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Erika Tebbens

It’s usually the important stuff that scares us. Today, I’m talking with business strategist and coach Erika Tebbens about her run for political office and how important it is to do things that matter, even when you feel unqualified or scared to do it, because representation matters. And you never know who you’ll inspire along the way. 

Ready? Let’s get started.

In this episode:

  • Erika’s experience running for local office as a Democrat in a historically Republican-dominated small town
  • Why you’re qualified to run, even if you don’t think you are 
  • How you can get involved in your community even if you don’t want to run for office

Listen to the podcast here:

Doing Shit That Scares You with Erika Tebbens

I’m very excited to have you here today. I have been wanting to have you on the podcast for a while, especially when I learned you had your own podcast. And then I went to listen to it and it was amazing. 

So I am looking forward to chatting about this because I have a friend in my life who says all the time that she would love to run for office, but she feels scared to do that. And also unqualified at the same time, so I’m gonna make her listen to this episode multiple times. 

But before we jump into all of that, tell us who you are and what you do on the internet.

I’m Erika Tebbens and I run Erika Tebbens Consulting. I do marketing strategy and sales coaching for ethical entrepreneurs who want to increase their income and impact without complex systems, sleazy sales tactics or battling burnout. That was my elevator pitch.

Our elevator pitches overlap. And you ran for office in New York, right? Your state of New York and you ran for a local office. Tell us what office you ran for and how you got to the place where you decided to legitimately run for office. I feel like a lot of people talk about it, but you were like, I’m actually going to do this. So how did you get to that point?

As of the end of 2019, I live in Michigan, but for 11 years prior, I was living in upstate New York, about an hour north of Albany and 15 minutes south of Saratoga Springs. In this tiny village called Ballston Spa, a very, very small village. It’s funny, they actually just had the elections again and if I had won and if we still lived there, I would have just either kept my seat or lost my seat, because the elections just happened there. 

In the early spring, late winter of 2017, I ran for village justice, alongside two other men who were running for two open village trustee positions. Our village had a democratic caucus and we had not been super active with them. We were really active in the community, in general, but we were not necessarily active within the caucus.

The end of 2016, Trump won and I forget what day in January, but it was right around inauguration time and New York State did a family planning thing. It’s sponsored by Planned Parenthood and I had gone and it’s this really cool event. The CEO of Planned Parenthood was there and spoke and it was really, really awesome.

That night, I went to our caucus meeting because an older gentleman, who I’d known for years, reached out to me a few days before and said, we have our caucus meeting and we want to run a full slate and we want you to run for village justice. And I said to him, I am not an attorney. I’m not even a paralegal. I don’t know why you would think that I would be qualified. Thank you, I appreciate it, but absolutely not. 

But he said in upstate New York, in small towns and villages, the village or town justice does not have to have a legal background because you get training. It comes from a time in history when small towns and villages may not have actually had someone with legal training. I thought that was bizarre, but interesting. It became a maybe. 

They wouldn't advertise the election, so people wouldn't even know. And the election was in March, not in November. It's not a time where you're thinking about elections. Click To Tweet

Since the 70s or the 80, our village had only ever run Republican candidates. It was a heavily registered Republican village, which doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone always voted Republican. But it’s one of those places where if you’re not registered Republican, it could bite you in the ass kind of a thing. A lot of the people who had jobs with the town or with the village, you wouldn’t get hired if you weren’t registered Republican. So there were a lot of RINOs, Republican In Name Only. There were a lot of those people. 

What they would essentially do is every two years, when the village election would happen, they would figure out how many spots needed to be filled and then they would call all of their buddies and say, don’t forget the election is tomorrow, go vote. They were basically running fairly unopposed for decades. It was so bad. This was the system that they were using. They wouldn’t advertise the election, so people wouldn’t even know. And the election was in March, not in November. It’s not a time where you’re thinking about elections, right? 

There were lots and lots of issues. After I realized I could run and that they were going to do this big push to try to get equal representation on the board, and in light of the administration change and being really pissed off about that, I decided to run. It was on. Why the fuck not? 

That night, I was jazzed from this whole Planned Parenthood, pro-choice day and then that night, we went to the meeting and they had to do the nomination protocol. From late January until March 21 was the election. So we had a very short window of time in the coldest time of year in upstate New York to go knocking on doors. 

