I called off my wedding. No, I’m not ok. But I will be.

This post is the most difficult I’ve written. I’ve been hesitant to write because while I share my life with all of you, I don’t share other people’s. After many sleepless nights, I decided to tell my story because if I could have read something like this, I wouldn’t have felt so alone. My hope is that this post helps one of you learn to trust yourself.

brains over blonde called off wedding

It’s with love in our hearts and love for each other that Tracy and I decided not to get married on August 3rd.

Yesterday I moved out of our Santa Monica apartment into a family friend’s guest house. I’ve never cried so hard or so viscerally in my entire life.

I cried because I love T, I love our life, and I don’t want to lose it. I’m grieving my best friend, my person, my love, and the life we planned together. It feels like a death. It feels like one of my limbs is missing. Maybe all of them.

I moved because deep down inside, I had doubts about whether or not we were compatible for a lifetime. And marriage isn’t something either of us wanted to gamble on.

The doubts started small and I did everything I could to address them. I read books on bridal anxiety. I went to therapy. We went to couples therapy together. But instead of disappearing, those niggling doubts got bigger.

I spent a lot of time convincing myself that my doubts weren’t legitimate. I ignored the niggle and bottled my emotions inside. I suffered in silence because I thought something was wrong with me. I was ashamed, and the guilt… that was almost unbearable. It took a toll on me. In April, I didn’t sleep more than a couple hours a night and barely ate for three weeks. Finally, when I was merely a shell of myself, I realized my body was telling me something, and I needed to listen. I had a gut feeling, and I decided to trust myself.

The actual process of calling off a wedding isn’t something I would wish on anyone.

When you call off a wedding, you blow up your whole life. You break your person’s heart. You break friends’ and families’ hearts. You break your own heart. You break down your soul with the immense grief and guilt. You break promises. You break the bank. And not everyone understands it. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had along the lines of…

“Did he cheat on you?”


“Then why?”

I wasn’t 100% sure.

“You know there’s no perfect person, right?”


“But don’t you love him? And he loves you?”

Yes. But love and compatibility aren’t always the same thing. The hardest lesson I learned this year is that sometimes love isn’t enough.

“But you two are so good together! Did you not think you’d be happy? Did you think you’d get a divorce?”

I think we’d have a good life. I don’t think we’d get divorced. But both of us deserve to be in the best possible partnership for our long-term happiness.

“Do you really want to start all over at your age?”

That’s not a reason to get married….

I hated feeling like I had to justify my decision. It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’ve come to realize it’s not a decision that a lot of people make. Especially women.

I know a lot of people wouldn’t have made the same decision I did.

We’re the generation raised on Disney princess movies. As girls, we were taught to believe a prince would rescue us and sweep us off our feet. Throughout our lives, people ask us about our dream wedding and what our dress will look like. We read books like Why Men Love Bitches to try to “trick” a man into monogamy. And when we’re finally engaged, we’re supposed to bask in the glory while everyone oohs and ahhs at our ring and asks us “How’s the wedding planning going?” every 5 to 10 minutes. And don’t you DARE express any nerves or doubt, because people will lose their SHIT. You’re supposed to be the epitome of bridal bliss – just like the brides on Say Yes To the Dress.

Men, not so much. Boys are raised to think of marriage as “the ball and chain” – and something that should be avoided as long as possible. Once a guy pops the question, he’s expected to mourn his single life and get cold feet. No one bats an eye; they slap him on the butt and hand him a beer.

In the past few months, a number of women have opened up to me about their engagements and marriages. Turns out they too had cold feet or full-blown doubts, but didn’t feel they could be open about it during their engagement. But we NEED to be. If anything, engagement is THE TIME to raise questions, to raise doubts. Better now than after you’ve taken the plunge.

A UCLA study of 464 heterosexual newlyweds found that, indeed, men are more likely than women to have premarital doubts. But the study ALSO found that when the woman is the one with doubts, it’s a better predictor of divorce. Women who admitted to walking down the aisle with doubts were 2.5X more likely to get a divorce. We’re the intuitive ones, go figure.

Why do so many women ignore their doubts?

Could be a lot of things…

  • Not trusting themselves
  • Not wanting to disappoint/hurt/rock the boat
  • Fear of being alone
  • Biological clock
  • Internal and external pressure

… I could go on.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, these are valid fears. Fears I’ve faced and still do face. But my BIGGEST fear was being in the wrong marriage with three kids, wishing I had listened to that niggling doubt I had before I got married. So I looked all my other fears in the face and called it off.

It’s never too late to change your mind

I want everyone reading this to know that it’s never too late to change your mind. You’re never in too deep. You can always make a change or do something different. I did it, even when I thought it was impossible. Even when I thought I’d never get through it. But I’m taking baby steps every day, and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This experience has taught me how strong I really am. And believe it or not, I have ZERO regrets. I don’t regret getting engaged. Yes, it caused T and I an immense amount of pain and heartbreak. But it also taught me about marriage, partnership, and what “forever” really means in ways I couldn’t have comprehended a year ago. I learned about myself, what I want, what I need. I’m more prepared than ever for marriage, and I’m immensely grateful for that.

