Life's Work

Profit, passion and purpose. Whatever you're chasing, let's do it together.

Hover Image

Sexism and What You Can Do About It

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Thu, 03/08/2018 - 14:18

Stopping Sexism in the Workplace

With SXSW upon us, I’m happy to see HERdacity’s support of women come full circle. In June 2017, an inspired HERdacity community member, Annie Hardy, published a blog about sexual harassment in the work place. In her piece, Arianna Huffington's Uncomfortable Laugh, Hardy discusses the discomfort women feel (yes, even women as accomplished as Ms. Huffington) when they confront sexism head-on in the office. In this case, Huffington’s response to a sexist colleague on the board of Uber was an uncomfortable laugh.

Fight or Flight? 

As Hardy notes, Huffington’s awkward laugh is “a laugh we’ve all had to use” to deal with sexist situations at work while we process and determine our response. This observation struck me as a sad, but true, statement on situations I’ve experienced. We as women know when we’ve been disparaged. We puzzle through our possible reactions in the moment, our mind rapidly considering the options we have:

  • Should I say something or ignore it? 
  • Is it worth the risk to call the person out?  
  • Will it have an impact on my working relationships with him or others in the room?  
  • Will it negatively impact my career if I say something?  
  • Will it be worse for my career if I don’t say something?  
  • What are the best next steps?

Since publishing this article last June, Hardy has worked with others to develop an approach to confronting sexism in the workplace. She has joined forces with Molly Eyerman, President of Vivo Growth Partners, Erika Gable, Executive Director of Women’s Small Business Accelerator, and Sam Baber, Consultant at the Talent Experience Agency, to present a SXSW panel on March 10, 2018 entitled "See it, Hear it, Stop it: Fighting Sexism at Work."

Sexism and What You Can Do About It  

To support the panel’s efforts, Hardy reached back out to HERdacity to develop a free, downloadable toolkit. Stopping Sexism in the Workplace is a toolkit based on the collaboration between Hardy, Eyerman, and the HERdacity team and will be made available on HERdacity’s website on March 9, 2018. The toolkit serves as a take-away for companies and individuals interested in confronting occupational harassment in the workplace. 

Specifically, the toolkit aims to facilitate discussions around occupational sexism and to broaden awareness through small group discussions or HR-led compulsory trainings. The document will serve as a starting point for a group discussion or conversation around occupational harassment. The toolkit defines occupational harassment, identifies how it can be recognized in the workplace, and provides actionable next steps. 

If you think your organization may be interested in continuing this type of a dialog, click the link to download it below.

Stopping Sexism in the Workplace

Don’t miss HERdacity’s three-part series, HER Guide to SXSW, where we curate women-centric panels, like See It, Hear it, Stop it. The HER Guide to SXSW brings you a women-focused view you won’t want to miss. Part II of the HER Guide offers get-aways for women at SXSW when the crowds become too overwhelming. We feature alternative places to work out, coffee houses off the beaten trail, and one-of-a-kind shopping. Part III of the series offers freebie SWSW events for women that don’t require a badge.

her guide headline
Affiliated Post
Mary at HERdacity

5 Ways You Can Support International Women's Day

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:36
In 1910, the U.S. celebrated the first National Women’s Day, becoming international in nature just one year later with over 100 women in 17 countries. By 1912, over one million women and men attended rallies in support of women’s rights.  

While women’s issues have evolved from working conditions and suffrage to representation and wage gaps (to name a few), there is still the challenge of gender parity.   

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and take action.  

Here are 5 things you can do: 

  1. Maintain a gender parity mindset 

  1. Challenge stereotypes and bias’ 

  1. Forge positive visibility of women by mentoring 

  1. Influence others’ beliefs or actions 

  1. Celebrate female achievements 

In only three years, a few thought leaders came together to create a movement that influenced over a million people across the world to march on behalf of women’s rights. If we can make that kind of progress 100 years ago, just imagine what we can do now.  

women with flowers

Affiliated Post
Team @ HERdacity

It's All About Who You Know

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 14:57
Sub Title
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:

Affiliated Post

Leaning Back In: 5 Tips for Women Returning to Work

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Tue, 01/30/2018 - 13:28

In the US, women are the primary caregivers, often opting to drop out of the workforce to care for children, aging parents, and ailing relatives. According to a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (2010), of the 90% of women who wanted to resume their careers after taking time off to have children, 70% found a way to return to their careers but only 40% found full-time, mainstream work. In addition, a growing share of stay-at-home mothers say they are home-bound because they cannot find a job (6% in 2017, up from 1% in 2000).

