Woman Wednesday: Jaimie


Q and A with Jaimie from Schererville, Indiana

“The best thing to do for yourself is to believe in yourself and do what you can to get to where you want to be.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m an executive coach and created my business with my twin sister. I’m passionate about helping others and initially thought I would be a therapist; however, after learning about executive leadership coaching, I knew this was the route I wanted to take for my career. I learned about industrial organizational psychology when I was an undergrad at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). I went to get my masters in I/O psychology and found leadership coaching. I didn’t find work immediately after graduate school, so I decided to build my own business in executive coaching.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have a very supportive family, and we’re so very close. I was always taught the importance of education and learning. In high school, I was on a competitive dance team. We competed a lot! We were state and national champions. During that time, I learned a lot about working together and what it takes to meet your goals. It took a lot of discipline.

Q: What is the best/worst thing about being a twin?

A: The best thing about being a twin is always having a best friend there to do things with and sharing clothes. [She laughs.] The worst thing is always being compared to one another.

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

A: I’ve learned that not everyone is going to believe in you and what you can do. It was difficult going through school and gaining experience in my field at the same time. I was only ever offered unpaid internships and I couldn’t afford to do that. During school, I had to work full time, so it delayed my career goals since I couldn’t get the right kind of experience. Even with my master’s degree, I wasn’t getting hired, so I took the leap to be a business owner. The best thing to do for yourself is to believe in yourself and do what you can to get to where you want to be. In my case, I built my own business!

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
I’m a feminist. It means so much to me, and I wish everyone knew that feminism doesn’t mean women over men. It means we are equal to men. I hope that feminism, one day, doesn’t have a negative connotation to it. Everyone should be a feminist!

MORE ABOUT JAIMIE: Some fun facts about me: I love skydiving! It’s always been a family tradition. I have a cat named Todd who I love so much, but I’ve always had dogs growing up. My all-time favorite TV show is FRIENDS. I can watch it nonstop!

Thank you for reading!

Let’s connect! Here:

Website: www.jgleadstrategy.com

Insta: www.instagram.com/jgleadstrategy

Email: hello@jgleadstrategy.com

Woman Wednesday: Leslie G.


Q and A with Leslie G. born in Paterson, NJ, living in Toronto, Canada

“I realized that I truly didn’t love myself. When I finally took back my time, it freed me up to embark on my own self-development and self-love journey so that I could truly love the woman staring back at me in my reflection.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am extremely passionate about the work I do as an independent contractor where I serve a team of lawyers and paralegals, and also as a life coach for women where I teach them about self-awareness around emotional triggers. I’m grateful to be able to do both because I believe that you don’t have to choose between having (and loving) your corporate job and adding something more to your life that lights you up. I’m extremely grateful that I put myself first almost five years ago in that I chose to “jump” without seeing the net that would catch me, and I gave two weeks’ notice to my employer, which was the only security I had at the time, but I knew that my health and my well-being, and more importantly, my relationship with my husband of just over 26 years was way more important.

I have been in the legal industry for almost 40 years, and I am good at what I do, but I have found that this role that I have been in for the past 4 and 1/2 years is where I truly thrive in that I can serve a team of lawyers and paralegals in their post-closing position, created for me, which makes their lives easier in that they can move on to their next new task while I take care of anything that has been left undone. I’m grateful that for the past 3 and 1/2 years that I have been a life coach for women, more particularly, a mindset and emotional awareness coach for women where I have been teaching them about the importance of self-awareness around how we think and feel and how, in tandem, they dictate how we show up in our world in the things we say and do, and the importance of how our emotions have a way of stealing our time. I realized that I truly didn’t love myself. When I finally took back my time, it freed me up to embark on my own self-development and self-love journey so that I could truly love the woman staring back at me in my reflection. Learning to love myself taught me how I wanted to be loved and how I wanted to love others.

