July 19, 2012
Strength, style, business acumen, creativity, awareness…. these are just a few of the traits that a Made Woman possesses. When creating our "I Am a Made Woman" video with director/producer Trescher Chambers, we set out to showcase a handful of real women who, in their own respective elements, personify these attributes and many more.
We took a look at our immediate networks and were astounded by the successful women we’ve been fortunate to come in contact with over the years—five of whom became a part of bringing our vision to life:
Dawn Richard: this platinum-selling singer and former member of Danity Kane and Diddy Dirty Money recently launched her solo music career and is the first voice you hear in the video. A passionate musician with an eclectic, soulful sound, you can find out more about her recent solo project here: http://bit.ly/Hw2xZP
Eve Torres: WWE Diva, philanthropist, spokeswoman & instructor for the Gracie Women Empowered Self-defense program and former industrial and systems engineering major at USC (a.k.a. one smart cookie). Our current Made Woman of the Month, you can read more about what Eve is up to here: http://bit.ly/LTaMEe
Allison Torneros: this visual and graphic artist and entrepreneur has turned her artistic talents and passion into a lucrative career, recently showcasing her work at her first solo art show. Read our feature on her here: http://bit.ly/Mcg8Xe
Jaisy Geans: this former USC graduate is the manager of Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood and is pulling double duty by also embarking on a career in broadcasting. Jaisy knows how to juggle it all! She manages over 14 employees in a bustling West Hollywood salon, and does it with style.
Rachel Butler-Green: a professional dancer who splits her time between performing on stages around the world and teaching a community dance class, proves what is important to her when she says “I know giving back to the community makes me better.”
These 5 women, in addition to a host of others, helped us to bring to life our vision of what a Made Woman truly is. By forgoing the use of actors—and instead paying tribute to real, hard-working women pursuing their dreams—we upheld the core mission of Made Woman Magazine. We hope that it entertains in addition to painting a clear picture of Made Woman Magazine is headed.
If you would like to support the mission of Made Woman Mag please visit our Indiegogo page for more info!
In high school I came up with a master plan for my life. I was going to excel academically and participate in extracurricular activities so that I could get into a good college. And the plan worked! But sadly, in my youthful shortsightedness, I didn’t plan beyond getting there, and soon found myself in a sea of too many options. I didn’t feel too bad though--everyone around me was feeling the same way…lost. I eventually figured it out and years later, as a working twenty-something, I realize these periods of feeling lost are cyclical. At different times in our lives we find our master plans don’t stretch far enough and we are unsure of our next steps. This is where life coaches like Nailah Blades come in.
Naliah Blades is a certified life coach who started Polka Dot Coaching after going through her own period of feeling adrift and unsure. She graduated from USC with a degree in Communication and ended up working in sales and marketing for a packaging company. Finding herself stuck in a career that didn’t quite fit, Nailah did some soul-searching and realized that when she thought about what she loved doing, she always came back to mentoring others. It hit her that her true calling would mean becoming a life coach--or as she calls it, “a clarity-maker for young women who are teetering on the edge of greatness.”
But what does this really mean? Is “Life coaching” just a new-age term for therapy? Does she show up to her clients’ jobs and cheer them on as they work? How do life coaches really operate? It seems like more people are using the services of life coaches and choosing this as a career path. The industry itself is booming. A study in the 2007 MarketData Report estimates that 40,000 people in the U.S. work as business or life coaches and the $2.4 billion business coaching market is growing at about 18% per year. When I got the chance to pick Nailah’s brain about it I had so many questions. She explained that while therapy deals with understanding your current state of emotions and the causes from your past making you feel a certain way, life coaching is all about moving forward. “My clients are saying I’m here now, how do I move forward? And I say let’s work on a plan to get you there” she tells me. Nailah hosts intense exploratory and planning sessions with her clients, asking them things like “What is your business vision? What problems are you solving?” She also has programs specifically tailored towards entrepreneurs which she calls “catapult sessions.”