What do stay-at-home moms do all day?

After 15 years in the professional world, I stepped back to stay home and raise my kids. It used to bother me when people would ask if I “worked”.  At dinner parties, someone would inevitably try and make conversation with me by asking,  

“Do you work?”    

“Oh, yes,” I’d answer. 

 “What do you do?” they’d continue.  

“I cook, I clean, drive kids, help with homework…it’s 24/7.”

They would laugh, as if there was some joke there, then look away uncomfortably when they saw I wasn’t kidding. 

For some reason, the type of work a woman does when she cares for her family often does not count as “work”. Nor does it count as legitimate career development, presumably because money does not change hands.  The reality is, staying home for a time to care for your family is both a job and an education.   

Most working moms step back from their careers at some point to raise children, whether for a few months, a few years or a few decades.  And when they do, they find that they undergo a unique hands-on, pressure-cooker type of leadership program. It has long hours, zero pay and a hap-hazard vacation policy, at best. Technically, they do not even get sick days. But what they do get is an excellent management education. They learn to motivate, lead, negotiate, train, manage a budget, and drive to results with the most difficult, untrained work force imaginable: children under the age of 10. 

Yet, for women seeking to return to the paid workforce, this intense leadership education gets little or no recognition in an interview setting. Unless you’re going for a nanny position, the person across the desk may not readily acknowledge the people management or budgeting skills you’ve developed in your hands-on, stay-at-home Mom program. One of the biggest challenges a woman faces when returning to the work force is how to take the experience she has gained in her time off and leverage it to land a paid position. 

career mom










Here are some tips that helped me, and could help you, make the most out of your stay at home experience.

1. Break down the tasks you’ve used at home into marketable skills- 

You may have developed digital and networking skills through social media, blogging or other online programs. If you’re like many women, you’ve spent a big portion of your time volunteering and helping at your kid’s school. You’ve raised money by selling tickets for events, rounded up and managed volunteer workers to get the job done, and thrown entire events often without spending a dime. 

In job terms, these skills are: 

  • Social media & communications 

  • Sales management, 

  • Project team leadership and, 

  • Event planning.  

These are all resume builders.  Step back and look at what you’ve done and the skills you’ve developed as an employer might see them.  Whether you performed them for an educational institution, a nonprofit entity or an athletic leisure association, you’ve done it.  Remember to be specific and state the percentage of total revenues you drove, the number of people you managed and the impact you had on the organization.  These are all sound building blocks for a resume which reflect what you’ve accomplished in your “time off.” 

2. Showcase your skillset digitally-

Once you’ve got your resume updated, make sure you set a credible and updated online presence on LinkedIn.  Using the building blocks of the career skills you outlined above, try showing your experience by skillset rather than chronologically if your work experience is not recent.  Then develop your digital footprint by attaching a professional photo and by growing your network to around 100 connections, initially and ultimately to 500+ as your network grows.   

Remember to round out your profile by stating what is important to you and what you value. Employers appreciate volunteer work and want to see your personality in addition to your skills.  Spend some time making your profile is as complete as possible and include a crisp summary paragraph stating what you’re looking for and the skills you have to demonstrate your capability in this area.   

3. Network through your immediate circle of friends- 

Though you may not have been in the work place recently, you still have the ability to develop a strong network.  In addition to the strong network from your daily interactions, remember that the women you see in car pool lines, waiting for kids at after school activities and volunteering at your child’s school also have connections.  They may have spouses with jobs, know others that work for companies in your area or hold jobs themselves. They are not only great networking opportunities, but women you can develop personal relationships with that could help you professionally later on.

4. Have your elevator pitch ready-

It is important to you take some time to sketch out a brief description of what you're looking for—your elevator pitch-- and rehearse it in private until it rolls off your tongue naturally.   The more confident and well-articulated this "pitch" is the more credible you'll appear. Start by announcing your intent to get a job to friends and share the pitch which you've rehearsed in private earlier.   

Friends want to help; ask them if they know anyone you can reach out to for an informational interview.   Most people are happy to share information as long as they do not feel put on the spot to hire you and will be happy to connect you by email.  In your informational interview, ask questions about the industry, the company or their job responsibilities to bring yourself up-to-date in your field of interest. Any of these conversations can convert to more interviews and ultimately, an actual job. 

