What a Profound Trip

Fellow Badass:

On Monday I returned to my office after five-weeks away.
Chicago. Wisconsin. Amsterdam. Thailand. Nepal. Japan.
What a profound trip.

I had expected to be much more public about it…
To share my experiences in real time.
To write emails.
To create videos.
To post photos.
But instead I was very private.
I was introspective.

Instead of having my fingers glued to the laptop keyboard,
I carried with me a 10″ x 10″ sketchbook.
I wrote in pencil.
And I wrote a lot…
I filled 123 pages, to be exact.

I wrote about business.
I wrote about pleasure.
I wrote about spirit.
I wrote about purpose.

In many ways this trip was as much of a spiritual pilgrimage for me as it was a business pilgrimage. Instead of throwing another party in Miami, I decided to spend the 4-year anniversary abroad, spreading the word of Badass Businesswomen internationally and reflecting on what the next 4 years of this movement should look like.This trip made me think over and over again what the word Badass even really means. Around the world, I carried with me a little bag filled with pink and silver dog tags that read “I am a Badass Businesswoman.” Any time I met a woman who was doing a really Badass job at work, I took a few minutes to give one to her as a gift and explain what it meant.However – imagine my challenge when trying to translate the word Badass into Dutch…Thai…Nepali…Japanese. Everyone who didn’t know modern American slang divided it up into two words they did know: BAD. ASS. And neither of those words meant something empowering.In translating it over and over again, I used simple English words like “awesome” and “empowered” and “confident” and “strong” and “successful” as synonyms. But as I translated it wasn’t necessarily the words they resonated most with…it was the ENERGY of the words.When it comes down to it, the word “Badass” is a label. The thousands of women around the world who have labeled themselves as “Badass Businesswomen” have done it for one reason and one reason only: Because it empowers them. This idea of self-labels is something very profound, and after my trip I feel like I could write a PhD thesis about how the words we use to describe ourselves will make us or break us in business.Words matter.
Words shape our reality.
We think in words.
We write in words.
We speak in words.Words are incredibly important if we want to stay empowered
…no matter what language you speak.In September I will travel to Tokyo on behalf of the U.S. State Department to do 5-city speaking tour across Japan. My client, the United States government, is hiring me to empower young Japanese women to enter the workforce and start businesses.On that trip we won’t use the word “Badass”….we’ll pick a Japanese word that holds the same energy and cultural relevance. If we’re going to give young women in Japan the OK to dream a big dream and stand up for what they want in business, we have to give them a word to describe themselves….a word that they can use over and over and over again every time they look in the mirror.

The new “Ban Bossy” campaign founded by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) and Anna Maria Chávez (Girl Scouts) proves exactly how important words can be to a girl’s desire to lead. The research is conclusive: Between elementary school and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’. As they are banning the word “bossy,” I’m thinking about the words we should inject.

In the end, it comes down to each one of us to label ourselves
…or risk the world labeling us.
Pick the words you use to relate to yourself powerfully.
Those words shape your entire notion of what you’re capable of.

And we here at Badass think YOU…the person sitting in your underwear…
Has something so unique and brilliant inside you
That you’d be doing the world a disservice
By being anything other than your BIGGEST, most BADASS self.
Go get ‘em, tiger.
The world needs you.

Badass world tour – in Amsterdam


Jessica here, in Amsterdam,
reporting in on the first day of the
Badass World Tour…


A bunch of people have asked me why
our team is doing a
19-day around-the-world trip.
Here’s the skinny so you can
live vicariously.

Reason #1.
The company I founded, Two Parrot Productions,
is on location filming and photographing for Read Global,
a charity that helps Nepali women and girls
learn to read.
FACT: In rural Nepal, only 36.5%
of Nepali women know how to read.
That’s a travesty… on so many levels.
Think about that for a moment.
Our films will help them tell that story.

