Moving Forward from Girls Fight Back

There comes a time when a Founder just needs to walk away. Today is that day for me. But first, I want to tell you a story. On June 21, 1979 an angel was born, and her name was Shannon Elizabeth McNamara. Less than two weeks before her 22nd birthday, Shannon was murdered in her […]

My Interview on the Good Life Project

So yeah. This was amazing. I love Jonathan Fields, and his long-form interviewing style. Of all the media I’ve done where I’m forced to condense some complicated ideas into 2 minutes, Jonathan takes the time to go deeper and have meaningful discussions. Hope you dig it.

My Parental Confession

People often say to me, “Hey Super Mom, I just don’t know how you do it all!” My ego appreciates that. But why is it a badge of pride to be able to do it all? Why is it reputable to make it look easy? Today I have a confession. This parent + work thing is […]

Dance in Your Kitchen

Some days it’s just hard to read the news. Like yesterday, with that horrible tornado in Oklahoma. Also yesterday, the death of 18-year-old rock star, Zach Sobiech, from a rare form of terminal cancer. I spent most of the day working on a speech I’m giving in June, all about the past 12 years of […]

Words + Weddings

In the 80s my Uncle Randy was living in Texas with his partner, Richie. That is, until someone murdered Richie and burned the house down around him. No one was ever charged or prosecuted. It was a hate crime, utterly ignored. Fearing for his life, Uncle Randy fled to llinois, where my amazing parents supported […]

Permission to Create

All through my childhood, I was an artist. I was in the advanced placement art program in elementary school. I remember painting this really strange flamingo (the animal I had an obsessive passion about between ages 7-13) with a bizarrely Q-bert neck looking down at its baby flamingo. I stared at it often in my […]

10 Unconventional Ways to Handle Financial Stress

Feeling broke as a joke? Alrighty then, this one’s for you. To most people, money is security and opportunity – for ourselves and our loved ones. There’s lots of advice out there to “just relax – things will get better” when it comes to money. Or go meditate or exercise or get a good night’s […]

How to Pitch

I was honored to be included in an article by Erika Napoletano for American Express Open Forum alongside Brad Feld (Managing Partner of tech VC firm, Foundry Group) about how to pitch your ideas in business. Specifically when you have to take the mic and speak your truth, there’s a lot on the line…and it […]

Be President of Your Life

Today our nation will determine what man will lead our country for the next four years. Regardless the outcome, I propose we all declare ourselves as President of our own lives. OK friends, it’s Truthy Time with Weed… Recently I was rushed to the ER for the first time in my life. It was for […]

Forced to Stop

“Everything has come to a halt.” This what we hear in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The East Coast, known for it’s go-go-go pace, has been forced to stop. In New York City, many of the subway lines are underwater, and will continue to be for several WEEKS. Folks are receiving this news while sitting […]

Are You Trapped in a Story or Speaking Your Truth?

Yesterday I was working (as a speaking coach) with a client who will soon be giving an important TEDx speech. She wrote a first draft and sent it to me before we Skyped. It was thoughtful and thorough and well researched. It tackled the tough social issue of mental illness, a highly stigmatized condition in […]

Quit Before You Fail

There are instances in life where you simply must finish what you started. A race, for example. YouTube lauds the injured runner who runs to the end anyway, and makes heroes of the kind competitors who help them across the finish line. Or if you’re giving a speech and you have a ‘black hole’ moment […]

Our Children Are Watching

Today my daughter started daycare, and I am officially back to work. For all you parents out there, you know what this means: Emotional Armageddon.  (You might consider avoiding me today…) Maternity leave for entrepreneurs is a joke. It’s not a break. You don’t coo with your baby 24/7. Not because you don’t want to, […]

Speaker Coaching for TEDx Boulder

This past weekend, TEDx Boulder happened. And it was amazing. I had the honor of being a speaker coach to the presenters, helping them craft their messages and improve their stage delivery. I didn’t try to make them into flawless orators, but instead, helped them sift through their own thoughts, words, fears and ideas to […]

3 Steps to Unleashing Creativity

This weekend was my first experience drinking + painting. It was awesome. The margaritas and acrylic paint just flowed. The class was learning to paint the Denver skyline, but I decided to do my own thing and paint a funky owl for my baby daughter’s bedroom. Prior to arriving at Whimsey Sip + Paint in […]

Are you waiting for a sign?

