The past few weeks have been a glorious whirlwind of traveling across the country in celebration of our new book, In the Company of Women. The downtime after finishing a book can sometimes feel a little blue, because you’ve gotten used to such a hectic pace of work and, in our case, meeting a new amazing woman every day who would inspire and motivate us. So getting to head back out on the road to interview and talk with dozens of inspiring women has been an incredible chance to dive back into that feeling of “anything is possible.” To top it all off, meeting all of you out in your hometowns and watching you connect with others and form new friendships and collaborations at these events has been a literal dream-come-true.
I’m heading back to the West Coast (and Washington, D.C.) next week, so before I hop back on a plane, I wanted to share some of the greatest things I’ve learned on tour so far from women both on these panels and in the audience. The wealth of inspiration, advice and real-world motivation they’ve shared has been overwhelmingly spectacular. Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend. And I’ll see you next week, D.C. and California! xo, grace
*I’m so honored to have In the Company of Women included in the new Jane Mount “Ideal Bookshelf” print (dedicated to feminist books) at 20×200!
1. DREAM BIG + ASK FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT: If there’s one thing everyone on these panels has advised us to do, it’s to set our bar high and not to sell ourselves short. Over and over, across the country, women have been raising their hands to express their unease when it comes to asking for what they really want. But each panelist has reaffirmed how important it is to aim high, ask for what you actually want and to not underestimate your dreams or your abilities.
2. NO ONE HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT: This book taught me very quickly that everyone, at every stage of life and business, has struggles. Those struggles don’t disappear with time and experience, they just become more complex. In my experience they’ve become more gratifying to overcome, but they never end. So cut yourself some slack — even women who are into their business 20+ years still have bad days (and weeks and years).
3. IT’S OK TO WORK A SIDE JOB, WE’RE NOT ALL FULL-TIME: Most business magazines and books would have us believe that all businesses start with a lot of funding or investment and people quitting their jobs immediately to take a big swing. But we don’t all have that option. And guess what? That’s okay! Lots of businesses start on a shoestring budget (with the help of a side job or full-time job’s income) and still grow, slowly and steadily, into sustainable and fulfilling companies. You don’t need to START big to dream big and do something you love.
4. BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM: I dedicated most of my later podcast episodes to the importance of an in-person support group, and each panel has reminded me just what a difference a group like that can make. Having women around you who understand what you do and what it’s like to run your own business (especially as a mom who runs a business) is, in some cases, the difference between a business succeeding and failing. Having people around you to support you, guide you, pick you up when you need help and to remind you of your successes, is absolutely essential.
5. THERE’S NO ONE “RIGHT” WAY TO BE A BOSS: Everyone runs their company differently. Some people swear by boundaries with employees, whereas some only hire people they want to be friends with. There’s no one system that works for everyone, and sometimes you may swap ends of the spectrum over the course of your career. And that’s okay. You have to stick to what feels right to you and for your business. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be tougher or softer than you want to be.
6. EMBRACE THE PIVOT: We live in a world where people change jobs and interests more than ever. So why should you be limited to one passion or one project? Our panels have been filled with women that changed careers and interests later in life and still found a way to course-correct (or just change the direction of) their ship with great success. Your first job doesn’t define you and neither does your second. YOU are the real company (thank you, Jodie Patterson, for that bit of wisdom) and every project you do is just an extension of the core company: YOU and what you believe in and love right now.
- Blushing Welcome: The Victorian farmhouse of Biscuit Home designer Bailey McCarthy is a study in showing both thoughtful design restraint and bold affection for color and pattern. I’m swooning over her pale pink Dutch door!
- Trippy Earth: Argentine artist Federico Winer’s “Ultradistancia” project takes your typical satellite images from Google Earth and translates them into bright and mesmerizing psychedelic artworks.
- Posh Pumpkins: Halloween is swiftly approaching, and Orlando Soria has plenty of spooky and sophisticated decorating ideas that will help you create your own festive “glamourmoment.”
- Fall Treat: Jocelyn Delk Adams has comfort covered with this Brown Sugar Poundcake recipe over on Grandbaby Cakes. The flavor pairings make it a welcome treat for any of the upcoming holidays.
- Scarf Fever: It’s that time of year when a scarf becomes an extension of my body (if the weather cooled down here in California already!), and this scarf from our friends at Block Shop Textiles would be a welcome staple to my wardrobe.
- Art Crush: LEIF teamed up with New Zealand-based abstract artist Jen Sievers to create this print exclusively for their shop, and I’m enamored of its vibrant, emotional movement and colors.
- Beauty + Self-Care: How to Innovate and Design Your Life By Creating Mind Maps, The Beauty of Self-Care — Lesson 6: Celebrate Your Strengths, 10 Statement Earrings for Fall
- Food + Drink: In the Kitchen With: Kristen Beddard’s Salmon Cakes
- DIY: DIY Otomi Inspired Pumpkin, 12 Everyday Craft Supplies and Fun Projects to Make With Them
- Decorating: 10 Amazing Wallpapered Entryways, 10 Indoor + Outdoor Favorites at Terrain
- Interiors: An Oklahoma Lake Home Where Life Is Slower, Built in the 1830s, A Designer’s Cozy & Curated Cottage, A Touch of European Design Amps up A Nashville Rental, Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Before & After: An Airstream Trailer in Seattle Gets A Complete Makeover, 10 of Our Favorite Portland, OR Homes