Anniversary Event Recap + $200 TrunkClub Gift Card Winner
OMG! Our anniversary event at Trunk Club Dallas was E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! We had an absolute blast discussing and sharing how to use influence to move forward in life, both corporate and business. Our panelists were so inspiring and insightful sharing their experiences and tips to increase your influence. It was an insightful conversation and an amazing celebration of what this brand has become in just a year’s time.
If you’ve never been to TrunkClub Dallas, you should absolutely check it out. Not only is it a gorgeous space (complete with a bar – hello!) they have beautiful, kind, talented stylists who will help you transform or enhance your look. Whether you’re a corporate gal, emerging entrepreneur, girl on the go, or working mom – they got you!
Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us – we couldn’t have done it without you! We will be taking a short hiatus for the summer but we’ll be back like we forgot something in the fall, ready to empower and inspire per usual.
Congrats to Joshlyn W. our lucky winner of the $200 TrunkClub giftcard…treat yo’self girl! You should receive an email from TrunkClub soon.
Worth the Wait…our 1st Anniversary Celebration event
One small setback later, we are back like we forgot something, stronger than ever with a new partner, ready to celebrate our 1 year anniversary with style and influence.
We hope you will join us on Saturday 6/10/17 at Trunk Club Dallas for an engaging and interactive panel where we will be focusing on how to use your influence like a boss.
Grab your tickets here: https://influencelikeaboss.eventbrite.com
Boss Women Who Brunch + Levo League Collaboration Event Recap
On Saturday 4/8/17 we had the pleasure of joining forces with Levo League to present our signature worskshop, “How to Reach ‘Yo Goals Like a Boss.” It was an electric morning at Houndstooth Coffee with lots of good vibes and contagious energy! But connection and energy aside we always work to deliver on the resources. In this case the focus was a simple approach to getting focused, understanding your ‘why’, confronting your limiting beliefs, and how to avoid overwhelm by breaking each goal down step by step. Some of our brave souls posted their goals in our Facebook group for even more accountability. Here’s Kristin Bolton-Keys’ recap (@msboltonkeys) and some pictures from the event. See you at the next event. Stalk our Instagram in the coming weeks for more deets!
April 4th, 2017 was Equal Pay Day. A day that highlights the fact that most women would have had to work until April 4th to earn what a man did in 2016. Ticks us off too…ugh! There’s tons of discussion about the wage gap but one thing we are drawing a line in the sand on is each of us has a duty and responsibility to advocate for ourselves. We totally get it, approaching the negotiation table can be challenging – you don’t want to seem greedy or ungrateful…you won’t! Instead of worrying about the what the person on the other side of the table is thinking (which you have no way of knowing btw), focus on the task at hand – getting what you deserve. Nothing more, nothing less.
Here are our favorite ‘must do’s’ when approaching a salary negation from womenforhire.com.
- Research your value. Research the value of your talent in the employment marketplace. Find sources that tell you what companies pay for the job you’re considering. The sources should take into account the size of the company you work for and its industry and region. It is even more helpful if you can use a source that helps you calculate the potential value of your personal skills and background such as education, length of experience, certifications, and management responsibility.
- Don’t be the first to disclose a number. If possible, try to get the employer to disclose the pay for the job before you tell your requirements. If you find this too difficult or awkward, consider providing a broad range (based on the research you did above) and say you expect “a fair total pay package for the job and my unique set of skills, including….” It is also fair to ask the employer what the market data says the job is worth.
- Prepare a counteroffer. About half of all jobseekers accept the first offer that’s put on the table, but most employers make offers expecting candidates to counteroffer – so go ahead, ask for what you want. Remember that your counteroffer can include more than just base pay; it can include bonuses, stock options, vacation time, and a flexible working schedule. Every time you speak with a potential employer, you should be prepared with a complete, prioritized summary of your ideal offer, and you should know in your mind how negotiable you are on each item.
What’s awesome about girl bosses like this community? We can do it all – not only can we do it all, a lot of times we do actually do it all – wearing productivity and busy-ness like a crown of honor. And while we are totally here for girl boss world domination sometimes it’s important to know how to say no. Someone once told us that you have to say no to some things so you have more room to say yes to more important things…game changer! Saying no can be difficult. You don’t want to miss out; you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or you feel like you can handle just one more thing. Here are some of our favorite ways to say no guilt free.
- Vague but effective: “Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.”
- It’s not personal: “Thank you for asking, but I’m not doing any interviews while I’m working on this project.”
- Ask me later: “I want to do that, but I’m not available until April. Will you ask me again then?”
- Let me hook you up: “I can’t do it, but I’ll bet Shelly can. I’ll ask her for you.”
- Keep trying: “None of those dates work for me, but I would love to see you. Send me some more dates.”
- Try me last minute: “I can’t put anything else on my calendar this month, but I’d love to do that with you sometime. Will you call me right before you go again?”
- Gratitude: “Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support! I’m sorry I’m not able to help you at this time.”
- 5-minute favor: “I can’t speak at your event, but I will help you promote it on my blog.”
- Just No: “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.” (Say it, and then shut up.)
- Gracious: “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.”
- I’m Sorry: “I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now.”
- It’s Someone Else’s Decision: “I promised my coach (therapist, husband, etc.) I wouldn’t take on any more projects right now. I’m working on creating more balance in my life.”
