In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the incredible accomplishments and inspiring words of powerful women throughout March. In today’s guide, discover must-read advice from trailblazing entrepreneurs in fashion and beauty fields, an Emmy-nominated executive producer, a New York Times bestselling author & celebrity chef, and other incredible women who are boldly and bravely becoming their best selves (while helping others).

Uncover 6 influential female voices and their valuable wisdom on how to pursue your dreams and goals, courageously forge your path to success, navigate obstacles with grace, and reach heights you never thought possible. Read on for motivating guidance that will stimulate your enthusiasm for becoming your best self.

If you haven’t done so, be sure to check out the previous guide called “The Wonder Women’s Guide to Pursuing Your Passions & Purpose”, which featured advice from the billion-dollar brand-building veteran & Co-Founder of, one of the most influential female executives in the music industry, and other notable women and leaders forging their way in life and business.

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Devin Alexander

Devin Alexander, Celebrity Chef, 3x NY Times Bestselling Author, Foster-Adoptive Mom

Devin Alexander is best known as “the chef” on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Her unique approach to healthy cooking, and her own motivational story of maintaining a 70-pound weight loss, cemented her as THE media expert for ‘decadence without consequence’ for over two decades. In 2018, 3-years after a debilitating and almost fatal car accident, Devin adopted her foster daughter from the Los Angeles foster care system. She is now constantly adapting and channeling her food and nutrition knowledge to share with parents everywhere. Her parenting videos have become viral sensations, some racking up over 6.5M views and more with hundreds of thousands of shares.

She’s written 10 books, including receiving the honor of becoming a 3x NY Times bestselling cookbook author, and earned the coveted 2023 Parent Tested Parent Approved seal for her first children’s book called The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables. She has served on the Advisory Board of the American Culinary Federation’s Chef & Child Foundation, has traveled to speak on behalf of the Larry King Foundation, and has been honored for work with She’s passionate about giving back to people, which is why her philanthropy efforts are focused on diabetes, obesity, and foster care-related charities.


“Pushing through our biggest fears is often the only way to get the greatest rewards. Having not met my soulmate at 45, I faced the foster care system and lucked into my great blessing – my now 5-year-old mini-me. She’s a miracle on so many levels and I was terrified for years to become a mother on my own.”


“Women are so used to juggling so much that they think they don’t need to hire anyone else. But the more you “do yourself” as a business owner, the less chance you have for your business to grow. I learned this loud and clear during the pandemic lockdown. I was recovering from my accident as a solo mom and had seriously downsized everything from housekeeping and childcare (simply to stay safe) and my office team. I was so proud, at first that I was “doing so much”. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I was just digging a“deep hole of busy” and losing my creativity.”


“Every challenge is a forced opportunity to happen upon “something better”.  At the height of my career in 2015, en route to a celebrity event in a town car, we were struck on the freeway. One of the most devastating days of my life was months after when a neurologist told me my career was over and that I would never speak publicly again. She handed me 4 prescriptions and told me to shut down my brain, sitting in a dark room. I went home, read the potential side effects of the 4 bottles, and resolved to find doctors who could help me. I did… and in the process, I realized that I worked so much, I didn’t allow myself the space for a personal life, which cost me becoming a mom. And it forced me to get my daughter. Without that accident, I’m not sure I ever would have taken the time to “stop” and get my daughter, who is definitely my biggest blessing!”


“If you don’t understand your brand and what you stand for, your audience never will. My personal ‘why’ is to help people “have it all”. I was an overweight teen turned healthy decadence chef to show people they could “have it all” around food and even being fit. When I desperately wanted to be a mom, I didn’t let the lack of a husband stop me, got my dream baby and then did speaking engagements around “women having it all” around family, encouraging others to pursue their life partner and children in whichever order that presented – and encouraged considering fostering to help give more to foster youth! And then when I became a mom, I was able to pivot my career to focus on helping busy moms have it all with my FitMomFitKids platform. If I didn’t have a strong personal brand, doing cooking demos for people living with diabetes one day then speaking to foster youth then appearing on tv trying to help moms feed their kids with more fun might seem random. But with one core message, it will all appear (and be) authentic and (hopefully) inspiring.”


