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Screw the Glass Ceiling



A glass ceiling is a political term used to describe “the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.” Well that’s the definition according to Wikipedia.

My glass ceiling consists of a hell of a lot more than that.

After 30 years in the corporate world I have bumped into my fair share of glass ceilings, fought through some of them, and helped colleagues shatter their own. It’s challenging, it’s rewarding, and it’s exhausting.

It wasn’t until I started dreaming of my own entrepreneurial debut that I realized… it didn’t have to be that way at all.

I could just walk right around that barrier like it didn’t even exist.

It’s true! I could walk around it like I was strolling down the lane. Well ok… maybe not strolling exactly, but walk around it while building my new business, learning how to become a successful entrepreneur and finally stepping away from my corporate gig to focus on full time.

More importantly, what I realized through this entire process: if working in someone else’s world is making you bump up against glass ceiling then create your own world!

  • Create your own world and your own experience.
  • Completely ignore any glass ceiling that appears to pop up.
  • Build your business to go around, over or above any “version” of what people believe your business should look like.

Most of all, position yourself like the rockstar you are using the tools I talk about every week on this blog and basically every day of my life!

5 Areas You Can Build To Rocket Yourself Past Any Ceiling

My dear entrepreneurs, here are 5 areas you can build upon using your passion to rocket yourself past any ceiling, glass or otherwise, in your way!

  1. Your own website: Showcase your passion here. Be authentic and build content through blogging, testimonials, videos, and online resources that are valuable and full of your business WHY. Tell us who you are and how you came to be, remind us that you are a real person passionate about this one great thing in life, and why you are the one we should trust. Bumping up against another barrier here? Nah, just save the money and hire someone to help. Money for someone whose passion IS website building is money well spent and you will zoom past any learning curve obstacle in record time.
  1. LinkedIn: Establish your expert status here. Here you prove why you have the chops to be in business. You’ve heard me say this again and again: make sure you have a polished and pretty profile that sets you apart from others in your field, skills and endorsements that tell of your talents, groups that connect you with prospects and mine for research, and connections that expand your reach. There is no limit to who you can find on LinkedIn, so if it truly is “who you know”, you are primed for success without a barrier when you use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.
  1. Facebook: Use Facebook to build your fan base from the loyal first crew, aka friends, family and colleagues, to a robust following made up of people who want what you’ve got. Advertising has never been cheaper nor easier to do. There is no need to have millions in revenue and an ad team standing by, you can make your own personal business ad in minutes and see results faster still. You are in control to create your own success – no longer do you have to wait for approval from a boss or teammate to create what you know will work. If it doesn’t, who cares! Just try again and test another. It’s all part of the process.
  1. Twitter: Ahhh Twitter. That honest, real time, news feed is so valuable for us! You can reach anyone you want, no matter how famous or how unreachable, they are bound to be there. This is my favorite platform by far to engage, follow, and connect with people I never would have had the opportunity to before, and this connection often comes with business rewards that include more visibility and more clients. The invention of Twitter helped me to be able to say, “Screw the glass ceiling!” and I love this platform even more because of it.
  1. Instagram, YouTube, Google+ (etc): Social media in general gives us a thousand more ways to adapt and overcome, to ignore any ceiling put in front of us, to build our business the way we want to build it and position ourselves as business owners who deserve to be here. Welcome to a level playing field folks, business just got interesting.

For the last few months I have been diving deep into a new side of my business called Portraits and Profits. Through P&P days at our beautiful New York venues, I’ve had the opportunity to work with strong women and each day I’ve been able to see these women really step into their power.

The more I see this happen the more I realize… we are rockstars of our own design. We DO have the ability to ignore the glass ceiling and create our own reality!

Who’s with me?

Here’s how to get started. Check out my free video series: The first three things you need to do on LinkedIn. AND, of course, comment below and tell me YOUR glass ceiling stories. I’m here to support you!


{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Sarah Michelle Brown at March 19, 2015, 3:44 pm

    What a fan-freakin-tastic post Karen! Great reminders about the strengths of each of the platforms. Which reminds me, Instagram needs some video love today. 🙂

