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Submitted by bailey on Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:11
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Q&A with Genai Walker

A former professional female basketball player, Genai Walker, was accustomed to measuring her performance by numbers. When she was ready to move her career beyond professional sports, she noticed the relatively small number of powerful women of color in finance and decided to make that her next challenge. Genai credits her passion for people, her competitive drive, and her love of numbers as the driving forces behind her success as a financial advisor. 

Tell us about your transition from professional basketball to the world of finance:

After my professional basketball career, I wanted to utilize my degree from college. I noticed there was a lot of disparity among women, minorities, and athletes in how they view and save money. So, I figured the best way [to use my degree] was to get into an industry where hardly anyone looked like me and become a trailblazer. 

What were the key challenges when getting into the world of finance?

I think the challenges are that the world of finance is ever changing, and you have to change/adapt with it or you will get left behind (technology and stock market). Also, there is an abundance of information to take in. It can be overwhelming and frustrating when you first start, however, if you are willing to ask for help and/or leave your comfort zone, then you can be successful. In my industry, there are all types of financial advisors, and sometimes you like to compare yourself to others. Life isn’t fair, so I have learned that the cards I’m dealt are just that, my cards. I can either wait for pity or handouts, or I can show the world why my cards are worth seeing.

How are you able to apply your personal strengths to your professional life? 

I am very courageous and passionate, so I am able to apply those things daily in my practice. I am asked regularly to do speaking engagements or financial seminars in front of complete strangers or to meet potential clients for the first time face to face. During those times, I have to figure out quickly how to break the ice or keep conservations interesting. 

What motivates you?

My motivation comes from being competitive all my life. I don’t get too excited about recognition, awards, or monetary values. I truly always want to win at life, and all the bells and whistles are just a bonus.

How did you discover your passion for humanity?  

I first discovered that I was passionate about people when I worked as a telemarketer in college, where I was truly intrigued by how complete strangers responded to my pitch. In addition, I first discovered my love of numbers and finance while I was a bank teller. At that time, I wanted to learn everything I could about how money affects people.

What is a lesson that you have learned along the way?  

I have found that only you are in control of your happiness. People will offer their opinions on your life, and what they are doing or what is best for them, but at the end of the day, I have learned that life is short, so I need to make my own choices and stick to them.  

What do you not let get in your way? 

I never let a bad day get in my way. Similar to basketball, I might have played horribly one game and lost, but there is always a next game (day) for me to prepare for and be better.   

How do you create a sense of purpose in your life with your work, family, career, etc.?  

I am creating a purpose in my life by trying to impact everyone that I come into contact with positively. I never meet a stranger, so when I am around people, they will know I am there and very relatable. So, with great purpose comes responsibility, so being a good role model is very vital to my purpose.  

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?  

I would tell myself to open an IRA and put money in it, and write down all of your goals and don’t stop until they come true.  

What are 3 things you want other women to know?  

1) Be strong, confident, and know your worth.  

2) Learn another language.  

3) Never be afraid to be the only woman in a room.  

What's one thing you’d change in the world if you could? 

If I could change anything in this world, I would find cures for the current incurable diseases that plague our world and cost hardworking people millions of dollars in medicine and hospital costs. 

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Women Traveling Solo

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Submitted by anna on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:29
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5 books by & for women

Traveling alone could be one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences of your life--but, when you tell friends and family that you're embarking on a solo trip, you're often met with mixed responses. Suddenly everyone suggests that you bring a friend, gives you a can of pink pepper spray, or has some cautionary tale of a woman they heard of who was kidnapped and never heard from again. While their fears are usually warranted, there are some inspiring stories  of women who have had rewarding experiences. Here are five books, provided by BookPeople in Austin, TX, detailing the experiences of women who took a leap of faith and came out better on the other side. 


Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis (2011)

Becoming Odyssa


Davis is an avid hiker who grew up in North Carolina and fell in love with long-distance backpacking. At age 21, she found herself at a crossroads, unsure of what she wanted to do with her life. To find her purpose, she decided to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. As a solo female hiker, she wrote this memoir to detail the hardest and most challenging four months of her life. With every mile she hikes, she gets closer to understanding herself and what she wants to do with her life.  


Tracks by Robyn Davidson (1995)



Queensland-born Davidson wrote this personable (and hilarious) memoir about her 1,700-mile trek through the Australian desert with four camels and a dog for company. She tackles life in Australia in the 70's, recounting the rampant sexism, racism, and harshness of the outback. Tracks is the compelling journey of one women who made a courageous decision. 


