Woman Wednesday: Jessica K

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.    


 

Q and A with Jessica from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada  

 

“We are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.”  

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about so many things! I’m an enthusiastic person by nature, and everything I discover is always “the best thing ever” [laughs]. Things I love that have stuck are reading, cooking, red wine, and hiking.

I’m also super invested in (and passionate about) helping other women succeed in their own entrepreneurial businesses. Once upon a time, I was a freelance copywriter and found such success that I was able to quit my full-time job to focus on my writing. Now, I’m giving back and helping other women achieve success like I once did, and girl, it feels amazing!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: It’s funny because I don’t really feel like my younger years influenced where I am now. I’m completely different from my family and have always marched to the beat of my own drum. My family is very much the “you get a good job, work all day, come home to live your 4 hours of normal life until it’s time to wake up and do it again” mentality, whereas I’ve always been extremely expressive, creative, and nontraditional.

My mom often asks where the heck I came from [laughs]!

But you know what? I really enjoy that part of me. I love being able to teach my family new things and hearing the surprise in their voices when they hear my latest endeavor because it’s just so different from anything they are used to. We certainly learn from each other!

 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I’m an extremely positive person by nature and genuinely love helping others find their way. Over the years, I’ve really learned to be accepting of others and keep the judgment at the door because you never know what someone else has been through. Above all, always be kind!

Of course, I’m not perfect and neither are you. Try and practice these things, and if you catch yourself being judgmental, don’t beat yourself up. It happens, we are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism is about equality. No matter what gender we are, we all deserve to be treated as equal human beings. And that’s it. It’s quite simple really. Treat others with kindness, respect, and equality. Women are strong, and we deserve the same treatment as any man. Girl power!

 

 

Connect with me!

You can find me here:

Facebook

Instagram

Website 

https://www.bravedigitalcoaching.com/

 

 

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Jessica & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Angela

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Angela, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

Magnus Salon, Pittstown, NJ

“Before I was an esthetician, I had a different job that I thought was my “forever” job.  However, I was let go from this job with no warning and on Valentine’s Day!  And to make matters worse, we were right in the middle of buying a house and getting qualified for a mortgage.  At the time, I was so upset and couldn’t see past what was happening. Just a short time later, I landed the receptionist job at the wax studio, and now I am a licensed esthetician doing work I absolutely love! If I had not been let go from that other job, I never would have found my true profession, nor have the enjoyment in a job that I have now. Looking back, I can see how all the pieces fit together and it makes sense, but at that time, I had no idea. So, no matter what is happening at the moment, continue to push forward and do your very best.  What seems like the worst thing in the world can be a blessing in disguise.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about my family, my husband, my friends, my horse Ty, and my work. I guess that’s a lot to be passionate about, which may explain why I am so busy.  My mother introduced me to horses even before I could walk, and it has been a lifelong passion for me. Riding keeps me connected to the Earth and the outdoors (and basically keeps me sane).  For my career as an esthetician, I more or less fell into this through circumstance, but I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else!

 

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Pictured: Angela, her husband, and their friends on their wedding day (last year). 

 

After high school, I took several different jobs, including a receptionist job at a waxing salon. The owner thought I could be a good waxer, that I had natural talent, and she sent me to school to learn to be an esthetician. I immediately connected with the teachers and the classes, and I graduated at the top of my class!  This was something I could not have imagined in high school. I have learned that when you are passionate about something, the studying and learning parts come easier.  And I love my work!  For the first time in my life, I am truly good at something besides riding horses.

 

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Pictured: Angela’s sweet horse, Ty! 

 

When I am working on a client, whether I’m doing a facial, skin treatment, or wax, I want to help my client feel confident about themselves.  It’s not so much about our outer beauty as it is our inner beauty, and I feel that part of my job is to bring confidence to a client so that they can let their inner beauty shine outward. We are all different, and we all have different body types, different ages, different shapes, and sizes. But sometimes, a small difference can bring a person confidence in themselves, and when I can do that, it’s the best part of my job.  Not everyone’s goal is to look like a model in a magazine. My goal is to help my clients to better match their outside to who they see themselves on the inside so that they bring that new-found confidence into the world. When a client’s face just lights up, I know I have done that!

