SheSays Chicago Event Recap: Turning Passion into Profit

SheSays Chicago Turning Passion into Profit By: Amanda Elliott

“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild


“Is this ginger beer?” I asked

“No, that’s Malort,” she said.

“Oh, no,  I don’t want that,” I replied.

The girls were gathered in the kitchen. The woman next to me taught me how to make my first mule: start with bourbon, add a drop of bitters and top it with ginger beer.

It’s 6:30 pm on Thursday, May, 14, 2015. The Bulls are playing their last game against the Cavaliers down the street. The season finale of Scandal is on, as our host indicated, but nevermind pop culture, we were all dodging the unexpected rain, staring at a blackboard and four successful entrepreneurs: a soap crafter, a food blogger, a mapmaker, and a travel writer.

There were four main questions on everybody’s mind.

1) How did you become successful?

2) What does being successful look like?

3) How did you overcome fear?

4) How do you carve out time?

Then the little questions came.

1) Do  you have a business plan?

2) Do you quit your day job?

Tonight’s event is entitled, Turning Passion into Profit. These entrepreneurs, like most, were not changing jobs for the money or the fame. They were changing careers, or as two of them indicated, keeping their day jobs and fueling their side business, in the name of passion.

The event was hosted by SheSays Chicago, a local chapter of a global organization, which empowers women in creative fields to advance through panel discussions with top female professionals.

Tonight, we are sitting at Basecamp’s office, a leading project management software company. Twenty new girls, a guy, and the regulars took their seats.

“Our office is built for education, and obviously badass ladies doing badass things,” Mig Reyes (@migreyes) from Basecamp, a top contributor and one of the few male attendees at the previous event at Social Deviant, welcomed us.

The panelists included:

A) Kit Graham (@thekittchen) – Food Blogger and Author, Privacy Specialist at Groupon

B) Jenny Beorkrem (@OrkPosters) – Creator and Designer of Ork Posters & Neighborly

C) Lisa Lubin (@LLWorldTour) – Freelance Travel/Food Writer/Photographer

D) Susie Jendro (@SusieJendro) – Soap Crafter, Technology Manager at OgilvyOne

SheSays Chicago turn passion into profit

And I leave you with this my entrepreneurs, my start-up founders, my next big things, I am starting my own business. We will see if I can branch from my 9-5. I am creating the of the professional world, a space where you can find events hosted by groups like SheSays Chicago to meet professional people and companies in person. Stay tuned as I grow this idea with my SheSays Chicago accountability group, which starts today.


Event Location: Basecamp (30 N. Racine, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60607)

Event Host: SheSays Chicago

Event Date and Time: Thursday, May 14, 2015 5:30-8:30 pm

Discovered Through: Invite

Bonus: Making my first mule cocktail

Amanda Whitfield
Amanda Whitfield

Amanda Whitfield is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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