Speaker Articles

Handling Setbacks and Building ‘Resilient Muscle’

Portrait of Patricia BrownBy Patricia F. Brown, VP Underwriting Global Retail Markets, Liberty Mutual Insurance

I am often asked two questions: “What has led to your success in the commercial insurance industry?” and “How have you overcome setbacks/challenges?

My personal experience of growing up in the South, having parents and siblings who experienced Jim Crow and being the daughter of a Tuskegee Airmen set the foundation of who I am today. The richness of my childhood experiences and my belief systems have had an undeniable impact on me both personally and professionally. Moreover, my professional journey as an African-American woman has included both lows and highs. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Life Balance, Health & Wellness, Job Advancement Tagged , |

Holiday Survival Tips from Simple Habit’s Founder

Yunha Kim meditating in a white roomA Stanford B school dropout, Yunha Kim is on her second startup—and like most things that meet a real need, it’s genius. Called Simple Habit, the app is a “Spotify” for meditation, meaning it’s a platform for different experts to share their bite-size meditations and audio therapy sessions.

Kim had her Eureka moment after turning to meditation apps to cope with the stress of running her first company. “I got pretty tired of hearing the same voice over and over again,” she recalls. “It occurred to me that to listen to a new singer, I don’t go to another app. I go to a platform like Spotify, where I can find new artists as well as my favorites.”

Flash forward less than three years, and Kim has a huge hit on her hands. “Simple Habit has helped more than 2.8 million people relieve stress and anxiety, with an average of 30,000 new users joining the platform every week,” she says. What’s more, she just closed $10 million in her series A, after raising $2.8 million from seed investors.

Her advice for newbie entrepreneurs? “Taking care of yourself is critical,” Kim says. “When you’re building a business from scratch, you are the number one resource you have. You will work long days, and stress is inevitable, so it’s important to take a little time each day to step away, breathe and reset.”

Here, Kim’s four tips—and her Simple Habit audio recommendations—for surviving the holidays: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Life Balance, Health & Wellness Tagged , |

Real Advice for Women Seeking Mentors and Allies

Portrait of David SmithIf your mentors all look like you, you have a mentor problem. Same goes if they all have similar backgrounds and work histories or if you have only one—or none.

“Your mentors should be a diverse network,” says David Smith, an expert on gender workplace issues and co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women. “If they’re not, you’re missing out on key perspectives and information, and you’re probably not being challenged enough in your thinking.”

Of course, for women in male-dominated fields such as the military (Smith’s background), the problem isn’t having too many mentors who look like you (i.e., female). The problem is having a mentor, period. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Communication Skills, Networking, Job Advancement Tagged , |

5 Tips to Feel More Comfortable at Networking Events

This is one thing Alice Rutkowski, an executive communication and presence coach who has worked with more than 8,000 executives over the past 20-some years, wishes everyone knew:

Body language reflects what you believe about yourself and others.

“Consciously and unconsciously, we are reading others and they are reading us all the time,” says Rutkowski, vice president of executive development at Sagin. “For example, whether you’re sitting or standing, crossing your legs can convey nervousness. It puts your body out of alignment, and being unbalanced isn’t conducive to feeling confident—and people can see that.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Communication Skills, Networking Tagged , |

What You Can Do to Foster a More Inclusive Workplace

By Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer, Rapid7

From our government to some of the most widely recognized companies in the world, the topic of diversity and inclusion are dominating our headlines. CEOs are making public statements about their efforts, including new approaches to long scrutinized practices in compensation, promotion and awareness. In other words, while we’ve been witness to a variety of organizations addressing some pretty intense public flogging, others are moving quickly in hopes of tackling the topic in a meaningful way before they face an issue.

Whether the company’s motivation is truly building a more inclusive workforce or just trying to avoid a lawsuit, there’s no ignoring this is a critical issue in today’s business landscape. And while this leaves consumers with a better understanding of where some of their favorite brands stand on this topic, it often leaves employees of all companies wondering, “What can I do to support these efforts?” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Goals & Priorities, Success & Leadership, Innovation Tagged , |