In celebration of International Women’s Day today, I’m excited to share the touching true stories and inspiring advice from incredible Wonder Women who are following their dreams, making things happen, and changing the world.

From dynamic leaders in the fashion and beauty industries to powerhouse media mavens and celebrated authors, learn how these successful women empower others, develop strong mindsets, and find joy in their lives.

International Women’s Day Celebration

As Jamie Kern Lima (Founder of It Cosmetics and best-selling author of Believe It) says in her new book, “We need women to take chances, launch businesses, challenge industries, and shine their own lights brightly. We need to lift each other up. And celebrate each other.”

Christina-Lauren Pollack - International Women's Day

As a Digital Entrepreneur, the Creator of Inspirations & Celebrations, and the Founder of Inspiring Brands Academy™, since 2011, I’ve been on a mission to educate and empower women through inspiration and information.

I believe in celebrating and supporting women. Because of that, today has become one of my favorite holidays! A day to celebrate women for all their wonders – their accomplishments, passion, drive, willpower, and big hearts.

To me – these are the modern-day Wonder Women – the ones who bravely go out into the world on a mission to make a positive impact, all while facing their fears, risking failure, and overcoming challenges. The truth is – when women help each other, everyone benefits. And when powerful women use their strength to uplift others, everyone wins.

To all the gals who inspire me, support me, or help me – thank you! It’s not easy to find the courage to make things happen, but it somehow feels easier when we’re surrounded by women who help us believe in ourselves.

“Who you are today holds the key to unlocking who you will be tomorrow. So speak your mind. Own your ideas. Follow your dreams, and don’t ever stop going after what you want. Because this is about you: the person you are now and the even more amazing person you’re about to become.”~ Santa Catalina School 

With that said, may the following words of wisdom inspire you to follow your dreams and become your best self.

 


Amber Venz Box - International Women's Day

Amber Venz Box

When I think of the term “Girl Boss”, the fashionable Amber Venz Box comes to mind. Thanks to the ingenious work of this daring Wonder Woman, she created an innovative company that’s shaping the future of the fashion industry. In addition to helping me and thousands of other bloggers follow their dreams (while earning money), I’ve personally admired her passion and drive to “make things happen” since 2013 when I first joined her company as an influencer.

At the young age of 23, she founded rewardStyle – a revolutionary tech platform that connects top-tier influencers with more than a million brand partners worldwide. The company now drives over $2.5B annually in retail sales through brands like Nordstrom, Saks, and Neiman Marcus. She’s also been a 3x featured keynote speaker at SXSW, been named a Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Inc. Magazine’s Most Influential Millennials, a member of Business of Fashion’s 500, and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch.” In recent years, rewardStyle’s popular shopping app, LIKEtoKNOW.it, has transformed the way people discover new products and shop online.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

Growing up, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I began starting businesses as early as middle school. Despite my hunger and hustle and grit, I never found sustainable success in those endeavors. When I met my husband, Baxter, he had all of the business competencies and education that I did not (an MBA in finance and strategy, an engineering degree, experience investing…) and it was through my partnership with him that I was finally able to build a lasting business. rewardStyle has been the “Baxter” to more than 100,000 creators worldwide, that missing link to their economic success. They have the skills and the grit, they just need the turn-key technology platform that rewardStyle provides to grow into a meaningful business. I wake up every day motivated by the opportunity to empower another creative to provide for themselves and their families. rewardStyle puts people in business and I love that.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

Entrepreneurship is emotionally taxing; even the most successful entrepreneurs have been beaten up by the “messy middle” of building a business. I stay strong by setting a clear vision, hiring people who are subject matter experts (far beyond my competencies), setting boundaries around my personal time, fiercely prioritizing my family over anything that can be delegated or declined, and keeping myself grounded by volunteering my time and resources to people in need in my community.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

I have a few…

1. The happiness quotient is expectations minus reality. The only thing you can control is your expectations. Plan; plan for the worst; do your best and know that ultimately, you are not the author of your story.

2. Don’t confuse your business success with your personal value. Those are two very different things.

3. Surround yourself with people who have more business experience and success than yourself and learn from them; ask questions and ask for advice.