“As women, we need to find ways to include our children in our work if we want to spend as much time as possible with them – for me as a solo mom, this was and is particularly important. For instance, last summer, instead of sending my then 4-year-old daughter “off to camp”, I hired 3 college students to be rotating “camp counselors” in our home (and my office). They created an actual camp schedule, we (my whole office team) had a camp chant and there were breaks worked into my daughter’s daily activities that allowed for “Mommy Hugs”(my daughter says “hug” more than any word on the planet and thrives on hugs). And some of her “life skills” activities (like fine motor skills)took place in our kitchen where she “got to help” the team. It was the most rewarding experience for me and she has been an even more joyous child and an amazing little cook ever since! And it all came about because I saw people posting about missing those “first 4 years” and wishing they could get them back. I couldn’t bear to “miss that time”.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Liyia Wu

Liyia Wu, Founder & CEO of ShopShops

A pioneer in the live-stream shopping space, Liyia Wu​ founded​ ShopShops​ as the first U.S.-based live-stream shopping app for fashion, beauty,​ and lifestyle products.​ ShopShops enables consumers to ​discover and shop the most sought-after ​luxury and designer resales​ while interacting one-on-one with ShopShops vendors and renowned host-sellers in real-time from all over the world, from the palm of their hand.​

In her role as CEO, Liyia leads the company in all aspects of marketing, technology, product development, and analytics, and – since founding the company in 2016 – has raised over $50 million in capital for the app, successfully scaling ShopShops into a business with over 2 million active users across the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Liyia’s background and experience have uniquely positioned her to understand the business from the consumer, the seller, and the brand lenses – having been all three herself.

In 2009, she founded and managed a contemporary fashion brand sold throughout Beijing, in addition to opening a luxury brick-and-mortar boutique that featured American designers hand-picked by Liyia, including Tory Burch, Loeffler Randall, and Helmut Lang, among others – several of whom entered the Chinese market exclusively through her store.

In 2016, Liyia pivoted from her fashion brand and business to concentrate on launching ShopShops, and – with no prior tech experience – leveraged her fashion background and degree, as well as her finance and accounting degree. Under her leadership, ShopShops has now expanded to host 12,000 live stream segments a year and features a roster of over 1,000 fashion retail partners, including Coach, Chloe, Ganni, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Loewe, Macy’s, Marni, MaxMara, Rag & Bone, Theory, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and many others.


“Oprah was and still is a “superhero” in my mind. She once said: ” the biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” I think it’s also the bravest adventure. It takes a lot of courage first to hear the inner self, follow that voice, ignore all the “no’s” (or fears), and act with intuition.”


“I think building a business starts as simple as an idea and a calculator, but for it to succeed, it requires a lot of hard work, discipline, fast learning, a strong team, and tons of luck. I believe any success is ” Man proposes, God disposes”. The challenge is how to stay persistent, keep trying, and not give up too easily. I also think it’s super important to build a business in what you really love, not just for the sake of “an opportunity to make money” or to have “quick success”. True passion is probably the only reason to keep you trying and not give up during the ups and downs.”


“In my opinion, most of the time challenges are often psychological rather than physical. I make myself believe I can get to the finish line, and this drives me to keep looking for solutions to solve the problems in front of me. A motto that resonates for me is “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work” by Thomas Edison. It’s like riding a wave, you have to paddle hard, and get through the down and flats to catch a rise.”


“Authentic and being real, would be what I consider the most important values in my life. Being not only real and honest to others, but also myself, true to my feelings, my thoughts, and my beliefs. I have so many different roles to play in life: mom, wife, daughter, boss, partner, etc, and I want to succeed in all of them. So I think being true to myself enables me to be “real” in the different roles that I constantly need to switch to or from, and I find true happiness in living for myself.”