I’m also grateful that I got to spend three life-changing years living with T. He made me a better human being, and I like to think I did the same for him. Not an ounce of me feels like I was with the “wrong person.” I was with the right person for this period of my life, and I’ll cherish that forever. As for the future, we’re both taking time to focus on ourselves and what will be best for our long-term happiness. We have nothing but love and respect for each other, and we want this to be the kindest and most loving break possible.

There’s no such thing as a hard decision, only a painful one.

I read once that “there’s no such thing as a hard decision, only a painful one.” Well, I’ve never been through anything more painful than this. You know that feeling of waking up and thinking you had a nightmare, only to realize it was actually real? I re-realize my new reality every day, multiple times a day, and it’s devastating. People ask me “When’s the wedding?” hourly, and no matter HOW MANY TIMES I UNSUBSCRIBE from Brides they won’t stop emailing me. I cry. A LOT. But, every once in a while, I stop and I think to myself,

“Damn, I’m really proud of myself. I can’t believe I had the ovaries to call off my fucking wedding.”

This took courage and self-awareness I never knew I had and I can feel it making me a stronger person as we speak. So no, I’m not ok. But I will be. We both will be.

When you get engaged, you expect it to be the most blissful time of your life. But if it turns out it’s not, what would you do? What would you do if you had doubts? If you didn’t feel 100% sure? Would you go forward and hope for the best? Or would you make a painful decision?

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  • AlexJune 25, 2018 - 12:38 pm

    Proud of you <3ReplyCancel

  • JenniferJune 25, 2018 - 12:59 pm

    I’m over here giving you a standing ovation. What you did is so damn courageous! You are owning your truth & following your gut. That is amazing! I was engaged for 5 years to someone who was not person and we both knew it. I had left 2-3 times during the course of our relationship (as if that wasn’t enough of an indicator). I was way too caught up thinking this was as good as it gets. Two young, attractive successful people with all their shit together. Seemed like a match made in heaven. Yeahhh, no. We were married for a yearish and then  I left. And I didn’t leave gracefully or respectfully like you did, I threw a granade on my way out the door in hopes that it would damage the relationship so bad I could never go back, nor would he ever want me back. Not my finest moment, but it set me free. I got married yesterday to someone who is far less refined, neat, and by social standards “successful.” He makes me feel like magic and home all at once. Our connection is nothing like I’ve ever experienced. He sets my soul on fire!!! I wasted a lot of time and youth on chasing someone who wasn’t meant for me . Once I started following my gut, the universe blessed and continues to bless me beyond measure. Go on, sister love! This is hard and will get worse before it gets better. Rest assured this is the beginning of something special… whatever that is. ReplyCancel

    • MaryJuly 12, 2018 - 10:29 pm

      Thank you for this. On the same boat as she is.ReplyCancel

  • Gwen DittmarJune 25, 2018 - 1:48 pm

    Anna, as I shared in my comment to your post on Instagram, I commend you. It takes a lot of courage, heart and spirit to pay attention to your intuition and not only listen, but act on it. I called off a wedding 16 years ago and it was one of the five top hardest choices I’ve ever made but simultaneously I’ve found when we do, spirit opens so much in that spaciousness after we’ve grieved. I am sending you so much love and light. With love, Gwen ReplyCancel

  • EmmaJune 25, 2018 - 2:22 pm

    I’m so very incredibly proud of you for following your personal truth. I know it’s so scary and hard. Know that I’m out here proud of you and rootin for you! XoReplyCancel

  • Ricki FrankelJune 25, 2018 - 3:58 pm

    Proud of you! I’m here if you need me. ReplyCancel

  • Frances AdvinculaJune 25, 2018 - 5:39 pm

    We can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your story, and please know your community is here for you.ReplyCancel

  • DaisyJune 25, 2018 - 5:40 pm

    I can’t imagine what you’ve been walking through. Thanks for opening up about it. May hope and joy return little by little, and peace be in your heart now even in sorrow. ReplyCancel

  • SavannahJune 25, 2018 - 7:48 pm

    Crying my eyes out for your heartbreak while also marveling at your strength. Keep your chin up. One day, one hour, one minute at a time. ReplyCancel

  • AbigailJune 26, 2018 - 5:27 am

    I’ve been engaged twice and both times I called it off for the same reasons! And I’m SO glad I did because I wouldn’t be with the amazing partner that I am now. And maybe we’ll get married some day, and maybe not, but I’m happy in this moment and glad I trusted my instincts. Take care of yourself and lean on your support system until you’re back to your old self! XxReplyCancel

  • kelsyJune 26, 2018 - 2:10 pm

    i commend you for sharing this with the world and continue to be amazed by your commitment to authenticity and being true to yourself. big hugs from seattle anna!ReplyCancel