Schedule time to give back at least once a month. Being close to people who need help will keep you grounded and others-focused. Having too much time to think about yourself without these grounding moments can cause you to lose perspective.

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

As a creative, I love that I get to spend so much of my day brainstorming big ideas and then having a fantastic team in place to execute them. I also like being able to create a work environment that makes people excited, inspired, and comfortable. As an entrepreneur, you get to set the culture in this way and that is an irreplaceable feeling. With the remote work during COVID, we have had to rethink our office-first culture, but that has breathed new life into our practices and values, all of which I believe has created an even brighter and more close-knit bond the last year.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

If I could give any piece of advice to my younger self, it would be to listen more than you speak. My mother always taught me that smooth waters run deep, so when I assert myself, my intent is to make it meaningful. There is much to learn from observation. I’d also tell myself to hire quality, not quantity when it comes to your building out your team. Don’t hire warm bodies just because you can.

Ultimately, your character is the only thing that matters. No one will remember anything else.


Avril Graham - International Women's Day

Avril Graham

Since my teen years, Bazaar has long been my favorite fashion magazine. So much so, that it literally inspired me to forge my way in the fashion and beauty industries (as a model-turned-blogger and magazine writer). From exquisite imagery to unparalleled styling, the publication consistently evokes the epitome of class, elegance, and sophistication. It’s the gold standard of perfection, in my opinion. This is why it brings me great honor to introduce the next glamorous Wonder Woman – a gal I’ve admired for many years, Avril Graham, the Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor at Harper’s BAZAAR.

Just take a peek at her Instagram account, and you’ll see why she’s such a fierce and fashionable woman. Her zest for adventure, coupled with her love of luxury, sets the stage for fans to daydream about exotic destinations and dreamy lifestyles. To take viewers behind-the-scenes as she discovers the world’s most exciting places and people, she’s now the Executive Producer & Host of Platinum Eye (a new television show series which aired this month on the A&E Network’s FYI Channel and on the Station Livestream).

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

I think a sense of always feeling there is a path to being able to fulfill dreams and goals if you have a true sense of self and spirit to forge ahead. There will always be obstacles in your path at some points, a few unhelpful types, and likely a few sharks along the way. These should all be viewed as a learning curve, and not as something to stall your drive. If a project is good, you must have passion for hard work and determination. If it’s a wonderful project, that you truly believe in, you are working 24/7 to get it off the ground. Belief and passion should be fundamental, so much so, it doesn’t feel like you are working long hours.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

Don’t let the struggle grind you down or chip away at the belief in your abilities and capabilities. Be truthful and kind and don’t stoop low to achieve your dreams. Remain honorable at all times in your business dealings.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

Self-confidence comes from within. Too much is vulgar, but you also have to develop thick skin. So believe in your self-worth, you can do it. There will always be someone who regards themselves more beautiful, more intelligent, more daring, more adept. But YOU are YOU… and that’s special and unique. Celebrate that!

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

I have loved my career from day one in the fashion industry – from starting out in the back row to getting to the front. I was just as happy in the early days learning from those who knew much more than I did. I have appreciated every stage and when I think of the experiences and places this wonderful business has taken me to. I feel so blessed to have worked in an industry I adore.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

My advice to my younger self would be to stop and smell the roses, slow down, enjoy… there will be decades of happy work ahead. And yes, you can juggle motherhood too – I had 2 boys along my career path.

My new television series Platinum Eye is a prime example of working on a project out of my comfort zone and having the dedication and belief to see it through. Although I have been a regular guest on Network TV shows for decades, it is an entirely new genre hosting complete Episodes.

This new series explores luxury – travel, fashion, culture, and the arts and is a fun exploration of my world, but notably light entertainment for a wider audience. I had this nugget of an idea for a series over 5 years ago and it’s a wonderful thing to see it come to fruition. We are a small team and devoted to making it happen. My colleagues are a testament to what hard work, passion, and drive can bring. We have literally worked 24/7 – no days off, to launch this series. It has also been extraordinary to navigate the launch of a new brand during a pandemic! That was an especially mighty obstacle to plow through!

