1. The world needs more kind, good, and powerful women.
2. Rise up. Please, you’re needed.
1. The world needs more kind, good, and powerful women.
2. Rise up. Please, you’re needed.
Every now and then I get an e-mail in my inbox asking how I was published on Forbes.com.
Here are the exact steps that I took:
1. I cold pitched an editor who covered topics that I like to write about.
2. I followed up with that same editor two months later, and she wrote back within minutes with a, “No, thanks.” But minutes later she wrote again and said to try another editor who covered entrepreneurship.
3. I e-mailed the new editor on the spot with an improved version of my original pitch.
4. Almost exactly two months later, I followed up. “I’d love to write this piece for you and just wanted to follow up and see if you’re interested. I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon.”
5. My new editor wrote the same day and said to write it. But, “as a guest post (which wouldn’t pay you anything – how’s that for cheery?).”
6. We went back and forth and fleshed out the idea, and I asked if it would make a good story for the print magazine. He said, “Maybe,” and we settled on a guest post to start. Due dates assigned.
7. Eight weeks later I submitted the finished piece.
8. Four days later it was published here.
Start to finish: four months.
Moral of the story: be bold, be persistent, and keep following up—and celebrate lucky breaks!
As for Forbes.com? There’s more to come there!
A big hello to new subscribers, and I hope everyone is enjoying the remaining dog days of summer! I received a couple of comments about one of my posts on choosing yourself. The big question is always, “How do you do it, exactly?”
Well, I’ve got seven ideas up my sleeve to help you get started.
1. Give Yourself Permission
I’ll say that again: give yourself permission. Laura Roeder said it best in one of her trainings, but the same thought has been iterated over and over again. Nobody’s going to choose you…before you do. So just give yourself permission to choose yourself.
2. Clear the Clutter
Whether it’s mental clutter (“I can’t dooooooooooo it. I just can’t, I can’t, I can’t.”), a messy work space that distracts more than helps, or clients or projects that are standing in the way of your growth, it’s time to declare boldly what is, and is not, working for you. Gracefully dismiss yourself or otherwise solve the challenge. Try to get it done before the end of this month—trust me here.
3. Banish the Word “Can’t”
Closely aligned with mental clutter, you’ve got to clear a path for your success in your mind. The word “can’t” is like a grenade for dreams and ambition. Throw it with caution.
4. Show Deep Gratitude
This may be one of the most important thoughts in this post. We were not created, no matter what our current state or form, imperfectly. So rather than bashing your looks, abilities, or talents, ask—instead—to get closer to the truest version of yourself. Always offer gratitude as you move in that direction.
5. Allow Others Space to Grow and Improve
Likewise, we need to allow others to journey on their own paths toward growth. When we criticize others for their growth, we limit the same opportunity in our own lives.
6. Choose Your Experience
THIS is where life gets fun. You know the exercises. How do you want to feel? and What does your ideal day look like? and At the end of your life, what do you want to look back on fondly? How about one bold step in that direction today? You caaaaaannn do it!
7. Approach Life with Clarity
I’m not saying you’ll have your be-all and end-all game plan figured out. But if, right now, you feel like you’re made to be a fashion blogger with 100K followers, focus in and start living that way, sister. Your plan and goals may evolve, but you’ll never get to where you ultimately need to be until you start taking the first steps to get on with your journey.
We hear a lot of people tell us that they think they can’t go after their business goals because they are too old, or that they prioritized other goals and don’t think they can catch up, or even just because they are feeling defeated by setbacks. This feeling is understandable…but here’s the secret: it’s not true!
I think we need to reshape how we think about opportunity. Too often we talk about it or think of it as a random chance that dropped out of the sky, but the truth is that most success comes after a lot of planning, a lot of hard work, and often a lot of failure. Opportunity isn’t a cause, it’s a result!
Don’t believe me? Here are few people to consider…
The now-famous chef and television personality first worked for years as a copywriter and then in the war efforts during World War II. She had her first professional cooking class at age 36 and people tried to talk her out of it at every turn. She didn’t publish the cookbook that would make her a star until she was 50.
This beloved actor (also known as the Austen hero Colonel Brandon and one of the great dark horse literary characters Professor Snape) was initially talked out of performance work. He had a career in graphic design but had always wanted to pursue acting. So in his late 20s, he did! He spent over a decade in the theatre world working hard at a number of jobs in the industry but without attracting much attention until he got his very first film roll…at age 46.
She’s a household name as a fashion designer in couture and bridal wear, but that career wasn’t launched until she was 40. Prior to that she was an editor for Vogue and trained as a figure skater, proving that you don’t have to just do one thing with your life. Today she’s in her 60s and her creations have been worn by First Ladies, film stars, performers, and most of the Who’s Who of the art world.
The Little House books were a fixture of many of our childhoods, but those books, which chronicle the experiences of a girl and young woman were written when Wilder was in her 60s after she and her family had faced countless setbacks, business failures, and a number of horrible health challenges. She didn’t begin writing until she was in her 40s and would never have completed her famous childhood series without the urging and support of her family members.
Harland Sanders spent his life moving from one difficult job and disappointing business venture to the next for over 40 years. While running a small gas station, he got the idea of boosting some of profits by serving food in his own living area. He was eventually able to open a small restaurant, but almost immediately the highway route was changed and despite its popularity, this venture failed too. Finally in his 60s and able to retire, Sanders took his social security check…and opened another restaurant. Less than 10 years later, over 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises had opened in the US and Canada.
