Rita Davenport Delivers Tough Love With Southern Charm

Her humorous tales and reflections on building a successful life were the sweet side of Rita Davenport’s serious message to the audience: Get your ‘ask’ in gear.

Simply put, success comes to the people who ask for what they want. Davenport peppered her Power Keynote with riotous quips and wise observations on the human experience, and stressed that one’s attitude can make all the difference in building a successful business.

“You are all born with a purpose for your life, and your purpose is to have a chance to make a difference and to get good at something, so you can give it away,” she said. “When you leave here today I want you to work smart, so you don’t have to work as hard. I’m going to teach you to get your ‘ask’ in gear. You have not because you ask not.”

To achieve success, Davenport said, you must maintain your focus on your goal and avoid overextending yourself. “Learn to say ‘no’ to demands on your time that take you away from your focus,” she said.  Asking for referrals and spending time with people who can help you build your business are also crucial to growth. “There’s six degrees of separation between all of us. We’re all connected—you meet the same people going down that you meet going up.”

Equally important is mindset: the No.1 step in adjusting your attitude for success is to have gratitude, said Davenport. “What I teach is for you to prepare for impact. And it’s never what happens to you, it’s how you let it affect you. It can either fire you up, or shut you down.”

Davenport stressed the importance of speaking positively to others and investing in client success, because the promotional products business is a people business. “What someone says about you has an effect on how you feel about yourself,” she said. “And you are a people builder when you acknowledge that you want to help people make a difference.”

Energy follows thought, Davenport told her audience, so it’s important to have a call to action and go to work. “You have within you all the talent and skill and knowledge you need to double your income. Put your whole self into it.”

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