I am delighted we have been able to bring 10 beautiful Episodes to life and viewers appreciate our stories!!


Camerone Parker - International Women's Day

Camerone Parker

This next Wonder Woman is one of the bravest and most beautiful souls to ever grace the runway. Beyond being a notable Fashion Model, Camerone Parker is more than just a pretty face – she’s also a courageous leader serving the world in a deeper way.

Having been featured throughout her storied modeling career in over 350 magazines, the former face of Olay has walked the runways for designers like Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, and Badgley Mischka, to name a few. She’s been seen on billboards around the country for brands like Ralph Lauren POLO and has made appearances on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “The View” and more.

While at the highest point of her modeling career, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Since then, she has emerged as a leading powerful celebrity voice in patient advocacy for MS and treatment, by sharing her story nationwide (as a speaker) about being diagnosed with MS, while hiding the disease from the highly competitive world of international fashion, just so that she could earn money to pay for treatment. Because of her personal plight, she decided to take on the mission to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. In so doing, she’s successfully raised millions of dollars for various charities while shining a spotlight on this serious health issue.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

When I think about inspiration, what inspires me most are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. I treasure inspiration stemming from creativity, selfless acts of kindness, positivity. Above all, I am deeply inspired by those who simply dare to be different!

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

God promised Noah that after the rain, look to the sky—the heavens revealed a rainbow.

Currently…I am ensconced in a most arduous, nefarious conflict. A storm so dire, only one person could’ve prevented it and sadly, made sure I wasn’t protected from it. On October 2nd, 2019, news broke announcing that I had just survived a catastrophic heart attack requiring life-saving surgery.

While in the hospital fighting for my life, new details about my private life and my marriage were quickly unfolding. Horrific truths emerged about my husband who promised his love, protection, and fidelity to me. He was, and is now, the greatest and most diabolical risk to my health and life. That day, without warning, my life changed forever. Not only did I survive a catastrophic cardiac event, but my husband’s sex and porn addiction was also now uncovered.

The past 11 months, the unseen wounds of trauma have now ravaged my heart, stopping it from beating at four different times. My addict husband went into inpatient for specialized help. I forgave him. My Faith and resilience guided me to giving him the gift of forgiveness. Sadly, he ultimately abandoned me and my broken heart. “I don’t love you enough to deal with you” were his last words.

There are some things one doesn’t simply “get over.” What that doesn’t mean is not letting it hold you back.

How does one “gird her loins” for this outrageous battle? Believe me, it’s tough. So tough in fact that there are days I truly do want my heart to stop for a final time.

But it can’t. It WON’T. The storm will eventually cease. There is gratitude on a cloudy day. The clouds will soon break allowing beams of sunlight through. Look what’s out there, the light promising a new day.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

Instead of looking for role models, become one yourself. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, highs, lows, what you have or have not achieved. Every woman has the gift to inspire. Becoming a role model isn’t dependent on who you are, famous or not. The love of giving back and inspiring others comes loaded with many personal benefits. As a role model, you never know who you’re going to impact just by the simplistic giving of your model self. On the flip side, you never know who might be in a position to reciprocate if you yourself are in a time of great need. For me, giving is the best medicine around. Giving leaves a role model legacy that is cemented forever.

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

Fashion is my art. It is monumentally fulfilling in its beauty and architecture. Drawing inspiration from iconic pieces hanging in my closet is priceless! As to what I am working on now, it provides healing and hope in many ways, for myself, and for others. I am so fortunate to be penning my first book co-authored with a well-known celebrated journalist, Sue Smart, currently titled, A Model Patient. Turning the page, so to speak from the tragedies, including surviving betrayed spouse trauma and turning it into a spellbinding remarkable triumph from the past 11 catastrophic months.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

Always face the day, every day, wearing cute shoes. Each step forward becomes a stride. Some days your stride will be powerful, a force to reckon with. Other times, those steps are shaky and unsure. You either give up or you GET up. Wearing cute shoes will always remind you how far you’ve walked!!


