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Necessary Roughness: New Rules for the Contact Sport of Life

I am a motivational speaker, humorist, and author. I’ve been teaching women how to be successful and confident for many years. After a 10-year background in Human Resources at Disney, Northrop, and Rockwell, I have been successful in a 26-year speaking and training career – as my own boss. My latest book uses football as the metaphor for women to be successful in their personal and professional lives. It’s called Necessary Roughness: New Rules for the Contact Sport of Life – a laugh-out-loud insightful and practical book.

In the book, I teach women that a little “necessary roughness” is expected: we need to talk straight, stand our ground, say no, and negotiate everything.

Football is eyeball to eyeball confrontation. Women have not been comfortable eyeball to eyeball. In the past, I have backed off getting what I want the moment I see the other person is becoming uncomfortable. Not anymore. When I recently negotiated my auto-lease purchase, I sent the salesman away four (count them) four times to get me a lower interest rate. When he started to sweat and look uncomfortable, I flashed on my old habit of backing off. Not this time. I put myself at the line of scrimmage and remained cool and collected and focused on my desire. Making him comfortable was not my job. Football taught me that, and I got the deal I wanted. I also got an extended warranty, four new tires, and since he was sorry the negotiation took so long, he threw in a tank of gas! Sales is a game; the salesman and I are players. My desire to assist other women to play the games of life with courage is what this book is about, and what I’m all about.

Women need to learn to play full out. When I was a teenager and champion of the bumper pool table in our basement, Mom told me, “You must stop beating the boys. If you keep beating the boys, they won’t like you.” My eyes filled with tears. It was the first piece of bad advice my mother had ever given me. I was being told not to compete, not to strive to win, but to throw the game for the sake of social acceptance. Women of my mother’s generation got what they wanted from their husbands not by standing up as equals, but by using passive-aggressive behavior. Women of my generation rebelled against that practice, espousing the “equal partner” theory, instead of the end-around strategies our mother’s embraced.

We need to always go for the goals and the points, and never settle for less than we deserve.