women empowerment

Women- We Have The Power 💪🏼💪🏽💪🏾💪🏿

THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ is a powerhouse talent collective of Freelancers, Consultants & Entrepreneurs. Our platform AGGREGATES solo professionals, who are often fragmented and hard to find, to gain bolder & bigger marketing exposure. We CENTRALIZE relevant resources, tips, & tools to make it easier & faster for solos to run their businesses. By creating a community of gig economy peers, we SOCIALIZE an all too isolating work style

Women- we have the power to create the working world we want.

And it's not necessarily about shattering glass ceilings. And it might not be about 'leaning in'. 

It's about defining ambition... for yourself. 

Now that might mean the corner office, and the big salary, and the important title, if that's how you define success.  

But it might also mean a self-determined schedule so you can pick your kids up from school, or stay home during the day with babies and toddlers, or keep tabs on your teens while you also find time for your aging parents. 

Your ideas of success might include bopping around to different cities or different countries as you pop in and out of remote desks and offices and even apartments around the world. 

It might mean dabbling in your art, teaching yoga, and generating income on a project by project basis with your talent for visuals and quick wit on social media. 

Your ideas for success might mean time for travel, time for friends, time to read, time to write, and time to keep fit. 

You may be a part-time creative, full time parent, loving and committed daughter, with a clean house and a home cooked meal for anyone who arrives.

This may be your vision for ambition.  And it's critical that we honor and recognize all of these pursuits as ambitious and worthy of financial viability and financial security. 

For too long women have been told that in order to be successful, for their work and their lives to really count, they should want big salaries and big offices.  We've been told that we have to 'step away from ambition' to raise kids, and we have been told to accept and expect that 're-entry' after 'time out' from that singular ambition has inevitable and just consequences. In fact, we have entrenched systems that support this inevitability. We have come to accept the story we're being told about what ambition women want. 

 
THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ is a powerhouse talent collective of Freelancers, Consultants & Entrepreneurs. Our platform AGGREGATES solo professionals, who are often fragmented and hard to find, to gain bolder & bigger marketing exposure. We CENTRALIZE relevant resources, tips, & tools to make it easier & faster for solos to run their businesses. By creating a community of gig economy peers, we SOCIALIZE an all too isolating work style
 

And it is an acceptance of these systems that promote a one size fits all definition of ambition that indeed preserves this system. We have all become comfortable with it. There are more men named John and James at the helm of Fortune 500 companies than all the women leaders. There's roughly a 20% pay gap between women and men working the same positions with women receiving 80% of what men do.  Just under 20% of the US Congress comprises of women. 

And yet, we all know many, many women who are doing remarkable things every single day for themselves, their families, their communities, their companies, their organizations and for each other. And they may or may not be running a Fortune 500 company. 

Aren't these women also ambitious? Isn't their work also valid and valuable? 

We know, that, of course, it is. But if we are to change the tide and create the working world we really want for ourselves, then women must begin to tell new stories of ambition and we must honor and support these stories. 

It is the danger of the single story of an ambitious women that limits our potential. 

And so let's start to create the working world we want. A working world that honors, celebrates and supports, both socially and economically, the multitude of women's stories of ambition.  

We can shape a new working landscape for ourselves and for the future.

We will rise by lifting each other.

 

Ahem... in case you hadn't heard

Ahem... in case you hadn't heard

Our JILLS Bursts & Boosts help to lift your mood, maintain your momentum and feed your mojo. Entrepreneurship is exhilarating, exciting and yet often, challenging to stay motivated. Find out what inspiration works best for you. Just. Keep. Going.

Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

Our JILLS Bursts & Boosts help to lift your mood, maintain your momentum and feed your mojo. Entrepreneurship is exhilarating, exciting and yet often, challenging to stay motivated. Find out what inspiration works best for you. Just. Keep. Going.

1 Thing Women Entrepreneurs Can Do Today to Move Their Businesses Forward

1 Thing Women Entrepreneurs Can Do Today to Move Their Businesses Forward

Think through the grandest possible vision for your business. Go ahead. Do it.  Dream the dream. And then write it down.Don’t be shy.  Don’t hold back. Be bold. Be daring. Be confident.

Fear Less

Fear Less

Our JILLS Bursts & Boosts help to lift your mood, maintain your momentum and feed your mojo. Entrepreneurship is exhilarating, exciting and yet often, challenging to stay motivated. Find out what inspiration works best for you. Just. Keep. Going.

