Business Abormal is the New Normal: How to Make Your Connections Pay Off!

The founders of Business Abnormal, Sandy Sloane, Lori Sussle Bonanni and Miranda Wilcox, are communications experts and fellow Second Shift members who teamed up to start their own collective and consultancy. They generously offered their time and expertise to their fellow members about the importance of connecting and tips for effective remote networking.


You can watch the entire presentation here.  



Featured Career Coach: Karen Finckenor



Meet our featured Career Coach this week, the lovely, Karen Finckenor!


Karen’s goal is for her clients leave to the conversation with actionable steps, confidence, and a new, inspired perspective on their career. Her areas of focus include Pivot Strategies, Resume and LinkedIn Development, Job Search Strategy, Interview Skills, and Negotiation.


Get in touch with us to get in touch with Karen. She can’t wait to meet you.

Building Community is Good Business

With priorities turned upside down and norms in constant flux, successful connections require increased attention, thought, and finesse. Whether it’s 1:1 connection, through your existing network or the world at large, building community is both complicated and crucial in our virtual world.
Connection Perfection: Why Building Your Community is Good Business

Tuesday, January 19th @ 1:00 – 2:15pm EST

This virtual event is presented by Sandy Sloane, Lori Sussle Bonanni and Miranda Wilcox, the founders of Business Abnormal, Second Shift members, close friends, and accomplished professionals with different skill sets yet similar mindsets. In this session, attendees will:

  • Uncover the value in diversifying their connections
  • Learn how to connect with others through listening and empathy
  • Identify best practices to solidify connections with those in their existing networks as well as to build new connections
  • Build actionable next steps for fostering meaningful connections

New Year, Stronger You!

As we continue acclimating to 2021, we want to help you put your best foot forward — in more ways than one. Introducing our first wellness partner of the new year: P.volve!


P.volve’s women-focused functional training is the perfect way to get fit by prioritizing your health and building lasting strength. The digital full-body workout program uses resistance-based, high-intensity, low-impact movements to strengthen, sculpt and energize your muscles. You can search for specific workouts by length, body focus and equipment, or start one of P.volve’s series programs like “30-Day Evolution.” You can also use the P.volve app to set goals, get a custom plan, track progress and access nutrition + recipe guides.

They are offering 1 month unlimited access to their digital library of classes to The Second Shift and 30 days free in their virtual studio for live classes with our special code.

Get your first month free now! To redeem, click here. Select “1-month” and enter code SECONDSHIFT30 at checkout. $19.99/month each month there after. Cancel any time.

Let’s get our bodies moving together this month — whenever, wherever — with P.volve.

Build Your Brand with Ashley Mann

Ashley Mann used opportunities she had access to through The Second Shift to slowly gain the confidence to move from her full-time job to starting her own business.  Ashley is a publicist and mother of 2 under 2 who says pitch every job you are capable of doing because you never know where one conversation will go. Even if the exact job you are interviewing for doesn’t happen, that connection can lead to other opportunities!

In the spirit of community and giving-back, Ashley led an expert webinar on how to get attention in the media whether you are a selling a brand or yourself!

Click here to watch and enjoy! 


Featured Career Coach: Erin Grau


Meet Featured Career Coach, the fabulous, Erin Grau!

Erin is a proven talent and operations leader with 15+ years of experience in global organizations and startups. She helps increase the effectiveness of people and teams, optimizes performance to drive business outcomes, and creates the conditions that enable people to bring to life the best work of their lives. Her unique background enables her to serve as both strategic thought partner and executive coach. Her areas of focus include people strategy, organizational development, DEI, strategic operations, change management, and business transformation.

Get in touch with us to get in touch with Erin. She can’t wait to meet you.

Email us at

Ashley Mann Webinar: Gain Customer Attention and Build Your Brand


As COVID stretches into 2021, how can you continue to gain customer attention and build your brand?

Join our upcoming webinar, lead by publicist and marketing pro Ashley Mann, to find out! Ashley will discuss the challenges facing the media this year and provide us all tips to engage and earn coverage despite a busy news cycle. She will walk us through new strategies that stretch outside the traditional PR box, and show us some of the different ways that brands have successfully pivoted during this time.

In a unique and challenging year, the best thing you can be is innovative — so don’t miss this expert webinar!   Link here to register now.