- My Family is the Reason: “Thanks so much for the invite, that’s the day of my son’s soccer game, and I never miss those.”
- I Know Someone Else: “I just don’t have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”
- I’m Already Booked: “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day.”
- Setting Boundaries: “Let me tell you what I can do…” Then limit the commitment to what will be comfortable for you.
- Not No, But Not Yes: “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.”
This week’s affirmational blog is brought to you by Tori Lee, founder of Black Girls Social (@blackgirlssocial) a community focused on reminding women to stay social and connected in Dallas and Atlanta. We love Tori’s transparency and ability to always unashamedly share her truth. Check her out on Instagram or join her GroupMe, Black Girls Social.
You hear no, I hear not yet. You hear no, I hear they just are not convinced. If I want it, I will have it. I see no limits, no boundaries only endless opportunities that are waiting for me. Just think, the world is literally ready for you to have all you desire. You are the key influencer, you are the game changer, you are the Queen B, you are Beyoncé’ or whatever you need to call “Her.” All that power, just pulsating through your body, now that’s the real magic.
2016 was a buzz kill for me personally and I was very skeptical about 2017. I wasn’t on the bandwagon of excitement about the New Year. The year I was sitting in left me disappointed, heartbroken, low key broke and feeling very lack luster. I had no desires, no well wishes, and no new goals, so I was just going through the motions. I never knew what folks meant by “you alive but not living”, until I became the life that was not living. Then something switched, a trigger went off in my mental and I craved life or if I can be real I was ashamed of who I had become and no longer wanted to be her.
Slowly I began rebuilding myself around a very simple mantra, “Shoot Your Shot”. It may be a little corny but it shifted my prospective. In order to get what you have never had, you have to think differently. 3 simple words have me trying new things, taking huge leaps of faith, speaking boldly and being a better version of myself. I changed the way I viewed myself and messed around and opened more doors in the process.
I truly understand what Sis meant by “I see it. I want it. I grind till’ I own it.” The only barrier in front of you is you. Nothing is out of reach, once you realize you can have it. After you realize you can have, go get it. Go get those big things, don’t play small.
Please, don’t sell yourself short. Now go, shoot your shot.
We are so thrilled to feature Laura Youngkin, founder of TheBraveMillennial.com (@thebravemillennial), and her experience marching in Washington, DC in January. Laura is a girl boss who is all about supporting millennial women in the American workplace. We’ve had the pleasure of attending one of Laura’s events, and OMG – talk about a safe, enlightening, empowering space.
March in Formation
Written on January 31, 2017
Ten days ago I woke up early in Washington D.C. after a few restless hours of nervous sleep. In a few short hours I would be walking down to Capitol Hill to participate in my first protest march. And not just any march, mind you, the Women’s March on Washington – a massive, organized response to the incoming administration and their policies. I layered up, adorned myself with feminist pins, grabbed my sign, and headed out the door.
As I walked up New Jersey Ave. towards the Library of Congress, I started to realize what an important day this would be. It was chilly and damp outside, yet I passed hundreds of women, organizers, and supporters on the way to breakfast – all as enthusiastic as could be. When I arrived at the Library I was surprised to see a huge, winding line forming in the street. Several of our Florida Congresswomen were hosting a breakfast for Floridians attending the march, and I expected (and underestimated) there might be close to 200 women attending. There were actually thousands of people waiting in line for the breakfast and it took some time to get in. I had mentally prepared myself for the need to be very patient that day, so I gladly waited in line and chatted with other Floridians.
A couple of friends I planned to meet there didn’t fly to DC at the last minute, which left me without a partner or group to march with that morning. No problem, I thought. I’ll just find one of the twenty or so friends I knew had come into town. Surely we’ll connect in the crowd. I enjoyed my breakfast, talked with my representatives, and headed down Independence Ave. towards the main stage. On the way there, the crowd grew, the energy soared, and Senator Cory Booker walked right alongside me for a few blocks. We were off to a good start!
We took a detour south along the main route to get a better view of the stage and I started to send some messages to friends. I had envisioned myself walking arm-in-arm in solidarity with friends and former classmates, brandishing cheeky signs, and chanting as loud as we could. But, there was no cell phone service. None. After a half hour of trying to make contact I finally accepted that I would likely be on my own for the rest of the day, and I wasn’t too happy about it. To my surprise, being by myself turned out to be the best way to march on Washington.
On my own, I was able to move fast, be nimble, and take my time. I talked to dozens of people, listened to their stories, and stood with them in solidarity. I listened to the programmed speakers and I was able to see Ashley Judd perform that incredible spoken-word piece in person. I took it all in. I listened, I saw, I chanted, I marched. I drank up the moment. I took time to sit with older marchers who were resting on steps. They shared their reasons for coming to the march, some of them coming from as far away as Washington state just to be there. I held people’s babies. I talked with people who were marching for healthcare, education, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, black lives, and equal pay. I met people who were specifically marching against the new administration’s racist and fear-based agenda. I met “pro-life” marchers speaking out on women’s access to healthcare. Old marchers, young marchers, babies, toddlers, families. People of every color, nationality, religion, economic background – they were there. I had never seen a cross-section of our nation’s melting pot like this before. They were all out in the street, together, making their voices heard. They were joyful, peaceful, loving, and energetic. I was by myself but I was never alone. This was the way I was meant to participate.