I have been working with women in my six-month coaching program where we start with the foundational pieces of how they take care of themselves (mind/body/soul), in their connections (for their support), so that they can start creating their extraordinary lives by their design and creating deeper bonds with the ones they love. In addition, I am currently getting ready to launch my 30 Days to Self-Love group program on September 1, 2022, where every month I will take women through 30 days of building their daily practices meant to strengthen their well-being. I believe that it is extremely important to fill your cup daily so that you can not only be the best version of you for yourself, but for the people in your life, for you cannot give of yourself if you are running on empty or are depleted, and most importantly, if you don’t truly love yourself, it’s hard to truly love and receive love. That’s why my mission in life is to empower women all over the world to fully love themselves so that they can create deeper bonds with those they love.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in February 1963 in Paterson, NJ, to a white mother and black father. When I was just three months old, my mom took me back to Canada (Toronto). My parents never married. My father wasn’t in the picture. My mom married my younger brother’s father a couple of years later, and I was given his last name. They did not stay together that long, soon divorced, and then my mom raised us on her own. I have an older brother, who is white, and our relationship was extremely toxic; for many years of my young life, he abused me. My self-love journey helped me heal from that experience, and my past, and what I learned from that experience has allowed me to help others through trauma in that our past doesn’t define us–not who we were, not who we are, and most certainly not who we want to be.

In my younger years, my mom brought a man into our home who was abusive to her and that left a scar for a long time, but again, through my self-love journey, I learned forgiveness and allowed myself to not travel the same road as my mom but also to be able to support her in her healing. My mom played a big part in my journey as she gave me strength and courage, and encouragement to go after my dreams, to go after what I wanted in life. I never truly appreciated that though until I stepped into the self-development world and eventually became a life coach. Through my development of strong female friends, it has shown me the strength and compassion of women, especially the women who have had to raise children on their own in this world where I, as a young black girl, felt the world didn’t think I was worthy or deserving because I was black, and my mom was white and unmarried in the early ’60s. As for my education, I finished high school and went straight into the work force and forged my path into the legal industry without a degree at first and along the way, I took college courses to support being a legal assistant and paralegal.

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

A: I have learned that every day is a gift that is not promised to everyone. I give thanks to God every morning for a brand-new unlived and uncharted day where I get to open my eyes, take my first breath, and where I get to design how I show up in the world in the things I say and do. I love that, through my choice, I get to live my life my way.

My husband and I currently live a location-free lifestyle. As long as I have Wi-Fi, I can work anywhere. I am also proud that I decided that you don’t have to choose between having a corporate job and adding your passion project or entrepreneurial goals, and that you can adopt a “both/and” attitude and live your life by your extraordinary design. Life is short and I want to be able to look back on a life well-lived because I believe in me. I also believe that when you look for the gratitude in your life, you will find it. No matter the circumstances. Finding the gratitude is powerful, and it’s a tool I teach my clients to embrace. I have also learned that time is the most valuable commodity we have and that how we spend our time is extremely important. There’s freedom in structuring your time so that you can go after your goals more effectively and efficiently and so that you have the freedom to spend quality time with the ones you love.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
For me, feminism isn’t about burning bras or protesting or me proving that I’m equal to men. As I mentioned, I grew up in a single-family home and what my mom showed me was that women can be strong, independent, kind, caring, and compassionate. She raised me to believe in myself and to go after what I wanted and because of her, I am living my life and building it my way. On another note with respect to feminism, I used to believe that women didn’t support each other because we were living in a world where women had to (and still do) fight for every goal and success. Today though, through the amazing connections that I have made, I truly believe that women see each other as valuable and realize that we are better together and that we are stronger together when we support, uplift, encourage, and inspire each other to be our best selves.

MORE ABOUT LESLIE G.: I write for an online global magazine (Brainz Magazine), and I am now in my second year as a senior executive contributor, and have received awards from them for my contributions, which I am extremely grateful for. This experience has allowed me to share my story and has given me courage to keep doing what I do. I also am an international bestselling author in the book Becoming An Unstoppable Woman: 25 Strategies To Help You Achieve The Unstoppable Mindset where I get to share the pages with 24 other incredible women.

Thank you for reading!

Let’s connect! Here:

Website: https://lesliegaudetcoaching.podia.com/

Brainz Magazine: https://www.brainzmagazine.com/executive-contributor/leslie-gaudet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lgaudet55

