Here’s What Inspires the Women Behind SUCCESS Magazine’s Inaugural Women’s Issue

UPDATED: June 8, 2023
PUBLISHED: July 21, 2022

This edition of SUCCESS magazine marks our first-ever Women’s Edition. Written and edited by women, designed and produced by women, and featuring only women, this was an active exercise in bringing female voices to the forefront of our organization. In the process, we asked our team and several contributors where they find their inspiration. Here’s their picks from books to music to podcasts and more.

“Much Ado About Nothing”

Though perhaps not inspiring in the traditional sense—reading this play does not entice me into bettering myself, for example—it has certainly encouraged me in many ways. The play—and primarily the characters of Beatrice and Benedick—has, at times, inspired me to try harder, has played a large role in any wit I may possess and has reminded me of the enduring delight of filling your life (at least a little) with whimsy.

Isabelle Bryan, Digital Editorial Intern

Books of Art

I’m trying to monitor how much and what type of information gets to me by having trusted sources of information. I think we can all agree that flipping on the news after a long day isn’t particularly relaxing. It can make you feel helpless to immerse yourself in the macro problems of the world. I find peace and relaxation in big books of art. Two that stand out recently are a Dior House book showing fashion through the years and another of Annie Leibovitz’s Vanity Fair covers over the years.

Courtney Chakarun, Chief Marketing Officer, eXp World Holdings

Oura Ring

I am not a huge fan of wearable technology. Already hopelessly attached to my devices, it seemed counterintuitive to add something that is literally attached in the name of health. But I recently started using the Oura Ring to track my sleep patterns and try to improve my general daily fitness routine. It’s comfortable to wear and allows me to track important metrics without pressure (read: electric shock to encourage movement?) or the bulkiness of a screen on my wrist.

Cecilia Meis, Editor-in-Chief

Musical Motivation

There is a Cody Johnson song called “’Til You Can’t,” and I play it once a day. It inspires me to act—to chase dreams, take chances, find new jobs, quit bad habits—right now. It’s my go-to reminder to always lead a purpose-driven life. Not tomorrow, not next week, not someday. But immediately.

Alison Bonaguro, writer, “Women of Influence


Call it nostalgia, but Shania Twain’s “The Woman in Me” album, released in 1995 when I was about 9 years old, has recently made its way to the top of my Spotify playlist. Now in my 30s with three kids, something about her attitude in all those songs is inspiring me to keep moving, make my mark and not take any flack. And as a native Texan used to family trips across the massive state each summer, it also provides some of the all-time great windows-down, volume-up, road-trip anthems. I’ll take those nostalgic boot-scootin’ vibes any day of the week.

Emily C. Laskowski, Managing Editor

Crossover Cuisine

Surprisingly, 2021 was a rougher year for me than 2020, so this year I’ve been focusing on the little things that make me happy, like cooking. Marion Grasby is a Thai-Australian cook and food entrepreneur who particularly sparks my interest. Her cooking segments consist of family recipes with simple techniques and tricks. Every recipe I have tried has turned out superb, and I love all her unique twists—she adds soy sauce to her bolognese!

Lauren Kerrigan, Creative Director

Cookbook Favorites

I inherited my father’s insatiable sweet tooth. I couldn’t bring myself to bake anything for more than five years after his passing. But, memories of his love of my bakes is inspiring me again to dust off my favorite cookbooks, from my vintage collection of Julia Child cookbooks to modern cookbook titles from America’s Test Kitchen, The New York Times and Ina Garten. I’ve felt his encouraging presence when I bake with my kids, and we enjoy satisfying our sweet teeth!

Virginia Le, Senior Production Manager

Scientific Discussion

Two questions are inspiring me lately: First, is science belief and spirituality inquiry? I tuned into a Clubhouse discussion in the Human Behaviour group about science meeting mysticism and came away piqued. Second, what does a scientist’s politics have to do with society? I’m reading about the fascinating life and times of a British-Indian geneticist in A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of JBS Haldane by Samanth Subramanian.

Shalini Singh, writer, “Hearth”

Entertainment Two Ways

The Try Guys are a constant source of inspiration for me, especially from an entrepreneurship standpoint. Music-wise, “Sunrise” by Childish Gambino has been on repeat lately.

Tori Dunlap, writer, “Financial Feminism”

Maya Shankar’s Podcast

The content that is inspiring me in 2022 is the podcast A Slight Change of Plans with host Maya Shankar. The show features stories about change from those who had to pivot from Plan A because of unusual and sometimes difficult life circumstances. It asks, “Who am I without the big title or what others thought I should be?” As I grapple with my own life changes, I am inspired by those who are brave enough to bet on themselves, take big leaps of faith and pursue the life of their dreams.

Lottie L. Joiner, writer, “Born for This”

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of SUCCESS magazine.

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