Elizabeth Graves - International Women's Day

Elizabeth Graves

When it comes to entertaining inspiration, I’ve always loved Martha Stewart Living. Exuding impeccable taste and delightful ideas, the magazine has always inspired me to elevate my home celebrations. So it brings me great joy to introduce the next gal, a kind-hearted and industrious Wonder Woman with an astute eye for detail – Elizabeth Graves, the Editor-in-Chief of Martha Stewart Living.

Having worked her way up the ranks in the media world (starting at a small newspaper, then landing a job as an editorial assistant at Allure, then on to positions at Self and Real Simple), her tireless passion for her work has paid off. But even with the responsibility of leading Martha Stewart’s namesake publication (which, I can’t imagine the pressure of having!), she seems to have mastered the art of both being highly productive while enjoying her life.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

So many things, but mostly the people around me—my family, my friends, my colleagues at Martha Stewart Living—and arguably even total strangers, those people I read about who by mere example just make me want to do better and be better. I’ve also always been drawn to people with a doer’s disposition: who simply love to do things, to learn things, to try new things, to create things, and really enjoy the pursuit of it. It’s no surprise I was drawn to Martha at age 16. I find that kind of passion inherently inspiring and energizing to be around. Internally speaking, though, I think while it’s a bit of a cliché, you do need to find your passion, and what you truly want to do; that will always help fuel you forward.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

Listen, observe, and take it all in. Note, I did not do this by design at first—I was really just timid at the beginning of my career—but I think the approach helped me gain confidence and strength in my own abilities, and certainly provided a road map of what to do (and, in some cases, what not to) when real challenges arose. I think mentors are important, too. Find someone you can ask a lot of questions—it could be a boss, it could be a colleague you admire; I’ve been lucky enough to have both. But someone who gives you really good constructive criticism. This helps build your inner resilience and your confidence. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with being fearful or a little intimidated. In fact, it can help you.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

I think experience ultimately helps build your self-confidence—once you’ve done something, you simply know you can do it. But when you’re just starting out, or have little experience in something you care about or want to be good at, it’s important to listen to the little voice inside you that says, You can do this. You need to turn the volume up on that voice. Likewise, you need to turn down the negativity in your life—and that could be people, places, your news or social feed, even your own thoughts that get in the way of your own progress.

For example, whenever I get caught up in a swirl of self-doubt or voice a series of I-don’t-think-I-cans to my mom, she always says, “Sweetie, you need to change that channel in your head.” And it’s true: If you listen long enough to negativity, you’ll believe it. And another truth; you need to push yourself to do the things that frighten you. Each small personal win is a stepping stone in building your confidence.

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

Collaborating with my team. I like the creative aspect of coming up with new ideas that our audience will find useful and inspiring. I think all of us love to see when people are cooking from the magazine, and taking ideas and making them their own. We’ve learned the importance of home in the past year, as a place of comfort and a respite. It’s rewarding to see that our content has never been more relevant or useful, and I love when it makes people happy.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

I struggle with this question because I honestly would not change a thing. I wouldn’t warn her away from any of the things that were hard or challenging, because I learned from those times. Looking back now, I’m actually proud of that younger self. She moved to a big city alone, got a job, and kept her head down, and worked her tail off. She also did things that scared and intimidated her on the regular. I admire that in my younger self; she was quietly bold. I think I would give her a hug, and tell her to keep going.


Jacqueline Finnan Hemmer - International Women's Day

Jacqueline Finnan Hemmer

I believe that when the Universe wants us to connect with certain people, it just happens (like magic). Well, that’s exactly how I met the next Wonder Woman in today’s guide. By chance, we connected on Clubhouse, and then, shortly thereafter, I read her moving story in Jamie Kern Lima’s new book Believe It. Talk about synchronicity! I instantly felt my intuition prompting me to contact her. So, I viewed it as a sign to invite her to participate in today’s celebration, and am so happy that she said yes. Once you learn her story, you’ll quickly realize that her courage, dedication, and work ethic are just a few of the reasons why she’s such an inspiring woman. Her kindness makes her an “IT Girl” if you ask me.

