…Makes You Stronger

We’ve become a culture averse to adversity. From “no-losers” sports to “safe spaces” on campuses we make a conscious effort to avoid the pain that comes from defeat or hard-to-hear differences of philosophy and outlook. We take this same avoidance in to far more painful aspects of our own personal lives as well. Through this fear of confronting hard things we’ve lost sight that our humanity shines no brighter than when we push through struggles large and small.
Our muscles and endurance only grow when we push well in to discomfort and often outright pain. Our minds, psyches, and spirits need the same hard work as well. After all, what doesn’t kill you…

Authentic Self

Your best contribution to your clients, friends, family, and partner is your Authentic Self. We are drawn to people who give themselves wholeheartedly to the moment, yet the expression of your Authentic Self is one of the hardest skills to learn. Living that wholehearted life and making that contribution means leverage all of your traits, both the positive and the negative, both the deep and the shallow, but it begins with self-acceptance. Learn to accept your Authentic Self—all of your Authentic Self—and walk into the fire of a wholehearted life.

Empathy and Anxiety

We all desire closeness yet let anxiety separate us.
We all desire growth yet let what others might think stop us.
You can change your world by funnelling your energy into people and not things.
I want you to care more – to be more aware of your power and what you are capable of.
In this talk I’ll share milestone moments from my life, career, and community work where individuals have (or have not) shown empathy and the impact that had on growth.

I’m Not A Unicorn

Have you ever had someone express shock that you’re a developer? Have you ever heard the words “Wow, you’re so well-spoken”? Have you ever walked into a large conference and been able to count the attendees who looked like you? I have. As a black female developer, in spaces where I should have felt most at ease surrounded by like-minded geeks, I have felt unwelcome, uncomfortable or simply ignored. I’m going to share some of my experiences of coding while black woman. What I have learned about diversity in tech. And what I think needs be done to actually create a diverse inclusive industry.

Just Deal With It

“You don’t look sick.”
“You’re fine.”
“Oh, *everyone’s* dealing with *something*. Get over yourself.”

For the millions of people dealing with depression, diabetes, autism, migraines, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or myriad other diseases and disorders classed as Invisible Illnesses, these are things they hear frequently. For many, the constant pressure becomes an insurmountable stumbling block to success.

In this talk, we’ll take a peek behind the curtain of the life of the Unicorn Whisperer, as she opens up about her invisible illness. By sharing how dealing with this shaped her life, her career, and her relationships, she will give you tips on how you can “Just Deal With It” in your own life.

Permission to Change

Change is scary. We tell ourselves that it is from fear of the unknown—What if something bad happens? What if we can’t do it? What if we let people down? What if we regret it?—but staying the course is just as unpredictable, and this fear is just a lizard-brain reaction to get your body to stop! You are brave. You can handle the unknown. So what you need isn’t courage; to free yourself, you need to give yourself permission. Permission to move forward. Permission to begin. You need to give yourself permission to change.

There’s Only One Seat In Here, And It’s Taken: Lessons Learned From My 30s

We’ve all made it far enough in life to have made some mistakes and learned things the hard way, or discovered interesting things about ourselves. Sometimes, you need to have an audience while you shit to really understand your life choices. Sometimes, doing what you hate leads to what you love. Sometimes, you just need to acknowledge that the asshole voice in your head is going to be there no matter what.

What Neurodiversity Has Taught Me About Leadership

Since starting my entrepreneurship journey, I have become fascinated with leadership principles and practices. What is it that makes some people effective leaders, and others terrible managers? Along the way, I’ve read countless books, articles online, and talked with numerous leaders and gleaned valuable insights. But the greatest leadership lessons have come from my work with the Autism community itself. Numerous corporate case studies show tremendous untapped abilities and talents among the Autism population, yet many still face significant barriers to employment in the traditional workplace. In this talk, Steve will share valuable leadership lessons he’s learned while building an inclusive, Autism-friendly company. There are millions of Autistic people in the United States who can change the way we do business. And they can make us better leaders along the way.