The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman (2011)

Good Girl's Guide


Self-described "good-girl" Friedman did well in school and always played by the rules before doing something she had never done before: went out on a whim. She spontaneously bought a plane ticket to Ireland, forming a friendship with a free-spirited adventurer along the way. They depart on a year-long adventure galivanting through three continents. This memoir is exceedingly charming, and you'll be hard-pressed to put it down.  


Taschen's New York: Hotels, Restaurants, and Shops by Angelika Taschen (2009)

Taschen's New York


Beautifully illustrated and design-forward, Taschen takes you through New York City hotels, restaurants, and shops through the lens of a well-connected local. It includes off the beaten path recommendations that are sure to keep you on your feet and impress your friends. (Bonus-- it would be a stunning coffee table book). 


Swimming Holes of Texas by Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy (2018) 

Swimming Holes of Texas


Written by two Austin-based ladies, Wernersbach and Tracy, guide you through the best swimming holes in Texas. They spotlight one hundred natural spots across the state, some hidden finds as well as more popular ones. Every swimming hole includes stunning pictures of the scenery, making you want to jump in a car with your girlfriends immediately.  



HERdacity thanks BookPeople for providing all 5 women-centric travel books. You can find all of these books online or at their N. Lamar Austin store.

books for womens travel
books for womens travel


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Submitted by anna on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 14:57
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Q&A with Marny Lifshen

Senior executive women attribute a key part of their success to making and maintaining connections. But according to a study by and McKinsey & Co. of 118 companies (2012), only 10% of women who held leadership positions credited their professional advancement to 4 or more connections. When looking at men in similar leadership positions, 17% of them associated their success to the same amount of connections made through networking. Marny Lifshen, author of the book "Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women" saw first-hand the negative effects that this lack of networking had on professional women. She recognized that women had different methods to building relationships but could use those strengths to build the same supportive group of mentors that may come more easily to men. We wanted to know more about her professional career, personal life, and what to drove her to follow her passion. 

What did you see that was lacking in the workplace that made you want to write a book specifically about networking for women? 

Hands-on mentoring and sponsoring of women was not as consistent as it was for our male peers – we don’t have a “good ‘ole boy” network to give us feedback, introduce us to the right people and give us opportunities. But mostly I just think that we make and manage professional relationships differently than men – and that’s okay. I wanted to create a guide for how to take advantage of our natural strengths as women, but also to acknowledge what we can learn from the guys – like actually leveraging the network we work so diligently to create.

What impact do you think the book has made since? 

I hope it has helped a lot of women to understand and embrace networking as a critical career tool, and to correct some common misconceptions about what networking is really all about.  I also hope that readers understand that we don’t have to do it the way the men do in order to be successful.

How did you discover your passion? 

I have been very lucky to have incredible mentors throughout my career.  Through them, I was exposed to great opportunities and experiences, met amazing people, learned new skills and developed as a leader.  It was by learning to say “yes” to new things that I found my passion for consulting, writing and speaking about networking, communication and branding. 

What was a defining moment in your career? 

I am not a natural risk taker. When I faced a cross-road in my career and was considering leaving the firm I had built and loved for 9 years, I was very unsure. I relied on my network to give me honest feedback and advice – and that is what gave me the courage to start my own business.  

In terms of your personal life, what place were you in at that time? 

I was a partner in a PR/Communications firm and loved it. But I was also a newlywed and wanted to have children. I couldn’t figure out a way to make my 50+ hour work weeks fit with my desire to be a mom. Going out on my own as a consultant gave me the flexibility I wanted and the opportunity to explore new professional paths. It was scary but worth it!  

What was the biggest challenge when you decided to start your own consulting business?

For me the hardest part was leaving the security of a full-time well-paid job for the unknown.  It was also hard for me to have the confidence that I could “make it” on my own, but a wonderful group of mentors convinced me I would succeed and encouraged me to take the leap!

 How are you able to apply your personal strengths to professional life?

I believe that consistency is a key to success. You can’t be one personal in your personal life and a different person in your professional life. You must be authentic in order to build real relationships and credibility. While I strive to always be professional and polished in a work situation, I am also my energetic and friendly self. Think about what makes you unique and memorable and make sure those attributes shine in your professional roles, as well.   

 What do you NOT let get in your way?    

I don’t hold grudges. I think that holding grudges against people is pointless and may in fact keep you from opportunities with that person in the future. Just because something went wrong in a professional relationship doesn’t mean that you won’t find a way to work together or help one another in the future. 

What motivates you to coach others through your writing, speaking, and consulting? 

The feedback I get from people who see me speak is very inspiring and motivational for me.  Knowing that I am actually helping people overcome challenges and succeed in their professional lives is what makes all of the work worthwhile.  It just plain makes me happy to help them!  

