As an intersectional feminist life coach, I help women, femmes, and thems unlearn their patriarchal conditioning and redefine success on their own terms. When I share that elevator pitch, I sometimes have people ask me exactly what I mean by patriarchy.
Unfortunately, some people perpetuate the incorrect assertion that patriarchy is a synonym for men. That’s simply untrue. In fact, patriarchy includes all people and it damages all people.
Here’s a quick primer on patriarchy. The typical dictionary definition of patriarchy is “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” That’s fine, but it’s incredibly simplistic.
I prefer this more robust explanation from AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance): “Patriarchy is the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and trans people, and the extension of male dominance over women and trans folks in society in general. Unlike sexism, the word patriarchy names the social power dynamic involved.”
Patriarchy isn’t about individual men. It’s not or even only about men. It’s about all of the systemic structures, policies, and procedures (legal, political, cultural, religious, educational, and more) that perpetuate male dominance.
It’s also important to understand that male dominance means specifically the dominance of white, cishet, educated, able-bodied, neurotypical men.
To understand patriarchy, you must be clear about the systems that undergird it. According to AORTA, there are five intersecting systems, or “pillars,” that support patriarchy:
Gender Binary: The belief that there are only two genders, which are defined in opposition of each other (male/female).
Misogyny: The hatred of women, girls, and femininity.
Heterosexism: The idea that only heterosexuality is natural and normal.
White Supremacy: The exploitation and oppression of peoples of color by white peoples to maintain wealth, power and privilege.
Capitalism: Private/corporate ownership of production with the focus on profits over people.
Patriarchal conditioning is all of the overt and covert messages we receive about who holds and can hold wealth and power (see the five pillars above). These ideas are perpetuated by the systems around us from the moment we are born.
To unlearn patriarchal conditioning, we must root out all of the ways we’ve knowingly or (more often) unknowingly internalized these five pillars. As AORTA puts it, “true change requires uprooting all systems of oppression.”
An intersectional feminist approach to coaching (which is what I work hard to deliver) must:
Actively fight against gender norms, violence against women, homophobia, and transphobia.
Recognize white privilege and not dismiss or diminish the lived experience of any person of color.
Acknowledge the economic realities and stark inequities of trying to survive and thrive in a system designed to make the rich richer.
I’m hoping that you have found your way into my world because you agree that patriarchy is real, problematic, and needs to end. If so, let’s stay in this fight together! It will take all of us.
I’m so excited to announce that I’m now officially an ICF-certified coach! This announcement is the culmination of six chaotic months of classes and logging coaching hours while juggling a full-time business, and raising a 3 year old—all at the same time as my husband was juggling a full-time job and earning his master’s degree.
In addition to popping some bubbly to celebrate this occasion, I also feel like this is the perfect time to share about my coaching program, The Gutsy Boss. This is the program I’ve developed after 150+ hours of coaching work over the last year. It’s been transformative for my clients, and I’m so excited to share it with even more women.
Is Mindset Coaching For You?
Have you used different tools, exercises, and hacks for coping with your limiting beliefs, only to get frustrated that they don’t work well for very long—or not at all? That’s because those quick-fix solutions are like putting a band-aid on a deep cut. It may slow the bleeding, but only stitches will actually stop it.
Maybe you’ve even tried to do some deeper work by reading self-help books? Now your bookshelf is stuffed with the works of Brené Brown, Gabby Bernstein, Jen Sincero—but nothing has really changed. That’s because trying to DIY your way out of things like Imposter Syndrome, perfectionism, procrastination (or any self-sabotage technique) is like trying to give yourself those stitches—it may be possible, but it sure ain’t easy.
Are you the kind of person who realizes the value of driving yourself to urgent care instead of waiting until it becomes an emergency? The kind of person who’d rather trust a professional to help instead of stubbornly, and painfully, trying to fix things yourself?
Mindset coaching may be exactly what you need to finally get out from under the thumb of your limiting beliefs.