We were in formation, and that’s how we’ll stay. Let’s go to work.
Our blog take over continues in order to bring you fresh perspectives and viewpoints from other lady bosses dominating in their lane. Kian Hervey, Editor of Forty Magazine, @40Magazine knows all about the importance branding as she runs a successful digital magazine AND a career with Southwest Airlines.
Forming Your Personal Boss Brand with Beyonce
One thing I love about music is that it can speak to you on so many different levels. While rapping about his rise to fame, J Cole unintentionally gave me the best financial and career advice I’ve ever received. Beyonce’s pop single “Formation” had a similar effect on me when thinking about my personal brand. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to defining who you are as a BOSS, try to be Beyonce. Knowing my personal BOSS brand has helped me move up the corporate ladder and find success at one of the most LUVed companies in the world.
- My daddy Alabama, momma Louisiana / … that Creole, make a Texas bama The lesson from Beyonce’s refrain lyric is simple: keep it local. When I was in college, my tagline across all social platforms led with “Texas Native.” As the Dallas community became more saturated with transplants, I knew my local roots would give me a leg up when working with local businesses. I ended up working for the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Market Center, and Dallas District Attorney’s Office because I kept close to my roots.
- I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros Just like Beyonce, you will always have other people telling you what you should / shouldn’t do with your hair, makeup, clothes and more. Instead following the latest trends, I often go for what I LIKE when it comes to my external appearance. Sometimes I like my hair straight; other times I like big curls. Sometimes I feel like wearing a bold lipstick; other days I go for a natural makeup routine. Instead of listening to what others want for you, you have to listen to your own voice and stick to it. It’s a huge part of your personal brand.
- When he f*** me good, I take his a** to Red Lobster Having a go-to space for highlight moments is crucial to staying in tune with your BOSS self. If I’m celebrating a promotion or life event with my family, I’m at Mi Cocina. If I’m meeting with potential collaborators for Forty Magazine, I’m at Coffee House Café. Reserving certain places for special moments will push you to do something worth a trip to your special place. There’s nothing wrong with dangling a cheddar bay biscuit in front of you to get you to the next level.
OMG.com! We are so delighted to share our first blogger take over post of the year. Catherine Davis, Career Strategist (@careerstrategypro) is a dear friend, boss in her own right, and too legit to quit in the career space. Here’s Catherine’s guest blog post on being a boss.
It’s 5ish in the evening and I dash into the house, kick off my shoes, grab the mail off of the kitchen table and sit. My ‘rest’ is short because now it’s time to fire up the laptop and conference line for the pre-scheduled 6:30PM career strategy call followed by a to-do list of guest blog posts, speaking engagement proposals, workshop outlines, and more things that invade my brain but never make it to paper.
I’m exhausted. This is a lot of work and sometimes it truly feels like work. There is no doubt the consistent clientele for my career strategy business, Career One Eighty, makes it all worth it, but no one sees this part. The part where I am tired and would rather curl up on the couch and eat ice cream. They might not even believe it because ‘I make it look easy’.
I’m sure you can relate. The challenge is hardly the scheduling, the planning, acquiring vision, etc. No, the real challenge that keeps authentic women up at night is the ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ fear of not reaching our full potential. Not operating in the gift(s) we’ve been given…you know, the one’s that are powerful enough to change the world.
Being your own woman in a world where running a million miles per hour gets celebrated and attempting to stay inspired when you’re always the encourager can feel like hard work. Truthfully, remaining authentic to self and purpose in the face of it all becomes arduous. We have to work strategically (intentionally) to own our truths forging ahead to make sure the greatest work is not left undone, the self-work.
Playfully, I’ve been called the Olivia Pope of careers and perhaps Olivia has taught me one of the greatest lessons of this career-entrepreneur life. There is no such thing as hiding a pretty mess, not even in a white coat. In my life and business being a BOSS has become significantly less about showing and all about being. I give myself permission to wander between the tension of faith and comfort, also known as growth. I don’t hide my exhaustion, yet, I don’t celebrate the imbalance. I make a choice to feel the friction. Refresh my heart and mind by indulging in the activities that energize me, with the people who love me. I don’t shy away from any emotion in my spectrum…I get to be confused, tired, ‘over it’, and ‘all about it’…as long as I don’t shrink from the purpose I’ve been given to fulfill. As long as I don’t quit.
I am imperfect yet, I keep showing up. I keep betting on myself. I keep freeing others to do the same in the process. It’s not ‘making it look easy’ that makes me a BOSS. It’s allowing myself to ‘be’ even when it’s not easy that makes me a BOSS.
That’s how they know. That’s how I know. I am a BOSS.
-Catherine L. Davis, www.CatherineLDavis.com, @careerstrategypro
Happy New Year! We love that everyone is so motivated and focused on goal setting right now. So to help you move from goal setting to goal getting we have 5 tips to help you stay on track .
5 Ways You Can (actually) Reach Your Goals This Year:
- Gut check – Ask yourself, is this goal on my list because it’s something that feels right, something that I’ve spent time in reflection or in prayer about? Or is this a superficial goal, set for superficial reasons. If you’re pushing yourself towards something that you know in your gut isn’t really what you want or need…girl, you need to cut it! Even if that’s that high paying but soul sucking job, a relationship that going nowhere fast, or your high school weight.
