The Business Idea You Should Steal From French Women + Are Dudes Done Paying For Dates?

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Go Big or Go Home

What is it about the hot, sticky days of July that have suddenly sparked an outbreak of major life re-evaluation? We should be sitting by the pool with a glass of rosé, or hiking in some gorgeous woods, or feeling the wind whip through our hair on a sailboat. But not the Badass Babes. While the rest of the world was winding down and checking out, I got so many messages from women who were gearing up for a summer of self-awareness and ambition. They were using the slower days of the summer to make plans for slaying their goals — personal and professional. As much as I wanted to be the woman with the wind in her hair on that boat, I have to admit, I was strategizing too.
I went back to my “Word of the Year” last week. A mid-year check in. Big was my word, obviously. And I needed the reminder. It’s easy to get consumed with the tiny details of life that seem to scream louder to demand our attention more than the big goals we’re aiming for. And so maybe when the days slow down around us, that’s when our focus can shift to the big picture. It’s not that your ambition disappears over the summer. It uses the time to get sharper, stronger. We’re in training.
I re-read New Year/New Word newsletter and I need this piece of the message now more than ever:

Why is thinking, acting and feeling Big so hard? The truth is that world conspires to make you feel small — at any age, at any level. The dismissive swipes that put you in a narrow box, the daily struggle to make your mark — all of it chips away at your confidence and reminds you that you’re not the hot shit you thought you were after all. I know you know what I mean.
But no one can make you feel small when you’re following your dream.

This right here is my dream. And we’re making the Summer bigger — together.
What was your word of the year, and how has it been useful so far. Tell me about it here.
 — A.

PS: Forward this email to your mom or mentor!
I spoke with Gen X expert and CoveyClub founder Lesley Jane Seymour about why we should all be more Millennial. You’re leading the way for the rest of us.

I also had the honor of chatting with Thrive about how you can bring your Big Life to life.


We’re all so obsessed with French women — they’re chic, effortless, seemingly good in bed, eat cheese, drink wine. So I love this Business of Fashion story about the evolution of designer Isabel Marant’s line over the past 20 years — she’s the ultimate French cool-girl. Even if you couldn’t care less about fashion, you have to love the secret of their success: It’s “the power of a company run by women, for women.”(In addition to Isabel, the co-founder, CEO, and deputy CEO are all female.) “It’s a girl gang,” deputy CEO Anouck Duranteau-Loeper explained. I love imagining you and your squad as a “gang”: A tight clique of women who see the world the same way you do and want to gang up to make the rest of the world recognize your brilliance.
I also admire the strategic nature of the way Isabel and co. think about business. There’s no rush, no frantic pace, no throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. She gets counsel, takes her time, and explores her research. Forget about stripes and Brigitte Bardot hair; that kind of pace, especially at the top, is the real reason to admire the French. 
Civil-rights organizer and feminist activist Sheila Michaels, who re-introduced the title “Ms.” into popular culture in the 1960s, died at age 78 last month. I’m grateful for her work. I once got into a huge fight with my family when I wanted to be addressed on a family wedding invitation as “Ms.” I was 28 or 29, newly single after an eight-year relationship, and “Miss” sounded so silly and juvenile to me. But my mom and sister disagreed with me. These days, even though I’m married, I very rarely see my name as “Mrs.” (FYI: I go by Ms.) It feels like such an old debate…and yet, I bet you have a strong opinion. Do you go by Ms.? Email me here.
The check arrives on a first date. Who pays? I love to ask this question at my Badass Babes dinners — it’s so telling….and I’m asking it at the Badass Dudes dinners, too!) Social codes used to dictate it was the man’s responsibility, or the responsibility of whoever set the date. But as the Wall Street Journal notes, the answer isn’t so clear-cut anymore. These days, I feel like everyone wants to pay their own way or even pick up the check as a badass badge of honor. When I ran that idea by a few Badass Babes, one pointed out the “weird double standard” that it’s “very jarring when a guy sits there, no fake reach, and expects the woman to pay.” Another called that move a “turn-off.” What you think? Are you picking up the check? What if you’re on a date with another woman? Lets talk about it here.

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