Here’s what you can expect with my approach to one-on-one coaching, called The Gutsy Boss:
Step 1 / Shift
We’ll spend a little time looking backward. Don’t worry, this isn’t therapy so we won’t stay there for long. For one or two calls, I’ll ask you questions and give you exercises all designed to uncover the patterns you’ve been repeating that are keeping you stuck or stalled.
Almost every single one of my clients has had or is in therapy, yet they all leave this process with some form of “wow, I can’t believe I never saw that before!” And the good news is that once you see it, you can’t un-see it; this recognition piece often changes everything for my clients.
Step 2 / Align
Once we know the stories you’ve been telling yourself, we can get to work on the forward-progress (and most important) part of our work. Writing a new, more empowered story. And that starts by figuring out who you truly are, what really matters to you, and why shifting your personal narrative is so important.
My favorite part of this process is getting clear about your values—and not in the superficial way many business coaches teach. This work allows you to finally have a foolproof system for making decisions you won’t regret, and for creating contentment or even joy RIGHT NOW (even if nothing else ever changes).
Step 3 / Thrive
After getting crystal clear about where you’ve been stuck and how you want to show up in the world, the rest of our time will be figuring out how to bridge that gap. We’ll map out your goals, talk about what steps you must take to realize them, and come up with practical strategies for dealing with the roadblocks that will get in your way (because believe me, there will always be roadblocks).
How Mindset Coaching Can Help
How will you feel after working with me? Much of that depends on you. How deep are you willing to go? Will you turn yourself over to the process? Will you commit to working on these issues between calls? When you go all in, however, the changes can be amazing. Let me share a few of my clients’ experiences.
I only had one session with Ira, but she says that single call was enough to help her feel instant relief about some of the baggage she’d been carrying around her entire life. ““Becky is a genius at what she does. After just one call with her, I felt instant relief and made a huge shift in my money mindset. She over delivered, and I left the call speechless and my mind was blown.”
After working with Kyla for just four sessions, she stopped feeling so frustrated and stuck. But even more important, she understood how she got there in the first place. Now she says she can plan her days to feel phenomenal with almost no effort. “If you’re on the fence, take the plunge! Becky is the coach you’ve been waiting for, and she’ll help you get out of your own way.”
Finally, let me tell you about Angela. Like so many of my clients, the changes she’s experienced have been truly transformational. In one session, she understood how her mindset blocks were affecting all aspects of her life. Perhaps most importantly, she was able to clearly define her personal values—work she says she couldn’t have done alone. She now uses them daily to guide her choices and to help her find balance when she falls off course. She says they’ve saved her many times. “Becky’s work with me has been a true lifesaver, and I’d recommend Becky’s mindset work to anyone ready to live her best life!”
I could share so many stories similar to those of Ira, Kyla, and Angela. And you could be the next to experience these kinds of results.
Getting Started with Mindset Coaching
Are you ready to say enough is enough, to dig in and do the hard work, and create meaningful and lasting transformations in your mindset? If you’re ready, I’m ready too. I’m here for you.
You’ll choose a day and time on my calendar that fits your schedule, then get an email with a Zoom link (it’s a free program that will allow us to have a video chat). When our call time arrives, we’ll both log into Zoom, and I’ll guide us through a short conversation. I won’t pressure you to invest in coaching, and I won’t ask you a bunch of deeply personal questions. It’s just a time to ask questions of each other that will help you decide if I’m the right person to help you make mindset shifts.
One last thing. I want to encourage you to take a moment to imagine where you could be in six months if you make the choice now to let go of your limiting beliefs and become the powerful and fulfilled woman you deserve to be. What might you have accomplished already if you’d made that decision six months ago?
Don’t let another six months go by without taking action. Don’t let yourself stay stuck any longer. My hope for you is that six months from now (or, if we work together, likely far sooner) that you’ll no longer let limiting beliefs and self-sabotage keep you stuck. That you’ll have the confidence, vision, and tools necessary to silence your inner critic and start playing bigger.
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I highly recommend this book that offers practical strategies for forming good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. I love the focus in this book on small, incremental change and how it can add up to a manageable and sustainable new habit.
