Bestie Book Club
Got big dreams? 4 things every girl needs to know to be successful
New year, new you: You're ready to chase your biggest dreams in 2024—from plotting your way to the perfect college to pursuing that fab summer internship to finally starting that friendship bracelet Etsy shop.
But for every Pinterest-perfect vision board, there are some fears and struggles that hold us back: Why is the college application process so darn confusing? How could I ever run for student office when public speaking freaks me out? When will I ever find the time to pursue my passions and figure out who I am?!
We know the feeling. And so does #girlboss CEO Stacey Ross Cohen, which is why she wrote Brand Up—a new read that will get you to ~finally~ stop stressing and start success-ing. It's the *ultimate* step-by-step guide to going after your greatest goals.
Basically a personal branding pro and motivational coach that can fit in your tote bag, Brand Up (get your copy here rn) is packed with insider info on how to stand out to colleges, pursue career opportunities at any age and create an amazing (and authentic) self-image.
To kick the new year off right, GL book besties Abigail, Skyla, Kameron, Katie and Skylyn share how Brand Up gave them major insights—and share the part of the book that inspired them most.
Skyla's fave: Figure out who you are.
Brand Up's Adjective activity is a simple way to start tackling an overwhelming question: What do I want to do with my life? "When doing the activity, I realized a lot of the adjectives were about compassion and ambition," our book bestie Skyla shares. "I started to think about how those two things came together—and by pursuing a major in psychology and kinesiology, I can help others *and* learn a lot."
Give it a shot: Write down 10 adjectives that describe you in different areas of your life. (Feeling stuck? Ask 10 friends, family members or teachers for a word that sums you up.) Then, consider how those words connect to your current passions and pursuits. Your thoughtful and imaginative nature might be why you heart art electives...and could transform into a love of pottery, poetry or graphic design.
Abigail's fave: Set achievable goals.
The way to those big accomplishments (think: becoming a fashion designer in New York, starting your own biz or graduating from medical school)? Lots of tiny wins.
To set your path to success in motion, create S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. "I love acting and singing, and there's so much I want to do—from starring in movies to touring," says book bestie Abigail. "Brand Up helped me figure out what I can do right now to go for those goals."
Give it a shot: Set a time frame of three months and consider what you can do in that window that brings you closer (even just a little) to your goal. Maybe it's creating four new designs for your fashion portfolio, reading a book on entrepreneurship or applying to a summer science program. Now you're in control of your focus and your future—leading to the kind of positive, motivated attitude you'll need to succeed down the line.
Kameron and Katie's fave: Get social savvy.
Yeah, you know it's probably time to archive that cringey TikTok you made in eighth grade about your math teacher...but what *should* be on your social media?
Brand Up reveals what colleges and jobs are (and aren't) looking for when they search your name. "The book made us reflect about how social media has been such an important place to showcase our dance skills and growth," book besties Kameron and Katie explain.
Give it a shot: Set up a LinkedIn account where you can record your recent accomplishments. (Editor of the literary mag? Co-president of Robotics Club? MVP of the JV volleyball team? Summer camp counselor? YouTube book reviewer? Spanish tutor? Weekly volunteer at the animal shelter? It all goes on your résumé.) Now, your most polished self has an online place to shine.
Skylyn's fave: Network, network, network.
You don't have to wait for your first college fair or job interview to start networking. Turns out networking is really just about talking to people—sharing your goals, asking thoughtful questions and listening to what they've accomplished and learned along the way.
"I want to pursue broadcast journalism and become a news anchor," reveals book bestie Skylyn. "Brand Up got me thinking about how I could reach out to people who are already on that path, like college students in broadcast classes and even established anchors in my area."
Give it a shot: Once a month, have a conversation with one person who inspires you where you discuss your dreams, get advice and hear about their path. It could be your drama teacher who seems to direct any play with confidence, your cousin applying to law school or your friend's mom who owns her own business. After each convo, jot down your notes and reflections in a journal or Google Doc—you'll want a record of your process.