Time Blocking Is Your Best Friend. In my early days of overwhelm and mile-long to-do lists, I felt like there was never an end. There was always something more I could do. And, honestly — that is the truth. As entrepreneurs, we are always connected and there is always another project to dive into. But, I needed to learn to be more productive to stop revolving my days around checking emails + showing up for other people’s meetings + their personal agendas. Time Blocking is now my best friend. I block out my week every Sunday night (with a frothy, decaf chai latte) and have full days dedicated to coaching calls, full days off with no calls where I can work from a coffee shop completing speaker applications and full days focused on creating new ideas for the future. It truly has allowed me to become 10x more productive. And, hey! I even time-blocked this interview in my 1 hour “Press” block 🙂
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations who are making an important social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachael Bozsik.
Rachael is a Keynote Speaker, Confidence Strategist and Founder of The Brand Girls. Rachael specializes in empowering college women to define their personal brand and land their dream job. It is her mission to close the confidence gap between men and women in the workplace. Rachael has been featured by numerous media outlets including Forbes, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Business Insider as a Modern Woman’s Career Guide. Additionally, Rachael has inspired 20,000+ women on stages including 30+ universities (NYU, Cornell, Duke, Brown etc), Spanx HQ, Life is Good HQ, Nylon Magazine, PBWC to name a few.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to start on your career path?
When I first began college, I witnessed my girlfriends accepting jobs that didn’t align with their career dreams, it was beyond unsettling. Being a natural networker + a student that engulfed myself in internship opportunities starting early in High School, I poured my energy into helping them pursue opportunities more aligned with what they would describe to me during late-night conversations about their passions.
Using my instinctive networking skills and ability to inspire, I taught my girlfriends how to craft their life mission, define their purpose and build confidence over tea and afternoons in our swanky college dorm. This sparked an idea — if young women everywhere had this type of support, they too would feel the unique drive my friends and myself had to pursue our dreams. This mentoring transitioned into private coaching for college women that shortly after pivoted into The Brand Girls, Global Coaching Program + Sisterhood. Since its founding, The Brand Girls has helped thousands of college women land internships and full-time positions at Tesla, Nestle, Glamour Magazine, Columbia Medical Center, GE, Discovery Channel, Oscar de la Renta, PETA (to name a few)
Did you set out to start a movement? If so, what was your vision? If not, what did you imagine would be the impact of your work?
I created The Brand Girls because I so desperately wished that I had that level of career mentorship + sisterhood. I knew early on in my business that our work was incredibly empowering + life-changing. I deeply believe that when you give one woman the tools + confidence to make her dreams a reality she goes on to empower other women. Over the years we have coached thousands of college women through our private coaching program and 20,000+ others through keynote speaking engagements. Now, imagine the influence that these women’s own empowerment journey has had on their campus + in their own personal network. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about our clients asking for a raise and in turn, empowering fellow female employees to do the same. Clients we have worked with are leading the force + holding the meetings supporting their fellow interns. I am forever proud.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh — gosh, wow! I have made so many mistakes in starting my business. I was only 22 when The Brand Girls was legally a company and had years of experience “coaching” from my college dorm room. The first time I ordered merchandise (black tee-shirts) for my college tour + campus ambassadors — I bought about $2,000 in tee-shirts. It was a HUGE expense at the time — I wasn’t paying myself. Well — I didn’t check the proof close enough (I credit that to the early days with 80+ hour work weeks) and the grammar + logo and name were 100% WRONG. It said “The Brand Girl — Become Empowered. Change The Worlds” (Worlds…? Ha!) It should have read “The Brand Girls. Become Empowered Change Your World.” I actually have that tee-shirt framed in my office today to pay homage to the journey.
Can you tell me a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
When I first started, I did not have a team of coaches. It was just me. One of my first clients was a strong + brilliant (and may I add stylish) young woman named Adrianna. I met her as a junior at Marist College. She was pursuing a degree in Fashion + was looking to hone in on her interview skills for summer internships. I adored coaching her — she was a quick learner and a hard worker. Post-graduation, Adrianna joined my team at The Brand Girls as a Career + Confidence Specialist — over the three years she worked with me she personally coached 261 women with big dreams to break into the fashion industry. I am talking women from Kentucky whose parents are farmers to make their big NYC dreams at Cosmo come true. That is real, good and life stuff. I am honored to know her.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
- Allocate more resources to female-focused clubs/organizations (Girl Scouts, Girl Up, Her Campus, She’s The First, National Panhellenic Council — to name a few.)
