Inner Success

Diversify The Panel

Many of you know that I am from a small community in Oklahoma and have worked in a variety of male dominated professions, you know like home building, b2b publishing and digital technology. I have been very open in my book about how we oftentimes find ourselves perpetuating language and patterns that limit diversity and openness to change, both as men and women. Today let’s talk about who we listen to and who we ask to speak as experts on topics.

In my book, I talk about a situation that was a final straw for me when working at a company in New York, the lack of diversity on panels. “The panelists?” you ask. Yes the panelists, the keynotes, the people who sit at the front of the seminar or conference and share the wisdom of the industry.

Men outnumbered women 2 to 1 as event speakers over the last five years, a survey by event software company Bizzabo found. Of the 60,000 speakers the company analyzed at mostly private sector events in 23 countries, 69 percent were male.

Manels (all male panels) have reached their limit and audiences no longer tolerate all male, pale and stale. As you know, this is not intended to be an “anti-male speaker” story, but rather an encouragement for speaker diversity. In more than one case, I’ve asked an event scheduler why they considered me as a speaker and the response was, “we needed a woman!” …. They may be joking, but it ain’t funny.

Speakers have the immense privilege to use their words to influence change and belief. If there’s only a specific kind of person who gets this privilege, then we’re only hearing from one corner of the population. Inspiration isn’t one size fits all, so we need to mix it up.So where do we go from here?

I am copying a two part solution from one of the women I like seeing at the front of the room, Jess Ekstrom. Jess is a speaker, someone who empowers other women to speak and founder of Headbands of Hope, a social enterprise that impacts hundreds of thousands of kids with cancer around the world! Here is her advice for stopping the “manel-cycle.”

1- Conferences should try changing up who selects speakers.

Are women involved in the speaker selection process? Does the committee who selects speakers show diversity? Could the future attendees vote on who they want to see on stage?

The people who select the speakers matter. They’re basically the gatekeepers to this entire issue. So instead of continuing to let the same people select speakers, ask other people who they would want to see on that stage.

2- Women need to believe that they can be successful professional speakers…and then apply for speaking engagements.

The issue isn’t just the selection of speakers, it’s the diversity of the applications. I was recently at an event and a woman who selects speakers for a large business conference admitted, “It’s hard to select female speakers because they’re only a small portion of the applications we get to speak. Most applications are from men.” Women need to not just believe they can go up on stage and share their story and make an impact…they need to believe that they can be so good that they can get paid to do it

Like Jess, I want to inspire and empower you to be a keynote type of speaker. If you have questions about how to be recognized as a great speaker and/or how to get on the selection committee’s list for consideration reach out and I will see how I can help you.

And if you want to buy some Headband of Hope items, I carry them at Wystle. They are beautiful and she gives back in BIG ways.

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Inner Success

Staying Connected

The COVID-19 outbreak has instituted new daily habits for everyone I know, whether you are like me and mandated to stay home and or you are like my friend Melissa, in the medical field, working longer, harder hours than before to keep us safe.  Either way, we are all restricted in our ability to physically connect with one another.

These restrictions may exacerbate an already growing problem for us and/or our loved ones: social isolation. Social isolation can (but does not have to) lead to loneliness.  I believe limiting physical interaction does not mean stopping all social interaction, in fact I have seen some people around me building up their social game in the last couple of weeks. I want to share with you a few ways my friends are becoming more connected than before.

  • Do an online workout. Choose from one of the thousands of fitness routines available on YouTube or from a local fitness instructor and work out together, but in separate locations, with your exercise buddy. I have been touring all sorts of scenic places around the world, by watching youtube videos while I run on the treadmill too!
  • Read a book to a niece or nephew or neighborhood kid via video chat. I saw someone in the community doing a virtual book reading – it was such a great gesture.
  • Have a virtual house party by downloading the house party app and adding your friends.  It is great fun and you can play trivia games together. My friend Meredith and I can really get the giggles over stuff like this!
  • Volunteer online. This is a great way to do good for others right from your home. Options include supporting projects at the United Nations, assisting the Smithsonian Institution, or helping people in need at the Crisis Text Line.
  • Host a virtual get-together. If you can’t meet your friends in person move the gathering online via a group video chat.  There are TONS of platforms to use – pick your favorite. My friends are meeting Thursdays at 4:30 (like in college) and doing a virtual happy hour – loving it! Plus we are keeping our local wine shop in business. #winning
  • Teach others your skills. If you’ve been waiting to show the world your special talents, now’s your chance. Use your phone to create short teaching videos and post these online.  Maybe you will be the next Martha Stewart or Tim the Toolman with your mad skills!
  • Writing letters: I have attached a copy of a letter and photo that a friend sent me this week.  oooh, this warmed my sweet heart! Thanks Misty!