Reason #2:
The movement I founded,
Badass Businesswomen,
this month celebrated its
4-year Anniversary.
We’re traveling around the world
interviewing young businesswomen on,
“What does being a
**Badass in Business**
mean to you?”

The first interview we did here in Amsterdam
threw me into a chuckle.
We interviewed a woman managing
a coffee shop here.

“What does being a
**Badass in Business**
mean to you?”

“It means breaking the rules.
Doing it how you want it,
not how someone tells you
it’s supposed to be.”

And that’s the point.
Badass only means that you do business
how you want to.
And that you do it with style.
Modern style.
Youthful style.
…even a little Pop-culture style.

Because that’s how our next generation
of young women is thinking.
The girls and women who are now 15-35.
Are you thinking about how and what they’re thinking?
They want to be Badass.
For them badass means COOL.
Modern COOL.
Edgy COOL.
Talented COOL.
Capitalistic COOL.
Financially independent…which is COOL.

Meet our first newly inducted
Badass Businesswoman
as I gifted her with a dog tag that reads.
“I Am A Badass Businesswoman.”
((For all you woo-woo people:
Strangely enough,
the first woman we gift a Badass dog tag to
is celebrating her birthday :) )

She and I agree…
being a Badass in business means

This did NOT get lost in translation.

lol ;)
kisses from Amsterdam!

Living the good life

Fellow Badass:

Are you living the good life?

I am.

I don’t say that
in a braggart kind of way.
I say it in a
no BS
kind of way.

As I depart for the
Badass 4 Year Anniversary World Tour…
…Bangkok, Thailand…
…Himalaya mountains, Nepal…
…Tokyo, Japan…

I think about
how lucky I am
to live this life.

But it isn’t luck.
Not for me.
Not for you.
It takes courage.

It takes courage to
reach for your dreams.

I could just as easily
be working at a
dead-end job.

I could just as easily
never started Badass.

I could just as easily
be stuck behind a
desk. With two weeks

But that’s not living

The good life must be:
envisioned (thanks Johnny Regan)
explored (thanks Bill Kizorek)
created (thanks Mike Firmature)
manifested (thanks Toma Rusk)

It’s not luck.
It’s intentional.
It’s courageous.
It’s Badass.

Badass world tour

Fellow Badass:

Good things are happening.

Very good things.

This month marks the
four-year anniversary of
Badass Businesswomen.

Four years of dreaming.
Four years of inspiring.
Four years of soul-searching.
Four years of standing for something.

I often talk about Miami.
I often talk about the United States.

But this blog is read in 30 countries,
and my own eyes have seen 62 countries.

62 different nationalities.
62 different flags.
62 different personalities.
62 different labels.

But what I really see
is these country walls
like the Berlin wall
as we transcend
and see each other as
Fellow Humans;
Fellow Badasses
…through the internet.

Six of the world’s seven billion people
have mobile phones
but only 4.5 billion have a toilet…
(according to a U.N. report)

The internet is

On our phone.
On our iPad.
On our laptop.

We hang out on digital playgrounds…
On YouTube.
On Facebook.
On Instagram.
On Twitter
On email.

We – Badass Businesswomen – exist
To stir things up.
To add a kick.
To spice business up.
To appeal to our future business leaders.

For a 33 year-old woman.
For a 53 year-old woman.
For a 14 year-old girl.
In Miami.
In Europe.
In Thailand.
In Nepal.
In Japan.

So that’s where team Badass is headed -

Amsterdam > Bangkok > Kathmandu > Tokyo

February 23 – March 13, 2014
to celebrate the 4-year anniversary
of an organization that is about adventure.

So let the adventure begin…

Stay tuned for the
Badass Businesswoman


Fellow Badass:

This organization isn’t here to teach you *how* to make more money.

Yes…we’re all here to make good money. And there’s plenty of resources to teach you *how.*

Badass Businesswomen is about ATTITUDE, because ultimately your financial results will be a direct result of the ATTITUDE with which you approach growing your business. While many of us feel we can be self-expressed in most areas of our life, business is the #1 arena in which we feel inhibited…like we have to hold back and be who someone else wants us to be. So my advice has always been: Be bold. Be self-expressed. Be Badass.

