What is your story? What do you do? Who do you do it for? And how do you do it uniquely?
These questions and more were posed yesterday by author/speaker Amber Hurdle, CEO of Amber Hurdle Consulting, to 261 attendees of Growing as a Thought Leader—the first of three consecutive 30-minute weekly sessions created as a free supplemental professional development series launched by VRM Intel and the Vacation Rental Women’s Summit.
Vacation rental industry professionals logged in eager to polish up their personal brand with pointers from Hurdle who began her session entitled “Why Your Thoughts Are Needed in the Vacation Rental Industry: A Woman’s Guide to Thought Leadership” with her story—a very personal one at that.
She shared her “fall from grace” after becoming a pregnant teenager, her “failure forward” juggling four jobs at one point, and her heroic comeback to become a successful business consultant working with international celebrities, executives and, Fortune 100 companies.
Enrolling her audience in “You University” for the day, Hurdle urged attendees to self-reflect, saying, “Today, I want you to find your grit. Today, I want you to say, ‘This isn’t about self-promotion. It is about stepping more into who I already am.’”
Her reason was simple: “The more people understand what you’re about and the value you add, the more opportunity you have to serve other people,” she explained.
After asking attendees to “look back at the bread crumbs of your life,” she encouraged each person to take a moment to list and celebrate the “body of accomplishments of all the roles we play.”
Hurdle challenged the group to unleash their “limitless female energy” in all they do.
Because, she says, female silence speaks volumes.
“It’s quite a shame that most Thought Leadership is consequently male,” she taunted.
Before passing out “homework” and detailing how to create content in 24 hours, the author of The Bombshell Business Woman: How to Become a Bold, Brave Female Entrepreneur, insisted there is one label more women should own—that of expert.
“You have experience, and I want you to bring that to the table,” she coached.
VRM Intel founder Amy Hinote introduced Hurdle as a “powerhouse of the talent optimization world” who “gets us.”
And by “us” she meant women—the very industry professionals who inspired the series.
Hinote, who launched the industry’s inaugural Vacation Rental Women’s Summit in 2019, developed the series to create yet another forum to give voice to women in the vacation rental industry.
Voices, Hinote knows first-hand, are all too quiet.
While reviewing articles submitted for the upcoming 2020 Fall Issue of VRM Intel Magazine, Hinote was frustrated about how few were authored by women, and she wondered why . . . and so she asked in Facebook and LinkedIn forums. And women in the industry were quick to respond.
Being too busy, not feeling like a true expert, not wanting to be perceived as self-promoting, unsure of writing ability, and wanting to be asked were some of the reasons women in the vacation rental industry were reluctant to present a session or write an article.
As she is known to do, Hinote felt the best way to begin to remedy this industry-wide issue, is to put it on the table and talk about it.
“Currently, no university offers a degree in vacation rental hospitality. None of us got straight As in vacation rental management courses because there weren’t any, and there are still very few best practices that can be easily applied across destinations and types of accommodation,” she said. “As a result, we have to rely on what we’ve learned from our own experiences and from each other to improve, grow, and adapt to the onslaught of industry changes.”
When Hinote turned to Amber Hurdle to help, Hurdle listened, and answered the call by developing the series, “Growing as a Thought Leader.”
Hinote points to VRM Intel Magazine, VRMintel.com, VRM Intel Live!, SecondHomeHQ.com, and the company’s special events, as “outlets for women in the industry to start sharing their experiences, show others how to avoid pitfalls, and provide information and insights that can help others improve their businesses and services.”
Coming up next in the series:
Oct. 20 — How to Thrive in Change: Leading Through Dynamic Market Conditions
- Learn the stages of The Change Cycle®.
- Discover where you are in the cycle, where your team members are in the cycle, and what that means for the strength of your business.
- Learn ways to increase your agility and flexibility to set you up for success (and sanity).
Oct. 27 — Create Content Fast! The Quick and Easy Formula to Create Articles, Blog Posts, Social Media Posts and More
- Learn the processes the professionals use to produce months of content in a single day.
- Find the time to invest in your thought leadership without stressing your other obligations.
- Become known as an expert by carefully curating a body of work that supports your expertise.