We very quickly started our campaigns and since I was running as Justice, I wouldn’t have a formal campaign position. Because I wouldn’t actually get to do anything with changing laws or anything like that. Basically, the Justice presides over the village court. Things like traffic tickets. So I didn’t have to come up with any position statements but the caucus did some marketing material for all three of us and I did my own, too. Then we basically spent almost every weekend going and knocking on doors and letting people know that there’s an election. It was mostly that and almost every house that we went to, people didn’t even know there was an election coming up.

I feel like this whole half of the story is a giant PSA to know your local voting shit. It’s different everywhere. Know what you’re voting for, know when the voting happens, know where you’re supposed to go to vote in the non-presidential votes. Most people only vote for president right? They only vote every four years. 

A lot of places you vote every year for stuff. You’re voting for referendums. You’re voting for funding. You’re voting for all these different small town things that most people don’t think about. But a lot of the change that happens to you, that is important to you and impacts you, is from your local elections. You want to make sure you’re learning more about that. So you can vote in them when they come around. Whether it’s November or on March 21.

A lot of the change that happens to you, that is important to you and impacts you, is from your local elections. Click To Tweet

Yeah, exactly. It was so interesting and eye-opening because essentially, my quest became to educate people about the election. We pulled voter rolls. If you are going to run for office, you can go to your local board of election  and you can pull voter rolls, and we did. I believe it was unregistered Democrats and Independents. 

We went to their houses, and especially for the Independents, we didn’t know if they’re going to vote for us or they might not vote for us. But they still should know. They deserve to know that an election is happening. And the people who are running the village are not telling them because they don’t want to. They could. There’s the means to do it. They just flat out don’t want to because if people know, then they might not win.

That’s a national problem we all have right now.

Our village is one of those places where you can literally win by a handful of votes, because it’s so small and not that many people. So we went knocking on doors and we had information on our flyer about the election. We would tell people, if you’re on this side of the creek, this is your polling place and these are the polling hours. And then if you want to learn more about the positions of the trustees, this is how you can find out. I don’t have any policy positions or anything like that, but this is my website anyways, if you want to go look at that. 

So we did all of these events. We did meet and greets. People hosted us in their homes for meet the candidate nights and everything. And we were super busy for about six or seven weeks until the election. 

Then on election night, I lost by 69 votes, which I can talk more about that in a second about why I think that is. I do not regret losing. In fact, I’m very glad I didn’t win because I would not have enjoyed that role. But I’m still glad I did it. 

So the two guys I was running with won. Then two years later, two other positions came up because you hold your seat for four years. So we helped a little bit with that election. That was right before we moved and then two other registered Democrats and a moderate Republican mayor. 

The long-term mayor was doing a horrible job and was there forever. He also left. It was one of those situations where you have done bad stuff and you need to get voted out. So a new mayor came on and two more people got on from the Democratic Party. And then they just had their election again, so now it’s four Dems and one moderate Republican mayor. 

What’s really interesting is that there’s a local NPR affiliate that covers upstate New York and parts of Massachusetts. They did a whole story on the election because they decided this time, since it’s so local, and they’re not voting on abortion or anything huge, the local NPR affiliate had this big story about how they were going to not run on party lines. That they were going to this new thing. 

It kind of didn’t end up working because it was like the same BS from both sides, but it was an interesting experiment. 

Even though it’s different now, it’s still not perfect by any means just because it’s predominantly Democrats now. But I will say that it’s significant because the rhetoric for all of those decades was that people said it will never happen. This is such a Republican village. You’re never going to win. It’s not going to happen. 

But we said no. The government is not talking to the people and the people feel unheard. So we’re going to go talk to them and listen to them and inform them and then we’ll see. We did it the one time when I ran, then again, and then again. 

So that was a lot about small town politics and not about me running, but I want to frame that in a certain way because most women, I feel, think they can’t run or shouldn’t run or aren’t qualified because it looks like all the odds are stacked against them. So they shouldn’t even try. 

Most women think they can't run or shouldn't run or aren't qualified because it looks like all the odds are stacked against them. Click To Tweet

I think the interesting take away from that is there’s that mindset, especially when you live in a small town. I grew up in a small town, very Republican. It has been that way for a long time. The sort of that mindset that you’re never going to change anything because it’s always been this way. So what’s the point? 

Everybody thinks that way and the longer you think that way, the less likely you are going to change things. So, I love that piece of the story. Because whatever size town you live in, whether it is a super small town of a couple 100 people or a large city, if you continue to think that, nothing will change. Nothing will change because you personally won’t be doing anything to change it. You won’t be going around to other people telling them how you’re going to change it.