“As the founder of a start-up business, it’s tough to define the difference between “work” and “life”. It’s almost like asking a mother who’s your favorite child. I’m very lucky that what I’m working on is also what I am passionate about. I’ve always tried my best to live the life of my dream and make every moment of it valuable to me. I do make time to recharge. Snowboarding, cooking, and playing with legos are things that help me reduce destress and stay focused.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Katie Stippec

Katie Stippec, Emmy-nominated Executive Producer at Battle Island

Katie Stippec is the executive producer at Battle Island who is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of the new series, “Ghosts of Ruin”. As an Emmy-nominated executive producer, she executes the overall vision and strategizes community involvement, and maintains the integrity of the property and brand.

She produced Hallmark’s “Home & Family” for 5 years, and worked on “Big Chicken Shaq” with Shaquille O’Neal in 2018. She has previous experience in casting for shows including “Girls”, “Orange is the New Black”, and “Blue Bloods”. Katie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Outside of work, she enjoys all things St. Louis, especially the Cardinals and the Blues.


“Dreams can be a blessing or a curse, sometimes both. Following them is a hard and arduous path filled with landmines and unexpected obstacles, but it leaves you with fewer regrets. Not following them can torture you – mind, body, and soul – for the entirety of your life, eating away at you like cancer. Personally, I’d prefer the former. Life is going to be hard no matter what path you choose, so you might as well “choose the suck” that you want, putting yourself in the driver’s seat. For me, that’s chasing dreams as hard and as fast as I can. The alternative is monotony and complacency, and if we only get one of these lives, I want to look back knowing that I gave it everything I could.”


“When I first moved to New York in 2015, I was lost and broke. I didn’t know what I was doing or where I was going. I knew I had to hustle, explore, learn, and figure it out. The first job I had in the entertainment industry was in casting. When I quit pursuing my own passions, they had to hire two people to replace me. That was a wake-up call. It helped to have a very supportive partner who continually opens my eyes for me to realize my own potential. Standing out, and building something is hard. It takes time, energy, and sacrifice. My journey made me who I am, and I love myself. It’s easy to forget what you’re capable of, but the achievements you can accomplish in a short amount of time are really insane when you take the time to think about it and give yourself the credit you deserve.”


“There are always challenges, most of which can be overcome, avoided, or planned for, but for me, for some reason, it always boils down to confrontation – whether that be confronting the problem, confronting the person, or confronting myself. It helps me with all challenges to remind myself that time is fleeting. No matter how bad things seem at any given time, nothing lasts longer than the time that it lasts. Meaning, there will always be ups and downs. A person’s response to challenges is where the magic is. Conquering challenges builds you into who you are, makes you stronger, and reminds you of your power. You can overcome anything. We make our own luck in this world, and I’m a firm believer that luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”


“I think of personal branding as less about who I am on social media and more about who I am as a person. In the entertainment industry, and in most industries, your name is everything. Cultivating relationships is not only important, but it’s also the most important thing. That’s why breaking in is so hard and there’s so much nepotism because people want to work with their friends. The extrovert in me loves maintaining relationships, although at times of course it can be taxing and time-consuming, it’s well worth it. It pays in dividends not just with career success, but with feeding your soul and feeling connected to your community and peers.”


“I’d rather be working than doing anything else. And I feel guilty if I’m NOT working. There is always something I could be doing, (which) could put me half a step ahead, and always a task to complete. Admittedly, I don’t have children but I do have family and friends that I’m sure would like more of my time. I’m being patient with myself as I work through this. I started cultivating hobbies that are just for me – painting, reading, growing herbs, and baking. I try to make myself text at least one or two people a day outside of work contacts. I want to help everyone do everything. I don’t know if that’s a woman thing or just my thing. But, either way, I’m working on it.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Annette Walker

Annette Walker, President of City of Hope Orange County

Annette M. Walker is the visionary President of the City of Hope Orange County who has gained a national reputation for her industry-changing insights, outstanding leadership, and keen abilities to bring people together and achieve extraordinary results. Twice recognized as one of the most influential leaders in U.S. healthcare by Modern Healthcare, Annette has been at the helm of many top organizations in her field. She considers her leadership at the City of Hope among her most important roles as she is developing a cancer campus and network of care that will transform the Orange County, California region – her home for more than 40 years.

