Becoming Fearless | Building a Lifetime Habit

Last week social media channels were buzzing with the impassioned speech that Emma Watson gave to the United Nations on feminism. In her new role as UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma spoke from her heart on the pressing need for gender equality and asked that men and boys worldwide join the movement of the #HeForShe Campaign. It was powerful, emotional, honest, poignant, and it was fearless.

iStock_Fearless Girl_LargeI’ve been thinking a lot this past year about what it means to be fearless. I see wonderful examples of it everyday—from people as visible as Miss Watson, on down to the little kid who whips by on her skateboard completely unaffected by the rough terrain ahead. That sense of knowing the road will be tough, but wanting it so badly that nothing can stop you from pushing yourself to go for it. That’s living fearlessly.

I’ve made some tough decisions this year with the intent of getting me closer to the life I want to live. I like to think I’m being fearless along the way.  Continue reading

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10 Most Admirable Qualities of My Female Role Models

iStock_RoleModel_LargeThere are so many articles being published of late that speak to the “top things successful people do.” I find these a useful reference mostly, but when I really think about the things I need to do, the behaviors I want to instill, or the steps I must take to make myself a better person, I turn to those I have admired most—my female role models.

As a woman, I tend to look to other women as my role models.  There are many that I have looked up to over my lifetime, and that net continues to widen as the years progress. Those that inspired me early on include a host of well-known people like Katherine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, Gloria, Steinem, Mary Tyler-Moore, Marlo Thomas, and comedians like Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Lucille Ball, and Gilda Radner. Later came people like Malala Yousafzai, Hillary Clinton, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Maria Shriver, Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, Jill Abramson, Melissa McCarthy, Lisa Kudrow, and so many more.  All are women who showed passion, enthusiasm, intelligence, wit, humor, positivity, tenacity, and fearlessness—all traits I deeply admire—and they built amazing lives for themselves.

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Optimal Timing for Engaging and Sharing on Social Media

Social media communication conceptWe live in a world where the increase in content and ideas being shared across the globe continues to rise. Content creators are publishing on a multitude of platforms, in a variety of media formats, and at a rapid pace. We are all vying for the attention of our often times similar target audiences, and competing for interest within a limited span of time. While I personally believe there is no one magic bullet to attract and retain visibility, there are things we can try to increase our odds.

There are several resources available where research has been done examining the highest access times across social media platforms. These are a great start for experimenting with your content publishing schedules; however, there are always unique circumstances to consider depending on your intended audience.

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Back To School | Grab Your Crayons and Commit to Learning

Back to schoolFall is my favorite time of the year, for many reasons. One in particular involves heading back to school. As the youngest of ten kids, everything I had was a hand-me-down, with the exception of new school supplies. Crisp and clean white pages of a new notebook, never touched crayons exploding with color, a shiny set of pens and freshly sharpened pencils, a full bottle of glue with no messy residue around the tip yet, and a fun new school bag with which to carry it all around. Pristine supplies, the crisp fall air, and the sense of new possibilities cultivated a visceral response and general eagerness enticing me back to the pursuit of a formal education.

As adults, we don’t necessarily have the same right of passage as the start of a new school year. And most of us don’t have a structure or discipline for expanding our professional development, particularly as we become more seasoned pros. Yet that’s exactly what many of us need to provide a fresh lens to the work we do.

With the start of a new school year, I challenge you to build your own professional development plan to support your career growth, and maybe expand outside of it as well.

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Monday Motivation | 14 Tips to a More Productive Week

Monday Morning“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

For many of us, getting started on a Monday morning is easier said than done. Our minds are still in weekend mode, our bodies want to crawl back into bed, and the thought of that pile of work waiting for us is exhausting. While research shows that Monday mornings are the most productive time of the workweek, getting excited and energized for another round of long meetings and short deadlines can still be a challenge. Building some level of routine to jump-start the week is a great way to begin and end on a more productive note.

Below are just a few of my tips for giving some rigor to the week, while instilling renewed motivation, energy, enthusiasm, and positivity. What are your tips? What rituals do you incorporate to make the most of your week?

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