Yeah, because they were so certain that we weren’t going to win that they didn’t even start campaigning their guys until the last few weeks because they saw that we were gaining on them. Their strategy before was always at some of the major intersections, they would put up their signs and then they would go to the local old folks home. They would bring them dinner from the local Italian restaurant and absentee ballots and tell them to go vote for them. 

Completely super sketchy, super sketchy. They would call their buddies the day before the election and tell them to vote. So they never actually had to campaign. There was no campaigning. So all of a sudden, midway through the election season, they were like, Oh, shit, we might actually lose. 

Then they got printed materials. They started sending out mailers. They are so absolutely convinced that because they’re Republican, and because the village has always been chock-full of Republicans, that it’s not going to be an issue. Clearly people are not happy with the people that they’re putting up or the Democrats are just doing a better job of actually doing the legwork that it takes to talk to people.

Right. If you choose to sit back and do nothing else and not even tell them to go vote, why do you need to campaign? If you’re not even reminding people that this is a thing? And you’re going to win whether two people vote or or 200 people vote? Why should you do that? 

That’s what so frustrating about politics for me is that so many people are so jaded by the system, whether you’re watching national politics or local politics like this, so many people are so jaded by the system that they don’t even seek out information to participate. And I totally get why some communities are jaded, especially communities of color.

I think we’re at a point in history where more people are becoming loudly, politically active and I think that is really important to actually creating change, especially if you just look back through history. The loudest moments are the moments where change happened. Where people got involved in the process and did stuff. And I think we’re at another one of those moments in history where you have to get involved if you want to change stuff. 

That can be something as simple as running for local office in your small town to going AOC and running for Congress, right? It’s important to get involved at whatever level you feel comfortable getting involved. I know you said that when your friend first reached out to you were unsure. Was there a process that had to change your mind or was it really just kind of going to that event and wanting to get involved?

I feel like it was something that I had considered. But like everyone else, I thought, what would I run for? And I’d have to really prepare and I would have to raise a ton of money. And it would take a year’s worth of my time. I had all these very common misconceptions. 

I realized that technically I can run for this, even though I have no legal background, and the guy that approached me about running said the guy who currently has the seat only has an associate’s degree. He’s a fourth generation village resident who everyone knows and is on the volunteer fire department.

He’s definitely not any more qualified than you are to be in that role.

No knock to people who have an associate’s degree, but I went to grad school and I’m thinking I need more qualifications.

And here’s this dude over here who is a volunteer firefighter and he didn’t have any problems with it.

No. I’m sure the first time he ever ran, he didn’t doubt his capabilities for a second. I forget how long he was the incumbent at the time, but I’m sure whenever he first ran, somebody probably said we need someone for this, will you do it? And he probably said sure. I’m sure he didn’t say I don’t know or am I going to do a good job or are people going to be mad at me? I’m sure he didn’t think any of those thoughts. 

I'm sure the first time he ever ran, he didn't doubt his capabilities for a second. Click To Tweet

But I was terrified. I just remember thinking what’s the worst that’s going to happen if I lose? I’ve lost like seven weeks of my life. But if the other two guys win, which is a lot more important than me winning, because they can actually vote on stuff and make policy and all of that, I will still feel like I’ve won. And all of this time will be worth it. The worst thing that will happen is if I win, I will  hold this position for four years and it’ll be a boring job.

Just doing traffic tickets and whatever.

Yeah. So I thought I could do it. I’m going to try to do it and we’ll just see what happens. It was very curious that I was the only woman running. It very obviously meant that people voted for my two running mates and then also voted for the man who currently was serving.

It’s rough being a woman trying to do shit in this world. I’m telling you. I was reading an article the other day that CNN did about Kamala Harris and how annoyed or frustrated or whatever stupid, stupid word they use to describe the fact that she has been, quote, ‘living out of a suitcase’ because they’re doing renovations on Vice President’s residence. 

She’s living out of  a much larger home with more staff, actually. I forget what the house is called, but it’s a house that the President uses to house guests or whatever. And that’s where she’s living. Guaranteed, she’s not living out of a suitcase. She’s just living at this other home with her clothes in closets because she’s been there for a while at this point. 

I shared it with a friend and I was like, guaranteed, they would not have written this article if the Vice President was a man. No one would care where his clothes were, whether they were in a suitcase or not. No one would write this article. 

