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Since today is International Women’s Day, it’s the perfect time to celebrate Wonder Women who are changing the world.

From pioneering entrepreneurs and top executives who’ve climbed the corporate ladder to women who’ve built billion-dollar brands and turned pop stars into celebrities, discover the empowering words of 10 influential women who are paving the way for women everywhere. Learn their encouraging advice and practical tips guide you on how to believe in your dreams, reach for success, overcome challenges, and go further than you’ve ever imagined.

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the words of wisdom of many inspiring and powerful female leaders. So, be sure to follow for more and stay tuned, because you won’t want to miss this insider advice!

To kick off this month’s celebration of powerful women, today we’re spotlighting 10 incredible gals who exude passion, purpose, and perseverance in turning big ideas into unbelievable realities.

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Fran Maier

Fran Maier, the founder and CEO of BabyQuip and a Co-Founder of

With 20+ years of experience running internet businesses, Fran Maier is a renowned serial entrepreneur and Super Founder. Her accomplishments include co-founding (the first online dating service), founding TRUSTe (now TrustArc) – a privacy compliance tech company, as well as BabyQuip – her current venture that has become #1 global baby gear rental brand. She’s made significant strides for Latina business leaders by shattering barriers to success.

Fran was featured expert on entrepreneurship in the acclaimed documentary film “She Started It” and appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, has been named to the “150 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business” by the SF Business Times, “Top 25 Women in Tech to Watch in Silicon Valley” by AlwaysOn, and “100 Most Influential Women in Technology” by Hot Topics. She has served on numerous commercial and non-profit boards including GE Capital Bank, Children’s Council of San Francisco, Stanford Women on Boards, and Girls in Tech. As a mentor, she has advised start-ups such as Portfolia, Women’s Start-up Lab,, and Kango, among others.


“Embrace your vision and think big! For me, it’s following my vision more than my dreams. My entrepreneurship journey (5 startups!), has started with a vision of what the business could be and how to get there. And then you need to think big! Too many women with great ideas don’t think big enough and end up with businesses that fail to scale.”


“Don’t solve tomorrow’s problem today. As an entrepreneur, I know for any early-stage company you can become overwhelmed with all you need to do and all that can go wrong. Just focus on what you can do today.”


“Be positive, work the problem, and imagine your advantages when you prevail. As a travel brand, when the pandemic hit, it impacted my startup BabyQuip. As CEO, staying positive is critical for the rest of the team. During and after the pandemic, we buckled down as a team and looked deeply and continually at what we could do to survive and even thrive. We emerged as far and away the leading brand in baby gear rental.”


“As women, we need to both promote and celebrate other women and ourselves. By investing in your personal brand, you’ll build credibility, which attracts investors, partners, and new hires, as well as expands your influence, which is terrific if you want to drive change.”


“Balance is impossible all the time. It’s most important to choose what you want to do and be fully present, either at work or at home, especially with your children. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Cassie Petrey - Photo Credit Annie Noelker

Cassie Petrey: Co-Founder of Crowd Surf

Cassie Petrey has been the woman behind some of the most iconic artists’ social media marketing including Backstreet Boys, Camila Cabello, and Britney Spears. Cassie is the co-founder of Crowd Surf, a leading marketing and music management firm. She is an original fan girl whose ‘tween admiration for the Backstreet Boys led her at age 12 to create a newsletter that reached fans worldwide — then years later she helped seal the band’s decades-long superstardom by re-introducing them to next-generation fans. At age 17 as a college rep for Warner Music Group, Cassie was among the first in the music industry to recognize the vast marketing potential of nascent mid-2000s platforms Myspace and Facebook.

Her company Crowd Surf has worked with tech giants Apple and Google, and labels such as Universal, Disney, Sony, Warner, and more. Cassie has also received notable recognition as a Forbes 30 Under 30 and Billboard 30 Under 30 recipient, and as a leading social media and artist management Hollywood powerhouse.


“Big dreams and goals are great to have, but accomplishing them often doesn’t have that big emotional payoff moment that you have built up in your head. We hear this a lot, but you need to make sure you find joy in the journey on the way to the dream.”