This book digs into the science about how habits are formed, how they function, how they can be modified, and how they influence our lives and our business world. If you’re looking for “hacks” to change your habits, this isn’t for you. If, however, you’re like me and love to really understand how your brain works, then you’ll enjoy the well-researched aspect of this book.
I love a well-researched book, and this is definitely one of those. It explains the science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve health, happiness, and productivity. This book is equal parts informative, inspiring, and practical with exercises to help you begin forming new habits.
Coach Brendon Burchard shares the six habits that he says move the needle the most in helping you succeed (based on his research with high achievers). The book includes exercises and daily practices you can implement to begin developing these important habits.
If you’re not into spirituality and self-help, steer clear of this one. If you are, however, this 40-day journal/workbook provides daily lessons and practices to help you think about and rewire your internal habits.
It seems like every coach has a business membership community these days, right? I’m no exception, but I do happen to think my community is exceptional.
In fact, there’s nothing I’m more proud of having created than the Own it, Crush it VIP membership community. (Well, other than my amazing son, of course!)
It’s big talk, and I absolutely mean it.
Of course, I realize you don’t yet know how magical VIP is. I also know that investing in a membership is a big decision. You need to be certain it’s a space where you’ll feel comfortable and where you’ll get a good return on your investment.
The truth is, VIP isn’t for everyone. In this post, I want to help you really understand the membership so you can decide if it’s right for you. That’s why I want to do more than just tell you about VIP. I want to give you a sneak peek at what you really get.
This post offers a peek behind the curtain by giving a snapshot of everything that happens in the group within a specific month (January 2019).
Each month, the group has a specific theme (Focus, in this case). We read a related book together (“How to Get Sh*t Done” by Erin Falconer for Jan. 2019), participate in a monthly challenge together (here it’s creating & implementing block scheduling), and learn from a keynote presenter (CEO of Hello Boss Ashley Knight here). I also be share my best tips related to the theme.
Each month is also dotted with other fun, inspiring, and practical activities—co-working, mastermind hot seats, book club chat, and a virtual mixer.
Perhaps best of all, we kick off each month with a two-hour CEO Seat … it’s a structured group planning session where we map out your month so you know what you need to do each week to reach your goals. Every VIP member is assigned an accountability pod when they join, so they have a group of bosses invested in making sure they do what they said they would each month.
Everything happens live, but I know it’s not realistic for most members to fit everything into their busy schedules. That’s why the events are also recorded and made available right away for watching at your leisure.
The content lives on forever in the membership dashboard. Members can access everything at any time—grab the month’s schedule, challenge information, bonus resources from me, and all the videos.
Plus, members have access to an ever-growing library of masterclasses (there are more than 30 videos right now) from a bunch of smart guest lecturers. They cover general business tactics, social media tactics, mindset help, writing tips, and more.
What I can’t show so easily is the community. That’s something you have to experience to really understand. As soon as you join, you get access to the private Facebook and Slack groups where a lot of the real magic of VIP happens.
All I can do is tell you what others say about it, and hope you can feel the sincerity in what they are saying:
“The supportive, caring, and brilliant women inside VIP are why I will continue to be a member for as long as I can” Ann Marie O’Braskin
“OICI VIP is full of supportive, engaged, and encouraging people, who gladly share insights and tips to help one another grow their businesses.” Katie Wood
“I have never belonged to a group where people are so willing to help one another just to simply be helpful. You actually feel how much people care about others in the group.” Jacqueline Julien
“When you’re here and surrounded by so many other business women who have passion and drive it really makes the difference.” Nicole Amos
It’s a lot for only $75 a month (with no long-term commitment). I hope this gave you a good glimpse into what you’ll get and how you’ll feel when you join VIP.
This is third year in a row that I’ve run this list of the best planners made for creative women business owners by creative women business owners. These lists are—far and away—the most popular posts on my blog. If you’re finding me because of this post, I’m so happy you’re here!
I’m a coach for women business owners. When I start working with my clients, almost all of them feel overwhelmed and scattered. They have so many ideas, but lack a clear plan of attack. Sound familiar?
