The ah-ha! moment that takes you from daydreamer to business owner can occur at any given moment. Whether you just discovered a new talent or found a solution for white-space in the market, innovation lies at the crux of your new venture’s success. In a world that feels over-saturated with new ideas and business models, it takes true innovation, passion, and relentlessness to get your ideas off the ground. But how do you carve out original thought amongst the noise? Well, technology is the first place we start. So many successful businesses and entrepreneurs have relied on it to get them to where they are today.
That’s why we partnered with Lenovo and Microsoft to bring their Think Big Speaker Series to life in New York and Toronto. This dynamic panel event brought together cutting-edge entrepreneurs and founders from varied professional backgrounds to provide insight on how technology has fueled their innovation, created new business models, and disrupted entire industries (or even carved out new ones).
Lenovo is using smart technology as their driving force in creating inclusive, empowered communities of entrepreneurs, business owners, and thought-leaders. And as the workplace evolves, Lenovo actively tailors its new products to accommodate the ever-changing landscape of innovation. It was no coincidence that this speaker series took place amid the launch of the latest ThinkBook—“now is the perfect time to highlight technology’s impact on innovation”.
The ThinkBook presents itself as a vital tool for the movers and shakers of today’s digital world. And here's why! Its hyper-speed charging technology enables users to charge up quickly and stay unplugged for extended periods of time—adapting to our flexible working environments. Other key features for mobile business users include a dedicated Skype key (making conference calls easier) and a one touch fingerprint power button for extra security.
Not only is this piece of technology cutting-edge tech-wise, it’s truly nothing like we’ve seen design-wise. Lenovo has made a point of investing in style with the sleek body of the ThinkBook. The bottom line: as much as we rely on our phones for daily survival and a necessary accessory, the Lenovo ThinkBook gives our handheld friend a run for its money.
Whether you were in attendance and forgot to take notes or were unable to attend the events altogether, we’ve got you covered. Below are some key takeaways from our conversations with panelists in both cities—get ready.
Think Big Speaker Series:
A real-talk conversation on thinking big, innovating and building thriving businesses.
Sarah Lee | Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Glow Recipe
Lindsey Greathouse | Commercial Marketing Manager, Lenovo
Lucie Fink | Video Producer & Lifestyle Host
Jilly Hendrix | Writer, Media Personality, Entrepreneur
Sophia Roe | Chef & Wellness Advocate
Heather Records, VP of Marketing, Create & Cultivate
“ If you’re trying to go into a new industry I think it’s really important for you to understand the potential of your idea, the market size, and ultimately what your point of difference is. You know it’s a colored market wherever you go but what is your uniqueness and how are you going to stand out?”
“I love just talking to people and that’s my source of inspiration. You know at work when you’re managing a team of 25 plus, you have back-to-back meetings. I think sometimes people take it as ‘oh no I've got too many meetings what’s happening?’ but if you can change your perspective, you can think about it as an opportunity to get inspired by each and every team member you interact with.”
“I think the biggest strength of having a co-founder is that you have a support system. When we first started our business, it was just the two of us. It can be a little lonely and to have somebody that you can always talk about these problems or concerns with is such a strong mental support system. I think that’s been really successful for our partnership.”
“I struggled for a long time knowing what my superpowers were. One thing that can help is paying attention to the compliments you get. Paying attention to what people say—the ones that you sort of brush off because they seem like second nature to you.”
“As someone in the corporate world, creativity is still so essential. I think it’s in each of us—we all have this creative energy. It’s not a “use it or lose it” thing. It’s always there but sometimes it just gets frustrating. So, I would say challenge yourself. Do something different. Make having a different perspective a part of your routine because it can be easy to get tunnel vision.”
“I think being able to survive is not enough. You want to be able to thrive. You want to be able to not just make enough to live, but make enough to be able to live the way you want to live. Money is energy. Money is very important. I think there’s no shame in seeking money—asking for more and saying you need more and want more.”
“I think starting your side hustle before you leave your main job is very important so you can see if it’s working. Do both at the same time until you can’t manage the side hustle because it’s so successful and then leave.”
“I create a lot of to-do lists on the notes app. You can make a bullet point that you can then check off so it becomes like a checklist.”
“I’ve failed at everything I’ve done I would say, and then I just keep going. I feel like if you don’t fail, then you’re never going to succeed.”
“Another interesting thing I do is to make Instagram accounts for all of my interests. I kind of treat them like Pinterest boards. So, if I’m interested in writing something I’ll just put all of those there. Maybe no one’s gonna follow it but at least it’s there and my creative energy lives there.”
“I use Instagram a lot to meet a lot of people for business. Just like anyone that’s doing something that I’m interested in. I’ll just send them a DM and be like ‘how did you start this?’, ‘do you want to meet for coffee?’ and that’s really helped me grow every part of my career.”
“I believe you have a true calling. If you want to be a doctor, if you want to be a lawyer, if you want to work for an ad agency—I feel like if you have a real reason why you want to do it, you will succeed. You will. You know. And for me it’s you guys, that is really why I want to do this.”
“So for me, at the core of what I want to do, which is everything I do now—is not just one thing. It’s humans… people first.”
“It's a really crazy thing to have someone there to facilitate your dreams—especially if it’s reaching more people, helping more people. I do a lot of nonprofit work so if I want to reach more people and I want to help more foster kids I need help to do that. So thinking in that narrative, really telling myself that every day has been really helpful when hiring someone.”
Karin Eldor | Senior Contributor, Forbes
Lindsey Greathouse | Commercial Marketing Manager, Lenovo
Joanna Griffiths | Founder & CEO, Knixwear
Sharleen Joynt | Opera Singer & Blogger
Torri Webster | Content Creator
Jaclyn Johnson, CEO, Create & Cultivate
“Make a difference, even in the smallest way.”
“People told me to write for smaller local papers, but I said no, I want to dream big and write for global syndications.”
“You need just one yes to set you on the path.”
“Listen to those things you find personally frustrating. When you see them happening around you and you can’t understand why it’s not solved or why other people struggle with it because they all point to areas where you have unique strengths and you can excel.”
“As a founder, you learn to hit rock bottom multiple times.”
“If you don’t put your hand out you won’t get the cookie. Raise your hand and ask for the cookie.”
“Believing in myself and believing that I deserve something great—the second that I changed my mindset I changed my life.”
“My biggest learning curve has been to be a little less apologetic and a little more shameless”
“Beg for forgiveness instead of asking for permission.”
“It’s easy to undersell yourself and want to over deliver. I’ve learned that putting yourself out there a bit more and self-promoting a bit more usually works in your favor.”
“We’re the ones telling your brand stories so why not let us be in the room from the very beginning.”
“I don’t want to just be a creative—I also want to have my foot in the business world as well. So, I started networking with different agencies that I’d already worked with from an influencer perspective.”