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5 Co-Working Spaces for Women That I Wish Were in My Town by @ChristyCareer

by Christy Williams | Featured Contributor Working for myself has afforded me a lot of freedom. Thank goodness, because if I were to have a personal tagline, it would probably be, “You’re not the boss of me.” I love the freedom I have to work from anywhere, and control my own schedule – you know, for taking your freshman to physical therapy once a week for her dance injury. Or when the school calls saying they’ve called 911 for your fourth grader. (Crisis averted…he was simply dehydrated. Although mommy’s heart might be in jeopardy now.) I absolutely adore working from home. It is such a lower-stress way of life for me. It’s hard enough to leave the house with both kids at 6:40 in the morning, let alone having to worry about getting myself showered and dressed and to an office by 8:00. I honestly can’t even imagine doing that, considering how tired I already am on a daily basis. (Let alone even think about going back to a cubicle situation.) But if there’s one downside of working for myself, I would say it’s the isolation. There are days when I don’t see or talk to anyone else besides my children and the dog, and even though I need way more alone time than the average person, sometimes, you just want to be around other humans. In a town like mine, though, that limits me to a couple of coffee shops that are always packed – and cold. There actually is one co-working space in our small town, but unfortunately for me, it’s in the basement of a building, with little to no natural light that I can see. And I need natural light. That kind of environment might help some people focus, but not being able to see outside makes me twitchy. I don’t even like to close the blinds in my house until I absolutely have to, once it’s so dark outside that it feels like living in a fishbowl. When I started researching co-working spaces, I wasn’t too surprised that there aren’t many close to where I…

Stepping Boldly Towards Empowerment by @lieshapetrovich

by Liesha Petrovich | Featured Contributor We each have our own personal journey towards empowerment. We each come from unique circumstances, life experiences and financial opportunities. And we all have our own hopes and dreams. We see powerful women and we want to emulate their success. Especially, the amazing rags to riches stories of women like Oprah Winfrey and J.K. Rowling. Yet, many of us will never have an easy path to empowerment. The World Bank explains that women are facing an uphill battle: “Girls with little or no education are far more likely to be married as children, suffer domestic violence, live in poverty, and lack a say over household spending or their own health care than better-educated peers, which harms them, their children, and communities.” Finding success in business is difficult enough. Add in inequality issues and it can seem impossible. However, in the world of women’s empowerment, this idea comes up all the time: “If only I knew this when I was younger; life would have been so different.” I say this all the time and wish my younger self knew a fraction of the hard-earned wisdom I have now. I became empowered purely through necessity and determination. I didn’t have a clue and stumbled my way towards self-sufficiency. Thankfully, there are great ways for young women to bypass a few decades of feeling powerless. Learn How Dreams and Manifestation are Connected With the right training and mindset, it’s possible for younger women to learn powerful skills at a younger age. Bonnie Bucker, PHD, set out to empower young girls and women by creating a movement called Dream Your World, a program for girls and women ages 8-29 to learn now to dream, manifest and create positive changes in their lives. The idea was for Dream Your World to hold online conferences to empower young women regardless of where they were lived. Bonnie and her team partnered with webinar platform Clickmeeting to reach a global – and often underserved – audience with coaching, classes, workshops and support. Together, they created the global, online event, Dream Your World…

5 Ways Loss Aversion Is Hurting Your Business and What to Do About It by @Pamela_Lund

by Pamela Lund | Featured Contributor Building a successful business is anything but easy. You have to be willing and able to do things that can be not only uncomfortable, but completely paralyzing at times. Taking risks, walking away from bad money, and cutting your losses when things go south are just a few of the things you’ll have to be prepared to do. Any basic business book can tell you all that, but what those books don’t tell you is how hard it is to actually do those things and why most people don’t, even when the payoff is worth it. Humans are a fairly predictable lot. We usually conform to the status quo so we’re liked by our peers, even when we really want to be different. We work long, tiring hours to buy big houses that we can fill with things we never use but keep “…just in case”. We stay in relationships that don’t make us happy because it’s easier than the alternative. All of these things are prime examples of irrational behavior (AKA doing the opposite of what makes sense), especially if you believe that it’s rational to do what makes you happy. So, what makes us so predictably irrational? The fear of loss. If you don’t conform to the status quo you may lose your friends. If you don’t buy something you lose out on the feeling you get from owning it. If you leave a relationship you lose that bond and may go a while before finding another. You may be thinking that these particular losses don’t seem compelling enough to be afraid of them, but research has shown that our fear of loss is greater than our desire for gain – and our actions almost always reflect that. We would rather hold on to what we have, what is certain, than to take a risk that may have a great pay off if there’s even the smallest chance of loss. This fear of loss leads us to prefer our safe, stable, current situation over change, even when we’re unhappy and something different…