I hope you have as much fun reading about these 2019 planners as I had pulling this list together. Among these 12 planners, I’m hopeful you’ll find just the right one for your organizational and inspirational needs!
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase via a link here, I may receive a commission. The price is the same for you whether you use my link or buy directly from the vendor.)
Whitney English faced an overflowing email inbox, a hand-scribbled to-do list, a pile of meeting notes, and felt overwhelmed and disorganized back in November 2011. She needed a solution—quickly. That’s when she came up with the Day Designer™. It was my first “real” (non-drugstore) planner, and I remain totally smitten with it.
The Day Designer ($59) is the original daily planner. It’s a simple and easy system created to help women find balance and productivity. There are yearly and monthly glances, but this one is all about the daily pages. There is a focus on the top three things you need to do each day (my favorite part!). There’s also a ton of space for events, to-dos, notes, meal planning, gratitude, and more. I really love the inspirational quotes. If you’re a daily planner user, I doesn’t get better than this!
Jenna Murillo has felt a sense of magic with paper since childhood. She’s energized by turning a blank canvas into something beautiful. That’s what led her to planner design. “Designing a product that’s a stunning and functional tool for others was always a dream,” she says. “In 2015, fueled by the encouragement of friends and family and a fire inside of me to create, I fulfilled that dream.”
The Refresh Weekly Planner ($39.95) is back for 2019 slimmer than ever before, and featuring three cover design options (I don’t know how to choose among them!). The Refresh Planner includes an updated pocket design, goal-planning pages, monthly and weekly spreads, and a notes section. It’s all beautifully bound with hard covers in a new, lightweight design. Plan for progress and take some serious action on your goals with the 2019 Refresh Weekly Planner. This one always makes my list because it’s so pretty and practical!
Kathy Pinestarted her first company at age 25. After navigating the challenges of balancing entrepreneurship and early motherhood, Kathy realized she had a passion for helping women pursue their dreams and she began making inspirational and practical paper products. She created her first planner with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017. Now the Inspired Year planner is the flagship product of her One Love Paper Co.
The 2019 Inspired Year Planner ($49) is the ultimate goal-setting calendar for busy creatives who are juggling it all. Its no-nonsense approach, functional design, and roomy pages provide everything you need to stay organized and inspired. It’s designed with goal-setting and work-life balance in mind. It’s uniquely suited to manage your busy days while making space for your dreams. My favorite part of this planner is all the incredibly helpful and inspiring annual, quarterly, and monthly goal-setting exercises. The “wheel” activity really opened my eyes!
Erin Condren left 12-hour days in the apparel industry to become a stay-at-home mom of two. She developed a case of cabin fever, and searched online for career opportunities she could do from home. She began making cards for friends, as birthday gifts, new baby announcements and hostess gifts. Her friend encouraged her to sell her designs at a “shopping party” at her home in June 2004. The rest is history.
The LifePlanner™ ($50+) is the ultimate planning system to get organized, achieve your goals, and preserve memories in one stylish space. This feature-packed planner boasts two-page spreads per month, three layouts (vertical, horizontal, or hourly), stylish design elements and inspirational quotes, coiled-in stickers, and a two-page goal setting spread. It’s ideal for anyone who loves scrapbooking or is otherwise artistic. There are so many accessories you can use to personalize your planner and make it a true reflection of you!
Eve Tokens says she created a planner to keep her life on track. “I was using a bullet journal for managing my personal life, Trello for my online business, and my phone calendar to keep track of both and random other appointments,” she says. “It was too much, and I found I was getting less done than ever before.”
The Perfect Project Planner (£27 or $34.91) is designed for bloggers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who need a planner that does all the things. Download and bind this planner and use it to track everything you need for your blog/business. Key features include a 2018 review, goal planning for 2019, important dates, book list, 2018 and 2018 Google Analytics overview, weekly stats tracking, quarterly financial goals, project idea areas, 90-day sprint planning, and more. I love this one for bloggers (or any business with a blog) and for anyone who hates lugging around a heavy planner.