- Shut up about it – You know that friend who’s always on a ‘diet’ but never losing weight? Don’t be that person. She talks about what she wants to do, is about to do, but somehow never quite does it. Goals don’t get achieved by talking, they get achieved by doing.
- Set Benchmarks – Nothing kills a dream faster than realizing that the end is 1,000 miles and 5 years away….talk about a motivation killer. Think about where you are now and what’s a realistic milestone in the next 30 – 60 – 90 days. This is particularly important for big, scary goals where you can easily lose motivation or feel like you’re not making enough progress.
- Cut out comparison – Repeat after me – I WILL NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO STRANGERS (OR FRIENDS) ON THE INTERNET. Now say it again, even louder and pinky promise that you will keep your word. Just like your goals are your own, so is your journey, it won’t look or feel like anyone else’s and it’s not supposed to.
- Think beyond yourself – who is this goal going to impact? Who’s waiting for you to launch that company or snag that promotion? Who will be inspired to reach their goals because of you?
Cheers to the new year and you!
Ashley + Marty
Who else is planning 2017? We’ve been in planning and collaboration meetings this week and oooohh weee are some amazing things in store! We’ve got some surprises that we’ll be announcing soon but this week we want to share a major takeaway from one of our meetings this week.
Making the most of every minute is a sure fire way to increase productivity and simply put, get ish done! Not only is this a great way to take action it’s also a great attitude to take on. What could you accomplish if you approached your day from the viewpoint of, “I have enough time do what needs to get done.” How much less time would you spend on low gain activities (reality TV and Instagram count)?
Our daily challenge (forget 2017, let’s start now) is to not take a single moment of the day, to walk our talk by seizing every moment and making it count!
Ashley + Marty
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But some of us are overwhelmed with to do lists, shopping, shipping, community service, menu planning, house preparations, decorating, and ugly sweater parties. Whew! It really is the most wonderful time of the year but when schedules get busy, overwhelm starts to rear its ugly head…ugh! Boss chicks don’t have time for overwhelm so here are three practical tips to beat holiday hoopla.
Give Yourself a Break – No matter how much we do or accomplish it can sometimes feel like it’s never enough. It is darling, it is. You are not perfect, life is not perfect, and if you are trying your best, let that be enough for once. Give yourself the grace that you would give a stranger or a friend.
Ask for Help – It’s easy to feel like we have to do it all and look cute while doing it but the moment you find yourself feeling anxious, upset, or on the brink of a wine binge (no judgment here), take a moment to ask for help. That may mean relinquishing control but so what! Resist the urge to control everything and carry the weight of the world on your soldiers. Speak up, ask for help, and accept the help received.
Give Obligations the Boot– Ok this is a tough one. This is the time of year where invitations to spend your time and money are frequent which can create the perfect storm for holiday stress and fatigue but it can be so, so difficult to say no. Who doesn’t love a good party or a day of giving? Our challenge to you – only say yes to the events you really want to attend and give to causes nearest and dearest to your heart. Why? Because when you do things out of obligation rather than love, you’re not fully present; you rob yourself (and others) of the best of you. So do yourself a favor, resolve to spend your time where your heart is.
This is the season where magic, love, peace, and joy rule. Don’t rob yourself of the gifts of the season by getting caught up in holiday hype.
Ashley + Marty
Is it just us or does this time of year, that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas spark a feeling of “senioritis?” It seems like all of the holiday parties (RSVP for our party here), shopping, and treats make us long for less work and more play. So what’s a girl to do when productivity calls?
This week in particular has been a bit of a struggle especially as we try and prepare for some time away at the end of December. Here’s 3 ways we kick our productivity into high gear:
Lean Into Those Lazy Feelings – This might seem counterintuitive but in the moments where you don’t feel like doing anything – don’t! Instead take a break, a nap, a walk etc. so that you’re 1. not getting frustrated with yourself (making you even more unproductive and 2. not producing your best work. If your brain (and body) aren’t in work mode, listen to them!
Focus on Being Productive NOT Busy – Being busy is so overrated though some of us wear it like a badge of honor. So rather than fill your day with meaningless, low gain activities, focus on the one thing that’s going to have the biggest impact even if that means taking a big task and breaking it up into manageable chunks.
Get Inspired – What puts you in the mood to work? Music? Podcasts? We’re big fans of Ted Talks (here’s a fav) especially on the topic of women’s empowerment and being the best version of yourself. Hearing different perspectives usually inspires us to action. Interestingly enough, so does Beyoncé 🙂
Hard as it may be, it isn’t quite time to settle into holiday mode, so keep pushing towards productivity. You got this!
Ashley + Marty
This month we are choosing gratitude and hope you will join us. Think about that for just a moment, choosing gratitude. There’s something so powerful in making a choice to be thankful regardless of what your circumstances might look like, to choose to see beauty and hope in situations others might find bleak.
So in the name of gratitude, because we are so thankful for every friend, partner, and supporter of our brand we are sharing two TOTALLY FREE gifts to our readers and community.
If you hadn’t heard already we are having our holiday party on December 3rd and we want you to come and celebrate us (bring a friend). RSVP here.
And we think you deserve a chance to recharge and so does our newest partner Zeel Massage. We’re gifting you with $25 off your next massage using code BWWB25
How the heck is it November already?!? And where did 2016 go? And while it’s not quite time to do our year in review we’re reflecting on this year and planning for next.