Another woman who believes in the same vein is Suzanne Evans, a superstar when it comes to encouraging women to strive for outrageous success – both emotional and financial – in business. On Saturday, she’s hosting a “live party” online to answer one single question that will take 98% of the anxiety, fear and swirling emotions right out of your business.

I invite you to attend the virtual party on Saturday, January 11th at 1pm EST/10am PST.

You’ll dig Suzanne.  She’s ultra-Badass.

She’ll send you more juicy details if you request it on this page.

Massive Breakthrough

Fellow Badass:

Massive breakthroughs don’t happen by accident.

They are intentional.

They are planned.

My company just finished a video shoot for the NFTE (the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship), during which we interviewed the program’s superstar young entrepreneurs for an mini-documentary that will help NFTE raise money and expand its programs.

Meet Andres, one of NFTE’s success stories. But he didn’t start out as a business Badass. In fact, he started out in a big hole he had to dig himself out of. According to him, “Three years ago I lived in a one bedroom studio apartment in a rough Miami neighborhood with my mom and sister. My mom was working two or three jobs just to keep a roof over our head. There were nights I came home and we wouldn’t have enough food to feed all three of us. I would go without eating so my mom and sister could have a meal. When my mom lost her primary job, I had to step up to the plate. I was 17, and it was time for me to be the man of the house.” Andres knew it was time for a massive breakthrough.















Fast-forward three years: “I worked hard to start my business. My basketball academy started with one student. Then there were three. At the beginning, when I tallied it up, I was working for 76 cents/hour. But I was hungry. I knew I could do it. Now, three years later, I have 150 students. My business is making close to six figures. I have employees. My family now lives in a three-bedroom home. I drive a Mercedes Benz. I am doing what I love. I am a role model for the kids in this neighborhood. I am happy. I am proud.”

Andres didn’t become a successful entrepreneur by accident. He took time to imagine and plan his future. He was intentional. He used every resource NFTE had to offer. He worked hard towards that goal. And he accomplished it.

But Andres isn’t sitting back on his heels. He’s leaning in. He’s planning for the next massive breakthrough. His business won’t reach $250,000 by accident. It will be intentional.

As you look ahead at 2014, consider what massive breakthrough you are ready for. Perhaps 2013 was your best year in business ever. Don’t lean back. Lean in. Plan. Be intentional.

Only then will that massive breakthrough arrive.




























Learn more about NFTE and how you can get involved here.

[Dec.6] Save The Date

Fellow Badass:

To all you Make Them BEG students… a class reunion is long overdue!

On Friday evening, December 6th, we’re bringing together all of you Badasses who purchased any part of the Make Them BEG curriculum over the last three years. Each of you *official* students can bring a +1…but they have to be super cool. ;)

The get-together is purely social. No mastermind, so speeches, no exercises. Just fun… a chance for us to be in the same room at the same time.

Friday, December 6
Imperia Miami Restaurant + Lounge
20 Biscayne Boulevard (across from Biscayne Park)
Miami, FL 33136

Valet parking available

Can’t wait to see you guys!!!!!!!!

I. Didn’t. Fit. In.

FWD this email to every Badass mother you know. This email is for their daughters..

Fellow Badass:

One of the reasons I started Badass Businesswomen almost 4 years ago is because I didn’t fit in. (Big surprise, huh? ;)

Sure I gave speeches to almost every one of South Florida’s female networking groups about marketing with video on the internet…but in every group I spoke to I felt like an outsider. I was in my late 20s and felt tremendous pressure to conform to what everyone thought a businesswoman was “supposed” to be like. I felt like I needed to contain myself. Like I needed to take it down a notch. Like I definitely couldn’t show my tattoos. It was like I could be the real me in my personal life, but I had to be a buttoned up normal person in my professional life. I started talking to my fellow entrepreneurs about this and they agreed. In fact, they got fired up about it. The lack of self-expression in business astounded each of us.