Jacqueline Finnan Hemmer is the Vice President of Brand Business Development for IT Cosmetics, and her history with the company dates back to the very start. As the first employee at IT Cosmetics, Jacqueline worked closely with brand founder Jamie Kern Lima and the brand’s plastic surgeons’ team to develop problem-solving, skin-loving cosmetics that deliver real results to make women look and feel their most confident. From testing formulas and brainstorming new concepts with Jamie to creating iconic products for IT Cosmetics, Jacqueline continues to be a voice of the brand. She has appeared on thousands of live shows on QVC, The Shopping Channel and loves chatting with IT Cosmetics customers on the brand’s social platforms. Jacqueline loves to champion women, and besides beauty, you can find her speaking on topics such as confidence and wellness.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

My son comes to mind when I think about what inspires me to follow my dreams and set higher goals. In the early days of IT Cosmetics, I felt a lot of mom guilt for working hard and being away from the family. I would often cry on my way home from the office, knowing I missed seeing my son before he went to bed again. Then one day, on my way home, a song came on the radio and reminded me of my childhood. As I thought about my childhood, I thought about the people in my life at that time. These were people who did not set goals or had any ambition. Because I did not have a role model in the home to teach me these things, I had to learn all of that independently. At that moment I realized, how important it was for my son to see his mother working hard every single day toward a dream. Him watching me putting time into myself and my dreams, wow I was teaching him so much more. Now that he is older, I see him conquering his dreams, too, in the same way, his mother does. So, I keep dreaming bigger for myself, and more importantly, for the lesson book for him too.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

Life can be very unpredictable, and there will always be challenging situations or obstacles that appear in the most inopportune time. Keeping a positive mindset with a solution-oriented approach is critical for any challenges that come my way. Seeing all the possible positive outcomes of the problem/fear makes each challenge less overwhelming. I always try to take care of it right away to not to impact anything else in my day or those around me. However, some challenges are difficult to take care of quickly and be quite complicated. With these, I take a more collaborative approach. Other people can give you a different perspective. Surround yourself with positive people as much as you can and keep in mind; you don’t have to go through all challenges alone.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

First, if you compare yourself to others, please stop. With social media being part of most of our daily lives, it’s easy to get caught up in everyone’s highlight real! “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

Next, be nice to you. Show yourself some compassion, take care of your body, eat a healthy diet, get the right amount of sleep, and move your body.

Now it’s time to visualize, what does a more self-confident you look like? Now grab a notebook and write it down. Be as detailed as possible in your description of your true more confident you. Is she more optimistic in speaking her mind? Does she treat her body with love and care? Does she make decisions more quickly?

As part of your morning or nightly routine, read your description of what the more confident you look like. After you read your description, write down three positive affirmations in your notebook. Make sure the affirmations are meaningful to you. Whenever you find yourself feeling self-doubt or critical, remind yourself of these affirmations.

And last but not least, be patient with yourself. Focus on progress and not perfection. You got this!

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

My favorite part of what I do is coaching my team. I like to make a positive impact on others’ lives, so my goal is to keep a work environment where everyone feels inspired by at least one thing every day. I love helping the people on my team to grow, and their careers blossom. It’s fun for me to identify their strengths and empower them to fly. Seeing someone succeed and flourish is very satisfying.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

You can’t please 100% or the people 100% of the time and do not be afraid to say, No!


Kindra Hall - International Women's Day

Kindra Hall

The next Wonder Woman not only has a way with words but also a great sense of humor, a down-to-earth attitude, and an effervescent personality that make her one of the most engaging storytellers around. As a best-selling author, international keynote speaker, and professional storyteller, I’m pleased to introduce the next inspiring gal, Kindra Hall.

Her book, Stories that Stick debuted at #2 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List, and Forbes said it “may be the most valuable business book you read.” In 2020, she became the Chief Storytelling Officer of SUCCESS Magazine where she now interviews icons like Deepak Chopra and Misty Copeland in an effort to hear and share their stories of success. She is also is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers trusted by global brands to deliver presentations and trainings that inspire teams and individuals to better communicate the value of their company, their products, and their individuality through strategic storytelling.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals? 