 

Pictured: Angela’s eyebrow work (on her clients). In the circles, “before” pictures are shown above, and “after” pictures are shown below! 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Never give up. Period. No matter how hard life is now or how down you may feel, know that everything happens for a reason. Before I was an esthetician, I had a different job that I thought was my “forever” job.  However, I was let go from this job with no warning and on Valentine’s Day! And to make matters worse, we were right in the middle of buying a house and getting qualified for a mortgage. At the time, I was so upset and couldn’t see past what was happening. Just a short time later, I landed the receptionist job at the wax studio, and now I am a licensed esthetician doing work I absolutely love!

 

If I had not been let go from that other job, I never would have found my true profession, nor have the enjoyment in a job that I have now. Looking back, I can see how all the pieces fit together and it makes sense, but at that time, I had no idea. So, no matter what is happening at the moment, continue to push forward and do your very best.  What seems like the worst thing in the world can be a blessing in disguise.

 

 

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Pictured: Angela riding her horse. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: For me, the family was always a big part of my life.  Every night we would have dinner together and talk about how our day was and what we would like our next day to be like.  If there was an issue, we would talk about it as a family.  So, because of this, I feel that I have a team behind me, people that are there for me.  And now, as an adult, my team includes more than just my family, but what I refer to as “my tribe,” which includes good friends as well.  My tribe is an important part of my life, and we work together to support each other.

School was NEVER my thing!  I struggled a lot. Because I have dyslexia, I never felt confident or comfortable in the classroom.  My brother was extremely studious and scholastic (as is my mother), so I always felt that I couldn’t keep up.  However, once I went to school to be an esthetician, I just blossomed! I graduated at the top of my class, which was something I never thought I could do.

The biggest thing I can say to people who feel discouraged with school, their job, or other parts of their life – is to just hang in and don’t be afraid to try new things.  One day, you will find your calling, what you were meant to do. Don’t give up!

Being raised with horses teaches you a lot of responsibility and respect. When taking care of a 1,200-pound animal, there are times your life is in their hands, and there are times that their life is in your hands.  Being able to bring that sense of responsibility, discipline, and commitment to my career has been an important part of who I am today. I truly feel lucky to have the clients that I do.  I guess it comes back to that old and wise saying: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  I treat all my customers with respect, and I am very grateful that they chose me and trust me as their esthetician.

 

 

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Pictured: Angela pictured with her husband and her dogs. 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: For me, feminism is not about fitting a certain mold, putting yourself in a perfect little box or a perfect pedestal, or even anything to do with what society says a woman should be like. Feminism is about the ability to be a free spirit – to have the freedom of choice. Whether you choose to be a lawyer, a police officer, an artist, or a stay-at-home mom, feminism means that all these roles have value, and should be equally valued by society. Feminism is about having the opportunity to create your own best self, whatever shape or form that takes. It’s about being your own personal best according to who we are on the inside, not who society tells us to be.  Feminism is having choices, having freedom, and having the ability to live the life on the outside that matches who we are on the inside.

And as I said earlier, the best part of my job as an esthetician (and where I like to bring this freedom to my career) is when I can help someone bring out their inner beauty, feel confident in who they are, and help them to shine their own inner light – in whatever shape or form they choose to do so.  True beauty is something that is inside of us, and when I can be a part of bringing that beauty to the outside world, I know I am helping others. That is what is most important to me as an esthetician.

 

 

If you are in the area (New Jersey), come see Angela at Magnus Salon (click here for more) to get your eyebrows done, and let her make you feel amazing!

 

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Woman Wednesday: Justine

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Justine, Somerset County, New Jersey

People always ask me how I can afford to travel as much as I do at this age. Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love my job and the field I am in! I am a book publicist so basically, I get to tell people how great certain books are and then organize events and book tours for authors. I have always loved books; this is absolutely my dream! I majored in creative writing and English, did a bunch of internships, got my master’s in English literature, and was hired at the last company I interned at! Now I’m working at a company that works with a lot of books in translation that ranges in genre from thrillers to biographies and art books. I love being able to work on all different types of books and just talk about how amazing books are all day.