Yvonne “Yvi” Heimann set out on a mission to integrate her work and life passions fully, simply, and in a way that would do what “planners” are actually meant to do—magnify our greatness! After years of trying to find the perfect planner, app, or productivity tool, Yvi decided to revolutionize the planner industry. The Bulletproof Business Planner (formerly known as ProtoPreneur Planner) empowers us to cultivate our life’s passions and bring our deepest desires to life.
The Bulletproof Business Planner ($59) empowers you to design (not just dream about) your destiny. It helps you become the most clear-minded, productive, motivated, inspired, and kick a$$ version of yourself. It’s like a best friend who remembers and reminds you of your most important projects and dreams, encourages you to track and be proud of your personal accomplishments, workouts, and everything in between. I love this one because it’s undated so you customize it to fit your schedule. Plus, the leather-look cover is GORGEOUS and durable. This is a beast of a planner!
Mo Seetubtim always dreamed of having an inspirational brand that people love. Her dream finally came true in March of 2015 with the launch of The Happiness Planner. It’s a beautiful journal designed to help people become happier and more fulfilled by embracing positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development.
The Happiness Planner® ($46-$59) will help you not only manage your to-do list, but also live a truly happy and fulfilled life in alignment with your core values, personality traits, and strengths. There are four main elements: the Happiness Roadmap (become more self-aware and set fulfilling goals), the Planning Pages (stay focused and motivated on monthly goals), the Daily Pages (fill your days with inspiration), and the Reflection Pages (learn from the highs and lows of each week/month). As a mindset coach, I absolutely adore this comprehensive approach to a planner!
Ashley Staum‘s dream started late one evening while in grad school. In order to avoid studying for a few hours, she decided to design her own planner to stay on top of everything on her plate. She fell in love with the process of designing that first planner, and continued to make her own planners each semester and later for co-workers. In early 2013, she began selling digital versions and now physical planners.
The She Plans Planner ($20-$46) had some big changes for 2019. There are now daily, weekly, and monthly versions so you can choose the one that fits the way you plan. There are full 7×9-inch sewn notebooks in monthly ($20), weekly/quarterly ($38), and daily/quarterly ($46) offering the size of a traditionally bound planner with the ease and simplicity of a sewn notebook. This year’s layouts include extras like a unique 4-page weekly spread in the weekly planner, and both week-at-a-glance and full Sat/Sun pages in the daily planner. New this year is a loose daily planner with tabs for those who love a binder system.
Ilana Griffo decided to make a planner when she couldn’t find one that fit her needs. “As a design student, I wanted a place I could doodle, take notes, and stay on track of my classwork,” she says. In the last five years, Griffo’s planner has evolved to reflect her creative journey and her customers’ needs.
The Rule The World Planner ($36) is full of goal-setting tools bound to help you crush your goals. From budget-planning worksheets to inspirational quotes, this planner is bound to make this year your best yet.
Ashley Shelly started designing planners soon after creating The Budget Notebook, her first official product, because customers asked for it and she felt the time was right. “I’ve been a planner user for years, but I always wanted to improve on the designs I saw,” she says.
The Ashley Shelly Planner ($44.95) helps women create their best days by planning on paper. It features the perfect combination of organization and inspiration. This functional planner includes special features that guide you through organizing and staying inspired throughout the year. It includes a weekly layout with schedule and to-do list sections, and a spot for due today and dinner, equal space for all days of the week, and a hard, glossy cover (7.25×9.25 inches including binding).
Deana Uhrig created a planner to help women keep organized and help them find daily time with God. Her biggest prayer is that her planner keeps people focused on God as they plan their days.
The Anchored Press Devotional Planner ($49) is a Christian planner full of Bible verses and devotional content. Each weekday includes a devotion written by a different (godly, gifted, and inspiring) contributor that focuses on a specific theme. Following each, you’ll be guided through a full week of reflecting and growing in that area of your life. Also included are meal planning, goal setting, notes pages, prayer request pages, pockets, and other organizational tools.
Anung Villay is the mastermind behind Courageous Creativity, a place for introverts and homebodies to go on with their life and live with some adventure.
