blog name and any meaning behind it, what you write about, WHO you are, etc.)
In short, I am an energetic, fun, web geek who loves learning new things and applying them to life, helping others in whatever capacity I can, playing with new technology/software, scrapbooking, traveling, and when I can make the time, reading fiction – mostly mystery and suspense!

In addition, I blog at XD Web Solutions, where I provide marketing, social media, and website tips and strategies for small businesses and bloggers. I’ve been a web designer for over 12 years now and love to share what I’ve learned over the years on my blog so others can benefit.

*Have you been to any other blogging or social media conferences before? If so, which ones?
Yes, I’d first attended the Show Me The Blog Conference in St. Louis, MO. It was here at home (I live in the St. Louis area) and I had just started to learn more about blogging and how to monetize a blog. So I thought it was the perfect opportunity to learn more.

My second live event was the Atlanta Bloggers Retreat where I learned more about affiliate marketing, branding and how others are successful with their blogs. From there, I was introduced to other blog conferences, including SheCon, and I was beginning to network more with others who attend conferences and live events and understood why attending conferences is so important.

*What were some of your reasons for attending SheCon?
It was free (outside of getting there) and thought it another great opportunity to meet some wonderful people to network with (ahem, including yourself Melissa!) :) {Aw, you're SWEET!}

*Who were your favorite speakers and why?
Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t say Guy Kawasaki was very “enchanting’ – pun intended :) {That makes me giggle!} Also, I appreciated the work and presentation of Mark Horvath, very moving and inspirational and brought the subject of homelessness to life for me.
Lakesha getting her book, The Art of Enchantment, signed by Guy Kawasaki!
There were other great speakers as well and I learned something from them all!

*What do you think is the most important thing you learned from the SheCon presentations?
I learned there is always more than one way to skin a cat (apologies to my cat, Precious, for talking about skinning cats!). The speakers (and participants for that matter) all introduced strategies that worked for them. Therefore, once I got home, I deciphered my notes and realized I just need to take what I’ve learned, start with one concept/idea, take action, monitor, rinse and repeat!

*What do you think is the most important thing you learned from the conference as a whole?
Wow, overall, I learned regardless of who we are, what we do or where we are in life, we can always learn from others. Sometimes, I learn even more in the “hallway” conversations and greatly appreciate the sharing nature of others. So when at a conference, keep an open mind, learn to listen, and ensure to keep in touch with those you meet as you never know how a relationship can ensue ;-) {Amen! :)}

*What were your favorite events/activities?
Now this is a no brainer :) My favorite activity was getting hand/arm massages in the Sassy Suite! {I have to agree that those were lovely!} I also enjoyed hanging out with SheCon Lovelies at the Karaoke Bar where we got to see Serena Williams and heard some folks sing to their hearts desire :) {ALSO a very fun time and you've already seen pictures of that spectacle!}

*What advice would you give to someone who has never attended a conference and is considering one in the future?
Just do it! Find one that resonates with your goals. There are so many to choose from, one or more for almost anything you can think of. Also, I started going to small conferences which I think is better for first timers since you really get to network without feeling overwhelmed.

*Is there anything else you’d like to share about your SheCon experience?
I’m so glad SheCon was held in Miami as I got to head out on the town, take a tour and people watch (a favorite activity of mine).
I can't tell you again how much fun I had meeting all of these remarkable people at SheCon. It really was an experience I'll never forget and I hope that I'll be able to attend the conference every year to reconnect in person with all of these fabulous people!

I also hope you're enjoying this series. It's been a lot of fun for me and very interesting to see what everyone else takes back with them from the conference. Everyone is so different, which is why I wanted to do guest posts to share as much of their opinions with you as possible, instead of only giving you my own thoughts.

And now, on Friday, I'm going to take my girl bowling with her dad, and then spend some time baking for our church Access group barbecue on Saturday (after my daughter's very first soccer practice in the morning - whee!). Sunday and Monday will be days of rest for me since I'll bring my daughter back to her dad for his custody time with her on Sunday afternoon.

Hope you're all enjoying your weekends!


  1. I've been looking into putting a mastermind group together, but I don't know anyone. I saw that you had one. Are you accepting new members or do you have tips on how to put one together.

  2. Hey Melissa! Thank you chica for including me in your SheCon Lovelies list :-)

    I had a great time with you guys and am sure our paths will meet again at some point ;-)

    For help with TiAnna's question, here are some tips:

    1) Find people (locally or online) who have a similar mindset as you. They don't necessarily have to have the exact same goals or even be in the same field, but at least have the urge to grow personally and professionally. It can possibly just start with 2 people. Don't feel you have to have a lot of people in the group. I think the effectiveness of a mastermind group diminishes the more people who are involved.

    2) Set a schedule to meet often (weekly, monthly, or whatever works for everybody).

    3) Keep each other accountable on your goals. This is where the heart of the group really is. The purpose for me of a group like this is to help each move forward with their goals and provide resources and help when I can (and vice versa).

    If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact me!

    twitter: @xdwebsolutions

  3. So true you can always learn from others. A really interesting interview, great to hear what other bloggers are doing

  4. okay, what did guy kawasaki talk about? every blogger has raved about him! i'm so curious!

    thanks for sharing another great blogger, Melissa!


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