“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” Maya Angelou

This is International Women’s Month, and we celebrate women, leadership, and personal power.  Who are the women in your life who have inspired you?  Who have you inspired yourself?  Have you mentored other women or girls, even without knowing it?

One of the women who has inspired me is Dolly Parton.  A few years ago, I visited Dolly’s hometown, Sevierville, Tennessee. This is when I heard about her Imagination Library, which is a book-gifting program that mails out free books to children from birth to age five all around the world.  Even though Dolly came from humble means, she knew her dreams would come true someday. She saw how books could help children achieve their dreams.

To date, Dolly’s Imagination Library program has given out nearly 142 million books!   I know a family personally, who is part of this program, and they have received books for all four of their children over the years.  Imagine their personal library all because of Dolly’s dream.

There are so many other stories like this of women, amazing women, who had an idea or a dream. They shared that idea with others and then used their personal power and leadership skills to bring those dreams to the world. 

This month, you will hear from several of these women on Smart Women Talk. 

The first is the remarkable Debra Poneman, the founder of Yes to Success, who has inspired hundreds of thousands around the globe to live happy, successful lives, including people who have gone on to become mega-successful entrepreneurs, bestselling authors, and household names.  Debra will be sharing the three keys to living your true power and how to overcome what is holding you back.

The next is Intuitive Coach, Julia Griffin, who will share how to tap into the Universe for clarity, confidence, and calm using guided meditations or energy work.  I want to share her with you because I have personally worked with Julia for years, and what she shares is so simple anyone can do it at any time to empower themselves when they are feeling stuck.  Julia’s 10-day meditation course is available for free in the Smart Women’s Academy.  Be sure to register to access it and so much more!

Our next guest is Susan Salenger, the author of Sidelined: How Women Can Navigate a Broken Healthcare System.  Susanwill help you understand how to talk to your doctor and how to advocate for yourself and others when needed.  Seeing a doctor can be intimidating, especially when it’s something serious like cancer or a major surgery, and you are in a state of overwhelm and anxiety.  Knowing how to ask the right questions, and how to maneuver in the system is critical, rather than having a doctor tell you that if you have a certain diagnosis, you will be “put into their system” without any say.  Nothing can make you feel more insignificant than that.  Susan is also 80 years young and still lifts weights.  She is a force to be reckoned with!

And our final guest this month is the founder of Pink Fund, Molly MacDonald.  I want you to hear Molly’s personal story and how she used her experience with breast cancer after losing everything in her life to help other women with breast cancer pay their bills.  When Molly started Pink Fund, she would leave with a pink piggy bank with store owners next to their cash register.  Today, Pink Fund has funded approximately $7.4 million in non-medical expenses for women living with breast cancer. 

Empowerment shows up in both small and big ways.  Please don’t give up on your dreams! You can live your best life if you reach out for help, do the work, never give up, and believe.

Be sure to join our Smart Women Community at www.JoinSmartWomen.com and invite others too.  And be sure to subscribe, like and share our Smart Women Talk podcasts!  Happy International Women’s Month!

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Midlife Millionaires® Coach and Certified Social Security Claiming Specialist, and the host of Smart Women Talk. For over 35 years, Katana has helped Baby Boomers plan for retirement, including how to create lifetime income, how to optimize their Social Security benefits, launch an encore career, and prepare for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Businesswomen, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new retirement guide, Three Smart Strategies to Maximize Your Retirement Income, visit www.katanaabbott.com.