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The Voice Of Reason

be the reason for the conversation

Gender equality in the workplace is spoon-fed into our ecosystems from an early age, but the results say otherwise.

By Julie Lokun, JD

Originally printed in Entreprenuer Magazine Online

And so the anecdote continues…..

A woman, a man, and an elephant walk into the boardroom……

(insert quippy reflection here). The truth is that 92% of the time, a man will secure his place in the boardroom, and only 8% of these elite corporate heads are female. The elephant in the room is the apparent lack of females with a seat at the table. With the disparate ratio of male CEOs to female CEOs peppering the landscape of corporate America, the illusion of gender equality needs to be rethought. Gender equality in the workplace is spoon-fed into our ecosystems from an early age. Yet, the results are difficult to quantify as the percentage of CEOs worldwide is predominantly male. If we look back at the emergence of women claiming their spot in the workforce, we must look to Rosie the Riveter and her presence as an integral part of the predominantly male workforce during World War II. Many brought tools home from work and used them on their home repairs. They took on domestic roles they never had before. World War II mobilization affected women by introducing them to new lines of work not typically suited for women at the time.

During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, feminist activism became the mantra that little girls adopted as their new reality. Richly diverse women joined this call to arms and became involved in this feminist movement. This era of women's rights exploded in the United States and worldwide, forever changing society by expanding rights, opportunities and identities. With all the strides made in the past decades, the United States lags globally, ranking 27th on overall progress. As a young girl in the 80s and 90s, I was taught that there were no limits to my professional aspirations, yet I continued to hit the proverbial glass ceiling. I went to law school, completed a master's certification, and was never taken seriously like my male counterparts. I earned the accolades, wrote the articles, hob-knobbed with the powerful constructs of corporate greatness…and then, nothing. My role as an entrepreneur hinges on those who have gone before me and made a path for females to claim their birthright as CEO of their own corporate dream. Conversations with a mentor or coach are essential in pushing your leadership skills to the next level.

In particular, I remember a conversation with a CEO and Mom-Boss, Tracy Hazzard. Hazzard is the CEO and founder of Podetize who is normalizing the role of a wildly intelligent and unapologetic momma who is balancing the teeter-totter women who believe they can have it all. She taught me the art of embracing carpools, breastfeeding and gobbling up the totality of my female-CEO dreams. She is a curator of female employees who delight in the autonomy of a professionally focused life rooted in family growth.

Creating a business model that embraces the idea of female autonomy, coupled with the tools to navigate success, is the blueprint for up-and-coming entrepreneurs who celebrate diversity and champion unlimited potential. Being a mother of four boys, I knew it was essential to their development that they witness their mother be firm in her rise to the top of corporate mayhem in conjunction with the day-to-day toggling of bandaging boo-boos and heralding playdates. These two roles we play as mothers and bosses are a rickety rite of passage that can be accomplished. Digging deeper into exploring the qualities of top-tier female CEOs, I recognized a pattern that was the foundation for sustainable success.

  1. Build a team — both professionally and personally. The number one mistake entrepreneurs make is doing work others can do. Micromanaging is an exercise in control and binds leaders to unproductive execution. Building a competent team who executes on behalf of your company freed you of time, energy and focus. Hire an executive assistant, hire a marketing guru and lock arms with childcare providers.

  2. Find a mentor who has gone before you. Nothing is more important than seeking out and engaging with a leader who understands your path. Mentorship is essential to the executive experience, and many CEOs and Boss Mommas are eager to impart their knowledge to rising stars. Do your research and reach out. Asking questions is more powerful than executing answers.

  3. Think differently than your male counterparts. As women, we have the intuitive ability to think differently than our male equals. This is our superpower. Our vantage point is a strength. When women aspire to be a part of the "boys club," we do a disservice to a demographic that yearns to be heard.

  4. Understand your strengths and then magnify them by 10xing your strengths. Ask yourself, what are your strengths? I dimmed my light for so long because I wanted to make everyone around me feel comfortable. This left a void in my life that silently diminished my joy. Not until I recognized my strengths in writing and elevating the voices around me did I reach my truest potential.

  5. Be confident in your priorities, and do not make excuses. We, as women, tend to make excuses. When asked to perform professional tasks, we minimize our roles as mothers. This results in an imbalance in our lives and creates chaos. We can maintain a healthy equilibrium when we are confident in our priorities and vocalize this to our teams.