Woman Wednesday: L. Michelle


Q and A with L. Michelle, Southeast Missouri, USA

“I am not the smartest person in the room and, if I am, it’s time for me to change rooms.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I have a number of passions. Studying herbs and their health benefits is my strongest passion. It is also part of my work as an herbalist and owner of my business, Aquarius Herbs and Teas, LLC. Music is also a huge part of my life. While I no longer sing, I love dancing and just vibing to the music of my past and to some new things. I am also rediscovering my love of books, mostly fantasy and romantic things.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were sort of bittersweet. I had amazing grandparents and aunts and uncles that I spent a great deal of time with. My mother raised me and my brother as a single mom, and my father was sort of typical ’70s dad; he was around us when we were with our grandma but pretty much on the fringe of my life until I got older. I don’t blame him. He wasn’t really good at being the father of a small child, but he was actually awesome when I got older. He taught me so much about history, life, how this country works, and so on. He didn’t care for my independent streak as he was old fashioned as can be, but I think in his way he sort of was glad I was like I was because he knew I would be able to help myself. My mother and I had a tough relationship and honestly, we have just now, at 47 and 69, been able to really communicate with each other. We both had to go through our own journeys of discovery to understand and appreciate each other for what we are now, and we understand that I will forever be her daughter, and she will forever be my mother, and all that mess that comes with that. [She laughs.] We do our best to laugh at things that once angered us.

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

A: The most valuable lesson I have learned is to listen. I am not the smartest person in the room and if I am, it’s time for me to change rooms. I am forever a learner. I want to be a student because as I get older I understand that what I once knew may not be in line with the times. That’s not to say I have to forget anything I know, but it does mean that the younger people may have something to share and to teach me, and I always want to be receptive to that. I have also learned that it’s okay to fail. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s frustrating and may even be embarrassing. But there is a lesson in failure. Study the lesson, get it, and get it good. Then go out and fail some more until you get it right. And you will get it right.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
I have a love-hate relationship with feminism lately. I was brought up to see Gloria Steinem as the leader of the movement. So, I always thought she had black and brown women’s interests in mind. It was later that I learned the opposite to be true. So, that word currently makes me angry. I wanted to be a feminist. But in truth, I always have been. It means that we as women not only look out for each other in all things, but we also tell each other hard truths and hold each other accountable. I think that when the rest of the movement decides to hold the old guard accountable, I think the word would regain a sweeter meaning for me.

MORE ABOUT L. MICHELLE: I love that I was even considered for this blog post. I feel humble that someone would want to ask me questions. I wanted to write for a blog at one time, because I love telling the stories of others as well as my own. I’m currently living in Southeast Missouri in a rather small town, and I work from home on my Etsy business. I also have a small daycare in my home. We make it our mission to educate and inform our babies and their moms on all sorts of resources and opportunities available to them. One of the mommies said we were more helpful than Social Services. [She laughs.] But I love it. I love helping.

Thank you for reading!

Etsy shop: https://aquariusherbsandteas.etsy.com

Woman Wednesday: Sarah

*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 Sarah, Seattle, Washington

 

“Sports have been a passion of mine since I started playing soccer at 4 years old, and I have been coaching for 15 years. In addition to being a soccer player, I have now joined the Seattle Majestics football team to try my hand at something new. As a rookie this year, I am excited to step outside of my comfort zone, learn to tackle, and hopefully win a championship with the impressive women who make up this team.”   

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: As the CEO/ Founder of Girl Boss Sports and a professional tackle football player with the Seattle Majestics this year, you could say that one of my biggest passions is sports. Girl Boss Sports is a company I created for two main reasons: 1) To improve the pipeline of female sports coaches as there are simply too few of us (for example, only 21% of soccer coaches in the US are women) and 2) To provide a quality sports experience FOR girls BY women (currently we are focusing on soccer in the Seattle area). We work on soccer-specific development, mentality, fitness, AND do all of this with the added benefit of providing female role models to the athletes we coach.

 

Sarah Wolfer (1)

 

Sports have been a passion of mine since I started playing soccer at 4 years old, and I have been coaching for 15 years. In addition to being a soccer player, I have now joined the Seattle Majestics football team to try my hand at something new. As a rookie this year, I am excited to step outside of my comfort zone, learn to tackle, and hopefully win a championship with the impressive women who make up this team.

 

I am also passionate about leadership, women supporting women, and being a “womanpreneur.” Currently, my two big goals are having the best season I can with the Majestics and scaling up Girl Boss Sports as we hire several coaches and are establishing partnerships with other local businesses who have similar goals.

 

Sarah Wolfer Headshot

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Being an athlete my entire life was one of the most impactful things on who I am to this day (and I’m not alone in this). According to a survey of female C-Suite Executives, 96% said that they participated in sports as a teenager, and I am one of those individuals. Sports ignited my passion for leadership when I first took on the role of “captain” and then eventually “coach.” Sports also taught me life lessons about teamwork, accountability, working toward goals, sportsmanship, confidence, and communication–all these things that have helped me to be successful as a woman in this world and at work. These lessons I learned along the way are a huge part of who I am today and what Girl Boss Sports is working to do for the next generation of female athletes and coaches.

