Biggest Takeaways from RISE: Rachel Hollis’ Personal Growth Conference for Women

Biggest--Takeaways--from-RISE WEEKEND

When you attend a conference called RISE, you go in with high expectations that the speakers you hear, the information shared and the energy you’re surrounded by will be absolutely exceptional.  My expectations were exceeded last week in Minneapolis, where my heart was lit on fire alongside 3,500 goal-getting women ready to take their lives to the next level and not settle for anything less.

RISE is Rachel Hollis’ and The Hollis Company’s personal growth conference for women and I actually attended it in 2018 when it was here in California where I live.  I got a ton out of last year’s conference, but I had an inkling with the way Rachel Hollis has blown up into such a huge success over the past year, that this year’s conference would be EPIC.  And, girl, was I right!

First things first.  I have to talk about what a shining example of a brand Rachel Hollis has created.  If I was to say what Rachel Hollis’ super power is to build a brand that resonates and a thriving business with impact, it’s her ability to SHOW UP.  Again and again, with consistency and persistence and in a way that engages her audience and makes them want to show up to support her, learn from her, be motivated by her, and even be entertained by her and her husband, Dave Hollis (who I worked with at Disney for many years).  They have created magic with substance.

Their mission is to give women the tools to change their lives and their signature event and primary way of fulfilling this mission is RISE.  The conference is split into 3 days:

Day 01 - Own Your Present: Health & Wellness

Day 02 - Own Your Past: Letting Go Of The Excuses That Hold You Back

Day 03 - Own Your Future: Goal Setting…”Girl, Stop Apologizing” Style

I took feverish notes on all 3 days and I’m summarizing some of my biggest takeaways and most inspiring aha moments for you here.  And remember, these are MY biggest takeaways so if you attend you might have an entirely different experience based on what you need from a personal growth conference.  Check it out…


What the day was about: You, your energy and your health matter. To own your present you need your health - not so you can look good - but so you can FEEL good.  Your health is a requirement if you have big dreams you’re chasing, because you have to create the energy you need to fuel your bigger dreams.

This day was also about getting clear on why you sabotage your health and why you break promises to yourself when you wouldn’t cancel on other people in your life.  It’s about getting clear on why your health is vital to living your best life and creating a vision for the kind of health you desire.  Better yet, asking yourself - what’s the vision for the kind of LIFE you want to live?

“If you don’t have your health, you’re bankrupt.” 


Rachel Hollis spoke on stage for a good chunk of the day and gave us some specific tools that have been proven successful in her own life:


She talked us through ways to hack a habit so it sticks and how to have a strong vision of Why in order to keep your promise to yourself.


This is Rachel’s tried and true method that helped her most in her health journey and she’s known for now.  The 5 things include: 

  • Getting up 1 hour earlier every day to work on one of your personal goals

  • Creating a morning routine

  • Starting & ending your day with gratitude

  • Drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water 

  • Giving up one category of food you know you shouldn’t be eating for 30 days.

Then, she brought out two amazing guest speakers. First, Nick Santonastasso!  Nick is a motivational speaker and amazing success story (definitely look him up if you don’t know him), and he poured his wisdom into this audience who received it wholeheartedly.  Things like: instead of starting with the ways you CAN’T do something, start with you CAN; that confidence is a skill you can acquire, and that your mind is your super power.

“The biggest disability you can have is your mindset.”


Then, in wanting to give us another actual tool to use that can help with focus, anxiety, managing emotions and so much more…she introduced us to Alex Ortner and The Tapping Solution.  We TAPPED and wow, was it incredible!

Finally, Rachel Hollis brought us home on the first day talking about how you define food.  While I have often defined food as a reward or as comfort, she now defines food as FUEL.  I love this reframe and plan to use it for myself moving forward.  She said you have to reframe what food means to you to support your goals, and instead reward yourself with PROGRESS.


My takeaways from Day 01 that I’m implementing immediately are:

  • How I plan to think of food as fuel and not as comfort or a reward.

  • FIVE TO THRIVE - I’ve committed to doing it for 30 days!

  • I downloaded the Tapping Solution App by Alex Ortner and plan to incorporate that into my morning routine a few times per week.

“Life is tough, but dang it, so are you…if I can give you anything from today: YOU ARE STRONG.” 



What the day was about: If I had to sum up this day in one line (from Rachel herself) it would be this…What if life wasn’t happening TO you, what if life is happening FOR you?

This entire day focused on changing your perspective about and coming to terms with the things of your past.  Instead of letting past challenges or traumas rule your life in a negative way, how can you leverage your past to fuel your present and future?  The message we received again and again was that your past is not an anchor and it doesn’t make you weak.  It’s the foundation that makes you strong enough to become the woman you want to be.

We talked about the negative triggers in our lives, identifying them and understanding WHY they’re triggers so you can get out in front of them proactively and choose a different kind of response that serves you better.  With the knowledge that you are in control of your mood, you can choose a new mood anytime.

“We are only in control of two things - our attitude and our effort.”


And yes, we had 2 more phenomenal guest speakers on Day 2! First, the wonderful Jen Hatmaker did her thing on stage and inspired us all.  She told us, in her very transparent and funny way, stories from her life that talked about overcoming your past, going after your dreams, and the fact that we, as women, are not in competition with each other and there is enough for everyone.  She had so many quotable moments in her keynote speech that I can’t just pick one favorite…take a peak: 


“Somebody did not already….write your book; start your business; fill in the blank…no one has done YOUR work yet. Let’s not fall for the lie of scarcity.”


