Members of the Women in Business club sat down with local professionals during the organization’s Semiannual Dinner last Thursday evening to discuss how to be successful in the business world.
The theme of the dinner was based off a quote by Muhammad Ali that says, “Impossible is nothing.” Lisa Bearnson, founding editor of Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook magazine, was the keynote speaker for the evening. Her message inspired the women to accept adversity in life as blessings in disguise.
Bearnson grew up with a dislike for rain. When she planned to grow a garden and sell vegetables at a young age, a drought suddenly hit her state. Determined to build her little business, Bearnson worked hard to use irrigation water to grow the largest zucchinis on the street and then sold them to her neighbors.
While serving a mission in Scotland, she learned a trick to being let into people’s homes — her companion and she always worked outside when it rained. Bearnson had only five sunny days on her mission but found that her hatred toward rain turned into love because she worked hard to make rainy days a positive thing.
“I learned to love the rain,” Bearnson said. “Raindrops, I discovered, are blessings in disguise.”
Bearnson worked as WordPerfect Magazine’s editor-in-chief for seven years after college. In 1996, she left that job to apply her knowledge of editing and publishing magazines and her passion for scrapbooking to found her now-internationally popular Creating Keepsakes magazine.
Before she began, she consulted a magazine expert who eventually told her the magazine would fail because the subject matter was “stupid.” Determined to follow her dream, Bearnson made the magazine anyway, and the first issue sold more than 40 thousand copies, with 20 thousand subscribers. The magazine now has more than 500 thousand subscribers worldwide.
“We didn’t listen to the expert,” Bearnson said. “I knew that I had inspiration on what to do and I had to follow it. Do not let anyone tell you you cannot do what you want to do.”
She taught the women that persistence, hard work and a good attitude will always be the cure to adversity in life.
Other professionals came from companies like American Express, Domo, Goldman Sachs and Adobe. A panel of five professionals answered questions submitted by club members, moderated by club adviser Tina Ashby. Some of the advice given was to get good internships while in school, to be confident in their abilities and to always find a balance between work and family. Thamina Christensen, marketing manager at Domo, said the key to balance is found in setting priorities straight.
“I don’t believe in work-life balance,” Christensen said. “I believe in work-life priorities and in making sure whatever your top priority is stays the top priority through everything you do.”
The new mission statement for the Women in Business club is based off the acronym L.I.V.E.: learn, interact, value and excel. Katherine Poulter, president of Women In Business, reminded the women of the importance of being an active club member and said everyone should learn to live what they learn at BYU.
“You should value your dreams,” Poulter said. “Excel in your life and in whatever you want to do.”