Shout Outs In Two New Books

It’s nice to write books but it’s extra nice to be featured in someone else’s!  This month, three terrific authors were kind enough to include pieces about Just Ask a Woman and me and I want to thank them here and give them some ink.

First up, Maddy Dychtwald, nationally recognized demographer and marketer just launched “Influence, How Women’s Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better”, written with Christine Larson, a wonderful journalist. The book from the VOICE division of Hyperion is a huge resource for any business that’s ready to learn about the transformative economic power of women. In the book, the authors interviewed dozens of successful corporations and marketers to advance their story of women’s influence. Just Ask a Woman pops up all over it. Here’s an example from one of our interviews: “As a marketer, I would look at my most successful competitor and wonder why I’m not getting that money. Intelligence about women customers will give you a leg up.” Thanks, Maddy and Christine! We are so glad to be part of your provocative new book.

On a more personal note, Ellyn Spragins has just launched the latest in her “Letters to my Younger Self” series, this one called, “What I Know about Success.”  She asked me to write a letter to my younger self, helping me understand a career lesson learned later in life. My letter titled, “You are not in charge of everyone else’s happiness” appears alongside letters from rockstar women I admire, like Barbara Walters, Bobbi Brown, Diane Von Furstenberg and Soledad O’Brien and Cathie Black. What an honor! And  my plug…it’s a great gift for new graduates…as well as women reflecting on their own reinventions!

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Her Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Last night Canadian skater Joannie Rochette placed third on the ice, but won the hearts of every woman watching. Her mom died of a heart attack just two days before, never to see her stunning performance. Despite the emotional turmoil, Rochette skated with every ounce of her strength. But to me, it all came down to the end of her performance, her face looking into the crowd, scanning the stands, knowing for the first time that the woman behind her, wasn’t there to see.

This blog is about marketing, so I could easily defer to a tribute to P & G for their beautifully done and prescient “Thanks, Mom” Olympics campaign. But this one is personal. 

For those lucky women who had a great relationship with their moms, there is nothing sadder than that first moment when she’s not there to cheer anymore. My friend Ellyn Spragins who’s written the terrific series of books, “Letters to my Younger Self”, told of the first time she was interviewed on TV after losing her mom. She told me how her mom’s was always the first call she’d get to tell her she did a great job. The silence was deafening.

I know that feeling. Three years ago, a month after I lost my mom, I was interviewed on GMA, ironically talking about a piece I’d written for MORE magazine about how daughters can cope with talking to their elderly parents about health and aging. I remember coming off the set and thinking that my mom, who always left the first voice message telling me she loved my dress or my answers, wasn’t there to call. As women, there’s a part of us who’s still the girl who needs to hear it from mom.  When your baby takes its first step, you get the promotion or get over a disappointment, you’ll want her to know.

Today is my mom’s birthday. And for Joannie and Ellyn and all the women who miss the one who applauded the loudest, I say this. She’s still watching and smiling. In her eyes, you’ll always win the gold.

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June 14, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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