{Strategy} | How Women Lead

Here are the highlights I took away from the book How Women Lead by Sharon Hadaray and Laura Henderson:

  • Personal branding is essential to gain visibility, notoriety, and recognition for your accomplishments. When people can recognize you, they are more likely to notice you. The more they notice you, the more they like you. Psychological studies also confirm that the more a person is exposed to something, the more they like it.
    • Seek out opportunities to speak before an audience.
    • Seek out nominations for awards.
    • Showcase your talents and accomplishments in ways that demonstrate and reinforce your credibility. Be strategic: Show, don’t tell. And also, tell. Know when it behooves you to use either of these strategies.
  • Personal branding is very visual and involves the following features:
    • The way you dress
    • The way you present yourself to others (think Carl Jung’s persona concept) – Does it convey competence and confidence?
      • Posture
      • Gestures
      • Behaviors/mannerisms
      • How you speak to others – especially and even in phone conversations and voicemails
    • The way you write – emails (including your signature), written letters, informal writing
    • Your job performance
    • Punctuality, organizational skills, and other features that demonstrate your ability to respect and appreciate others’ time and make the most out of every workday.
    • Provides competitive differentiation, as well as reinforcing people’s perception of you as credible, having integrity, and innovative.
  • What most women perceive as bragging, most of the business world perceives as “good business sense.”
    • The biggest reason for the current gender gap in compensation is that women just don’t ask. They tend to understate their accomplishments.
    • Find ways to describe your contributions and results in terms of numbers that benefit the company. Find metrics – use numbers and units whenever possible. People love to hear positive statistics.
    • Make sure you understand and communicate the language of business. Whether that means take MBA courses or simply understand the key types of numbers that affect your business or industry, ensure your success by being informed.
      • Ask for opportunities to gain profit-and-loss (P&L) experience early in your career.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, look around for answers and context, and do your research.
    • In mixed company, women tend to perceive that they shouldn’t be intellectual/strategic/financial risk-takers. However, men don’t feel constrained by this unspoken notion. To play in a man’s world, you have to speak the language of men and put yourself out there to try new things.
    • For promotions and increased compensation: Visualize your success during a “Big Ask” meeting before having the actual sit-down with your supervisor. Do your research before you go in and propose “The Big Ask.” And also, just do it.
    • Be your own best advocate.
    • Lead like a woman. There is a scientific basis for women’s large contributions as top company leaders. And most people report a greater sense of trust in their female managers than in their male counterparts.
      • Increased brain activity throughout multiple regions of the brain during a problem-solving session allows women to pull from a wider knowledge base relative to men. Women’s brains tend to feature more white matter, the material that increases connections throughout the brain. This enables women to focus on relationships as well as logic, allowing for a more realistic, holistic means of approaching a problem that involves the use of the team she manages. Women’s brains feature a smaller amygdala structure, meaning that in the face of challenges and confrontation they tend to respond less aggressively, with less fear, and with less territoriality. The increased production of serotonin in the brain in women relative to men affords women more stable mood regulation. Higher oxytocin levels in women create better social bonds and trust with those they work with, and the oxytocin feedback loops created thereby help women to value and commit to those relationships even more.
      • Focus on building and maintaining teams and networks of people that work for your common vision and values for the company’s progress. Get buy-in from those you manage before making decisions that will impact them. Communicate tough news in ways that show you truly value the people who are being affected by that news, and explain how it works for them in actuality.
      • Apply “figure it out smarts” – that is, reflect on your abilities and skills to date, value them, find where they are already valuable, and leverage them with the other resources and opportunities at your disposal to solve big challenges.
      • The most-liked and highest-contributing female leaders are effective at communication, decision-making, and teamwork. And they are very authentic people.
      • Companies with the highest representation of women in top-tier leadership roles yield a 34-35% higher return on investment (ROI) over those with the lowest representation.
      • Think holistically when interweaving personal and professional goals. You don’t have to juggle multiple spheres of life as independent worlds. Find ways to incorporate your family life goals, lifestyle/travel goals, career goals, and other personal goals into the bigger picture.

Are you passionate about growing into a leadership role at your organization? Tired of the status quo in your industry? Leave a comment below to share with out #FemmeBossSquad Community!

Hannah Stringfellow is a freelance blogger and world traveler. She holds an M.S., Chemistry, from the University of California, Berkeley. Her interests include women’s empowerment, health and wellness, and cross-cultural competency.