5. Persevere- 

It may not happen overnight (and probably won't), but your chance to move from an unpaid position to a part-time paid position or from a side hustle to a full-time job is out there.  Be open to volunteer opportunities if it expands your skill set (and your resume!) and don’t forget to ask for a detailed LinkedIn recommendation for your work contributions.  You can keep your efforts going strong by connecting with other friends that are looking to pivot, too.  It’s more fun to go with someone to the career meet-ups, lectures or career fairs. 


Ultimately, as in other areas of life, you will get out of your job hunt what you put into it. If you take some time to figure out what you want, articulate the new  skills your time off has given you, and share your abilities with friends and potential employers, you will stand out.  And when you do get that job, remember to take time and encourage that next woman who may be trying to move out of her comfort zone and find a way back to paid employment.  

Affiliated Post
Mary at HERdacity

The Female Farmer Looks Like This

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:07
Sub Title
An Interview with Audra Mulkern, Filmmaker

Think of a farmer. Did you picture an older white man in overalls and a piece of straw sticking between his teeth? Audra Mulkern wants to change that.

Realistically, women now make up 30% of farm operators in the U.S. (almost triple from just 3 decades ago) yet their work is often unappreciated or unrecognized. Audra founded “The Female Farmer Project” to shine a spotlight on hardworking female farmers around world through a multi-platform documentary. Combing stories, personal essays, photography and a podcast she is determined to give a voice to these women.

What initially got you interested in photographing farms and farmers? What sparked this blog?

One summer day, I was standing in the middle of my local farmer's market. I was just admiring the color and artful bounty that the farmers bring every week trying to decide what to buy next. I was watching the farmers interact with the shoppers, and each other and all of the sudden it struck me. Behind every single table was a woman. I wondered what was going on – was my community special to have so many women farmers? Or had I bought into a gender stereotype?  So I went to the library. Yes, strangely enough – that moment struck me enough to the point that I would go to the library to research. What I discovered amongst so many things is that women were missing from the narrative -- from the data, from the stories, from the pictures. So I decided to do something about it. Only problem, I wasn’t a photographer, didn’t even own a camera much less know how to use one. I had never written anything besides emails and Facebook posts, I didn’t know how to start a project mapping a group of people. Nothing. I had no experience, education, authority or permission. So I had to write my own permission slip.  

What are some of the best things these farmers have taught you? If not directly, has sharing their stories taught you something?

I have learned to redefine what success looks like. Many of the women that I have met are first generation farmers, and like myself are on their encore career. They’ve had the corporate job and gave it up along with the security of stock options, health insurance, annual bonuses, and paid vacations for something entirely new with no guarantees. I have also learned to observe nature more carefully. I’ve noticed that women farmers and ranchers know almost immediately if something is wrong in their herd or flock. And I’m constantly impressed with the intellectual challenges that farming brings. I think at first glance people might brush off farming as easy. But wow – farming employs STEM all day every day. There is nothing easy about it.

Why do you think it is so important to share women's stories? Particularly female farmers stories?

I mentioned that women farmers were missing from the data and the narrative. What that means is that their contributions and their stories have not been told. Only for the last forty years has the USDA Census tracked gender statistics, and even then the questions have been gender-biased and resulted in incomplete data. By telling their stories, by providing a platform for them to tell their stories, we rewire ourselves for the empathy to make change. What change? To change policy that was written without women in mind. To help create paths for women to better access tools, training and financing. It’s critical to tell these stories.

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

I grew up in the 70s and 80s – mid women’s movement. Many of the women around me were just beginning to work outside of the home, but perhaps not in their dream job or career. I truly feel that my mother would have made an amazing architect but she worked in social services. While important and fulfilling to her in many ways, I always had that lingering feeling that she and many of the women her age were held back by societal norms. I am grateful to them for paving that path. And now as a mother of an 18-year-old young woman – I am even more grateful because she feels powerful in her skin and her path has fewer obstacles than mine.

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

Early in my career at a large software company, I was in a conference room conducting contract negotiations with a Japanese company; it was a male negotiator on their side, plus his female secretary and a few other men. I too was the only woman on the other side with my male team. I had a male translator in the room and the Japanese businessman asked him if I had the authority to negotiate the contract. The translator made sure I knew what he had just asked. I was grateful to know that I now had the upper hand; his misogyny was his fatal flaw and I got everything I wanted in the contract. I hope his secretary was silently cheering for me!

