In Celebration of Women's History Month—the Women Who Have Impacted Me
In honor of Women’s History Month (and a belated International Women’s Day) the Think Better team is reflecting on the women who inspire us. When I started to think about the women who inspire me, I was overwhelmed. I am inspired every single day by the incredible women that are out in the world.
But, when I thought about the women who have made a material change in my own personal life, three women came into view.
My mom. Donna Tuttle is a woman like no other woman. She has more energy and enthusiasm than any human that I know. In the 80s, during my childhood, she was the model 80s woman—raising one, two, and then three kids, while hustling from running her own business, selling steel in a male-dominated industry, to teaching step-aerobics in brightly colored spandex and leg warmers. If that calls up images of Jane Fonda, you have a picture of my childhood.
In my teens, my mom decided that it was time for a change. She needed a break from the steel industry and decided to go back to school to get her teaching certificate. She taught English at Boulder High School and made a huge impact on so many of her students, especially the women in her classes. It isn’t uncommon for me to be out in Boulder and stopped by a 20-something with the question, “Are you Mrs. Tuttle’s daughter? I love Mrs. Tuttle. Tell her I say ‘hi!’”
When I attended the Women’s March in D.C. with my mom in 2017—as we stood in the freezing cold for hours on the mall, listening to incredible female leaders speak—the incredible opportunities my mom laid before me with her fearlessness, came into clarity. Because of her, defining my own path, owning my own business, and working in industries with fewer female role-models, like steel or, for me, software, is just a way of being, instead of hurdles.
She continues to be my biggest fan and, if it weren’t for all of the students that adore her, I could say that I’m hers.
In a role that offered my first real leadership challenge—I built and led a marketing team, through an acquisition, successfully. I had a lot of support, but one person that I can truly say, I wouldn’t have made it through without is Janet Eden-Harris.
In many of my most overwhelming moments of self-doubt, Janet showed up big time. Her support and belief in me gave me confidence and her grace provided me an example to mirror in times when I didn’t know how to handle a situation.
Once, in a yearly planning session, the leadership team went around the room and shared their personal goals for the upcoming year. Janet had one simple goal—to have a positive impact on the people in her life. That simple goal inspired me and the work we do at Think Better. It serves as our purpose and a daily reminder that if I do nothing else in my day but have a positive impact on another human, it will be a success.
In 2012, when seeking a new fitness hobby, I decided to join a CrossFit gym. It just so happens that the gym I joined, CrossFit Roots, is one of the top CrossFit gyms in the world and it’s owned by my friend, Nicole Christensen.
As a member of Roots, I couldn’t help but be inspired by Nicole’s leadership. The integrity that she brings to her work and the commitment to the development of her athletes and coaches is second to none. As I started my own business, I was so lucky to be able to take lessons from what I’d seen Nicole do in her own business.
But her impact isn’t limited to fitness. It is also manifested in the incredible community she has fostered. Hundreds of people, from different backgrounds and beliefs are connected and support one another because of the community she’s built. As a fiercely independent person, I sometimes need to be reminded of the importance of community. It has been a gift to have the ability to witness and be reminded of the power of community and it inspires me to invest in my own.