  • JohannaJune 26, 2018 - 4:23 pm

    I’ve sent this to every one of my family members and friends because it’s as if I wrote this myself. I called off my wedding in May because of everything you just said. Thank you for making me feel less alone. ReplyCancel

  • SaraJune 27, 2018 - 8:58 am

    I. am. SO PROUD of you! I finally grew the ovaries to ask for a divorce and I wish I had the courage to do what you’ve done now before making it difficult to separate. I definitely had serious doubts pre marriage but like you said I really couldn’t express that to anyone. The decision is right for both of us, even though I was forced to be the one to say it out loud. So know that you aren’t alone ever. I’m glad I made the decision before we had kids. And I 100% feel you on the “you’re really going to start again at your age? What’re you going to do about kids?”  I’m 32 and honestly none of your business! Anyways mad love and all the support in the world. It’ll  suck for awhile but you got thisReplyCancel

  • JaclynJune 28, 2018 - 1:15 pm

    I’m not sure how I stumbled across this post, but oh how I wish there had been something written like this when I was going through this exact thing 5 years ago. I too, called off my wedding, with 4 months to go. No one understood. The breaking of relationships, family and friends, is so real. I am sending you all of the good vibes. You are so courageous. You will feel whole again. Piece by piece. It takes so much time and work on yourself, but it truly was the best decision I ever made for myself and him. Hang in there. Sending love from Georgia. 

    XoJaclyn ReplyCancel

  • KaraJune 28, 2018 - 8:31 pm

    Wow. I am so proud of you. I read this with envy. I read this with pride. I read this knowing that anxiety and fear you talk about. I wish I had chosen to not be married today. It is infinitely harder to decide to leave now because of the incompatibility we obviously have at just under 2 years of marriage. I wish I had been slower in the process and listened to those voices. Maybe I didn’t because I’m now 40 and kids are grown and on second marriage. But I didn’t, I assumed the fairy-tsle feeling would continue. But it didn’t. Now that the events are over and we are left married in our house,  I have not chosen the right person. I love him, he’s a good guy and he loves me dearly. But it wasn’t the right choice for my lifetime. So good job girl! Way to listen to your soul.ReplyCancel

    • KellyJune 29, 2018 - 3:54 pm

      Reading this is breaking my heart. I was in love with an engaged man. We “dated” for over a year and he was engaged the whole time. He ended our relationship and chose to marry the other woman although he told me he didn’t love her and truly was marrying her for all the wrong reasons. I know he’s not happy and I’m devastated. I love him so much and know I would have made him so happy. Good for you. I hope wherever your heart leads you, you are happy! XoxoReplyCancel

  • AmandaJune 29, 2018 - 12:16 pm

    The only words that come to mind are “thank you”. I am in that exact position at the moment and called off my wedding two months ago for the same reasons you did. No, no one understands. Everyone looks for “the reason” as to why it’s over. The fact that there was doubt and it just didn’t feel “right” is not and will never be enough of an explanation for some. But remember that the only explanation you need is the one you give yourself. I’m right there with you. Literally. Everyday is a struggle, but make time to remind yourself of what you’re proud of yourself for everyday. Even the small steps and progress. You are not alone and I’m comforted in knowing that there are people just like me and you that are going through this at the same time. Yoga and meditation have really helped me find peace with my decision. I was never really interested in it, but have found so much solace in it. Maybe give it a try. Keep moving forward. 


  • AngelaJuly 1, 2018 - 12:43 am

    Aloha beautiful… I am so sorry that you are going through this but so proud of you for really listening to your gut & paying attention to your inner self … 

    I have recently gone through a very traumatic break up where I thought I was going up my marry this person & 6 months in things got really tough so I decided to make a change & move out I have had the worst anxiety, have cried for hours on the floor , felt so alone . Oh & then to find out he just bought a condo & got his dream job & promotion ( so very happy for him because he deserves it ) but deep down inside I love him & am crushed.. I am learning a whole new way about living life & have doubted my every move & decision.. I have no idea if I made the right one but I have to accept it. I have friends that say focus on something else & they make it sound so easy ( it has been the opposite) i have been doing hundreds of meditation, affirmations. It’s hard when you love someone & when you love from your heart .. I have contacted dr to help stabilize my emotions & reaching out to support groups … I know that there is someone out there for me … Sending you so much energy … With love & light ReplyCancel

  • ChastityJuly 1, 2018 - 1:19 pm

    This is an incredible read. Thank you for being so transparent because I could relate to several points and key feelings.  I know the pain you are talking about and yes,it does indeed feel like death but the strong woman to emerge from this will be UNSTOPPABLE. You saved your soul and by sharing your truth … you saved other women and maybe even a few men out there. Continue to walk boldly into your destiny beautiful one.  


