Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From The Frontlines


Cinderella Will NOT Eat My Goddaughter, My Nieces--or 
My Sons or Nephews. 
Are You With Me? Or With Cindy?

"There is ample evidence that the more mainstream media girls consume, 
the more
they partake in the media junk culture, the more importance they
place on being
pretty and sexy, and a ream of studies show that teenage girls
and college students
who hold conventional beliefs about beauty and femininity,
especially those that
emphasize beauty and pleasing behavior – are less ambitious,
and more likely to
be depressed and to make poor sexual choices (including not
requiring their partners
to wear condoms) than their peers. That’s terrifying."
-Peggy Orenstein, speaking with me on AMBITION Radio
Yesterday was my goddaughter's 6-year-old birthday. 

I spent a ton of time in recent weeks doing research on great books, toys, and
gifts to shower her with on her special day. As I was perusing  sites like eBeanStalk.com
(“Expert-Selected Toys Matched to a Child’s Development”),  I was not at all surprised –
but was annoyed and disappointed – to find categories by gender. 

Boys Versus Girls: Why?
Searching through “Toys for 6 Year Old Girls” and “Toys for 6 Year Old Boys” yielded 
very different recommendations.
A super cool-looking “Spy Night Scope,” a “Shrinky Dinks Insects” kit, and an “MLB Multi-Position 
Batting Tee”
were served up for the boys.  
Spy-Gear Spy Night Scope
A “Brain Noodles – Princess & Frog Kit” (WT? This hurts my brain on so many levels), a
“Shrinky Dinks Jewelry”
kit, and a “Paint Your Own Bathroom Set” were among the top
recommended picks for girls. There was even
a “Hooded Princess Cape” set, complete
with a silver magic wand and the caption, “Who’s afraid of the big,
bad wolf?” categorized
under – get this – “Fun Learning, Child Development, Educational Toys” for girls.
(Not to
mention, last time I checked, Little Red Riding Hood’s cape was RED, not pink, but I digress.)
Creative-Education Hooded Princess Cape

The Socially Sanctioned Message is Clear

Painting your own ceramic bathroom set, or fantasizing about kissing the right frog to become a
princess – and
making jewelry for that encounter – is SO much more fun than swinging a bat, or
playing dark-of-the-night spy,
or crafting cool insects – IF you’re a girl. (The rules of the world
are different for boys.)

The Dark Side of Pink and Pretty 

Searching for great gifts for my young goddaughter's impending birthday, I was reminded
of a recent AMBITION Is Not A Dirty Word Radio
show I did with an old friend and colleague from
my San Francisco years, Peggy Orenstein, author of the
New York Times bestseller,
Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of The New Girlie-Girl Culture.

Peggy Orenstein is an acclaimed journalist and author of the groundbreaking bestseller Schoolgirls
who, as a new mother, was blindsided by the persistent ultra-feminine messages being sent to a
new generation of little girls—from endless permutations of pink to pressures to be “a hot tot” and
a “spoiled brat princess.”

When Orenstein published an essay in The New York Times Magazine about the “princess-mania”
that has overtaken a new generation of little girls, she was not prepared for a firestorm. But
What’s Wrong with Cinderella?” swiftly shot to the top of the Times website’s “most emailed”
list and elicited hundreds of reader responses.

Orenstein, who had garnered a reputation as an expert on girls’ development, thought she was
simply musing about her own observations and reactions to her young daughter’s obsession
with Disney princesses and predilection for the color pink. Clearly, though, she had touched
a cultural nerve.

Fight For A Focus on Girls' Sense of Self from The Inside

What does it do to girls’ ambition to grow up in a culture that pressures them, from a
very young age, to define their sense of self according to a junk culture’s ideals and from
the outside in, rather than from the inside? Whether you're shopping for books or toys,
or, channel surfing. are slapped with a preview of "Toddlers and Tiaras" or "Jersey Shore,"
the junk culture assaults and threatens to make you/us feel helpless to do anything to force
a course correction. 