You want to think maybe it’s just slow news day because we’re not dealing with the literal 24/7 bullshit of Donald Trump anymore. Maybe that’s what it is, but you have to think even if this was completely boring, there’s no way in hell if the Vice President was a man that they would have written an article about him living out of a suitcase at his house. 

I completely agree. My running mate was a super well-known person and the incumbent and I get that. But it was very curious because it wasn’t like my running mates won by super small margins and then I lost by two votes. They handily won and then I lost by almost 70 votes. That’s intriguing to me how that happened. There were definitely people that were trying to slander us and talk shit. 

One thing I will say is if you’re running for office and depending on what it is, like if you’re running for the school board, it is totally doable for people to serve on the school board. My mom is fully retired now, but for years, she served as the president of their school board in the tiny town that they live in because my mom used to be a teacher and she had the time to volunteer, so she did it.

We just voted for a bunch of school board members in our last election here. I remember I did a lot of research and one thing I found really interesting about that is that I do research and I request an absentee ballot almost every time. You can get them anytime here in the state of Michigan now. I research every single person on the ballot. It’s just how I do it. And so many people don’t have any information out there about themselves, which I found super interesting. There were candidates where I was like, I want to know more about you but you don’t even have a Facebook page.

Same here. We did our research and for the absentee ballot, I was really, really surprised by that. In this modern modern era, it’s so easy to do. 

Depending on what you’re running for, you have to be mindful of what you’re putting out there. At the time, I was refereeing for roller derby and I’m just who I am in general. And I said, I will not censor myself. I will not scrub anything that I’ve posted ever. If people vote for me, they will vote for me. Not some fake version of me that I just put out there. And what’s funny is that some of the people who didn’t want us to win found old roller derby pictures of me and posted them. And they asked is this who we want to represent us? 

It’s funny, because you think I’m offended. You think I’m embarrassed? I am not. I’m not in the slightest. If people don’t like that, then they don’t like it. But what was funny is after they did that, I posted one of my own photos. The opposition wants to talk about me being involved in roller derby? Sure, I will talk about it. I’m proudly involved. I have been since 2010. Here’s this other picture of me that I’m proud of because I work really hard. I may not be the best, but I work really hard. 

We’re a community and if you think that that inhibits my ability to be good in this role, then don’t vote for me. But I’m not ashamed. I have nothing to hide that this is like what I do in my free time. I felt integrity because whether I would have won or lost, if I hadn’t done it as myself, it would not have felt good at all.

We're a community and if you think that that inhibits my ability to be good in this role, then don't vote for me. But I'm not ashamed. Click To Tweet

Yeah, there’s a fine line between doing something to make a difference and doing it authentically, which I know is a huge thing that we preach about. What I’ll say in online business is doing things authentically so that you’re pulling in the kind of people who want to work with who you are and you’re not serving up any sort of bait and switch. 

I think on state or national level politics, we lose some of that, right? Because you’re there trying to appeal to a very large, very broad audience. Some people break that mold and I think AOC does that very well. And the other, what do they call themselves? The squad? They do that really well, too. 

I enjoy this story so much because I think this is a thing. This is a level of putting yourself out there that a lot of women, especially, shy away from, because the first thoughts in your head were, am I qualified enough? Would I be good at that? Would people be mad at me if I run? Would people be mean to me if I run? I don’t necessarily think that when men are offered those same opportunities, while they might have reservations, I don’t think the reservations are the same that women cycle through in our own heads. 

Absolutely. And I would say that it is really hard. There is definitely still a double standard. In the November after the election I lost in were the county elections in the town north of Saratoga Springs. For our whole county, Saratoga County, every town would get one seat on the supervisor board, except for Saratoga, which had two. My friend Tara decided to run for one of those spots.

We got together. We talked and I told her some of the things that worked for us in terms of canvassing and whatnot. There were a lot of people who were also shitty to her when she was running, but she won. Again, a big part of why she won was she knocked on doors. She talked to people. She was available. She let people in the community know about her. And she said, I want to know about you and she was serious about that. So that really helped. Then she made what she was doing public. On her Facebook page, she would always update the residents about all sorts of things. She kept it very open and very transparent. 

Two years later, she won again and now she has served for several years. Even still, because that whole county board is very Republican, white, Christian, middle aged men and she is about 40, visibly queer, a person of size and very progressive, some of her like colleagues on the supervisors board have been super shitty to her. Like horrible. 

I don't necessarily think that when men are offered those same opportunities...I don't think the reservations are the same that women cycle through in our own heads. Click To Tweet

I’m wildly unsurprised. 

