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What came to mind when you read the title of this article? Did your mind concoct an image? Who was in the leading role? Man? Woman? Someone you know? You? Is there any chance you pictured a middle-aged white man in a dark suit with a red tie? Was he bald? Or did he have Trump hair? It is amazing what society has taught us, what the years of societal role definition has etched into our psyche, making this image seem normal. This image, defining power.

Gorgeous Model: @bethstuartyoga, Photo: @b.adams_photo

Power does not see gender, race, sexual orientation, or economic status

Power is an open mind

Power is active listening

Power is empowering others

Power is kindness

Power is authenticity

Power is a spoken mind

Power is channeling failure

Power is admittance of wrong-doing

Power is strength, when weakness is easier

Power is courage, forging uncharted waters

Power is defending whats right, over popular

Power is seeing beauty in all humans

Power is supporting

Power is lifting others

Power is influence used for good

Power is time for others

Power is giving, yourself

Power is generosity

Power is action

Power is accountability

Power is believing

Power is committing, diving in

Power is executing

Power is internal

Power is not (necessarily) a white middle aged man in a dark suit and a red tie

Power is you,

use it.

#womeninbiz #womeninbusiness #businesswomen #businesswoman #womenempowerment #shemeansbusiness #womencommunity #femaleempowerment #femaleentrepreneur #femaleentrepreneurs #mompreneur #womensupportingwomen #womensupportwomen #bosslady #bossbabe #bossbabes #entrepreneur #momlife #womenwhorule #savvybusinessowner #inspiringwomen #goaldigger #power #strength #courage

We are at an incredibly interesting and pivotal time in history for women. There are more social movements, more research, more awareness than ever before. These important steps can lead to the change that most women, and men, want to see in the world. However, this pivotal time does not come without challenge and controversy. The wealth of information available fuels different interpretations, opinions, actions. Change in and of itself, is always an uncomfortable proposition. Activism can be polarizing and cause defensiveness.


It is understandable, the feeling of uncertainty, insecurity, defensiveness as the world charges for "gender equality". What does that mean for you? Does it mean your seat will be filled by a woman, leaving you without one? Will your masculinity be put to the test or challenged? Will your sons have the same opportunities that you have? These questions along with the general lack of knowing "how to" attain more gender diversity, likely contribute to the resistance that exists as we forge into uncharted territory. The fact remains, women are 51% of the population, which means women are 51% of the consumers, 51% of the influence over young minds, 51% of life decisions made every second of every day. We need 51% of the perspective to be women, in high and low powered positions. This will only benefit you, men, your business, your life. It is not about replacing men, it is about elevating everyone, to build a world that accurately represents the population that lives within.

Promote, Support, Embrace, Love, Cherish, Be Kind, Admire, Inspire, Lift Each Other


One would assume or hope that at this crucial time in history, women would be more unified than ever. The contrary is true. Research shows that the long legacy of gender bias fuels conflict within the gender. Historically the scarcity of seats at the table might be to blame for competition amongst women. Perhaps this phenomenon of in-fighting has been subconsciously encouraged by men. Or maybe our innate discomfort with confrontation or direct communication with each other has contributed. We are a at crucial time in history and it is crucial that we bury any inclinations, past behaviors, historic expectations that do not unify us and constructively move us, to be the change.

Admiration vs. Jealousy. As women we all have jealous veins, some more robust and prevalent than others. When a jealous tendency arises, change the filter on your jealousy lens to admiration. In exchange for someone's win, strength, accolade making you feel inferior or jealous, celebrate, enjoy, cherish their strength, be authentically happy for them. Your time will come, and you will benefit from that level of reciprocal support.

Mentorship. It feels good to give, and it doesn't have to be money. Knowledge and time are equally, if not more, valuable. In one study they show that mentors experience less anxiety and more fulfillment at work. Well that is certainly a win-win. As women, no matter what stage, we all have something to offer each other. A senior executive can teach subordinates how to avoid mistakes she made. A millennial can teach a Sr. Manager how to best motivate her millennial peers. A skilled peer can share her knowledge and shorten the learning curve for her colleague.

Speak Up. We've explored the notion that things can't and won't always be the way they have been, yet progress towards gender equality seems to creep along at a snails pace. This bodes the question, are we sitting around waiting for change to occur or are we taking on the responsibility to inspire the change?

Be an Example. We explored jealousy vs. admiration, but let's take a closer look on the impact our actions can have, if we perpetuate jealousy, on our daughters, nieces, neighbors, friends as they enter their tween and teen years. Bullying is at an all time high, mean girls are rampant, and the anxiety and depression rates are exorbitant. Where are they learning these behaviors? We can point to many societal sources, but we also need to look in the mirror. We need to consciously ensure that there is not a remote chance that mean girl, bullying behavior has been mimicked from our own.