We do not have to stand helplessly by, shaking our heads at what's out there: on television,
social media, in print, in stores, being served up by the junk culture. We can spot, confront,
interpret, and defy the pernicious messages flooding our kids. We can help them reclaim
what it means to grow up in a meaningful way with an eye on making the contribution
they were born to make -- according to what matters to them as individuals, rather than
being distracted or derailed by the junk culture. (Enough already.)

But we must be conscious of socially sanctioned cultural messages and assumptions,
swirling about us, mindlesslessly sucking in us and our children.

Wake-Up Call – And What To Do About It, Starting Today

My AMBITION Radio show with Peggy Orenstein reveals the dark side of pink and pretty in
a wake-up call to parents: The rise of the girlie girl is not that innocent. Grab a glass of
pink lemonade and tune in to hear Peg and I discuss why the rise of the girlie girl
is not that innocent.    

01b copy

Of equal importance , we talk about practical, simple – even fun! (we’re not talking going
Mommie Militant here) – things  you can do in your and your kids’ everyday lives to empower,
rather than limit, how your children shape their identities and dreams to ambitiously navigate
through this, our junk culture, according to their own informed sensibilities.

###

Happy Birthday Little Sister Sledge,

from your Big Sister Sledge Auntie. I’m thrilled that you love your new Jr. Telescope Set,
your binoculars, and your great new hardcover books (adding to your library being one of
our celebratory rituals and holiday traditions) – none of which are about princesses kissing 
frogs. Your mom and I are on the front lines with you. We are family.

###

I invite you to weigh in below. Are you with Cinderella? Or will you take a stand to protect
YOUR daughter (and nieces and goddaughters and, even your sons and young males in your
life) from the junk culture that dumbs down girls' sense of selves and expectations?

Nothing less than our daughters' identities and their futures is on the line.

 

 

How and Why to Form Your Own Informal Board of Advisors—Now

Fork.very.clear.shot
We all experience it: finding ourselves at a professional fork in the road.

So it’s not surprising that one of the most common questions I get from clients and readers is: “What do I do when I hit the wall professionally?”

The single most powerful tool for pulling out of a career stall is forming your own informal advisory board.

I first discovered this secret as a rookie entrepreneur. 

I’d finished my thesis and Ph.D. in record time; I was both inspired to move forward with my career goals and scared about survival issues. I had a fire lit inside as well as under my butt;  my progress in these early career years was often slowed because of the compromises I had to make for the practical concerns of supporting myself and my son. I plugged away with my ambition target always on the horizon.

When I was 32 years old, my professional life finally took on some semblance of stability.  I had a coveted academic-track research position in San Francisco. Devin was about to enter grade school, which meant fewer childcare woes.  I’d finally gotten my license and was a bona fide psychologist. Even though I was struggling financially, there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Except that I found myself yearning to sunbathe in a different kind of light.

Inspired by a business article profiling what struck me as an intriguing up-and-coming field, I decided I wanted to start my own career consulting firm.  On the face of it, this made no sense. I was trained as a licensed clinical psychologist with a background in neuropsychological testing and forensic evaluations.  I hadn’t gone to business school and I had no real training in launching this venture.  And unlike today, at that time career and executive coaching were barely on the radar; this was a brand new, emerging specialty.

My psychologist colleagues said, “You’re crazy to do this.  It’s career suicide.”

But this was an ambition I yearned to fulfill.  I knew that I loved researching and thinking about what was going on in the business world.  I knew that I was smart, creative and tenacious.  I craved the independence, opportunity, and challenge of running my own professional organization. Pursuing my professional destiny felt as vital and organic as mothering Devin, maintaining my friendships, and other equally precious pursuits. I knew that I had something meaningful to contribute.

AND SO I JUMPED RIGHT IN.

I’d been in business for a little over a year when I discovered a mentoring program for women in San Francisco. Once a month, for a year, I would travel into the city with my business plan, strategies, and a raftload of problems in hand, and be mentored by a board of advisors on everything from setting up my accounting and books, sales, marketing and public relations to the emotional highs and lows of being self-employed.