Wildly unsurprised. It really sucks but she’s like, I’m not here for them. I’m here for the constituents that voted me in, that trust me, that know I’m legit even if these other people talk crap about me. 

It’s not easy. But I will say I feel like it’s one of those things where, like you were saying, there’s a lot of opportunities. A lot of them are only two year positions. A lot of them you don’t need to have a tremendously long campaigning season. There are things that you can do that aren’t even necessarily elected. I currently serve on our county’s food policy commission which is appointed, not elected. It’s still a way that you can serve and it’s still a way that you can stair-step your way into other things.

I guess I would say at this point, if you are listening to this and you want to look into these opportunities, all you really have to do is start looking into what’s out there. I’m sure a lot of cities and towns have their own websites. Even the tiny town that I grew up in has its own website and it’ll tell you all the different appointed and elected positions in the town. 

You can look into information on that. You should be able to go to your local city or town hall and be able to find out information about that kind of stuff. And just talk to people. I think that was something that stuck out to me about what you said is she went out and she talked to people. People want to know if they’re voting for someone they want to vote for, someone who they feel like gets them on a very intimate and personal level. 

I think a lot of the vitriol that we have in politics especially comes from the fact that we have been pitted against each other. We don’t realize that by and large, we all want the same exact end results, we just have a difference of opinion of how we get there. Like everybody from all sides, Independent, Republican, conservative, liberal, Democrat, whatever.

We all want to have enough money to feed our families, to live comfortably, to do what we need to do. We all want the same thing. Nobody wants to be bankrupt over health care bills. Nobody wants to not have food in their fridge. Nobody wants to not be able to take care of their kids. So we all basically want the same thing but we’ve been pitted against each other with all these ideologies and whatever. And when you can get out into the community and actually talk to people, like you did, like your friend did.

There’s this politician that I follow in North Carolina. I want him to run for president one day. Maybe Vice President, I don’t know. Have a woman in the job for once. He’s just so great. He’s a real person. You can tell that he genuinely cares. I just feel like he’s always going to be honest with you. And that’s what people are looking for, no matter what side of the aisle that you fall on. The fact that you just have to first get out there and explore what it is you’re looking for. How do you want to help? Do you want to serve in an appointed position in your county? Do you want to run for something and just explore what that means? Then get out and talk to people about it.

We don't realize that by and large, we all want the same exact end results, we just have a difference of opinion of how we get there. Click To Tweet

Speaking people who are thinking about it, if you’re thinking about it seriously, you’re already qualified. You’re already smart. You’re already capable. You probably care a lot. The key is asking for help. You have to ask for help. You cannot do it all alone. 

In the world of entrepreneurship, you have to grow such a thick skin to be an entrepreneur. You have to really embody rejection and disappointment and the discomfort of being visible and asking for the sale and all of that stuff. So I feel like entrepreneurs especially are uniquely positioned to also be able to have those skills and that temperament to run. 

It came down to, we had to ask people for money. We needed to ask people for their time, to ask people to help us get the word out. I was honestly shocked how people came through. It was unreal. I had people who were donating to me who didn’t even live in the same state, but they wanted to see me win. 

There will be people who will rally around you, who want to see you win, or who at least want to help you get there and you just have to get comfortable going around to people and talking to people. Sure you can run paid ads or whatever, but I don’t even know the legal stipulations around that now since I think a lot of stuff changed with November with political ads.

Yeah, check the TOS before you start to do that.

I feel like you have to be a person who cares about people. And if you are that, then you should run for office or something similar.

Even if you don’t run for office, there are ways that you can contribute in your community. Even if you feel like you’re unqualified.

Run for office if you want to run for office. Obviously if you don’t want to run for office, don’t run for office.

I don’t want to run for office, but I’ll donate to people who do want to run for office.

Totally. If you are somebody who wants to run, trust that you’re qualified. If you like people and you want to serve them, trust that you’re already qualified. If you care about people, and you also want to serve them but you don’t want to run for office, donate your time, donate your money, donate your voice, your platform, your energy, whatever. 

My husband was on the library board. He was the treasurer for a bit in our village. That was not an elected position, it was an employment position. There are other ways that you can help. And it may feel like that’s not going to get any one affordable health care, but it’s still helping in your community. 

When somebody sees you do the thing that we’ve all been told you’re not really supposed to do that, it shows them what’s possible and then they might be the next AOC. You will never know the impact that just that representation of seeing you on the board will have on somebody else later on. 

