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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.

Daryn Bridwell | Skincare Entrepreneur

When faced with a challenge that feels insurmountable, do the things that YOU can control and take one day (or hour) at a time!

Anna Powell | founder Evergreen Agency | partner consultant | Spool Marketing

Dan Powell

Nothing in life is wasted. It’s all part of your story. Your trials, challenges and struggles build your character, make you stronger and change you. So when things get tough, put on your game face, buckle up and know that this too shall pass. And when it does, chances are you’ll come out on the other side with renewed perspective. Also, gratitude. Finding things to be thankful for amidst difficulty keeps the light to happiness turned on. Always look for that silver lining. 

Rose Nava | Glam Design Artist

Glam Accessories

I’m always talking about challenging myself. I believe it’s about training your brain and changing your mindset. Its about not giving up. If you fail, you try again. Each time you fail you will learn something and get closer to overcoming that challenge. Each time you overcome a challenge you take what you learned to prepare you for the next challenge. Before you know it you are the Boss Babe you wished you were.  Don’t fear challenges.


Denise Graves | Wife | Mom | NICU Clerical Support

My son was born at 31 weeks and was only 1 lb 14 oz at birth. I had a huge battle ahead of me but I did not lose heart. I started by recognizing and validating my circumstance. Knowing that the road may be rough helped me get in the mindset of creating a game plan. I found that asking for help was necessary. My friends and family took care of the mundane so I could focus on the task at hand. I also prayed…a lot. Whether you’re spiritual or not, taking time to pray, meditate or clear your mind is so beneficial.    Remember to not lose hope no matter how big or small your current struggle is. You’re a lot stronger than you think.


NIK ”talkswithnik” | Entrepreneur | YouTuber (Vegan/Goth Make-Up Artist) | Surgical Technologist

Close your eyes. Envision what it would be like to overcome this you’ll feel..what it would mean to you today and in your future.

Look in a mirror and tell yourself you will get through this and make it happen. Tell yourself you will dig deep and find the strength to push through the obstacles because you deserve all that you seek and above all else you deserve happiness.

You woke up today to create the life you want. So, own it and fight another day!

I could give specifics on exactly what you should do & how it may help but at the end of the day…you must accept the challenge and make peace with it. Your journey begins and ends with honest belief in yourself and that is your unique power and you will persevere!  Stay focused, stay thankful and believe in you as much as I do.


Talia Haykin | Owner of Haykin Family Ciders | Mom | Marketer

Always be sure you see the full picture but take it one small step at a time. My dear friend’s mother (of blessed memory) used to say, always start your to do list with “write a to do list” so you feel like you have always accomplished at least one thing to start the day.

Lisa White | IVF Mentor and Occupational Therapist

Britt Nemeth Studios

The advice I would give someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to first pause and take a deep breath.  It helps to take a step back and try to see the bigger picture.  When a large, intimidating task is presented in front of us, we almost freeze up and shut down thinking there is no way we can tackle this.  If we would take a minute and see what small actions we can start taking first, then I feel that is the best movement forward; One step, then another, and another.  Often times we let our minds take over and feel that things are out of our control and that they are impossible to take on.  One of the keys is to get quiet, get focused – maybe it’s meditating or taking a walk outside to clear your head.  Whatever you need to nurture yourself is where I would begin.  Self-compassion with ourselves is everything.  It’s when we get quiet, that we get in the receptive mode to really hear the answers that are trying to guide us. 

Megan Bucholz | Founder and Chief Tasting Officer

When facing a challenge that seems insurmountable, pause and remember that nothing is insurmountable. You might not be personally able to meet the challenge without help, so tap into the expertise of trusted colleagues and friends. It’s likely that someone you know has a suggestion on how to accomplish your goal.

Armani Sucki | Fashion Designer | Wardrobe Stylist

I believe that when you’re approaching any challenge you need to take time away, and get a clear head first before making any moves.  I would also recommend speaking to the people who mean the most to you. Always weigh out your options, don’t be too hard on yourself, and never stop trying.

Annie Ingram | Owner & Designer of Annie Ingram Design

Challenges always feel insurmountable at first, but take your time, follow the appropriate steps, and it eventually won’t seem as daunting. Make sure it’s a challenge worth pursuing and work hard to gain passion and growth from it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Hollee Gold | REALTOR® | GRI |  PSA | Probate Specialist

Life will always has it’s challenges, I think of them as an opportunity to grow. We do survive even the worst of times.
Sometimes we just need a moment to  breath, to be still, and remember there is something bigger, all things have purpose.