Once Nailah explained exactly what a life coach does, I realized how helpful this type of counseling is to people of all ages. A professional perspective on life goals and planning could be so helpful in getting you closer to your dreams. “I get excited because I can see the potential in my clients from the first session even if they can’t,” she says. She takes on about 10 clients per month and works one-on-one with them for about three months. She says the length of time is important so that they aren’t rushed and it allows them to “understand who they are at their core. We brush this aside but it’s really important.” Once clients reach that “ah ha!” moment she doesn’t leave them to figure out the rest on their own, but instead goes on to make sure her clients have a really clear, strategic plan to get their careers on the right path. Her clients are mostly female because she caters to ambitious, driven women who just need an extra boost to get ahead of the game. “I can see that they are totally vibrant in their lives, they just need a little clarity.”
Some might wonder what they can learn from another twenty-something about getting ahead. But when you get to speak to Nailah, you realize she is absolutely fearless and her ability to communicate and encourage is so motivating I even felt empowered after our interview. The girl is good. And she is gaining a name for herself in her industry. She recently hosted a Fierce Leadership Summit in LA, gathering young women from many industries together and delving into what it means to take on a leadership role in the modern workplace. Nailah says that this topic is important to her because she believes “true leadership begins from within and radiates outward. You have to know yourself to be a good leader.” She says her mission now is to help women connect and feel comfortable with their own innate greatness, “That is when you are able to lead from an authentic place.” This is just a little taste of the truth she dished out regularly throughout our conversation. And her insights have helped so many already. In fact, her mission and work with Polka Dot Coaching was so in line with the goals of Made Woman Magazine she became regular contributor to our magazine.
A strong leader herself, Nailah took the plunge and became a full time entrepreneur about a year ago. She left her corporate job, where she worked with brands like Cheerios, General Mills and Dole, and devoted her days and nights to making Polka Dot Coaching grow. “It was hard to even walk into my boss’ office and tell him the news. But once I did I felt so much lighter.” Leaving behind a life path that did not inspire her changed the way she views life overall, even though not everyone was supportive at first. “People didn’t get it. But you have to find your support system” she explains. She went on to create measurable goals for herself based on milestones for her business and analytics to track her audience. She says her youth and the fact that she is all too familiar with that “lost period” in her career make her better equipped to coach young, modern female professionals. “It’s not just about working in pajamas for me. I really do feel called to help women and girls reach their full potential. We don’t play as big as we should. We don’t take those risks.”
Nailah plans to host more conferences in the future and is planning to co-host another one soon. You can find out about her one-on-one coaching sessions and her program for entrepreneurs here. She is definitely a twenty-something on the rise. But the best part is that she is taking other women to the top with her.
God bless the great orators of the world. Those who can give insightful speeches that resonate long after the event is over. We love videos of great speeches because on a bad day you can pull one up and remember why you should continue your quest to be MADE. Here are a few of the speeches that hit home for our staff. Check them out!
Steve Jobs- Commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005
Tony Robbins - TED Speech 2006 "Why We Do What We Do"
Sandra Bullock - Academy Award Acceptance Speech 2010
Neil Pasricha- TED Talk "The 3 A's of Awesome"
Isabel Allende- TED Talks 2007 "Tells Tales of Passion"
J.K. Rowling- Havard Commencement Speech 2008
This post was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself." Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!
Great quotes offer a brief glimpse into the psyche of the wise and turn profound concepts into something simple and attainable. Not to mention their ability to instantly motivate us! We love to post and tweet quotes that we feel other Made Women will enjoy, so we turned to our own staff and asked them to share the ones that speak to them most. We hope that they empower and encourage you to keep pushing on toward your dreams! We’re right here with you.
"You yourself, as much as
anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." ~Buddha
“Remember, if you ever need a
helping hand, it's at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have
another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.” -
"Shoot for the moon, even if
you miss you'll land amongst the stars." - Les Brown
"Don't wish it were easier,
wish you were better." - Jim Rohn
“Do or Do not. There is no try.”