“If you could be happy working for somebody else, you should do it. Building a business is really tough. You do it because it’s who you are, not because you want to. You’re building something unique, special to you.”


“Always sleep on it. Some of the worst moments in my career were completely emotionally absolved from taking time to step away from it. The challenge usually feels bigger at the moment than it actually is.”


“The value of personal branding is being able to have a piece of mind. When you know your brand, you know who you are. It makes it easy to know what type of content you should make, what opportunities to take, and what energy you want to give off on an ongoing basis.”


“There’s a lot of advice out there about work/life balance. Before you start experimenting with all the tips you read out there, you need to first define what work/life balance means to you. Everyone has a different vision of what they want their lives to ideally look like, and it’s hard to make a plan if you don’t know your end goal. Once you know what you want, build a plan backward to build your dream life calendar.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Raegan Moya-Jones

Raegan Moya-Jones: Co-Founder of aden + anais & Author of What It Takes

Raegan Moya-Jones is no stranger to success. As the co-founder of aden + anais, a highly respected baby care brand celebrated for its muslin swaddles and child products, she continues to introduce new collections of family-focused merch influenced by her life as a mommy with four daughters combining traditional Australian elements. Her award-winning business venture has skyrocketed in recent years due to these unique offerings that have brought so many families joy around the world.

Her book, What It Takes (Penguin Random House, May 2019) shares her entrepreneurial journey from the kitchen table to a 100 million-dollar global business–all while remaining true to her feminine self. In 2014, Raegan was honored with the esteemed EY Entrepreneur of the Year award and has since been sitting on its judging panel. Moreover, aden + anais landed in SmartCEO’s Future 50 list for 2015 as one of America’s fastest-growing companies and made Crain’s New York Business Fast 50 list for three consecutive years. It even placed 377th on Inc.’s 500 charts, boasting a 987% 3-year growth rate back in 2012.


Raegan says, “Following my dreams gives my life meaning, direction, and purpose. As a mum of four daughters, it also takes on extra significance as their seeing me follow my dreams inspires them to do the same. Leading by example and showing them if I can do it they can do it and anything is possible if you put your mind to it, is what keeps me inspired to continue to never give up on my dreams.”


“Aside from being a mother, this is the most exhausting and rewarding thing I have ever done. I feel most myself and inspired when I am building a business. Sure your hair falls out and you find yourself in the fetal position more than you’d like to but the 10 years I spent building aden + anais from an idea on a bedroom floor to a 100+ million dollar global brand remains my proudest business achievement to date!!”


“I know for sure that every challenge I’ve ever faced and ultimately conquered both in my personal life and professional life has made me a stronger and dare I say better human. It took me a long time to realise that I had to sit with and feel the feelings that consume you when you are facing adversity, but when you do you come out the other end faster and wiser for doing so. You are also never alone, you don’t have to look far before you find someone else who is struggling too. I have learned to ask for help. I have an extraordinary life coach who has been instrumental in helping me deal with the many challenges I have faced over the past few years. As trite as it sounds a positive mindset is key to getting through most things, “change the channel” is the advice my life coach gives me, and it works every single time.”


“I’ve always struggled with this as I am a private person who really doesn’t like to be “out there”. When I started aden + anais back in 2008 social media wasn’t much of a thing and the Kardashians had not yet taken over the world! So I never really built a personal brand and hid behind aden + anais and our amazing products that did all the work for me. Now as I work with other entrepreneurs one the things I tell them is that it is equally as important for them to build their personal brand alongside their business brand. People now want to know who is the person behind a brand or business its not enough to just have a great product or service, to stand out in this extremely “cluttered” world we live in you need to stand out as an individual as well as run a successful business.”