 

 

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

A: I have learned that if you want success (in whatever area that is for you), it takes hard work, grit, preparation, and resilience (and one without the other doesn’t work). Life will hit us hard at one point or another, and the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity is one lesson that sports taught me that is transferable to finding success and happiness in life. Secondly, I have learned that nothing comes easy that is worthwhile, and this is where hard work and grit comes in. One thing I often find myself speaking about to the athletes I work with is centered around these topics. Often I have found that athletes can be hard on themselves if every movement, touch, etc. is not perfect every time. Instead of getting frustrated about not having fully developed a specific skill we are working on, I discuss that it is not perfection we are after, but progress. The only way to progress at something is to go through the discomfort of imperfection. Finally, whenever I am working on a “hard thing” (and what that is varies depending on the circumstances), I have found that by preparing for it ahead of time not only does it go better, but I have significantly less anxiety around it as well. Preparation really is the key to success in life!

 

Sarah 3

One of the things I hope you learn from my story is the power that sports can have on anyone and everyone. Being involved with sports provides so many opportunities to teach life lessons and find success on AND off the field. Whether you are someone who has never played before or thinking about getting back into it, just do it! There are a ton of recreational leagues and teams and classes around the nation that could be a great outlet for you and I highly recommend it. And if you are someone with children (or know somebody who has children) I’d encourage you to get them involved in (and help them stay in) sports. If you have girls, it’s even better that you’re reading this. By age 14, girls are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to drop out of sports, and this is incredibly sad to hear. This is due to a ton of reasons including lack of access, costs associated with participation in sports, and lack of positive female role models. These are all things that Girl Boss Sports is working to change.

 

 

Sarah and Adriel

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Intersectional feminism is where it’s at! This means that I am striving to do my part in advocating for equality not only among the sexes, but also working to be inclusive of women with other intersectional identities (i.e. women of color, LGBT+ women, women with different abilities, and more). As someone who has experienced how hard society can be on us women, it is so important for us to stand together and advocate for one another in everything we do.

 

 

Connect with me!

 

Girl Boss Sports:

Website: https://girlbosssports.com/

Email: Info@GirlBossSports.com

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girlbosssports/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/girlbosssports1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/girlbosssports/

 

 

Sarah Wolfer:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ceo_sarahwolfer/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahwolfer/

 

 

Seattle Majestics Women’s Tackle Football:

Website: https://seattlemajestics.wnfcfootball.com/

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seattle_majestics/

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Woman Wednesday: Kidron

*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 Kidron, Baltimore County, Maryland

WATCH KIDRON HERE VIA A SHORT VIDEO CLIP.

 

 “I was born in a very modest household, the daughter of a Financial Planner and a Phlebotomist (chemistry nerd). In many ways, I reflect characteristics of my parents, but I am very much like my father. I have always been told that I am “very bright,” but it wasn’t until I entered the world of finance that I felt I had finally found my place. I worked long hours…for less-than-ideal pay, applied myself to learn as much as I could, and over the years, I finally began to progress up the corporate ladder.

 

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Q: Tell us about your younger years.

A: I grew up in a small town in Pikesville, Maryland. I was scrawny, spunky, had a knack for making up bad jokes (that I thought were great), and I was good with my hands. According to  my mom, I spent a good deal of time “taking things apart” when I was younger, but also often putting them back together. The kids in the neighborhood also considered me a sort of “connoisseur” of the monkey bars, and a master of broken bicycle chains. My mom interpreted these inclinations as signs of a future “Mechanical Engineer.”

 

 

Q: What was high school like for you?

A: To put things eloquently, I struggled like everyone else. I was pretty awkward, didn’t fit in any particular social circles, and didn’t seem to have a natural gift for any of my classes. With the exception of two subjects: honors pre-calculus and a technology glass, I was pretty status- quo. I would not really characterize myself as a “math-kid” either. I loved algebra, and other studies, to which I could attribute logical flow akin to building Legos. Otherwise, high school was a time I would never assign as “pleasant”.

 

 

Q: What was the next step for you after high school?