One thing you would like to tell your 20-year-old self? 

Chill out!  Everything will work out!  You don’t need to have a 5 year plan or 10 year plan.  Just work hard and be open to opportunities. 

 What are three things  you want other women to know? 

  1. Be kinder to one another.  We need to support and encourage each other as women, rather than judging the choices we make.  

  1. Take risks in your career and be okay with a little failure!  This is one thing that men do consistently better than we do and it may well be holding us back. 

  1. Ask for help.  There is no shame in needing support, advice and assistance – in fact, there is strength in learning to ask for and accept help. 


Marny Lifshen

Marny Lifshen is an author, speaker, coach and marketing communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience.
Find her here:

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Women at a Crossroads

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:39
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Angelia White's Magazine for Women


Following the death of close family members, Angelia White, mother of 3, embarked on a journey to find her purpose. Along the way, she found her passion for empowering women and sparked her newsletter-turned-magazine. HOPE FOR WOMEN is a quarterly publication for women at a crossroads, searching to live their best life. We set out to find what makes her dare... 

Where did you find the fire to start your magazine?

I had just lost my grandmother and father within three months of each other. At that time, I was on this search to find out “my purpose” and “what I was created for” so it was a combination of realizing how short and fragile life was…but it was time to get busy living it. I didn’t want to go on the journey alone but wanted to encourage other women that may be at a cross-road in their lives and desired to live their dreams and pursue their passions.

What inspired you to focus on women in particular? 

When I first started, it was actually a newsletter for a group of 50 to 100 women. I had an audience and I had every intention to inspire and empower them. I wanted to create and platform for "real women" to discuss "real topics" and their "real stories" and life journeys. It was a safe haven where it was a judgement free zone. We were all trying to love and live again. Many of us had been broken and still weren't sure of how to express those hurts so "Hope For Women" was the tool and the vehicle. Women because to release the shame in their leave so they felt they belonged and had purpose. So from that moment I knew this was my purpose. It grew quickly within the first year to a magazine (an inspirational companion).  

How did you discover your passion? 

It was in the moment when I took that leap of faith to launch Hope for Women. The immediate response and reaction was overwhelming. I soon realized I love seeing other women flourish and blossom into their best lives. It’s so rewarding watching and seeing other women believe in themselves.   

How do your personal strengths impact your professional life? 

Being resilient, remaining hopeful and letting things go. There have been so many things thrown my way even as a child. I learned early in life not to take things personal, forgive and move on because if you don’t it will hinder your progress in life…I’m not perfect, may make a few mistakes here and there but that’s OKAY. Get up and try it again! 

What one experience do you continue to learn from  today?  

Trusting the wrong person with your vision and having your own confidence. WOW! That was one of the toughest lessons I’ve ever learned. I basically handed my company over to this particular individual (to handle sales) and she mismanaged it so much to the point I thought it was unrepairable. Not only was I left broke and broken but the company was too. What it taught me was to have confidence and believe in myself. Not to make hasty decisions too soon just because you don’t think you have time. Everyone doesn’t have your best interest at heart and often people are looking for the best opportunity for themselves and don’t care what or how they get it. So today I’m extremely selective who I share my platform with, who contributes or have any part of the magazine.  

What do you  NOT  let get in your way?

Fear and the opinions of others.  

What motivates you to keep going? 

My faith in God, and my three children. 

Tell us about your inspiration to create.

I was smack dead in the middle of spiritual, emotional trauma and abuse. In that moment (me being the not selfish person I am) desired to inspire other women that may be in the same place. They were victimized over and over again and didn’t know how to escape or break free. So I created HOPE. I didn’t want to go on the journey alone so why not take a few more thousand women (who may or may not know how great there were) with me. Let’s heal and experience our greatness together.  

What would you tell your  20-year-old  self?  

Have COURAGE! Go. Be. Do. 

Three things  you want other women to know?   

1. They are amazing.  

2. They are capable of many things.  

3. Greatness lies within each of them.  

What is one thing that you would change in the world? 

That no one would be homeless or hungry, but everyone would have a place to dwell and eat.  

Angelia White

Angelia White is a mother of three and the Publisher, President, and CEO of Hope for Women. Motivated by her desire to encourage women and share their inspiring stories, she transformed a simple idea into an empowering endeavor when she started the lifestyle magazine in 2005. Hope for Women magazine is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana and is now read by over 100,000 women monthly. For more information visit

Hope for Women Magazine
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Self Care - What Is It and Why Should It Matter?

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:13

Want to press a woman’s buttons? Tell her she’s not taking care of herself the way she should. 