Aaaahhh goal setting or strategic planning as we call it, both a gift and a curse. A gift because it’s so exciting to not only look back on our accomplishments this year and build on them but a curse because more begets well, more. So as we work to improve our current personal best, the real work is in being strategic and making sure every plan we make, every goal we set is in line with our big goal.
As you prepare to plan for 2017 (do it now girl), we wanted to share our top 3 (not so common) tips for goal setting:
Brain Dump – we’re never at a loss for good ideas. It’s one of our biggest strengths as a brand but if we’re not careful we can spend more time dreaming and less time implementing. So before we start our goal planning, we also take the time to write out all of our ideas so our creative side doesn’t overtake our strategic side.
Set Aside Time for Planning and Revising – Planning is one thing, taking the time to revise your goals as natural shifts in priorities and plans occur is another. Goals should be fluid, not rigid so be sure to set aside time periodically to revise your goals.
Keep Your List Short – ever heard of the law of diminishing returns? Basically it means that the more goals you have the less you’ll actually hit so do yourself a favor, keep your goals list short and laser focused in order to increase your chances of reaching them.
So what’s on your goal list for 2017? We totally want to know.
Ashley + Marty
Welcome to October! The last few weeks have been busy as heck and things are not letting up in October (fact, not a complaint). And while we love staying busy and watching our brand grow, there’s something we need to confess. Even though we are #girlbosses, sometimes we don’t feel like it. Sometimes our hair gets frizzy, lipstick gets smudged, and our confidence takes a hit. Sometimes we have doubts and our fears threaten to get the best of us. Can you relate? Do you ever feel like you need a moment to be less #boss and more #hotmess? Yea, us too.
So what’s a girl to do when she’s just not feeling it?
SHOW UP ANYWAY
Why? Because it’s easy to go forward when you feel like it, but dreams don’t come true just because you feel like it. There’s a reason that people use words like grit, grind, and hustle when talking about the pursuit of a goal. What does showing up mean? It means saying no to not giving our best and taking shortcuts. It means being good stewards of our platform and our influence. Have we ever regretted giving 110% when we weren’t 100% in the mood to do it? Nope! Have we ever regretted not giving 110% when we know we could have done better? Every. Single. Time. Talk about a sick feeling…ugh!
We’re clear about what we want; a life that we’ve built on our terms. A life that we don’t have to ask permission to live. So in the moments where we struggle to get it together, we take a deep breath, remember why we started, cry if we need to, refresh our makeup, and show up anyway.
Ashley + Marty
Hey girl hey!
Everyday we wake up, say a prayer of gratitude, then start thinking about the 1,256,258 things that must get done before the sunsets. You too? Well the only way we stay (somewhat) sane and (somewhat) organized is to write down all 1,256,258 things, make a priority list, and get started. Then the moment comes when we get to strike something from the list, what a sweet feeling that is.
As we are preparing for our final brunch of the year, we’re finding list making and prioritizing is even more critical. But just because we’re making lists, checking them twice, and writing down new ideas like mad women, doesn’t mean we can’t do it in style right?
We’re hooking our community up with a chance to win not only a brunch ticket to our final (aww, tear) brunch of 2016 but also a $50 gift card to May Designs, home of the cutest, notebooks so you can come and learn about the power of you and have a cute little customized notebook to write all your plans in.
Ashley + Marty
Hey girl hey!
It’s hard being a woman, and even harder being a boss, going for what you want and getting the respect that you deserve. One thing is for certain, we train others how to treat us so if you are ready to up your game and command a room, start incorporating these 10 behaviors today.
We want to remind our community that you are empowered and you don’t need anyone’s permission to stand up for yourself. Too often women are placed in a box of being sweet and respectful, and we say, to hell with that. Bust through stereotypes and the ‘norm’ because as Eleanor Roosevelt put it, “Well behaved women rarely make history”.
Hey girl hey!
Confession time…we’ve been holding out on you. While we’ve been talking about the power of partnership we neglected to give you a few tools to help you tap into the most powerful tool in your arsenal…YOU!
Yes, honey, you! You are purposefully and wonderfully made. You are smart enough, cool enough, and brave enough to accomplish anything you set out to do. You have the ability to create and become whatever you desire. We like how Beyoncé put it; you just might be the next
Bill Gates YOUR NAME HERE in the making.
This week we want to encourage you to go boldly toward the pursuit of your dreams and own the unique gifts that you possess to help get you there. Need help tapping into those gifts? Try this exercise.
At the top of a sheet of paper, write down your most pressing goal. Then on the right side, write down “Gifts” as a header. On the left side write down “How.” Your paper should look something like this:
Now list 3-5 of your gifts under the “Gifts” column. Then under “How” write how you will use your gift to accomplish your big goal. Stuck? That’s ok, just stay with it. Every time you get discouraged, afraid,or worried that you can do something, revisit this list and draw some power from it.
There’s power in you, darling, own it.
Ashley + Marty
Hey girl hey!
We’re officially back to life, back to reality after the Labor Day holiday and we are pumped about it! Why? Because there are so many good things on the horizon for our brand and our community. Yay!