Together, we started talking about a new way of doing business. A way where a woman was esteemed for expressing the real, unbridled version of herself during work hours. A way where a woman was encouraged to be wild, vocal, and edgy. A way where a woman was prided by ability to think outside the box…and NOT fit in.

The Badass Businesswomen movement started out with 3 believers. Then there were 10. Then there were 100. Then there were 1,000. Now this blog is read in over 26 countries around the world. BUT…we didn’t grow this thing just for YOU. We grew it so that you’d cause ripple effects. We grew it so that you would forward these emails. We grew it so that you’d inspire other women to be Badass. Perhaps most important, we grew it so that the next generation of businesswomen would grow up knowing that it’s OK not to fit in.

We grew it for this girl.
Let’s invite her – the real her – to join us as a Badass in training.
(For those of you who don’t have one, that’s my biz card she’s holding)























Fellow Badass:

We often think of a mentor as someone older, wiser, and more accomplished than us.

But what if we’re wrong?

What if the mentor were younger, less wise, and less accomplished than us?

For the past six months my company, Two Parrot Productions, has been working with the AARP Foundation to produce short documentaries that illustrate their new #MentorUp campaign. The initiative is an example of reverse mentoring, a concept that turns our traditional notion of mentorship on its head. #MentorUp is aimed at young people, age 14-25, who typically wouldn’t think they have something the older generation needs. WATCH 2min VIDEO HERE.

What does the older generation need? An understanding of TECHNOLOGY. One of the biggest problems seniors face in our society is isolation. When you teach a 75-year old how to use Facebook on their iPad, all of the sudden a whole new world opens up for them. They connect with their grandchildren and old friends. They are no longer isolated. They are connected.

Not only does the older person gain, but so does the younger person. I was BLOWN AWAY by what our #MentorUp students said in their on-camera exit interviews. The experience had increased their self-esteem. Their sense of value. Their sense of worth.

Overall, reverse mentoring is the way to go.
Find relationships where you can be a mentor to your mentor.
The exchange is a beautiful thing.

A special shout-out to a woman who’s been my esteemed mentor…a woman who is generous enough to let me mentor her in the process. I love you, Nell Merlino.

The attached 2 min video we produced will wow you.
****Watch here now****

True love

**URGENT: Register now for the Women’s Success Summit happening this Wednesday and Thursday, November 13th and 14th in Miami. ** (promo code: BADASS for 20% off)

Fellow Badass:

Often when we hear the words, “True love,” we think of romantic love. But what about finding true (platonic) love in business?

A true love is someone who you vibe with. You delight each other. You energize each other. You make each other happy. You push each other to the next level. You stick together through thick and thin. You dance together in the game of making money.  You love each other. Big time.

Don’t settle for mediocrity when it comes to your (platonic) business relationships. Cultivate true love. Seek out the business people – partners, clients, employees, sub-contractors, vendors, collaborators, customers – who LOVE working with you.

This week I’d like to honor someone I’ve had tremendous business chemistry with – Michelle Villalobos – my business partner at Make Them BEG, and the sole founder of the Women’s Success Summit (happening this week!). I wrote a Facebook post I can’t help but share:

“It’s hard to express how much I love and respect my business partner, Michelle Villalobos. She really busts her ass to bring our community the Women’s Success Summit…especially the week beforehand. Thank you, Michelle, for everything you do for Miami. This city loveeeeeeees uuuuuu!!!”

If you’re lucky, you’ll work with people you love. Preferably there will be many. The more love is in the air, the happier you’ll be at work. And happiness is magnetic.

Make (platonic) love in business.
It feels REALLY good. ;)

**URGENT: Register now for the Women’s Success Summit happening this Wednesday and Thursday, November 13th and 14th in Miami. ** (promo code: BADASS for 20% off)

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