“Now this one is hard!! I’m not sure I buy into women can have it all, I buy into women can have it all with a whole lot of help and compromise. When I was running aden + anais I struggled to create boundaries where my work didn’t encroach on my personal life. To build that business I had to make sacrifices many of which didn’t make me feel good. Now that I have been away from the operational side of the business for a few years I look back and like to think that I now know better so I would do better. I think the key here is learning to say No, something that I know a lot of us women struggle with. Setting boundaries and having the conviction to stick to them is important, and honing your time management skills is also key. None of which I do well so it’s hard for me to speak with any real authority on this topic. Let’s just say I am a work in progress.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Jen Wei

Jen Wei, head of global communications and corporate development at Belkin International 

Jen Wei’s exemplary role as head of global communications and corporate development at Belkin International has been widely recognized – she was named a finalist in the 2021 Los Angeles Times Inspirational Women Awards in the large company executive category, and was one of 2022 SXSW Edu Mentors. Both within her organization and beyond, Jen promotes corporate social responsibility, encourages vulnerability for growth opportunities, and actively works to better herself both personally and professionally.

Wei has been a driving force for sustainability initiatives at Belkin as the chair of their executive committee alongside CEO Steve Malony. From 2017-2021, she served on the Accessories Division Board of Directors for CTA to promote innovation within Belkin’s industry. Additionally, Wei has frequently consulted as a strategic advisor in DEIB (diversity, equity, and inclusion) projects and recently published her insights regarding race-identity intersectionality while leading internal video podcasts that cover topics from women empowerment to company culture. She holds both a B.S. and an M.S. in Atmospheric, Environmental, and Oceanic Sciences from UCLA, and a PR Certificate in public relations with a concentration in non-profit.


“I fully believe in the power of intention and manifestation. If you can dream it, you can build it. It may not happen overnight or even in 5 years, but I know that at the end of our lives if we never limit our dreams, we’ll look back and say – ‘Wow, I did everything I wanted to do.’”


“There is a creative side and an academic/corporate side to building any business, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an executive at a Fortune 5000 company. It’s important to continually tap our innate strengths and work on our stretches. I happen to be pretty good at creativity and corporate thinking versus being a strong winner in either category so I am always working on stretching my creative thinking (spending time in nature and literally making art) and taking free classes (currently taking a course on corporate strategy) to make sure I’m top of my game.”


“Breath. Breathing. The thing is, the answer to any challenge already exists inside of us, and sometimes it’s the noise of societal norms, external expectations, and negative self-talk that prevent us from seeing the light. Breathwork helps me to quiet the noise and get to my source of power that’s already within. Also, my mantra for this year is “good enough” and learning that perfectionism is crippling. I. Am. Good. Enough.”


“I’ve often asked myself why it’s so difficult to talk myself up when I see others doing so in every single conversation, work meeting, or opportunity they get. I know that I’m excellent in what I do, I know I offer what nobody else can, and I bring to the table a unique POV and set of experiences that only I can. So, it’s time for all of us to really believe in ourselves and be able to honor our successes and clearly articulate what our personal brand brings to the party. If I feel stuck in this aspect, I think about how I would uplift and help my girlfriend or female colleague brand themselves, then I apply the same thinking and work to myself.”


“Oh boy! This is the million-dollar question. I am often on the go managing school runs and extracurricular activities for my very busy daughters while juggling a high profile highly demanding job as a tech executive. Taking care of my body and mind is also very important to me, so I am sure to prioritize the following no matter what else is going on: morning 5-minute breathwork, midday workout, nightly hot Epsom salt baths, and weekend time spent outdoors or in a studio or salon. I’ll also try to combine commitments – my midday workout can be run in my neighborhood while taking a call on my Belkin earbuds, or I’ll work in the office of the art class that my daughters take every Tuesday afternoon. There’s no perfect science to this – it’s important to know that in the struggle, no woman is alone.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - DeeDee Wright-Ward

DeeDee Wright-Ward: CEO of Purpose Toys & Creator of Naturalistas

DeeDee Wright-Ward is an African American Entrepreneur, Business Development Executive, Creative Executive, CEO of Purpose Toys, and Creator of Naturalistas, a sleek line of contemporary Natural Hair fashion dolls, created to celebrate children with coily, curly, loc’d, and naturally textured hair, while also celebrating the lifestyle and culture of Natural Hair. “Centering and Celebrating Communities of Culture,” Purpose Toys is a mission-driven enterprise and pipeline to major retail for toy entrepreneurs in need of support. Purpose Toys aims to partner with inventors, executives, creatives, and designers, providing the resources and infrastructure necessary to succeed.