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{Strategy} | Active Note-Taking Strategy With Detailed Examples

You can use your bullet journal to take notes that are easy to review later. In this article I explain and show examples of a technique I’ve developed (one of many) for effective note-taking and synopsis. It only requires simple access to a photocopier, pens, paper, and a highlighter while you read.

Here’s a copy of the notes I took while reading the book How Women Lead (more on the key takeaways from that book here – coming soon!). You can click on the pictures to make them larger so that you can actually read my notes:

The takeaways here: “Show, don’t tell.” “Looks are almost everything” when it comes to personal branding. Personal branding details listed here as ways to show without “telling.” Notice also how you can spot that verbal summary from miles away because I wrote that simple sentence directly above the portion of the reading that discusses it. I used my own words (a paraphrase) to make it easier for me to digest and remember the critical meaning of the reading.
The takeaways from this page are visually-obvious via highlighter and red pen: professional self-promotion and personal branding are essential for women to gain positions of high prominence and leadership. Projecting confidence is necessary to make this progress, as well as deliberately asking for opportunities to speak. Finally, the women who wind up making it into positions of leadership style themselves with clothing and a haircut that emphasize confidence, power, and femininity.
Projecting confidence , as well as deliberately asking for opportunities to speak and be nominated for awards, is necessary to gain publicity and recognition that materialize as leadership roles and better compensation.
 The strategic steps for asking for promotions or raises. I summarize it in my own words rather than merely pasting in yet another page (again, we’re trying not to get bored while taking the notes!).  You can also see as you scan down the page that the orange highlighter in the reading shows a specific phrasing I can use later to demonstrate my justification for asking my boss for a higher salary later.
Steps for The Big Ask, continued. You can also see that I’ve listed important features of a portfolio career and how it differs from a traditional one on the right side. I’ve numbered that section #2 to show it’s a completely different topic than the rest of what I’d been discussing to that point.

Basically, what you aim to do is encapsulate snippets of juicy, important detail within their original context, so that you can gain a cohesive mental picture of what the article (or textbook) is talking about. This allows you to build the context and scaffolding you need to proceed fluidly and easily through your course. I think it also helps you to complete problem sets, because you’ve already identified where the key ideas or techniques are located throughout the book – without having to read every word as you do it. I like this strategy because it changes a traditionally passive, boring, belabored activity such as reading a whole chapter of a college-level textbook into an active, kinesthetic activity. The goal is to create a cohesive piece of art out of all of the puzzle pieces you are given. You basically skim to find the types of information you figure you’ll need for the class – then you chuck the rest. Your eyes won’t have time to glaze over, and you’ll be more efficient because you won’t have the opportunity to get distracted by your thoughts. Got ADHD? No problem! You’re constantly copying, flipping, snipping, highlighting, and pasting. No need for intense focus on just the reading. And, studies show that including movement in the learning process increases the number of synaptic connections being made in your brain to long-term retain the information you’re trying to put in there!

Note: the most effective learners do the following:

  • pick and choose the key points from a reading passage or lecture, leaving the rest to the wind.
  • summarize the key ideas in their own words, not merely copying the text.
  • find ways to make their learning process more active so that they don’t procrastinate or get bored or bogged down by the complexity of the reading/lecture.
  • relate the material to some other aspect of their lives, personalities, experiences, or classes. In other words, they make their own personal connections with the material.
  • go back over the notes they’ve compiled and write summaries of those notes. This is an opportunity for further reflection and integration of the ideas into their own minds.
  • find opportunities to practice their learning immediately after getting the information (e.g., speaking and listening foreign language labs or cafes, doing science laboratory experiments, setting up and running at-home DIY experiments, writing, playing with or constructing tactile models, and working key problems from problem sets and checking against the key or peers).

Give it a shot for your next high school or college reading assignment! Leave a comment below to let me know how it worked.

{Strategy} | Mindset Shift From Scarcity to Abundance

The lens through which we view life determines how we will view choices. If we come from an empowered perspective, where we believe that we already have everything that we need to succeed, then we will get much more accomplished than if we come from a disenfranchised (or “victim”) point of view. Ultimately, regardless of how you view the world around you, your decisions are yours to make. Blaming others for the results you generate is not a valid choice, though many people get into a mode of denial about their decision to blame others for their failures or lack of progress.

Additionally, if you don’t value what you have indeed done through your own actions, you also won’t see the world from an “I am capable, I am successful” point of view.

