Stephanie Eidelman - Candid and Thorough

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What are your “and” words and why? Candid and Thorough. I have always spoken my mind. Luckily, over time, I've refined my filter. Also, I feel that, with age and experience, my level of credibility has grown to align with my level of candor. The concept of "thorough" encompasses a lot for me: well-prepared, thoughtful about details, substantive, maintaining a high quality bar.

What you are known for saying / a quote from you. What does this quote mean to you, (or if it’s from someone else, why does it inspire you)? "Just deal with it." I don't know that I always say this exactly, but it's my sentiment. I'm not a fan of drama or politics. When I think about what makes people most successful at any level, it's their ability to deal with what comes. Take ownership, figure it out. In fact, I think it's one of the most valuable and practical skills kids can acquire in school.   

Which other Ladybadasses inspire you and why? Two famous women: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg - I just listened to My Own Words and was astounded especially by how insightful and articulate she is -- and was, even from the age of 13 -- and how she has used her voice, courage, intelligence and sense of humor to advance the interests of women. Also, former Washington Post owner Katherine Graham. She stepped into a role that at the time was extremely unusual for a woman, sat at the table with men, found her voice and confidence, and broke ground. 

Two not so famous women: My mother and my mother-in-law, who each found themselves as widows unexpectedly in their 30's with children to raise. While their paths were quite different, they both picked themselves up, carried on, supported themselves with careers not so common for women at the time, and raised amazing children (who are all raising amazing grandchildren). 

When did you first realize that you had some Ladybadassery in you? I don't know that I could pinpoint a time but the realization has grown as I've employed my own philosophy of "just deal with it." While running my media company over the last 7 years, I faced difficult transitions that forced me to dig deeper and to get out of my comfort zone. My confidence grew as I successfully dealt with each challenge. We've grown from simply publishing a daily newsletter to creating new conferences, building membership groups, and entering the world of advocacy (which was totally new for me). During this time I increasingly stepped into the role of industry leader. Somewhat to my surprise, many people I find to be smart, credible -- and leaders themselves -- have welcomed me in this role and are often willing to follow my lead. This has been incredibly reinforcing. Plus, during this period I turned 50, which for some reason allows me to care less what others think and gives me the confidence to be more authentically me.

What keeps you motivated on days when you aren't quite feeling like a Ladybadass? Girlfriends.

What is your advice to other women who are trying to tap into their Ladybadassery? Step up. Go the extra mile. If you do these two things, you'll stand out from at least 90% of the pack (both men and women). You'll get noticed, and you'll be on your way.

Stephanie is the CEO at the iA institute, a niche media company that covers the topic of consumer debt.