Have you ever really, really wanted something…and then you say to God or the Universe or whoever you think is in control up there: “If this is meant to be, just give me a sign.” And then you wait. And wait. Sometimes you get a hollaback. Sometimes you forget you asked. Sometimes it seems so […]

How to Live in a (sometimes) Violent World

Tragedies like the one that happened here in my back yard in Colorado remind us just how fragile we are. How precious life is. How it can all come to a terrifying halt, amidst a sea of bullets and a cloud of tear gas. The initial shock of the massacre in an Aurora, CO movie […]

Meet my angel baby…

Last Fall I broke the news to you incredible superfans that I was pregnant. I remember being overcome with emotion when I learned my due date was June 16th, because for the past 10 years June was a month of grieving. The inspiration behind GFB, Shannon McNamara, was murdered on June 12, 2001. Her birthday […]

5 Ways to Build Social Good into Your Business

One of the exciting things about being alive right now is how many businesses are realizing the importance of contributing to social causes. If you are starting a new biz venture or would like to weave some cause-driven initiatives into what you’re already doing, here are a few tips: #1: Choose a social issue that […]

Finding Amusement in Dark Times

Tomorrow is the day I have always dreaded – it’s the 11th anniversary of the murder of Shannon McNamara, who inspired me to start Girls Fight Back. Even worse, her birthday is June 21 – so for pretty much the entire month of June I have been melancholy – for a decade! But I had […]

10 Wishes for my Unborn Daughter

May you never apologize for crying in public. May you award yourself the job as CEO of your life. May you love a lover that loves you. (no matter what boy, girl or alien you fall for) May you never rely on someone else for your peace. May you know how to change a flat […]

Got harassed? Hollaback!

I am super excited to announce that I have joined the Board of Hollaback, an international movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology. I’m hoping you’ll join me in financially supporting a very exciting campaign going on right now specifically to end harassment on college campuses. Learn more about the campaign or DONATE […]

Singing in the Dark

Around 3:00 am this morning, I was awakened from a sound sleep by the melody of a most beautiful song bird. My first thought wasn’t about its lovely tune, however. It was more along the lines of, “Do we own a BB gun?” I’m so charming when I’m sleep deprived, no? Trying to fall back […]

7 Reasons to be an Entrepreneur

#1: Conquer your Fears I’ve done some scary stuff in my life. Giving a keynote to an audience of 3,000+ people, or doing crazy-intense self-defense training scenarios (multiple assailants, all carrying knives and guns coming at me while hurling verbal assaults my way – good times!), or having a baby naturally with no pain meds…check, […]

Advice for Hard Days

1. On days you think your big idea might not take flight because it’s moving too damn slow, remember this: Caterpillars crawl before they grow wings and fly. 2. When you’re backed in a corner with no way out, fight the urge for a dramatic escape. Stop, sit, breathe and touch the wall. Is it […]

Perfectly Imperfect Timing

Yesterday I made a big announcement on social media: I am launching a new company. More on the actual company later… Some people who read my announcement asked how I have the time to launch a new venture with a baby on the way. It’s a fair question – and one I certainly asked myself: […]

EcoSystem of Change

Many times over the past decade, folks have reached out to me asking, “How do I start a business or organization that changes the world?”  It’s a good question, and you’ll be relieved to know that launching or growing something isn’t so hard if you have a framework for success. I’ve been working on an […]

Girls Fight Back wins title of Best Speaker 2012

The people have spoken. Girls Fight Back has been named 2012 Best Speaker/Program by Campus Activities Magazine! You basically gave us an Oscar of the college speaking world, and to my knowledge, this is the first time a team of speakers won the award (as opposed to an individual). To really slather on some delicious […]

True Life: Working at Girls Fight Back

Below is a post written by Chicago gal Bree Swartz, the newest addition to the Girls Fight Back speaker team. She’s a rock star, and she’s been in training for close to a year. Yesterday she hit the road, in what will be a whirlwind spring tour across the USA along with me and our […]

Roots & Wings

This week we conducted the third Girls Fight Back University to train new speaker apprentices. These trainings are intense, giving future speakers the tools to fight and the ability to communicate this life-saving information from the stage. It’s a terrifying blend of identifying our own fears of what we are capable of, and confronting external […]

Amazing Grace

This week I made an impromptu trip to Los Angeles for a funeral. The wife of my mentor, Bob Martin, unexpectedly passed away in her sleep. Without a second thought, I flew to California to support him and attend the memorial service. Bob’s wife was a lovely woman named Babette Marie Martin. She raised 3 […]

You’re Already Perfect

While a new year encourages serious self-critique and making lists of things to change, I just wanted to provide a friendly reminder that you are already perfect. Oprah once said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” She implies we’ve been getting it wrong, and granted, some years […]

3 Steps to a Rockin’ 2012

Change absolutely fascinates me, and people, organizations and companies who seem to get it right have a few things in common. They have effective, simple systems in place. They know who they are, and who they are not. Armed with this well-oiled machine and unshakable confidence, successful folks develop laser beam focus on what they […]

Don’t Vote for Us (and thank you)