  • DianeJuly 2, 2018 - 1:39 pm

     I wish I had the courage to walk away from my engagement before I got married. I knew it was a bad idea…  Kepp giving yourself grace.ReplyCancel

  • ShannonJuly 2, 2018 - 6:25 pm

    I wish that I had the ovaries to do what you did! After countless doubts and sleepless nights during my engagement, and even the day i walked down the aisle, I told myself it would go away and things would get better. But after 1.5 years of marriage, I woke up one night and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” It took me even longer to share this with my husband and family, because of all the questions you raised. But you’re right, it’s NEVER too late to start over and find your happy. Brava to you for listening to your gut. XoReplyCancel

  • ColetteJuly 13, 2018 - 12:57 pm

    omg…I just discovered your Instagram a few weeks ago–right before you called it off. I’m in a long term relationship that I’m unsure about. We’ve been living together, and just had our 3 year anniversary. I’ve been having doubts about if I’m ready to get engaged or not for about 6 months now. I keep waiting to feel decidedly one way or the other– I keep waiting to feel SURE that I want to get engaged or SURE that I want to break up. There is nothing wrong with our relationship, per se. I love him. He has never cheated on me. He would never cheat on me or hurt me. Yet…something doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel the 0% anxiety, 100% easiness that I hear you feel when you meet the one. Reading this has made me feel so much less alone. All of the questions you are getting, all of your self-doubt…wow. I feel like a soul sister. Thank you for sharing this. I’m not sure if I’m ready to walk away, but reading this made me cry. Thank you.ReplyCancel

How To Track Every Part Of Your Business As An Entrepreneur

entrepreneur apps brains over blonde

Outfit & office deets below. Sponsored by Intuit Quickbooks. All opinions are my own – always.

I keep a lot of important info in my head. I’m a big picture person and I move at lightning speed, so I hate “wasting time” by stopping to track things. When I do document, it’s in a language only I understand. That works for a business of one, but I plan for Brains over Blonde to be much, much bigger than that – which means I need to document my processes to scale as my team grows. I guess that means fewer post-its, and more stuff in the cloud. FINE. So at the beginning of this year, I set a goal to let go of my “flower child entrepreneur” ways, and start formally tracking EVERYTHING, starting with tracking my expenses in Quickbooks.

I’m six months in, and after trying just about every tracking and productivity app on the market, there are three apps that I just can’t live without. Not gonna lie, these tools aren’t the sexiest, but they’re CRUCIAL to my workflow (90% of my business isn’t as “Instagrammable” as you might think!) Self-employed warriors listen up — Here’s the rundown.

I use Intuit Quickbooks to track my finances.

intuit quickbooks

Before I used Intuit Quickbooks and Turbotax, my version of managing finances was having a business bank account. As I grew, that became disorganized and unsustainable (especially since tax season was rapidly approaching!) Intuit Quickbooks and Turbotax really saved my butt here. With the help of Quickbooks’ chat assistant and my virtual accountant who has access to my account, filing taxes for my new business really wasn’t that bad after all.

quickbooks invoicing

I manage my customers and invoices in Quickbooks too!

Now, I manage all of my costs and revenue in Intuit Quickbooks by default (more deets on that here). My accounts and cards automatically sync and my accountant has access to make sure my expenses and revenues are tracked correctly. I invoice my clients directly from the dashboard. Every week I check out the dashboard and can see at a glance how I’m performing each month and tracking against my financial goals. Quickbook tracks all my finances in one place and now that it’s set up, it’s super low maintenance – which I love.

Intuit Quickbooks and Turbotax helped make me a believer in formalized tracking (I have to admit, it really does save you a headache later on) and inspired me to track other parts of my business in a more organized way too.

I use Evernote to track my ideas.

I LOVE LISTS. Like, too much. Last year I had lists EVERYWHERE: on my iPhone notes app (duh), in planners, on a notepad on my desk, in a notebook on my nightstand (insomniac alert), in emails to myself, post-its, and on the back of envelopes, receipts, napkins, you name it. You’re probably assuming I lost them all, but I somehow knew where everything was. The problem was if I ever had to pass it off to someone else, I couldn’t. Just like my expenses in Quickbooks, I needed to keep my notes in a centralized place.

entrepreneur apps brains over blonde

Like, do u think I have enough post-its or no?

I love Evernote because it’s like the iPhone notes app on steroids. Trust me, it took a LOT to pull me away from the notes app. It was my baby. But Evernote is just… better.

With Evernote, you can create a magically organized information library across all your devices. I set up different notebooks (Brains over Blonde and Personal), and then I divide similar thoughts for different pages. For instance, in the Brains over Blonde notebook, I have different pages for my to-do list, goals, newsletter, social planning, partnerships, and each of my coaching clients. In my Personal notebook, I have shopping lists, random thoughts, quotes I like, books to read, podcasts to listen to, etc. It’s so much more than just typing – there’s loads of formatting and you can even easily add web clippings with the Evernote Chrome extension. You can also share these lists and collaborate with other people.