“How can I love somebody else / If
I can’t love myself enough to know/ Life is too short/
To be tryin to play some games.”
-Mary J, “Be Happy”
"For I know the plans I have
for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
“I'll sell ice in the winter,
I'll sell fire in hell, I am a hustler baby, I’ll sell water to a well” -
Jay-Z, "You Don't Know"
“Even if you fall on your face,
you're still moving forward." - Vincent Kiam
"If you are not willing to
risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” - Jim Rohn
“Shine like the moon/ And strong
like the sea. More expensive than money/ more valuable than anything. Juicy
mango summer peach/ Make a lame man walk and a full man hungry”
-Jill Scott, “Rolling Hills”
"Every day in every way I'm
getting better and better." - My grandpa
“Make the most of yourself, for
that is all there is of you.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Better to live one year as
a tiger, then a hundred as sheep." - Madonna
This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself". Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!
A few months ago I climbed a mountain. Yes. You read that right. I left the comfort of my LA home and embarked on an adventure that involved flying to Portland, driving 2 hours through the Washington countryside and climbing a 12,000 foot mountain with a bunch of people I had never met. Call me crazy.
Like most of the difficult things I’ve tackled in my life, I had completely underestimated this climb. I was not fully prepared for the sheer amount of physical strength I would be required to display. I was also unprepared for how psychologically and emotionally transformational the whole trip would be. I learned a lot about myself while I was up there on Mt. Adams. I think my revelations might strike a chord with you too. Here’s what I now know is true:
You’re underestimating yourself.
You are completely undervaluing your strength and power. Stop it. Own up to how unbelievably incredible you are. We all see it and can’t believe that you can’t. That tough stuff you’re dealing with now? You can get through it because you’re strong. Think you’re not good enough to get the job or land the promotion or launch that business? You are but you’re shading your brilliance with your self-doubt. Trust me, you are so much more than you are giving yourself credit for.
You are undeniably brave
I’ll be honest, if someone had asked me in the days leading up to my trip if I thought I was a brave person I would have said no. After going through my mountain climbing adventure, I can’t believe that I ever would have thought that but it’s true. You are brave too. You’re out there traveling around the globe or working hard to support your family. You’re being yourself unabashedly or you’re doing the work to uncover what lies deep inside. You’re chasing your dream, you’re speaking up for what’s right, you’re baring your soul, you’re talking to strangers.
You are Fucking Brave.
I need you to believe it.
No one is judging you.
Honestly everyone is so caught up with their own stuff that they hardly have time to notice all of your “flaws.” That assumption that you have about ‘everybody thinking how lame you would be if you do x’ is a false one. People care deeply about you – the person you are at your core. They care much less about the hard, polished shell you’re presenting to the world. They don’t care about your missteps or your weaknesses or your flaws. They’re not interested in judging you. Plus as we already established in the 1st point, they probably think you’re so much more awesome than you think you are.
You have a different definition of success and failure than anyone else. And that’s perfectly okay.
I wasn’t able to summit the mountain. I got to about 8,000 feet before I had to listen to my body and call it quits. As I descended back down to the camp with the smaller team, I started to beat up on myself. I felt like a failure. Luckily that didn’t last too long before I realized what I had just done. Once I reflected on the whole experience, I immediately realized how successful the whole adventure had been. My definition of success for my trip was not solely tied up in whether or not I summited the mountain. I had signed up for the trip because I wanted an adventure, I wanted to try something new, I wanted to learn about the principles of hardiness. The trip was a success on all those counts plus some. Stop measuring your life by someone else’s definition of success and failure. Define what it means to fail or succeed for yourself and then live up to it. It will save you gobs of self-abuse in the future.
People are awesome, believe in their goodness.
This trip restored my faith in the goodness of people. Generally, people rock. They want to help, they want you to succeed, they are waiting with open arms ready to assist you. And they want to believe in the goodness of you. Believe in people, they generally don’t disappoint.
The biggest takeaway from the whole journey is the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone. Do things that make you uncomfortable, you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process.