WOMEN ARE BREAKING OUT—it’s a special time in history. Women are the second-largest economy in the world based on earned income vs. GDP, but globally, only 50% of women participate in the formal economy. And in the past decade, women in corporate America have held only about 14% of C-suite jobs and 17% of board seats. Women face huge institutional barriers, but we also face barriers that exist within ourselves. As Alice Walker said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” The idea for SheFactor was launched to help young women see the power they’ve got and to encourage them to use it.
“IMPERFECTION IS BEAUTY, MADNESS IS GENIUS, AND IT’S BETTER TO BE ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS THAN ABSOLUTELY BORING”
— MARILYN MONROE
When my daughter Tori was about to graduate from the University of Oregon, I started working with her to craft a plan for what was next after college. I tapped into tools and resources I used with my team of young leaders at Camp Bow Wow to help her, and it worked like a charm. I set out to help other young women using the same ideas—SheFactor was born.
Within my book, I intentionally flipped the ideal storybook life plan on its head within the first few paragraphs of the introductory chapter, and this is my favorite section of SheFactor: “We all look to examples of prominent women who have ‘made it,’ and it looks like they have it all. Our families, teachers and mentors move us along that path toward career and family, and we agree with them. It all looks like such a good plan. The problem is, society’s plan isn’t really a plan at all. It’s only an ideal. We usually don’t figure out that the path we’re on isn’t working for us until life happens and things start to fall apart. We don’t meet the right person at the right time, and our expected timelines become skewed. Or, we’re married with two kids, heading back into the workforce, realizing that ‘having it all’ is not as easy as it’s cracked up to be.”
My whole journey was somewhat “unconventional.” Being a single mom, a widow and a woman entrepreneur, I had a lot of obstacles I had to go through to succeed. But, as shared through my TedX talk, “The Art of the Comeback,” I came back from it all and found success by giving back. I consider myself the image of the American Dream—it all came with hard work, determination and perseverance (which you could say is somewhat conventional).
There are no short cuts in life or in business! And, I would advise others who want to write a book, like with anything, to have a plan. So many people write a book and move on—or, ride that wave until it hits the shore. With SheFactor, we went beyond the pages and brought it to life in the form of an app, city squads, a podcast and so much more.
I came back from it all and found success by giving back through SheFactor. SheFactor is not only my book but a bold new movement for young women preparing to tackle life beyond college. It is a digital and live platform created to help launch the life you love. It helps women build empowered and fulfilled lives through app-based curriculum; exclusive and local live events; city, college and corporate squads; and so much more.