We’ve learned (and are still learning) some really cool lessons but the stand out is the power of partnership. Ready to put your plans in motion? Don’t underestimate the power of partnership for your business or your professional brand, either way, the same rules apply. Here are 3 tips to help you get started:
1. Get over intimidation – it’s so easy to look at someone’s online persona, number of followers etc. and think they wouldn’t be interested in you but we’ve found that isn’t true. In fact, every time we’ve reached out to a brand they’ve been flattered that we reached out and excited to have the opportunity to work with us…whoa!
2. Give them a reason to say yes – be prepared to communicate what you can do for them without focusing on what you’ll get in return.
3. Focus on genuine connections – spend some time learning and supporting the person/brand you’re interested in collaborating with. People will ignore strangers but will go out of their way to help a friend.
We’re so excited about our latest partnership with Grit Fitness in September. We met owner and founder Brittani Retig a few months ago and we just love her sweet persona, chill personality, and her passion for her business. We met for dinner and shared some ideas which birthed our September event, Sweat it Out Like a Boss. Brittani thank you for having us and not ignoring our emails, ha!
Cheers to the upcoming three day weekend! We hope you get a chance to relax and recharge which we know is sometimes hard to do especially if you are managing what feels like a million things. The worst part of going on vacation or unplugging is always coming back to an overflowing inbox and a list to do list that’s a mile long.
- Make a to do list, then prioritize the sh!t out of it. Write down every single thing you can think of so you don’t have those “I think I forgot something” moments during your down time. Now take your list and prioritize into two categories: Pre-holiday and Post-holiday. Focus only on the most critical tasks that have to be done before you leave.
2. Grind + Delegate. Now take your pre-holiday list and pick out the items you must do. Grind like your life depended on it to get through this list. You might be tired when you get ready to leave but rest is on the horizon. You’ll be so much more relaxed knowing you tied up your high priority items. Next delegate the remaining (or as many as possible) pre-holiday items like there’s no tomorrow. If you can delegate on your post-holiday list, do so. If not, it will be prioritized and waiting for you when you return.
3. Conquer that email. Nothing makes you dread returning to work like an overflowing inbox. And while you can’t control the number of emails that you’ll receive while you’re out, you can control how they appear in your inbox. Create rules that filter emails from important people to a folder so you know where to check first, giving yourself plenty of time to filter through all of those “reply” all messages.
What else do you do to prepare for a long holiday/vacation? Share your advice with our community.
Ashley and Marty
Hey ladies, check out part two of our interview with Sara Alter, Chief Polish Officer over at Pretty Please Nail Polish. What do we love most about Sara? She’s a boss (and a new mom) but she’s so real. She dished on how to handle the distraction of what everyone else is doing, doing it all, and how she handles her competition.
How do you avoid getting distracted by what other companies/entrepreneurs are doing and you’re not?
The short answer is, some days it’s really hard.
The long answer is, almost immediately after I found out I was pregnant last summer, I was sick for the following nine months, and I had to take a step back. It was definitely hard to sit back and watch other business come out with new products, gain followers on social media, and expand their brands. I wanted Pretty Please to be right there with them. Fast forward one year and I was ready to jump back in, but I did feel a bit “behind”. When I thought about how I was going to get back on track, I knew I needed to avoid a pity party so I set a few guidelines for myself:
- I keep my inner dialogue in check. When looking at other brands, I try to think positive. Instead of saying, “they are so much better at A,B,C, (and let’s not forget “D”!), I say, “this brand is incredible at “D” and I would love to improve in that area”. I take the inspiration and run! It allows me to evaluate where I am, what I want to change and how I want to grow, without being negative. No one has time for that.
- I keep in mind that behind every pretty picture there is a messy table, a pile of trash, 30 unseen outtakes, and a lot of hard work. It’s easy to forget when you’re only seeing a finished product. All companies, and the women who run them, go through ups and downs. You just have to stay focused, try your best, and be kind to yourself along the way.
- I took on the motto of, “Don’t Compete. Collaborate”. If I love a brand, instead of viewing them as competition, I reach out to introduce myself, have a fan girl moment, and suggest collaboration or a giveaway. Connecting with like-minded women is both fun and empowering. Join forces and build brand awareness with companies you admire! Someone else’s success should never, take away from your own.
How have you overcome the need to do it all and have it all right now?
Well, to start, I’m a new mom, so I have no time to do it all. I do what I can, when I can, as best as I can. I’m figuring out the balance. In business, it’s forced me to be more thoughtful. I don’t have the time to work 18 hour days like I did when I first started the company so I put my energy where I think it matters most, not everywhere at once. The idea of “having it all” usually changes over time. I’m currently in transition again!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or Pretty Please nail polish?
We just added 4 new pretty shades to the website! You can now select from 31 colors and give them your own unique name. Yes, YOU name the nail polish yourself! Perfect for gifts, wedding events, party favors, baby showers, company branding, and the list goes on!
We recently partnered with Sara Alter owner and Chief Polish Officer at Pretty Please Nail Polish and OMG is she awesome! Sara is so genuine, smart, and generous with sharing advice and collaborating.
You might recognize Pretty Please Nail Polish as one of our sponsors from our latest brunch. Sara was kind enough to partner with us and share some discount codes, big thanks!
Here’s part 1 of our interview with Sara.
What’s the one obstacle/barrier that you had to get over in order to pursue your dream(s)?
When I came up with the idea to create a personalized nail polish company, no company like this existed, so I had no road map to follow.
