Write | Inspire | Dream
Today is an extraordinary day at La.Rue. Today, I’m tuning out my own voice a bit and highlighting the voices of eight remarkable women. For weeks this idea has been ruminating in my head to introduce other voices on the blog. I decided to reach out to eight women who have inspired my life in some way—personally or objectively. When I wrote to these women, I illustrated how the details of their stories, lives, and work ethic would inspire the next generation of CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Executives. I asked a simple question. “If you were giving a TED Talk and a young girl (around 17) raised her hand and asked YOU the question, “What’s your best piece of career advice for a young woman who wants to be the next CEO?” what would you say?”
These eight women offered unwavering, inspiring, and un-hesitated responses. As you read their responses, I implore you to look into the finite details of what they’re saying. The intricacies of their advice are rooted in years of experience, stories, and understanding. As I was gathering my eight inspirations, I thought of their stories, their lives, and the paths they’ve weaved to get to this moment in their lives. Whether I know them personally or know their lives through social media, I knew they had a unique story to share. Therefore, a unique skill set that would offer unparalleled advice to the young dreamers reading this. So, to the young person reading this today, keep in mind that the value in the advice you’re reading is not about your career path. These eight women are offering this advice to you with the values of passion, drive, commitment, and grit in mind.
Career Advice from Eight Remarkable Women
Allyson Byrd | @iamallysonbyrd
Sales trainer and founder of The Church of Profit Acceleration, who generated $13+ million in sales revenue for clients in 2018; featured in Forbes, USA Today, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and more. Allyson, simply through Instagram and featured content, has taught me that my life and what I have to offer is invaluable.
“One of your greatest resources in life is relationships. If you’re ever introduced to someone, know that they will introduce you to a new, expanded dimension of understanding relevant to your ultimate success. Reputation is interconnected to your relationship to truth. Three things represent an omnipresent reputation that speaks beyond your presence: speak your truth, live your truth, and leave a legacy of your truth by teaching others. “
Carolyn O’Donnell, a high school educator and coach for 18 years, enjoys writing, reading, thinking, taking photographs, and sharing laughs over coffee with friends at cafes around the world. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University. She can be contacted at email@example.com or through her Consciousness Coaching website, www.coachingcourage.com. Carolyn O’Donnell is an incredible woman with an extraordinarily unique perspective on life.
If you forget about ascending the company ranks and instead focus on ascending your consciousness- questioning the social, political, and familial beliefs absorbed by you- your mindset will transcend these gender barriers, as if they are illusions. You won’t be able to mold an employee: you can only change how you see yourself for the world to work for you. That’s leadership. 1. Work is love externalized. Money is worth made physical. Promotion is self-worth validated. If you don’t love them, you can’t lead them. 2. Leaders who understand their emotions appreciate their employees and build strong companies with real values. When you work through hard emotions with therapies, self-exploration, meditation, exercise, and coaching, situations clarify in formerly impossible ways. Every leader needs advice: find teachers to push you beyond your comfort zone. That is being a true Executive. 3. Letting go of bias requires accepting how others think, no matter how crazy their thoughts seem. Find one thing you like about them as a soul: encourage that. 4. Check who you are choosing as your inner circle. Do you hang out with idealists, liberators, and innovators or pessimists, victims, and imitators? Do you allow media, acclaim, and profit to drive your decisions? Or, do you listen to your inner voice and to your employees’ and clients’ needs? Reflect. That is true daily meditation.
When we ascend our consciousness, we realize what we do to another, we do to ourselves. We own our perceptions. Why would we prefer one gender over another, if we see ourselves as souls?”
Elizabeth Krystyn is a founding partner of Baldwin Kystyn Sherman Partners and Baldwin Risk Partners. She has held various roles, including President, Managing Director, COO, and leader of BRP’s Human Resources Group, all with an intense focus on culture. Elizabeth holds a BS in finance from the University of South Florida. She has a passion for participating in community organizations, including her newly appointed role to Tampa Preparatory School’s Board of Trustees. Elizabeth is truly selfless and a wonderful friend.