I’ve been surprised on many occasions throughout my life to learn what I’m capable of. There have been some incredible and unexpected highlights. I love these moments and the hope to find more of them inspires me to keep going.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

I pay close attention to the stories I tell myself. I’m I choosing to repeat stories that serve me and build me up or reinforce doubt and fear? Our inner-stories determine our reality.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

Put your successes on repeat in your mind. Write them down in a journal and re-read them before important meetings//calls//events. The empowering stories are there, we often choose not to focus on them, and therefore, they take a back seat to the louder, more negative stories.

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you? 

If just one person is able to make a positive change for themself or for another through the work I do… wow! That has become my favorite thing.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

To listen to the song Vienna by Billy Joel.


Lenika Scott - International Women's Day

Lenika Scott

When I first connected with this next Wonder Woman, I instantly knew we’d become friends, as she had a truly positive spirit and a “make it happen” mindset. Known as “The Millionaire Mom”, Lenika Scott is one of the most empowering, motivating, and inspiring women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. We became “Accountability Buddies” while both learning how to become course creators. She’s a self-made Entrepreneur, the Mom of 6 daughters, the Author of the book Angelic Allies, and now the new Course Creator behind “Get Out of Debt”, a program that teaches people a formula that she and her husband, Scott, developed to crush $1.7M in debt. Their story is truly inspirational – as they went from financially struggling (and even using food stamps at one point) to becoming 8-figure earners. In addition to this, Lenika is a multi-level marketing guru, life coach, successful businesswoman, mentor, and a “Marketplace Minister”.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

What inspires me each day is “Purpose!” Purpose wakes me up in the morning, it keeps me going and it allows me to bounce back through life’s difficult moments. What also inspires me to follow my dreams and set higher goals are my 6 beautiful daughters. I want to always show them that the sky’s the limit.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

I’ve learned that the only way to develop a strong mindset and overcome fear is by “Doing!” Yes! You have to take action. When you move into action fear has to render itself void. What happens is you find yourself in a place of faith which is the total opposite and we all know what faith can produce! Faith allows things to manifest! When things manifest there is nothing that will not stop you from operating in your potential.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

You need some WINS! I wholeheartedly believe every woman needs wins. The wins keep you in the game. This alone will develop great confidence but you realize and recognize if I did it before I can certainly do it again! Also, celebrate every small win because it is the small wins that lead to the big wins. You are Victorious!

What is your favorite part of your work?

How does it personally fulfill you? My personal favorite part of work is when I see others find success & get results! To see the smiles on their face is priceless. I’ve received countless messages, emails, and texts from individuals who were able to accomplish incredible things as a result of my impact on their lives, and to this day it never gets old. 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams stated and this is so true!

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

Actually, there are two! (ha)

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh, and have more FUN! Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the heart. When our heart is beautiful, it shows!
  2. Be in the moment!

Meaghan B Murphy - International Women's Day

Meaghan B Murphy

Because life should be celebrated every day, the next Wonder Woman truly puts the YAY! into everyday moments. As the Editor-in-Chief of Woman’s Day, the Co-Host of the podcast Off The Gram, and the new author of the upbeat book, Your Fully Charged Life, Meaghan B Murphy is one of the most energetic, creative, and go-getting gals I’ve ever met.

When it comes to fun-filled DIY projects, she’s a never-ending source of inspiration and good ideas. Beyond that, if you need a dose of enthusiasm and joy, she’s your gal. Her book is a “practical guide to bringing your best self to every moment, even when the pressures of daily life leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and wallowing in negative thoughts.” It’s exactly what the world needs right now (given the rollercoaster we’ve all been on this past year!).

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

I’m a go-getter, but not necessarily a goal-getter. I chase what excites me without having a concrete master plan. I find that as long as I’m passionate about whatever I’m pursuing at the moment, I will find success and have fun along the way.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

Your brain is a muscle. You can train it the same way you train your biceps with the science-proven tricks in Your Fully Charged Life. I think one of the most effective “training methods” is prioritizing positivity—actively seeking out the good (or as I like to call it: the YAY) in every day. Once you put more joyful, happy people, places, and things front and center in your world, you can quiet the bad stuff and prepare yourself to deal with it more easily.