Big nail polish and printing companies weren’t interested in running small batches and personalizing as little as one bottle at a time and that was something that was really important to me. I envisioned Pretty Please as a gift item, a party favor, or a promotional item for small events and businesses. A wedding party wouldn’t need 800 bottles, they would need 8, and I was determined to make that happen. I was working a full time job and I remember making calls to printing companies every morning on my walk to work and on every lunch break, until I finally found someone who believed in my idea and worked with me to bring it to life. That was a big hurdle starting out.
Your advice to women struggling with fear, doubt, confidence, or other paralyzing inner dialogue?
Even the most successful people in the world experience fear and self-doubt. The most important take-away is how you handle it. Figure out what scares you the most about your situation and rip it wide open. Be honest with yourself about what it is that’s actually holding you back. Sometimes it’s as simple as acknowledging that you’re scared to start. Being an entrepreneur means developing a thick skin. Some people will love your idea, and some people won’t. Some people will buy your product or service, some people won’t. If you believe in yourself and your brand, give other people the chance to believe in you too.
What advice would you give to women ready to take the first step but unsure of where to start?
Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. That’s where you will really learn and understand what it takes to run your own business. Your family and friends will be there to cheer you on and tell you your idea is awesome (because, it probably is), but having a great idea and a profitable business are two very different things and any entrepreneur knows that. Building a network of knowledgeable and passionate business owners will be extremely beneficial to help you execute and achieve success.
Try reaching out to a business owner you admire and ask to take them out for coffee or for a chat on the phone. I’ve found that people are really open to sharing their experiences.
You can also connect with a small business consultant who will charge you for their time but who will work to understand your specific goals and help you achieve them. I actually consult for new businesses, locally, and virtually, so feel free to reach out!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview with Sara where she’ll be sharing with us her secrets for staying motivated, avoiding distractions and more!
Okay ladies now let’s get in formation! August is dedicated to topics that will help you get in formation and get yourself together (this is as much for us as it is for y’all). Normally for us weekends are a swirl of activities, meetings, tastings, walk throughs, and strategy sessions. Where most people use the weekend to recharge, we use it to go into hyper-drive, taking care of and planning as much as possible in anticipation for the upcoming week. That’s what hustlers do right? Sort of. We’re all about using time wisely and maximizing our free time. You know what else we are? Transparency alert! We’re tired, and spread thin. That’s not a complaint; it’s our truth. But what does that have to do with getting yourself together? A quote we stumbled upon on Instagram:
Learn to Rest, Not Quit
Let that sink in…the idea that rest is a much needed part of the journey to more. The world is telling you that if you have a goal that achieving it will take hard work and sleepless nights. Well that’s a half truth. The whole truth is achieving your goals will require hard work but they will also require you to rest, recharge, and take care of yourself so that you have enough fight in you to cross the finish line. Hustle wears the finish off big shiny goals. When you go so hard that you wear yourself out, quitting starts to look really attractive.
If you’re in a place of your journey where you feel guilty about taking time for yourself or not working every free moment, our advice is simple. Rest, darling. Take a day, an hour, whatever you choose to just rest so you’re not tempted to quit. Reflect, recharge, lay on the couch and just be. Rest, love, you’ve got mountains to conquer.
Oh hello August! This month we are drawing inspiration from Queen Bey and focusing a new theme: “Formation: Get your life together because Lord knows we have plenty of days where things are not exactly, “together”.
Speaking of formation, there’s a line in the song we always sing extra loud:
This week is all about seeing and owning your vision for your future. We’ve talked about the importance of having clarity around your goals before but vision is a little different than clarity. Vision means not only do you have an idea, but you can clearly see and articulate what the desired end goal looks like.
Why is vision important? Because if you don’t have a vision for yourself and your dreams, you are handing over the keys to your future to someone else or worse, circumstance. Struggling with where to start? Try this simple exercise. Imagine your end goal, now write down every detail surrounding it. What will you be wearing, who will be around you, what color will the walls in your office be painted? No detail is too small, because once you can see it, you can start working toward it.
Cheers to what’s to come!
Ashley + Marty
Hey lady loves! You know that feeling when you accomplish something you weren’t sure you could? Yea, we’ve been feeling like that the entire month of July! We launched our company and this blog a short, short time ago we are in awe of how much we’ve grown. What we’ve learned so far is that you have to trust your convictions, flip off fear, and just go for it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. We’re hosting our second brunch in August and we have an all-star lineup of ladies who have done it, are still doing it, and are now sharing with our community the ways that they can too. Check out our panelist’s bios here.
“Why Not Me” was the spark that lit the fire that is now Boss Women Who Brunch. What are you waiting to unleash? How are planning on changing the world, or even your world as you know it?
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton made history by becoming the first woman presidential nominee. Regardless of where you stand politically, Hillary’s nomination is a win for women, all women. Win, lose, or draw, a door has been opened. Talk about an answer to “why not me!”
“I may become the first woman president, but one of you will be next.” – Hillary Clinton
Our goal is to help every woman ask herself, “why not me for the highest position in the land or in my company, or absolutely anything else I want. You’ve got next.
Good news! Getting what you want out of life, however you define it, is now easier than ever. Say what?!?
Yep you read that right. Ok, mostly right. We can’t make that promise but we think we’ve discovered the path of least resistance.
