Featured Member: Michelle Diamond


Hi Michelle! Please tell us your work story: Who are you and what do you do?


I am the female CEO and Founder of Diamond Executive Resumes , an executive and Board resume and bio consulting firm and Elevate Diamond Strategy, a growth strategy development and execution independent advisory, consulting, and interim executive firm (in business for over 17 years, that I started when I was 29 years old)

I am also the author of the book, 10-Step Guide To Creating Your Own Growth Strategy For Your Company: The Secret To Unlocking The Mystery Of Achieving And Sustaining Profitable Growth, specifically designed for current or aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.


What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but are afraid or lack confidence? 

Do it…Now!!!! We all only have one life to live. If you stay unhappy by not taking a chance, will that kind of life be worth it?


What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?

I love taking people and companies to the next level. I hope to greatly expand Diamond Executive Resumes and Elevate Diamond Strategy, as well as have millions of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs read my book, 10-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Growth Strategy For Your Company, so they can learn how what growth strategy is and how they can develop one for their companies.


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

Be prepared. My favorite motto is “It’s better to be prepared and have no opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”


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

I think it is easy to work all of the time, so I have to make sure that I give myself non-negotiables in terms of time to stop work for the day, exercise, fun, relaxation, etc.


If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her?

Be confident and always choose the best option. There will be ups and downs, but as long as you continue, you will completely break through and achieve success.


How do you make work work for you? 

I make sure that I am doing work that I enjoy, that I build a foundation that can be replicable, and that I consistently plant seeds for long term business relationships and financial success.


Michelle generously offered her services at a discount to The Second Shift’s community. You can email her directly at info@diamondexecutiveresumes.com  and mention The Second Shift in the subject to get the Affiliate Pricing discount. 


Ambitious Like A Mother



Why prioritizing your career is good for your kids! Watch the entire chat with with attorney, professor and author Lara Bazelon. Topics discussed include: generational feminisim, assumptions, role modeling, guilt, perfectionism, the work life balance lie, why ambition gets such a bad rap. Check out the whole talk here!

NFT and Women Masterclass with Michelle Reeves

If you are interested in learning about NFTs and web3 and what it means, this webinar with Second Shift member and Mavion founder, Michelle Reeves, is a must. She breaks it all down and explains this new world with step-by-step instructions on how and why you should get involved– whether you are a skeptic, an entrepreneur, artist,  or a speculator. Regardless of your goals, it  was a fascinating conversation about this new space, the technology behind it, the downfalls, and the ways they can work together to give women greater power and financial independence.


Incremental Moonshot!


Last week Jenny spoke with entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Kut Akdogan, of Gaussian,  about the traditional vc model of fundraising and how it is, more often than not, a losing strategy for small start-ups. Venture capital, according to Kut, is risking your entire business on a moonshot– going all in and going big– with the promise of major success. However, most venture back start-ups fail, the business model is set up that way, and most women founders don’t even get to the first round of funding.


Kut wrote about an interesting article  about this topic and you can watch the entire conversation with Jenny here.


Instead, Kut says,  the more pragmatic approach to funding and growth is something he calls the “incremental moonshot,” whereby you don’t suppress your vision, but you take small steps to prove a valid business model and move the goalpost realistically. You don’t have to lower your ambitions, but outside of the vc model you can adjust the expectation of rapid scale and allow yourself the time and space to test things, grow organically and learn along the way.


Member Event: Reshma Saujani’s Pay Up is a Guide to Breaking a Broken System to Benefit Women


Thank you so much Reshma Saujani for joining Jenny and The Second Shift community to talk about gender inequity, unpaid labor, and how feminism failed working women. Her new book Pay Up lays out a vision for a workforce where the structure is even for men and women, whether or not they have children.

Reshma,  best selling author, founder of Girls Who Code and The Marshall Plan for Moms gives voice to all the tired, overworked women who were told if they played by the rules and worked hard enough they could “have it all.” Instead, the pandemic exposed all the ways the system is stacked against working women and families– at home and at work. Reshma agrees with The Second Shift that there has never been a better time or opportunity than right now to change the very structure of work. To learn how you can watch the entire conversation here.


Member Event: Reshma Suajani

In honor of Women’s Month, Join Jenny Galluzzo and Reshma Saujani for a conversation about women, work and how to fix a broken system. Reshma is the founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms. She is an activist for women’s equality and closing the gender pay gap. Reshma’s new book, Pay Up, lays out a bold vision to fix the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today.
And let’s show our appreciate for all the amazing non-for-profit work Reshma does for all girls and women by pre-ordering her new book Pay Up! 

Member Event: Eve Rodsky and Finding Your Unicorn Space




Unicorn Space: the active and open pursuit of self-expression in any form, built on value-based curiosity and purposeful sharing of this pursuit with the world,


What is your Unicorn Space and if you don’t have one, how do you find your inner creativity? That’s the heart of Jenny’s conversation with author Eve Rodsky last month. Eve is the bestselling author of Fair Play and her second book is all about carving out time for yourself to bring joy into your life.

Here is a tip– has nothing to do with children, work, partnership or day-to-day responsibilities.

It starts with curiosity: this could be a recipe you want to try, a game you want to learn or some larger goal oriented pursuit.