We must align our perspective of the world we live in with what we’d like it to look like, and then we have to plan and act with the assumption that we do indeed have control of our own individual destinies. If we want to see change in emissions, we need to take action to reduce our own carbon footprint. If we want to see feminism spread, we need to have the difficult conversations and the social media presence that reflects this idea.

You have to deliberately shift your mindset from that of Scarcity to that of Abundance.

Here’s a cool video I found on Vimeo that discusses this idea. You can also learn more about how to get into the right mindset to see this paradigm shift in your own life in my two articles “How to Use the Law of Attraction to Your Advantage” and “Affirmations Resources.”

https://player.vimeo.com/video/125776385THNK paradigm shifts – Scarcity to Abundance from THNK.org on Vimeo.

What did you think about this article? Does it help you put the choices and goals in your life more into perspective? How about how you measure and view success? Are you ready for success to happen to you? Is success already happening for you?  Leave a comment down below to share with our #FemmeBossSquad Community!

Lifestyle of a Social Media Marketer

Hi, Y’all!

Here’s a list of all of the projects I call my hobby, social media marketing:

  • Reading for inspiration
  • Giving myself time and space to think about new content and strategy
  • Giving myself time to write out said strategy and assess the impact (How important will it be in 2 weeks and in 2 months that I chose to this task first rather than something else?)
  • Scheduling new post titles
  • Adding bits and pieces to scheduled blog posts
  • Loading inspirational quotations onto the Picsee app art canvas for Instagram post content
  • Dabbling in photography
  • Searching for and downloading high-resolution, quality stock photos (Pixabay, Imgr, and Wikipedia are great sources)
  • Using the Preview App to schedule my Instagram content so that I can post consistently with a couple of clicks (Don’t bother with Planoly when you can pretty much get all the same functionality for free using Preview instead!)
  • Carving out my schedule to make room for new material – making time blocks to finish certain tasks (Just in case you were wondering, I follow my own advice!)
  • Driving for Lyft to market my content by word-of-mouth engagement
  • Watching other successful social media marketers for inspiration (my favorites: Lavendaire, Kalyn Nicholson, and Sarah Nourse)
  • Budgeting for ad campaigns
  • Initiating ad campaigns (I use Google AdWords & Instagram right now and intend to start adding content to my YouTube channel next!)
  • Writing Monthly Progress Reports to debrief what I’ve gotten done in the last month and where I’m heading
  • Investigating new opportunities for automation and inexpensive, high-throughput marketing

I typically do 1 to 3 of these things each day either before or after work to make sure that I am consistently progressing towards my goals. I’d like for LikeAFemmeBoss.com to become so popular that I start turning a profit on my investment. I’m hoping that after yielding some profit I can start employing disadvantaged womyn through LikeAFemmeBoss.com and teaching them relevant digital marketing skills that they can take with them.

Knowing that this is my goal makes me all the more excited to do the small steps of progress each day. In the last 4 months, I’ve gone from no readers to an average of 50 page views per day. People are now starting to come to my site through Google searches and my Instagram promotions. The people who read my work have given me very positive feedback as well as suggestions for new post titles. I’ve been so happy to create content that people enjoy and find helpful.  Go girl!

{Strategy} | Best Jobs to Promote Fit Lifestyle

Concerned that obesity, cancer, and disease are fated in your future? Here’s a simple solution!

Research has shown that too much sitting has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, and premature death (Corliss. Harvard Medical School). By default Americans are spending more and more time tied to cell phones, computer screens, and cars to get them through the day. Americans also have some of the longest work weeks of developed nations. We’re tired when we get home from work, so then we usually just want to collapse on the couch with dinner and Netflix. Having to work the American schedule probably isn’t going to change anytime soon, so if we want to create opportunities to maintain our health while still paying the bills, we should probably consider our career environment as a means to “work out” regularly.

Walking works wonders towards reducing the effects of sedentary work. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to maintain good health and lower your risk of heart disease (American Heart Association. “Walking”).