Chrissy Teigen Twitter: 5 empowering lessons to take away from this social media rock star by by @jodijill

by Jodi Jill | Featured Contributor Chrissy Teigen Twitter dominates the social media platform. There isn’t a month that goes by that the celebrity isn’t highlighted in the Twitter Moments section and she gets thousands of likes, retweets and posts. Chrissy Teigen’s Twitter messages are empowering in every way.  If there is any female celebrity to be in awe of when it comes to social media, it’s Chrissy and for good reason. She’s a woman who embraces Twitter in all the right ways with millions of people watching. Before making the jump to suggest Chrissy Teigen gets so much attention because she is a celebrity, you might want to take a closer look at her posts. Of course, she’s a popular star, she is part of the successful show Lip Sync Battle and her cookbooks are amazing, but there is more. She has developed her voice to include some beloved elements on social media that draws people to her posts. Her strong female voice is the perfect example of what women should strive for when using social media. She is empowering with her digital influence. If you were to study Chrissy Teigen Twitter posts over the past eight months you might find there are empowering lessons to implement in your Twitter use. In fact, if you break down her Twitter posts, you will find five very important social media lessons that every Twitter user should follow to build up their social media stream. 5 Empowering Lessons to Take Away from Chrissy Teigen’s Twitter Be authentic. Chrissy gives a glimpse of her life in a very real sort of way. It’s digital access showing who she is and how life is for her. People love how she shares who she is without the intensity of perfection. As life is good and bad, the balance of sharing both is authentic and enjoyable to read. Talk to people. If you check out Chrissy Teigen’s Twitter posts, you will notice almost immediately she talks to people. Not just famous people either. Folks like you and me. Connecting with the world is what Twitter is…

The busy professional’s guide to avoiding burnout by @_lauramclo

by Laura McLoughlin | Featured Contributor  Burnout is a common problem for the modern professional. Long hours, and high stakes, combined with the added pressure of 24/7 connectivity and remote working, means that we are not only under pressure, but under pressure all the time. There is no escaping the internet, and it pushes many capable individuals to the point of professional exhaustion. Burnouts manifest themselves in lots of ways, from insomnia and pessimism to loss of appetite. Personally, my burnout came with increased anxiety. I was nervous at work, worried at home, and even in my “downtime” I was constantly uneasy, waiting for my phone to buzz with another ‘urgent’ email. The best way to escape your burnout longterm, I found, was not by drinking camomile tea or taking bubble baths, but by coming to understand your own boundaries – and enforcing them. Here are just four tips I learned on making sure your work doesn’t bleed you dry: Define your schedule Schedules provide structure and organisation to your day and can help reduce stress. Ideally, your schedule will include when you start work, when you finish, and when you will take your breaks in between. Having these points mapped out before you even get to work can really give you a sense of control over your day, and possibly notice what saps your time. Regular breaks are also an important element of your day, even if you think you can’t afford to take them. A lunch break is also exceptionally important, despite the fact that most of us eat at our desks or don’t take one at all. These times allow us to decompress, and lead to a much more productive day. Don’t overcommit It can be hard to say no to colleagues when they need help, and harder still to tell your boss you don’t have time for a new task. However, it’s essential that you enforce your boundaries with those you work with and for, not because you are not capable or unhelpful, but because you simply cannot do anymore. The best way to handle this…