Imagine the Possibilities

Imagine the Possibilities

Our JILLS Bursts & Boosts help to lift your mood, maintain your momentum and feed your mojo. Entrepreneurship is exhilarating, exciting and yet often, challenging to stay motivated. Find out what inspiration works best for you. Just. Keep. Going.

JILLS SPOTLIGHT on Shaping What You Love Into Your Career

JILLS SPOTLIGHT on Shaping What You Love Into Your Career

Candice Wagener has always loved writing since her early years in elementary school to her current experiences as a freelance writer, journalist, and researcher.  She also loves making things from scratch - baking yummy treats, making healthy snacks, and creating homemade sugar scrubs and bath salts. And when time manages to offer her a moment of reprieve you might even find Candice sewing!

Why Women Need to Stop Asking for Permission to be Entrepreneurs

Why Women Need to Stop Asking for Permission to be Entrepreneurs

This past week had us at one of our most favorite events of the year - the annual WARF UpStart Alumni dinner. We’re graduates of this free entrepreneurship program for women and people of color, and the very first iterations of THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ came to fruition while we drafted and revised our Business Model Canvas throughout this 10 week program.

UpStart was an important step into entrepreneurship for us.

Sharing THE JILLS with 1 Million Cups

THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ Co-Founders, Megan Boswell and Corinne Neil, jumped in to the 1 Million Cups community last week to share their start-up story and their mission to prepare women to lead the future of work. 

"We're so lucky to be part of such a wonderful and welcoming community of entrepreneurs in Madison", explains Boswell who promoted the importance and the power of women entrepreneurs helping women entrepreneurs as the basis for THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™. "If you remember nothing else about us, remember this, we're women entrepreneurs helping women entrepreneurs", she said. 

 

I Million Cups is a weekly coffee meet-up at 9:00 am across the nation sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation as a way to to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs locally and nationally. I Million Cups Madison organizers, Rachel Neill and Drew Coursin invited THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ to present on Wednesday May 10th to a busy entrepreneurial crowd at the Madison Public Library, including The Capital Times reporter, Erik Lorenzsonn, who put THE JILLS face forward in his article, Startup looks to put women 'solo-preneurs' in spotlight.

"We were thrilled to have the opportunity to share our story," says Neil, "and to be able to reach out to the entrepreneurial community to help fuel our momentum and support our JILLS MEMBERS."

Learn more about THE JILLS and watch the full presentation:

International Women's Day-EVERYDAY

THE JILLS honors and champions #InternationalWomensDay, today & EVERYDAY.

Today for #InternationalWomensDay and everyday we honor & recognize ALL women who have shaped our world for the better.  Find your voice. Use it for good. And help lift & encourage others to do the same. Now go change the world. We believe in you.👊🏼

Chicago-our kind of town

Chicago meet-up coworking offices for Consultants & Start-ups WeWork

We're on a mission. 

WE WANT WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS OF EVERY SCALE TO LINK ARMS AND WORK COLLABORATIVELY TO LIFT EACH OTHER HIGHER SO WE CAN POWER THE FUTURE OF WORK. 

And as the snow falls fluffy and white this morning, I'm remembering the busy year we've had working toward that mission. 

So last summer we headed to CHICAGO

And what a day we had! 

There's not much to not love about the Windy City, but on the particular day the sun was shining, Lake Michigan was glistening, and we had a schedule chalked full of dates, and coffees and 'lunch and learns' with some really incredible women. 

First stop, Chicago's 1871, a hub of digital innovation and a buzzing hive of activity and energy, to connect with Nicole Yeary, founder of Ms. Tech, and join her community of tech savvy gals and wicked smart female founders to meet and greet and talk social media marketing tips at the Ms.Tech Mastermind event

Later we would connect with Lakshmi Shenoy, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at 1871 and Co-facilitator of WiSTEM, a sixteen week curriculum-based program that connect women to capital, community, and technology based resources. We chatted about women in S.T.E.M. and about our powerhouse of postdoctoral JILLS, like Sarah Caudill, Clarissa Muere, Sushma Kommineni, who are leading and shaping a path for women in STEM both in academia and in industry. We were amazed and delighted by the work being done at WiSTEM and left energized to have connected with other women creating paths for a women's workforce revolution. 

And we couldn't possible stop in Chicago without taking the time to meet up with our Chicago JILLS.  Lisa Ghisolf fought the traffic to enjoy an afternoon tea with us at The Mart, where she shared her experiences being a veteran solopreneur for her company, Gizmo Creative Factory. We laughed until we cried with her talented storytelling that had us living and loving the travel blogs she writes. 

