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#LadyBoss: redefining what a boss looks like

Too many of us grew up only seeing one kind of boss or leader in the media. The lack of representation for other groups reinforced harmful stereotypes and acted as a self-fulfilling prophesy, but would our opinion of what a leader looks like be different if the media did a better job at representing the true diversity of leadership in America?

Women and other under-represented groups are already leading many great companies, organizations, & academic institutions; others are authoring best-sellers, building engaged audiences, leading movements and more.

We had the honor of connecting with many of the best and brightest female leaders from in and around the city and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.

We encourage you to check out the female leaders we’ve highlighted below, follow them on social media if you find their work or story interesting and most importantly do your part to #fightstereotypes.

Christine Connell – Travel Blogger and Lawyer

What’s the best advice you have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable?  Just start working and making progress, however small. Don’t give up. Take it step by step, and you may be surprised by how manageable it eventually seems.

Bre Gachne- Gym owner, Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher

If you are going through something challenging, never give up. Give yourself loving compassion, patience and understanding while you work through these things. Give yourself permission to let go of self doubt and limiting beliefs. You may not always end up where you thought but you will end up where you are meant to be. It just takes time and most of all hard work.


Haley Peck – Nutrition Coach and Chef

The best advice I have for someone going through something challenging is to surround yourself with supportive people and to try and focus in on all that you are grateful for.

Katy Pierson, Owner, Cake Designer and Pastry Chef

I’m not sure if anything in business (at least my business) is insurmountable, certainly things will come your way that are incredibly difficult, but I’ve found if I just need put my head down and focus, I’ll get through it.  If that doesn’t work,   then pivot and change your direction or perspective.  Sometimes it’s just a small change that will make things feel hopeful and allow you to get to the next thing.  If you have hope for the future of your business, you’ll be just fine.
Instagram – Katy Pierson Cake

Erin Jeanne Photography – Denver Area Portrait Photographer

Have patience!  Some of the best things in life are worth waiting for.

Antoinette Lee Toscano—Author, Transformational Speaker, Blogger at—New Normal Big Life Blog, and Journalist at Culturs Magazine

When you feel stuck because of a challenge, regardless of the size or complexity, just know that you already have the tools you need. You only need to remember how to use them to create your new normal and live your big life. How you ask? By remembering a time in your life when you were happy, healthy, and successful. When I was challenged by complications from a broken back, a traumatic brain injury, and PTSD after serving in the Army I used this technique to get well. I healed myself. Doctors didn’t fix me. My family didn’t save me. I was my own rescue. I tapped into a memory of being a five-year-old happy little girl. I was holding my father’s hand and we were walking down a Manhattan, NY street. That feeling of being happy, loved, healthy, whole, and successfully navigating the world of childhood helped me to become well in the present. Today, the exact life that I envisioned as my new normal is the big life I’m living now.

Annji Manderscheid – Hairstylist: Blonde and Balayage Expert

You will always face challenges in life when you push yourself to a new level. You can either decide to remain or evolve. If you choose to remain the same by running away from a challenge in life, I can guarantee, you will battle the same storms, find yourself in the same situations, the same routine, and the same problems. Until you learn from them, until you find your worth, believe in yourself and truly LOVE yourself enough to say “no more”, until you choose to conquer through the storm…. you will still find yourself in the same cycle of complacency.
If you choose to evolve and grow, you will find a strength inside of you, you didn’t know existed before. You will find what lies outside of your comfort zone. You will see a different approach, view, and angle to situations you never knew were possible. Your heart and mind will be open to new possibilities as you continue to surpass each challenge that seems impossible for you.
As life continues to throw insurmountable challenges your way; choose to grow. Choose to get uncomfortable. Choose to learn something about yourself. Choose to expand your horizons and evolve as a person. Your future self, friends, family, career and the world will thank you for it.
FB page: Annji Does Hair

Joan Fullerton, American Abstract Intuitive Painter and Workshop Instructor

Be willing to try. Take small steps, focus on the task at hand, ask for help, be patient, and give yourself credit for attempting something challenging.  li
Facebook: Joan Fullerton Art

Leslie Meis, BA, LMT, CYT

For someone who is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable I recommend they consider times they felt that way in the past. It’s never a first and for myself it helps tremendously to reflect on other times I felt that way and how it actually turned out (usually just fine or very well!) and know that I’ve been through it before and come out the other side successfully! So despite what my emotions may be telling me I can then reassure myself that while it’s normal to feel that way in the face of great challenge, it also isn’t a true predictor of the outcome.

Kelly Rice – Functional Nutritionist

Break up the challenge into small steps and focus on one step at a time.

Becky Hostetler – Songwriter & Community Connector

I am a verbal processor, so I tend to reach out to others to process the challenge and ask for advice. I’ll talk to my therapist and good friends, and I’ll try to write it out in a journal if it’s really bothering me. I don’t like to keep things in, so I am so grateful for the loving community I have for support.

Brianna Straut – Americana Singer Songwriter

Take a breath and then the first step. No mountain was climbed without one step at a time.

Heidi Marie Dietz – Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition Consultant, Culinary Teacher at New Vibes Health & Acupuncture, and Kids Yoga Instructor

The Universe never gives us anything we cannot handle, take time to breathe deeply and slow down.  Focus on the parts that you can easily take on, if you look at a situation as a whole it might feel overwhelming, but if you break it down and look at all of the pieces individually you may find that you can handle the task easier.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength, knowing your limitations and reaching out to others takes some burden off your shoulders.  I am a single mom and a small business owner, I face challenges daily and many of them seem overwhelming, but I get through the tough times with conscious breathwork and an amazing support system from my community, family, and friends.  I also make self care a priority, making sure to spend time outside in nature, eating healthy, getting regular acupuncture treatments and spending time with loved ones helps me feel prepared for anything that may come up.