You Got This--Jules

Why listen to me?

I am an advocate for brand builders who are looking to change the landscape of their businesses. I am a writer for Entrepreneur Magazine, a badass business builder and facilitator of dreams. If you like what you read-check out my podcasts, OBSESSED, and THE MEDIACASTERS.

If you do not connect with my message-let me know why the heck not!

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Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Are you underpaid for your services?

How much are you getting paid for the work you are doing?

How To Make More Money

Are you stretching your dollar thin? The paycheck-to-paycheck phenomenon is exacerbated during the holiday season. We spend a lot of money during this season which eventually leads to a financial wake-up call. Couple these high expenses with the reality of a recession-may leave us all financially breathless.

According to entrepreneurs make $70,849 per year on average, or $34.06 per hour, in the United States. Entrepreneurs on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $42,000 a year, while the top 10% make $118,000. Location impacts how much an entrepreneur can expect to make. Entrepreneurs make the most in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

And for those that are gainfully employed the median salary in the United States is $70, 784. The median necessary living wage across the entire US is $67,690. The state with the lowest annual living wage is Mississippi, with $58,321. The state with the highest living wage is Hawaii, with $136,437. Other expensive states (unsurprisingly) included New York and California, which have notoriously high costs of living and expensive housing markets.

How can you make more money?

This is a question as old as time. The more we work, the more we do, and the more we realize that our income is not working for us anymore. Most recently, I took a road trip, and filling my gas tank was over $77 a pop. I thought to myself, how can someone making $34.06 per hour justify a weekend away?

If you are an entrepreneur-how can you make more money? This is a position many entrepreneurs find themselves in. Many entrepreneurs and creatives find themselves giving away their services for free or for under-market value. I understand the struggle. For so many years I was driven by a mission of helping people. This resulted in the cost of burnout and questioning my business plan. While I am adamant about serving those with limited resources, I had to consider the welfare of my mental health and my family's needs.

Until, I got real with myself.

I remember the days when I first started my entrepreneurial venture. I was driven to give as much of myself as I could. I was determined to be a good role model for my kids and help as many people as I could. I was the epitome of an altruistic business plan. I had a vision, yet, I did not have the financial savvy to build and scale a thriving business. (I kept telling myself, I am making a difference--this was my excuse)

Clients who clamored for free help started knocking at my door. I had one client after another pitching the reasons they could not invest in themselves.

This pulled at my heartstrings.

One quiet afternoon, my husband asked to have a conversation. Russ, my husband of 15 years, sat down in my office and asked me the question, "Are you making any money"?

Gulp. Gasp. Reality hit.

I gasped and covered up this inquiry with a half-smile. "What do you mean hun"?

My husband has been in business for himself for over 20 years. He has weathered volatility and immense financial upset. Yet, every year he boasts a healthy profit. At that moment I realized that I was leading with my heart and not embracing the role of a businesswoman. From that moment on, I recognized the duality of being a heart-centered entrepreneur. I had the power to help, and I have the power to make a substantial income. My head was now in the game.

With one fell swoop, the support of a mentor, and a new lease on entrepreneur life, I became the badass businesswoman I was destined to be. Let me preface my tips by saying it is your duty as a professional or entrepreneur to give back and support your community. It is your duty to leave this earth a better place than you found it. Yet, you do not need to sacrifice your need to give for your destiny to thrive.

Rules To Live By

A pattern I notice is that when people do not invest in themselves, they do not do the work. You are doing a disservice by offering your skillset for free. It is tempting to give away everything, however, it accomplishes little.

The Rules on How Make More Money Now
  1. Understand your value. What skills do you offer that no one else does? Position yourself as an expert in your industry. Be boastful and share how you do things better than anyone else. Do not be cocky. Access your confidence and share this vision with potential clients and customers. Your services, products, or skillset is worth something. Be consistent with your price.

  2. The art of negotiation. Never approach a deal or a contract with a fixed mindset. Often your counterpart will begin with a lowball offer. Understand your pricing boundaries and do not waiver. If a potential client or customer walks away, understand that this is not an ideal transaction.

  3. Do the research. It is essential you understand your competition. Do a SWOT analysis. This is the gold standard in auditing your potential. SWOT stands for STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITY, WEAKNESS, and THREATS. Grab a piece of paper and take time to reflect on what you offer your potential and your deficits.

