As we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day today, we wanted to share encouraging advice from the amazing women who have participated in both our Talk Shop and Mom Crush series. If you’ve been in a rut and need a motivational or creative boost, these words of wisdom are for you! They cover everything from starting a company to managing life as a new mom and dealing with an unexpected life change. Read on below and be sure to share with someone you know who might need a bit of encouragement.

On finding personal time as a new mom

Lauren Bush Lauren the Founder of FEED Projects:

I am likely needing more advice in this area than I able to give it, but finding time for at least one thing a day that is for me – not for work or for the kids – is important. This can be as small as walking around the corner to get a coffee, squeezing in a quick workout, or calling a friend for a catch-up.  Feeling whole for yourself only allows you to be more whole as a mom and in your workplace. This is all easier said than done, so start with something small and build from there.

Kelly LeVeque, Celebrity Nutritionist and Health Coach

Schedule it! I share my calendar with my husband virtually and we chat out our week to make sure we each get an hour of personal time daily. As parents, even just an hour can really keep you sane.

Sarah Dubbeldam, Founder of Darling Magazine

I think it’s really important not to lose who you are and still be able to engage in your giftings. For me, that means continuing to do my work. I think it’s important even if you don’t work full-time to have something that you enjoy in your free time. You just have to identify what that is for yourself.

I would also advise new moms to start waking up early. It helps me center myself and think about the way I’m using my time instead of the day just happening to me. Also I don’t really believe in the “you can have it all” idea. I think you can have a lot of things well, but there are some things you have to say ‘no’ to in order to do what you want to do. It’s more about prioritizing the things you can and can’t do versus having it all.

Hunter Bell, Fashion Designer

“This too shall pass.” You will get through the tough months in the beginning and you will find time to sleep again! Just enjoy the moment you’re in; they grow up fast. If you can keep up with your passion and/or career and find a good work-life balance then do it! It’s never easy leaving the house to head into work, but I think keeping up with the gifts God has given me makes me a better mother and wife.

On Work Life Balance

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, The Home Edit

It’s all about setting the bar just low enough that you can accomplish all kinds of bite-sized victories. Which is why we coined the phrase “Surviving Not Thriving” about our lifestyle. It’s not the same thing as being lazy. Not at all! We just believe that life is too short to feel residual guilt about not wearing real pants or making it to the gym every day. Baby steps over a low low low bar motivate us to keep on going. If that means saying no to “Muffins for Mom”, so be it.

On managing anxiety and depression

Sarah Dubbeldam, Founder of Darling Magazine

I have always been a person of faith, so that’s a real support to me. I pray about my anxiety, my thought patterns and my worries. Something else that really helped me was counseling.

One of my counselors once said, “You know, anxiety is thinking ‘what if.’ What is at the end of your ‘what if?’ What if the worst thing you imagine actually happens?” I was like, “Well, I definitely wouldn’t die if my worst fear happened.” Then she was like, “Would there be people there to support you? Would God be there to support you in that? Would you probably make it through it?” I said, “Ya.” She told me to try and break down that stigma of the ‘what if.’ It’s just this looming fear that’s not even really real. Even if you follow it down to the very end and it actually happened, realizing that you would be okay is a way to manage your fears.

On setting goals

Erin Condren, Creator of the LifePlanner and

You’re 42% more likely to achieve a goal just by writing it down! My advice for anyone new to planning is to simply try putting pen to paper. It’s easy to look on Instagram and get overwhelmed by gorgeous planner spreads with stickers and calligraphy, but at the end of the day it’s really about setting yourself up to succeed. Start by writing down things you need to get done and things you want to get done. Make a to-do list and just see what you can accomplish. I guarantee you’ll surprise yourself by how you respond.

On shifting careers

Erin Condren, Creator of the LifePlanner and

Surround yourself with people who support you, both personally and professionally. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my husband and the rest of my family. He took our twins to “mommy and me” so that I could spend time printing, collating and designing my initial product. He has always supported my ideas and dreams and for that I am eternally grateful. I also have the best business partner and team who keep me grounded and have helped shape the direction of the business exponentially. I believe that you need a healthy work-life balance to keep you sane and that allowing yourself some personal time ultimately makes you better at your job, so I would advise any aspiring entrepreneur to give yourself a break when you need it! My mantra is “let’s get it done so we can have some fun!” and I truly believe that.

