In 2018, we’re all looking to bring a little bit of newness into our lives. We want change. We want productivity. And most of all, we want business success. Sometimes, reading a great book really helps the things that need shifted in your life stand out and a whole new sense of motivation wash over you. These books are an amazing resource to kick your productivity into gear.
Impactivity: How to Set the World on Fire without Burning Out, Tracy Higley
If you’re dealing with the horrible “crashing and burning” feeling that can often come with owning your own business, keeping up with contracts and managing family, then this one is for you. Bestselling author and entrepreneur herself, Higley shares her guidance, inspiration and truly teaches the art of productivity. This book was re-released in January 2017 with 6 workbooks to go along with it.
“The fear of the unknown was eclipsed by the gladness that came of taking action, of doing something rather than waiting, of following what seemed to be the call of my life."
The Power of Broke, Daymond John
Launching and keeping a business afloat is both time consuming and incredibly expensive. Shark Tank’s Daymond John and business mogul himself shares how he started his business with only $40. In fact, he thinks that starting a business with a very limited budget can be every entrepreneurs creative advantage. His book will teach companies, brands and solopreneurs alike how to leverage this skill for business success.
Own It: The Power of Women at Work, Sallie Krawcheck
Author and Wall Street powerhouse turn entrepreneur, Sallie Krawcheck will get you excited again for your role as a woman in the workplace and playing the man’s game on our own terms. She believes that the business world is changing fast and there are so many reasons that female business owners need to get excited about the future. The change is coming – fast – and as women we need to own that to take control of our careers and businesses to get to the next level.
Women Who Work: Rewriting The Goals of Success, Ivanka Trump
The first daughter to be has truly hit the nail on the head with her recent book, released in March of 2017. Her belief is simple: there is no one right answer, every woman must create the life in business that they love that works for them. She shares the best skills and advice coming from all the women who work in her life and essentially rewrites the rules to help everyone redefine success and supports living out your individual passions every day.
Courtesy of Fortune
"I try to live in the present. I learn from my mistakes in an effort not to repeat them, but I remain totally focused on today and tomorrow. Many of my mistakes turned out to be incredible opportunities for growth, both professionally and personally, and therefore, in hindsight, they were deeply valuable."
She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur, Carrie Green
Released in February of 2017, this book is aimed at women in business and sharing a step by step guide to making their business dreams a reality. The focus is on achievable techniques and helping women feel empowered and fired up about their ideas. Green shares numerous personal stories that will help put women everywhere on the right path by making the process of harnessing their amazing ideas and bringing them to life easier than they think it ever could be.
"Success is not an accident, it's something we have to create on purpose. And we can all do it, every single one of us. We have to be prepared to move past the resistance that get in our way... to make the commitment to show up of our dreams, get our ideas out there, and become unstoppable. So move out of your own way, discover what you are capable of, become a wildly successful entrepreneur and then watch as people say: She means business "
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.