Her company has received awards and distinguished accomplishments including Good Housekeeping’s Best Toys 2022, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio GOLD Winner, and Finalist for Doll of the Year.


“The difference between a “dream” and a “goal” is a plan. Always have a plan! But be astute and nimble enough to adjust as the journey evolves.”


“To build a business, three things are required: Authenticity, Expertise, and Intention. Be trustworthy, deeply informed, and deliberate. Success will find you.”


“When faced with challenges, solutions flexibility, and agility are your best friends.”


“Authenticity is the best kind of personal brand. Being the person you represent yourself to be is invaluable.”


“There is no manual for work/life balance (especially when you work from home)! It’s important to remember that most of us work merely to support the life we live. And a life lived with meaning is the perfect balance to work.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Katy Sherratt

Katy Sherratt: CEO of Back on My Feet

Katy Sherratt is at the helm of Back on My Feet as CEO, where she has successfully grown and expanded the organization from a fledgling startup to an expansive enterprise that enjoys consistent double-digit expansion annually. With operations in 17 cities across America, her accomplishments have been recognized by The Economist’s Philanthrocapitalism program for its excellence in social innovation and Authority Magazine’s 2019 ‘Female Disruptors’ list as well as Women’s Running Magazine’s ‘Top 20 Game-Changers.’ Recently, Katy was acknowledged at the Social Innovation Awards. Before joining Back on My Feet, she had led global projects with Accenture in the UK and US-based Strategy Practices working alongside a variety of clients from leading financial institutions to even the United Nations.


“The biggest thing I’ve learned when it comes to following your dreams is to be flexible. People change. Dreams change. I never expected to be where I am today. I set out with a different life plan but now, I wouldn’t change a thing and I love what I do. You don’t always need to know exactly what your ultimate goal is and that goal may change anyway. What will guide you most is knowing what you value and enjoy and why those things are meaningful. Then, with those things in mind, be sure to take opportunities as they come, especially if they scare you a little. A challenge is only going to make you grow.”


“I’ve learned that if you want to grow something, you have to be comfortable pushing boundaries, which means you’re not always going to please everyone. First, you need to have a clear and inspiring vision. Then, you can share that vision with others, who ultimately can become your key internal and external advocates. That’s what we did at Back on My Feet. And it’s why we’ve experienced rapid growth, now located in 17 cities and counting. When people disagree with your vision, listen to their opinions, but rely on your vision and your team to set your focus. Then, don’t waiver, push forward.”


“I’m one of those people who loves challenges and problem-solving. I can be like a dog with a bone until a problem is solved. We had some big challenges during COVID: All our partners shut down, but our team was incredible at pivoting to make things work. We took all of our programming virtual at lightning speed. If we hadn’t adapted, we would have failed. Any successful organization needs people who embrace change, thrive in it, and grow from it. Ultimately, because we pivoted, we grew 40 percent during COVID and expanded how we could handle programming long-term.”


“Being authentic, doing good work, and getting results are what matters more than cultivating your “persona.” When you focus on your vision and values, you will get noticed and drive your career trajectory forward. Worrying about other people’s perceptions will take up time and energy. Instead, use that time and energy to take action toward your goals, which is what will drive your success.”


“Since I’m British, I take a more European approach to work-life balance for myself and my team. At Back on My Feet, we have unlimited vacation, generous family leave policies, free healthcare, and flexible Fridays — meaning you can work a little longer the rest of the week then take Friday off. These policies work because we’re a results-driven organization that ruthlessly prioritizes time. We’ve seen greater success and growth by taking better care of our employees. I never want an employee working on their vacation. I’ve failed at my job if that’s the case.