When do you feel your most powerful?

When I have helped another woman tell her story. Too often women feel as if it’s bragging. It’s not bragging if it’s true.

Or the pressure to be perfect is so overwhelming that they apologize for their story. Your story is as perfect and valid as anyone’s. Find power in your uniqueness.

Or, and this is a big one. Women don’t feel like they have the authority. Remember, I didn’t have the authority to do what I do. But I wrote my own permission slip and I am asking women to do the same. Even if you have to sit down and type it up and sign it and tape it to your wall. Give yourself the permission and the authority - don’t wait for someone else to give it to you.

Were all about daring at HERdacity. What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

I have done a few crazy things in my life, like flying off to all parts of the world on my own at age 18. I worked for an airline and was determined to take full advantage of my free flight benefits. But honestly, sometimes the most daring and scary thing is to hit the send or submit button - but the feeling after you’ve done it is as amazing and adrenaline filled as if you had jumped out of an airplane!

Do you have a mantra?

“There is no path, the path is made by walking.”  

I love this saying by Antonio Machado, it’s part of a longer poem. But that one line gets me through the times when I feel like I am in the weeds. For me, it means to keep my head down and work to create my own path.


What do you carry in your purse or bag with you every day?

In my camera bag, in addition to my camera, I carry two lenses, an extra battery and charger, and a lens cloth. But I also carry a rain bonnet that I found in my husband’s great aunt’s camera bag. It’s from the 1950s, its unused and in a sweet little plastic container. It’s my talisman. I also have red lipstick, sharpies, a granola bar, and thank you notes. Because with red lips I feel pulled together, sharpies are never a bad idea, I get super hungry after a shoot and manners never go out of style – people love to feel appreciated. l love sending and receiving thank you notes. The things I don’t carry - insecurity, other people’s expectations or past mistakes.

What are 3 things left on your bucket list?

Great question! Hike Machu Pichu, take a pottery class and be published in the New York Times.

What are your go-to indulgences or guilty pleasures?

I didn’t have T.V. for almost a decade so I have been out of the pop culture loop. I recently got satellite and streaming services - and my guilty pleasure is watching the Real Housewives of New York. I’m still pretty far back in the seasons, but I’m hooked. What should I watch next when I’m done?

You can pick one superpower… what would you choose?

Inbox Zero!

female farmers
Audra Mulkern, filmmaker
Affiliated Post

Manage Your Time to Spread More Cheer

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Wed, 12/13/2017 - 13:04
Sub Title
The Ultimate Holiday Time Management List for Women Who Do Too Much

You know who you are…


When December rolls around, do you load up on parties, cooking and baking, gifting or charity work?


Maybe you’re one of those women who rings ALL the holiday bells. It’s the season of merriment, so more is more, right?


No, not if it means you enter the new year so bedraggled that you don’t catch up until March. If you find yourself piling on too much of a good thing, you can still salvage some peace this season.


Time Management for the Crazy-Busy Woman


Want to get better at actually enjoying the holiday with family and friends, and maybe even find time to feed your spirit?


Here are twelve ways to manage your precious time:


Whittle your list... 


of parties, of gift recipients, of donations, etc. Better yet, add yourself to the list. That way, you can say you’re already booked that weekend, and you won’t be lying.


Consider multitasking.


Combine chores with fun holiday activities, like a shopping spree with time spent with a loved one. Include an hour ice skating or painting pottery, or making a gingerbread house. Enjoy the time with a child or an older relative and relish the gift.


Plan in some self-care.


Put a necessary task on the calendar and make the intention to add some self-care, or an activity you enjoy. For example, wrapping presents could be spent with a holiday movie, a glass of wine or tea, or you could diffuse some essential oil into the air and enjoy your favorite playlist.


Buy the same gift for everyone.


Growing up, my grandpa always gave us kids a silver coin (or several, depending on the spot price). Each year, I try to find a gift that satisfies a lot of different tastes. One year, I gave nearly everyone a kitchen tool I found I couldn’t live without; another year, I gifted a jar of a wonderful new spice. This year I found some mush-able pocket back backs. When you discover something versatile, affordable, and fabulous, buy ten of them.


Forget a tradition or two.