As all the commercials on television have said this week.. Apart, we are in this together.  If you have other suggestions for how we can do this crazy life together – while separated – leave me a post!

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Inner Success

As the World Turns

I must confess I have seen more forwards, memes, and surveys in the last four weeks than I have probably ever seen or taken the time to stop and pay attention to. It is not that I have a great deal of more free time but I feel like this intrusion of our work life into our personal life has opened the doors to more personal interactions and side jokes and forwards.

Here is forward that triggered the thoughts of just how interrelated we all are, whether small town or large, whether big business or small.

a stimulus package in simple terms

It is a slow day in the small Saskatchewan town of Pumphandle, and streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.
A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk, saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. 
The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. 
The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op. 
The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit. 
The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner. 
The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveler will not suspect anything. 
At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves. 
No one produced anything. No one earned anything…   However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Stimulus package works.

When I read this forward and thought about the celebration of Easter, for those Christian readers, I think back to the debts I owe. What debts have been forgiven or deferred or lightened during these times of COVID19? What debts have I forgiven or can I forgive during these times. Together we are all impacted by the Stimulus package whether we know it or not, whether we see it or not.

These times take forgiveness and grace. May we all be be #supportivewithoutapology! In it together, from afar my friends, this is how the world goes round. If this triggered thoughts for you about how to pay your indebtedness or to forgive some one else’s debt, please comment below and share this message to others.

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Inner Success

Women: Raise Your Hand

Once again I remind you of a statistic I referenced in my book, The Ten Commandments of #SuccessWithoutApology: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.

I have copied a link to an article by Tara Sophia Mohr in the Harvard Business Review titled, Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified. I believe it is a great read and today I want to urge you to apply, raise your hand, go get the job you aren’t sure you are fully qualified to have. Test your theory – apply and see if you can get the job.

Just last month I accepted a phone call for a job that I felt I was less than qualified to take, but the truth is that I am just as qualified as anyone else who would raise their hand… I was just as qualified as any man.

I believe, as this article states that some of our lack of advancement in careers and professions is simply because we don’t ask for the promotion soon enough. We don’t raise our hard for the job because we feel we aren’t qualified. Well it is time to stop being so timid and go get the job we want!

Apply, go get the job.. Let me know how it works out for you by replying to my blog, twitter feed or Linkedin article. I am your cheerleader and I believe you have earned the right to raise your hand!

https://hbr.org/2014/08/why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unless-theyre-100-qualified

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Books, Movies, and Stuff, Inner Success, Outward Success

I Am An Author

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King, WD

Amen to that Larry!

It has taken me almost two years to hear the words, Congratulations, your book is published.  Today, I announce that I am now a published author and books will be available soon.  While I may not have my biography presented on goodreads or Wikipedia, I will now state that I am an author on my resume.  I wrote, rewrote, erased, read more, rewrote, and then rewrote again.  It took time.  It caused tears and it was hard.  It may have been the hardest project I have ever undertaken.  But, it is finished.  I am published!

Those of you who have been reading this blog while I worked on the book, you know some of my story.  You know I want the women of today’s world to be empowered to voice their opinion, to do success their own way, and to stop fearing rejection.  With this book, I am a student of my own advice.  (Though scary), I will not fear rejection.  I will not apologize for my opinions and my vision.  I have laid them out for everyone to criticize or to love, and I am okay with either one.

Thank you to everyone who has helped along the way, and thank you to my girlfriends who gave me the courage to commit my words to writing.   Help me change the world by ordering a book and sharing the message.

 

 

 

 

 

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Inner Success

Be You, Do Right, Keep Moving

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

Perseverance is vital to long-term success. As the richest man of his time, John D. Rockefeller knew that nothing of importance is built without much hard work. To do so, the work and focus must be intentional and consistent  – no matter the task.

In each of us is the potential to be successful, and with focus, a specific mindset, and a vision of your goal to become truly unstoppable you can tap into it.

Begin with Your Game Plan

In life, you can’t stand still, you must always move forward, lest you go backwards. The most direct path of advancement is sometimes not easy to ascertain, and often has multiple speed bumps.  Rather than view these hurdles as setbacks, allow the moments of learning to develop your strengths. If Rockefeller’s father hadn’t been such a cheat, John may not have learned how to make the most out of working, wouldn’t have saved his money, and wouldn’t have become a revered philanthropist. The adversity and hurdles from within his own family taught him to adapt, overcome, and change the world by how he lived.