Just read the comments below this provocative article about self-care and you’ll see that it’s a hot topic among women. When someone apart from yourself (in other words, anyone) admonishes you about self-care; it’s an opinion, it’s irrelevant, and it smacks of judgment.

Before diving in to the controversy, what is self care? According to PsychCentral, self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is a conscious, deliberate act, something you enjoy, that you plan into your life. 

So why all the fuss? Why are there opinions about whether you’re doing it right?

First, no woman likes to be told how to take care of herself. It’s a little too personal. It would be like someone coming into your bathroom and telling you you’re putting your bra on wrong… it’s none of her business. 

A caveat: if you show up with your bra on backwards 10% of the time, then yes, those close to you may offer some advice. Furthermore, if one’s inability to get dressed means they’re not showing up at all, then please reach out. There’s a difference between omitting self-care and self-sabotage. 

Otherwise, save it.

In the real world, showing up is what matters. Not what you do to get there.

Second, telling someone who shows up, that she’s choosing the wrong things to show up to, is judgmental. It doesn’t matter whether it’s yoga class or the pantry, what you choose is your business.

One woman may insist on exercise, while another swears by a glass of wine and a novel. Neither one is right or wrong, although we might agree that some balance may be in order. 

Third – and this is crucial if we’re going to discuss self-care at all – comments about self-care are opinions, and reveal more about your source of stress and what you think about stress, than what calms, comforts and rejuvenates. 

Self-Care as Stress Relief

Hardly anyone would argue these days that self-care is selfish. Studies show that self-care is an integral part of wellness and stress management.

Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk, How to Make Stress Your Friend, emphasizes that your views on stress affect your health more than the stress itself.

And since stressors are always in flux in any given life, no single stress-relieving practice or balm is ever consistently appropriate. 

If ideas about stress are personal, and self-care is acceptable, then individual definitions of self-care must be acknowledged.

Tried and True Standbys

Every woman I know has her own ways and means she adheres to, feels passionate about, and practices when no one’s looking. She wouldn’t deviate from them unless she were held hostage against her will. Many are non-negotiable daily activities.

self care is a wonderful way to spread comfort and joy

These are the things that bring comfort and joy. In other words, they fall under the umbrella of self-care.

We have a nebulous collective definition of self-care precisely because self-care is personal, and connected to the way each of us addresses and satisfies our most personal needs.

Why are some of these personal treasures kept private, while others are trumpeted at top volume?

Like most personal issues these days, everyone has an opinion.

What an individual chooses as self-care is revealed in her bank balances, her browsing habits, unaccounted minutes or hours, and what goes on behind closed doors.

We’ll never agree on how to get this basic need met until we determine if it is in fact elemental to survival, or a few notches up on Maslow’s hierarchy.

“Selfish” but Necessary

One woman would never want someone to know how much she spends on lipstick, another obsesses about her next Netflix fix. One relishes her weekly date with the hand cut French fries ordered in the drive through and munched on the drive home. Another may yearn to escape with a walk in the woods, keeping a pair of sneaks in her trunk for unscheduled forays into the nature.

Are any of these activities better than another? More Instagram-worthy? If you’re addicted to organic tea, you could start a movement and share everything you know… but what if you’re just into naps?

The people who have definite ideas about what constitutes self-care are often the people who follow self-care practices that have been approved by their culture, or proudly hailed as redemptive by a celebrity or influencer.

Reliance on trends and popular public opinion can be more stifling than liberating, however. Certainly, the media plays a part in our feelings about self-care. Yoga, meditation, daily 5:00 mommy juice (wink) may be trendy, but does that make those “me time” activities worthier than another’s? Pushing one self-care practice over another seems righteous and sanctimonious.

Let’s be honest. The most effective, deliciously indulgent self-care is the stuff that’s a wee bit um, selfish. That’s the point. Emerging from the self-care whole and intact, ready to face the day is the result.

You Do You

… and I say that with love. 

If you’re overly interested in defining self-care, it’s probably because you’re not getting enough.

The key word in self-care is “Self.”

Your problems are not universal and they don’t automatically make you virtuous. Neither are the ways you address them. In fact (you know this), many would probably view your problems as blessings. The overstressed woman holding three jobs has good reason to crave more self-care, but so does the one for whom just one job would be an amazing windfall of good fortune.

When you’re finally comfortable with the inevitability of stress – whatever your particular brand happens to be – then you can finally allow yourself (and others) the freedom to define self-care as you see fit.

Self-care is equally the arrows you duck and the extra hours you invest; as it is your leisurely, scandalous moments with pie or pedicures. 