  • Janine Utegg March 25, 2015, 10:47 am

    I love your articles. I want you to help me build my dream and calling and to reach as many like-minded strong women as possible. Combining artists, mainly painters, and Registered Nurses and hairdressers with holistic, neuropathic alternatives to traditional drugs to treat disease. Curing people
    with prayer, healing through medical knowledge of what doesn’t work, as seen in our careers, and using proven herbs, spices, natural remedies as a possibility to alleve symptoms of disease. Also, painting and creating with love, inspired by the Almighty God, our Father and savior, has been proven to heal trauma, injuries, and alleviate mental illness. Uniting intelligent women, seasoned nurses, cosmetologist as well, because we are artists anx nurturers—the good ones anyway, WITH PRAYER AND INSPIRING each other to greatness. Right now, the world is suffering. We need to unite—not divide. We need to break all cultural, racial, and religious barriers and unite in a huge movement of strong women of faith, Judeo-Christians—supporting prophesy and the dominion rest we can ALL HAVE as we walk and leave a legacy for our youth today, to maintain intimate relationship with the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Yahshuah Hamaschiach—Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, the light of the world and our comforter, savior, teacher, shield of protection, and redeemer.
    To recap:
    #1: Pastors, prophets, ministers, Holy women of God devoted to powerful, intercessory prayer for healing, salvation, restoration, releasing emotional trauma and separation from God—to reveal their true, God-given calling and destiny—in the name of Yahshuah/Jesus.

    #2: Then Licensed Healthcare Professionals perform physical, mental, emotional and nutritional assessments for needs and care plans. Then, alternative treatment modalities are applied ranging from naturopathic medicine, herbs, spices, vitamin and mineral supplements, if desired.

    #3: Licensed and experienced Cosmetologists “heal, uplift and enhance beauty through haircuts/haircolor/styling, nail services, massage, and facials for instant rejuvenation and personal joy for the client!

    #4: Artists/ Musicians/Comedians/Voice Coaches—–can teach easy classes in painting of creating something after prayer, in love, because creating is healing. You cannot truly be an artist without first realizing WHO it was in the first place who CREATED ALL OUR GIFTS AND TALENTS AS CREATIVES…..AND WHO THE ORIGINAL CREATOR OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE AND ALL THAT IS BEAUTIFUL IN OUR WORLD—AND BEING GRATEFUL FOR THIS CREATOR! Even musicians giving a simple music lesson in piano or guitar, teaching someone to sing— is healing due to the tones, the change of vibration in the body and the room, plus, for centuries it has been proven sound therapy altars electromagnetic energy and chemical imbalances in the brain, cortisol levels, laughing out loud in joy releases our bodies’ own natural, morphine-like substances that eliminate pain, sadness, and the list goes on.

    I have spoken to more than 400 people face to face about my “dream job”, including trying to change my degree at college. No way. No such job. Each professional woman I spoke to who is burned out in all areas of her life agrees with me— having prayer lead healing FIRST…allowing God to direct the care is what is missing everwhere. We need to combine together all these areas of expertise that alone can NEVER heal people without the others.

    However, though I get positive feedback, there are no industries I’ve mentioned… date….in Erie, Pa…willing to combine prayer or healing people through God’s mercy and grace—-in with their business. I help finding the “right” entrepreneurs!

  • Sue Ann Gleason March 28, 2015, 3:57 pm

    I love the idea of walking around the glass ceiling. For me this implies that it more than crashing or banging or ignoring it altogether. It it exists, it’s there for a reason (limiting beliefs, conditioning, misguided advice) and to walk ‘around’ it means we acknowledge the existence and then consciously create our ‘walk around.’ Brilliant. Thank you, Karen. So helpful. xxoo

  • Maria March 29, 2015, 9:21 pm

    I loved the way you strolled around the glass ceiling – just inspirational – the choice to walk around it is so cool. Immerse yourself into the expert that you are – loving the five tips too – so practical and doable. Thank you Karen for sharing your wisdom xx

  • Heather March 29, 2015, 10:08 pm

    I love this, having been in career situations that were very male dominated (i.e. the restaurant world) and decided a long time ago to create my own rules (i.e. my own business!)

  • Michelle April 2, 2015, 12:33 am

    I’ve always ignored the glass ceiling. But then again, except for a brief stint in the corporate world, I’ve always followed my own path. I think I even did that in corporate. I was much too opinionated to sit quietly in their box. 😉

    • april April 2, 2015, 5:46 pm

      i didn’t last very long in corporate, michelle. i was always being called into my supervisors’ offices for insubordination!

  • april April 2, 2015, 5:45 pm

    “create your own world and your own experience.” yes, branching out on my own has enabled me to do so – and i LOVE this aspect of being an entrepreneur. yet i still have to remind myself sometimes (“hey – you can do this ANY way you want! it’s YOUR business!”) great article, karen.

  • lynne April 6, 2015, 11:20 pm

    A great reminder. We should completely ignore any glass ceiling that comes up, create our own world and own experiences. Thanks for sharing a very encouraging and motivating post. Great Read.

  • Anne Gonzales May 5, 2015, 4:32 am

    Ditto to that! “Screw the glass ceiling!” I’ve broken several in my past “working life”. Feels great!


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