Being a young, female entrepreneur, and speaking at conferences, usually as the only woman on the panel, has been challenging. A lot of times, the men are loud speakers, they interrupt, and they jump into answering questions before you can even open your mouth.
Coming to the panel as a 19-year-old girl with a virtual pet blog I made when I was 14, makes it hard to stand out among this crowd.
That's why speaking at BlogHer, at 16 years young, was the best, first conference experience I could have asked for. There were 4 other women bloggers on my panel; women I felt comfortable with and, with my age and shyness, was acknowledged by. It was a great atmosphere for my first speaking gig.
From there, it got harder; speaking at sessions with all men for the most part. But, I got words in at each one, and I'm still speaking at conferences today. Just last month I moderated at SES San Francisco, on a teen entrepreneur panel (again, all males, who were very successful and very much tech geniuses--it's hard to shine next to blindingly bright lights).
Coming up this month, my dad and I are running an SEO session at BlogPaws West 2010. My dad, Stephan Spencer, is an official SEO whiz; but I know more than the average blogger, so I'm confident I'll manage to get a few tips in, to work along with his expert advice.
See what I mean? Young and female is tough. But I'm a tough girl, and I'll keep fighting for that limelight.
I plan to start a new company, soon, that I hope will take me far and do fantastic financially. I'm just waiting for that lightbulb idea to pop up, like for NeopetsFanatic.com did back in 2006. Now that I'm following that climb to success, I plan to turn ChloeSpencer.com into a popular personal blog and vlog, not just a press site, as it is now.
So yes, I'm a small girl with big dreams. But aren't we all, inside? And somehow, we ambitious driven women always find a way to break through, to shine brighter than we had ever imagined.