 

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Pictured: Justine in her element. As a book publicist, she loves reading books and helping authors.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Sometimes you can give something everything you have and work your very hardest and fall short. It doesn’t mean that you failed. So much of adult life is about timing, working hard, and luck. At times, you can go every extra mile, outwork people around you, and still not succeed as quickly or as much as you would like. These shortcomings put things into perspective, and when you can look back on them and actually say, “I gave that everything I had,” then you know you did your very best. Just because the outcome may not be exactly in our favor, we have to take these experiences and use them to make us stronger for the next time. In short, life is not always fair, and you can’t let it break you! Learn from it, and don’t give up! 

 

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Pictured: Justine in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I always liked to keep super busy when I was growing up. I loved shuttling between softball, soccer, basketball, piano, gymnastics, ballet, cross country, track, and any other summer camps or art classes I could weasel my way into. Looking back, I feel so sorry for my parents who had to drive me around everywhere, but I am also so thankful and grateful for them always encouraging me to try everything and practice everything I was doing. I learned about committing to something and following through from a young age, and I also learned how to be part of a team, which is something I think absolutely translates to adult life in work and relationships. Even growing up, I was obsessed with books! I remember being in second grade and spending every free second reading to win more personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut’s Book It program. While pizza initially stimulated my infatuation with reading, I quickly knew that I just loved books! I still very fondly remember my first author event during a first-grade assembly where a children’s book author, Dan Gutman, came to visit us and gave us each a signed copy of his book. I spent all my allowance buying all his books and thought that him coming to visit us was just about the coolest experience ever. Now I get to go to author events all the time!

 

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Pictured: Justine at the New Jersey Balloon Festival. 

 

A part of my story that I haven’t mentioned yet is my passion for traveling. I love taking vacations to countries that I haven’t been to yet and going on adventures. I do this at least twice a year. People always ask me how I can afford to do this at this age. Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I look online on tons of different websites to find the most affordable flights and places to stay. I use my vacation days around small holidays to make the trips longer. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!

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Pictured: Justine enjoying the water and beautiful views in Italia (Italy). 
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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means equality. I do not like being talked down to by men, being treated like I can’t do something as well as a man can, nor do I like being treated like I am a man’s property. However, to be honest, I’m not big on movements like the women’s march or large scale protests to assert feminism. I think that by showing the men you associate with that you are just as strong and smart(er) as they are, and asserting this belief into who you are is the best way to change the conversation. I think we need men to uplift women just as much as we need women to uplift women.

 

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Pictured: Justine and her significant other, Nick, traveling together in Iceland. 

 

I really think that the conversation about feminism needs to include men. I feel like there are two types of men: men who repress women and men who uplift women. The men who uplift women are able to do this because they are associated with strong women who are their equals. In my opinion, a great example of this is Barack and Michelle Obama. This may not be a popular opinion, but as much as I am rooting for women and “feminism,” I do think there is a lot of hypocrisy. I think that if a woman claims to be a “feminist,” she shouldn’t depend on her dad or her partner to do things like dealing with her car issues or squashing bugs. Once you get to this point, you can’t ignore other things that have become gender norms like men proposing to women, because we all still want our dream proposal and diamond ring. So, it’s not black and white for sure.

 

As a side note, I also believe that “feminism” is the cop-out men have been waiting for, and in 10 years, I believe “stay at home dads” will be the norm. So it’s a conflicting subject, to say the least, and this is a very loaded question. I could go on and on!


I think that this quote from the book,
“How to be Parisian,” sums up how I feel about feminism: “Of course you can open a bottle of wine by yourself. But let him do it. That’s equality too.”

 

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Pictured: Justine taking a stroll in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Katie

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Katie, Madison County, New York 

“In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t! I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’ll answer this with what is probably a very broad, cliché answer: I am passionate about love and happiness. There isn’t anything more important in life than these two things, and they mean something different to each person you talk to.