I’d say I’m 90% converted. The middle-of-the-night notebook by my bed is never going away, but I do translate most of those notes into Evernote the next morning now. Sanity feels good!

I use Basecamp to track my projects and clients.


Basecamp is the HERO of project management. Whenever I take on a new coaching client, I first invoice them in Quickbooks (easy peezy), and then I create a new “project” for them in Basecamp. In Basecamp, we track all of the milestones as we work toward a goal (be that building their brand, a launch, or personal development).

In Basecamp, you can chat, schedule calls and manage your calendar, keep track of to-dos and assignments, and manage progress. It’s the all-in-one shop for managing clients and vendors.

I used to use Google Docs and Spreadsheets for managing assignments and deadlines, and Slack for chatting. This strategy still works, but I prefer keeping things all in one place – and my clients love Basecamp too! They have a record of what we’ve done together, and can always refer back to it as needed.

The bottom line is, I’m all about efficiency.

dropbox brainsoverblonde

R.I.P. my old laptop

If you follow me on IG you know that a few weeks ago my laptop completely DIED out of the blue. Let’s be real, I hadn’t backed up on my external hard drive in a while. I lost some important stuff… but was able to recover most of it because my finances were all in Quickbooks, my clients were in Basecamp, my analytics were in Google Analytics and Iconosquare (duh), and most everything else was backed up in Dropbox or Evernote. Which is pretty much the only thing that softened the blow of having to buy a whole new laptop (damn you Apple).

Now, I’m RELIGIOUS about backing up and tracking my entire life.

I hate superfluous or redundant tools. I hate tracking for the sake of tracking. These are the three tools that save me enough time and energy that they make tracking worthwhile – and actually make running my business more efficient so I can spend more time doing what I love: coaching and creating content for all of you.

What tools can YOU not live without? Leave a note below so we can give them a try!


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  • Jurassic World Alive HackJune 6, 2018 - 12:57 pm

    I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also pay a
    visit this web site on regular basis to take updated from hottest information.ReplyCancel

How To Get Teeth Whiter Than A Trump Rally

teeth whitening

Many of you have asked about my smile and if I use professional teeth whitening. I’M FLATTERED. But no. I do all of my dental and teeth whitening care myself at home, and I’m really consistent (read: psycho) about it. There are never any secrets with me, so today I’m going to share all of my at home tips and products to get your smile in tip top shape.

4 Steps for getting your teeth whiter than a Trump rally:

1. Whiten

A lot of people are surprised to learn that for teeth whitening, I just use good old fashioned Crest Whitestrips. Except I don’t use them as directed (classic me). Rather than using them once or twice a day for two weeks (which, if you have sensitive teeth like I do, is actually pretty painful), I only use them once a month. Yes, ONCE A MONTH(!) I’ve been doing this since high school, and I just think of it as maintenance (like getting your eyebrows waxed). I like the “professional effects” ones because they don’t slip around in your mouth and you can drink water while they’re on. I’m always pounding water. And btw, Crest uses the same enamel-safe ingredients dentists use for teeth whitening.

2. Brush

For toothpaste I use, you guessed it, Crest 3D White. Again, for maintenance. I haven’t hopped on this whole natural/organic train yet, but I’m interested, if anyone has any recommendations. I brush MINIMUM twice a day but sometimes it’s much, much more. I love it, what can I say. I’m obsessed with the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush bc I’m a nut (and omg how chic is the black version?), but if you’re looking for a smaller investment, get a super cute rose gold one from Quip!  Just make sure to go electric for the best clean and gum health, and change your brush head every three months.

3. Floss

I BET YOU WANT TO SKIP THIS SECTION BUT YOU SHOULDN’T. I get it though. Dealing with a roll of floss is annoying af, and was always super difficult for me – my teeth are so close together I can barely fit the floss through. I realized I could get way more leverage with the twin layer floss picks. Push them through, scrape both sides of your teeth, and massage your gums. So much less drama to deal with than with regular floss. I keep a pack in my car and use them during red lights. I use the pick side to stimulate my gums on my lower teeth, since I have a permanent retainer and can’t floss there. I also leave them in the shower (and sometimes brush my teeth in the shower too, bc why not). I’m warning you – once you get used to these picks they start to feel REALLY GOOD and are super addictive. Plus, you won’t have to lie to your dentist about how often you floss anymore.

4. Photo Editing

Ok let’s just say HYPOTHETICALLY that your teeth didn’t look great in a photo and you wanted to whiten them for the gram. Facetune 2 is my fave app for that. Glide your finger over the areas you want whitened (your teeth, the whites of your eyes, the wall in the background, anything). Then use the slider to adjust the intensity of the whitening to your liking.

5. Smile 🙂

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP – don’t forget to smile! I love to smile, and always smile in my pics (even if most other bloggers are doing differently!) I’m not a Kardashian, and I see your smile as your business card. It’s your first impression – so make it a good one.

