Books that change your life

If you’re one of my girlfriends, chance is I’ve recommended Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny to you over the past few years.

This was a book that completely transformed my view of money, which I had never realized was unhealthy in any way, and was holding me back both personally and professionally.

When I read it sometime in 2011-2012, I had been working at a nonprofit for three years – my first job out of college – and struggling with my health. All of my extra money was pouring directly into doc appointments, vitamins, juicing and organic food.

And I over-drafted my bank account almost every month! (Something I was ashamed of and almost no one knew at the time.) Needless to say, this was stressful and just added to the other stressors in my life.

I think fondly of Secrets of Six Figure Women because it helped me in unexpected ways, to build my confidence and grow at the deepest parts of myself. The things that stand out to me about it now, years down the road, is realizing that I had an unrealized fear of money (of having it, that it would control me – which ironically it was by me ignoring it, and what people thought of me), a negative view (of people with money), that was leading me to subconsciously self-sabotage my own life and well-being. I am so grateful that I came across Stanny’s book because it was a needed companion and mirror at the perfect time in my young life and career.

The Way Women Work Rania Anderson Erin RisnerI am writing all of this because for the past two and half years, I’ve been working with Rania Anderson, who has been an incredible boss, colleague and professional mentor. She’s been working on a career advice book for women in emerging economies (the me’s of Brazil, Russia, China, Jordan, Chile, Kenya, India, etc). The book is called UNDETERRED: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies. Last November, we were in Brazil and Argentina interviewing women for the book (an amazing, inspiring trip!) and the book is packed with 250 relatable women around the world, at different stages in their careers and businesses. Many of these women I’ve Skyped with or interviewed via Skype throughout my time at The Way Women Work.

As I’ve read Undeterred multiple times throughout the editing process, and am now helping to crowdfund it, I can’t help but reflect on the power it will have on young women and their career and business pursuits. I am SO EXCITED for the book to come out in early 2015, and to put it in the hands of women around the world who are seeking career advice, relatable stories, examples, and best practices. A needed companion. A source of encouragement and inspiration. Reassurance and guidance while navigating uncertain professional terrain.

I think of myself — of the books like Secrets of Six Figure Women — that fell into my hands and changed my life, my career. And I have NO DOUBT Undeterred will do the same for aspiring women in emerging markets.

I know this sounds sappy but this is truly how I feel – this project is about the dreams we have — for ourselves, our careers, our businesses — and the often quiet or solitary struggle for confidence to pursue those dreams.

It’s SCARY to admit what you want or dream of (what if you don’t get it?), and then scary to take action towards that thing. It’s scary to talk about with anyone, and it’s scary to take risks.

Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies by Rania Habiby AndersonBut the women we’ve met, talked to, and featured in Undeterred are so incredible – they have pushed past what is scary for them, what has stood in their way, and remain undeterred to create a life they dream of. And even though I am not from an emerging economy, I have learned so much from the women in its pages. It is a very powerful book.

Most of you who know me know how passionate I am about my work, and especially this project. I am so proud to be a part of it, and I wanted to give you the opportunity to be a part of it too. I know this book will really make a difference and impact in the lives of women (our goal is to reach 100,000 women with the book!) just as the books have influenced and impacted our own careers and dreams.

Join me by donating a book, or truly, give any amount you can – even $5 of $10 is so appreciated!

This is my first crowdfunding campaign and I must say it’s really awesome. I love seeing people come together over one cause. We’re currently at 78% of our goal (WOOHOO!!!!) with 10 days left to go (I totally think we can hit our goal!!!!), with 130 backers who already stood up to support. Are you in?

You rock! THANK YOU letting me share all of this with you.

So now, you tell me – what was a book that changed your life?


See what other people are saying about the campaign, UNLEASHING the Careers of 100,000 Women Globally:


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