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

I like to think about how everyone is rooting for me—it’s how I prep before a big presentation, TV segment, or anything else that makes me nervous. It’s a simple trick, and common sense says that’s kind of what’s going on: Nobody wants you to waste their time or see you flub. They want to be wowed, entertained, hear a thoughtful comment, see you get the job done. It’s in their best interest to root for you. I find that settling and energizing and a big confidence boost.

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

Which job?! Ha! I’m an author, Editor in Chief of Woman’s Day magazine, co-host of Off the Gram podcast, as seen on Today Show and Live with Kelly & Ryan, and a mom of 3. The through-line in all of those gigs is that I find them meaningful. I have a true sense that what I do matters and is important in the greater scheme of things. I’m giving people tips, tricks, and strategies to live their best lives. All the research confirms that when any of us are using the best of ourselves to strive toward a purpose, it creates both a sense of personal fulfillment and positive outcomes in the world around us. You get to decide what personally fulfills you and creates a sense of purpose.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

Don’t change a thing! I think all adversity is a gift that takes time to learn to unwrap. I’m a stronger, clearer, happier person today thanks to some tough younger years!


Nicole Miller - International Women's Day

Nicole Miller

If you’re a fashion lover like me, then the next Wonder Woman will surely inspire you. Renowned for her sophisticated, fun, and chic designs, American Fashion Designer Nicole Miller has become a household name for a reason. She has a way of juxtaposing bold, playful prints with a dash of edgy rebellion that results in chic, eye-catching pieces that stand out from the crowd. For these reasons, celebs like Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, and Carrie Underwood (to name a few) are amongst the notable women that have appeared in Nicole Miller NYC designs.

An American born to a French mother, she was trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris.  RISD encouraged her sense of freedom and creativity while Chambre Syndicale gave her a mastery of the classic French techniques of haute couture. Evident in her work are inspirations of art, travel, and popular culture, which blend together to create unique prints and vivid colors. As an innovative designer, she is often the first to popularize a new fabric, which further sets her work apart from others.

What inspires you each day to follow your dreams and set higher goals?

Every day is like a blank canvas. I feel like I can create something entirely new. I am always tired of the last thing and looking for the new one! Knowing I can out-do myself on a previous project motivates me to get going on the next.

How do you develop a strong mindset (to overcome fears or challenges)?

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do something you thought you could never do. You just have to say to your inner self, “I am going to do this!”. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

What tips would you give a woman to develop more self-confidence?

You have to realize that even the most self-confident appearing people are not necessarily that way. You have to find your own system that works for you to develop, and realizing it is not easy for everyone is helpful! I think that determining your core values and ambitions is a great step in building self-confidence because you have something you are sure of.

What is your favorite part of your work? How does it personally fulfill you?

I love the technical aspects of how to get things made. I love the whole process from starting with the colors of the season to developing the concept of the collection. I love working with the prints and embellishments and coming up with new silhouettes. The whole process is very exciting, and I love seeing my ideas come to fruition.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, what would it be?

Never say, “this is OK for now,” because if it’s not OK now, it’s not going to magically work itself out. If your job or situation isn’t great, then you should be actively looking for ways to change it rather than being complacent.


Christina-Lauren Pollack - International Women's Day

(Image Credit: Manny Espinoza)

If there’s one key takeaway from today’s guide, it’s this: You can do anything you want in life! 

If you have a dream in your heart (no matter what it looks like), believe it’s there for a reason. You’re destined for more than you can imagine. Just keep having faith in who you are, discover your star power, and believe in the mission of your higher purpose. Your intuition will guide you – just listen to the cheerleader inside you who says “You can do it!”.

For more inspiring advice from female leaders, check out past years’ International Women’s Day Celebrations.

Wishing you a very happy International Women’s Day!


[Header image c/o Style Collective. Headshot images c/o featured women. Bottom image credit: Manny Espinoza Photography. Disclosure: Some affiliate links included.]

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