Ann Shoket: She’s Living the Big Life

October 18 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: At the Heart of It

In an episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Parenthood, girlfriends at a sleepover smash CDs burned by one girl’s ex-boyfriend. Just watching that felt invigorating and cathartic, but also a little silly. When I first saw that episode, about seven years ago, I immediately connected with it. Someone breaks your heart and you plot revenge over his Death Cab for Cutie album? Yes, great plan! But isn’t it funny how our perspectives shift as time goes by and we care less about the inconsequential experiences of the past? Then again, maybe furiously deleting an ex’s playlist just doesn’t have the same invigorating effect as shattering that mixed CD. Whatever your relationship status, whether it’s single, attached or entirely complicated, it’s always best to follow your heart.


OK, so, seven years ago, where did you think you’d be in 2017? Winning the high-plank competition, opening a cupcake shop or palling around with Betty White? When it comes to our lines of work, On The Dot women aren’t into the whole label nonsense. We like to keep our options open and dabble in lots of exciting ventures. That’s why it’s no surprise that, according to online publication Small Business Trends, one in four millennials have a side-hustle gig in addition to their day jobs. In fact, side hustling has become such a lucrative way to spend time on a passion that many of our former Women to Watch have turned their side hustles into full-time, wildly successful careers. Way to hustle, ladies!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Ann Shoket, Author, Speaker and Thought Leader for Millennial Women

There are plenty of fulfilling side hustles out there for resourceful millennial women, from exploring your artistic side to hawking the latest, greatest gizmo you fabricated in your basement. And today’s Woman to Watch, Ann Shoket, would be the first to tell women to carve our own paths on our own terms. She’s the world’s most devout cheerleader for millennial women, helping these go-getters change what it means to be powerful and successful in the world. For Ann, it all comes down to one belief: Women are badass!

Ann doesn’t come to this conclusion without proof. She’s spent her career championing young women on the national stage. A journalist with decades of experience, Ann was the executive editor for CosmoGirl, helping the publication break new ground by highlighting material about the complex and emotional aspects of young women’s lives. She was later editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine, which, since the 1940s, has featured some of the most impactful content for teenage girls.

In 2012, in an effort to ensure the magazine was being authentic, Ann met with a seriously cool 14-year-old girl who started a petition—complete with 85,000 signatures—demanding the magazine end its use of retouched photos of seemingly perfect young models. Emboldened by the teen’s pursuit, Ann fulfilled this request, pledging to never change girls’ body or face shapes, always feature real—and healthy—girls and models, and to be totally up-front about what goes into the magazine’s photo shoots. How refreshing!

Ann is definitely a publishing powerhouse, a fact made more clear in her new book, The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be. It’s a wonderful guide for any woman on how to tap into your passion, honor your dreams and totally own your destiny. It’s all about helping women recognize our power, and making the world recognize it too. As Ann says, “Stay young, hungry, ambitious and open to all the possibilities in life.”


As author Sarah Ban Breathnach said:

“Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic self. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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