Speaker Articles

Junk Gypsy Jolie Sikes’ Advice for Entrepreneurial Free Spirits

Jolie SikesWhat do you do when you realize that the corporate life just isn’t your jam? When you’re Jolie Sikes or her big sister Amie, co-founders with their mom of Junk Gypsy, you hit the road, hightailing it out of Houston and Austin, respectively—and keep driving for 15 years.

Of course, they weren’t aimlessly roaming Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. They were scouring flea markets and roadsides for discarded treasures that they could fix up and resell. “It was Mom’s idea and her $2,000 stash for the slot machines that we used at first,” says Sikes. “She said, ‘Let’s just go to Canton [where there’s a giant four-day flea market every month] with open minds and figure out what we can do.’” Read More

Posted in Embrace the Unknown, Innovation, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Small Business, Speaker Articles, Transitions Tagged , , |

Mindy Kaling on Her First Job, Worst Job and Being the Boss

Mindy KalingDuring a summer of inordinate hot air (from the election cycle as well as the heat outside), Mindy Kaling’s down-to-earthiness is a welcome cool breeze. When asked about being brave, one of the only women to create, produce, write and star in her own network series—and the only one to put her name in the show’s title—is quick to contextualize her courage. “Have I been brave?” Kaling asks. “I’m not sure—I hope so. Bravery to me takes its form in women like Gabrielle Giffords and Malala Yousafzai. I have learned so much from them.”

Here, Kaling, whose book Why Not Me? comes out in paperback next month, took a break from working on Season 5 of The Mindy Project (premieres October 4 on Hulu) to talk about the work lessons she has learned along her path. Read More

Posted in Career Choices, Speaker Articles, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

Mantras to Live, Work and Succeed By

"Faery Mandala" by Daniel LightfootWhether you’re taking on a new challenge, rebounding from a disappointment or just powering through your day, repeating a mantra can help. We asked Conference for Women speakers and staff for their favorite sayings. Read them and repeat! Read More

Posted in Embrace the Unknown, Goals & Priorities, Life Balance, Speaker Articles Tagged , , , , , , , |

Three Ways Women Hold Themselves Back

Trudy BourgeoisFifteen years ago, Trudy Bourgeois resigned from her vice president job managing a $3 billion business unit—and walked away from a healthy six-figure salary, country club memberships, first class plane tickets to everywhere for her husband and herself and much, much more. “When I told my mom about my decision, she started to cry,” Bourgeois recalls. “She asked if she needed to get the sisters together to pray. I was living the dream for a lot of people.” Read More

Posted in Career, Career Choices, Goals & Priorities, Job Advancement, Speaker Articles, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

When Bad Bosses Happen to Good People

A bad boss.If you’ve never had a bad boss, you must have spent your career…self-employed! Unfortunately, managers who are incompetent or otherwise awful are a fact of working life. Indeed, a whopping 568 of you responded to our call for bad boss stories and the lessons you learned from the experience. Read these cringe-worthy tales—and commiserate.
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Posted in blog, Career, Communication Skills, Life on Your Terms, Speaker Articles, Transitions Tagged |