In these two-hour meetings I, along with three other protégées, discussed our business plans and all the related obstacles and challenges with a group of fifteen to twenty seasoned, powerful professional women. We received frank, direct, nuts-and-bolts business tactics and real-time feedback and advice from CEOs, attorneys, C.P.A.s, marketing gurus, bankers, and senior executives in sales, public relations and finance. 

Having my career aspirations ratified in the face of personal upheaval was profoundly transformative.

Listening to the experiences and varied perspectives of so many successful businesswomen left me feeling confident and unabashed about pursuing my own big ambitions.  It also taught me how to take hits, toughen up, and get back up. My board also showed me firsthand: how to avoid naive mistakes; how to recognize talent; how to work collaboratively; and how to ask for and make great use of expert advice.  

We all need periodic feedback. No one can expect to reach their goals in isolation.

 

Here’s How To Form YOUR Own Informal Board of Advisors—NOW

Your hand-picked board of advisors will mentor and help you identify fresh opportunities, reduce your anxiety, and avoid rookie mistakes.

Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Assemble first-round draft picks. Make a wish list of movers and shakers—people you know personally, or have heard about. Target people who are at the top of their game and whose accomplishments and reputation you admire. Make sure their values and ideals are in alignment with your own; you want mentors who will lift you up, inspire you, and challenge you to be your own rival.

2. Keep in mind that your advisors needn’t be in your same field. Your goal is to create a group offering diverse, complimentary areas of expertise, gold-standard career advice, and ambition brainstorming in as many areas as possible.

3. Don't be intimidated at the prospect of approaching the best and brightest. If someone turns you down, don't take it personally.

4. Start e-mailing and phoning by sundown today. Ask if they’d be willing to be an informal adviser, explaining what it entails.

5. Emphasize that you’ll always be respectful of their time. For example, you’ll contact them periodically with a brief e-mail or phone question, or drop by their office occasionally for a quick, mission-critical question. Or you'll have quarterly 20-minute Skype check ins with your team. Or you’ll meet with your board for coffee or cocktails every four months and you'll pick up the check.

6. Draft your one-page career or business objectives plan. Include specific ambitions, ideas, questions, goals, and obstacles. Write down detailed advice you need. E-mail to board members in advance of group or one-on-one meetings; give advisors time to brainstorm before speaking with you.

7. Focus on listening.  Ask only clarifying questions. Resist saying, "Yeah, but here’s why that idea won’t work for me..."  I call this the Yeah, But-Rebuttal, and it's a sure-fire way to turn off your team. Keep an open mind. Give yourself time to absorb new ideas.

8. Become a techie.  Record phone conferences (with advisors’ permission) or set up Skype sessions; don’t be afraid to pull out an audio or video recorder at live meetings.

9. Follow your advisors on social media. Here, they may offer tidbits of information and advice. Don’t be afraid to comment or respond via this venue.  

10. Share your wins and say thank you. Let your advisors know when you achieve a big goal or accomplishment. Old-fashioned, handwritten notes offer an elegant touch.

 

Star achievers and people who love their work use this secret weapon. Follow their lead and soon you’ll be back on track with clear ambition objectives and on the right road to making the contribution you were born to make.


Sincerely and ambitiously,
Debra

The Cumulative Effect of Insignificant Decisions Cost Us Big Time

R.cumulative.effect.of.decisions.woman.question.marks.thinking

In a New York Times opinion piece, "Mothers in the Work Force," Jennifer Glass offers up an all-too-common way that women self-sabotage by failing to map out if-then scenarios before making decisions that seem relatively insignificant in insolation

"Focus[ing] on enabling mothers to choose between homemaking and paid work without acknowledging the long-term economic costs of women withdrawing from the labor force for themselves and their families.

"Despite the seeming advantages of having a full-time parent at home in the short run, the risks of divorce or future spousal unemployment are strong enough that any woman who chooses to be a stay-at-home mother risks her family’s future well-being.

"Not to mention her own loss of Social Security and pension income, career growth in income and responsibility if she had remained employed, and the diverse social networks that help both children and parents with practical and emotional assistance."


In Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word, I talk about the cumulative effect of incorrectly weighing decisions and how it costs women is ways we never counted on: 

In cognitive therapy, there's the well-known concept in cognitive therapy of seemingly insignificant decisions: you make one decision after another and they add up to a huge decision

So, for example, if you decide,

“Oh, I’m not going to negotiate that salary they offered because it seems fine—and besides, I don’t like to negotiate.”

Or, “Sure, I’ll cut my rate for that client; it’s better than risking losing the project.”

Or, “I have no idea what my value proposition commands in the marketplace in terms of salary, but I don’t have the time or luxury right now of finding out; I’ll get around to it later.” 

Or, "I'm going to off-ramp and be a stay-at-home mom for a while. It's best for my children, we can afford it, and then I won't have to worry about work-life balance so much. I'll pick up where I left off later."

 

All these decisions may seem relatively unimportant in isolation. But where making more money is concerned, the pattern pretty much adds up to this: 

 I’m not going to bother earning what I’m worth or caring about making more money, at least not for now. But “now” adds up;  you end up selling yourself short in a huge way—today, and over the course of your lifetime. 

 

Every choice has consequences—pros and cons. 

But, as ambitious women, just how do we go about weighing our choices in a mindful, conscious way—particularly in light of the fact that we are given very little support for doing so?

How do we choose correctly when we aren’t encouraged to think today about our futures?

How do we avoid setting ourselves up for pain and suffering when we aren’t taught to try and calculate very specific if/then scenarios:

If I make this choice now, and things go as planned, how will my life be affected? 

If this or that unexpected thing happens, then where would that leave me?

What would my options be then?

And if I thoroughly consider and analyze real, potential future outcomes, do I still feel comfortable right now making this choice? 

How do you approach these decisions in your own life?

Become Your Dream

While walking with my friend Liz in Central Park on Sunday, we stumbled upon this quote written in colored chalk on a sidewalk: “Become Your Dream.” 

Dream

Then a few blocks later, we saw it again.

And then a third time. Someone was out spreading random acts of inspiration.

Today is my son, Devin’s, 23rd birthday.

My son, Devin, and my niece/daughter, Randi
My son, Devin, and my niece/daughter, Randi

Today, as I watch him striving to define and become his dream, I am proud of and inspired by him.

Devin is graduating with a degree in business, marketing, and entrepreneurship from Lehigh University. He’s passionate about marketing, psychology, and consumer behavior, and, like a lot of people his age, he wants to start his own consulting practice. For now, though, Devin’s next big goal is to study for the GMAT and to go for a Master’s of Science degree in marketing.

Over the years, I’ve done my best to encourage each of my children – now young adults – to pursue whatever inspires them. Here are three pieces of advice I've given them over the years – the same advice I give to coaching clients who are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives:

1. Stick to your passions; don’t worry about what naysayers think about your choices because ultimately this is your life and you need to live it according to your own sensibilities.

2. Surround yourself with trusted, inspiring mentors and advisors that lift you up; from time to time, we all need feedback and advice. We need a sounding board.

3. You don’t have to decide today. Many choices have far-reaching consequences and costs, so don’t make them precipitously. Make sure you set limits with people who want to push you into a quick decision. Also, fully scope out your options—don’t just assume you know what they are. What’s the worst that can happen if you head in a new direction? What’s the best that can happen? Check in with your gut. Take your time.

The life I encourage my clients to lead – advice that my children, too, have internalized and run with – is a life filled with hope, dreams, aspirations—and the expectation of having them fulfilled.

But women – and working mothers in particular – are often so hard on themselves when it comes to giving equal opportunity to our career and personal life goals. Too often women beat themselves up when they buy into the cultural belief that we can’t be ambitious without cheating our children. We fear that if we go after our big dreams we’ll scare off a mate, we’ll be viewed as arrogant by colleagues, or that somehow, someday, we’ll be knocked to our knees for aiming too high.

Here’s what I know to be true from working with thousands of women over almost two decades.