Like Rockefeller, forget the excuses and persevere! Here’s are five strategies to help keep you focused on moving forward:

  1. Start with what you know. Sometimes your biggest pain or heartache is the very answer to your life goal. What do you seek to improve or change? To that end, think about what you can do right where you are TODAY, regardless of your age, training, expertise, or lack thereof.
  2. Develop yourself. Maybe you have a specific hobby or passion, or have a skill or two. Whatever those are, do them with the purpose of honing your talent. How can you do them better? What other activities can you do to support your growth?
  3. Strive for the greater good. Pursue each goal, not at the expense of others, but with them.  Never forget who helped you, and who continued to motivate you. In your trials, your source of encouragement often is who / want you want to emulate for others in their times of need.  Another quote from Mr. Rockefeller, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.”  What I often find is that others cannot recognize your good deeds as honest and good.  It is okay to tell them.  It is okay to tell people you are doing the right thing for the right reasons, and not assume they know.
  4. Be prepared to fail. Failure often comes before significant achievement. At times we are paralyzed by analysis.  At some point you have to jump, submit the manuscript, buy the business, or empower the employee to try it their own way. Growth will be stifled if the fear of failure prohibits your ability to recognize opportunity.
  5. Keep moving. After each completed goal, plan for another and another to keep your momentum going. Idleness begets laziness, the effects of which can undo your hard work, trading perseverance for selfishness. But by making an investment toward your goals each day, your mind stays active, your heart stays open, and your life will reap a legacy that inspires us all.

As the end of the year sneaks upon us, are you able to take a little time to reflect on the goals you have accomplished this year?  Can you complete this year’s goals by end of year?  Will you set goals for 2018 and how do you need to develop yourself to prepare for opportunity in 2018?

 

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Inner Success, Outward Success

Mentorship Is My Purpose

The year is 1995, and I, Rachael Row, enter the WMU dorms on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University to begin the pursuit of purpose.  I am a stranger on this campus, unfamiliar with the town or the school, but ready to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Fast forward four years through the track and field career and a Health and Physical Education & Recreation degree, and the entrepreneurial journey begins.  A few career changes, some life experience, and a network of professionals from around the world, and believe it or nor, I am on purpose more than ever!

Because I know who I am and exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life, I will walk back onto the Oklahoma Baptist University campus, this time as a mentor. I am going to share my understanding of my purpose and my personal brand to young women who are finishing the final leg of their college journey.

Tomorrow night I will use and share my gifts and talents. I have been asked to, not only be a mentor for this year, but also to speak at the inaugural kick off dinner of Lydia’s Lamp Mentorship program for young women on campus.  I am very honored to be a leader in the program, which has been titled in honor of Lydia, the influential and successful businesswoman mentioned only two times in the Bible.

Lydia met Paul and Silas while they were in Philippi and she took time out of her busy schedule to listen to them.  After listening and accepting the gospel, she persuaded Paul and Silas to stay in her home, according to Acts 16:15.  Lydia may have been the first Gentile converted to Christianity in Europe and she may also have been the first businesswoman to open her home as a worship center for European Christians.  Lydia, like women of today, was both a domestic and corporate goddesses.

When speaking to the young women who have entered this mentor program, I will challenge them to grow their personal brand and to grow their network – intentionally and without apology.  You see I am so blessed to have had great mentors early in my career who prepared me to live out my purpose.  I am meant to carry that forward and to mentor other women.  Everything I have done, leading up to this day, has been to prepare me for the role of mentor.  Over the last couple weeks, as I prepared for this presentation, I have been so lucky to have heard from a few wonderful women, whom I have mentored, and am abundantly proud of!

Kara, from New York City, made a significant life decision to step away from the corporate chase to raise her child and support her husband.  Fhionna, from Oklahoma, moved half way across the country to pursue her search for meaning and purpose.  And Shannon, now in Chicago, whom I met eight years ago on this same OBU campus, mailed a heart warming thank you note to me. She thanked me for the mentorship I provided her as she progressed through college and later took a leap of faith joining a start up business. I am so blessed by the success of these young women.

Tomorrow I want to do my best, not only for the women listening live, but also to honor those girls who have trusted me for years as their mentor and friend.  As my mentees grow up, take on the world in their own way, my universe of friendship and network expands.  I want to remind women that if you have “made it” be sure you are mentoring others, if you are on the way, bring someone with you, and if are just beginning – find a mentor and build relationships with those that have come before you.

Every mentorship expands your sphere of influence.  And research suggests that one of the largest indicators of a woman’s success is her network.  So you see, mentorship, networking, and success go hand in hand! #GoForthAndMentor

 

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