Facebook: Heidi Marie

Agnes Wsol – Stylist/ Owner of Vaia Salon & Spa

Never give up ! Dream big and keep going. It sure gets hard sometimes but the payoff is soo worth it . From my own experience- Dreams come true!!! 

Camille Fenn – Calligrapher & Designer

Recognize that it may take time. When I am faced with a goal that feels insurmountable, it is not that I feel unable to accomplish that goal, I am just feeling overwhelmed by it. When you are able to step back, and break that ultimate goal in to steps and decide the amount of time you are going to dedicate to each step, then the goal becomes more obtainable.

Ali Fifer – Holistic Nutritionist

And my answer to that question: Take a breath and start chipping away at it. It’s like climbing a mountain – you put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward and before you know it, you’re at the top and your whole perspective has changed.

Kandace Russell | Artist

For anyone who comes across obstacles they feel they can not overcome, just take it a day at a time, focus on themselves and making time to get into the right mindset to move towards their goal. Small steps make all the difference. 

Yoshi (Ryleigh) Evangeline – Teen entrepreneur, Artist and Beauty Influencer

Nick Sebring at @latestmedialtd

My best advice to someone with a really big challenge would be that the harder you work for something the more rewarding the goal is, so keep working the hardest you can for a better outcome!

Facebook – Makeup By Yawshum

Adasha Nelson- Hairstylist at Vida Salon in Denver, CO

I always tell myself and my friends that our life is like a long road, there can be hills and holes in the road, and to get from point A to point B takes a lot of patience and hard work. You should always look around to not get pulled down into a hole, and if you come to a hill and you can’t go straight up, there is always a road around, it just might be longer! Moving to the US from Kazakhstan was a huge challenge in my life. I had to overcome many obstacles, but I kept on my road and work everyday to make the most of life!
Facebook page – Hair By Adasha

Victoria Moffat-Dixon: Traveler & Photographer

My advice would be to not give up, even though that may feel like the best option. Keep going and give it all you’ve got. It will be difficult, but it will be worth it in the end. When you look back on it, you will be glad that you kept trying and the experience will make it easier for you to get through challenges in the future. Learn from every challenge and experience.

Dr. Lindsay Compton- Dentist Advocating for the Future of Her Profession

I use the old quote by Creighton Abrams, “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” I use a journal/planner that helps me set big goals each quarter. I put three down: future, business, personal. I then break each big goal down into three progress goals. Each of those three gets broken down to three actionable tasks to complete. This process helps me dissect the challenge down and fully understand the gravity and meaning of each goal. I don’t back away from a challenge and often create a reward or punishment for myself at the end. Rewards are amazing and I look forward to it! If I don’t accomplish my goals, I have to donate to a political party or cause that I don’t align with. This has never happened.
Facebook page – Generations Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

JoelinelifeVlogs – Deaf YouTuber

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” – Audrey Hepburn 

Maddi Ossello – Realtor, Coldwell Banker

The best advice I can give for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to continue reminding yourself that, whether you succeed or fail, the situation will eventually change and you will become a stronger, more educated version of yourself. Ask yourself in every circumstance, “What can I learn form this experience?”

Giselle K Bell – Denver based Fitness Model and Tech Recruiter

Sometimes challenges seem even bigger and more daunting in our heads, the more we think about it. My advice would be to break big challenges down into small goals and chunks, and tackle them one at a time…tackle them with purpose and drive, be as smart as possible about it but don’t spend too much time thinking about the size or difficulty of task ahead of you.

Jillie Johnston – Life Coach, Speaker, Joy Spreader

You matter. Your existence matters. How you show up matters. If you show up, matters. You have a gift and talent only you can give in your way and no one else can give it like you can. The words you speak matter. The thoughts you think matter. How you treat yourself matters.
Whatever you’re going through, is impermanent. Life is like a wave and there are ups and downs. The light and the dark will come and they will pass. And it means nothing about you. You are worthy regardless of what has happened and regardless of what you’re going through. Your worth does not depend on your achievements, successes, or life circumstance. Your worthiness is based on the fact that you’re alive and choose life everyday.
This too shall pass and you are exactly where you need to be.

Shannon Lee – HammieTime Enthusiast & Lifestyle Entrepreneur

My advice to someone facing an insurmountable challenge would be to simply keep taking steps forwards, and not backwards. Once we can accept that life is happening FOR us, and not to us, perspective begins to change exponentially. There is nothing that will come our way that we aren’t built to handle and/or grow from. That’s the key, a growth mindset. As long as you keep going forward, the rest of the kinks will work itself out as long as you keep that positive growth mindset at the forefront of your journey. We’re not “stuck” in any situation, but only we ourselves can make necessary changes.

Mia Jasieniecka – Full Time Fashion Reseller and Owner at Rosewood Cottage

Insurmountable challenges can almost always be divided into smaller problems that are less overwhelming to complete. Asking mentors, family members or friends for advice and/or help is a great way to bounce ideas around and to let some fresh air into your headspace. Making daily to-do lists and planning my entire week/month allows me to know exactly what’s coming and when my tasks are due.

Emily Heath – Photographer and Film Maker

Keep pushing through. This is just a season and it won’t last forever. Don’t say that you can’t do it, because you have to see yourself exceeding in your mind before you can succeed in your life. And ultimately, cast your cares on your Creator, because He cares for you.

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