 

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For me, being passionate about love means building a life around the people and animals who are special to me and making sure I dedicate enough energy into spending quality time with them. Just like anybody, I have suffered the loss of beloved relatives, friends, and animals. I’ve grown stronger from these experiences, and I have realized just how precious the present is and how immensely my relationships affect my inner peace. Love is a nice segway into the “happiness” portion of my answer – the two go hand in hand for me.  It can be difficult to pin down what brings you genuine happiness in life, and I think I am finally starting to understand the meaning of it for myself! For me, happiness comes from finding fulfillment and joy in the things I do every day. I came to this realization through working on my career in jobs that weren’t completely fulfilling or positive for me and my quest for happiness. They may be right for other people, but not for the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been building inside me.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

I left my office job at the beginning of 2018 to pursue my own design & illustration business, K. Marie Design Co., and I have since found a genuine sense of happiness and fulfillment I always knew was missing. This change put a lot into perspective for me and it’s been a challenge, but I can tell you one thing; I’ve been able to focus on my passions for love and happiness a lot more since I made the jump. I’ve never felt surer of anything. Working for myself also meant having the flexibility to accept a position teaching a design class at my alma mater, Cazenovia College, during the fall 2018 semester. You never know what may happen when you take brave new steps. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, including the process of making your abstract dreams and passions part of your everyday reality.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: This is something I have learned recently, something very important. It is okay to change course! It’s okay to change plans, and it’s okay to question yourself. I grew up desperately wanting to be part of the equine industry, and then it blew up in my face when I went to do that in college. I then spent my time honing my design skills hoping for the perfect 9-5 job after college, and that expectation ultimately failed me, too. In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple of horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t. I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Don’t limit yourself by what you, your peers, or society tell you your life “should” look like at any stage in your journey. Take your time, try different things, and learn when it is time, to be honest with yourself by recognizing that something may not be right for you… and make a change. You will find your way – it may be hard to believe when you’re in the low points, but as long as you keep pushing forward, things will work out for you.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood was wonderful – very family oriented, which has definitely had a big impact on the person I am today. My parents are very nurturing and generous people, and I never understood just how much that really meant at the time! My mom stayed home with me, my sister, my brother, and our dog. We didn’t have a lot of the material things other kids had, but I never once felt alone or unloved. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. My mom and dad continue to be a huge influence on me today. They have always been very supportive, and they encourage me to do things that make me happy.

 

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Pictured: Artwork by K. Marie Design Co.

 

This family support has been vital since I left home for my freshman semester of college at The University of Findlay in Ohio, where I was planning to be an equine business major. Things didn’t work out at Findlay due to a lot of personal things I was going through at the time, but my family was behind me through it all. I eventually went home to NJ, spent the spring semester of my freshman year at the community college, and then transferred to Cazenovia College in the fall of 2012. After about two weeks at Caz as an equine business major, I realized that my lifelong love for horses was better off as a hobby rather than a career in a fast-paced, unforgiving industry. I changed my major to visual communications to chase my other love besides horses, which has always been art. I’ve always loved to draw, and the community at Cazenovia helped me find my feet and discover smart ways to marry illustration and graphic design together. I’ve been through quite a lot since I left home eight years ago, and it’s all played a part in making me into the creative, free business owner I am today! I can confidently say that I am excited rather than terrified by a future of unknowns and constant development in myself and in my creative career.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I’d like others to learn that you have to do things that make your soul happy. Don’t settle for a job, a relationship, a major, or anything that does not feel right to you. You are the only one who can make good things happen for yourself, but you are also the only one who can prevent good things from happening by becoming complacent and accepting less than you know you deserve. Evaluate your life and your happiness. Do some brainstorming and soul searching and think back to the dreams that lit up your eyes when you were younger. What do you want your life to look like when you’re 90 years old and thinking about your past? Is this what you want to remember? Maybe it’s time for a change!

