It has been a busy few months. Houston is most active in the fall because it is actually cool enough to go outside. We are still able to wear shorts in November, even though we are approaching winter. We are in the year of El Nino which means it is even more warm than usual. I was nervous about being able to where a little black dress for the In The Black tour which happened on November 10th. I was able to pull off my sleeveless dress with no conflict to weather. Though, the black dress was required attire, the content of the event was much more than that.
My experience with Odyssey and their women business retreat has been one of my underground secrets to success (though I try to tell everyone I know how wonderful it is). It has been 20 years since they started hosting an annual business retreat usually consisting of executive (corporate or entrepreneurial) women of color. At the time, it was called Spa Odyssey but has evolved much more than that. Imagine a place where a secret sorority collides with the some sort of business illuminati and you have Odyssey. It is the nature of the invite only requirement that has kept it underground.
Odyssey is changing. This year, they decided to have an In The Black tour to connect women entrepreneurs in the cities where they live. It was a mini version of the retreats I am accustomed. Many of the hostesses, including myself, invited friends that we thought could benefit from Odyssey’s network. Yet, many of the invitees had no context of what Odyssey is about.
We had a powerful pep talk from Becky Davis, who is a resident Odyssey Media life coach. She walked us through why we need to “step up” our game in everything we do.
Service – give to others, it will come back to you
Time management – use your time wisely
Educate your self – sharpen your ax
Preparation – always be ready
Becky is a Texas native that coaches entrepreneurs all over the country for the last 20 years. We were offered a program from Coca-Cola which provides entrepreneurs with tools to help them perfect their business.
After Becky’s pep talk, we heard from Mikki Taylor who is a fashion extraordinaire. She pulled volunteers from the audience and transformed their black dresses into glamour. She advised us on finding simple black dresses that we can wear over and over again, from the office to evening events. The key to the transformation are the accessories, not the actual dress.
We had a packed house of over 200 women that were hand selected to attend. One lucky attendee received a free weekend stay at a Manhattan Beach Marriott. In addition, someone will win a registration to the upcoming Odyssey Media business retreat in Amelia Island. We all walked away inspired and revitalized to take our businesses to the next level.
In addition to the retreat, Odyssey announced some of their projects throughout the year which includes a writer’s workshop, Martha’s Vineyard and a trip to Cuba. I am excited about the new frontiers that Odyssey is embarking. I am very blessed to have benefitted from my interactions with Odyssey women. What started as an idea 20+ years ago by the founder Linda Spradley Dunn, continues to be the essential salve for women of color leaders.
There are 2 cities left for the In the Black Tour: New Orleans and Miami. Do not wait until the last minute to get your tickets. The event will sell out.