Downtime — being completely away from work with no email or phone — is critical to true success at work and at home. If you take breaks, using that time to do things that bring you joy, you will be more productive and better at what you do. Find those things and do them on a daily basis. I practice what I preach: I walk my dogs every day away from my email and cell phone. Then, once I turn my email off at the end of the day, you won’t hear from me until the next day. If you’re with a company that doesn’t understand the value of downtime or vacation, I’d suggest looking elsewhere. Your health and your happiness are more important than any job.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Amy Ling Lin

Amy Ling Lin, CEO & Founder of Nail polish and Nail care brand sundays

Amy Ling Lin, a trained Esthetician and Chinese immigrant, revolutionized the nail salon industry by founding sundays – a global brand of toxin-free products as well as studios dedicated to providing comprehensive care and relaxation. She opened the first non-toxic nail studio in NYC and pioneered the concept of meditation manicures for an ultimate experience you can’t find anywhere else.

At sundays, they offer much more than the traditional rush in and out service of nail salons; instead, clients receive a holistic wellness experience. This includes meditative manicures, writing self-love letters, and an affirmation card to take away at the end. The company’s aim is not just to make customers look great but also to provide them with an atmosphere that leaves them feeling truly fantastic! Amy also established an eponymous nail polish and care line. She was determined to design a collection of nail polishes that would simultaneously fulfill the requirements of being non-toxic and professional-grade, yet still, help to fortify nails’ health. After careful consideration with their in-house experts on nails, sundays’ final selection boasted under 100 hues of timeless colors suitable for any skin tone.


“It is very easy to get caught up in what we should do and question if your dreams are good enough. I was in the nail business 10 years ago and then I went to Columbia Business school for an MBA. To utilize my degree and make my immigrant parents proud, I would have to obtain a big corporate job. Instead, I went ahead and opened a nail salon called sundays. Sometimes your dream doesn’t look like others and others might not understand, but you know it is for you because every day you will feel happy and excited to go to work.”


“It taught me so much about myself.  It forced me to become flexible. I am responsible for a plan or direction, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but either way, you are the one responsible for it. This can be quite similar to taking care of your kids. You don’t have control over how your kids are going to exactly be, but you do have control of all your time and efforts to ensure they grow up with the right values and path as much as possible. You also get to enjoy the process of building a business, such a self-discovery journey.”


“Whenever I feel like something is so challenging, I start to think about women’s suffrage and the women’s movement. I think about my grandma’s generation and how many challenges they have had to face as women and how far we have come. I always feel grateful and inspired. I feel I am not alone in this mindset. Sometimes you can get into spinning thoughts in your head that you are facing the worst things or whatever stories you tell yourself, but thinking about these things literally takes me out of it, and sets me back on track.”


“To me, personal branding is a way to communicate with like-minded people. A brand represents a certain value and message. At sundays, we value that “we don’t have to sacrifice health for beauty because all of us are beautiful in our own ways.” There are many women in the world who believe the same, we connect on that level and co-create a community.  It definitely adds humanity to a brand.”


“I deeply admire women who can take care of kids and their work. It is really a hard thing to do.  I rotate the priority between my work and life sometimes, and I have to remind myself not to feel guilty if I am not doing this enough or that enough. However, I do believe that taking care of your mind and body is so important. Building a business is a marathon, and we have to keep going for a while and don’t want to burn out halfway. It is so important to find that balance, which in turn ultimately leads to success and overall happiness.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Dr. Kellie K. Middleton

Dr. Kellie K. Middleton: Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Kellie K. Middleton is a distinguished surgeon that specializes in shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries and treats general sports and orthopedic conditions. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Georgia where she studied health policy management; additionally, she attended Medical School at the University of Pittsburgh and was no stranger to athletics having been an accomplished three-sport high school athlete as well as a professional fastpitch softball player before medical school. As an Atlanta-based Orthopaedic Surgeon, she’s passionate about offering comprehensive and advanced orthopedic and sports medicine care to her patients.


“We all have dreams, but it can be difficult to identify and follow them for various reasons, such as fear of failure or lack of confidence. To remain motivated, we must define our goals clearly and find ways to turn them into reality. Make sure you celebrate and reward yourself each time you make progress toward meeting your goal. Don’t give up on yourself, no matter how hard things may seem!”


“Starting a business can be daunting, especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, succeeding in any venture requires focus, dedication, and hard work. The key is to break down large goals into achievable milestones and celebrate each accomplishment. This can help keep you motivated throughout the process while also rewarding yourself for all the hard work that has gone into it.”


