Hacks Newsletter Week 171- #DefiningYourImpact


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Writing books is hard. REALLY hard. So when women founders take the time and spend the effort to distill their school of hard knocks learnings into book form, I am always in admiration.
Thus wanted to share Impact: A Step-by-Step Plan To Create the World You Want to Live In by Christen Brandt (cjbrandt.com) and Tammy Tibbits (tammytibbetts.com), cofounders of She’s the First (STF), their global NGO fighting for a world where every girl can choose her own future. For the past decade, they have worked closely with local organizations around the world and changemakers of all ages and backgrounds, from college students to celebrities. Their work is supported by Michelle Obama, the United Nations, Diane von Furstenberg, many major brands, and hundreds of campus chapters globally.

In it, they’re hoping to share their insights for “finding your North Star” in terms of living a life of impact with others. Hope you enjoy their exclusive Q&A with #hacksthenewsletter, below.

AJR: What inspired you to write this book?
Christen/Tammy: As nonprofit founders, we’ve had many people come to us over the years to ask, “How can I help? What can I do to make a difference?” And we found that there wasn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. We decided to write this book to help people figure out that answer for themselves.

AJR:  What is YOUR professional north star?
Christen: In the context of Impact, your North Star represents the world you want to live in. My North Star is a world where women and girls are safe and able to thrive, which I’ve used to guide me through my work as a magazine editor at Glamour, a self-defense instructor, starting She’s the First, and in my volunteer and mentorship work.
Tammy: My North Star has always pointed me in the direction of serving girls and building their confidence (before She’s the First, I worked at Seventeen magazine!) Since becoming a mother last year, my vision for the world I want my son to grow up in is one where girls’ and boys’ potential isn’t limited by stereotypes and toxic masculinity and one where women are mothers by choice. This ties into my work at She’s the First and my own experiences as a teenage girl and now a mom.
AJR: Top 3 tips for your readers on how to find theirs?
Christen/Tammy: Chances are your North Star will be very clear once you pay attention to these three areas.

  1. Reflect on your lived experience: We find the most effective change starts with addressing the challenges you understand best. What issues are you naturally a powerful advocate for, based on your own firsthand experience?


  1. What lights you up? Where are you presently donating or volunteering your time, in a fulfilling manner? If you feel scattered in what you care about, what patterns do you see in where you spend most of your time, energy, and resources?


  1. What makes you angry: When you are reading or watching the news, what injustices hit especially hard? When you’re at a dinner with friends, what do you find yourself discussing?

For learn more about Impact, go to https://www.planyourimpact.com/. To get to know Christen, go to cjbrandt.com; to get to know Tammy, go to tammytibbetts.com.

Have friends or family members who would enjoy #HackstheNewsletter? Refer them here.


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There will be no end to the curveballs that life throws. As soon as you feel comfortable, another setback or new challenge will arise. Alyssa Rapp is driven to help people like her—the doers, those who keep swinging—seek to succeed in both life and career. Every challenge is an opportunity, are you making the most of yours?

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