Women Rock This World with These Super Powers
As an all-woman company, we know first-hand the talent, determination, and perseverance each woman brings to a team. In honor of International Women's Day, we celebrate every woman, each incredible in her own way. However, there are a few who stand tall among them all. Read the inspiring stories of these six women and how they used their unexpected super powers to impact the world in amazing ways.
Women are Unstoppable | Sarah Robb O’Hagan
[Photo of Sarah Robb O’Hagan by Aviva Klein]
Early in her career, Sarah Robb O’Hagan was fired from two jobs in a row -- once from Virgin and then from Atari -- which she now attributes to helping her rebuild her career. Although she had been knocked down and felt like a failure, after a nine month process, Sarah was given the opportunity to start over working for Nike. It was there that she used her learned experience from failing and her newfound desire to live her extreme self. She rose through the ranks and became the president of Gatorade where she revolutionized the brand. From there she took on roles at other companies until she launched her own start-up, Extreme YOU, in 2016.
Sarah is an incredible example of the resilience of women. She was beaten down and experienced failure, and yet she didn’t let that keep her from achieving her dreams. She stood back up and used that failure to learn and drive her towards her goals. When faced with failure, it is easy to quit. Yet, Sarah’s greatest achievements were made possible because she failed. We hope Sarah’s story inspires you to stand back up and keep working towards your goals and reminds you that you can failing is all part of the journey to great success!
Women Achieve | Oprah Winfrey
[Photo of Oprah Winfrey on ticketmaster.com]
One of the first names that comes to mind when considering successful women is almost always Oprah. She began building her career at 19 by becoming the youngest and first African American woman anchor on Nashville's WTVF-TV. She moved to several different stations where she co-hosted successful morning talk-shows until 1985 when she got her own show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. In just a year, her show was nationally syndicated and became the highest-rated talk show in television history. Along with her 25 year talk-show career, Oprah starred in several movies, created the OWN network, O Magazine, and so much more.
We look at Oprah’s self-made career in awe of her determination and strength. She overcame countless obstacles being an African American woman and built an empire. Oprah is living proof that starting from nothing shouldn’t stop you from boldly pursuing your dreams. She achieved the American dream one step at a time. There is no limit to what you can achieve if you simply start.
Women Overcome | Gabby Gifford
[Photo of Gabby Gifford on giffords.org]
I remember when the news broke about Gabby Gifford's assassination attempt. It was heartbreaking to think that this powerful US Congresswoman had been so viciously attacked. Her career in the US government started in 2000 when she was the youngest woman to ever be elected to the Arizona state senate. In 2006 she was elected to Congress where she served until 2012. She became a leading champion of energy independence and focused on the needs of military families and veterans. She was also a strong supporter of fiscal responsibility, bipartisanship, and government accountability. After the attempt on her life in 2011 which resulted in a near-fatal shot to the head, Gabby began fighting to recover. Although she had to step down from Congress in 2012, she vowed to return and work for her country. In 2013, she and her husband started what is now known as Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence. Today, this organization leads the charge in the national gun safety movement.
It would’ve been so much easier to resign after the incident, but Gabby used it as motivation to work harder for the country she loves.
Think about all the women you know who have overcome illness, devastating loss, heartbreak, and pain. Perhaps, that woman is you. More than any other example, Gabby is living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If you or someone you know, are experiencing these kinds of difficulties, we hope Gabby has inspired you to keep fighting. Who knows...exploring ways to harness the pain and channel it into a positive direction and you may be at the forefront of our nation’s next great movement!
Women Inspire | Ellen Degeneres
[Photo of Ellen Degeneres by Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP]
Over the years, Ellen Degeneres has brought us countless “kodak moments” of inspirational and heartwarming stories, but her own story started with heartbreak. At 22, Ellen was just starting in her comedy career and experienced the sudden loss of her long-term girlfriend due to a car accident. The loss inspired her “Phone Call To God” a bit which launched her career. Ellen began to make TV appearances on shows and ads until 1994 when she played the lead character on the show later named Ellen. After coming out, she received initial support but it dwindled. Ratings for her show tanked and she was forced to return to stand-up feeling rejected.
In 2003, her career was revived by her role as Dory in Finding Nemo and by September that same year, she returned to TV with The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Ellen now continues to inspire all with her fun attitude and astounding generosity. Ending every show by saying “Be kind to one another,” has made her one of the most inspirational women we know.
Ellen’s experience shows us that no matter your views, lifestyle, or sexuality, we can love each other. She rose above criticism, judgment, and failures to become one of the most influential women in America. Ellen’s story teaches us that even when it seems like everyone is against you, stay true to who you are. Her supporters were always there, just hidden behind all the critics. It wasn’t until she proved her resilience that she earned her spot in the hearts of millions.
If we learn anything from the powerhouse that is Ellen Degeneres, let it be this: Be kind to one another, [especially when it seems like the unpopular thing to do.]
Women are Strong | J.K. Rowling
[Photo of J.K. Rowling by John Phillips/Getty Images]
Many know J.K. Rowling as the world-renowned author of the Harry Potter series. For years, what many didn’t know was that J.K. Rowlings was actually a woman. Anticipating an audience of young boys, publishers advised Rowlings to use her initials. [She didn’t have a middle name, so chose K (after her grandmother, Kathleen) as the second initial for her pen name.]
Also unknown was the long and difficult road she walked to get to where she is now. Rowling began mapping out the Harry Potter series in 1990 on a delayed train ride. A year later, her mother passed away on what she called “the most traumatizing day of her life.” Three years later, Rowling was divorced due to domestic abuse, jobless, a single mother to a 4-month old, and depressed. She was living on government welfare and caring for her infant daughter when she began writing Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone.
Her book was rejected by twelve publishers, but eventually picked up and published in 1997. The series became a phenomenon and has since been adapted into movies and featured in theme-parks around the world. Rowling became the first person to become a billionaire by writing books, but intentionally lost the status of billionaire by donating substantial sums to charity. She has founded her own charities and supported dozens of others with her fortune.
The road to success is not always pretty. Like Rowling, life will throw you curveballs (and a few wrecking balls.) Rowling proves it’s commonly these lows that are the threads that weave your next success! If you are unemployed, a single mother, living on welfare, suffering from loss, struggling with mental health, or just not sure how to start, let women like J.K. Rowling inspire you!
Women Create | Whitney English
[Photo of Whitney English on whitneyenglish.com]
As a friend and mentor, Whitney English is one of my favorite creators. As a designer, small business strategist, coach, and consultant, Whitney was searching for a practical, real-life planner to meet her needs. She seized the opportunity and created her own perfect planner that she built into a company known as The Day Designer. As a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur,” Whitney started several successful and not-so-successful companies. She learned from mistakes and used them to help her build an empire. She has always been transparent about her experiences, sharing her peaks and valleys while she navigates through professional and personal experiences. It’s this kind of authentic sharing that made her so relatable and real. Today, her lifestyle brand, Whitney English, is beloved by women around the globe!
As a story that closely links to my own, Whitney’s drive and dedication is an inspiration. She reminds me that the path to achieving a dream is a learning journey and our greatest successes are sometimes found in the rubble of our failures. We shouldn’t doubt our creative abilities or compare them to others. Whitney saw a need in her own life and she met it by creating a planner that she loved. We can do the same by simply starting. Just like the other women in this blog you will make mistakes, but, if we’ve learned anything, we know you are strong, resilient, and smart enough to learn and grow!