I just read a perfect quote I’d love to share

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist

Sara E. Stewart | Chief Motivator @ Zenful Life Living, LLC | Registered Yoga/Meditation Teacher | Health Coach & NLPP

Having thrived 4 years post stroke, there are 5 things I would tell someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable.
1.  Define your NO to get to your YES. It’s okay to be selfish. Start by removing those things and people that don’t motivate or encourage you.
2. There is more than one way to cook an egg and life goals are similar. Begin with the end goal in mind and don’t get caught up on the minutiae of the challenge.
3. Seek and ask for help. If you never ask, the answer will always be NO! You will find helpful people if they just know what you need.
4. Just Start! Put your focus on what you deserve, not what you feel you desire. The two are not the same, so act in a way the feeds your passion and purpose.
5. Make everyday zenful. Live in a manner that acknowledges that your next breath is not promised, so while you are working toward your future, be mindful of the present moment. In doing so, YOU will discover joy you did not know existed.

Christina Rowe, MSOL | Leadership and Team Development Coach | Consultant and Speaker

When challenges feel overwhelming I try to, and teach my clients, make it bite size. Ask yourself what’s the smallest thing I can do that moves towards the solution, then do that thing, and ask again what the next bite size step is ahead of you. Remembering that you can make progress helps build the confidence that along the way you’ll solve the challenge. If it STILL feels insurmountable, ask the advice of someone who has very different strengths than you do, their perspective may be different enough that it helps you see the path forward.

Angela K. Nickerson | DIY | Vintage Decor | Planners

When a task or a challenge seems insurmountable, take a deep breath, step back, and break it down into smaller pieces. An ancient Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Every challenge seems huge from afar, but almost anything can be broken into smaller pieces. And smaller tasks are much easier to accomplish. I use a paper planner and a planning process to keep perspective on those large goals and to track each step, so I can see my progress. In fact, I’ve created a new section on my website devoted to this process, and I have written The Nice List  a Christmas planner, which helps busy families wrangle the Christmas season into small, manageable pieces that can be accomplished on time and under budget.

Breaking any large task down into smaller pieces — from a home renovation to Christmas shopping, planning a wedding to writing a novel, earning a degree to spring cleaning — makes the large project much more manageable. And doing it on paper has added benefits for your brain and memory, too. So take some time to do some thoughtful planning, and tackling that insurmountable task will be easier and less daunting.

Brooke Hill | Traveling Humanitarian Photographer | small town girl with a heart for the nations

The best advice I could give someone who is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable is that you are given the freedom to decide what voices you will listen to. You can listen to the voice of fear and doubt that fills you with anxiety, worry, and disbelief. OR – you can choose to listen to that small faint whisper that quietly states, “maybe it won’t be like this for forever”. Everyday we’re given the opportunity to wake up and decide what voice will define our moments, days, and future. The choice is up to you, and I hope you choose to be brave and step out in courage. 

Jenna Newton | Mental Health Clinician & Virtual Health and Fitness Coach

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to break the challenge down into smaller parts. By having these smaller goals, they know what step is next to take in order to get closer to achieving this challenge. This also helps build mastery and confidence to continue moving forward.


Indeliza Marquez | Full time Wedding Photographer & stay home wife | mother

I am Indeliza Marquez, I am married to a wonderful man who has helped me get through so much as a new mother and a full time photographer. Being a full time mother and trying to build your career can be challenging especially when your kids depend on you 24/7, I am a very spiritual person, and have learned that the best way to face challenges is by allowing God to plan your lifestyle, even if you don’t want to face them and want the easiest way out, taking a minute to breathe and remind yourself that it is okay to take a minute for you and those who need you the most, work will always be work what comes first is those you love, and need you, my favorite verse to remind myself to balance everything as much as possible is Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  Another one of my favorite quotes in the Bible is Matthew 6:33 “ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I think this is the best advice I could give anyone. God’s blessings are the best for us, including the time and season we are in. 

Tiffany King | Sales Executive at koala bars and Cbd infusionz

Belief is one of the most powerful concepts in the world.

What you believe and entertain within your mind is what you are busy manifesting.

My life changed drastically on the third day of my journey into sobriety. I made up my mind that day that I was going to get sober and finish out my probation no matter what it took. I became part of the ‘no matter what’ club. I didn’t leave room in my mind for doubt; I didn’t leave room in my mind for disbelief. The only thing I told myself day-in-and-day-out is I’m going to do this no matter what.

Here I am approaching 4 years into my sobriety and I have accomplished more in the last four years than I could have ever imagined at the beginning of my sobriety.