As Voltaire wrote, “…Tend your own garden.”

self care what is it, why it matters
HERdacity Staff

Three Networking Secrets to Build Your Dream On

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:38

When women support other women, incredible things happen.

Women’s networking groups are the backbone of many local, online, and regional tribes of successful women. The old adage about surrounding yourself with others you want to emulate couldn’t be truer than among women’s networks.  If you can get yourself to a room full of women who’ve been there, don’t that, and still have more to give and share at the end of the day, then you should definitely show up.

In a world where only 5% of CEOs are women, and where success looks like different things to different people, you may feel like you’re climbing uphill alone. One simple way to elevate your personal and professional status, while snagging an easy opportunity to relish the feeling that someone’s got your back, is inside a good network of like-minded women.

Are all networks strong? Nope. In fact, they’re only as strong as the effort you put into them.

Thousands of women are convening in the Capitol city tomorrow to attend the Texas Conference for Women. As we’re prepared for the conference the other day, we listened in on a teleclass about Networking given by Kelly Hoey, an expert networker and author of the book and website, Build Your Dream Network.

She gave several tips on the short conference call, encouraging women to take advantage of the democratization of networking in the digital age. The secret to success is simply engaging in face-to-face networking skills and extending them to your online network.

Whether you’re in a real live room, like a large networking/educational conference, or simply perusing LinkedIn as part of your regular routine, here are some networking tips to create the strong connections that benefit you and those you meet:

Follow up.

It’s obvious after someone has shared some time with you to thank that person soon after the favor. It’s that next step, following up, that most people leave out. When someone gives you advice or shares a connection, they want to know how things turned out. Close the loop and let that person know how you implemented their advice or how the meeting with their colleague went. This is where strong bonds are forged, but it’s where most people drop the ball.

Engage with all your networks, not just your professional network.

Give the same attention to your looser networks like the people on the sidelines at your child’s soccer game, or the women in your book club, as you would your colleagues within your field. Those loose connections may be the ones that create the most opportunities for you.

Give. Give. Get.

In other words, be generous.

Be there for others. Don’t just show up when you need something. Go out of your way to reach out with a helpful introduction. Post a colleague’s blog post on your social media sites. Write a review or testimonial for someone. Inquire about a past trip or event.

Generosity takes many forms. Creativity in your generosity is instantly memorable.

In the end, Hoey reminds us of the Golden Rule.

Good networking looks like being a kind, caring, compassionate person.

Pretty simple, really.

HERdacity will be exhibiting at tomorrow’s conference, with an ear to the ground as to what makes inspiring women feel free to share their stories and support other women. Please stop by and say hello. We’re looking forward to learning more.

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Five Delightful Ways to Create an Environment for Success

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:45

In order to create and sustain a successful and profitable business, it is essential that you live/work in an environment that supports that reality.

We all wear many hats and have countless responsibilities each day which can feel overwhelming at times. Trust me I know - I have two thriving businesses a husband and three kids! Quite often we’re exposed to and surrounded by so much negativity for example the news, crabby relatives etc.; it can make it challenging to be positive.

As a business owner/professional, it is your responsibility to create an environment for yourself that will allow you to thrive, flourish and reach your goals.

Five tips to create an environment for success

1. Beautify your physical environment/space.


Set up an office/workplace that you love to be in. Make sure it’s comfortable, quiet, and clutter-free. Your workspace should make you feel powerful!  Chances are if you are using the kitchen table as your office that is not the case. You may have to get creative and set up a specific spot for you to call your own. Soft music, candles and artwork can add to the ambiance.


2. Be very selective with who you spend your time with.

Focus on surrounding yourself with like-minded positive individuals. Individuals that support you in your dream and mission. Entrepreneurs can often feel isolated around people who have jobs because they don’t “get us”. Unfortunately, the negative Nelly’s in our lives can sometimes be family members which makes it quite difficult so, it is even more crucial to have other individuals in your life that you can share your hopes and dreams with or bounce new business ideas off of.


3. Become an avid student of personal growth/development.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur, requires you to become the best possible version of yourself. This means that you must work on your mindset daily, learn everything you can to master your craft and learn tips and strategies on how to structure and build your business for success. For the last 20 years, I have immersed myself in countless books, trainings and seminars to help me be the best that I can be. I have an incredible hunger for knowledge. Be careful not to get distracted, you must first focus on building your business, then carve out time in your schedule for personal and professional development. Chances are you already possess more than enough knowledge to add great value to others and start building a profitable business. 


4. Visualize exactly what you want your day to look like.

I cannot stress enough, how important this tip is! Take a few minutes each morning to do the following: Go to a quiet place. Relax by taking 3-5 deep cleansing breaths. Then, think about all the things that you are grateful for in your life. (ie your family, friends, health, your business that you love) That should put you in a peaceful state. Finally, think about what you have planned for your day – go through and visualize exactly how you want your day to turn out. Be specific! Go through each appointment and each task and visualize your desired outcome. This whole process from start to finish takes only about 10 minutes but, it can completely change the course of your day. By setting daily intentions you will start to have more focused, productive and prosperous days - guaranteed! Trust me it works!


5. Get the support you need.

Hiring an experienced coach or mentor to assist you on your journey to developing a successful business can be the number one way to get results right out of the gate. Once you invest in yourself amazing things will start to happen, opportunities will start to show up that are in alignment with your goals. A great coach or mentor can shorten your learning curve and create a roadmap to success based on their experiences. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! This will save you countless hours of your time not to mention ultimately saving you a ton of money. They will also make you accountable for doing the work necessary to be successful. Make sure you do your due diligence and find the coach that is the best fit for you.

You are where you are today because of the decisions you have made to date. Now is your chance to take responsibility for where you are now and use the 5 tips above to create an environment for you to flourish in your life and business! 

Question: Which of these 5 tips will you start implementing right away? Please share.

Bio: Megan Tull is the best-selling author of The Passion Belief Method- Own Your Value and Earn Your Worth in Business. Her passion and expertise is to assist high-achieving, success-minded business owners in re-designing or creating their business to align with their unique value and true-self “their brilliance” so, they can position themselves as a leader in their industry and stand out in a crowded marketplace – Allowing them to authentically attract their ideal “star” clients with ease generating more profits and more fun in their business. A business that enables them to be fulfilled and make an impact a huge in the world by sharing their unique gifts all while leading an authentic, joyful life based on balance and self-care. Learn more about Megan at
Megan Tull

Why You Should Grant the Occasional Mulligan

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:33

Women can be especially hard on themselves. Ever notice that? Harder on themselves and (sometimes even other women) than anyone else seated at the table.

Do you recognize yourself in any of the following scenarios?

  • You say the wrong word at a job interview, then replay it 742 times in your mind before falling asleep that night. 
  • You blow off a PTO meeting at your child’s school, and imagine every other parent giving you condescending looks in pickup line for weeks.
  • You notice a lingering piece of spinach in your teeth three hours after lunch, so you replay each and every human encounter, and try to remember whether she had a weird look on her face, and why, for the love of Pete, no one said anything! (You conclude that everyone must think you’re too far gone to mention it.)

Now here’s a thought… what does it really matter?

Smart women shrug off the small stuff and get on their way.

We’re pretty good at retail therapy, changing our outfit or hair color to pick ourselves up. We’re excellent at swapping one feeling for another, with the mental gymnastics that would leave most men in knots. E.g. Uncertainty over a promotion transfers easily into a desire to furiously clean the kitchen. Sadness over a friend’s illness slides into a full-on campaign to raise awareness on our social media pages.

We’re not as good at acceptance, and certainly not inclined to take a simple do-over. Why? Because errors need fixing. Failures need improving. With enough discussion, a new course of study, or a different approach, we can overcome any setback.

Women tend to internalize gaffes, rather than laugh them off. In an effort to prevent a second strike, we retreat and study, analyze, drink, wallow with a friend, or exercise, etc.

There’s always a remedy...

On the other hand, we could just try again.

Yep, without further ado, we could keep it simple and unabashedly try the exact same move a second time.

Paying little attention to small personal errors is the secret sauce of confident women.

Men do this well. That's not just anecdotal; studies have proven this. They take their Mulligans and make it look easy, because, in fact, it is.

Smart women use Mulligans to their same advantage. No harm, no foul. A Mulligan is a small gift. A freebie. No judgment about quality, or preparedness, skill or talent; a Mulligan is a straightforward Gimme. 

The reasons for taking a Mulligan are many and varied, but in the end, those are mere details. A Mulligan is simply there for the taking, so you should take yours as often as allowed.

Can you imagine getting out of your way with ease? When was last time you let yourself take another swing without any apologies?

The Mulligan Story

The Mulligan was invented by a man who knew how to make light of failure. As the story goes, David Mulligan had been rushing to meet his golf buddies; he claimed his hands were still vibrating from the drive when he stepped up to the first tee. (This was in the 1930’s, so cars weren’t what they are now.) After wildly botching his first drive, he simply grabbed another ball, re-teed it, and swung again.

He called it a “Correction Shot”.

What do you think happened? Did the sky fall down? Did his friends abandon him at the tee? Did the club revoke his membership? Did they get in a fight?