The Fulfill Your Dreams Planner ($9.99 – $14.99) will help you plan and prioritize your dreams. You get pages to mind map life goals. Each step is spelled out for you so you can take your time. There’s plenty of space to add new ideas (and even add you own little designs). Everything gets broken down from your big ideas, all the way down to what you need to do this week to get there.
There you have it! My list of the best planners for creatives and entrepreneurs. I hope you loved this list for 2019, but if you know of one that you think should be included, just let me know in the comments below. I love finding new products to include in the future. Also, if you found this post useful, please share it with your friends and on social media. Help me spread the love for these amazing women creatives who are making beautiful tools for us all!
Having a small business is taxing, and not just on your pocketbook. If you’re like most small business owners, you can’t afford much help in the beginning. That leaves you to do much of the day-to-day work yourself. On top of that, you have to get the word out about your business. After all, the more people who know about you, the more revenue you’ll have and the better your chances of hiring some help.
It might feel like you’re chasing your tail, but don’t throw in the towel. Check out these four tips to boost your brand awareness without breaking the bank.
1. Social Media
Social media is an inexpensive way to build brand awareness. Ads allow you to target a specific location so people who live in that area will see it in their feeds. While putting money behind your ad campaign will help a lot, you don’t necessarily need to spend any money, and can instead grow your following organically.
Be sure to research your audience before you decide which social media platforms are right for your business.You don’t want to waste time using the wrong platforms, and you definitely don’t have time to try to use all of them.
Use social media to engage with customers and get to know them in addition to advertising for your business. Build a relationship with your customers instead of coming off as too self-promotional. Make sure your posts show the value customers will get. Use bold images with bright colors to stand out in people’s newsfeeds. Remember to respond to all customer questions, comments, and queries—even the negative ones—in a timely manner.
2. Direct Mail
Like social media ads, direct mail also lets you target a specific neighborhood. Unlike social media and email, though, direct mail typically gets noticed easier. Direct mail also has a longer shelf life than a digital ad because people tend to keep it to refer to later.
It’s important to make your mail stand out. Put it in a branded envelope using a script font to address it. People will be more likely to open it because it will look like a personal letter instead of an ad. To that end, use a real stamp instead of a bulk mail stamp. Use direct mail to introduce people to your brand by inviting them to check you out on social media, inviting them to an upcoming event, or giving them a coupon.
3. Community Service
Community service serves two purposes. First, it helps others. Second, it gets your name out there. The scale in which you want to serve the community is up to you, depending on your time and your budget.
One of the more elaborate ways is to organize some sort of area cleanup. It can be in the area of your business or somewhere in your neighborhood, such as a local park. A little less intensive method is to organize some sort of collection. You can accept canned food for local shelters or soup kitchens, pet food and supplies for animal shelters or backpacks and school supplies for area schools. The easiest way is through money. Accept donations and offer to match them up to a certain amount, or offer a portion of your proceeds during a designated time to charity. If you’d rather give time, you also can offer to sit on the board of a local charitable organization. Not only does this get your name out there, it also allows you the chance to network with other board members.
4. Mobile Billboard
Now it’s time to take your brand to the streets! You have to drive places anyway, so you might as well get some advertising in for your brand at the same time. Consider using your vehicle as a mobile billboard with custom window decals, magnets or wraps. You can choose a specific product based on your budget and what will work best with your particular vehicle.
This gives you the opportunity to reach everyone along your commute each day, as well as others when you’re out running errands; imagine all of those bumper stickers, vanity plates and window decals you observe in your daily travels. Plus, it will definitely get noticed during a traffic jam.
Be sure your vehicle design is consistent with all of your other marketing materials. Most importantly, make sure to be on your best driving behavior. You don’t want anyone to associate negative feelings with your brand because you cut them off in traffic.
Owning a small business is a lot of work. There’s more to it than opening a shop and making sure you have enough inventory. You have to get your name out there. But, as the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money.” There are many ways to do that, but hopefully, these four tips will help you boost brand awareness without breaking the bank.