“Say Yes! I have never been good at protecting my time. The upside is it sped up my learning curve and exposed me to many perspectives and experiences I would never have had if I played it safe. Saying yes to running a marathon resulted in making best friends. Saying yes to housing an exchange student added a forever member to our family. And saying yes to starting an insurance advisory firm resulted in having a work family that positively changed my life forever. “
Haley Hoffman Smith | @haleyhoffmansmith
Social media content creator for spirituality and manifestation with an audience of 330K+, host of popular motivational podcast Big Conversations, Brown 2018 graduate, and founder of the Dreamaway spiritual online community. Haley is the most inspiring woman I have ever met; she truly sets the example for chasing your “Big Dreams.”
“Your greatest talent is in what energizes you MOST. Along your journey, you’ll learn many strategies for business and leadership success, but the secret sauce is already within you. Notice when a certain challenge, passion, or type of work makes your heart race and captures your attention. Work is SUPPOSED to be a joyful dance in the flow, and when you find this sweet spot, you’ll ascend to the top – CEO STATUS! – in all of your aspirations. “
Type A – loyal, ethical, and relationship-driven, working for an employer who believes in me and provides an amazing environment has led to my success! As a Managing Advisor for BKS, I partner with employers to help them create a robust employee benefits program that balances their costs and ability to attract and retain top talent. A program that matches their culture, is compliant, and has a long-term strategy. Mom to me. The most remarkable, courageous, selfless, and kind woman I will ever know. She has taught me what it means to have great strength in the face of the most difficult adversity.
“If you truly believe in something and you want to advance your career, you must always make certain you share that with those who can help you achieve your goals. Do not wait for it to happen; make it happen. Share your success with others, and recognize those around you that have helped you advance your career. It is not a solo journey. Keep at it even when the odds are against you. No one believes in you more than you do!”
Dr. Jennifer Brown
Dr. Jennifer Brown is a professor of English Literature at Marymount Manhattan College and the department chair of the Humanities & Social Sciences Division. She has research interests and publications in Medieval and Early Modern Literature. Dr. Brown received her B.A., and M.A, from Georgetown University and her Ph.D., from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Brown is a remarkable professor, woman, and mom to N and B.
“Consider before you say “yes” or “no” to anything — a favor, a request, an opportunity. Sometimes your first instinct is not always right, and I think girls especially learn to be people pleasers so may say “yes” automatically. Conversely, you may say “no” to something that hadn’t really been on your radar or in your plans that you really should say “yes” to. Figure out when to embrace an opportunity or when to protect your time.”
Kylie Nicholson | @_kylienic
Kylie is a product management leader with a passion for inspiring and mentoring other women in tech. Currently at Disney+, Kylie has spent the past several years leading teams working on the Disney World and Disneyland mobile apps and websites. She also owns her own photography business. Kylie and I have connected through community; she is inspiring and kind.
“Lead with empathy & vulnerability. Sharing your true self with others invites them to do the same. The most successful teams I’ve had, have been built upon a solid foundation of trust- because I know about my teammates’ lives, families, their passions, what makes them tick (& them mine)- because we respect each other as people, we are able to work together better because we know at the end of the day we are all just humans who all want to create the best product.”
Lauren Tukuafu | @lauren.tukuafu
Lauren is a mama of two, certified Business Coach and Strategist. After a 12 year career in sales and marketing working with Fortune 500 companies and celebrity Bloggers and Influencers, she started her own consulting business helping Digital CEOs simplify their strategy, and scale their businesses to consistent $10K months. Lauren saw the passion within me when I couldn’t see it myself. She is an incredible business woman.
“Relationships and networking are everything. All it takes is one person to share you with their community or recommend you to the right person for your business/career to grow to the next level. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, focus on your individual relationships with them, and don’t be afraid to generously give and serve. When the time comes for opportunity, your name will be top of mind.”
My advice, as always, is to dream wildly. And to these eight women, thank you. I send you sincere gratitude for taking the time to thoughtfully curate these quotes and expand the voice of La.Rue.