Stronger in September!

Buying from these women making waves and building wealth 🚀

😍Welcome to episode 14 of The Upgrading Women Newsletter 

I’m your editor, Rebecca Leppard, a feminist and communications nerd who’s 40 years old today 🎊

Yeah, this Barbie is officially in her 40s, and I had never felt so comfortable in my skin 🌸 and THAT is what one needs to achieve by the age of 40!

Who else is in her 40s and living her best year? Beyoncé.
Check out her charitable foundation BeyGOOD,
promoting equitable economy for everybody.

BTW, overheard in London:
The Waterloo Bridge is nicknamed as The Ladies’ Bridge,
because 350 women, which made up 65% of the workforce, were involved in building it. Of course, it was rumoured to be the only bridge in London built
👏 on time and 👏 under budget. 😎

Queen Bey was right: we SHOULD run the world.
Enjoy this episode, ladies. ✌🏽

What happened recently:

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson edged a bit closer to breaking a world record that has sat in the books for a generation

Photo: Martin Meissner/AP

While it didn’t happen Friday, there’s a sense it might happen soon.

Jackson defended her world title in the 200-metre race in 21.41 seconds, a scant .07 off the mark Florence Griffith-Joyner set at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Until two years ago, no other woman had cracked 21.6, so when somebody asked Jackson if she was disappointed not to break Flo-Jo’s mark, she scoffed.

Source: AP

Lego is putting braille bricks on sale 🧱

Photo from Lego

The bricks are designed to help blind children learn to read by touch.

They include letters and numbers in braille, which are patterns of raised dots that you can read by touching.

Children have been learning and playing with Lego's braille bricks since 2020, but they were only tested in certain schools and organisations.

The bricks will initially be available in English and French, with plans to expand to Italian, German and Spanish.

Source: BBC

Courtney Dauwalter finishes 100-mile run in 23 hours, 29 minutes and 14 seconds

Photo from Courtney’s Instagram page

The US's Courtney Dauwalter has just completed the ultimate triple crown of trail ultrarunning, winning the Western States 100, Hardrock 100 and UTMB all in one season. AND she eats nachos. She’s my kind of gal!

Update from around the world:
Zimbabwe has friendship benches (and this should go global!)

The Friendship Bench (FB) project is an evidence-based intervention developed in Zimbabwe to bridge the mental health treatment gap. The FB aims to enhance mental well-being and improve quality of life through the use of problem-solving therapy delivered by trained lay health workers, focussing on people who are suffering from common mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

The Friendship Bench intervention has been developed over a 20-year period from community research in Zimbabwe. It uses a cognitive behavioural therapy-based approach at primary care level to address 'kufungisisa' – the local word closest to depression (literally, “thinking too much” in Shona).

Uniquely, the FB uses ‘grandmothers’ to deliver the therapy. Since 2006, Dr Chibanda and his team have trained more than 600 of the grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities in Zimbabwe, and in 2017 alone 30,000 were seen on Friendship Benches. The FB has now expanded beyond Zimbabwe; it is being used in Malawi and Zanzibar, and it has been adapted for New York City, highlighting that interventions created in low- and middle-income countries can be adapted for high-income countries. There are several FB studies currently underway including; The Youth Friendship Bench (YouFB), OptFB, FB Plus and Zvandiri. Learn more here.

That’s it. I will now give my grandmother a call. I miss her so damn much!

A message from a communications nerd:
Good news sells!

Yes the usually bad news, fear and scandal are ones to bait the clicks.
But if you’re trying to build a brand, you want to build a community.
And even though misery loves company, millennials and GenZers
are way too miserable and lonely that they now crave for
good news.

There are so many new media companies whose sole proposition is publishing positive, uplifting stories.

Here are some of them: 

💰 A woman AND a Black Founder with Beauty Tech idea? Apply to the Niyo Bootcamp!