A determined mindset and a positive optimistic attitude are the most important things you can bring with you. Anybody in the world no matter what your circumstances are, can improve their mindset and attitude with very few resources; that’s powerful.

Everything starts in your mind and once you master your mind and your thoughts; you master your world.

“Perception is everything” Tiffany King

“Whether you think you are or you think you aren’t; your right” Henry Ford

“You will never regret the hard work you put in for a better life” Elizabeth Benton

Erin Bird | Mindfulness Motivator | Reiki Practioner & Aspiring Nursing Student

The ability to take on a feat is not impossible.  If you perceive something as insurmountable, you’re automatically limiting yourself.  When you attempt an action, there will be times that you fail and times you succeed and that’s okay- any effort is better than no effort.
To overcome a challenge has everything to do with your perspective, mindset, and plan of action.   When you feel like you don’t have these resources in a positive manner to overcome the feat remember that in every given decision making moment we have a choice.  You can choose to do what’s “edgy and cool” or you can choose to invest in the compound interest of the betterment for yourself.  My best advice is to envision your higher self and embrace what that looks and feels like.  Use that as your large goal and work backwards, setting yourself up with medium sized goals that are enriched and empowered by tangible smaller sized goals.  When you succeed with different sized goals, what once seemed insurmountable becomes accomplished.


Lauren Ott | Registered Dietitian

My advice is to make daily goals instead of looking at the overarching goal/challenge.  When you break challenges down to small goals, it will feel much more achievable! 

Free Flow Visual Artistry | professional specialty entertainer

Surround yourself with people who believe in you, especially when you have trouble believing in yourself amidst the challenges. I truly believe that we rise by lifting others, and I’m eternally grateful for those who have lifted me throughout my professional and personal journeys.

Kristy | Sex positive | cannabis events | sponsorship management and networking

I take a moment to slow down, breathe and remember what I started doing it all for. Whatever it is – I started it for a reason, and it is important to remember what made it so important to take action in the first place.

Jessie Suitts | Hair and Makeup Artist and Mom

Everyone deal with what seems like unbearable events in their lives differently. Unfortunately, we have to get through these events to find out how we best deals with them. No matter how you deal with stressful situations, and events, you always have to remember this is not forever and you will get through it. Its hard to think this while you’re dealing with it, but you have to stay positive!! You will conquer!!!

Christina Martinez | Marketing Strategist & Tinkerer

Take a step back and look at unnecessary pressures you’re putting on yourself. Most of the time we’re making it harder than it needs to be. Look how far you’ve come, if you’ve done all that you clearly can tackle this too!


GratefulAlice | Jeweler & Small Business owner

Always remember everything happens for a reason. The universe has something amazing in store for you and could be redirecting you to a new path that serves you. Stay strong! 

Marcy Kennedy | Floral Artist | Owner of Flowers By Sweet Pea Designs

Don’t think of it as insurmountable. Think about why was I given this challenge? What am I supposed to learn or take away from it? We aren’t given challenges by chance. There’s always something we’re supposed to learn. It may be to help us grow mentally, spiritually or physically. There’s always a take away. Challenge it back! It may seem hard at the time, but when you look back on it, you’ll really see how you grew as an individual.
Pinterest: Flowers By Sweet Pea Designs

Heidi Mendoza | Interior Designer – Full interior design services for both residential and commercial clientele | owner of  re.dzine

I am a strong believer that “Everything happens for a reason”  It happens to either teach you something, to push you to grow, and to encourage you to change.
Often the most uncomfortable and challenging  things are the ones that will teach us the best most important  lessons. These things will try to tell you that “hey, you are getting too comfortable, it’s time for new challenges, a change, and for this we need to feel uncomfortable. These challenges happen for a reason and you need to stay alert so you understand what the Universe is trying to tell you; maybe you need a break/ vacation, you need to hire help/ ask help from friends and family, or you are taking the wrong route in business or personal life. Whatever it is, challenges always make us stronger and more prepared and often gear us to right direction when we go off the path.

I know it’s easier said than done, but what helps me personally is my sense of humor. While I am stampeding through a tough day like a turtle through peanut butter,  trying to find humor in the situation will help diffuse stress and tension and hopefully make someone else laugh too…with me or at me 🙂

“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!”


Sara Brinson

Shot: Shelby Boher Photography Makeup: Vert Beauty Outfit: Free People & Midnight Rambler

If something feels like its entirely too great to overcome, its probably because that something is there to take you somewhere really special. The best things in life don’t come easy, and life wouldn’t be any fun if they did. Buckle up & do your best. No harm can come from this. All things shall pass and remember that there is always light after the storm.

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