Often I look at others careers in awe of what they've achieved. This is no more true than when I looked through the list of finalists at the recent Women of Influence Awards event.
There are so many inspirational women in New Zealand, doing amazing things for other New Zealanders and for humanity globally.
Many names listed in the finalists booklet were known to me but what an insight into their lives you glean from their bios. I will be sure to watch with interest as they continue to achieve great things.
I count myself lucky to have been able to acknowledge & celebrate their achievements among 799 other people; to understand what drives these individuals and get a tiny glimpse into what they're doing to influence the lives of others.
An event which celebrates success on one of the grandest scales - fabulous!!
Talking about grandest scales - I think my table was definitely one of the loudest support tables in the room. Is anyone surprised with 50% of them being Young Farmers members and another being a crazy doctor who was the tables entertainment all night?! (We love you Tarn's!)
Big ups to my support crew you were awesome!!!
When you look at what I consider to be a very short career to date, I had to pinch myself that I was named among those with 20-30 years more experience than me.
Apart from the Business Enterprise category winner, Lisa King of Eat my Lunch, I would have had one of the youngest businesses in the room.
Yes, I will allow myself to celebrate that achievement because this particular highlight may not present itself again. After all, it's our month to celebrate success and that is definitely one I'm proud to mention.
It was no surprise our beloved 'Rural' category was taken out by the amazing Mavis Mullins. A driver for Maori agribusiness, women's leadership and the Primary Sector in general. This woman deserved to take home the award!
I aspire to have the influence she's had, and still does, on our sector in the coming years.
Well done to all category winners and supreme winner Dame Rosemary Moe.
I also attended the Women of Influence forum in the morning of the awards dinner.
The biggest key takeaways:
1. What is your purpose?
2. How will you use your influence positively to be influential, not to influence people?
Simon Power, GM of Commercial banking at Westpac was one of the panelists in the morning. He mentioned that he asks all interviewees the question 'What would you march in the street for?'
It got me thinking....'What would I march in the street for?'
I'm not sure I have an answer yet.
I know narrowing my focus doesn't mean I'll forget about other important ideals but how can I pick one?
Simply, it means I will expend more energy making a difference, encouraging change and being influential.
I really want to define my purpose, for the betterment of myself and those around me.
A hard decision.
One I've yet to make.
So.... What would you march in the street for?
Want to read through the full lists of finalists? Click here
Chelsea Millar is the Owner of Grass Roots Media NZ and co-founder of the seminar series Rural Voice. When she's not tweeting and flitting from location to location you can find her behind a camera or being active.
She was a finalist in the 2016 Women of Influence awards.