Why “Badass” is staying on my business card

In which I talk about really owning my badassery.

I have many titles in my professional life, some of which are quite mainstream.

Naval Flight Officer.
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
Executive Director.

But I also have a few self-assigned titles that aren’t as mainstream or accepted.

Visionary Badass Changemaker.
The QuickBooks Badass.

Recently, someone told me that I’d have to remove “Badass” from my business card before they’d work with me.

You may think I’d say “oh, hell no” without a second thought and move on, right?

But I’ve really wrestled with it.

Because I have this strange dichotomy that I think may be pretty common; I want to be liked, accepted and respected by…well…everybody, really. But I also have a burning need to live authentically and unapologetically. And here’s the thing.

It’s been working.

I have gained clients simply because of the Badass in my title, and I have retained those clients because they find out that it’s true.

Embracing my badassery is a relatively new thing. I’m both military service member and female. Society discourages us from touting our accomplishments. I’m not “supposed to” be walking around calling myself a badass.

But some colleagues helped me realize about two years ago that I have earned the title. I was the only female aviator in my squadron and one of a small minority on my ship. I have almost 1000 hours in my aircraft and am an Advanced Mission Commander. I have birthed and breastfed two amazing children. I am starting a nonprofit. I am going to graduate school.

These are all things I can take pride in, and I’m not going to apologize for it. Nor should you.

We should not apologize for stepping into our power and owning our accomplishments.

We have the right to tell the world what we can offer.

I have been accused of being an “attention whore.” And for years, I rebelled against the title. But I have to admit, it’s true. And then I ask myself, what do I do with that attention?

I divert it.

I’m not actually comfortable getting face-to-face praise. I’m not great at accepting compliments. But I’m happy to talk at length about other people and issues. I have been known to get on my soapbox at parties and rally reluctant party-goers around paid leave and the FAMILY Act. I have gone on at length about normalizing breastfeeding and supporting all mothers regardless of their choices.

In other words, I use that attention to try and make this world a better place – for women, for families, for children. For all of us humans.

I have always been adventurous, outgoing and semi-blunt. I have always had a strong need to help people and make a difference. I have always spoken out when others wouldn’t or couldn’t.

I am a Badass. And you are too.

Leave a comment and tell me about yourself. Would you feel comfortable calling yourself a badass? What would you tell people about your accomplishments if you had no fear of looking cocky or arrogant? What would you do in my situation? I’d love to hear from you!

Love and purple,


Two more countries now have paid leave. Guess who’s not one of them?

The U.S. is the only industrialized country without a national paid leave program. A few months ago, I wrote this article about the lack of paid leave in the U.S. Since then, I was informed by the WORLD Policy Analysis Center that two more countries implemented paid leave programs, Swaziland and Lesotho. (We’re working on a new infographic.)

So now the U.S. is one of only three countries in the world with no national mandated paid leave program. The other two are Papua New Guinea and Suriname, and a few South Pacific islands. It’s time for us to catch up.

And there is a way, right now, that we can start. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Rosa De Lauro co-sponsored The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act, S. 1810 and H.R. 3712), a bill currently in Congress that outlines the way to bring paid leave to the U.S.

This is a self-funded program much like disability; it uses 2/10 of 1% of the employee’s salary, which ends up being about $1.50 a week from the employee and employer. It does not add to the federal debt, and the office for regulation will be within the Social Security department. For more info, check out the fact sheet here.

Inevitably, the next question is: Why should I have to pay in to this program? Employers will not be paying employees on this leave program. The money will be drawn from a fund for all Social Security-eligible Americans. It is important to understand that this is not just a maternity leave program. It’s also for those with sick family members, and you never know when that may happen.

The FAMILY Act was introduced so that you never have to choose between a paycheck and your family. You may not agree with this bill, but there’s a good chance you’ll reap its benefits.

So please help us spread the word. Help us get the FAMILY Act passed and put some substance behind our so-called “family values.”