What are your smiling secrets? Share with us below!


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    The Tax Tool Every Entrepreneur Needs

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    What, like it’s hard? ACTUALLY YA, IT IS KINDA HARD TO BE CEO… esp during tax season. (Sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. All opinions are my own – always.)

    So last we chatted about just about taxes I was still in the process of mourning my flower child ways. I’m a business owner now, and taxes are NO JOKE for two reasons:

    1. My business is my baby so I never wanna do anything to mess that up.
    2. I’m bootstrapping my company, so I want to make sure I’m getting every single deduction possible. NO money left on the table, ya know?

    I’ve always hated doing my taxes, but little did I know how EASY I HAD IT when I worked at Google. As a business owner, there are 230430294 more things to track, and it’s kind of a nightmare without the right tools. All I can say is THANK GOD for QuickBooks Self-Employed. If you are a business owner, I srsly suggest you get on board. They make it SO. MUCH. EASIER. to handle this whole tax situation.

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    Who else is on that work from home grind?

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    If you’re a blogger, freelancer, independent contractor, etc. – Quickbooks is the way to go


    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    Did you know you can even deduct your home workspace?

    Here’s the deal. QuickBooks Self-Employed helps you maximize your deductions. That’s MORE MONEY BACK INTO YOUR BUSINESS (always invest back into your business). Love that.

    What I didn’t expect is how much QuickBooks has helped with my workflow in general. It’s so easy to categorize your expenses, send invoices, and save receipts – that QuickBooks actually made it easier to track towards my quarterly and annual business goals.

    You can add your accountant to help manage your account, or if you’re the DIY type, there’s ON DEMAND CHAT SUPPORT. My favorite. (Apologies to QuickBooks chat support for all my questions 🙂 )

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    When you’re a solopreneur, taxes are the last thing you want to spend your time and energy on.

    So make it easier on yourself. QuickBooks Self-Employed shows you how to deduct your marketing and inventory expenses, contractor fees, web hosting, workspace, travel, YOU NAME IT. Then just hop on over to their sister site Turbotax Self-Employed to file your taxes. DONE and DONE.

    If you haven’t filed your 2017 taxes… um… do it now. If you have, I suggest you make your life easier for next year’s tax season by tracking your expenses NOW (I know I am). My “intaxication playlist” will help make it a little less boring!

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    Photography by Victoria Johansson

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      It’s Time To Integrate Men Into The Gender Revolution. Here’s How.

      brainsoverblonde men feminism

      I spoke on the Diversity & Inclusion panel at a women’s conference recently. An audience member asked how we can make men feel more comfortable in this #MeToo and #TimesUp era, to which another panelist (and woke feminist boss) replied, “Who cares if men feel uncomfortable? Women have been uncomfortable for all of history.” The (all female) audience roared with a knowing laughter. It’s bothered me ever since.

      It’s easy not to give a damn if men feel uncomfortable. But as a feminist I know I’ll create the most change not only by supporting women, but also by supporting MEN who want to support women, but don’t know how. Unless ALL genders take action, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements will be in vain.

      For the first time in history, men are listening to our stories. But too often, the sentiment I hear from men is more about proving that they’re not sexist themselves, and less about how we can make the human experience equal, safe, and healthy for all genders. These guys are missing the point. It’s not (just) about finger-pointing the Weinsteins of the world. It’s about creating a world where the Weinsteins of the world can’t get away with that shit. And in order to do that, ALL humans, of every gender, need to be on the same page.

      brainsoverblonde men feminism

      Reason #893248 why I LOVE my man

      Men, I see you.

      Men, I want you to know, I see you. Our society is in a transition period and it’s not easy to know how to act; there isn’t a how-to manual for gender equality. You’re uncomfortable and scared of making a misstep. Because you’re NOT one of the “bad guys.” At least you don’t want to be.

      Women, don’t get me wrong here, I know you’ve tried to include men in the conversation before. Many times. More often than not, it ends in you feeling hopeless, attacked, and beyond frustrated. But it’s not enough to glue yourself to the harassment headlines. It’s not even enough to share the stories we’ve suffered in silence for a lifetime. We have to take action, and we need to get EVERYONE in on the action.

      Women can’t reach equality by operating in a silo

      As women, we’ve fought our whole lives for freedom and equality, most of the time to no avail. But we started banning together as women, and what started as a single #MeToo tweet has exploded into women’s conferences, women’s support groups, women running for office, and a global feminist movement. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in a room of brilliant, badass, power women and thought to myself, “We’re not the ones that need to hear this stuff… we already know the female experience. Preaching to the choir won’t move the needle.” We can’t just talk about this amongst ourselves, wipe our hands clean of men, and expect change. We need to get all genders in the same room and do this TOGETHER.

      And by genders working together, I don’t mean putting one token woman on your board or mandating an annual online diversity training. I don’t mean colleges and MBA programs adding a “Women + Family” course to the curriculum. Additional paternity leave and in-office breastfeeding rooms are appreciated, but I want REAL cultural change in the way all genders approach and talk to each other about gender equality. And to do that, ladies, we have to be patient and understanding of men.