Just literally forget about them. You don’t have to feed every ghost from years past. If you want to take a break from your annual open house, give yourself permission. Someone else in the neighborhood will take up the slack if it’s important to them. Don’t forget you have every right to design the holiday YOU want and need.


And if you think you can get by with it, just play dumb. Try this. Say “Oh, my goodness, I forgot to make the oysters, I can’t believe it.” You can say that, can’t you? No one will die.


Keep children’s activities to a minimum.


Don’t say yes to every kid-friendly event in town. Your kid will thank you, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a calmer child. A busy kid is a cranky kid.  Remember the joy in looking forward to Christmas itself, without all the hullabaloo every single weekend for weeks leading up to the big day? Pure magic happens in the off-moments. December used to be a blessed and fun month, and it can be again. Your family depends on YOU to set limits for their sanity.


Double up with family member or friend.


Trade services during the busiest month of the year. Find creative ways to pare away driving time, shopping time, etc. and you might find it’s a habit you want to continue throughout the year.


Schedule the service.


Take advantage of caterers, delivery services, drive-through, and easy shipment options. OK, so the local caterer doesn’t offer Aunt Tia’s corn pudding like you can, but it can serve up scrumptious food and deliver it right to your door. Why not use them?


Expedite errands.


Whenever possible, check to see if the store allows you to order online and have the gifts ready and waiting at the counter for pick up. That way you don’t have to go in and get sucked into the consumer craziness. This one’s a game changer.


Don’t let stress build up.


When you’re at work, work. When you’re at home or playing, then play. Don’t mix the two. Get stuff done at work when you’re supposed to be working, and when it’s time to have fun, go all in. Respect others’ schedules and insist they respect yours. Pull the plug on social media when you’re trying to get something done at the office.  Put your phone in a drawer. Focus!


Build a buffer.


Create a margin of time around all your to-dos. Schedule in extra time to buffer your errands and tasks. Make it a priority to account for transitions and necessary transportation time so you don’t feel stressed and rushed. There will be traffic!


Share your calendar with your family members.


Make sure their calendars are in sync with yours. No surprises! Touch base at least every other day to ensure you’ve got that important business party on the books, or the children’s choir event on everyone’s mind. You might even schedule a movie or game night to enjoy with just your closest insiders. MAKE TIME to relax!


Peace on Earth


A few small tweaks to an obnoxiously full calendar can do a world of good toward promoting peace on earth, at least your little corner of it. The big idea behind time off at Christmas is to enjoy the people you love, to reconnect and reflect on the good stuff in life. If you don’t plan to enjoy it, you’ll choke on your schedule and miss the greatest gifts of the year.


How do you find ways to take it easy during the holiday season?


manage time, spread more cheer
manage time, spread more cheer
Affiliated Post
HERdacity staff

How to Extend Your Giving This Season

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:04
Sub Title
Five Ways to Maximize Your Donation

Giving Tuesday has come and gone.


If you were online, you probably noticed the hashtag cropping up on all your social sites, emails and popups from participating organizations. Maybe you investigated a campaign that spoke to you, and pulled out your credit card.


The holidays are prime time for charities to add to the “noise” amidst the rampant consumerism. There’s the office project, the school kids’ donations of toys and coats, the church’s giving tree, the gifts and greetings sent in shoeboxes overseas, the extra donation at the checkout at every store, the holiday letter from your alma mater, and of course, Santa ringing the bell on the corner.


Without some sort of plan, you may feel that your giving has no impact at all. After all, what do a few dollars here and there really matter? How much thought do you put into those decisions to donate?


Fundraisers rely on the fact that many people simply give without thinking. They wait to be asked, or receive solicitations in the mail, and react to appeals on an as-needed basis. This “Splatter Philanthropy” benefits many charities and is the preferred way of giving for many people.


Giving Tuesday is here to stay, because most people feel good about giving when they’re asked, especially after the feast and spend of Thanksgiving weekend. Charities benefit, too. In 2016, $168 Million was raised for US charities and nonprofit organizations, with an average gift of $107 per donation. 


While those numbers are increasing year over year, Giving Tuesday is a random event for many. Consider that 93% of consumers are familiar with Black Friday, but only 18% are familiar with Giving Tuesday. The international day of giving sneaks up on people and delights – partly because of the unexpected flush of joy that goes along with generosity.


In contrast, people who make giving a part of their overall financial plan and life mission report an even greater sense of purpose and satisfaction.


