I went to my first Movers and Breakers conference in October 2016. I’m quite the introvert, but went by myself, trusting in the Business Chicks community that I would be welcomed and embraced. Then the packing list arrived announcing the fancy-dress final night with a sparkle theme. I drew a breath and packed my usual black & some sparkly earrings, anything else was a stretch too far.
Byron Bay was fabulous. On the first day I was seated next to Lucy, a brand-new starter at Business Chicks at the time. I learnt a lot from the amazing speakers, about business, about people and about myself, I made some new friends, and some commitments for the year ahead. I also headed straight to the face painter for some sparkles as soon as I got to the final night event. When Hamilton Island was announced for the following year, I signed up straight away.
When I arrived at the airport en route to Hamilton Island I saw some people I recognised from the previous year. I said hello and was immediately and warmly embraced. I put a bit of effort into the Muriel’s Wedding themed fancy-dress party for the final night, with a top covered in budgies & a cockatoo in my hair. I’m not a dancer, so sat by the pool chatting while the dance floor went crazy. When Emma led a conga line straight into the pool I watched on with a smile.
Hamilton Island was a blast. I was seated next to Business Chicks Lucy again on the first day. I was at a bit of a crossroads at the time and it all played a role in me working out what I wanted to do next. The speakers were great once again, and more friendships were formed. I signed up for the following year in Fiji straight away.
When the packing list came out for Fiji with a F-themed final night, the people that had embraced me at the airport en route to Hamilton Island made contact, and we planned a flamboyance of flamingos together. Movers and Breakers in Fiji was the best yet (although I didn’t get to sit next to Lucy). More discoveries about myself, a commitment to the year ahead, more friendships formed and, get this, this little introvert, who only wears black and doesn’t dance, dressed as a flamingo, hit the dance floor, and jumped in the pool. I signed up for the next Movers and Breakers trip to Broome before I left Fiji.
Last week was the Movers and Breakers conference in Broome. I laughed, I cried, I learnt a lot, I accepted something about myself, I made a commitment for the year ahead, and I said it out loud so have 140 accountability partners to hold me to it. I loved seeing old friends and making new ones too. I sat on the same table as Lucy, an old timer at Business Chicks by now, once again. I will cry every time I hear the song ‘This Is Me” for the powerful memories that it invokes of everything that was Movers and Breakers in Broome.
I dressed up for the Aussie Icons final night party and I danced, a lot. There are two photos of me that I love. In one I have my arms wrapped tightly around my BFF, who came along for the first time. In the other I am on the dance floor in full flight with an Australian flag cocktail parasol behind my ear like a frangipani. In both of them I look so happy. It turns out that I love making new friends and embracing old friends, I love dressing up, I love jumping in the pool and I love to dance. Who knew?!
At breakfast on the morning we all departed I was chatting with Lucy as our toast cooked. Lucy asked if I was going to an upcoming Business Chicks event. I said no, I didn’t know the speaker. Lucy, wise wise Lucy, said, “you have to trust us”.
Trust. Like the trust I had placed in Business Chicks when I showed up by myself in Byron Bay back in 2016. Look where that got me. Now I’m fascinated to se where my trust takes me next. Where does your trust take you?
See you in the Barossa Valley in 2021.
Dayle Stevens is a Business Chicks Premium member and Chief Data Officer at AGL Energy. She has been named as one of Australia’s top CIOs, as an AFR 100 Women of Influence, and she has met The Queen.