The NIYO FoundHer bootcamp is a 12-week business accelerator designed to provide Black Female FoundHers access to mentorship, finance, and high-value content needed to excel as an entrepreneur, get investors ready or launch and scale their business.

They just extended the application deadline to 26 September 
Go for it, girl!

Stop that mental block 🙅🏾‍♀️

Do you find it hard to find what to talk about on your social?
Do you have a list of great photos and don’t know what to caption them?
Do you have access to ChatGPT and still have a block when it comes to creating content?

What if there was a bridge between DIY your content and hiring an agency?
What if there was a club where you could:

🛍 Get tried-and-true best practice from an agency without hiring them?

🛍 Ask the agency’s chief strategist anything from tools to typography by just texting her?

🛍 Be held accountable so you are focused and consistent without the burnout?

Wouldn’t you want to join?
Great news: that club is opening soon!
It’s called Girl Brand and an application for Founding Membership, which means you pay £47 once for a lifetime membership, is in a click of a button!

💜 Girl Brand is where you get
🙋‍♀️ Daily post inspiration and engagement
🙋‍♀️ Best-practice insights from our chief strategist
🙋‍♀️ Regular live, global co-working sessions (remote working can be lonely!)

📣 Founding Members pay £47 (or $57) once for a lifetime subscription, while club members pay monthly. Save a sh*tload of money by joining the waitlist for a limited-seat Founding Membership today!

If you’re still on the fence, just have a taste of this delicious freebie:
THREE months of carousel template for your LinkedIn.
Is it re-purposable for TikTok and Instagram sliders too?
🤌🏾 Yes of course: who has the time to reinvent the wheel!

How she’s done it 💅🏿

She had a cushy corporate-banking career.
She saved to buy a house and instead, used the money to build Bangn Body.
She left the job.
She was only selling one thing: firming lotion.
She started when she was 23.
She made the Forbes’ 30 under 30 list last year.
She is a Melbourne-based Australian.
Her name is Priscilla Hajiatoni.

Photo from Priscilla’s Instagram page

🔥 That is proof that there is no one way to succeed.
🥇 That is why if you believe in yourself, you can reach new heights.
🛎 Do what you are called to do!
🎬 Start before you’re ready.

Inspect her 📲 gadget

Something to add to your tech stack: DivHunt.

Most people who hang out with us now don’t know that Upgrading Women was built as a learning and development company. I wanted to teach women how to slay in their communications and leadership.

After a year of hustling, the market told me to pivot ⚡️ They wanted me to actually help them with communication, to do it for them and alongside them.

I understood that women are just burning out.
They are expected to do
e v e r y t h i n g!

I thought: yeah that’s fair enough.
So I pivoted the company to a full-stack marketing agency.
But I had a mental block to redo our website to match our new business.
I never knew why.
I mean, online presence is my bread and butter!

I finally realise it’s the tool. The content management system we used: WIX, was too heavy and slow for what we needed.

We needed something as swift as Canva, to be frank.
We needed to be able to iterate on a weekly basis.
We needed to update our portfolio monthly!

Last month I found DivHunt.
Then we a new website.
And now I’m happy.

What to enjoy next week

📕Atomic Habit by James Clear
This is your guide to using psychology and human neuro-wiring as the ultimate “life hack” towards removing bad habits and adopting good ones. I mean, why wait till the New Year? 🐣

🎙 Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People
He was the original Chief Evangelist of Apple and now Chief Evangelist of Canva. So it’s a no brainer that I listen to it when he interview guests that he deems remarkable, one of them being Jane Goodall. 🐵

🍿 Motherland by Sharon Horgan, Holly Walsh, Graham Linehan
Oh the joy 🙄 of having children in England while maintaining a toxic job 😤 and a marriage plus being a sandwich generation of a millennial: you take care of your kids AND your elders too. How fun! 😑 But yeah it’s funny to watch.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

Know a girl who will absolutely love this newsletter?
Forward it to her to subscribe and the universe will reward you with good Karma abundantly? 🤍

See you next Thursday. LOL!