The next step is connection: you need to invite people to join you in this endeavor. This could mean to come and eat the meal with you, learn the game together or participate  along your way to achieving your goal.

Finally, completion: Unicorn Space has an ending– you sit and share the meal you cooked, you play the game you learned together or you finally go out and do the larger goal you have been working towards with those who helped you.

This can seem daunting to women where time seems precious and mental load is already heavy– but finding Unicorn Space is a funk buster, an energizer, a mood lifter– and that is vital to your ability to do everything else in your life successfully.

Want to learn more? Watch the entire conversation here

Featured Member: Alison Davis Curry


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

I help clients achieve their goals. Sometimes this means creating viable businesses, professionalizing practices, developing client bases or donor pools. Sometimes we are focused on sharing our story with the world; sometimes we need to take a step back and create the business itself. Sometimes clients know what they want, but more often, they know what is missing. I treat every client’s business as if it were my own — one that creates value for me, and my clients, and their clients.


What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

I am most proud that I have been able to be the CEO of my life. I raised my girls myself, giving them the time and attention they deserve, and supporting us all as a single mother.


If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be, and why?

I don’t see the workplace as male / female, but as inclusive or divisive. Men and women are both capable of being inclusive and divisive. John Hunt talks about creating environments where there is a democracy of ideas. This happens infrequently. But we all know that there is value to being young, freshly out of school, and first generation with new tech platforms. There is also value in wisdom, experience, and institutional knowledge. We can’t have diversity of thought when we don’t have a diverse workforce. The differences between us are strengths. We should not be encouraged to stifle ourselves by all dressing in one uniform; speaking a language of made-up jargon, or worrying more about performative tasks than growth and goals.


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

Focus on the goal, not how you get there. Think about what success looks like, not the tactics. For my clients, the tactics might be a website, PR, social media, events. But these are not goals. The goal — What are we doing here? What does success look like? How will you describe this venture at its maturation point? This is what we need to define in conversation with our clients. A shared vision of success. Once we set the goal, we can set off, tacking as necessary. And please be sure to create an environment for success, one where a shared vision means a situation that works for the clients, and yourself in service to the client. As they advise on a plane, be sure your mask is on first.


Who has been your biggest cheerleader? 

My girls are my greatest fans. And also my task masters, holding me accountable for every goal and ambition I throw out. 


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

It’s tough. We need to be accountable to clients. But we are sometimes the only ones who can show up for our families. If we show up 100% for our clients when we can, we can have the comfort of them having our back when we can’t.


If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her?

Set a pace you can maintain; a career is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.


How do you make work work for you? 

My work doesn’t always work for me! I am sometimes delivering on a project fee at a lower rate than what I pay my dog walker; too light for work or totally overextended. Sometimes I have people on my team who can’t get the work done fast enough, or don’t have enough to do. Like the stock market, we can’t gauge well on the day to day. The 65-day moving average blends the ups and downs. And as we move into the 10year, and 20year cycles — we see a different story. My friend Danny Green told me — “And later when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted story. But at the time, it don’t.”  I am hangin’ in with Joe Walsh till I get there.





Negotiate Everything!


The concept that women are bad at negotiating is a pervasive idea that has been proven to be a total myth. Women are just as persuasive… we just need to use different tactics that align with our authenticity and innate skills. We hosted a webinar with Kathryn Valentine and Sarah Lacy of ChairmanMe to learn how to “Negotiate Like a Girl.” You can watch the full webinar here, but here are some of the highlights.

First, let’s do some arm-chair psychology.  Obviously, this is a far more nuanced conversation but the basics are: girls are raised to take care of people’s feelings, lead with empathy and be people-pleasers. As working professionals, this shows up as internalized fear of being unlikeable and fear of failure, lack of confidence and insecurity about potential negative backlash. The outcome is that women with the same skills and experience are paid less than their male counterparts because  they don’t negotiate for salary and benefit packages at the same rate, leaving them behind at each stage of their career. Overall that can mean they work 8 more years to make up the loss of salary and they could leave up more than $1 million on the table upon retirement.

What’s the solution? Women need to learn how to negotiate for themselves  not using the current model which only works for men. Turns out negotiating like a girl is more successful– for both men and women! There are two ways to do this: Communally and Collaboratively.

Collaborative Negotiation: 

Instead of setting up a scenario where it is you vs. them, come to the negotiation from the point of view of US vs. the problem. It is highly effective and strengthens the relationship by pitting you on the same side. Your success is not taking away anything, it is a win for everyone.

Communal Negotiation Structure:

Take your past accomplishments + your vision of the future for yourself and the company = your ask.

There is a lot more detail on the webinar and Kathryn Valentine gave The Second Shift access to her proprietary negotiation calculator. This handy tool will help you figure out what you should be asking for based on age and salary. Don’t forget, you can use these tips to negotiate more than salary– for a list of 50 things you can negotiate click here. 

ChairmanMe  is generously offering a 20% discount to Second Shift community for their Negotiation course.

The course takes place over 6 weeks with online classes and cohort sessions to level up your self-worth and accountability and set yourself up for success!

If you are interested Click Here and use the code SECONDSHIFT