2021 is the year of dramatic change. As we navigate, Her Agenda has been there along with you. So far this year, we’ve published 24 interviews from our A Peek Inside Her Agenda profile series offering you advice, guidance, and wisdom as we maneuver through remote work environments, life’s unexpected moments, and a quest for the silver lining.
As we enter Q3 (starting July 1st) and with only about six months left of 2021, we are taking a moment to reflect on all that we learned thus far and what we want to conquer with the remainder of the year.
Here are 20 of our favorite pieces of advice from the entrepreneurs, leaders, and world-changers we had the privilege of speaking with this year.
1. You Are Enough
- Danielle Young, Journalist, Host, Content Queen
Early on in my career, I was told that I did not belong on screen. When you see me, know that you matter and that you can do it. No one can determine that you are unworthy, imperfect, or undeserving to be heard because of your size, appearance, or how loud you are.
2. Strive For Progress, Not Perfection
- Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author, Speaker, Activist
I have largely kicked my perfectionism to the curb. Usually, I can bring myself through mindfulness to a place of saying, You know what? Okay. That didn’t go so well. But it’s behind you, you cannot change it. What can you learn from it? What could you have done differently? Or maybe there was nothing I could have done differently, maybe I gave it my best and it just didn’t work out. I can accept that so much is out of my control and that I’m going to learn and grow from it.
3. Trust Your Intuition
Trust what feels right for you and believe in the choices you make when it comes to your career, even if those choices are unpopular.
4. Bring A Seat To The Table
- Kelly Edwards, President of Colour Entertainment, Writer & Producer at Edwardian Pictures
We were never allowed in the room in the first place, but when we do get in, we shine. We have to do whatever we need to get in there.
5. Bosses Need Breaks
I’ve gone through periods where I felt guilty if I wasn’t online 24/7 or available to the team or working on the business, because I felt like as the founder and CEO, I should be putting in the most hours over anyone to demonstrate my commitment. But it’s just not realistic to be able to work that much all the time.
6. Take Up Space
- Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Chief People Officer, VICE Media Group
I want to tell all women of color to shine bright. That their voice matters. That their presence matters. They can hold space. That they can expand space. That they can create space for others. That their success is my success and that we all rise together.
7. Work Your Mental Muscles
Listening, following your intuition, being clear about what your vision is, not shrinking, so that people know you are the leader, these are muscles that get better over time.
8. Start Today
- Sevetri Wilson, Founder and CEO of Resilia
Oftentimes people look all the way to the end and think I can’t do this. You are looking too far down the road. What can you do today to get going?
9. Figure Out Your ‘Why’
- Imani Ellis, CEO & Founder of CultureCon and The Creative Collective NYC
I think the first step is really figuring out your ‘why?’ I know that can seem vague but when you first think about what you want to bring to the world, answering the why will be the engine inside of your dream. The ‘why’ will keep you going when it’s not so sexy of an endeavor.
10. Advocate For Yourself
- Karen Boykin Towns, Vice Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors
Advocacy is something that we have to do in all aspects of our lives. In a company you have to be an advocate for yourself in terms of looking for opportunities and finding ways to stand out so that you can be recognized so that you can be promoted.
11. Find Joy In Your Work
- Yelitsa Jean Charles, Founder & Creative Director of Healthy Roots Dolls
It is very easy to get wrapped up in the grind, but if you wake up every morning and do not feel like doing the work anymore, you need to reassess and find joy in the work you are doing. It can be clearing out your calendar, delegating, hiring people who keep you inspired, or whatever that means to you.
12. Know That You Won’t Know Everything
- Andrea Wasserman, Head of Global Commerce at Verizon Media
…going into any project, before putting out timelines and making commitments really think about all the things that you might not know.
13. Social Media Can Lead You To Success
- Tamron Hall, Host and Executive Producer of The Tamron Hall Show
[Social media is] a power tool to define yourself. And other people can’t take that from you. You have weapons to even the playing field. Now, we don’t all get a chance to be on Oprah to tell our side of the story. But you have other ways to tell your side of the story and note your value. You now have the ability to create your own content. You don’t have to depend on the establishment to provide your meal.
14. Know The Numbers
- Sara Golan, Real Estate Broker
Know what the payments are…Know what the process is from the time of making an offer, how to be prepared to make that offer… Even before shopping for a home, everyone should be aware of what their finances are.
15. Healing Can Be Uncomfortable
- Rachel Ricketts, Racial justice disruptor, author of DO BETTER
Inner work requires you to tolerate your own discomfort and really see what’s going on inside to address our own shadows so that we can do work from a space where we have a better understanding of our role in causing harm and our role in perpetuating these systems of oppression.
16. Stay Organized
- Vanessa Simmons, Actress, Entrepreneur, Talk Show Host
The first thing I will say is organization. You have to be organized. You have to set up lists for yourself to keep yourself on track and accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. Balance is going to look different at different times.
17. Look Within
- Tiff McFierce, DJ & Founder of Look IN
It really helped me realize the need to show people how human and alike we are. We literally need to look within versus looking externally for what you think you know and who you are, what you seek is within. Healing is not linear. I hope in my sharing parts of my journey with people through Look IN, it shows them we are all human. You are the thing you are looking for every time. We show people through the three Look IN pillars of music, movement and meditation you define this for yourself. You show up as you are and celebrate you. It’s okay to literally just figure this out step by step, day by day, and also celebrate all of your smallest wins. I hope when I share with people, and what the community shares with each other, it helps us know we’re okay to keep going.
18. Fortune Favors The Bold
- Nana Agyemang, CEO & Founder of EveryStylishGirl
I always think, ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ You can either be frustrated at yourself for never taking that opportunity or you can just reach out and get a ‘No.’ Either way, you will feel better knowing that you did it.
19. You Are Not Bossy, You Are The Boss
I don’t give an attitude. I’m just very direct. I’ve conditioned my environment to know that I’m going to be respected in this room, and if not, I’ll see my way out.
20. Failure Is Okay
- Linsey Davis, ABC News Correspondent and Author
I like to look at the victories versus the losses. It’s hard but it’s so important to just take that first step towards whatever you want to do and if you fall, get back up.