Is there anyone who doesn’t dread networking? This article contains great tips on how to network, networking for women, career advice for women, and how to be more authentic. If you want to find clients fast and grow your business, this article breaks down strategies to make the networking piece easier and more fun. Click through to read the article and leave a comment to let us know: which networking tip is your favorite?
If you’re struggling to overcome perfectionism or if you’re struggling to stop procrastinating in your business or career, paralysis by analysis could be problem. In this in-depth blog post, I explain exactly what analysis paralysis is, why it’s here, and 5 ways to get unstuck so you can find your passion, work your magic, and achieve your goals. Click through to see which steps will work best for you!
I never know what’s a Southernism and what’s not.
When we were planning our wedding, I asked my Massachusetts-born fiance what he wanted to do for his groom’s cake, and he stared at me blankly. “What’s a groom’s cake?”
“You know, the wedding cake is a towering confection of delicate white buttercream swirls and the groom’s cake is…..well, just for the groom. It’s something fun that shows his interests like a sports team or something, and it’s usually chocolate. You’ve seen it a hundred times. What do you want for yours?”
“I’m pretty sure you just made that up to get extra cake.”
“I did not!”
“Well, it’s clearly just a Southern thing, because I have never heard of that.”
In his defense, yes—I would totally concoct a lavish story in order to get extra cake, but I was completely sincere in my question to him. I hadn’t paused to consider what traditions were universal and what were unique to my tiny cultural experience.
So when I tell you I’m changing my relationship with backtalk, you’ll have to forgive me if “backtalk” is a purely Southern expression. For the purposes of you not thinking I made this up to get extra cake, let’s define “backtalk.”
Backtalk is a verbal expression of disagreement with authority. It’s something you do when you’ve been given instructions you don’t vibe with.
Mom: “Clean your room.”
Kid: “But I don’t want to! Cleaning rooms is stupid!”
Mom: “Have you lost your damn mind? Don’t backtalk me!”
The “clap back” emoji works the same way.
While it’s completely normal and reasonable for a mom to want her kid to clean up without a bunch of drama, for highly sensitive kids already prone to people-pleasing and perfectionism, the message can become skewed. What started as, “I’m the authority figure; when I say don’t play in the street, you need to listen to me” has the potential to become “I’m the authority figure; my way is the only correct way of being. Get in line.”
And sooo much of our culture operates on listening to an outer authority figure to find and maintain that line, especially in our careers. No wonder so many of us have trouble standing up for ourselves, moms and inner children alike!
No wonder so many of us deeply long to follow our own path, but feel terrified of everyone else’s judgment. No wonder we shut down our desire to make a difference and choose the “responsible” path at all costs. No wonder we yearn for impact but end up wondering if we’re “qualified” enough instead.
In this community alone, most of us could write a book filled with times we’ve spoken up and been slapped down. It’s a wonder we continue to speak at all.
I grew up thinking backtalk was bad—literally the worst thing you could do as a daughter, and when I joined the workforce, I took my “good daughter” persona with me, not speaking up, not questioning, not disagreeing with what I knew was wrong.
And you know where the “good daughter” got me? Smack dab in the middle of a team I didn’t like, at a company I didn’t align with, with a mission I couldn’t stand.
Just like I never questioned the universality of groom’s cake, I never questioned the “backtalk is bad” story that unconsciously guided so many of my actions, keeping me from saying “this job is stupid, I hate it here, they don’t appreciate me, and not feeding my soul is not okay with me.” No wonder I was stuck!
Biting back these truths for so long severely impacted my health, and ever since then, I’ve been learning to talk back. I’ve been learning that backtalk isn’t bad—it simply means I have a voice. A strong, powerful voice, a voice that doesn’t care if other people like it, a voice that isn’t willing to behave in order to make someone else more comfortable.
