Seven years ago when I was devastated over closing a non-profit I ran, I sought counsel from Vanessa Valenti. She reminded me that my passion for advancing women and girls couldn't be shuttered and helped me draft the copy for my very first website. It was a huge gesture coming from someone who is a master word curator and storyteller.
In 2004 Vanessa co-founded Feministing.com, which started as a tiny blog and grew into one of the largest online feminist communities in the world. She's also a TED Speaker and coach. Most recently she co-founded and serves as CEO of FRESH Speakers. I'm a proud member of their portfolio and wouldn't have the incredible public speaking practice I do without their representation and guidance.
When I asked Vanessa what she's had to drop the ball on to be a writer, entrepreneur, wife, and mom of two small children (and a cat), her response really resonated with me: "I've had to start declining small gigs." She explained that it takes the same amount of time and effort to negotiate a $5,000 deal as it does a $25,000 deal, but she'd often say yes to the smaller ones because she didn't feel she could turn down a paying client. She decided that she had to prioritize her value and her time and it's made a world of difference. I'm thankful that she's made a difference in mine.