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Pictured: Design by K. Marie Design Co.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means pride and equality. It means building other women up and encouraging other women to pursue their passions and make their marks on the world. A lot of people out there will use feminism as a shield to hide behind while they try to tear men down. Those people are not true feminists. Feminism is important to me because we have been pushed around and treated like we’re lesser than men in a lot of different ways. I see a lot of progress for women in the modern world, and I think it’s fantastic that men and women are joining together to make the world a more justified place for people of all genders. There will always be room for improvement, as with anything, but the fact that there is more awareness and more action is a great start.

 

 

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Pictured: Sketch by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Connect with Katie:

 

Website: www.kmariedesignco.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmariedesignco

 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kmariedesignco

 

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/kMarieDesignCo

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: 2018 Words of Wisdom

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.


 

We’re starting 2019 the right way! We’ve selected some of the best words of wisdom from all of our past featured women from our 2018 Woman Wednesdays! This post is not meant to be read once; it is meant to be read again and again to be applied to everyday life. It takes constant practice in order to form new habits. Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it the best year yet! 


 

Challenge yourself daily. 

“I try to challenge myself daily, to develop different parts of who I am and who I want to be. I’m a work in progress. We’re all works in progress, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing.” –Laura, Morris County, New Jersey

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Let go of grudges, negativity, and your worst past moments. 

“I’ve realized that in my life, for me to overcome what holds me back, and to be happy, I have to let some things rest in the shadows. If they don’t contribute to the betterment of myself and/ or humanity, they probably aren’t worth holding onto. I decided I had to push forward for what I wanted (and deserved) if I had to be what I envisioned for myself.” –Kidron, Baltimore County, Maryland 

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Stop complaining.

“My whole life I’ve been surrounded by strong women who fight for what is right and for what they want for their future. There are so many amazing women out there getting shit done. I only wish that women continue to stand together and speak their truth. My advice for women is to remember when times get tough, toughen up. Just know that you are stronger than you think you are. I think sometimes we forget that we can make a difference, and we can make anything happen with enough drive.” –Valerie, Towson, Maryland

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Keep dreaming.

“From my story and from my family story, I hope that others, especially women, are empowered to keep dreaming and to not lose hope even if there are many obstacles in the way. Because by achieving their dreams, they will inspire a new generation of women to keep dreaming (and with dreams and hard work, succeeding).” –Lucia, Montgomery County, Maryland 

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Work hard. 

“Fairytales and daydreams are possible as long as you work hard for them. Nothing comes easy, even if it seems that way, but if you believe in yourself, good things will come. Always be passionate, true to yourself, and constantly search for motivation.” –Leilani, Fairfax County, Virginia

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Stop comparing yourself to others.

“Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.” –Alysha, Berks County, Pennsylvania

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Break down your dreams into goals, and break down your goals into achievable steps. 

“Life is short, and you should do anything and everything you want to/love. Whether you are miserable at your job, doing things that don’t serve you, or you want to do things that seem out of reach, whatever that is…work toward your goals, do the things you love, and don’t stop loving your life.” –Brittany, Mercer County, New Jersey

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Look at your weaknesses as strengths, and use them as such. 

“Even the person who seems to have it the most together has problems, and we are all one big mess. I learned that what I considered to be a weakness was actually a strength that allowed me to help others with the same issues. I remember saying that I hated my life, that I wanted to be someone else, someone normal. Your day is coming. You just have to take those baby steps until they become great strides. Then one day, you will look back and only have some memories of that time, long ago, when you were struggling. If I can do it, you can do it. We are no different. Set your mind, and keep it set.” –Caitlin, College Park, Maryland

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Find something that inspires you that you can look at every day. 

“I remember flipping through a magazine one day (out of boredom), and I came across an article about hiking. And the editor decided to highlight “Legs strong enough to hike all the way to the top.” This statement resonated with me, because I started hiking with my friends around that time. On day 1, day 2, day 3…and okay let’s say up to day 30, I felt pretty weak. But every time we went, I was a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and I was not running out of breath. I could see and feel the progress I made. So, I was not the best I could be on day 1, but to keep up with my friends, I had to keep going even when I was tired. I had to eliminate the mental barrier that said, “I can’t do it today, so I shouldn’t even try.” If you have a goal in mind, keep going, because you might be surprised by what you can do.”–Jessica, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

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Think about what made you happy as a child. 