Here is the short version of what being quiet has cost me:
- My ability to trust my body-I used to crave a doctor or a diet to tell me how to keep this outrageous, loud, uncontrollable thing small, safe, and polite
- My confidence in my calling-I longed for someone to tell me I’m doing it right. Even now when things are going well, I want approval and confirmation that I’m on track
- Authenticity in my relationships-I couldn’t really connect when I was so concerned with who I was supposed to be. So many of my relationships had this layer of film over them-like I was a gauzy image that reflected the hopes and needs of the beholder
- Trust in my ability to earn money and support myself-I used feel desperate to make the logical, responsible choice at all times. I believed that following the path of my calling would leave me without any money or stability
If a fear of backtalk is what’s holding you back from fully embracing your calling, what is it costing you?
Since the days of my health breakdown, I have been unraveling my fear of talking back, and since unraveling this fear is my particular soul work right now, I’ve learned a few pathways for breaking through the fearful programming and into the most dazzlingly self I can be.
If you want to join my backtalk revolution, here are a few ways you can ritualize your own backtalk practice.
Pathway #1: Ground your backtalk in something bigger than you.
You are a loving, giving person who genuinely wants the make the world a better place. Why not make that work for you? Everything is connected, so your actions affect other people. Because we are all connected, you are constantly affecting everyone else’s vibe around you. If you want to stand for empowerment, start by empowering yourself to use your own voice more, and then let that leadership provide an example to the women around you, especially the little girls. Talk back to fear, victimhood, and negative self-talk for them. Do it for your daughters and their daughters and for all the women who will come after you.
Pathway #2: Journal constantly.
The most important talking back you can do is to the voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough. Even if you only journal five minutes a day over your morning coffee, use a simple notebook as a safe space. Write about all the things you want to talk back against. Write about what angers you, whether it’s the injustice in the world or your own life. Get it out of your head and onto the page. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to leave it there.
Pathway #3: Find a tribe of backtalkers.
I knew deep down that I was called to a career of female empowerment, but I never actually believed it was possible until I found my tribe, a group of kickass women navigating the same journey I was. Maybe you are supremely self-confident all the time, but if you’re like me, you’re going to need some support. Find the people who encourage your rebellious streak. Look for the gals who are doing the thing you want to do. Line yourself up with the ladies on the same path or a few steps ahead of you, and lean on them. Love them. Let them support you on your quest.
When it comes to talking back to your fears, to the haters, to the bullshit rules you’ve imprisoned yourself with, or to external constraints, it's an ongoing journey. But it is one that gets easier the more you do it. Plus, the world needs more people like you. Think of it this way: how many times have you betrayed your own voice, and in doing so, robbed the world of your calling? When it comes to backtalk, it’s easy to become a rebel with a cause and use your voice for good. This is a Feminist revolution you can start from your own couch! All you have to do is own it.
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The other day, I had a client come to me in an absolute tizzy over her business cards.
“I finally found the perfect design, but I’m so stuck on what to call myself! Obviously, I need to put my name, but shouldn’t I have some title underneath? What’s my title? CEO, Founder, Creator? What do I pick? Why is this so hard?”
“Pause,” I told her. “You just told me last week that you feel incredibly confident in your business mission. What’s really going on here?”
“I’m horrible at this?”
“Nope. Try again.”
She took a deep breath. “I’m getting caught up in unnecessary details and spiraling out because of fear. I’d rather focus on my title than confront the fact that starting a business is scary.”
“Bingo,” I smiled. “Now let’s figure out how to make it less scary.”
This particular client is actually a business whiz, but she fell prey to one of the deadliest creative cul-de-sacs out there: obsessing over details that straight up don’t matter. Deep down, she knew that a byline on a business card wouldn’t make or break her success—it was just self-doubt talking. But when you’re in the thick of finding the right job, or building your business, or making your impact, how do you tell what matters and what’s distraction? What should you focus on instead?
First things first, here are the Top 3 Reasons your exact job title/business niche matters less than you think.
#1: Everyone has a slightly different interpretation of what you do.
Let’s say, for example, that you are a nonprofit professional who’s done tons of administrative tasks, led programs, and worked in fundraising, and now you are ready to leave your current work environment for a better one. So you pull out your laptop, update your resume, and visit your favorite job search site to scan for opportunities, but as you do, you quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer number of job titles available.