Five Tips to Be a Better Negotiator by @vmcntosh

by Victoria McIntosh | Featured Contributor Negotiation is a skill set that can be tough to master, but worth having in your back pocket no matter where you decide to go in life. Whether you find yourself in the boardroom making deals, running for office to bring positive change to the community, dealing with staff or getting ready to ask for a well-deserved raise, the power to negotiate is the life skill at some point everyone will need in their career. Unfortunately, negotiating is also a tough wall to climb for women: not only does the data show we don’t do it nearly enough, but there can be nasty consequences even when we do step up. It’s not just a fear of backlash or stepping out of turn, it can be a very real way to damage reputation, hurt new job prospects and be seen as less of a team-player. Negotiations then, need to be done so the party on the other side hears a clear message: ”it’s not just good for me, it’s good for you too.” In their international bestseller Getting to Yes Roger Fisher and William Try recommend what they call ‘negotiation on the merits’, breaking down added talk to focus on what issues are really at the table, and get involved in what Harvard Business Review call “joint problem solving”. With a true negotiation strategy, the objective is not to win or concede, but to work out a plan so that everyone can get more of what they want. Whether you’re involved in international diplomacy, settling a dispute or looking for an increase in salary, here are five strategies to take the next time you find yourself at the bargaining table. Prepare for the People Problem Human beings live tangled lives at the best of times, and how a situation appears on your end could be a completely different story to the person on your end. Different viewpoints and backgrounds will always be part of negotiations, because the agreements are being made by people in the first place. Michael Wheeler, a professor at Harvard Business School,…

When did Owning a Website Become So Complicated? by @DreamTravelMag

by Sharon Mendelaoui | Featured Contributor  Recently on one of my Facebook networking groups, someone posted a photo gif about her frustrating day. Then she said, “how do you all feel?” The result was hundreds of comments filled with animated gifs featuring people banging their heads against a wall, falling, crashing into things, rolling eyes and screaming. We were all feeling the same thing: FRUSTRATION. It made me relieved and sad at the same time. I’m not, alone in how I think about my websites, but why were we all feeling like this? When did owning a site become so complicated? The Website Difficulties On Our Minds There was a time when we would code a website with HTML and then it would go live, and we didn’t have to think about it for years. Those days are gone. Websites need constant review and updating. From the WordPress platforms, we built them on, to our themes, plug-ins and even our posts. It is a continuous battle to keep things running smoothly. When I think about the topics of discussion on my blogging groups, it is no wonder how frustrated we all are. Most of us run blogs alone, some of us run multiple sites targeting different niches. So as solo entrepreneurs we put a lot on our plates. When I think about all the things I have to know about the web, Google, social media and what’s under the hood of my blog – it’s no wonder my brain hasn’t exploded. Will We Ever Understand Google? When you own a website, it all comes down to Google. Where does your post rank? How do you make it rank on Google’s first page? How do I get more traffic? These are the standard things all bloggers obsess about. But I’m surprised by how many bloggers don’t know any of those things. There are Google Guidelines? Did you know Google has rules? Basic rules like your sites need a privacy policy, security certificates, accelerated mobile pages and a cookie disclaimer to let your website viewers know that your site (like pretty much…

5 Ways to Banish the Fraud Feelings For Good by @tasminsabar

by Tasmin Sabar | Featured Contributor  “Who am I to do this?” I often hear this exact sentiment from many of the women that I speak to. It doesn’t matter whether they are new to their business or have been doing it for years. They feel that they should have their own life sorted 100% before they can help others. They say things like “I don’t have all the steps”, “I don’t’ feel confident enough” “I don’t feel knowledgeable enough” “I’m not qualified enough” and so it goes on. Whilst they desire to create a business around their gifts and passions and long to be of service, all too often they get in their own way. Those “not enough” thoughts end up on repeat and ultimately create a reality that leaves them feeling stuck. The fact is though, nobody can have all the answers to everything. No matter how good you are, there will always be more you can learn, more ways you can grow and develop. Life would be pretty boring if it were any other way right?  After all, growth is so important in life. Yet, so many women continue to hold themselves back and that fraud feeling and “imposter syndrome” is very real and more common than you might think. I hear it amongst so many women I speak to and I recently had this come up in a conversation with a good friend who is brilliant, intelligent, capable and at the top of the game in her career. Still, she openly discussed with me how frequently she finds herself at work thinking to herself that today is the day she is going to be “found out”. It’s safe to say that imposter syndrome and feeling like a fraud is rife with many women. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Kate Winslet are two high profile examples who’ve spoken of how it affected them. Maybe you’ve felt something similar yourself at some point? This is a massive shame because when you do this, you stop yourself from reaching your full potential because of these self-limiting beliefs. But worse still,…

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