- Empower women to stand up + show up. Promote them to apply + self-nominate themselves for leadership positions.
- Lead By Example — cultivate a strong “ask” mentality in your own home, community + workplace. Ask for the project lead, ask for a raise, ask to change your order from a latte to tea (in big ways + all ways asking is important) Ask, ask, ask! When you demonstrate you are a leader in your own world you teach young women they can + should do the same.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership is when you become the boss of your own world. Leadership is when you stand up + show up for your own future — by doing so you shine a light on others to do the same. This type of behavior promotes a catalyst for change.
An example — my mom. She worked in Corporate America for 30+ years. She hated it. She dreaded going to work every.single.day. She knew she had one life and absolutely did not want to spend it calculating + creating formulas in excel. So she spent her time outside of work researching market opportunities and started a rental business and eventually went on to own 12 duplexes. By her leading by example and become her own leader in her world she gave me the spark of confidence I needed to follow my own dreams.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- It is not “annoying” to follow up — it’s called persistence.
I remember when I was booking myself for my first college tour — I was a brand new name + no one had heard of me. Total rookie. I was worried to follow up “too much” with campus activities teams + departments in case they weren’t interested or worse…they viewed me as annoying. Basically, I was scared of rejection so I did not fully put myself out there. I kept myself safe + small. Then, magic happened. I received an email back from a Dean that said “thanks for your follow up, I was on vacation but would love to book you to come speak and inspire our students.” Bingo! That was the confidence card I needed + to this day have a very specific follow up system in place. It is not annoying. It is persistent.
2. Everyone is not going to like your message. And, that’s okay. That means you have a strong point of view and a strong perspective promotes change.
After my first speaking engagements, I received a nasty note from someone on the committee who did not believe in my message + mission — like at all. It was a 3 page email of cruel words — I felt attacked and defeated. Later that day after I collected my thoughts, I responded to the committee’s email and received a response back from another committee member who absolutely loved the work I was doing and shared with me that the email did not represent all of their opinions. Then I realized — the woman who wrote the cruel email would not be someone I would want to partner with in business ever. Her personal beliefs on the world did not align with mine and that is okay.
3. Proof Read. Proof Read. Proof Read. Your brand is a direct reflection of you. (see previous story on Tee-Shirt Error)
4. Go For a Run. Take a shower. Get out of your leggings.
Early days in my business I was working 80+ hours regularly. I was working in a one-bedroom apartment and to be honest, I barely left. My bed became my desk. I was dedicated to my mission but was burning out quickly. Then one day, I received fantastic advice from a mentor that if I was not properly owning my day and in turn, enslaving myself to my own process. She challenged me by asking how I was acting was a life value that I could back + get behind and coach others to follow. The answer was a fat NO. A light bulb went off. I now spend my mornings going for a great run while listening to a female-focused business podcast.
5. Time Blocking Is Your Best Friend.
In my early days of overwhelm and mile-long to-do lists, I felt like there was never an end. There was always something more I could do. And, honestly — that is the truth. As entrepreneurs, we are always connected and there is always another project to dive into. But, I needed to learn to be more productive to stop revolving my days around checking emails + showing up for other people’s meetings + their personal agendas. Time Blocking is now my best friend. I block out my week every Sunday night (with a frothy, decaf chai latte) and have full days dedicated to coaching calls, full days off with no calls where I can work from a coffee shop completing speaker applications and full days focused on creating new ideas for the future. It truly has allowed me to become 10x more productive. And, hey! I even time-blocked this interview in my 1 hour “Press” block 🙂
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Empowered Women…Empower Women.” This quote represents everything that I believe in. So much so, I have used this quote as inspiration for The Brand Girls sisterhood policy + guidelines. Each woman who comes through our 1–1 coaching program is expected to empower another woman in the community whether it is reviewing her resume, sharing a personal contact, practicing interview questions with her etc. Once you are empowered it is your duty to empower another.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Your work is making a massive positive impact on the planet, thank you so much!