You did that. You ran, you didn’t feel qualified, but you did it anyway. And you didn’t even win and you inspired personally, someone to go out and run for something that they have now won twice, despite the bullshit they get from their own colleagues. 

You have no idea the ripple effects that you could potentially have when someone who looks like you or thinks like you, but also doesn’t feel qualified, sees you go for it. You don’t know who you inspire in your network, in your community, in your family even to go out and do what you did, whether you’re successful with it or not.

I remember that in spring of 2017, there were a lot of women, like EMILY’s List, who were starting to post trainings and events in different cities. All of these different, more prominent organizations that help train women to run for office were doing these events, to get women to come in, and educate them on how to run and things like that. 

There were multiple people I knew in different cities who said, Oh, yeah, I went to this event because you inspired me or I signed up for this  informational session, or it’s something I might consider in a few years. 

It’s not like everyone in my network ran out and said, we’re all running for office. But I vividly remember my friend Liz, who lives in Cleveland, went to an EMILY’s list about whatever, and she has two young daughters, and she already does cool stuff in her community and there might be a point later on where her girls are older and she has more time. And she said she was going to run for office. That’s amazing. She would be absolutely phenomenal. 

If you have skills that you can lend to somebody else, if you have marketing skills, if you have data skills, if you have organization skills, then give your time and your talents to the other people who are running. We have canvassed for many, many, many people over the years, not all presidential candidates. It doesn’t take your whole life. You could do half a Saturday a few times and make a difference.

Yeah, it’s not as difficult as you think to get involved in that way. Right? So if you could give just one piece of advice to somebody who is either scared to run for office or get involved in their local politics or doesn’t feel qualified, was that one piece of advice that you would give them?

It’s funny because I’m actually about to start writing a book about all of this. I was just talking to my editor a couple days ago, so it’s very fresh in my mind. The system that harms you, is the same system that benefits from you thinking that you’re unqualified.

The system that harms you, is the same system that benefits from you thinking that you're unqualified. Click To Tweet

Now I need that on a t-shirt. I’m going to have to call Sabrina with her t-shirt company and put that on a t-shirt for me. Yes, please say that again because that was just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.

Thank you. The system that is harming…I’m assuming you probably don’t get a lot of Chads listening… 

Sometimes I get comments here and there, but not a lot of them. 

The systems that harm you are the same systems that benefit from you believing that you aren’t qualified to serve in whatever way that looks like for you. Absolutely.

Oh, that’s so good. That’s perfect. The End. It’s so true because we tell ourselves we can’t do that stuff. Because we haven’t seen very many people who look like us do that stuff before. The more that we feed into our own cycle, the more the system continues to win.

I think it’s been really interesting. For other entrepreneurs listening, seeing how Rachel Rodgers really boosted her visibility last year by using her business platform to speak out. So many more people now know who Rachel Rodgers is and joined her community or follow her. 

There are so many women that I’ve seen posts from who say things like, I have never had a mentor in business who looks like me or I’ve never had somebody who I could talk to about hair care products for black women, right? The very unique things, and even if they have a totally different business or business model, just seeing her success is really inspiring for them, because they see that it’s possible. I can’t any longer say it’s not possible for me, because there’s proof.

I feel like any time that we are brave enough to do the scary thing and be really visible, it’s planting seeds in their mind of what is possible for them. Even though we are not as far, frustratingly, progress wise, I still think what if the women before us had not fought for what we have now? They didn’t get to see it through all the way, but they did something that other people could build off of. And that is really meaningful.

Don’t let the bastards grind you down and all that.


Thank you so much for being here today. I’ve been really excited to listen to the story. I think this was a great conversation about how to put yourself out there even if you don’t feel like you’re ready, or you’re qualified or you’re scared. And I think that’s such a valuable conversation to have. So thank you.

You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.

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About Erika Tebbens

Erika TebbensErika Tebbens is a Business Strategist and Coach for unstoppable women and gender expansive entrepreneurs who want to increase their impact and income without complex systems, sleazy sales tactics, or battling burnout.

Her mission is to empower and equip them with simple, ethical sales and marketing strategies so they can run thriving businesses they love.

With 15+ years experience running successful businesses, from solo operations to multimillion dollar retail teams, she knows there’s no one “perfect” way to operate – only one that’s perfectly aligned with your strengths, values, and vision.

She also hosts the weekly sales and marketing podcast Sell it, Sister!


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