Impactful Giving


Many people focus on their charitable giving in December. As companies and individuals close the books on the year, some make it a priority to ensure they’ve “done enough.” Many people give sporadically all holiday season, yet even with a giving budget, they may not know the total impact of their donations.


That’s why it pays to plan your charitable giving to last through Giving Tuesday and beyond. Here are a few ways to extend your generosity and make sure your gifts have the maximum effect on those you aim to help.


Five Ways To Stretch Your Giving Dollars


Choose three causes you are passionate about, and build your giving strategy around those. Envision a future that you want to see, and then approach your giving as a way to attack the biggest problem that thwarts it. As Financial Planner Erin Botsford writes, “don’t ignore the other things [you] care about… just overweigh [your] giving in those three areas.


Do your research and give where your dollars will have the greatest impact. Will your gift feed 5 people or 50? Provide 10 pairs of shoes or 100? Look into the organizations you like and read their annual reports. Check their ratings on Guidestar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, or Guidestar.…  Are they using their constituent’s dollars wisely or spending it on overhead and salaries? Make decisions that reflect your belief in their responsibility.


Give regularly. Setting up an automatic monthly gift is a bold act. Many would say this requires faith, especially if you’re living on a tight budget. But whether you are giving because of a spiritual belief or not, the fact that you are committing to a bank draft on the same day every month reveals the kind of spiritual hope that boosts the act of giving. Giving audaciously means giving with the belief that there will be enough. This mindset is built on the requisite belief that we’re not running out; and there is not a finite amount to go around. By giving first, we’re guaranteeing that we’ll all have enough. (Sorry if that sounds a little woo woo.) If you have any doubts, remember this: The secondary benefit of regular giving is that the practice helps you become a better money manager for your personal finances, too. As with any financial habit, start small and learn how to budget for giving all year long.


Consider saving money aside for emergencies. When the next disaster strikes, will you be able to provide assistance the way you’d like? Unfortunately the next tragedy is always just around the corner. If you have the resources to give, and if you are likely to do so, save a fund outside your usual amount and keep it in reserve for special relief efforts.


Finally, put your expertise, skills, and time behind your money. Work for the causes you support with your financial gifts. Share what your favorite organization is doing with your friends, family and colleagues, or on your blog or social media pages. Enlist support when needed and appropriate. Attend board meetings. Become a loyal ally in the organizations you prefer and donate a little of yourself to the cause. Not only will you have an inside view into your organizations, but you will multiply your efforts and inner satisfaction by mingling your personal energy to your money.


This holiday season, why not Invest an hour or two in this project. Make a date with your checkbook, your computer, and your family or spouse, and make a concerted plan. The haphazard online donation is heartwarming, but if you’d like to start creating a deeper, more lasting impact with the money you give, focus on the bigger picture and the real change you’d like to see in the world.

Extend Your Giving This Season.
Extend Your Giving This Season.
Affiliated Post
HERdacity staff

Socks Can Be Gloves: Seven Lessons From My First Boss

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Mon, 11/06/2017 - 06:05

The buildup for the movie Friday Night Lights always excites and takes me back to an amazing time.

I think about tryouts, spring training, camps, two-a-days, practices in Texas’ heat, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the pressure to be better—both individually and as a team. If you love this hype as much as I do, then I must tell you that the “Texas tough” to which I refer isn’t ballers; it’s my drill team, the Eastwood High School Trooperettes—70-ish of the best young women in my high school—and our leader, an extraordinary woman and a force not to be messed with, Patricia Hufford. 

To be honest—and I think I speak for all members of my team—no one wanted to disappoint The Huff! Patricia Hufford—one of the most influential women in a leadership position I ever had the pleasure to work—instilled within me life lessons I didn’t realize I was learning at the time.

Thou Shall and Thou Shall Not — Great leaders get everyone on the same page.

From parents and other caregivers to every squad member, we where one team, and everyone knew the rules...

For The Huff, there were no surprises.

I first met The Huff in 1986; I would be an incoming freshman and had just made the dance team. Before summer started, there was the obligatory new member orientation. I remember taking my mother to Eastwood and finding my name on the roster posted outside the gym door. Afterward, my mom and I quickly moved inside and took our places among other neophytes and their adults. In true form, we started on time—the first rule of Trooperettes: Don’t be late. I’ll get to this later. After a few pleasantries and gratitudes, The Huff dove into her first order of business—which my mother would later dub, The Thou Shall and Thou Shall Nots of being a Trooperette—that is, clear, concise rules, expectations, and The Huff’s philosophies. After revealing her plans for a successful year, The Huff opened the meeting to questions. I am quite sure my mother thought I was going to get my ass kicked, but little did she know, I was inspired! 

