Today’s change-maker is Alaina Shearer. Alaina is the founder and original member of Women in Digital, a nationwide organization with 1,500 members in 19 cities attracting over 10,000 women to their events. With an extensive background in digital marketing and advertising; and inspiring, educating and empowering women each day she serves as a catalyst for today’s conversation: how to share and find your own voice. Tune in below!
Alaina believes that a “spark” is in all of us. It doesn’t always have to apply to starting a new project or side-hustle, it could be applied to your day job (1:40).
“Chase the spark. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace.” - Alaina’s advice when starting your own business (3:30).
If you are overcome by the what ifs, you may never do it. If you follow the what ifs and the fears then you usually find out there was not that much to fear in the first place (4:25).
Alaina started her own agency, Cement, through careful planning and plotting. Before she left she saved 3 months of her salary and gave 3 weeks’ notice. That said, if your workplace is toxic, consider leaving immediately. If you start your own business you have to be prepared to change your lifestyle (6:40).
Alaina has been her own boss now for 10 years (8:45).
When asked about what inspired her to start Women in Digital, Alaina replies that it was an accident. There was a moment and awakening where she brought a man into a business meeting and it was astonishing to her because the men she was pitching to was looking to him to see if he was agreeing with her. She realized that gender discrimination and sexism was costing her an immense amount of money over the lifetime of her career (9:40).
In June 2016, she called for the first Women in Digital meeting in Columbus, Ohio and more than 115 women signed up. At that first meeting she was terrified to tell her stories of gender discrimination aloud (12:45).
After she finished telling her story at the first meeting and women connected with her story, Women in Digital was born (14:25).
Each Women in Digital member upon signing up for the organization is expected to “Ask and Give”: ask for 12 favors a year and give 12 favors a year (16:00).
The “Ask and Give” rule allows women to share their power (16:45).
We all have power. Alaina wants you to focus on finding YOUR power. What do we have sitting inside of us that we’re not using. It’s a flip of a switch in your mind and it changes everything (18:00).
The power comes from each other and that’s where the empowerment stems from (20:30).
When asked about “finding your voice” Alaina believes that it is very focused on “what” it is that you are saying and articulating it with strength especially in the workplace (22:45).
Trying to find your voice? Change the narrative in your head. Focus on the outcome of what you have to gain if you do speak instead of focusing on yours fears. Ask yourself what you would do at your wisest and your most powerful and have her takeover the meeting. Fake it until you become her (27:00).