“As we go through life, we face various challenges. When this happens, try to maintain an optimistic outlook, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you – friends and family, or even professionals! Taking small steps forward will help build confidence as you move closer to your goal.”


“In today’s competitive world, building a strong personal brand is essential to success in any field. It is important to be aware of how you are perceived by others and work on improving your image. Focus on developing skills that can help boost your professional profile, such as networking and public speaking.”


“As women, it can be difficult to find the balance between our professional and personal lives. To ensure success in both areas, we must make time to focus on self-care. Make sure you take regular breaks from work to recharge and refocus so you can come back even stronger!”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Joy Kosak

Joy Kosak: Co-Founder and Owner of Simple Wishes

Joy Kosak, mother of three boys and co-founder of Simple Wishes – a company dedicated to creating necessary items for nursing mothers – alongside her beloved sister Debra has successfully developed an extensive line-up of intimates, apparel, and body care products that have been aiding new moms all over the world for more than ten years. Through their business, Joy and Debra have formed an unparalleled community in which strong women bond together through the highs and lows they experience as moms.


“Pursuing your dreams can be incredibly fulfilling, but it’s not always easy. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in my own journey as an entrepreneur:

Get clear on what you want: The first step towards following your dreams is to get clear on what they are. Take some time to really think about what it is you want to achieve, and be as specific as possible. Write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it regularly, as a reminder of your goal.

Break it down into smaller steps: Achieving your dream can seem daunting if you look at it as one big goal. Break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make it easier to take action and see progress, which can be motivating.

Take action: Once you’ve broken down your dream into smaller steps, it’s time to start taking action toward each one. Don’t wait for the “perfect” moment, as it may never come. Instead, take imperfect action and adjust as you go.

Surround yourself with support: Pursuing your dreams can be challenging, and it’s important to have a support system. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dream, and who will encourage you when you’re feeling discouraged.

Be persistent: Following your dreams often involves overcoming obstacles and setbacks. It’s important to be persistent and keep going, even when things get tough. Remember that every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Celebrate your wins: Finally, remember to celebrate your wins along the way. Acknowledge your progress and be proud of yourself for taking action toward your dream.”


“Starting a business can be an exciting and rewarding journey, but it can also be daunting. Here are some tips I’ve found helpful over the past 10+ years building not one but two businesses.

Identify a need: The first step in building a successful business is to identify a need in the market. Ask yourself what problem you can solve for your potential customers.

Embrace failure: Building a business involves taking risks, and not every risk will pay off. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, and don’t be afraid to pivot if something isn’t working.

Research your competition: Take the time to research your competition to see what they’re doing well and where there are opportunities for improvement. This will help you differentiate yourself in the market.

Build a strong team: Building a strong team is key to the success of your business. Surround yourself with people who share your vision and have the skills and experience to help you achieve your goals.”


“Overcoming challenges is a part of life, and while it can be difficult, it’s also an opportunity for growth and learning. Here are some tips I’ve found useful as I’ve faced challenges.

Accept the challenge: The first step in overcoming a challenge is to accept it. Acknowledge that there is a problem or obstacle and commit to finding a solution.

Break it down: When a challenge feels overwhelming, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help you to focus on one task at a time, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the big picture.

Seek support: You don’t have to go through a challenge alone. Seek support from family, friends, or a professional if you need it. Talking to someone who has been through a similar situation can also be helpful.

Stay positive: It’s easy to get discouraged when facing a challenge, but staying positive can help you to stay motivated and focused. Focus on what you can control and celebrate small wins along the way.

Learn from failure: Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Instead of getting discouraged by failure, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong, adjust your approach, and keep moving forward.

Practice self-care: Overcoming a challenge can be stressful and emotionally draining. Practice self-care by getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.

Stay flexible: Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Stay flexible and be willing to pivot if necessary. This can help you to adapt to changing circumstances and overcome unexpected challenges.”


“Personal branding is extremely important as the leader of a small business. As the face of my company, my personal brand can help to establish credibility, and build trust, with customers, partners, and suppliers. In addition, by embodying my company’s values in my personal brand such as always leading with kindness, I can inspire my team and build a strong sense of community within my company.”