Last year, Annette and her team fulfilled the promise made to Orange County to open the City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center and break ground on Orange County’s only cancer specialty hospital in Irvine, California. This cancer campus disrupts traditional models for academic medicine by speeding highly specialized care to the heart of a community. Annette has also established a network of regional clinics that brings advanced cancer care and lifesaving services even closer within reach for those who need them.

Annette is a featured speaker for national audiences and is the author of numerous articles on strategy, leadership, marketing, quality, planning, and management. She has received many leadership and innovation honors for her work from major institutions, organizations, and publications, including Top 25 Women in Healthcare (Modern Healthcare), Cal State Fullerton’s Excellence in Executive Leadership award, Orange County Business Journal’s Top Woman in Business, Businessperson of the Year, OC 50 (2020, 2021 and 2022) and one of the Top 100 Orange County Influencers by the Orange County Register.

Annette says her proudest achievement is partnering with her husband Chuck to raise a close family of six that now includes 13 grandchildren.


“Follow your heart and be brave. One of my inspirations is Joan of Arc. She was an illiterate 14-year-old who got an army of men to follow her. That’s brave and that’s inspirational. We don’t talk about bravery a lot these days, but I do think it takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and try to figure out what else is waiting out there for you.

Women think they need to act like men to be successful, but that’s not true. Many of our feminine attributes are the very qualities that can make us successful in the workplace. Instead of trying to tone them down, we should learn to leverage them.”


“When you take on a responsibility, you are accepting stewardship, or responsibility, for the mission of that organization, for the people of that organization, and for the community that is to benefit from what that organization does. A great leader stewards the organization and leaves it better than when they received it when they leave it.”


“There were times in my career when I had to choose who to talk to about my children. Even though they’ve been a major asset in my career and my life, there were people who doubted that I could handle the responsibility when they learned how many children I had. Being a parent teaches us to recognize the skill and aptitude in others and how to nurture and encourage those skills. The wisdom we gain from parenting is an invaluable aspect of becoming a business leader.”


“The poet Maya Angelou said, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I try to live by that. Never be afraid to express to people that you love them.

If you’re doing work you love, work that aligns with your values, it lifts you up. It drives you over the bumps in the workplace. It inspires you. And that’s when you’re able to accomplish great things – when you’re doing what you were born to do.

Love your people. When people know that you sincerely care about them and have their interests at heart, that’s the real value and reward of leadership. This kind of sponsorship, as opposed to mentorship, is an important element of leadership—whoever you work with should be better for having been with you.”


“It’s not going to be 50-50. I have a saying: Be fully present wherever you are. It’s the wisdom to know when something really matters, where your presence will be missed.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Dielle Charon

Dielle Charon, Certified Life Coach, Podcast Host & Sales Expert for WOC Coaches

Dielle Charon, MSW, is a certified life coach and 7 figure sales expert for WOC Coaches. She is the host of the Black, Banked, and Booked Out Podcast with over 150,000 downloads and runs two sales programs: Five Figure Freedom and Six Figure Liberation which have served over 300 WOC.


“Following your dreams can feel scary. Do not let fear be the thing that holds you back. Step into the identity of what your dream is before you even get there. That means, if you want to be a millionaire, start thinking what would my millionaire self do? This helps us to get into the right space and believe in this dream.

If a broke social worker like me can have my dreams come true of building a powerful community of women of color and a successful business, you can too.”