“Look back to when you were younger, and see if what you love now is what you loved back then. Often, the things we loved when we were kids are the things we have a true passion for.” –Faith, White Marsh, Maryland

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Look for the positives in everything. 

“If you find the positive in every day, you will be so much happier. Also, when you have goals and put them into the universe, you are speaking them into existence. Finding the positives and putting them out to others will get you into the right mindset to achieve your goals.” –Mary, Baltimore County, Maryland

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Be different. 

“I want others to know that it’s okay to be different; it’s okay to not fit into traditional molds. Your story is still just as important, and people will most definitely listen to it. You just have to believe in yourself enough to share it.”– Kerry, Baltimore County, Maryland 

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Don’t be hard on yourself. 

“I wasn’t a failure or a quitter for changing my major. I was making myself happy. I also learned that it is very hard to stick with something when people are against you, but in the end, it is worth it. –Corrie, Baltimore County, Maryland

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Choose to surround yourself with people who support you. 

“I have dealt with so much, but I am so happy because I have chosen to surround myself with positive, amazing people. Know that there is always good even with the bad.”–Christen, Baltimore City, Maryland 

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Believe you are valuable. 

“Believe you are valuable. Invest in yourself. Work toward your goals, and be proud when you accomplish something.”–Miriam, San Diego, California 

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Understand that you don’t have to do what everyone else does. 

“There’s such a disconnect now with the way we ‘should’ live our lives and the way we want to live our lives. I graduated college, received a degree, got a good job in a good city, and I’m sure to many that would be a total success story, but it wasn’t the end of mine.” –Sam, Sunshine Fields, New Jersey

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Change your life by being kind. 

“I believe we can really change the world through kindness and how we treat those in our daily lives. In order to make a difference in the world, we don’t always have to do grand gestures. Doing small things with great love can have just as great of an impact on the world.” –Katherine, Hunterdon County, New Jersey 

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Know that you can do more than one thing. 

“I want others to know that it’s OK to do more than one thing. People thought I was crazy in college for playing more than one sport, and people think I am crazy now for having three jobs. I love what I do, and I enjoy all of it. If you can find a healthy balance, do everything. Be a jack of all trades. Know a little bit about all things.” –Steph, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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Understand that you don’t ever truly fail unless you give up. 

“I recently wrote a letter to Sherry Lansing, a retired film executive who ran Paramount Pictures until about 2004. She’s my role model. I was so excited when I got an email back from her! One of the things she said is: “Be persistent. Never give up. Success doesn’t come easily, but hard work always pays off.” If she rose to the top in this crazy industry, that advice must have worked for her, and I really value it.” –Rachel, Los Angeles, California 

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Always look for ways to improve yourself. 

You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there. So take action. There’s no success without failure. There will always be bad days and even worse days. Learn to accept it, deal with it, and ride that wave!” –Hilary, Milford, New Jersey

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Treat others the way you want to be treated; what you put out into the world is what you get (more or less). 

“You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.”–Raquel, King of Prussia, Pennslyvania

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Understand that you choose who you want to be each and every day. 

“I had a college professor who, day one of class, talked about how we introduce ourselves to other people by telling them stories about our lives so far. It’s sort of how we package and present ourselves. I think it’s a good idea to look at those tales we’ve curated and see what they say about us, and also, to realize that the stories society tells us impacts which narratives are worth keeping.” –Megan, Baltimore, Maryland 

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Remember that only you know what is best for you, and remind others if needed.

“There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you! Trust in yourself.” –Kristin, Annapolis, Maryland

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Learn every single day. 

“You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge to make that happen.”– Jen, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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There you have it! Those are the words of wisdom from our 2018 featured women. Read them again and again. Pick and choose what you like or what resonates with you. There will be new women and new words of wisdom in 2019. 

 

Let’s make this the best year yet! 

 

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