“Prioritize self-care: It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and taking time for relaxation and hobbies.

Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. This is something I struggle with every day with trying to shut down work and be in the moment with my family. Some strategies that have been helpful for me are setting specific work hours, and turning off my work phone and email during non-work hours. Since I work from home, setting up a specific home office where I can shut the door and “be at work” has also been helpful.

Delegate: Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks at work and at home. For example, I have a housecleaner come in once a week to deep clean after my 3 boys. I refuse to clean a toilet. Delegating at work is important, especially as your business grows. For some tasks you may tell yourself “It’s just faster and easier to do it myself than teach someone” but that only works in a small-scale business. This point goes back to the importance of hiring the right team who is self-motivated and capable to perform the tasks you delegate to them.

Learn to say no: Saying no can be difficult, but it’s important to prioritize your time and energy. Don’t take on more than you can handle, and don’t be afraid to say no to requests that don’t align with your goals and values.”

The Wonder Women's Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Jackie Bruno

Jackie Bruno: TV News Anchor & Founder of Newsmaker Marketing

While we’re on the subject of work-life balance, Jackie Bruno has an inspiring story to share that reminds us that we always need to prioritize our wellbeing and our lives before our work, no matter how successful we are. She’s been a prominent Boston TV news anchor, a 3-time Emmy Award winner, and former Miss Massachusetts turned successful founder and owner of Boston-based PR, video, and social media marketing agency, Newsmaker Marketing.

Jackie had been the face of Boston news stations for over a decade, fulfilling her childhood dream. In early 2022 she was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted with no other option than to take time off for mental health reasons. She remembers sitting in her dressing room before going on-air one day, reflecting on where everything went wrong despite all of her efforts searching for joy. Her career in covering major news and heart-breaking tragedies, alongside television news’ challenging atmosphere, drained her emotionally until she felt a sense of loneliness, which was exacerbated during the pandemic.

One day, her son asked her before work, “Are you going to be okay today, mommy? I’m worried about you.” When the realization hit her like a ton of bricks, she knew that something had to be done. Her physician suggested taking two weeks off for mental health purposes; however, this break evolved into many months away from work. During this time devoted to self-care and healing, therapy became a regular part of her routine – but so did playing with and loving on her 7 and 4-year-old sons. She decided to focus on just enjoying them and savoring the opportunity to bond with her children. She relinquished control of the future and took time to simply be.

With her time and life back, Jackie started taking inventory of what she loved to do: storytelling. She started the job search and got passed over time and time again for more qualified people who had “done the job before.” She knew the value of journalists and the skills they possess, and their ability to work hard and fast under extreme deadlines was like no other in the industry, yet she couldn’t find a job.

After countless interviews and continuously feeling undervalued for what she could bring to the table, Jackie came up with a solution. She decided to bet on herself and start her own business: Newsmaker Marketing, a modern PR, video, and social media marketing firm. Since launching in October 2022, Jackie has had ten great clients and has never been happier. She’s working from home for the first time in her life, spending precious time with her kids, and doing what she loves: helping people accomplish their dreams through storytelling.

Jackie believes strongly that you can’t dream if you don’t rest, and that you have to find ways to give up control so you can listen to the universe. She realized it was always trying to tell her something, she just never had the time to listen.

Jackie says, “Taking time off can be a game-changer for your mental health. I try to remind myself that it’s okay to shut it down for the night when I’m no longer productive. It’s okay to take time to enjoy the benefits of entrepreneurship, which is a more flexible schedule. I try to work hard and play hard and that helps me stay balanced and happy.”

The Wonder Women’s Guide to Pursuing Your Purpose & Passions in Life and Business - Christina-Lauren Pollack

With that said, may today remind you that success is a matter of perspective. As an Executive & Entrepreneur, I’ve learned that how we choose to define success is up to us. Whether you dream of building a global business with a big team, running a successful company from the comfort of your home, or simply creating the life of your dreams (no matter how it looks to the outside world), it’s all within your power. Find the courage to believe in yourself, imagine limitless possibilities, and passionately pursue anything your heart desires.

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.

[Images c/o featured women. Disclosure: Some affiliate links included.]

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