On starting a company

Kendra Scott

Becoming an entrepreneur starts with a vision. You have to know what you want your business to be, and then discover how to differentiate yourself in your market. What will make people come to you instead of someone else? You’re guaranteed to face roadblocks, but you learn so much when you push past them. Your drive, your passion, that is what will make you a successful entrepreneur. If you don’t have that, it doesn’t matter what your idea or background is.

Of course, knowing the ins and outs of your company is essential to being a great leader. After starting my business, I attended MIT and graduated from their Entrepreneurial Masters Program in 2009. It helped me take my business to the next level, and taught me so much about strategy and leadership.

Bailey McCarthy, Founder of Biscuit Home

Be honest with yourself about your goals, gifts, and limitations.

So much of the culture of your company or product will evolve naturally from who you are, so it is important to understand both your skills and shortcomings. Build your business to reflect that, and then be able to take a step back and separate it from yourself.

Invest in people. A strong team is worth more than any personal success. Find good people to work alongside, and be good to them.

Make real connections, and don’t be afraid to be a fan of others in your industry. There is more than enough success to go around, and it is more effective to spend your time creating yourself than competing with others.

Be patient. Our world is so geared towards instant gratification, and right now at least it seems like the story of the overnight success is the most alluring. You have 30 under 30 lists, and the Unicorn club or whatever- but I am drawn to longer, windier, narratives. Balance your short term, and long term goals- and allow goals to evolve as you gain experience.

Amber Venz Box, Co-Founder of rewardStyle and LiketoKnow.It

– Solve a real problem that a lot of people share

– Find a co-founder whose skill sets foil your own

– Move fast. If you have the idea, someone else probably does too, and a lot of times it is about who gets to the customer first

– Be a friend (to have a friend)

On growing a business

Camille Styles, Founder of

If you want to grow a business, you really have no choice but to hire great people and then let them work towards their strengths! I have an immense amount of trust and confidence in every person on our team. I try to hire people who are smarter and better at their roles than me so that I can help them catch the vision and challenges we face, and then let them use their unique approach to run with it. It’s also really important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and to treat both myself and our team members with grace and understanding.

Marie Flanigan, Interior Designer

Building an established brand requires a steadfast focus on quality. Whether it’s how we engage with clients and vendors or how we share our passion for design with the world, we always strive for excellence. It takes dedication and hard work to preserve quality through every touch point within the firm, but the feedback and referrals our clients continue to share prove that those efforts are worthwhile! I rarely engage in paid advertising, so our team has developed creative, organic ways of sharing our work, vision, and values with media on both national and international levels. One component of that was recognizing the power of social media early on, which has been a huge driver in establishing the MFI brand. We love how quickly and easily we’re able to connect with people all over the world who share a similar passion for design!

Lauryn Evarts, Founder of The Skinny Confidential

Ask for help. Know your strengths and weaknesses. I know that my strengths are creative vision and content. Weaknesses include accounting. LOL. You can’t do everything yourself. Find those whose strengths are your weaknesses and build a strong team.

Also, CREATE. Make time in your day to CREATE. I have been doing this thing called ‘The Morning Pages’ every morning and I realized the importance of carving time out of my day to create. I am constantly trying to work ON my business instead of IN my business, you know?

For when life takes an unexpected turn

Heather Avis, Author of The Lucky Few and Down Syndrome Advocate

In my journey I have learned there is so much beauty to be found in unexpected places. It sounds simple, but God knows best. God loves us so much and has the best plan for us and it is often found in those unexpected places. My advice would be to let go of your plans and hold tight to God’s love and God’s plan.

Caroline Brown, Breast Cancer Survivor

My heart goes out to anyone undergoing cancer treatments, as well as to their caregivers. A cancer diagnosis is daunting, scary, and overwhelming. I found it so helpful to break down my cancer treatment plan into smaller, achievable goals. My friends made me a countdown calendar that really helped me celebrate each of these goals when I reached them. I also want to stress that cancer doesn’t have to define or control your life – you have ownership of how you want to live your life. I recently stumbled upon a quote that I think sums up a cancer journey quite well: “Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” – L.R. Knost

On Handling Negative Feedback

Lauryn Evarts, Founder of The Skinny Confidential

It’s always going to be there — I’ve detached from it. You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t, you know? At the end of the day if you’re living life on your own terms, who cares? My sister always says, “What you think of me is none of my business.”