No. None of those things occurred. In fact, later at the 19th hole, everyone laughed about it. To top it off, it became a thing, a celebration of mistakes on the fairways and greens of the game. 

Imagine taking a correction shot with the sense that you are entitled to it. This is where things get shaky for those who strive for excellence. You hold personal high standards and expect the same of others. Errors should be duly noted. You play by the rules.

Is it possible to take a Mulligan without being riddled with guilt, shame, apology, or something on the imposter syndrome spectrum?

Know Your Deeper Intention

In her TEDtalk, Mallika Chopra (yes, the daughter of the yoga and new age guru Deepak Chopra) shares a story infused with a sense of humor and self-kindness. She was interviewing Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) about the theme of her blog, Intent, which, according to Mallika, means knowing who you are, what you want, and how you serve.

After a morning of nervous energy and a flight to meet this hero of hers, she ends up sitting with Eckhart, literally listening with him as church bells rang outside. Ding Dong, ding dong. Tick, tick, tick… She’d been granted only a few minutes for the interview and time was wasting away, it seemed. 

We’ve all been there. Anxious about blowing our best shot, missing an opportunity and feeling completely out of control about the situation. When the stakes are high – and to women, who are careening through life under stress of our daily, self-imposed high expectations, where almost all outcomes feel significant – how do you go about taking a Mulligan? 

In the end, Mallika was rewarded with more time and a productive interview. In short, a Mulligan suffused with self-given grace.

The Trouble with Best Intentions

Ironically, Intention is one of those words that sounds good, but there’s an underlying, implied foreboding attached: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” was a favorite quote of one of the nuns at my Catholic high school. I remember that every time I've aimed high and fallen short, which is to say, a thousand times.

  • I intended to make it home in time to cook dinner. But it's takeout again.
  • I intended to throw my mother a birthday bash. It ended up being just family for BBQ and cake.
  • I intended to help plan the charity event this year. I attended the dinner, at least.
  • I intended to give the perfect speech to my organization. I bungled the opening lines.

Still, there's hope and humor. Intention sets parameters for a good life story, regardless of the specific outcome of all the individual scenes. You know who you are. You know what you want. You know how you serve.

Life holds no guarantees. Some of your hopes and dreams will be dashed against the rocks before it's over. However, the chances of catastrophic failure grow slimmer if you’ve established a meaningful, personal intention as your foundation.

Intention gives you solid footing and the confidence to brush off mistakes. 

That way, when you swing and miss, it’s easier to confidently pull another ball out of your pocket. Of course, you didn’t intend to slice that ball into the woods. That would be silly. You intended to drive it straight down the fairway. 

And there it is.

The Power of Intention

Intention comes from a deep place. Its arc outreaches your day-to-day foibles. With practice, when you take the occasional Mulligan, expect to bounce around from mistake to mistake in a forward direction, with your intention intact.

Let’s make being easier on ourselves “a thing”. Let’s make Mulligans out of mountains and laugh... Please don’t forget to laugh.

No woman ever walked a straight or smooth path. Don't count on it yourself. You’re going to have to settle into the deep grooves of intention with a sense of humor and a smidgeon of self-grace, and take the occasional, unapologetic Mulligan.

Now you. When have you taken your Mulligan and laughed?

Jen McGahan

Reese Witherspoon’s Guide to Equality: Be Unapologetically Ambitious

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Submitted by Kelly Smith on Tue, 09/12/2017 - 05:53

What will it take to tip the gender scales? If you ask Reese Witherspoon, one of the most likeable women in Hollywood, she'll tell you women have got to stop worrying about being… well, likeable.

“What is likeable anyway? I’m allergic to that word,” The actress and producer wrote in a blog titled We Have to Change the Idea That a Woman With Ambition Is Out Only for Herself, for October’s issue of Glamour magazine.

In the magazine Reese focused on her personal struggles managing her own ambition… and how women have to do a better job of owning their power.  Here’s three things we can all learn from Reese’s personal journey… 

#1 Inequality sucks…but you’ve got to get past it and keep kicking ass

Most of us can picture Reese starring in Legally Blonde. Or maybe you’ve heard about her more recent HBO Show, Big Little Lies. What you don’t get to see— is the blood, sweat and tears Reese puts into her work as a producer. When she first started in Hollywood, women had less visibility on and off screen. So she had to create her own entertainment studio to honor the stories of powerful women.

Is it fair? Nope. But in her blog she writes,

“You can complain about these things. You can get stuck in the emotion of it—and sometimes I do, and I get really angry. I’ll get pissed off and stomp around the house. The anger comes from such a deep, real place for me. But my mother always said to me, ‘If you want something done, do it yourself.’”

