The Elevated Woman: Heidi Craun
Meet another one of our favorite inspiring, passionate, tenacious women: Heidi Craun. Heidi not only leads an amazing team doing really cool work, she’s also the co-founder and producer of Intermitten, a conference exploring creative and innovative entrepreneurship in Ann Arbor, MI. Plus she is one heck of a dancer (trust us, we have video!).
What’s your day job?
VP of Customer Experience at FarmLogs
Why’d you choose to get involved in the Elevate Women’s Event?
The best/worst advice I’ve received thus far in my career was from a woman who told me to walk into meetings as if I “have the biggest dick in the room.” Admittedly, this advice helped me build courage to be assertive in a male-dominated industry and to speak up when I felt I could add value to a conversation. However, it also sends the message that in order to succeed in business, women must behave as though they’re men. The importance of being assertive and speaking up when we can add value to a conversation is often *thanks* to the fact that we’re women. We have different perspectives and can offer unique insights that men don’t necessarily share.
Studies continually show that organizations with women leaders are more successful. That is powerful information that I believe we have an opportunity—and responsibility—to act upon. We can make the world a better place by celebrating the value that women add to the workplace and empowering women to be themselves—not men—in it. I’m excited about Elevate Women, because I think this event is uniquely positioned to foster a community of women who can champion the cause and make the world a better place
What was you biggest ah-ha moment as a woman?
I was engaged to an entrepreneur/PhD/rule-breaker and general go-getter. He knew what he was great at and found unique ways to have an impact on the world through his strengths. I was inspired by and attracted to his drive and ambition. Then, a few weeks before our wedding, our relationship crumbled, and in the midst of this, I attended a new conference. There, I finally found my career tribe. I saw that I wasn’t alone in the things that I wanted to do and that other people cared about the things that I cared about; there was value in sharing our strengths and knowledge.
Finding and being among my tribe opened my eyes to the fact that, although I’d always been a driven and ambitious person, I had subconsciously constructed a glass ceiling that I didn’t even recognize, let alone consider breaking through. It hadn’t occurred to me that not only could I surround myself with go-getters and people who inspired and challenged me, but that the things I’m good at and care about are valuable and worth sharing! The only thing limiting me from being an entrepreneur, risk-taker, and all-around go-getter was my own thinking that what mattered to me didn’t matter enough to others.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
Surround yourself with people who inspire and challenge you, but don’t limit yourself by resting in their shadows. When you find what you’re great at and what you love, you’re uniquely positioned to champion it. Do it, and don’t hesitate to do it big.