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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 represeMegan Stephennting the true diversity of leadership in America?

Women and other under-represented groups areCydnii 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

Kimiko Donahue – Insurance Broker and Competitive Shooter

Break it down in steps, just like you goal when trying to achieve a sales goal, or sports goal. Break it down into little goals, so you can begin working towards the big one. To keep your morale and confidence up, speak positively and as if that goal is already accomplished. Example: you’re having a hard time with your kids. “I’m a great mother. I’m always patient with my kids.” Or if you’re having a slow day at work, “It’s like me to find new prospects and close deals.” “I always create long-term relationships.


Julia- Hair Creator

The best advice I could give is to take it one day at a time. Whatever the challenge is know you can overcome it by staying positive and never losing focus. Meditating and staying active is key to clearing your mind. Whatever you do…do not give up, keep trying! Facing challenges builds character.


Chloe Winder – Microblading Artist

When facing a challenge that seems impossible to conquer.. break it into manageable chunks. Whatever it is it can be taken one tiny little step at a time. Don’t forget to breathe. You are smart, you are talented, and you will win this battle.



Jaime Castillo – Mental Health Therapist

Try breaking it down into actionable steps. I like to categorize tasks by what needs to get done in the next 3 weeks, 3 days, and 3 hours. Once you have it broken down, start with the 3 hour category. For example, if I have a goal to plan a big event, I may want to find a venue in the next 3 weeks, create a guest list in the next 3 days, and decide on a color scheme in the next 3 hours. Simplifying big goals into smaller action steps can help reduce overwhelm and get you motivated to start.


Jheri South-Realtor, Author, Business Coach & Radio Talk Show Host

My life has been filled with what felt like insurmountable struggles.  From single parenting (six kids), a spouse who abused drugs, starting my own business ventures and reinventing myself time and time again. I have sat there numerous times trying to figure out how I was going to rise above the newest obstacle placed in front of me.  Sometimes it was so overwhelming that I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I experienced dark days.  But I found my strength from the REFUSAL to be defined by my circumstances.   If you don’t have a reason that you HAVE to do something, chances are that you are going to fail.  When you are committed to not failing, you don’t fail.  If you think that something “might” be too hard, or you commit to “trying”, you set yourself up for failure.  When you HAVE to to accomplish something, you do.  Period.   We all have a story.  We all have our “why”.  And we all have the strength and ability to overcome the hard and become the BEST version of ourselves that we can.  This is our purpose.  To   allow ourselves to be molded into something better than we ever imagined for ourselves.    If you walk around thinking, “I’m looking good today”  or “I have a great life” or “Everyone really   likes me”, it will change the way people see you.  Confidence exudes confidence.  Low self esteem does the same.  Try it some time, see how people respond.  If you want to be someone   that other people look up to, you have to first look up to yourself.  You have to believe the things about yourself that you want others to believe.  If you deserve the job, the pay raise, the   respect, the authority, the opportunity, etc., then you need to believe it!  How are you going to convince others if you aren’t convinced yourself?  Energy is a real thing.  You can’t see it but   it exists.    Being a woman comes with a long list of emotional wants and wishes that can never be completely fulfilled.  But striving to find your place within those things is what makes us who we  are.  The individual things we strive for is what makes us unique.  Everyone has a story.  You’re right in the middle of yours.   I live by the quote, “It’s never too late to become the person you were meant to be”-George Elliot   And I believe that with every fiber of my being.  We can become whoever we want to become!  Your best chapter is yet to come…(if you believe it) 

Real Estate Investment/Design/Sales Extraordinaire

When life is challenging…..Stay confident. Stay positive. Stay present. Stress doesn’t solve anything. Solution based mindset, get into solution not emotion. And sleep. Just a good nights rest.

Claudia Eichman – make up artist, creative, and student

My advice is to picture yourself on the other side of the challenge – envision yourself making it through the difficult time and becoming a better you. Everything in life is a lesson so try and look at things with the most positive attitude possible.

Melody Peterson- Realtor

My advice to someone that is facing challenges is to not let the voices of self doubt in their be heard. The space between your ears is the most influential  part of if your going to overcome the obstacles your facing and rise above.  You need to feel all those self doubting voices that say you can’t do it with uplifting  affirmation of how amazing you are and how you can overcome the challenge and push through.

Jenna Biancavilla  Principal & Wealth Advisor at Pearl Capital Management  Branch Manager & Sr. Loan Originator at Geneva Financial  President of Board of Directors at Phoenix Children’s Emerging Leaders

I’ve always been one to take a calculated and logical approach to challenges.  When it comes to the seemingly insurmountable ones , weigh out the best and worst case scenarios for each approach you might take towards tackling the challenge.  Remember that doing nothing is making a decision to stick with the status quo, and often people find themselves facing situations they are not happy with because they choose to not take action.       For example: Are you currently unhappy with your job or significant other (or maybe you know someone who is)? In 5 years, if you stick it out, do you think things will change for the better? Is it your expectations that need to change? If you start over now, in 5 years do you have a better chance at happiness than you would if you did nothing (or changed your expectations)?  Notice that I said ‘better chance’, nothing in life is guaranteed, you can have the next big business idea, but with bad luck it may never work out and with some good luck (plus hard work and calculated decisions) you may be the next Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg.  Taking a leap towards the unknown is terrifying, because you are hoping it will be better than your current situation, but part of life is having faith in yourself.  People and jobs usually don’t change drastically, so if you are unhappy, I believe that you will be better off by taking a gamble on yourself than leaving your fate in someone else’s hands. Good Luck!

Linda Tully of Custom Coverings- Custom Workroom & Drapery Designer

@markmahan of Mahan Multimedia

If someone asked me what’s the best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable? I would say first of all to believe in yourself and ignore any self doubt. Then to take it one step at a time. Break it down into smaller goals and tackle one at a time. Everyday keep moving towards the goal one bite at a time, one step at a time, whatever it is. I think of a huge challenge like a marathon not a sprint. The only way to get to the finish line is at a steady but manageable pace step by step.

Amber Smale, Realtor®

Take a deep breath and pray.  Remember that with God nothing is impossible!

Facebook Business page: Your Home By Amber Smale

Faith Becerra – Freelance Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist

First, breathe. Second, you can always take the challenge and break it down. Take it step by step and remember, you can do it.


Shayna Vohs- Teacher-Author

The advice I have to someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable is to pray and trust God. He is ultimately the one in control, and so no matter what the difficulty, God knows the outcome and wants to help. In times that I have faced extreme challenges in life, I have handed my problems over to God and He gives me peace and helps me overcome the challenges. Also to seek help from others that you trust. We are not meant to do this life alone, and others can give encouragement and support to keep pressing on during the most difficult times.

Ely Sanudo- Aveda Educator and Senior Stylist/ Education Director at Salon Blonde

Hair by @elysand, makeup by @anneskubis, model @meganerussel, photography by @deanastacia

Best advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is that everything is temporary.



  1. Amy Johnson

    November 29, 2018 at 3:17 am

    So honored to be included in this amazing group of women in our great state!

    Thank you and how fun to discover a few new faces and connections.


  2. Dana Prophet

    November 29, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring me! It’s absolutely lovely to find more and more terrific and strong women!

    Love, run, and eat sweets!

    Dana the Pastry Prophet

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