Every single one of these individuals faced major setbacks and didn’t find their success until much later than they initially hoped for. Each of them had multiple other jobs and projects before finding the one that brought them recognition. But none of them ever gave into the idea that it was “too late” to go after their dreams.
As George Elliot summed it up, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
You know what I mean:
What if you turned your least favorite body part, maybe it’s your arms, into a piece of art? Think: tone that would make Michelle Obama proud.
What if you hired on and hired out to free up 50% of your time and started having a life instead of working yourself to the bone?
What if you doubled last year’s so-so profits?
What if you offered less to focus more?
What if you upped your fun/sexiness/happiness quotient?
In short, what if you started transforming those sore spots in life into areas where you soar? What would open up to you, then?
Share with me the NUMBER ONE thing that you would love to change right now. What would make the biggest difference or just fulfill one of your deepest desires? Leave it in the comments or get in touch here.
Today’s guest post is by Cadence Woodland, my fantastic editorial assistant.
There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about how men and women process confidence (or the lack of it) differently. Paradoxically, one of the most interesting aspects of the widely discussed article, The Confidence Gap, is how important failure is to confidence. Turns out that they’re connected, and one of the major posits of the piece is that perhaps we ladies aren’t getting enough experience with failure…which is leading us to fear it more than we should.
The truth is that failure and setbacks are a given. But many of us remain so intimidated by the potential of failure that it keeps us from even trying to pursue some of our goals. It’s time to radically rethink our ideas about failure and the power that it has over us, especially as women.
I want to propose a mind-shift. What if, as entrepreneurs, startup founders, designers, content producers, and in everything else that we do, we stopped being scared of failure and started expecting it?
Hold on! I don’t mean we should all turn into pessimists. What I mean is, what if we decided to embrace the idea that we are going to fail occasionally? Or that setbacks are a probability rather than a possibility? How would it change our perspective if we planned for them rather than lived in dread of them?
I honestly think that if we anticipated failing from time to time, it would make the prospect of doing so much less daunting. Instead of being a crippling defeat, a mistake would just be one more hurdle to overcome. Failures and setback would still sting, but I think that expecting and even embracing failure would allow us to see it for what it usually is—a scuffed knee, not a broken leg.
Remember how many business failures Colonel Sanders had before he found success ? Thomas Edison famously went through thousands of different materials in trying to craft a lightbulb. J.K. Rowling’s manuscript for Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers. Arianna Huffington was rejected by 36 publishers! Put those four people together and you have nearly a whole century of accumulated failure—and you also have people who changed the corporate, scientific, literary, and media world.
Let’s be honest, ladies: we rock. In almost every measurable way we have made huge strides in the last century. Less than 100 years ago women couldn’t vote, today we are running the Federal Reserve, major tech companies, and possibly even for president (again!). We head homes, families, businesses, hedge funds, agencies, websites, magazines, apps, and rock bands. And there not a single person in the world who has ever managed any one of those jobs without making mistakes.
So let’s be less afraid of making them. Let’s accept that we’re going to—and decide that we’re going to be successful anyway! In the end it’s not falling that matters, it’s getting up.
Cadence Woodland is a freelance writer, editorial assistant, and aspiring novelist living in London. Her work has appeared in LOOK Magazine, Red Magazine online, and in the New York Times, but you can find her most days at her blog, Small Dog Syndrome.
“Above all, prayer holds the first place in the monk’s day
and nothing must be preferred to this activity.
Prayer involves coming into contact with divine life,
in openness to the mystery of love which is written in our hearts.”
–The Benedictine Monks of Christ in the Desert Monastery
Prayer is central to my life and business growth, as I know it is for many of you too. Whether you pray, meditate, visualize, or do all of those and more, here are a few things that you might consider asking for:
1. Every blessing that is available to you right now.
2. To ease into prosperity with humility and grace.
3. To be added to. (Watch what happens.)
4. To know whether to double your efforts or rely on grace.
5. To know that your angels have your back.
6. To know that God knows you and will give you what you need.
7. To feel gratitude. For everything.
8. To feel in love. Perhaps, even, all over again.
9. To have just the right contacts and opportunities led to you and you to them.
10. To be guided to the next step.
A large part of prosperity comes from the asking of it (in the right way). Very often, we do not ask for enough. Try this and then email me or comment below with your experience. Expect quick, sometimes instantaneous miracles.
We all have those moments when we wonder what it is that we really, really want. There are a million exercises to discover your deep purpose and precise desires, and I’m adding one more—a quick 30-seconder—to the well. It’s a simple question.
There’s something about being far away from your normal routine that can bring out your deepest-set desires. While my husband and I were on a recent getaway to the Bahamas, I spent the first couple of days in total relaxation mode, and then the rest of our vacation finding every quiet moment I could to write and develop the plan for my sweet little 2HoursDaily. I couldn’t get enough, and it revealed to me just how excited I am about this as well as some larger goals that are ready to be brought to fruition. It was awesome!
There’s more to share on this, of course, but, for now…
Want to make it big, live near the ocean (perhaps on a yacht large enough for you and your family?), solve a big problem, build schools, (finally!) hire an assistant, get that hot body you’ve always wanted, have a rockin’ Etsy shop, deal art, craft beauty?
Don’t squash it, embrace it. Those dreams are the gateway to your soul.
I wrote this little piece from the Bahamas. Oh, how I love getaways!
Just two things today that we all need to be reminded of here and there.
First, everything in this quote by Marianne Williamson:
Second, that you are loved. Beyond belief. Your mere existence as well as your current and future blessings (which include challenging moments…of growth) prove it every day.
Tell me how you are in the comments and have a wonderful week!