Currently Girls Fight Back is a frontrunner for the Campus Activities Magazine awards for Best Speaker 2012 and I’m asking you don’t vote for us. Instead, take some time to do something nice for yourself and know we appreciate you. Yeah, it’s a tight race right now (we’re 3 ballots from 1st place) so I […]

A New June

Each June for the past decade, the entire month has been an absolute emotional train wreck for me. My friend Shannon, who inspired GFB back in 2001 after a brave fight against a serial killer, was murdered on June 12th. Her birthday is June 21st, a glorious reminder she was born – but also that […]

7 Considerations for Following Back

Recently I’ve noticed people who consider themselves ‘personalities’ don’t follow back on Twitter. For some reason, this really irks me – mostly because it just feels high and mighty. It’s also not the intention of Twitter in the first place. Twitter is a conversation, not a platform. While the mega celebs can get away with […]

When ‘social enterprise’ can mean more than one thing

NOTE: I collaborated with social entrepreneurship dynamos (and colleagues from my time working at Ashoka Changemakers) Alexa Clay and Olivia Khalili on the article below. It was published today in The Guardian. A few days ago we learned that Salesforce is calling itself a social enterprise – and moreover referring to its clients as such. […]

It’s not about fighting

Dear loyal reader, This is a a post where I’m hoping you’ll comment, because I want to hear from you. It’s about marketing tough information, and I’d love your thoughts. Recently I met someone at a social function who asked what I did for a living. I’m one of those people that can spin this […]

The Wisdom of Walking Away

Kenny Rogers once sang, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run…” Kenny boy, you are so wise! Yet walking away from people, from relationships, from jobs – well, there’s a lot of fear in these choices. What many people don’t realize […]

Disco Can Save Lives

This. Is. Genius. You all know how giddy I get when someone really nails a marketing piece that truly inspires change…and boy do I have a treat for you today, courtesy of the American Heart Association. Get ready to bust out your best Travolta moves, cuz this is gonna get disco…. I was a lifeguard […]

A 9/11 Tribute: Shine On

In September 2001, I was working as a temp at in the publicity department at Miramax Films in New York City. It was a short-term gig to make some cash, while launching Girls Fight Back on the side. At the time I was living in Hoboken, NJ (located just across the Hudson River) and I […]

Thank you, guy who fired me

Hey, it’s Friday – and you know what that means…somebody just got fired! It always seems to happen at the end of the week. Strategically planned for a full weekend of sobbing while binge drinking, perhaps? A good friend of mine just got canned for job performance reasons. Lucky for him, he’s naturally entrepreneurial – […]

R.I.P. Trey Pennington

We hear about people dying everyday in our 24-hour news culture, and there’s always that moment of shock – some longer than others. Regardless how tortured the person was or how anticipated their demise, the news serves as a reminder of our our own mortality. I often jokingly say my nickname is “Princess of Darkness” […]

To make change, first make sense

I love social change campaigns, but only the ones that make sense. The recent breast cancer awareness Facebook campaign is downright confusing, if not sexist and insulting. Who came up with this, I’d love to know? Here are the rules, as explained from a Facebook message I received as a mass email: Ok pretty ladies, […]

Sh*tty First Drafts

I published my first book, Girls Fight Back: The College Girl’s Guide to Protecting Herself back in 2006. I started writing it years earlier, but then got sued by my book agent and it was an overall hellish experience. So I crawled into a box for a year or so, ’till I had the guts […]

Shape Your Life

About six years ago I had a friend who was always talking about “following her bliss” and making major life decisions based on subtle messages she noticed. Even though she was a good 10 years older than me, I thought she was naive to be void of a plan, and waiting for some whimsical signal […]

You can take a life, but not a spirit

I’d like to write this quick thank-you note to my community of family, friends, fans and colleagues who sent me and the McNamara family well-wishes this past weekend. As you may know, Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of the murder of Shannon McNamara, who is my angel, my boss and my inspiration for Girls Fight […]

How to travel with a toddler on airplanes

People always ask me how I travel so much with a son at home, and the answer is I have a very supportive husband and a kid with a sense of adventure.  I didn’t want to give up travel, and thankfully didn’t have to…I often bring the little guy with me! Whether you are traveling […]

Crazy Sexy Diet

Today I’d like to discuss a New York Times bestseller book written by my girl power comrade and she-hero, Kris Carr. The book is called Crazy Sexy Diet, but let me begin with a few disclaimers about the title breakdown. Someone once told me “I’m kinda crazy” in a good way. (Backhanded compliment? Truth hurts?) […]

How to create a great video campaign

I love it when campaigns for social good actually work. Especially when they use video, as this approach has been a bit overdone lately. Watch this one as a guide and check out my 8 success points afterwards. #1: It’s targeted. The title of the campaign says it all. It’s a campaign directed at teenagers, […]

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