WeWork Grant Park was the perfect ending to our day, where we relaxed, toured the amazing facility, had our first introduction to the WeWork community, and were completely smitten with the people, the architecture and the impeccable design of this gorgeous work space. 

'On Wisconsin' as they say and we headed home to Madison.

But after our whirlwind day, we definitely left a part of our hearts in Chicago. 

Ms. Tech founder, Nicole Yeary

Ms. Tech founder, Nicole Yeary

Work Solo- Not Silo

Consultants Freelancers Entrepreneurs solo professional work

So here's the thing.  Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.

Even when you're not totally ready.  Even when you don't have everything figured out. Even when you don't have a business name, or your perfectly branded logo, or the right software package, or any money.

Yep, it's true and it can feel like you're about to drink a cold cup of sick. Your hands might get sweaty, your tummy is probably churning, you're likely riddled with fear and anxiety. But you need to do it.  You really do. Because even if you stumble all over your words, and your audience looks confused, or even worse patronizing, you did something really, really important.

You took the risk to fail. To mess up. To get it all wrong.

You, despite all the potential for complete disaster, did it anyway.  And that is the first, critical step. In fact, it might be the only step, and it's one that you have to keep doing over and over again.

So go ahead and put yourself out there.  You'll never get your business name right or your logo perfected or know what software you really need or get any money if you don't take that deep breath and put yourself out there.  You're going to need to talk to your customers and tell them what you're doing. You’re going to need to talk to your customers to understand what they need. You're going to need to try out language on real people before you can really figure out what works and what doesn't.   You're going to need to get feedback, and lots of of it, if you're going to carve your own niche.   And you can't do any of that in isolation.

Working independently shouldn’t mean working alone.

Find your people.  Know your tribe. Build your community. Collaborate. Connect.

Work solo, not siloed. 

The Art of a Designing a Portfolio Career

Consultants Freelancers Entrepreneurs working independently

Co-Founders of the recent startup, THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™, Megan and Corinne have been building portfolio careers over the past 25 years that have taught them to work smarter, live fuller, and carve their own niche. Here they share some of their learning.

Find a community. Working solo is great, but not if you’re siloed. The promotional power of a community will put a spotlight on you more than you can independently. So find your people, know your tribe, meetup, chat, join a board, volunteer, play a sport, coach, take a class.  It’s imperative for your personal and professional growth that you find a place of belonging - somewhere you can make a contribution. It is foundational, and can be the basis of establishing meaningful work.

Foster collaboration, not competition. There’s no corporate ladder to climb and no glass ceilings to shatter in your portfolio career so embrace this new work paradigm and shift the metaphor. There’s only space for one person at a time on that ladder anyway! Instead start lifting and linking others, and let your work life have the breadth and exploration of rock climbing, not ladder climbing. Mountains offer more; there’s more to see, more to explore, more to discover. So help someone find a new path, reach out your hand in someone’s aid, support a colleague from the bottom as you watch their ascent. Why? Because it feels great, and it’s more likely that they’ll do the same for you. You know what they say about that rising tide, all ships float. Plus those blue skies while you’re climbing together are just so much better than any ceiling, glass, or otherwise.

Connect by knot-working versus networking. Think about it. The best work comes when we don’t even feel like we’re working.  The idea of knot-working is to truly build authentic relationships in authentic ways, well beyond passing out business cards at happy hours and adding people to LinkedIn. So make friends.  Share your work. Tell your family about what you do. Display it. Write about it. Let others engage in it and engage with you. The power of personal connections is what builds sustainable professional relationships, so give knot-working a try.  It might be exactly what you want from your portfolio career.  

Establish an accountability partner. For real.  Having weekly check-ins, on the phone or in-person, can totally change the time you spend working. Set goals together. Create timelines.  Make lists. Then support each other. Offer feedback.  Learn to receive suggestions and critiques. And be generous to each other.

Set boundaries. You’re juggling this portfolio of work presumably so that you are empowered to determine how you work, when you work, and what projects you want to take on.  Portfolio careers are all about reconfiguring the work + life equation over and over to create the best you. In order to do this, take the time, every year, every month, or whenever it makes sense to write down your personal policies for work and your rules for engagement.  Seriously, write them down. Post them predominantly. Return to them often. Share them with your accountability partner. Then stick to them.  


The portfolio career truly offers the promise of establishing the right work life balance for you.  But be patient, good work takes time to build.