  4. Take massive action. When you have clarity on your position, your brand recognition, and your capabilities put on your creative cap and start singing your praises everywhere possible. Take the time to care for your brand and build solid relationships in different places.

If you are ready to think about how you do money better and build a business or income-make a commitment to yourself. This is where the power is. Take back your power today.

--You got this, Jules

If you are looking to understand how to manage your money and are looking to increase your financial literacy--meet my bestie, Keri Dattilo, who is changing our relationships with money.

Building a thriving business and building a life that is worry-free is a hard ask. It starts with ourselves. Before you get overwhelmed reach out to mentors like Keri, Or simply use Google as a tool to understand how you want to proceed with your financial life. I love up leveling the lives of professionals and had the opportunity to meet one of the most prolific leaders in business expansion, Dan Martell. Dan Martell changed the way I look at my business. He helped me to understand the power of investing in ourselves and paying for help. I immediately changed my business plan and began to invest in the power of people who support my vision. Listen to my interview with Dan Martell here! ⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇

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Bold Simplicity and Mission-Forward Branding Is Taking Center Stage in 2023.

But first, the audit....

Julie Lokun, Branding Expert forcasts top branding trends in 2023
Branding Trends in 2023: Bold Simplicity

If you are looking to uplevel your branding game in 2023 it is essential to audit your brand in 2022. What worked? What did not work?

Let's Take A Quick Audit on Your Brand⬇⬇⬇

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did your brand elicit an emotional connection with your clients? What was your strength/weakness?

  • Are your visuals memorable? Remember it takes approximately 12 touchpoints to have a potential client or customer even know you exist. The more memorable the better.

  • How was your overarching engagement? Engagement is the key to building a strong brand. A brand that has thousands of followers on social media with no engagement is wasted energy.

  • What channels effectively produced ROI? (Return On Investment). Did you have high-quality engagement and leads on social media, a blog, your website, social audio, in-person speaking engagements, press releases, and collaborative events?

  • What message fell thru the cracks in your branding strategy in 2022? How can you refresh your messaging in 2023?

Messaging is universal. Whether you are a coach, a consultant, or a podcaster. an author or a one-woman-band, brand packaging is spoken in one language. The language of branding is slowly morphing from phronetic energy overload to simplistic boldness. Minimalism focused content, and bold colors reign supreme in the next year.

Here are some ways you can rethink and refresh your brand so you become a staple in the lives of your consumer.

  1. Keep it simple stupid--(KISS). Yes, keep your creativity at a minimum. We don't like overly worded attempts to lure us into your ecosystem. We demand bold attempts at branding, brighter colors and a few words (SEOS if possible) to win our hearts. **sidenote: bright hues and neon are making a comeback. Do not dismiss past trends. Look to the '80s for inspiration.

  2. Mission Forward Branding Makes Us Happy--Piggybacking on the idea of simplicity, we, as consumers are wanting to change the world. Convey to your audience the way you are adding value to the world. Nobody likes a greedy brand. We want to be wowed by your altruistic attempts to leave this world a better place.

  3. Make Us Laugh--This world needs a good laugh right now. Recession, inflation, and social disarray leaves the potential consumer in a depressed state. We need a good chuckle-and why not infuse your brand with irreverent humor? It works, and it is the salve that will connect you to a dissatisfied demographic.

  4. Humanize your brand-- Pull up your chairs and listen in. You are a brand. You are trying to grow and scale your brand, so do not forget you are a human. We need to remember that those vulnerable points, and those interesting challenges in our journey make us relatable.

Branding Expert Julie Lokun Shares The Top Branding Trends In 2023
Top Branding Trends in 2023: Bold Simplicity

Final Thoughts:

Stop squirreling around. Stop chasing shiny objects and packing everything you do into your brand. You need to understand the strengths of your brand and go bold.


Be clear, be consistent and engaging. This is the magic that will take your business to the next level.

Let me know your thoughts below ⬇⬇⬇⬇
If you do the work, you will succeed. Take Inspired Action--Jules

Why listen to me?

I am an advocate for brand builders who are looking to change the landscape of their businesses. I am a writer for Entrepreneur Magazine, a badass business builder and facilitator of dreams. If you like what you read-check out my podcasts, OBSESSED, and THE MEDIACASTERS.

If you do not connect with my message-let me know why the heck not!

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