There's a common misconception that to do good in the world you have to sacrifice a paycheck. It's simply not true. As someone who has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sector, I know that you can create change in the world from the inside of corporate America. So when you're looking for your new job, don't limit yourself with arbitrary guidelines. Find the right job that aligns with your purpose.
On a work trip, against my better judgment, I accepted an offer to stay at a donor's house instead of a hotel. You need to watch to understand why this was the worst idea ever (spoiler: it involves puppets). Unfortunately, women are socially conditioned to be accommodating, but what this experience taught me is that it's possible to take graciousness too far. The next time you find yourself in a workplace situation where you feel like conceding will cost you too much, don't do it.
Besides being an author and an entrepreneur, I am a professional public speaker. I’m often asked by others contemplating the same path: How do I know if I have the potential to be a professional public speaker? Here’s what I ask them: When you give talks do people respond emotionally? Do people already invite you to speak, but they're unpaid? If you said yes to both, you can definitely turn your passion into a profession. Here's how to do it.
Working a party or a networking event can make most people want to break out in hives. As someone who's an introvert, I have also struggled with the format of awkward networking events. Here's what I do to get past it: I ask a set of questions to get people talking in a more natural way. Find out what they are and how to make them your own!
In her bestselling book Becoming, Michelle Obama shares a story about receiving piano lessons from her Auntie Robbie: "Middle C is the anchoring point, the territorial line between the right hand and the left hand. If you could lay your thumb on Middle C, everything else fell into place."
That passage struck a chord with me. Life is easier when you know your anchoring point. For women who are overwhelmed by the pursuit of excellence it can feel daunting to be the perfect worker, wife, friend, mother. When you can figure out what matters most to you, that becomes your anchoring point, or your Middle C.
I have been married 21 years, and I can still pinpoint the moment that made my heart swoon: It's when my husband left me a note that said, "You would make me proud in the eyes of all my village men." It wasn't the dinners I made him or what I did around the house that inspired this note; it was him watching me work hard to reach my professional and personal goals. To be successful, a woman needs a partner who is also a partner at home. We were never meant to Lean In alone.
Have you ever felt so much pressure to perform that it felt the world was caving in? If the answer is yes, stop reading this review and go order Reshma Saujani's book, Brave, Not Perfect: How to Fail More, Care Less, and Live Bolder, which launches today, February 5th!
I received an advance copy last year on the heels of launching The Cru, and it was one of the most important books that I read as an entrepreneur. First, Reshma demystifies the cultural socialization that explains why myself and millions of other women are perfectionists to begin with. Hard wired to please everyone, we often deliver for others at our own expense, leaving us depleted and unable to capitalize on opportunity. Furthermore, in an effort to demonstrate success we choose endeavors where we'll excel for fear of failure and disappointing others. Pleasing others and a fear of failure become the recipe for avoiding risks. And if you don't take risks, you don't get practice being brave.
What I appreciate about the book is that in addition to the research and theory, Reshma provides tangible tips for building your bravery. Some strategies are as simple as adding the word "yet" onto the negative declarations that come from our inner voice. For example instead of me saying over and over again, "I've never built a B2C company," I should say "I've never built a B2C company...yet." Some strategies are more labor intensive like taking on a physical challenge. All of her advice offers a path for building resiliency and steering your life offensively instead of defensively. More importantly, Reshma takes you on her own personal bravery journey, from losing two political races to founding Girls Who Code, so that you have the confidence to know you're not alone.
My dad used to tell me that "you should only speak when you have something to say." The first time I met Dorie Clark at an author's lunch it felt like she lived by this credo. Every word that came out of her mouth was brilliant. This is partly explained by her legit genius. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College when she was only 18 years old. But her brilliance is also due to her generosity in sharing her light and insight with others. It's no surprise that she's built a healthy following of people who are clamoring to listen to her.
Dorie is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business review. She's a "branding expert," which basically means that she's really good at helping people figure out how to position themselves for success. I've been recommending Dorie's latest book, Entrepreneurial You, to every woman who's dying to leave her day job and monetize her personal platform. When I asked Dorie what she's had to #droptheball on in order to build her own branding empire she kept it real: email and dating. On the former she says, "I've had to make peace with oftentimes being really remiss in responding to my messages." On the latter, "It takes sheer force of will to push myself to meet up with strangers for first dates, and—though I may meet someone amazing— statistically I'm likely to have a much better time if I hang out with friends, instead...so I tend to do that." One of the things I love about Dorie, and that I think makes her so successful, is her courage in defining herself on her own terms. Knowing what matters most to you is one thing. Aligning your life with your priorities is another. Thankfully we all have Dorie as a teacher.
Everyone talks about personal brands: Why it's important to have a personal brand, how to establish a personal brand, and what it even means! Not everyone has a personal website, but all of us have a brand, whether you intentionally created one or not. Your personal brand is what people think of you when you're not around. Do you know what your brand is? Here's how to figure it out.
I am a proud member of The Wing, but I have a love/hate relationship with coworking spaces. I love the serendipitous conversations you find yourself in; I love the shared spirit of work and career advancement. However, these amazing connections can also create huge distractions. Here's how I focus and get my work done, while being surrounded by such inspirational women!