It’s not a straight and easy path. The figurative “glass ceiling”, or that unseen and unbreachable barrier that keeps women and minorities from rising the ranks throughout their lifetime, seems to get thicker and larger with every roadblock.
But even though it’s a long road to close the social and economic gender gap around the world, there is hope. Women constitute slightly more than half of the college-educated workers in the United States. And over the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses in the United States has increased by 114%.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting everyday wonder women and non-binary heroes who inspire us and others around them to #BalanceForBetter.
⚡️Bonus: Many of them use Trello to accomplish their goals and dreams.
Meet a few of these women, learn their inspiring stories, and get advice for achieving your career goals or starting a business all while bringing more ease into your day-to-day life.
How To Plan, Execute, And Achieve Your Goals
CEO and Co-Founder of Brit+Co
Brit Morin knows a thing or two about achieving her goals. She left Google at 25 to launch her own company and hasn’t looked back. Her company and website, Brit+Co, is the go-to-source for lifestyle content, media, and online courses. As of 2017, the company had over 130 million users, primarily millennial women. Brit shares a few of her tips on getting organized and achieving goals and how she uses Trello to execute it all.
How do you keep yourself accountable for achieving your goals?
First, I make sure that my goals are actually achievable. Don’t be overly ambitious, be realistic when setting goals. The perfectionist in me sometimes can cloud my judgment and I often have to remind myself to take a step back and re-evaluate.
I also make sure that I set thoughtful goals that check the boxes:
✅Will this help improve my life?
✅Why is this important to me?
You need to understand the value and importance of the goals you create and set in order to ensure you stick with them. Also, making your goals a priority will help you reach them faster. Block out time in your schedule whether it’s weekly or daily, especially when you set fitness and well-being goals. You need to make the time or it’s easy for your goals to fall to the wayside.
When it comes time to set goals, how do you come up with a plan to achieve goals?
I’m a visual person by nature so it’s important for me to visualize my goals first, not just write them down in a check-list. Organization is also crucial. That’s why Trello is an essential tool. I can throw out the post-it notes and put my plan all in one clutter-free place. Trello helps me to also be transparent with my goals since my boards are easily shareable which holds me accountable.
How To Launch Your Own Venture
Alexa von Tobel
Former CEO and Founder of LearnVest
At the age of 25, Alexa von Tobel dropped out of Harvard Business School to start LearnVest, a financial planning company for women. She says it was the best decision she ever made. After raising more than $70 million dollars in capital, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual. In January 2019, she left the firm and became Managing Partner at Inspired Capital. From this original interview, Alexa shares timeless advice on launching your dream business or new venture.
If you have an idea for a new business, how do you come up with a plan to actually launch?
Start with an idea that you are deeply passionate about. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to launch a company, so it’s critical to be 100% committed. Then, do your homework. I wrote a 75-page business plan before starting LearnVest. Few people actually read it, but it forced me to be exhaustive about my research and helped prepare me for taking the leap into entrepreneurship. As with all good plans, create concrete goals for yourself so you can track your progress and reevaluate along the way.
How do you stay motivated as an entrepreneur especially after you hit unexpected turns or roadblocks?
Starting a business comes with countless highs and lows. As the founder, it’s your job to actually be stronger when everything around you gets harder. Curveballs will definitely happen. When things don’t go as planned, accept it, come up with Plan B, and keep moving forward. On the flipside, take the time to celebrate your wins and successes—those matter too and can go a long way in keeping you motivated through the valleys.
How To Advance Your Career
Psychologist, career expert, and New York Times Bestselling Author
If you have your eyes set on that corner office or just want to break the glass ceiling standing between you and your dream job, then look no further than the advice from Liane Davey. Liane is a New York Times bestselling author and career expert and has studied how individuals and teams can work effectively together, and now spreads her message at management retreats and conferences. In addition, Liane has identified several ways people can put themselves first in order to achieve their career goals. Here are a few highlights from our conversation with Liane Davey.