      Women need to be patient and understanding of men

      Even in the midst of this gender newsquake, some of the best men are going to make mistakes. We all know what it’s like to innocently say or do the wrong thing. It feels shitty, especially when someone attacks you for it. Women should approach men with empathy and help to educate them, rather than reprimand them (for first-time offenses, that is). Many men out there are potential allies to women but need us to extend a hand to help them navigate this gender revolution. Just because they need a little help, doesn’t mean they’re not pro gender equality.

      Here’s an example. During my second quarter of business school at Stanford, I read over the syllabus for one of my entrepreneurship classes and discovered (not surprisingly) that exactly zero of our cases had female protagonists. I marched over to my professor after class, guns-a-blazing, and told him this was unacceptable. He got defensive and told me there weren’t any successful female entrepreneurs he could think of. So I emailed him a list of 20, and even offered to make introductions to a few. I never got a response.

      Sadly, this class wasn’t the exception. I had plenty more business school classes with male-driven curriculums ahead of me, but I decided to take a more collaborative approach. I got my professors involved early on. I asked them if and how we could include more female leaders in our curriculum, rather than shaming them for not doing so in the first place. Many of them said they simply hadn’t noticed, and some of them enlisted my help. I brought it up in class as a discussion point, and it sparked some really great conversations. Being collaborative, patient, and understanding got me a lot further than reprimanding men ever did.

      As women, we’ve been through a lot of inequality. It’s easy tempting to finger point or cut men out of the conversation entirely. But remember that the enemy is the systematic patriarchy, not men as individuals. It’s time to integrate men into the movement!

      Dear men: I know you’re not the enemy. But you also need to know that issues of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and the wage gap can’t just be mansplained away. Reaching gender equality is going to take work, and it’s going to take time. And us women would like your help. Here’s how to be a woke ass feMANist:

      How men can make a positive impact in the gender revolution

      1. Accept the discomfort

      Many men have told me that they feel they’ve been made the enemy, or that they have to apologize for being male. I can relate. I too have privileges (we all do), but feeling guilty about them isn’t productive.

      Changing societal systems that have been in place for… well, all of time, takes hard work. Discussing sexism, prejudice, and sexual assault is uncomfortable. Exploring the ways you may be or have been part of the problem is painful. But all of this discomfort means you’re accepting, learning, and growing. So don’t change the subject, don’t get defensive, and don’t put your own feelings above addressing systemic injustice. Leaning into the discomfort is the only way to change. Accept it!

      2. Educate yourself

      I HIGHLY encourage men to ask women questions about their experience (more on this below), but it’s also not women’s responsibility to explain the same basic truths to men over and over again. If you can Google it, do so. Read Lean In and That’s What She Said. Follow feminist activists like Gloria Steinem, Feministabulous, and myself. Subscribe to HuffPostWomen, WeNews, BitchMedia, and others. Read articles written by WOMEN. Take my #FlexYourFemale email challenge by entering your email below:

      While you’re reading, suspend judgment. Don’t stop just because it’s “too angry” or exhausting. Remember, privilege is freedom from consideration, and you’ve had the privilege of ignoring this stuff for long enough. DON’T pretend sexism doesn’t exist or try to mansplain it away.

      3. Examine your own behavior

      Take a look at your own behavior. Is there room for improvement? (the answer is always YES) So now the question is, are you going to do something about it?

      Quit the sexist jokes (even when you’re with “just the bros”). Only have sex if there’s ENTHUSIASTIC consent. No slut-shaming. No catcalls. Stop calling women bitches and cunts, and stop using pussy as a term for weakness (linguistics affect our behavior). Focus on women’s personality and intellect rather than just their looks. Question yourself. If a woman is being bold, is she “bitchy,” or is she a strong leader?

      You don’t have to shame yourself if you’ve done these things in the past. Just examine yourself and decide what you’re going to do differently. Decide what behavior you will not tolerate in others, and take action when you see it.

      4. Speak up

      It’s 2018. It’s not enough just to “believe in” equality and not assault women. You need to actually DO something about it.

      If you see sexist, aggressive, and prejudice behavior and don’t say anything – you’re complicit. It’s not enough not to participate in gender discrimination, you have to stand up to people who aren’t. If you don’t, you’re part of the problem.

      Yes, women can (and do) speak up too. In fact, I’d venture to say that in these types of scenarios, women are the ones speaking up 9 times out of 10. The problem is that more often than not, the perpetrator doesn’t respect women. The response will be at best neutral, and at worse, demeaning and aggressive. Men have a huge opportunity to take the lead and make a difference by speaking up for women. So get comfortable saying something as simple as “What did you mean by that?” or “That’s not cool.” Most people will take a hint and do better next time.