First, women need support to be ambitious. We need to encourage women to go for it all —they can have a happy life at home and at work. When women value their ambition every bit as much as their other inviolable priorities, they are not only more fulfilled and productive in their work, but also happier individuals, more present parents, better partners, more compassionate friends and engaged community members Women who regard their ambition as a virtue are, in fact, more alive and grounded in every corner of their lives. That’s why we need to support women to put their career dreams at the top of their list of priorities, not at the bottom of the pile.

I’ve seen what can happen by doing this—a light bulb goes on and she never looks back.

She takes charge of her professional destiny. She learns firmly to insist on getting paid what she’s worth. She feels powerful in a new way—and owning it feels comfortable to her.

Ambition, however, is complicated. Sometimes you’ll be a gritty role model – because life gets unbalanced. But remember, in those moments of imbalance, that doesn’t mean that you’re getting it wrong. Your kids are watching you, and might just appreciate it later. That’s what happened to me.

It never occurred to me that my children paid a whole lot of attention to my career decisions when they were growing up, but one day when Devin was 15 he said, “I don’t want to be one of those people who gets up every day and goes to a boring job they hate just to get a paycheck. I think that’s sad. I want to be like you, Mom. You have an interesting life. You work for yourself, you travel, you decide what you want to do and how you want to work.” That was a deeply validating moment to realize that however much I might have sometimes “messed up” as a parent, I’d imparted the virtue of prizing ambition and passion.

What are you going to teach your children about ambition?

Women’s Business Alliance “Open Forum Roundtable” Meetings in the Works: Vote For Your Time Preference

I am working with some ambitious women colleagues, planning a brand new, live Women’s Business Alliance “Open Forum Roundtable.” We would love to hear your preference on meeting times:

Would you prefer an 80-minute working lunch?
Or an after work event (although, here in New York, there often is no “after work,” but we should change that sometimes!).

Please comment below!

THE WORLD DESERVES TO HEAR FROM US

Woman beach footprints iStock_000002176354Medium “Why do women have such a hard time acknowledging the importance of loving our work?”  –Gail Evans, Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman

Ambitious women owe it to ourselves and to the world to make the contribution we were born to make. The world deserves to hear from us.

In Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word, a book I wrote to encourage women to reclaim our ambition as a virtue, not a dirty word – and on my various blogs as well as when speaking with the press about this subject – I've repeated this observation:


"She’s a staple of movies, novels, and TV: the hard-charging female entrepreneur in her Armani power suit and Manolo heels. She’s smart, aggressive, successful – and most people can’t wait to see her get her well-deserved comeuppance. When her fall from grace over her latest business failure or scandal lands her above the fold of the newspaper, it seems only right that she gets knocked to her knees.”
 

“Let's face it, there's just one word that our culture bestows on that supremely ambitious woman who unapologetically values a career, and that word starts with a “B.” It’s our prevailing cultural paradigm: ambitious men are go-getters, but ambitious women are bitches (or arrogant, or bad moms, or women who repel mates, or selfish, or ______ fill in the blank).”

We're finally seeing a cultural uprising against this socially-sanctioned double standard that judges high-achieving women according to a different set of rules than their brothers. And, as ambitious women, we're now feeling the force of a collective course correction. It's time to link arms and lift ourselves and each other up.

Here we are at the end of 2010.  As we move into the holidays and New Year, let's reclaim our ambition as a virtue. 

Forget going crazy with shopping and over-spending and out-of-control present buying. Forget buying into the junk culture’s mandate that we live up to certain holiday season roles that women should play (that actually make us stressed, burned out, and feeling guilty and inadequate when it’s all said and done).
 

Instead, let’s be thankful for our talents, our big dreams, and for our ambition to make the contribution we were born to make. 

Consider the following virtuous definitions of the word ambitious (from Webster’s:
 
1. having ambition; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, or a specific goal.

2. requiring exceptional effort, ability, etc.

3. aspiring, enterprising; wishing to rise (mentally or spiritually) to a higher level or plane, or to attain some end above ordinary expectations. 

Wouldn’t it be great to view our ambitious goals through that positive and inspiring lens? Imagine how that would change our perspective.

