Mar 28, 2013 Big Hearted Business Conference (By Clare Bowditch): Story (By Me) By Vanessa Muradian Pip Lincolne, the craft-enthusiast and writer behind Meet Me at Mike’s, refers to them as ‘clues’ - little moments in our day where everything seemingly coincides perfectly to tell you something, if you pay attention, these moments generally pave the way for something beautiful – or at the least, a good story. This is what I believe and this is what happened to me. Around early December I was at my local café in North Fitzroy, where I was showing off snapshots of Mick Jagger to my favourite staff there. I’d just returned from London, where I was lucky enough to see the Stones live. Clare Bowditch happened to be sitting nearby and overheard us talking about Jagger’s moves. She politely interjected, “Excuse me, who are you talking about?” I showed her the pictures and we chatted for a good half hour. We talked about our respective businesses, my fears about mine and how her project Big Hearted Business, which was holding an upcoming conference for it’s launch, would be right up my alley. In that intimate exchange, Clare inspired me. Our discussion helped me to feel validated and made me feel genuinely happy. It was even over more random, serendipitous events that I ended up with a ticket to the conference, bought for me essentially as a surprise by a dear, dear friend. I know it’s a big deal to say you are genuinely happy, but aftertheweekend conference I’ve established where happiness effervesces within me. It’s right at the tip of my solar plexus. I’m on a quest to nourish this spot and I feel completely energised and excited about it. I trust that the 200 or so women (and about 3 men) who also attended the conference would be feeling pretty similar to me. Making for an incredibly positive and energetic group of people, who I hope to build relationships with and keep in my circle. You know, catch me if I fall – kind of stuff. Well maybe not that dramatic; let’s just acknowledge the synergy here. This transformation of selves is all thanks to one crazy beautiful woman, Clare Bowditch. Over the past 15 years or so and despite hardships and speed bumps, she built a very successful business. It’s her aim to share with and inspire us to do the same – that’s what Big Hearted Business is all about. BHB teaches creatives how to make money from their craft and simultaneously teaches business-minded people how to think creatively. Her rationale is, when we are happy and making money we’re far more likely and capable of doing good things for the world. The BHB tagline: Do what you love, make money, save the world. It feels like this is somewhat of a world first in teaching business and (no pressure Bowditch) it feels like Clare is Oprah, if Oprah could sing. And according to what I learned on the weekend, she probably can - we all can. Team BHB, curated a rich weekend full of inspirational and knowledgeable speakers, ‘creative bursts’, incredible food and hosted in an amazing space thanks to the Abbotsford Convent and Lucy ‘Just Do it’ Feagins of The Design Files. There’s no doubt that the speakers resonated with the crowd in different ways for different reasons. Comedian, writer, and strong, independent woman Catherine Deveny continuously pom-pommed the crowed, with one inspirational quote/full-belly laugh after another. Her life experience has taught her to “never take advice from someone who hasn’t been there.” Followed up by, “I never ordered hummus until I knew it existed”. At that point the Middle Eastern in me got all giddy and in the air, was the first of 3 fist pumps for the day. I was not embarrassed. Image by Lily Mae - x Other speakers touched hearts because they are like Kemi Nekvapil. This woman is a powerhouse of energy. Kemi has a passion for raw food and a bunch of other fortes. She believes that beauty comes from within – like, really believes it. Kemi excites that feeding the body with the right stuff means that you have the energy to do what you need to do. This hit me hard and fast because last week, I was ready to give it all up, woe-is-me style – I know this is because I haven’t been nurturing myself. So boom! I’m starting slowly with a Green Smoothie and some yoga. We're both passionate about feeling good and loving well, so I guarantee I will seek out more Kemi in my life, which means the Mia Muse community will get to enjoy her passion too. Watch this space! Darren Rowse was the only man who spoke, he is ‘ProBlogger’. Darren started out a small time blogger and is now, rolling in it. He is a humble man who spent time in Tanzania to see if blogging could be used for social change. Darren’s presentation echoed in my heart for a few reasons but particularly because he mentioned that he spent time in Tanzania in a Fistula ward. I have spoken at Mia Muse parties about health issues such as fistula being one of the reasons I started Mia Muse. Helping to provide services and health care to women in developing nations who have suffered or are suffering as a result of violence or oppression because of their gender is still very much a goal for Mia Muse. Again, watch this space! Seeing those pictures and hearing Darren speak, was a little clue that I was in the right place, doing the right thing. So as I mentioned above, Pip Lincolne is a wonder woman and noticing the little clues, is one of her daily “to dos”. Pip knows about everything craft in the universe and is amazing. I have been fortunate to meet her a few times before but damn, I did not realize how much this woman had done and how much she was going to teach me. This was the beauty of the BHB conference, the speakers were all very accessible and easy to relate to. They are just like you and me, except they have “been there and done that”. Now that they’re achieving what were once their dreams, I imagine they’re in the midst of forging new ones. Being given the opportunity to listen to their sage accounts and to hear that dreams shouldn’t be just dreams, and that you can have it all (whatever the hell that means) is refreshing. And really very different to following an ‘Inspiration’ tab on Pinterest. My therapist would call the time I spent at the Big Hearted Business conference, meditation. He says, when you spend time doing something completely for yourself, it is a form of meditation. Furthermore, when you do things for yourself you can be a better partner, lover, mother, friend, artist and business owner. I left the conference feeling exactly how I would if I went deep into meditation for two days, not that I’ve done that (yet) but I’m assuming it would promote feelings of openness, love, vision, clarity, optimism and courage and that’s how I felt. Invaluable lessons were dispensed in overdrive during the weekend, so much so that I'm hoping I’ve created a new neuro-pathway in my brain called Big Hearted Business so they can stream right in to my consciousness. The most resonant today being, listen to those little clues and let those guardian angels, light-bulb moments, coincidences — whatever you want to call them — guide you in the right direction. If you don’t believe in guardian angels, put it down to String Theory or something. Or just look out for the good things, but remember good things are only good things if you seem them as such. Second lesson I’m channeling today is that you CAN do it. You can do whatever you want and be happy. It is your life. You may have to make adjustments to survive financially, but this can be done and this should all go toward living your dream, or rather, living happily. “You are not making a living, you are making a life.” The key part of this for me is to continue working toward achieving the greater vision of Mia Muse. To do this I have to look after and nourish myself, first and foremost, so I can share myself wholly and energetically. For the women who attended the conference, thank you for sharing what it is that is so beautiful about the collective woman — we don’t do enough of this and it is so powerful. To all the speakers thank you. To all my friends who missed out and who've sat and listened to me talk about this event since and wished they'd been there, this was only the launch and there will be much more to come! The website is being launched any day now. And to Clare Bowditch, thank you for being so accessible to all of us, because not many people have what you’ve got and use it for good. I love that you believe you can make a difference to this world, because you did over the weekend, and this is only the beginning. I feel a societal shift coming on, or shall we just say, someone’s making a little history baby.