Susan & Elizabeth- Historical Jills

Regardless of your party, celebrate your right to vote.  

On this historic election day, we are proud to stand with our pioneer Jills, who led the way for our voices to be heard and our choices to be made. 

👊🏼 Susan & Elizabeth- you ladies rock. it. out. 

THE JILLS

#womeninhistory

#suffragettecity

Our Founding Mothers & the United State of Women

We Didn’t Set Out to Be Entrepreneurs. Why Steadying the Scales of Work-Life Balance Compelled Two Women to StartUp.

Megan and I did not necessarily set out to be entrepreneurs.

Megan build an amazing career in fashion and design, climbed the corporate ladder to executive positions in prestigious organizations, shaped brands that changed an industry, traveled the world, was granted patents, was featured on Oprah, made movies, and even dreamed up experiential cruise ship voyages. She earned a top salary, and was beloved by her staff and colleagues. Her nurturing and generous spirit extended through her leadership where she taught many, especially women, to fully embrace the ampersand and be powerful & feminine, direct & kind, humorous & focused, collaborative & independent.

As life changed, as it’s so apt to do, Megan did too.

Children grew, relocations happened, new interests developed. There was downsizing. And Megan found herself contemplative and eager for a brand new dress to wear, one that could bring her closer to a work-life balance so she could soak up more time with her husband, 3 teenaged children, and her extended family living in different states.  She eventually styled her own independent and successful brand strategy and design consultancy business, and after nearly 30 years of leading multimillion dollar projects and being 'traditionally' employed, Megan was now using her talents and skills so she could work when she wanted, how she wanted, and on projects that mattered to her. A flexible schedule with a variety of projects and hand-picked clients suited her as an encore career.

My career story was much more of an 'adapt and go' kind of set-up from the beginning. I loved to teach, I was good at it, and I used it to satisfy my taste for travel, spending the early part of my career in both the Middle East and Europe.  When I moved to the US from Canada, I found myself in Austin, TX where I decided to redirect my talents for teaching and writing to an educational publishing company instead of the classroom, and exchange my evenings of grading papers for night classes to earn my massage therapy license - something I’d wanted to do since high school.

But before long, I too, decided to step out of corporate and embark on what I know see as my portfolio career working as an independent: writing, teaching, and educating. Because besides being wearied by the corporate ladder that only one person can climb at a time, there also came pregnancies that were tougher than imagined, relocations, and superhero mom and dad manoeuvres to ensure one of us was always home with our boys - a portfolio career made sense to me.  There just wasn’t a name for it then.

Together, Megan and I have a very unique 360 degree view of work. We know both sides of being an independent and working in corporate. We see the possibilities, opportunities, and struggles of both.  We know stay-at-home parenting, we know being working mothers. We’ve lived re-entry and are always re-entering so we can routinely adjust the work + life equation. Megan shattered glass ceilings. I stayed off the ladder. We know the merits and downfalls of each.

And we know the world of work is changing. And so do you. You’ve seen the statistics; read the headlines. 70% of us will work freelance in the next 10 years.  Lifetime employment is over. The gig economy is the new economy.  It’s a Freelance Nation. Our work will come from our alliances, not recruiters, and not employers.

So no, we didn’t necessarily set out to be entrepreneurs.

But after nearly 30 combined years of trying to steady the scales of work-life balance, we’re compelled to be. 

We’re turning directly to the problems felt by both the independents and the hiring clients in this gig economy and creating a solution.  And it is our combined 360 degree view, and our lifetime of experiences that make us uniquely qualified to take on the challenge. We’ve lived the problems, see a path to a solution,  and know it’s time for us to step up and lead a workforce revolution.

Join us on our journey.  

Because we know in our core that when women come together,  link arms, and lift each other up we have the power to change everything.

 

THE FIRST JILLS

we are the founders of THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ and we are on a mission to work smarter, live fuller & lift others who wish to do to the same. 

After our corporate 9-5 gigs became more grind than growth, we were convinced there was a better way to do work, find work, and get work done. We knew you could have an independent business and still feel professionally connected. We felt sure it was possible to feed our brains & fuel our hearts, without sapping our souls, without missing out on life's special moments….And still stay busy. And still make a living, while keeping a life. 

Naive? Utopia? Nope.

We're doing it here at THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES ™. Join our journey. 

Corinne and Megan

"THE LIGHT OF ONE ROW BOAT IN AN OCEAN IS HARD TO FIND. BUT LINKING MANY TOGETHER MAKES A BEAUTIFUL BEACON".