      5. Examine your workplace

      Does your workplace respect and value women? And by that I mean, does your workplace actively lift women up?

      Women are less likely to broadcast their accomplishments or seek promotion. They’re also more likely to get dismissed, interrupted, and have their work attributed to others. So shout out women that are doing great things and amplify their voices. If you hear a man getting credit for a woman’s idea, speak up. You don’t need to humiliate anyone, just say “yes, Melissa made a great point there” or “I’d like to go back to what Monique was saying.”

      But it’s not enough to just SPEAK up, you need to ACT. Give deserving women the top opportunities, projects, mentorship, and promotions. Invite them for socializing, networking, and bonding (not dating!) Intentionally build a diverse workforce (which means you have to RECRUIT and HIRE women… NOT just for entry-level roles, but for leadership positions!) Sponsor women, advocate for them, and take them under your wing. This will help build a solid pipeline of future female leaders. (And in turn, greater diversity of thought and improved problem solving for your company!)

      And… hopefully, this goes without saying… but NO sexual harassment of ANY kind. If a woman reports something, believe her.

      6. Ask questions

      You’re not alone in this! We (women) want to help! If you need clarification on something, ask us. If you’re not sure if we want your help, ask. Can’t tell if we’re uncomfortable? Worried you said something offensive? Wondering what we’re thinking? ASK!!!

      There’s just one caveat here: you have to actually LISTEN to the answer :).

      That means no doubting, judging, arguing, challenging, criticizing, or discrediting. Just understanding. Women need to feel that it’s safe to share, and trust me, your willingness to be vulnerable and ask questions will be welcome. ALL humans need to check their ego at the door if we’re going to have a productive dialogue.

      Far to often, the oppressed group is put in a position of having to defend her experience. She has to delve into painful topics, only to be met with rapid dismissal, and even bullying. Remember, it’s NOT oversensitivity, it’s NOT a misunderstanding, it’s her experience. If you discredit her or change the subject, you likely won’t get the chance again.

      7. Reject traditional gender roles

      Gender equality benefits men too! Men face long-term negative effects from societal pressures to remain tough and unemotional. Plus, more and more, men are acting as the primary child caretaker – and our society needs to adjust for this.

      That said, in households where both parents work, the female typically does the majority of the housework and childcare (almost 2hrs/day more, on average). This is detrimental to both men and women, not to mention children.

      Speaking of children – raise your little boys and girls the same way! From infancy, boys are told to “toughen up” and “rub some dirt on it,” while girls are treated like porcelain dolls. Girls like football and boys cry. Get used to this now.

      8. Keep iterating

      We ALL have to continually challenge the assumptions we make about ALL genders. What we believe now might be different than what we believed five years ago or what we’ll believe five years from now, and that’s ok. We have to be willing to build and grow as we go.

      Gender isn’t about two conflicting sides; gender is a spectrum – and we all need to support one another. This means no mansplaining, and it ALSO means no man-hating. This is about EQUALITY, NOT two opposing genders and agendas.

      When in doubt, I recommend you ask yourself, “what kind of person do I want to be?” Herstory is watching.

      If you found this article helpful, I ask that you share it with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, enemies… everyone. Based on my Google Analytics, I venture to guess that more women will find this article than men 🙂

      What did I miss? Do you have any questions or need guidance? Leave a note in the comments below!

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      • MorganMarch 28, 2018 - 3:46 pm

        Anna!!!! I’ve been looking for an article I can send to all my (mostly male) coworkers – and this is it.ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

          Can’t wait to hear what they think!ReplyCancel

      • VioMarch 28, 2018 - 9:07 pm

        Great article with so many good points!! Thank you. Please keep your work up ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

          I sure will! Thanks so much Vio!ReplyCancel

      • CamdenMarch 29, 2018 - 12:42 pm

        My coworker shared this with our team and just like you mentioned here, I thought I’d be exhausted reading this. but I’m so glad I did. this was surprisingly refreshing. passing it along… thank youReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

          LOVE hearing this. Thanks for being open to reading it!ReplyCancel

      • LauraMarch 29, 2018 - 7:08 pm

        Unfortunately, the current atmosphere is so polarizing that some of our male allies feel demonized for existing and therefore, swing to a team that will embrace them. They start being more vocal in the anti-feminist movement and then we’ve lost them. I love this for including men and encouraging dialogue. I had some serious and amazing conversations with my husband who had changed his tune on some things. It angered me and I became defensive instead of inclusive. Then I looked at it from his perspective. It was a no win situation for him. 

        One thing I don’t feel the need to do is praise men for not violently assaulting women. I feel like some guys are like, “well I never raped anyone..” yeah, you’re not supposed to… but there has to be a way to include them in this movement. I like these ideas. You can’t expect anyone to act outside their own best interests. So we have to find a way to include them. ReplyCancel

      • GuidoApril 13, 2018 - 5:04 am

        Well said and put. My respect and greetings from Germany. We also have a long way to go.ReplyCancel


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