“What the heck is a ‘Director of Campaigns?’” you wonder. “I’ve never even heard of that job title! Am I qualified to do that?”
Then, as you scan the job description, you realize that you can do all of the tasks listed and more. You just didn’t have the insider scoop on this particular organization’s vocabulary. Most organizations need similar skill sets—they just call them different things. Similarly, the people whom your business serves may describe what you do in different ways. Because titles and niches vary so wildly, it’s madness to obsess over finding the exact perfect match by title alone.
#2: If you’re growing, your niche is going to change and evolve anyway.
You’re not reading this blog solely for the advice. That piece is nice, but you’re really here because you are deeply interested in making the world a better place, and you know that it begins with you. You’re more comfortable than most when it comes to growing, evolving, and going on new adventures.
While that mindset is an absolutely essential ingredient to creating an impact, it means that things are going to change for you. Often. Your higher power/intuition/soul/whatever is going ask you to continuously evolve, so getting hung up on finding the-exact-perfect-path-that-will-be-the-path-forever-and-ever-amen not only isn’t possible, it’s not in alignment with the very work you are meant to do.
#3: Your calling isn’t about you.
Believe it or not, the work you are most meant to do on the planet isn’t actually about you. You have a desire to make a difference with your work, right? Great! Basically, you have been given an invitation by the Universe—via your desire—to have an impact.
Your ego wants you to think that your calling is all about you: your skills, your talents, and what kind of person you are. But if you believe in a deeper purpose, you’ll realize it’s not actually about you at all—you are simply the vessel for the mission. And as a vessel, you can’t really screw it up by picking the wrong tagline on your business cards. Be the paintbrush, not the painter.
Now that we’ve broken down the specifics of why you shouldn’t let the specifics stop you from moving forward, consider this your permission to stop trying so hard to figure things out.
Here is a short list of things you are allowed to stop obsessing over:
- What the next 20 years of your career will look like (maybe just plan out the the next 3, yes?)
- Quitting a job that’s no longer a good fit for you (just do it already)
- Whether or not your ideas are completely original (nothing is)
- The amount of competition in your chosen field (you’re meant to be here)
- Whether or not you’re qualified (you’re more qualified than you think)
- If you’ll fail (you will, but you’ll try again)
- If everyone will approve of your path (they won’t, but you’re the only one who needs to)
- Starting over and making changes (it’s just a part of the process, yo)
And here is a short list of things to focus on instead:
- Figuring out what support you need in order to be successful in your calling
- The path that feels most authentic and aligned with your deepest desires
- Whom you feel called to impact and serve
- Your most authentic ways of making money and supporting yourself
- How you can cultivate a sense of trust and adventure along the journey
- What your personal definition of success looks like in your life and feels like in your body
- How you want to share your calling with the world
- Taking ridiculously good care of yourself so that you’re in shape to serve and create
As tempting as it may be to make yourself feel better by focusing on nonsense, if you don’t take action toward what matters, what will the world be missing out on? Remember, love: you were born for this. As such, it’s impossible to screw it up. It’s not only the thing you came here to do, it’s also the thing the world needs, and everything in the Universe is conspiring to make it happen through you.
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As women, we often struggle with boundaries. But the truth is that no matter how many self care ideas you Google, setting boundaries is always important for more self love. This article has resources on boundaries for empaths, boundaries for women, and specific examples of how to respond when people don’t respect your boundaries. If you’re ready for self care inspiration, click through to read the article and use these creative self care ideas today.
When I first decided to start a coaching business, I was passionate, but I had no idea where to focus as a new entrepreneur. If you’ve ever felt this way, it may not be your fault…In this article, I’m productivity problems that sabotage your entrepreneurial success. If you want to be more productive, get organized, and learn time management techniques, get ready. Click through to read the post and leave a comment: which productivity hack is your favorite?
