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#LadyBoss: redefining what a boss looks like

Too many of us grew up only seeing one kind of boss or leader in the media. The lack of representation for other groups reinforced harmful stereotypes and acted as a self-fulfilling prophesy, but would our opinion of what a leader looks like be different if the media did a better job at representing the true diversity of leadership in America?

Women and other under-represented groups are already leading many great companies, organizations, & academic institutions; others are authoring best-sellers, building engaged audiences, leading movements and more.

We had the honor of connecting with many of the best and brightest female leaders from in and around the city and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.

We encourage you to check out the female leaders we’ve highlighted below, follow them on social media if you find their work or story interesting and most importantly do your part to #fightstereotypes

Laurie Pickei – Houston Blogger, Content Creator & Mom

Throughout my life, I’ve learned that the challenges that seem insurmountable are the ones that make us and shape us into better versions of ourselves. Nothing is truly too big or daunting to tackle, as God gives us what we can handle. Be your own advocate and best ally. Listen to your heart and your head. And most importantly, be your biggest fan. You’ve got this!

Marquis Clarke – Houston Blogger

This February, I faced the insurmountable, at 28 – perfectly healthy, I endured 3 strokes and am currently recovering. Throughout this entire process, I have learned when you face hard things in life you have to get up and keep moving forward with positivity and thankfulness.

Cassie Majestic, MD- Emergency Medicine Physician and Health and Wellness Influencer

Challenges and change are uncomfortable. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Put your head down, be consistent, show up physically, mentally, and emotionally, for yourself first. It all starts with a mindset. You can manifest your own success, you just have to believe in yourself and brush away the negative thoughts that might creep in.

Gaby Ortega | Mom of two precious babies Maya Valentina & Fernando

When I came to this country, the biggest challenge I faced as an immigrant was to find a place in my professional life. When you come to a new country, you have to re invent yourself. You not only are starting a new life, but also a new career, friendships, professional relationships. From that moment until now, I believe that it requires courage to Accomplish anything in life (professional, family, personal). Courage not always guarantees success, but you’re out there trying and showing up, that’s what puts you closer to your goals (as one of Brené Brown’s talks that I love about courage). If I was given the opportunity to start all over in this country, there must be a big chance the universe/God believed in my capacity of being courageous.

Amy Zee Haight- Interior Designer, wife and mom to two beautiful kids and fur baby

Take comfort in knowing you can only control the things you can control, and everything else you cannot control drink lots of rosé.

Maria Ferrer – Calligrapher & wedding stationery designer

Feel thankful for having challenges in your life, specially on your business life, because they represent your biggest opportunity for creativity. Fixing problems and overcoming overwhelming situations as business owners makes us nothing but smarter and stronger, even when at the moment it feels like the challenge is beating us. Trust me, when you see back and how you overcame through it, you’ll feel proud and more prepared for new challenges in the future. That’s why I pray for new business challenges everyday!

Kestrel Montes, Calligrapher & Instructor

We all come across those days or those projects that just feel overwhelming. I think knowing what makes you tick, what re-charges you, is key to finding your resilience. For some people, that means going for a hike or having lunch with a girlfriend. For me, I know I’m a doer. Nothing energizes me like feeling like I’m getting things done. If I can focus for a while on tasks that I can complete and check off my list, it gets me fired up and feeling accomplished. That then gives me the energy to tackle that original challenge with renewed energy… and, magically, it often times no longer feels so daunting.


Pamela Kell, ASID, NCIDQ | Residential Building Designer | Owner of PK Renderings and CAD Services

Reach out to others when you are feeling overwhelmed.


Johanna Barger – Interior Designer, Principal at Johanna Barger Design LLC

Harness fear into action. Use the energy surrounding a challenge to your advantage and just start doing something. Fear can be paralyzing at first, but in reality, fear is just fuel to keep us in motion.

Take walks. I often take a quick walk around the block to get motivated when I’m feeling stuck. Changing your scenery often changes your perspective.

Find your version of mindfulness. Whether it’s tuning in for a few deep breaths or heading to a pilates class, figure out what works for you and build it into your schedule.


Alexis Coutant and Lindsay Chernosky, Owners + Developers

Lean on your people. That’s actually our goal for 2019 – learn to ask for and accept help from our community. So often we find ourselves completely overwhelmed and don’t want to “bother” people, but the truth is we can’t do life alone, nor were we made to!

Yachy Mares – Payroll Processor & Bride Blogger

There is nothing that a person cannot do. There is no challenge too difficult for someone to accomplish without the need of help. Asking for help isn’t weakness but strength to admit self. The biggest reward is when you completed a challenge you thought was insurmountable and didn’t do it alone.

Paisley Small- Social Worker/ Interior Designer

Nicholas Hart of @h.artstudios

My answer would be! Pray about it, don’t get discouraged. Your journey is exactly that YOUR journey. You will GROW through what you go through. Elevation is a process, and everything that you encounter will have a grave impact on your life once you look back in retrospect.

Don’t focus so much on the problem you face, but more on the purpose that lies ahead of you. It’s only temporary.

Facebook: Paisley Park Interiors

Raven Dreibelbis – President & Founder, Raven Creative

Paul Ladd Photography

First, never make decisions based on fear of failure. Shift your mindset and focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. If you’re facing a challenge that feels insurmountable, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks or actions. Consider the little steps you can take to move yourself closer to overcoming the big challenge. Pick an action and dive in – you’ll be glad you did.

Endia Williams – Mental Health Activist

I would have to say, embrace your challenges. We all face adversities and some can feel unbearable at times but it is important to push through adversity and fight back. Life is way too short to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, we have to face the challenge head on and gradually take steps that will benefit our well being. In today’s society self-love is so important, we must ignore the enemy in our heads and focus on positive thoughts. Most importantly, take things one day at a time and enjoy the life we’ve been given.


Becki Rojas, Jewelry Stylist and Direct Sales Mentor

When it comes to feeling overwhelmed, we all get there at times. The best advice I have for someone feeling a challenge is greater than their abilities is too to start with the end result in mind and work your way backwards. Lean in and do the small task daily that get you to the results you want. Also, use a mentor/coach to help see the challenge in a different way than you.

Kaleigh Wiese, Brand Educator, Founder of Méldeen and Co-Founder of Shindig Jobs

Studio Nouveau

Although it is one of the hardest things to do when you feel overwhelmed, but the best thing you can do is take time to think clearly. If you only have a moment, take 3 deep breaths and identify 3 things you are grateful for. If you have a day, spend it doing something you love so you can come back to the challenge thinking more clearly.

Blair Upton – Licensed Cosmetologist / Salon Owner

The advice that I would give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, is to never give up, there is a lesson on the other side of that challenge. Always remember your goal, or your reason why, and keep pushing through.

Dr. Martica Heaner PhD – plant-based nutritionist & exercise physiologist

Reeves Watson photographer

Whether this is a work, fitness, academic or personal evolution challenge such as dealing with a weight problem or a problematic relationship, everything and anything are possible. But if the big picture overwhelms you, back up and break up your approach into baby steps. Make a plan, break it up into doable parts and tackle each part one by one. If even that is challenging, break it up into something smaller and more doable. Figure out what motivates you to stay the course and follow it to the finish…

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