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The registration for the first qualifyer contest of the LADIES FIRST CHALLENGE 2010-2011 is open!

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Women in Boardsports Retreat -by Our Camp Comrade Jessica Francis (photographs Vanessa Andrieux)

A few weeks ago I made a last minute decision to go to the Women in Boardsports Retreat after seeing it on the Our Camps socialgo.com forum With no one I knew available to join me I was going it alone… I was very nervous and super excited as I loaded up my credit card!!!
So, last weekend I headed off in the early hours of Thursday morning to Bristol airport to fly to Geneva. From Geneva I headed up into the mountains of Switzerland via train then bus to Saas-Fee. Once there I found lots of reasons to visit this beautiful and cute little village… Firstly some snow all year round as there is a Glacier there (does mean lots of ice though!), secondly the FIS European Cup had just been and the World Cup was about to start. So I was reliably informed that there were some big named snowboarders around.

Nicola Thost, Nicole Angelrath and Anne-flore Marxer

My reason for being in this beautiful setting was to have some fun, meet new people and find out more about board sports and the women who work in this male orientated world. I definitely got all this and feel very privileged to have been a part of the very first Women in Boardsports Retreat.
The Women in Boardsports Retreat was an exclusive women meeting where women from the business and others looking to enter the business could get together and talk about the board sports industry. At first I was nervous it may become a feminists retreat where everyone bashed men. It wasn’t like that at all though! It was a fun meeting and a really good opportunity to hang out and meet some great people who grew up in male dominated businesses.


There were some very inspirational stories and some awe inspiring women who did not make anyone feel beneath them. It was an incredible chance to meet and talk to people who started out with nothing but now run huge multinational companies like Burton and Roxy. We helped give each other perspective, inspiration and confidence within ourselves and the work we do.
The 15 important points that I learned…
1, Never give up! No does not mean No Never, it means not right now… Try again and again!!
2, Find a mentor! This is someone that knows want to help you achieve your professional goals. They help teach and guide you through your career to the dizzy heights you deserve!
3, Get a board of Directors. This one sounds crazy! But after having it explained by Donna… I am now looking for mine! The BOD will help you personally and professionally in life. They are not necessarily in your business but they care about you as a person and about your future! They are different people with different skills, they will help you review your goals and help you to keep aiming for where you want to go.
4, Timing. As crazy as it sounds a lot comes down to timing and being in the right place at the right time. Even those at WIB that didn’t want to say that had to admit that timing plays a big part! In saying this everyone agreed that if you work hard and keep at it then your time will come! It may not be as you imagined it but life likes to throw in some surprises, that is what makes life a rollercoaster ride of fun! : )
5, Dream your visions and visualise your dreams! Don’t let money and organisation limit you… Allow the visions you have to create your dreams and find the solutions. The limits are where you decide they are!!!
6, Trust yourself! Follow your heart! You know what you want and what you can do and offer… Don’t doubt it!
7, Be realistic. Team up with people that can and will strengthen your weaknesses.
8, Put time in to get time out! Look at what you spend your energy on! Prioritise your energy… 80% on what you need to be done… 20% on the other shit!
9, Understand finances. Become financially literate, understand the P&O’s and basic accounts, this will help you understand the business as a whole and work within it current limits, and find way to invest money in different currency as gold, check more information on goldira.
10, Humility. Make mistakes and learn from them, you will never learn everything from books etc you have to get out there and learn for yourself.
11, Speak up… But with precision! Don’t be aggressive but get your point across. Make sure your point is valid and can be substantiated with the where, when and how’s. This is where a financial understanding may also come in handy!
12, Make your ideas bulitt proof before presenting them! Never ask for something without knowing the where, when, why, how and cost! Do some background research this way people can’t dismiss you and your great ideas.
13, Get good people around you. Don’t dismiss people that are strong and have vision but may want to move onto their own thing in a few years. It’s better to work with someone worth the time for a few years than not at all.
14, More face to face! In this digital day and age we forget that actually we make 100x more impact if we are there shaking some ones hand or talking on a phone. They can see or hear us this way… Unlike in text and emails!
15, We must all work to develop ourselves but also to develop others around us! Don’t be selfish with your knowledge or closed to others experiences and knowledge.

With all this advice and knowledge all that is left to say is live long and prosper people!! Believe in yourselves girls…. Others do! : ) xxxx
Very, very lastly I must say a huge thank you to Carmela and Daniela and their team that organised it all. AND… Bring on Women in Boardsports 2010!! I hope to see everyone there! : )
For more info on WIB go to – http://womeninboardsports.blogspot.com/

All pics Vanessa Andrieux

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