Let this serve as a charge for all of us, on International Women's Day. Men, embrace the movement, take it upon yourself to understand the research out there, and learn "how to" promote better gender diversity in all facets of your life. This will benefit you, your business, and the women closest to you. Women, check yourself! If you have notions or tendencies, that are counterproductive to promoting women, any woman, pause and change course, because your actions, your words, your behavior is hurting YOU. Instead, promote, celebrate, help your women tribes' mates, regardless of how in line their personality or beliefs may be with yours. This crucial time in history will take a conscious effort for all of us and we must all take accountability to be the change.

Here's to women, here's to men, here's to the future! Cheers!

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#internationalwomensday #iwd #internationalwomensday2019

#womeninbiz #womeninbusiness #businesswomen #businesswoman #womenempowerment #Shemeansbusiness #womencommunity #femaleempowerment #femaleentrepreneur #femaleentrepreneurs #mompreneur #womensupportingwomen #womensupportwomen #bosslady #bossbabe #bossbabes #entrepreneur #momlife #womenwhorule #savvybusinessowner #inspiringwomen #goaldigger #diversity #inclusion #genderdiversity #genderequality #inspiringwomen #inspireothers #inspirewomen

2018 was a big year of change for me, personally. I consciously closed the door on what was the 1 and only career I have known, and opened a door facing the abyss. As I announced my intentions, I had many friends and colleagues use words like courage, brave, bold to describe their perception of my decision. I thought to myself “courageous? brave?… I feel the exact opposite”.

With 5 months of reflection time since then, I have come to realize that the opposing feeling I had when people would say words like courage, was vulnerability. Stepping outside the bubble I had built over 17 years put me in one of the most vulnerable states of my life. Where do I go from here? How will I earn an income? Was this a mistake? Who will ever hire me? Can I make it as an entrepreneur? Will I be able to support my children? What will I do with my time? How will I stay focused? How will I stay intellectually engaged? What the f#@& did I just do?

Time has allowed questions and feelings like those to subside, but thoughts in that vain occasionally wash over me. However, with renewed clarity I can tell you that this state of vulnerability, while still uncomfortable- bordering on scary, has been, without question, the shove I needed to find a pathway to true fulfillment.

You see I was miserable. Being an optimist, someone who wakes up each morning puts a smile on her face and goes to work, I did not know I was miserable. The accolades, the money, my colleagues, the intellectual challenge, the fact I was the only female, the corporate ladder... are what kept me charging ahead. On a snowy drive home, late, after a grueling day, I had an ahhh-haaaa moment. “There have to be better jobs out there for me, that give me back better return on what I am putting in”. My mind spiraled out of control, I felt like the air was just sucked out of my lungs, and I had no choice but to explore uncharted territory.

I spent 3 months in career counseling, peeling back the layers that had accumulated after all those years. I spent a lot of time outside of her office, working on “homework”, delving deep into who I am, what I want, possibilities, pros, cons, what-ifs. It was clear that I had to leave my role. What was not clear was the next step. In fact, many possibilities emerged including staying with my company but in a different role. With the help of family, friends, and the continued guidance of my career counselor, I decided to step away completely from employment, for the first time since I started babysitting at age 12. Hence the “I’m naked on a stage at the super bowl singing the national anthem” feeling. (The only C I ever got, in all of my years of school, was in choir so this notion is particularly mortifying).

Since I made that decision, I have been able to focus on exploring my passions. prettysmart+badass was born as a platform to continue educating, supporting, empowering, and connecting women, something I really missed after stepping away from a role in which I was able to do so. I am also looking forward to dedicating time towards another venture with a mission to consult male dominated companies on the “why?” and the “how-to!” diversify their gender ratio.

These are some of the things that have emerged from my vulnerable state. Not to mention a wealth of new friends and connections I would have otherwise never known. Oh and by the way, my kids don’t mistakenly call me Dad anymore. #winning

Taking this awareness into 2019, I plan to continue to scare the crap out of myself on a daily basis. I hope that courage is still a word that comes to other peoples minds, while I continue to learn the immensely uncomfortable art of embracing vulnerability.

For a great book on vulnerability, check out this read!

Enjoy Superbowl Sunday my friends!!!!!

#vulnerability #superbowlsunday #daringgreatly #women #womeninbusiness #businesswomen #entrepreneur #corporateamerica #staywild #livedifferent #change #courage #womenempowerment #genderdiversity

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