Eboni Williams, 34
Fox News Host and Author
Unafraid to unabashedly share her opinion on the airwaves, Fox News Host, Eboni Williams, is certainly a woman to watch. Raised by a single mom in Charlotte, Williams faced a litany of obstacles throughout her career, not least that she was a strong, opinionated black woman, attributes which she says were hurled her way as derogatory. ”Society might have its rules and expectations of you, reject them at every turn and insist upon your own exceptionalism,” she says.
This exceptionalism has lead to her hosting her own radio show, releasing her book PRETTY POWERFUL: Appearance, Substance & Success and contributing her inspiring message to the world.
1. What made you choose this career path? What has been your greatest achievement?
Since I was a child I had a loud voice and strong opinion, so I thought it best to put it to productive use. As a litigator, multimedia host and now as an author, I'm privileged to lend my voice to the voiceless and otherwise empower women, men and children who otherwise might not be heard.
My greatest achievement has been hosting a show on the #1 cable news network while hosting a talk radio show and releasing a bestselling book at the same time. I never considered myself a multi-tasker, but I became one in 2017
2. What’s the biggest criticism/stereotype/judgement you’ve faced in your career?
As I write in the 'Mean Girls' chapter of my book, I was told I was too young, too strong in my opinion and black...all reasons I wouldn't be able to be hired by Fox News or able to host a show. All proved ignorantly wrong.
All throughout my life false narratives of society and media said as an only child to a single, high school educated mom, I would repeat her pattern of a struggling single black mom. She made sure I didn't and we worked to reject that stereotypical noise at every turn.
3. How did you #SWAAYthenarrative? What was the reaction by those who told you you “couldn’t” do it?
Shirley Chisholm is an iconic role model of mine. She was the first black woman to serve in the US congress and she said if they don't invite you to the table, bring your own chair and pull up a seat. I LOVE bringing my own chair and crashing the party.
4. What did you learn through your personal journey?
I SWAAYed the narrative by having key individuals (a strong mom, teachers, community members) that nourished my talent and told me I could do ANYTHING I worked for. I was never talked to about glass ceilings or limitations...only personal ambition. Narratives are all about social norms and "rules." In a world of other people's "rules" I've always elected to be my own exception.
5. What’s your number one piece of advice to women discouraged by preconceived notions and society’s limitations?
Bet on yourself. Don't concern yourself with a million "no's" only focus on the one "YES" that you need. Society might have its rules and expectations of you, reject them at every turn and insist upon your own exceptionalism.
We are living in a time when women are rising to new heights which means they are regularly being confronted with the fear of being "too much". For women in business this is pervasive and costly.
A few ways women can be perceived as "too much" are:
Speaking up about their successes and achievements.
Sharing one too many photos of their cute kids.
Telling one too many people about that date night.
Looking a little too good in that swimsuit.
These can lead to being publicly attacked on social media or privately slandered which in turn leads to women dimming their light and walking on egg shells in hopes of avoiding conflict and judgement.
The minute a woman feels it's unsafe to shine she will begin to overthink, worry, and fear how she shows up in the world.
Forgetting to announce the book is done and the interview is live.
Choosing to focus on what's still on the to-do list rather than what's been checked off.
Many female entrepreneurs are subconsciously altering their behavior in an attempt to not attract too much attention to themselves, rather than focusing on allowing authenticity and magnetism to attract their ideal clients and community.
Women are afraid of being criticized, ostracized, and abandoned by other women for simply being who they are. This leads to quite the quantum when being who you are is simplest way to accelerate the growth of your business.
New research shows men are far more comfortable with self promotion than women are. Researchers found that men rate their own performance 33 percent higher than equally performing women. What we know is that self promotion pays off and this is where women are missing the boat.
The world needs more women to step into leadership roles and no longer be intimidated about creating six and seven figure careers.
Here are five ways to release the fear of being "too much":
1. Approve of yourself.
While it feels good to receive outside validation it will never be enough if you don't first appreciate yourself. The key to having a healthy support system is to make sure you are part of it. Being your biggest critic is what your mother's generation did. It's now time to be your biggest cheerleader. Becoming aware of self talk will reveal what belief is ready to be re-wired. Create a simply mantra that affirms how incredible capable you are.
2. Connect deeply to those you serve.
One powerful way to shift out of people pleasing behavior is to get clear on who actually matters to the wellbeing and success of your life and business. Leadership is not about being the most popular, instead it's a decision to be brave for those who can't be. Take a few minutes each day to visualize and meditate on those your business serves and supports. See your future clients moving toward you every time you choose to stand in your power and use your authentic voice.
3. Remember the legacy you wish to leave.
Having your life purpose and legacy in writing is one of the most transformational exercises you can do. Reading this often will keep you focused on what matters. Knowing what you wish to leave in the hearts of those you love most is incredibly grounding. You didn't come here to keep your mouth shut, dilute your truth, or dim your light-you came here to make a difference.
4. Forgive those who have been unsupportive in the past.
The past has a way of informing the future in a negative way when there is unresolved pain. Take a few minutes to get quiet and ask yourself who you have unforgiveness towards or maybe their name came to mind as you read this article. Listening to a forgiveness meditation or writing a letter to the person you are ready to forgive are both simple and effective ways to process and heal.
5. Be part a community of bright, successful women.
Meaningful relationships with others who have similar aspirations is what will keep you out of isolation and playing small. These connections can happen in a networking group, online community or a local Meetup. Thriving in every area of life is depend on you knowing where you belong and being celebrated there. Don't wait to be invited, go actively seek out people and places that support your dreams and desires.
6. Accept you can have it all.
Women have been fed a lie for generations that says, you can have love or money. Decide you can have it all and allow it to flow to you. You can have a successful career and an amazing mother. You can balance motherhood and loving marriage. Don't let anyone write the rules for you. This is the time to create the life you desire on your terms.
7. Celebrate everything!
The fastest way to leave the haters in the dust is to celebrate everything! At the end of each day lay in bed and recall the best moments. At the end of each week, publicly acknowledge and celebrate what's good in your life. Once a month, have a celebration dinner and share it with those who have helped you in the journey. If there's something good happening, talk about it with everyone who will listen!
May you be a woman who chooses to shine so that others may be reminded of all they can be and do.