“…Nobody hands me anything. I’ll wake up earlier; I’ll stay up later. I will put my money where my mouth is. I have to read faster, and I respond quicker than other producers. I have to call and call and call executives until they say yes to my projects.”

#2 Choose your allies carefully 

Reese is busy and admits that means sometimes people aren’t worth wasting your time on. If someone doesn’t value your own strength, cut them out of your life. This advice pertains to everyone from supervisors, friends and even your significant others:

“Run away from a man who can’t handle your ambition. So many men think ambition is sexy…”

#3 You’ve got an inner voice. Listen to her!

Face it, you probably have a good idea of what you want. Now is your time to reach out and get it. 

"That’s my advice: Just do what you do well. If you’re a producer, you’ve got to produce. If you’re a writer, you’ve got to write. If you’re in corporate America, keep working hard to bust through the glass ceiling... If you are one of those people who has that little voice in the back of her mind saying, “Maybe I could do [fill in the blank],” don’t tell it to be quiet. Give it a little room to grow, and try to find an environment it can grow in."

And if all else fails... channel your inner Elle Woods.

Read Reese's full blog here

Larissa at HERdacity

Q&A with Regina Merson on Her Makeup Brand and Life as a Latina, Female Entrepreneur

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Submitted by Kelly Smith on Wed, 08/30/2017 - 05:07

Translated... Reina Rebelde means Rebel Queen, which is perfectly embodied by the company's founder, Regina Merson. Regina dared to follow her dreams and gave up a career as a bankruptcy lawyer to pursue her passion for makeup and create a Latina inspired line. Check out our interview with Regina below where she talks about her influences growing up as a Latina woman and life as an entrepreneur.

Q: Women's entrepreneurship is on the rise and women now make up 40% of all entrepreneurs in the U.S. What do you think drove you to be an entrepreneur?

What drove me to become an entrepreneur was tremendous passion for cosmetics and even more passion for what the Latina experience in this country could be. I am a member of my own target consumer base, so I definitely sought to create something that really resonated with me personally.

Q: On your site you talk about how the duality of being both American and Latina informs your you think that duality also informs your approaches to being a business leader? 

Absolutely. There is the Latin-American way of doing things and the American way of doing things in life and in business. The Latin-American way is touchy-feely, full of emotion and very chatty.  But having a background as a lawyer, I have a good sense of how polished and direct things need to be when we work with American people. Ultimately, I try to blend a bit of both sides in all scenarios.

Q: What has been the most memorable response you have received by someone who used your products?

What definitely leaves such an impression on me, in knowing I wasn’t crazy for starting Reina Rebelde, is the non-stop consumer feedback we get via email and social media. So many Latinas relate and connect with Reina Rebelde and they all share the same sentiment, “Finally, a brand that gets us!” Seeing those messages come in every day makes this journey beyond memorable.

Q: In what ways do you think makeup can empower women?

In all ways! Makeup taps into the ritual of self-care and gives you the opportunity to be creative in a way that results in you looking and feeling your best. It gives you power and authority over aspects of yourself that can change the flow of the rest of your day.

Q: Growing up, who were your most important influences? How did they inform who you were as a woman?

My mother and my aunts were my biggest influences. They are intense, passionate women - highly opinionated, bright and a little bit crazy. But above all they have a tremendous sense of humor and insane loyalty to the other females in their lives. I think that has informed my opinion of being a woman - you have to help each other out, and most importantly, you have to know how to laugh at yourself.

Q: Describe the time when you realized women were treated differently than men… how old were you… what was the situation? What happened?

I realized this at a very young age in school - I had a handful of experiences where the expectations of the boys seemed less stringent than what was required of us. I never quite accepted, but I have become more comfortable with it now.

Q: When do you feel your most powerful?

Wearing an amazingly bold lipstick, doing something fun alone, but not lonely.

Q: We’re all about daring at HERdacity. What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

After college, I backpacked around Asia by myself for about 6 months. It was just something I felt in my gut I really needed to do. I was young, a bit naive, and felt pretty invincible. It turned out to be the most incredible adventure. I learned so much about who I was and what I was capable of by fending for myself in foreign places without speaking the local language. I had some close calls of things that could have gone very poorly, so I was lucky to make it home safely at the end.

Q: Do you have a mantra? 

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” - Joseph Campbell

Q: What are your go-to indulgences or guilty pleasures? 

Adventure travel, Flaming-Hot Cheetos, and sleeping in.

Q: You can pick one superpower… what would you choose?

Reading people’s and dog's minds (but mostly my dog’s mind).

Click here to check out more about Reina Rebelde

Regina Merson