A: My first “Big-Girl” job was working at as a Digital Life Sales specialist at age 17 for a big-name electronics store (shout out to my mom for encouraging me to apply for that job). Believe it or not, I’ve always had a “knack”, or natural proclivity, towards computer technology—as long as I can remember.

 

As shy as I was, I actually ended up being quite the strong salesperson. I knew hardware, software, operating systems, and cell phones like the back of my hand. I knew the products, I was charming, and I recommended practical solutions without over-selling. I was willing to teach the customers to help them make an educated decision about their purchase. I began to thrive, and before long I was promoted to “team lead,” in a full-time employment capacity.

 

This was also the time in my life when I was supposed to be in college. I graduated high school (barely) on time, and enrolled at a private liberal arts school, with the intention of becoming an Interior designer. I thought I could make a decent living on interior decoration, and I had enough demonstrable math skills to comply with the calculation-aspects of the job.

 

However, once I got to school, it wasn’t long before I started to realize I wasn’t that great at being an artist; and that making a comfortable living would probably require an advanced degree, and years before the salary was commiserate with my experience. I also started to advance more and more in my baby-career as a salesperson. I enjoyed it, seemed to have grasped some form of popularity never previously experienced, and I did well for a kid out of high school.

 

It wasn’t long before I was promoted at work, and the allure of obtaining that Bachelor’s Degree in Arts faded away; during the same time, footing the tuition bill for that full-time private education became something my parents couldn’t afford. I became disinterested enough to drop out.

 

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Q: Do you believe dropping out of college was the best decision for you?

A: I would not necessarily say that I “regret” dropping out of school then, but returning to continue my education further on in life certainly has not been any easier than when I was a relatively careless 19-year old. Thankfully, the skillsets that I had acquired and developed working as a salesperson had universal application in the finance world. In the fall, I was recruited to start my first professional position, working an accounts receivable role for a company in the Baltimore area. I still didn’t have a degree, but I was good with numbers, excellent with spreadsheets, and learned financial concepts easily. Working for this company helped me develop critical thinking and analysis skills, that were unsatisfied by the collections-oriented position. I spent about 18 months with that company before I moved on to other opportunities.

 

I knew that tenure and consistency is important for advancement in the world of finance. I sacrificed for these positions. I worked long hours… for less-than-ideal pay, applied myself to learn as much as I could, and over the years, I finally began to progress up the corporate ladder.

 

There is an invisible line between the “associate” and “analyst” experience leveled position (which generally required a Bachelor’s Degree of some sort) that was rapidly approaching, and I it knew would be challenging to cross. In order to move beyond billing and collections, I had to be able to prove I had the skills required to be an analyst. I knew that would be difficult without a 4-year degree, but I also learned that sometimes, those 3-day long training sessions for Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills carried weight in the eyes of managers and employers—because experience is also valuable. I signed up for company-sponsored, industry-approved classes, I did IT hardware and software certifications through our employer’s online training center as often as I could; and I kept a running list of everything I did. I also amassed a number of training hours that qualified for “Continuing Professional Education” credits, which is a huge plus. No matter how long I worked at any contact position, I made sure I had some form of evidence to show what skills I learned and what I achieved. I also learned on the job, sitting behind computer monitors. I learned to identify, explain, and resolve account variances. I read lengthy sales agreements, servicing agreements, tax publications, and experience in multiple aspects of the finance industry. I learned how to implement short term and long-term solutions through the use of process automation.

 

I also taught myself how to program, predominantly in Visual Basic for Application. It’s a scripting language that’s often used to display data or calculate data and automate processes or routine tasks. That was one of the skills I learned over the years, and programming was an effective tool I could use to gain a deeper understanding of the finance world. It was also a fun way to build things.

Eventually, I went back to school. I decided to change routes a little from my original Arts-direction, to pursuing an Accounting Major.

School is still an ongoing struggle for me, but I am happy to say that I am finally about to obtain my first Degree in Business Accounting (Certificate), have surpassed the Analyst experience level, and have become an intermediate-level Developer/Programmer/Financial Modeler in the finance industry. I am also enrolled in another University to resume my path to my Bachelor’s Degree, with a Master’s Certificate in Data Analysis on the side.

 

I landed my dream job as an “Engineer” like my mom thought I would be, except I build financial models for structured finance deals on a digital platform.

 

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Q: What do you want others to take from your story?

A: 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 the Little Engineer who Coded.

Work hard and persevere.

 

 

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