Embracing a virtuous definition of winning as an ambitious, talented woman who believes that the world deserves to hear from her means following three golden rules:

1. Love your work without apology, and with integrity.
Be willing to aggressively pursue the professional work you were meant to do and to strive for any career opportunities that inspire you. Remind yourself daily, “My ambition is a virtue. The real course for becoming the happiest woman, the best friend, lover, spouse, mother and community member I can possibly be is to always honor my ambitious dreams.” 

2. Regard your deepest career aspirations as unconditionally sacrosanct.
Don’t buy into the false choice that you must choose between a great career or a great personal life. The real way to have a great, happy life is to see your career ambition as a part of your value system to which you must give equal attention, along with other non-negotiable priorities in your life, including your partner, your kids, your friends, your community.

3. Feel entitled to earn your worth.
You must be able to charge your full marketplace value without self-reproach. Don’t leave money on the table. Be committed to abundance, to this life fulfillment mantra, “I deserve to be paid well for doing meaningful, challenging work that makes a difference. I refuse to sell myself short. I will take control of my own economic empowerment.” 

Take a stand. Do so internally. Believe in your own talents. Believe in your big dreams. Have an unshakeable resolve that you deserve to love your work with a grand passion. Stand up and speak out. Do so courageously, from your heart. You will not only inspire yourself; you will also be a role model for other girls and women. You will help validate your sisters’ belief in their right to dream big, to achieve, and to be recognized for making the contribution we women are born, entitled, and obligated to make. 

As the ambitious woman you know you are – and are entitled to be – I encourage you to answer for yourself, every day, a question posed in Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day”:

Tell me,
What is it you plan to do with your one
Wild and precious life?

Say it; believe it: “The world deserves to hear from us.” And spread the word!



How do YOU feel about YOUR big, ambition goals? Post your comments below.

Sincerely and ambitiously,
Dr. Debra Condren 

 

 

Ten Steps to Thrive in 2011

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Economists say the Great Recession -- the longest and deepest since World War II -- ended 18 months ago and that the U.S. economy is, in fact, growing again. But growth is relative. Even the rosiest economic forecasts for 2011 come in well under 3 percent growth. Unemployment is still high, and consumer spending is still sluggish.

That doesn't mean sit and wait for things to improve. Rather, retool for the economy that exists today, and will be lingering for many tomorrows. Here are 10 places to start.

1. Overhaul your business plan. Rethinking your business plan can help you spot new opportunities and point your company in the right direction. For step-by-step advice, check out the U.S. Small Business Administration's guide.

2. Double down on what works. Whatever paid off in 2010 is worth investing more time, money and resources next year. Ask yourself: What was your top-selling product or service, and how can you get your customers to buy more? What money-saving strategies went straight to the bottom line? What incentives or promotions got your customers' attention?

3. Experiment. The best time to try something new? When the old isn't working. It may feel safer to stay in your comfort zone, but sticking with the same old product, service or marketing strategy might actually be riskier.

4. Fire your D-grade customers. Make a list of your customers and give each of them a grade. Then dump everyone below a C--or a B, if you can afford it. Once you've separated the winners from the losers, put a plan in place to turn those laggards into A-listers. Going forward, use those criteria to size up new business.

5. Become an 'A' customer. When prices are low, as they are now, it's generally a good time to lock in long-term contracts with your regular vendors, contractors and suppliers. Indeed, you might be able to negotiate a lower price in return for the promise of your business. 

6. Expand your network. Facebook and LinkedIn have their uses, but they'll never replace face-to-face meetings, especially to win new business and get referrals.

7. Leverage your brand. "What do you bring to the table that no one else is serving up to clients and potential clients?"asks Debra Condren, a New York business psychologist. "You must first understand what sets you apart and then become completely fluent in communicating to your target audience what separates you from the herd."

8. Get some credit. The mortgage market is starting to thaw, and that's good news for small-business owners who can tap their home equity for working capital. If you have good credit and some equity in your house, now may be the time to refinance before interest rates rise.