How can someone come up with a plan to achieve their career goals?
Consider your career goals: what knowledge, skills, and experience will be required to achieve those goals? If you don’t know, seek advice and counsel from someone with inside knowledge such as a superior or an HR advisor.
Once you have a sense of what’s required, take stock of your current knowledge, skills, and experiences. How can you use those assets as a currency and what opportunities can you buy with them? Map out a route as a series of trades where you use existing skills to get access to new experiences.
Some might say coming up with a plan is the easy part. How can someone keep themselves accountable for achieving their career goals?
One technique to strengthen accountability is to set periodic review points where you assess your progress and recommit or course correct, if required. Use your calendar to block out a short time each month and longer time periods each quarter to consider your progress.
If you’re really serious, block a vacation day each quarter to dedicate to your career development. As you put the dates in your calendar, leave notes to yourself about your goals and the interim milestones that you want to have completed by that date.
A second technique is to engage one or two trusted allies in your career quest. A quarterly breakfast or dinner meeting is a great chance to share progress, commiserate about challenges, and brainstorm solutions. You’ll also find that accessing each other’s networks can be extremely valuable.
Don’t get too myopic about your career goals. Be open to a change in trajectory. The most fascinating careers are often the ones that emerge as the universe sends you new and unexpected opportunities. When those opportunities arise, just be deliberate about the choice to move off your intended course; don’t abandon your goals at the first opportunity that appears before you.
How To Train Your Brain To Access Peak Productivity
Christine Carter, PhD
Sociologist, productivity expert, and author of The Sweet Spot: How To Accomplish More By Doing Less
Christine Carter has dedicated her life to show people how they can reach their highest productivity potential with ease by accessing their ‘sweet spot’. A sociologist, productivity expert, and best-selling author, Christine shares strategies and ways to stop bemoaning a lack of time and how to accomplish more throughout your workday.
What’s the “sweet spot” and what are some ways someone can train their brain to get in the zone?
The “sweet spot” is the overlap between one’s greatest strength and greatest ease. For me, the sweet spot feels like relaxed, focused attention. I’m totally present in my work and my brain is working at its highest potential. But the sweet spot is really hard to achieve, especially if you are a perfectionist like me. I was innately prone to put the most effort into every task, even shallow work.
To get into the zone, build yourself a fortress against distraction. Close email for a significant part of the day and get noise cancelling headphones. Most people who follow this strategy can accomplish 2-3 times more work per day.
How do you use Trello? How do you think people could use it to develop daily micro-habits that help increase productivity by putting in less work and energy?
I use Trello in many different ways. I use it to plan my daily to-do lists and to organize my thoughts for my books. At home, I use a Trello board with my family for food shopping and weekly meal planning.
We all have a good handle on how long a task will take us to complete. I group similar tasks into “Think Work” and “Action Items” and set time aside in my calendar to complete them. I encourage my clients to do the same and manage their workload by putting these lists and tasks as cards in Trello.
Each list is a timeframe for grouped tasks. For example, there is a 5-10 minutes list with quick action items, a 20-30 minute list for pieces of a project, and a 1-hour list for the think work.
Then there is a master to-do list. At the start of each day, I encourage my clients to pick which tasks they can complete in the day from the master to-do list, group them in the lists based on the time they have available. For example, if they have an hour to do action items, then they can pick 7 items to complete and put them into the 5-10 minute list. If they don’t complete the tasks, it’s not a big deal. They can just move the cards backs to the master to-do list for the next day.
By carving out time for different types of tasks and work, you train your brain to activate the most powerful parts so you can achieve your sweet spot and accomplish more with the greater ease.
No matter how big or small, we want to hear about your achievements and if you use Trello to assist along the way. Share your #EverydayWonderWomen story with us by filling out this form:
Good or bad, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello) or write in to email@example.com.
Next: The Everyday Wonder Women Who Use Trello As Their Sidekick