In my book Drop the Ball, I outline how women can achieve more by doing less. This philosophy changed my life, but I admittedly don't always follow my own advice and figure out what I can let go. One day, when I was feeling personally overwhelmed, I looked at an article I wrote for The New York Times on this very topic and specifically how to shorten your to-do list. Even though the words were my own, I really needed to hear it. I realized that sometimes everyone everyone needs to hear their own advice. Watch and learn how.
I recently read Erica Williams Simon's book, You Deserve the Truth, and could not put it down. In the book she says, if you want to change your life, you have to change your story. She introduces this concept of narrative intelligence, and points out that the root of our problems are the stories that lie underneath them. To break this chain, the first question we should ask ourselves is, What's the story here? Watch and learn the follow-up questions you need to ask yourself to help change your life.
Sometimes we do what's familiar even when we know what's better. I realized this after I had been going 10 blocks out of my way for months out of habit. This is all too common for women juggling competing demands: Maybe you're in a job you could do in your sleep; or a relationship that is past its prime but easy. Try this exercise to find out how to know if you've fallen into familiar habits that you need to shake up.
After rushing out the door for years, and after reading some ridiculous research about the impact of one’s beauty on her career growth, I came to realize this: Fewer decisions create faster routines. One of my drop the ball strategies is to decrease the number of choices I have to make in the morning: I have the same hairstyle, I wear the same earrings, and have a closet filled with lots of dresses. Ask yourself: Are there any steps I can take to reduce the amount of work in the morning? Watch for my most recent hack to make the mornings even easier.
So much of my life is centered around my womanness and my blackness, areas where I experience less privilege, but it wasn't until a woman came and spoke to me after one of my talks that I realized there are actually far more parts of my identity that I experience enormous privilege: I'm straight, I'm able-bodied, I was born an American, and I have fertility privilege. Watch to hear the feedback I received that I will never forget.
Sometimes our kids teach us the biggest lessons. My 10-year-old daughter and I were on a very crowded New York City subway, when a seat opened up around 3 seats up from us. I was very surprised when my daughter squeezed her way to grab that seat. When we got off the train, I told my daughter that that was rude, and she turned around to say, "Seriously mom, if you want something you have to go for it." It was a profound moment, and I realized that many of us can learn from Ekua's advice. Here's how.
What's the difference between a professional and personal brand? That's the discussion I had recently with one woman I know. At work, she said she was known as being relentless, but she views her personal brand as more fun. I soon came to this epiphany: There is no brand without consistency. While our brands can be expressed differently, what we stand for can never change. Here's how to develop a consistent brand.
I recently attended the launch party for the book Alpha Girls, which chronicles the journeys of a few successful and prominent female VCs. As a founder and entrepreneur, I was excited to meet these women, but as an introvert, I was anxious to attend an event like this. To combat this, I came up with this networking hack: Watch to find out the question I asked.
Being an author doesn't necessarily make you a thought leader. You're a thought leader when your ideas are in demand. There are a few ways to establish yourself as a thought leader that are less time consuming than writing a book! Watch and learn how.
The antidote to stress? Know what brings you joy. I know so many women who are completely overwhelmed with responsibilities, but don't take a minute for themselves. Even if it's just for a short period of time, try to do something every day that brings you joy. Here's how.