Once the meeting concluded, I was officially a Trooperette! I was with my people, and, I truly believed in my soul, this group was everything in life. Together we would be better than the teams before us; and, with The Huff as a master for setting our vision and tone, we were going to expand our worlds in ways I never saw coming. 

The Captains & Officers — Great leaders delegate. 

I must admit I wasn’t prepared for the hard work!  Looking back, it was some of the hardest physical challenges I have ever done. But, because I was doing my best, I didn’t care how much effort it took.

The Huff’s Trooperette structure was profoundly smart. She didn’t have time to deal with 70+ teenage women, one-on-one, all of the time. For this reason, she put in place a strong leadership team of captains and officers—juniors and seniors trained and trusted by her to make us successful … well, as much trust as one can give 17- and 18-year-olds. Through my 14-year-old lens, each day leaders pushed us outside of ourselves and our comfort zones, encouraging us to give more and perform better. Because all Trooperettes explicitly understood The Huff’s system, most issues and disputes were settled amongst ourselves. 

Pretty soon I began seeing other newbies and myself being transformed—growing out of our individual unsure selves into confident and talented young women.

No Pass, No Play — Great leaders inspire others to show up and are fully present.  

Football season was intense, and I’m not talking about for the football players. Seriously … we practiced in both early morning and after school. Somehow—between The Huff’s requirements, home responsibilities, fun and schoolwork—we managed to knock out class credits. Simply put: If we didn’t pass all classes, we didn’t get to dance. Long story short, Trooperettes—like other athletes—had to be present in class, organized and focused to keep up with every aspect of high school life. 

You must know, Patsy Hufford was probably 5'2" in heels. She always had perfect hair, makeup and dressed to the nines. She also had a big voice, which was often magnified by her companion, Bullhorn. Whether she walked into Trooper Stadium, a gym or a room, The Huff was a presence. 

Every Thursday night during football season, we performed full-blown rehearsals with the marching band. On one of these Thursdays none of us—from captains on down—had our stuff together. If memory serves me, we had become too big for our britches—that is to say, we got this; let’s slack off. The storm brewing could be felt in the air.

On the field and from my side of the line, I watched The Huff walk up one side of the stadium with Bullhorn. After making her way to the top center of the stadium, the music started, and we performed our initial run-through. Afterward and as she gave very specific instructions through Bullhorn, we knew it was bad. As we moved from one run-through to another without using Bullhorn, her instructions became more and more terse and exact. Finally, with the last run-through done, the music stopped.

The Huff raised Bullhorn and bellowed, “Run until I get tired.”

We ran what seemed to be an hours—I suspect it was probably 800 meters—before she finally let us stop. It was over … so we thought. The Huff gave us a much-deserved lecture about being prepared and showing up. Once done, she made our entire squad move to the practice field, where we rehearsed until it was right. 

I learned a lot from The Huff in those moments. If you want to be among the best, you also have to be present, fully engaged and give a damn about yourself and your team; and every single person, without question, has the responsibility to do their absolute best. 

Figure It Out — Great leaders know women are smart and powerful. 

One night my team danced at a band booster banquet. And for some reason, I thought I had taken all elements of my uniform with me. As we prepared for the warm-up, I pulled my clean white shoes, skirt and shirt from my bag; but no white gloves. All I could think to myself was “Shiiiiiit!” I called my mom, panicked, “Please find my white gloves and bring them when you come. I have to have them!”

In true form, my mother could not find my lost white gloves. I started freaking out, thinking about 400 meters I would run the following morning! As I paced, trying to find a solution, I remembered a pair of white Bill Blass socks in my bag. Hmmmm! I hatched a plan: I could fold the socks to look like mittens; and if I positioned my hands correctly, no one would know!

The performance went well and no one saw my glove/socks … so I thought. MY MOTHER saw my mittens and made a gut-wrenching laugh during our entire performance. Once the booster meeting was over, she and I made our way to The Huff to say good night … or at least this is what I thought would be the gist of the conversation. Succinctly stated: My mother snitched. Sure my mother laughed as she told the story, but she wouldn’t have to pay the piper 400 meters — I would! To my surprise and delight, though, The Huff totally caught me off guard. She had me put on my sock gloves. A few moments later she took her turn laughing hard. Afterward, she said, “Never let it be said that these young women aren’t smart!”

