Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guess Who I Met in the Elevator?

Doreen Rainey and Liz Lange
I'm hanging out this week in Las Vegas at the Wynn Hotel attending Ali Brown's Shine Event. This three day conference is for women entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow their business.

It's been a great time of learning, connecting with friends, and also enjoying some of what Las Vegas has to offer - especially one of my favorite restaurants on the strip...The Burger Bar at the Mandolay Bay. I love, love, love their veggie burger and sweet potato fries!

One of the keynote speakers at this event was Liz Lange - founder and Creative Director of Liz Lange Maternity. What I loved about her story was that she saw a need and decided to become the one to fill it. Noticing that some of her pregnant friends didn't shop at maternity stores, but rather tried to make regular clothes in a bigger size work, Liz was the first fashion designer to create chic, slim fitted, fashionable maternity clothes. In listening to her talk, I came away with 3 important points for achieving business success.

1. When you create something new, most people will tell you it won't work. At the time she decided to start her fashion line, maternity clothes were an afterthought. She talked to several retailers and experts in the field who said it would never work because women don't care how they look when they are pregnant. She chose to ignore the experts and stuck to her vision. The result: she forever changed an industry.

2. What if someone else does it? When she felt like giving up, she kept coming back to that question. What if she opened up a fashion magazine and saw someone else being successful with her idea?. That's what kept her going. When you latch on to your idea, passion, and goals, giving up is not an option.

3. Refuse to define yourself with what you can't do. Liz experienced a whole list of "can't" when building her business. She wasn't a designer, didn't sew, and didn't sketch. However, she chose to focus on what she could do - and took action.

When it comes to what you want to do - whether it's in your career, business or personal life, these are 3 points you want to always consider. In Liz's case, these were mantras that led her to create a business now worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But the best part? I got to give her a personal "thank you" for her inspiring message when I stepped on the elevator at the Wynn to go to my room. There she was. She was just as gracious and nice in person as she was on stage. And yes, the picture is from inside the elevator!

Thanks Liz for sharing your experience and your wisdom.
Doreen Rainey is CEO of the RADICAL Success Institute, providing coaching programs to help people achieve RADICAL Success.  For more information, visit her website at

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