“Another woman’s success chips away at the ceiling that was built over our heads. We are here for each other & your success is mine.” 


The second guest speaker was none other than Trent Shelton, former NFL player now motivational speaker talking about The Greatest You.  He spoke about having emotional resilience in your life, turning pain into power, how to transform your life and give it purpose, and the 4 things you need to quit in order to keep moving forward to make your vision a reality.  He said so many noteworthy things, but here are those four things Trent recommends that you QUIT:

1 - QUIT trying to please everybody

2 - QUIT trying to control things that aren’t in your control

3 - QUIT trying to be perfect and just be real

4 - QUIT measuring your life and start appreciating your life.

“Your current situation is not your final destination.” 


Rachel did a couple more really powerful things on Day 2.  The first was an exercise called “Stand Up For Your Sister” and it was an emotional moment in the day where everyone acknowledged past hurts and traumas in order to release them and move forward.  You really need to attend a RISE conference to understand the power and poignancy of this moment, and I highly recommend it.

Then, she tackled the topic of Failure.  And how she has succeeded because she always assumed she’d fail.  She’s always embraced failure as a form of learning, while a lot of us tend to allow failure to stop us.  She made us promise to actively try to suck at something in the next 30 days…she said, let’s fail together!



My takeaways from Day 01 that I’m implementing immediately are:

  • Actively trying to fail at something in the next 30 days (which means I’ll try something new and I’ll suck at it, and will learn something from it!)

  • Working to lose my perfectionist tendencies and create and produce things faster in life and business

  • Looking for new ways to support my sisters in business so that I am part of the movement actually working to support and not compete with each other.


What the day was about: Oooooh, this is my favorite day of RISE!!  It’s about dreaming big, and then dreaming even bigger than that and learning how to take an idea or goal and breaking it down into actionable steps to get you all the way there.

The day started out with Dave Hollis.  Dave is Rachel’s husband, the CEO of The Hollis Co, and former Distribution Sales Chief at Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.  I worked alongside Dave during my career at Disney, so it’s fun to see him in this new capacity and how much bigger he’s dreaming for his life now, too!

Dave spoke to us for over an hour about the things that are going to get in our way once we leave the conference.  Yes, we’re fired up after 3 days of having motivation poured into us, but once you go home, there are obstacles.  He worked to prepare us for those obstacles so that we won’t be thrown off track and we can continue on this path of personal growth and going after big goals and dreams for our lives.

He also reminded us that all growth lies outside of our comfort zones.  His new tattoo reminds him of that daily…”a ship in harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.”  Dave challenged us to ask ourselves what we’re built for…which dream are we going to tackle and while nothing is certain, we can own the fact that we’re built for our dream life.


Rachel spent a good chunk of Day 3 taking us through a visualization process to determine what goals are most important to us and really, how to imagine bigger than we normally do.  Then, she got tactical.  She mapped out the 10 dreams she writes down daily in her START TODAY Journal (a practice she’s had for years that have helped her achieve her dreams and that she’s turned into an actual product for sale so all of us can dream big, Rachel Hollis style).  She showed us how to do it and why it matters.  

We chose which goal we want to focus on first (which you do by asking yourself which thing if you worked on it and crushed it would make the most impact in your life?)  For me, it’s focusing on my health and vitality so I can cultivate the energy I need to go after bigger and bigger goals.

You have to ask yourself, who do I need to be in order to have this life I envision?  Rachel asked us to claim a word that defined who we need to be.  Her word is MOGUL, because she wants to build a huge media company so she has the capacity to continue giving women the tools they need to change their lives. Other words people claimed in the room were things like Leader, World Changer, Visionary, Mom, Boss…it’s whatever works for YOU.


During the final afternoon, Rachel brought 3 other women to the stage in a panel called “How She Built This.”  We got to hear from Mally Roncal, and celebrity makeup artist and Founder of Mally Beauty who’s built a huge company with her makeup and beauty line; from Lisa Bilyeu, who along with her husband has grown over a billion dollar company with Quest Nutrition and Impact Theory; and finally, Luz Maria Doria, an author and VP & Executive Producer for Despierta America (essentially an uber successful “Good Morning America” or “Today” show for the hispanic audience.  All I can say is WOW.  What a collective of badasses and inspiration.  

Rachel asked them questions about failures they’ve had, and what perspective they have on failures throughout their journey.  They talked about what they’d tell their 18 year old selves based on what they know now. And they talked about fear.  It was so good.

“Be unapologetically yourself, everyday.” 


Rachel put a huge ribbon on the 3 day conference by leaving us with 5 main thoughts, which are also my major takeaways: 

1 - Don’t compare your life to hers; comparison robs you of your motivation.

2 - You will no longer feel guilty for who you are because your creator made you this way.  Shame and guilt do not serve us, and you will never get to where you want to go if you don’t love yourself right now.

3 - Take care of yourself!  Eat the salad. Drink the water.  Refuse to cause your own suffering, and get your cup filled up regularly so you can fill up the other people in your life without depleting yourself.

4 - Create a badass playlist.  Make a playlist that pumps you up in a moment’s notice; that make you feel strong and powerful.  And ONLY listen to it when you have to because it will be more powerful that way.

5 - Commit to “5 To Thrive” for the next 30 days, and you’ll start changing your life.

If you aren’t fired up by now, let me just leave you with this.  Anything you want is within your reach.  Anything you desire is possible for you to have.  Who you want to be is up to you.  Self care and creating the energy you want for your life is essential.  That is what I took away from RISE.

You are the only thing holding you back from living your greatest life.  This life is yours to create…what are you gonna make of it?