Hope to see you there! Want to lead a webinar for our member community? Email us at

How to Conquer Working and Parenting During Covid




In case you missed it– Second Shift member, client, and founder of Mama Work it, Marisa Lonic, led an inspiring webinar last week about how to shift perspective, carve out personal time and be most productive with you work and family during Covid. As many places move toward a second phase of “lockdown” Marisa offered lots of practical tips about how to survive this winter with sanity and actually set yourself up for success.

Here are some takeaways:

  • Flip the script to a positive narrative by shifting from “get to” vs. “have to”
  • Multitask the mindless. Solo task the mindful
  • Schedule around your non-negotiables. Then add in what’s flexible.

Want to learn more: Watch the entire webinar HERE! 

Marisa published a time management book and scheduler aptly titled Time Momagement and you can purchase it here!


If you want to lend your expertise to our member community you can sign up to do a webinar by emailing us at


Featured Member: Ashley Mann


Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a publicist and marketing pro that specializes in telling brand stories in a way that’s authentic and genuine. No sales lingo here! Most importantly, I’m a wife and a mom to two great little kids, Remi (2) and Canon (1).


What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

There are so many client highlights – from getting placements in the New York Times to securing Today Show spots, but my proudest accomplishment overall is how I’ve managed to create a career for myself that allows me to pursue my professional aspirations while reserving space for my number one priority – my family.


What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise? 


I was the director of marketing at a fast-growing biotechnology company and traveling every week for work. I had just had my daughter six weeks before and was still recovering from an emergency c-section – already back from maternity leave, in full career mode. I have this vivid memory of sitting in one of those tiny pods at the airport, trying to figure out how to operate my breast pump, dead tired and attempting to catch the last flight home so I could make it back in time to nurse my daughter before bed. In that moment, I asked myself “WHY are you doing this?” and I couldn’t come up with a clear answer. That moment was really the catalyst for me to put a plan in place to step out on my own. It didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took a few more years and another baby for me to feel confident enough to take the reins. But, from that moment forward, I started laying the bricks and gathering the experiences needed to take the leap. Sometimes our hardest experiences are also those that positively impact our future the most.



What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side?

As women, I think lack of confidence is our biggest cumulative issue! Getting over the imposter syndrome and believing in yourself and your abilities is the hardest part. But, as someone once said, if you won’t bet on yourself, who will? Dive deep on the parts that make you the most anxious – either by learning things yourself, or outsourcing them so you can eliminate the blind spots. Hiring a good accountant is a great first step, no matter your industry.


Do you have any advice on how to craft a winning pitch?

Own your personal brand! What makes you unique and different than everyone else pitching the same opportunity? Lean into your experience and relate it to the client’s needs. Also – be engaging and friendly. No one wants to read a blanket pitch –  I never use the same one twice.


What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

Start the laundry first. It sounds boring and not career-related at all, but my very first boss gave me this advice and I still think about it when I plan out my day. Basically, it means do all the tasks that require a response from someone else, first. In my industry, that means getting my media pitches out first thing in the morning, because I can be writing a CEO profile or penning social content while I wait for responses to roll in. Optimize your time as much as possible.


How do negotiate the balance between life and work when you are the one setting the boundaries?

You need to set boundaries early and often. My family is my number one priority, full stop. I book my client work around my family needs, which includes a lot of calendar blocking, up-front planning to make sure I’m getting all of my hours in for each client, and support (childcare). Set yourself up for success early by being completely transparent and up-front about your time and how much you have to give to each project. Also, you have to have focused, uninterrupted time to dedicate to your work. It can’t be a half and half thing (at least for me).


How do you make work work for you?

By having clearly defined values, setting expectations up-front and not over-committing. I’ve learned that planning things out ahead of time and keeping my workload manageable is the greatest gift I can give myself!


You can be our Featured Member! Fill out this survey to tell us about yourself, your work and how you shine!

Feature Career Coach: Gabrielle Garofalo


Meet Career Coach, the lovely, Gabrielle Garofalo!
Gabrielle is a certified life coach who helps individuals and companies bare their truths, discover what’s stopping them, and live their wildest dreams. With Gabrielle, clients learn how to activate their desires in the areas of their lives that matter most: health/wellness, joy, sensuality/sex, work-life balance, body image, building wealth, peer pressure, school and career concerns, smashing goals and so much more. She works with businesses and executives to unlock hidden or blocked potential, expose blind spots, discover areas for growth, and overcome challenges with integrity and focus. “Your life is happening every second and I want you to live life fully right now,” she says. 
Get in touch with us to get in touch with Gabrielle. She can’t wait to meet you. Email to #makeworkworkforyou!