“Building a business can be simple. Stop feeling like you have to follow every piece of advice you see online. What fits you, your strengths, and your passions? Long term, this prevents burnout and helps you build the business of your dreams, for example, I hate making reels but I can rant! I make sure to rant on Instagram live and my team clips these into reels. I am plying to my strengths and you can too!”


“Personal branding is key. I invest in this a lot because it is important to me. You want people to be able to recognize you immediately from the look, the words you use, and every bit of your brand. I am known as the woman of color business coach who will tell it straight. This is my brand! This allows me to stand out and hit seven figures with a small following and a small email list.”


“Have hobbies! Make time for things that are play because this will keep up your creativity.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Nicole Eckels

Nicole Eckels, CEO & Founder of Glasshouse Fragrances

As the number one home fragrance brand in Australia and now available to stateside shoppers, Nicole Eckels and her label Glasshouse Fragrances have set out on a mission to provide Americans with an aromatic escape through their wanderlust-inspired range of fine personal and household fragrances.

Nicole, a native New Yorker who set out in 2005 to discover the world, became captivated by all of the delightful aromas that she experienced while visiting New South Wales. She wanted to be able to keep these complex scents with her forever, so she decided to bottle them up! In 2006 right from her own kitchen in Australia, Nicole founded Glasshouse Fragrances with a mission of preserving scent memories and bringing them alive through vibrant fragrances inspired by unique cities around the globe. After two decades away from New York City, Nicole returned with Glasshouse Fragrances in tow, aiming to provide customers a way to explore the world without ever leaving home: through scent!

In the United States, Glasshouse has gained considerable traction and attained partnerships with renowned retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Saks. Their US lineup consists of Triple Scented Candles, Diffusers, Eau de Parfum fragrances for him & her plus exclusive Bath & Body products.


“Figure out what you love doing, and then dream up a way to make a living doing it.”


“I think that you have to do something that you really believe in at a gut level and that you genuinely love. Surround yourself with people who are experts in their field and listen to their wisdom, but determine what feels true to you. Ultimately, it’s your business and you need to trust your instincts.”


“Look at rejection in a new light. I’m from New York and my background is in sales, so I understand rejection. I don’t mind it – it’s just the way it is. It’s a numbers game. Work out your ratio of yes to no and every time you get rejected, just think about being that much closer to a yes. You will make mistakes and that is just the way it is, learn from them and move on.”


“The DNA of Glasshouse Fragrances and me as a person are so connected. You can’t take them apart. You and your business should coexist in a way that’s unique. It will help navigate when you go off-course. If there’s uncertainty, I go back to that place.”


“Living in New York has meant I walk a lot more, which is wonderful for letting go of the day. And time with my friends…there is nothing like a good laugh that helps you unwind from a busy day.

For women, we often have other constraints that add extra pressure such as caring for children or having to work harder and push harder in a male-dominated environment. You have to trust that you deserve to be there by acknowledging your talent and experience. Sometimes I reflect on my position and have to remind myself that I didn’t become a Founder and CEO out of the goodness of someone’s heart. I earned it.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Boldly & Bravely Becoming Your Best Self - Christina-Lauren Pollack

As an Executive & Entrepreneur who’s passionate about personal growth and empowerment of ourselves and others, I’ve come to learn that how we choose to define being our “best self” truly depends on our individual perspective. That’s why we need to learn to just commit to getting better each day while living authentically, rather than comparing ourselves with others. The truth is – we each have talents, skills, gifts, and experiences that make us one-of-a-kind. So, we need to celebrate who we are by focusing on just being our best.

No matter where you are in your journey in life, always remember that everything starts with just the first step. Keep going and be proud of yourself for every step you take towards becoming the best, authentic version of yourself. You might surprise yourself with your own transformation!

If you’re looking to read more inspiring words from other successful Wonder Women, check out previous years’ guides from Inspirations & Celebrations featuring exclusive advice from many of the world’s most incredible and talented women, including top executives, industry leaders, and more.

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