Lesson learned: Adversity comes and goes, then comes back again. Figure out the problem, solve it and move on … unless, of course, your mother is a tattletale. 

Hawaii x Two — Great leaders dream big and create. 

I, along with many of my peers, were lucky young women—able to travel to Hawaii twice in high school. Both trips because of Patsy Hufford. Not only did she organize the trip—planes, hotels, transportation, volunteers, chaperones, fundraisers and much more—but she also got Eastwood High and the Ysleta Independent School District to approve both trips! If you have done anything outside the box with an institution, you completely understand these amazing gifts she gave us. Later I would come to realize her valuable lesson: It takes as much energy to dream big as it does to dream small. For this reason, dream big and put forth the best efforts possible to make it happen.

Both times that we competed in Hawaii, we performed really well. Yet, the Pearl Harbor Memorial and talking to a veteran who witnessed the attack impacted me more. Missing a few days of school and the actual tournament were important. But building memories and experiences that could never be taught in classrooms and textbooks deeply affected me more. Thanks, Huff.

I Hate Running — Great leaders have mandates (i.e. Don’t be late.)

The Huff was a stickler for lots of things, with arriving on time at the top of the list. Consequently, The Huff had a magical algorithm for keeping tardies to a minimum: Run one track lap for each minute tardy (I think. Goodness, it’s been decades since I was in high school). I hated running. For this simple reason I was determined never to arrive late for any Trooperette activity. I’m quite sure over the course of four years I hit the track for a couple of minor infractions, but not once for punctuality. To this day, I am 99.99999% on time for events, meetings and flights. The Huff absolutely played a role in my ability to respect not only time itself, but others’ time as well. And, like my disdain for running, I do not want others waiting on me.

We Are National Champions! — Great leaders belong—or act like they belong—because they do!

It was 1988-ish. Madonna, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston were big stars on Billboard; The Cosby Show was the number-one TV show; and the Eastwood High School Trooperettes were preparing to compete on the national stage—televised by ESPN. 

Arriving at the competition, I felt old inadequacies stirring and taking hold, especially those reminding me that I was different. The stares, the whispers from faces reminding me, once again, I did not fit in. Simply put, I became wide-eyed, overwhelmed and scared.

As an African American growing up, culturally I often felt alone. It was as though I was trapped on a deserted island surrounded by a sea of cultures—including my own—and I belonged to none of them. At some point during my early youth, I learned to hide my fears and uncertainties and began swimming in these troubled waters. Hindsight—and I certainly didn’t understand this at the time—I was developing adaptation skills—that is, no one is the same person in all situations, and the ability to improvise proves invaluable.

Reflecting now, I imagine all of my teammates with ginormous eyes, full of anxiety and body language reeking from a sense of not belonging. After all, we would be facing elite teams from across the United States that were suppose to be there. We were a bunch of misfit, greenhorns from El Paso, Texas—as far West Texas as you can go. Perhaps she saw our panic, perhaps she saw our deer-in-the-headlight faces, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. What I do know and vividly remember is The Huff.

Using her bullhorn-less, calm, confident voice, she gathered us together and spoke four prodigious words, which I still rely on to this day: “Act like you belong.”  

That was all it took—four-simple, yet powerful encouraging words from this five-foot-nothing of a woman whom we respected and admired. Not only did we respond and rise to the occasion—possibly out of fear from running 400 meters in front of all the veteran teams—but we won! 

This Huff lesson is one of the most important pieces of advice anyone has ever given me: I don’t have to fake and/or fear belonging, because I do belong! Some people call it experience; I call it confidence.

Patsy Hufford Kimble — My first boss

I was in a meeting earlier this summer with a few CEOs who happened to be women. During part of our discussion, I realized the importance of celebrating women who have helped on our journeys. The Huff: my first badass boss, my mentor, my coach, my teacher, one amazing woman and someone I continue to aspire to make proud!

Many thanks to all of the Trooperettes (and cheerleaders) who encouraged this article and helped me locate our first female boss. 

Leslie Wingo

Three Networking Secrets to Build Your Dream On

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
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.

Headline Image
Thumbnail Image
Herdacity team

Five Delightful Ways to Create an Environment for Success

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
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