When you read this, I’ll be boarding a plane back to LA from sunny Hawaii, tanned, full of fresh fish and mai tais, and ready to enjoy the long, lazy Summer days ahead. Summer has always been my favorite season because it’s a growing season.
It’s not the bright, hurried, active planting of the Spring, or the quiet harvest of the Fall. Those seasons are about doing while Summer is all about being. There’s plenty of action happening in the Summer, but it’s a quieter, behind-the-scenes action...a slow flow to fruition that takes time, which makes it the perfect time for your soul to curl up on a lawn chair with a margarita and a book about the awesome person you’re slowly flowing into being. It’s the perfect personal development time!
Self development doesn’t have to be a struggle or a quest to fix what’s wrong with you. if you let it, personal growth can be a slow, juicy unfolding. and If you like a little growth with your beach cocktails this Summer, I have a treat for you in the form of a kickass list of book recommendations to do your unfolding with.
Plus, I can’t exorcise my former Middle School English Teacher self completely, so I’m itching to hand out an assigned reading list. I hope you enjoy this list as much as I plan to enjoy the ripe tomatoes from the farmer’s market.
The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer
In addition to being a near perfect human, Amanda Palmer is a musician/performance artist who didn’t love how record contracts worked, so she made up her own rules around money, funding, and how she was and wasn’t allowed to ask for help. As happens with most innovators and women who break the rules, people had some...reactions to her actions. After being lambasted in the media while dealing with personal tragedy, she found herself confronting not only what it means to be an artist, but what it means to be a human being, and all the vulnerability and magic therein.
Notable and Quotable:
“There’s no ‘correct path’ to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”
The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishen Lakhiani
Have you ever read a book that made you do the praise hands on every page? Cause this book did it for me. When I first read the back cover, I worried it might be a little bit basic for me-I’m already pretty entrenched in the consciousness/meditative/coachy/self development world, but it’s actually the simplicity of the concepts in The Code of the Extraordinary Mind that make it so powerful. This book is one I come back to over and over again when I need a boost of positivity and confidence.
Who It’s For: Anyone new to personal development or anyone craving a refresher course/quick hit of motivation
Why You’ll Love It: Vishen Lakhiani is just so dang cute! He tells personal stories from his own career, marriage, and family life that are relatable and make the woo-woo stuff of self development much easier to engage with. Plus, the chapter on “bending reality” is just plain fun.
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd
This book will make every single list I write, ever. I first met The Dance of the Dissident Daughter when I was 17 years old, homeless from Hurricane Katrina, and struggling to decide whether or not I wanted to leave the church. It was a place I no longer belonged, but it served as the only home I had left. I went through a long bout of divorcing myself from anything related to spirituality, but I felt hollow, and then this book helped me create a version of spirituality that works for me, one that honors the feminine and allows me to throw off the shackles of the patriarchy and be the most authentic, fully expressed me possible. I read it at least once a year and take something new from it every time.
Notable and Quotable:
“The symbol of Goddess gives us permission. She teaches us to embrace the holiness of every natural, ordinary, sensual dying moment. Patriarchy may try to negate body and flee earth with its constant heartbeat of death, but Goddess forces us back to embrace them...if such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same. It will free us to be in a sacred body, on a sacred planet, in sacred communion with all of it. It will infect the universe with holiness.”
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, by Mark Manson
If you know me, you know I am a fan of the F word. I mean...how many words in the English language can function as every part of speech? So naturally, I had to investigate this book. Having read it, I can personally attest that Mark Manson is a foul-mouthed, too loud, swear word enthusiast with a tendency to mansplain...and he also has some really good stuff to say. If you can get past his Death Star-sized ego, you’ll enjoy this highly entertaining kick in the pants.
Who It’s For: People who give too many fucks about pointless things, and people who are motivated by a tell-it-like-it-is, drill sergeant-y approach to getting off the couch and doing what you want with your life
Why You’ll Love It: It’s hilarious. Some of it is dumb, but all of it is funny. Also, the concept of the Shit Sandwich alone is magical and makes it worth the read.
Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton
When I’m reading for work, I keep a highlighter handy so I can remember what I want to share with you guys. By page 7 of Love Warrior, my highlighter was out of ink. In her 2nd memoir, we hear the story of Glennon’s recovery from bulimia and alcoholism to only to realize it’s a dress rehearsal for an even larger falling apart: her marriage. When Glennon finds out her husband of over a decade has been unfaithful, she is faced with a choice. Will she stay and confront the fear around her sexuality, her hunger, her body, and her truth? Or will she go back into the darkness again? This book is a must read for any woman who’s ever struggled to discover who she is outside of who she's "supposed to" be, and most of the chapters feel like a love poem to girls who've been told they are “too much.” All the stars.
Notable and Quotable:
“We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet, and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud, and complex as we were made to be. Every girl must decide whether to be true to herself or true to the world. Every girl must decide whether to settle for adoration or fight for love.”
The Anatomy of a Calling, by Lissa Rankin
Lisa Rankin followed the rules. She made good grades, got into med school, became a top OB-GYN at a busy hospital, married the man of her dreams, and had an adorable baby...and she was completely miserable. In The Anatomy of a Calling, Lissa recounts her journey from following the rules to breaking the rules, and then finally embracing her true calling of changing the Western medical system to honor patients, not parent them.
Who It’s For: Anyone who secretly suspects they have a deeper calling than their current job allows for, and anyone open to exploring what that calling might be
Why You’ll Love It: The Anatomy of a Calling contains both personal stories from Lissa's journey as well as broader archetypes and exercises that apply to anyone with a calling, so as you resonate with certain pieces of Lissa’s story, you can do the guided journaling or exercises that accompany the stories.
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
If you’ve ever wanted to consider yourself a creative, but you can’t quite shake that last bit of self doubt or fear, this is the book for you. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert first shatters what it means to be a creative, and then crafts a better definition of what it means to actually live a creative life. Through her own personal stories, she not only entertains us, but also gives us a playbook for mining and defining our own creativity in a much more empowering way. If Imposter Syndrome keeps you from playing full out with your creativity, this book is the antidote.
Notable and quotable:
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”
The Crossroads of Should & Must, by Elle Luna
Part personal narrative, part art journal, and part how-to guide, The Crossroads of Should and Must is a beautifully illustrated exploration of what it means to follow your dreams, even when they look crazy on paper. Elle Luna had the “should’s” down pat, but when she received a strange message from the Universe in the form of dream, she decided to forgo what she “should” be doing to follow her “must.” Through a series of paintings, challenges, and journaling prompts, she invites you to do the same.
Notable and quotable:
“If you want to know Must, get to know Should. This is hard work. Really hard work. We unconsciously imprison ourselves to avoid our most primal fears. We choose Should because choosing Must is terrifying, incomprehensible. Our prison is constructed from a lifetime of Shoulds, the world of choices we’ve unwittingly agreed to, the walls that alienate us from our truest, most authentic selves. Should is the doorkeeper to Must. And just as you created your prison, you can set yourself free.”
Each book in this list-from the ones about the Divine Feminine to the ones about a completely different F word-is a unique gift and a really cool opportunity. Each book waits, inviting you to slow down, explore, and join the Summer sun in curling up on your beach blanket and enjoying the season.
So, which book are you most excited about? Leave a comment below to let us know which book you’re picking up! Bonus points for taking a picture of you reading it in the sunshine and tagging it #summerreadinglist. Happy reading and happy growing!
Want even more personal growth resources and inspiration? Don't forget to grab access to Trust Your Truth, the free email course designed to help you trust yourself and kick the "should's" and "supposed to's" to the curb!
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Who hasn’t had the experience of scrolling through social media and wondering, “Am I…behind?” I learned the truth about how to stop comparing yourself to other people...and what I needed to shift in order to feel more confident about where I was in my journey. This blog post is a personal, feminist story about the truth of starting an online business, following your passion, and embodying the entrepreneur mindset you really need to be successful.