Here’s a personal example because we are all about transparency up in here. We both work full time jobs, and are full time wives, daughters, friends plus part time fitness enthusiasts. It’s tough building our dream, one brick at a time and balancing it all. But the key we’ve learned, is not trying to balance it all but getting hyper-focused on the people (people always come first) and activities that matter most. Everything else (including Instagram binges and weekly girls’ night outs) have to take a back seat. Because the truth is, we can have it all (that’s absolutely our plan) but we just can’t have it all right now. It’s a hard pill to swallow and it requires sacrifice but isn’t your goal worth it? If it isn’t you need a new goal.
Not sure what to let go? Check out this week’s resource, the Boss’ To Do List . Write down where you are spending your time (be honest about Facebook and Netflix). Are your activities more heavily weighted toward mindless activities that are taking you nowhere fast or are you moving toward the goal? Let go of all of the stuff that doesn’t matter and watch what happens.
Ashley + Marty
“Beyonce is a unicorn and I am too,” whatever that means. It seems like inspirational quotes in pretty fonts have overtaken our lives. Inspiration is great; it’s something we all need to keep fighting the good fight. Except inspiration and even the resources and success stories we’ve shared, won’t help you conquer the world if we don’t address the elephant in the room. That elephant’s name is…
Barriers or limiting beliefs are the thoughts we tell ourselves that prevent us from living up to our true potential and living our passion. You know what Mr. Barrier is good at…
killing dreams, self-deprecation, projecting fears, lying, and guilt trips about who you are and what you can do.
What you believe about yourself (good or bad) is the gateway to getting (or not), what you want. No matter how many ‘you can do it’ blog posts your read, until you first acknowledge your barriers you won’t be able to get past them.
So what’s your hang up? What do you believe about yourself that’s holding you back? Fear of failure, fear of success, confidence, procrastination, doubt, or something else? We’ve got a tool here to help you work through it. We’ve even filled ours out so you know that you aren’t alone.
Marty and I are totally open and vulnerable about the barriers that threaten to keep us from our dreams. Instead of running away from them, we’re turning towards them, facing them head on, givin’ them one of our manicured fingers, and choosing greatness anyway.
Ashley + Marty
HEY GIRL HEY!
Marty and I had the privilege of attending the inaugural event of The Net and it was amazing! Jasmin Brand created a space for networking, a safe place to pitch ideas, a diverse panel of seasoned, successful, entrepreneurs that offered honest (they were dropping jewels), actionable feedback, and daiquiris from the Daiquiris Shoppe (she had us at daiquiris).
Jasmin decided to bring a business social club, a big concept on the east and west coasts, to Dallas. Why? She saw a need for a space for entrepreneurs of color to connect and collaborate, and decided that she had the solution, The Net.
Jasmin’s answer to “why not me,” reminded me of some lyrics from Jay Z’s “American Dreamin,’” “We need it now, we need a town. We need a place to pitch, we need a mound.”
Marty and I were more than inspired by The Net event. Jasmin, thank you for believing in yourself and your dream enough to create a mound for us.
Ready to get your dream off the ground? We’ve got a free resource for you here.
Take us on your journey! Email us at Boss Women to let us know how this tool helped you.
Ashley + Marty
Truth is, it’s not easy to get a dream off the ground. In fact, it’s hard as hell. Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get started and other times we really just need to know where to begin to get the momentum going. Here are 3 tips to help you stop wishing and start doing.
- Get quiet so you can clear yo’ mind – Work, family, commutes, friends, exercise; our fast paced lives can get so busy that we hardly have time to think much less reflect. But in order to make a dream reality, you’ve got make time to clear yo’ mind and really listen to what your heart is telling you because the key to your next step clarity. How will you know when you’ve arrived if you don’t know where you’re going?
- Write it down – There’s something about putting a goal on paper that makes it real. Having your goal on paper can also help center your thoughts. Taking the time to write my goals down
- Focus on the first step. When you’re ready to take a leap or try something new, thinking about all of the things you need to do can be overwhelming. Avoid starting with a long list; don’t try to take in the whole forest just set your sights on one tree. Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can do today to get started?” Don’t discount the small steps either; small steps can lead to big strides if you take enough of them.
We’d love to hear what you’re taking steps toward, comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley + Marty
Hey there! How exciting, our first Boss Blog post!
The purpose of this blog is to always remind you that there is a community of women just like you who want to see you succeed, provide tips and tools to help you along the way, offer doses of confidence and courage, and challenge you to take inspired action.
This quarter our focus is on answering the question, “Why Not Me?”
We all have them-big dreams and visions, goals that we want to achieve and yet we all face barriers to achieving those goals. Internal struggles like confidence, courage, belief, and the question, “Can I really do this?” The need for validation and the fear of rejection and failure all rattle around in us. We can find hundreds of reasons of why we can’t. Here’s the one reason why you can:
Allow that simple thought, the idea that there is a purpose for your life. When we were in the early stages of starting Boss Women who Brunch, there were plenty of people around us who questioned our vision, who “reminded” us that networking events were so 2005; that nobody would pay money to have brunch with us. We were questioned and cautioned but moved forward anyway. There was a problem, and we were going to offer the solution or tire ourselves out trying because as my mom says, “A try beats a fail every time.” We decided that there would be no more sitting on the side lines, no more wishing and hoping, but more believing, trying, and doing. Boss Women Who Brunch is our answer to why not me. What’s yours?
Ashley + Marty