Cosmetologists

Pharmacists/Pharmacy Technicians

Postal Workers

Trades Work

 Engineering/Science/Technology

I’ve compiled a list of careers that facilitate a lot of walking throughout the day:

  1. Scientist
  2. Cosmetology
  3. Engineer
  4. Factory production & manufacturing
  5. Health trades (doctor, clinician, nurse, etc)
  6. Personal trainer
  7. Trades (welding, electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc)
  8. Pharmacist
  9. Pharmacy technician
  10. Mail carrier
  11. Mover
  12. Professional athlete
  13. Gym receptionist, franchise owner, or manager

These jobs are great because they require you to do a lot of walking throughout the day. I can speak directly to my work as a chemist – because the heavy, stationary equipment and various chemicals are located all throughout the lab, I have to walk miles throughout my eight hour shift each day. (I actually used to track it with my Fitbit while I was in grad school – I was easily putting in 5-7 miles per day!). I’ve been really enjoying my job, and I’ve actually met a lot of healthy, lithe, older chemists throughout my research and current job experiences. Chemists easily live into their 80s, continuing to work actively in the lab on the experiments that pique their interest. I’ve also found that most chemists who regularly work in the lab maintain a healthy weight and mobility far into their later years. I can imagine this works the same way for any other kind of scientist, technician, technologist, or engineer.

The Fitbit I used in Berkeley to track my steps

If you’d like more information about median salary, job outlook statistics, and details regarding the work duties in each of these and other careers, go to The Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site and type your career of interest into the search bar at the far top right. You can also access Career Exploring Tools on the Web site (click the link to try them!).

Hannah Stringfellow is a freelance blogger and world traveler. She holds an M.S., Chemistry, from the University of California, Berkeley. Her interests include women’s empowerment, health and wellness, and cross-cultural competency.

This Weekend

Went camping in Murrell Park with my boyfriend. We had a great time – a little bit of beer, playing in the lake foam and rocks, listening to the waves lap up against the shore. We figured out how to start a campfire and made s’mores! The weather was absolutely perfect.

It was a great opportunity to just slow everything down and return to the body. I’ve been so worked up trying different strategies with this Web site. Instagram also temporarily blocked me from writing comments, which I honestly think is a mistake. They say my link to our Web site is not secure. Looks secure to me!

Sunday ended up being a really productive day! I thought through my financial and other options in the morning to restore some faith in my net worth. It’s a work in progress, and I’m honestly just really impatient. I’m concerned already about retirement (if that gives you any sense of the level of anxiety I have to manage on a daily basis).

After that I managed to read through 2 books, which I’ll be writing about soon. Then I did the laundry and posted all of my entries for Poshmark – the high-quality, gently used clothes and accessories I no longer need. I figured I could make a pretty penny off of them. And, amazingly, I already got ~180 followers in the first day of having my Poshmark account up and running! I was really surprised at that, considering that the last time I tried to sell anything on Poshmark I only had maybe 5 followers and only sold about 3 out of 30 items. Ended up deleting that account and starting over with my LikeAFemmeBoss alias.

I cooked dinner and tidied the apartment. I talked to my friend over Skype. Journaled a bit and took notes on the How Women Lead book I’ll be posting about soon. I even worked on filming some new content for my YouTube channel (coming soon!)! In all it turned out to be a pretty good day and I ended up going to bed around 10:30 pm.

{Strategy} | Kalyn Nicholson’s GYST Day

Kalyn started something called a GYST (“Get Your Sh*t Together”) Day. She uses Sundays to get everything back around and reset for the following week. She sets up Sundays as a long block of time that she can take care of all of the miscellaneous tasks that fell by the wayside during the week. Some examples:

  • washing the car
  • home maintenance
  • mowing the lawn
  • cleaning the oven
  • cleaning the bathroom & kitchen
  • throwing away expired food in the fridge
  • laundry
  • catching up on emails
  • deep condition hair
  • retouch nails or eyelashes
  • meal prep for the week
  • grocery shopping
  • paying bills
  • planning for next moves with finances
  • taking out trash
  • eliminating things you no longer need and designating where they should go (e.g., ThredUp, thrift shop, best friend)

Kalyn strategically makes time for these things on Sundays to give her mind and body the “permission” to be less structured but more productive one day a week. She sets these tasks in a list to do before attacking each one throughout the GYST Day. This allows her to have more freedom and to relax more throughout the week knowing that the miscellaneous things that typically clog up the free space in your mind have already been taken care of – that is, they’ve been planned in advance to be taken care of on a day when you don’t have to focus on your work.

Here are some tools I’ve found help me GYST better. Click the images to learn more or buy them!

Zero-waste cleaning:

                                                   

                       

Zero-waste facial options:

                

 

All-natural ingredient for face mask

Want to see Kalyn doing her GYST Day routine? Check out her YouTube channel here or watch this video clip: