The Fierce Leadership Summit

I am a true believer that things happen for a reason.

Last week was – without a doubt – the worst week of my life. 

I crawled into my hole and, for a few days, I thought I might just pull the covers over my head and never come out again. I like to look on the sunny side, but last week there was no sun to be found. I had retreated and there was no sign of me making a comeback.

But, for some annoying reason, people just wouldn’t let me hide. Being a daughter, sister, wife, friend and business owner can be super frustrating like that. Every time I felt myself slipping down my rabbit hole, someone came along and yanked me back out. Then, the weekend rolled around.

I had a commitment on Sunday. But, this was the worst week of my life – I shouldn’t be held to anything. I spent the day on Saturday convincing myself that I didn’t have to, wasn’t expected to, and was entitled not to attend the conference. This would be the day that my descent into the abyss would be finalized – without interruption.

But, for some reason, I woke up at 6:30 on Sunday morning, got in the car, drove to USC and attended the FIERCE Leadership Summit.

I knew the conference would be good. It was the brainchild of Nailah Blades who is one of the smartest, most inspirational women I know. Plus, I know a few of the speakers and they are all equally fabulous. I saw a friend, sat down next to her, put on a smile and ate my continental breakfast.

Nailah gave a great introduction and her excitement for the day radiated throughout the room. Then, something happened. One after another, strong, amazing women got up and they talked – right to me. They talked about fears and dreams, about living an unapologetic life, about being wise, about love and leadership and work. They talked and talked. And, with every word, I felt that deep dark hole start to close. I felt like I was making a comeback and, like some of the great comebacks before me (think Robert Downey, Jr.), I was going to be even better than before.

The hole in my heart began to fill with inspiration and motivation to live a big life – a FIERCE life.

I was at the FIERCE Leadership Summit all day and I can’t begin to detail everything I learned, but I do want to point you in the direction of some of the amazing speakers who inspired me. Look them up, follow them on Twitter and Facebook and apply their lessons to your life.

Nailah Blades: If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a huge fan. Women, do you own your own business (or are thinking about taking the leap)? Get on her site ASAP!

Dyana Valentine: I’m honestly obsessed with this woman. She tells it like it is and doesn’t apologize. I am so thankful to have heard her words.

Jodi Womack: She didn’t like other networking events, so she did something about it! I loved her passion and the fact that she didn’t wait for “somebody” to do it for her. Not to mention, I spent about 15 minutes talking to her and her husband and they are genuinely two of the nicest people I’ve met.

Danielle Dowling: She is someone I’d love to have a cocktail with! Her presentation was engaging, funny and emotional. She’s giving women the low-down on relationships (dear friends – you know who you are – expect a link to her site in the next few days. You’re welcome)

Brittney Castro: This lady knows her stuff when it comes to finances. I don’t know anything about investing, but you better believe I’m going to learn. Let’s stop being scared of money!

Samantha Bennett: Hilarious. She gets creative minds organized. Her worksheets got me thinking about the things that are most important to me (SHOCKINGLY – it’s not working out!) I loved her style and her message.

Danielle Leslie: She totally inspired me. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and then she goes out and gets it. She’s working to help people do what they love (which, is what she loves).

Alaia Williams: This girl knows her stuff when it comes to personal brands. She shared some great tips about building, growing and maintaining your personal brand online. If you’re still figuring out your “story” make sure to check her out.

Erin Haslag: Erin is one of my all-time favorite people, and I love to hear her wellness tips and tricks. I’ve got the music on in the office today, thanks to some of the great ideas she shared with us.

Melanie Mills: Beautiful inside and out, Melanie shared her secrets to success and her road to launching her own beauty line.


I want to thank all of these women, as well as the other attendees who I got to connect with. Sometimes you don’t know how your words can truly impact someone’s life, but I promise you that your words really moved mine yesterday.


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About Donna Queza

I'm an optimist grounded in realism. That's what I love about working on the web -- the possibilities to be creative and distinctive are endless, but there's always a need for those reality-driven, data-fueld folks who make our dreams into realities. I like to think I hover somewhere in the middle - creative, quantifiable internet marketing solutions.

6 responses to “The Fierce Leadership Summit”

  1. heatherkincaid says :

    Sounds like an amazing experience and I’m so glad you got to have it right when you needed it most! Wish I could have been there! Definitely going to check out all the speakers you noted here… I definitely need some inspiration these days. 🙂

    • Donna Queza says :

      Thanks, doll. It was a great experience and I’m glad I got up and did it. I will keep you posted for next year’s, you’d love it! Sending you inspiration vibes 🙂

  2. Christina Dely says :

    Thank you for this. I have been struggling with a similar feeling for the past few weeks. Sometimes the to-do’s seem insurmountable. And laying on the couch, under a blanket with a blank stare, seems to be the only option. I wish I had been able to attend this conference. It sounds lovely! However, I did find a way out of my rabbit hole 😉 XO

    • Donna Queza says :

      Girl, I know you. You’re going to come back bigger and better than ever! 🙂

      You’re amazing. You should check out some of these ladies and get inspired, too.

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