My head was spinning as I left AmericasMart in Downtown Atlanta after Summit21 wrapped. I knew it was going to be an amazing weekend, however I couldn’t anticipate the transformative experience that I was going to be apart of. 

There was so much wisdom shared from the speakers, but here are 5 life changing lessons that I learned at Summit21: 

1. Self care is not an option 

Summit21 encompassed every aspect of womanhood — business and career, politics and advocacy, and health and wellness were equally important. Many of the speakers emphasized the importance of taking care of yourself to have the energy to make your dreams come true. 

Starting each day of Summit21 with meditation was essential to opening our minds and hearts to receive the blessings from the speakers. 

Latham Thomas, celebrity wellness and lifestyle guru, highlighted what it means to “own your glow” as she describes in her book. She said it’s harnessing your unique attributes as a woman, fixing your crown and standing in your power. Self care is a key to owning your glow, and Latham emphasized the importance of checking in with yourself to see what you need and setting boundaries to protect your space. 

During her fireside chat with singer Sevyn Streeter, branding mogul Karen Civil said her self care practice includes meditating, setting up her crystals and playing her power song to set the tone for each day. 

The founders of GirlTrek closed Summit21 sharing their mission to encourage 1 million women to commit to 30 minutes of exercise each day. 

While self care may look different for everyone, it’s a non-negotiable to elevate to your best life. 

2. There’s a distinct difference between your passion and purpose 

“You can choose your passion but you can’t choose your purpose,” said actress Ashley Blaine Featherson during her fireside chat with comedian Robin Thede. “If you’re living in your purpose, success is inevitable. You can’t fail because God created you for it.”

Often times we overlook our purpose because we expect it to be something else, but it may be in front of us the whole time. For those struggling to discover their purpose, Ashley and Robin encourages making a list of what you love to do and what you can do to change yourself and the world.

Stephanie Scott of First and Last PR

3. Your story has power 

Although Stephanie Scott, founder of First And Last PR, held a session about strategic branding for beauty businesses, her tips were applicable no matter what career path you have. 

We all have a personal brand — for some it includes running a business and for others it’s slaying at a 9 to 5. Either way, Stephanie encouraged us to figure out our story, identify our unique selling points and tell it to as many audiences as possible.

Author and business executive Sarah Jakes Roberts, highlighted the importance of authenticity and transparency when telling your story during her fireside chat. 

“We do a disservice to one another as women when we act like we have it all together. If one person says that I’m struggling and I need some help, it gives another woman permission to say the same.”

 4. You can’t afford to not get involved with politics 

In one of the impact sessions, Natasha Murphy of Black Girls Vote and Dr. Wendy Osefo of 1954 Equity Project discussed how it’s crucial that we raise our voices by voting because blood was paid through our ancestors. 

Political strategist Angela Rye echoed that discussion during her fireside chat. She stressed that we must educate ourselves on political issues and identify the candidates in local, state and federal government that support our needs. 

With the midterm elections coming this November, Angela encouraged us to think about our top three concerns (such as education, justice, police brutality or health care) so we vote for candidates that have our best interest in mind. 

“Our lives are literally on the line,” says Angela. 

5. Learn to delegate your way to success 

Although we have the power to do anything we put our minds to, it doesn’t benefit us to do it all. 

“If you think you’re the only person that can do something, you will be the only one,” said Karleen Roy of The Vanity Group during the money session about side hustle to CEO. 

Blavity CEO & Founder Morgan DeBaun mentioned the importance of finding your flow. “Identify what you naturally enjoy doing. It makes everything easier.” Morgan leaned on her team to help grow Blavity, 21Ninety and their other businesses at the rate that they’ve progressed. 

These were just a few gems dropped at this year’s Summit21! If you missed out, be sure to make your way to Atlanta next year for this life changing conference.