9. Fire up your employees. Think about creating a bonus plan to motivate employees to hit your 2011 goals.

10. Team up. Working with "channel partners" -- companies that target the same market but with products or services different from yours--can be an ultra-efficient marketing strategy. 

 

This posting was originally written by Rosalind Resnick as featured in The Street.



Do Working Moms Raise Sons Who Cheat?

IStock_kid A British psychiatrist has concluded that hiring a nanny to care for your infant boy could turn him into a serial womanizer. Why? Because you have conditioned him, from the earliest age, to the comfort and solace of “the other woman."

Yet one more example of why so many ambitious women simultaneously crave and fear our ambitious goals.

Wouldn’t it be great if women could ignore what our culture thinks about high-achieving women and eliminate the fear part of our ambition equation? Just imagine how that would change our perspective.

Continue reading "Do Working Moms Raise Sons Who Cheat? " »

7 Things Rich Authors Know and Do Differently Than Poor Authors

Stevenew Many of my coaching clients, colleagues, and friends ask me why some authors make a fortune while so many others with equally good – or better (let’s be honest) – books always seem to struggle financially.

Many of us who are authors (published, or not yet) would like to make a whole lot more from our own non-fiction book(s) – maybe even enough to go full-time – without wasted time, work, emotional energy, or chasing false promises and throwing away money that ends up giving us a rotten return on our investment.

After working with 9,300+ authors over the last 20 years, my trusted advisor and colleague Steve Harrison, founder of the  Radio-TV Interview Report and the Million Dollar Author Club,  has learned this: Rich authors know and do seven key things differently than poor authors.

I invite you to join Steve for a free 75-minute information-packed telephone seminar on Thursday, April 15 (offered at two different times for your convenience) during which he'll share those seven key things with you. Click here to register now at no cost.

Anyone who works with me knows that I am extremely selective about recommending resources. I personally have studied (and studied and studied…) -- and implemented (implementing is key, after all!) -- Steve’s information over and over again to make my book, Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word: A Woman’s Guide To Earning Her Worth and Achieving Her Dreams  (Random House / Broadway) a bestseller. Knowing first hand the value of Steve’s information, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this 75-minute
complimentary seminar.

What you’ll learn on this call will be vitally important information about publishing, how to avoid needless mistakes and stop wasting your precious time and money while writing and and promoting your book(s), and nuts-and-bolts advice about how to achieve MUCH more success and fulfillment as an author. Click here for more details about what you'll learn:

Continue reading "7 Things Rich Authors Know and Do Differently Than Poor Authors" »

Career Burnout: Maya Luz

Rising star Maya Luz quit Project Runway after just 10 weeks. Journalist Marina Khidekel, writing for Marie Claire, explores the question: Are you headed for a career crash, too?

The night before the final six designers on Project Runway's season seven were to face their next challenge, Maya Luz lay awake in bed, racked with doubt. She was thrilled to be cast on the series — a bona fide career-maker for the promising 22-year-old design school grad — but as the weeks of filming went on, something felt increasingly off. "I believed in my work, but while I was always in the top three or safe, I never won a challenge, and that really messed with my head," she says. The show's nonstop hours, constant camera presence, and rigid work rules (contestants aren't permitted to listen to music while designing and can't do any research before diving into a challenge) also threw her off. It all just felt like too much, too soon. "I started to feel like a puppet, as if I were losing myself, and I realized I wanted a sense of control back," Luz says.

The next morning, she told producers she wanted out. After a heart-to-heart with Tim Gunn — "She was on a trajectory to be a finalist," he says — and a quick announcement to her shocked castmates, Luz packed her things and boarded a plane for her mother's house in Naples, Florida.

Continue reading "Career Burnout: Maya Luz" »

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I’m all about creating ways for ambitious women to share our stories with each other.

I am a business psychologist, researcher, author, executive coach, and career advisor. I lead workshops and lecture frequently on women’s need to embrace our ambition. I founded the Women’s Business Alliance, a motivational think tank for more than 2,500 women. For more details, see my about page.

I’d love to hear your story. Ambitious women owe it to ourselves—and the world—to make the contribution we were born to make. Let’s keep the dialogue flowing.

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