Yvette Bodden is a Freelance Writer and Founder of Awakened-Woman. Ms. Bodden has written a collection of over 200 articles between AW, Thrive Global Digital Magazine and DivorceHub.
Her articles, essays, short stories can be found on https://awakened-woman.com. Her first book “A Journey to Becoming the Best Self” is set for release Summer, 2019. Her contributions can be seen on Thrive Global, SmartCoparent and DivorceHub, as well as her blog.
Yvette’s compelling articles about women in life, love, Latino culture, divorce, co-parenting, motherhood, abuse, dating and relationships demonstrate compassion and understanding for people and real-life situations. Readers can relate to her writing because it comes from personal experience demonstrated through her words.
Her writing reflects a deep connection with the various issues related to women. She is as passionate about her message as she is about her writing – to inspire, encourage and empower women everywhere.
My parents arrived in New York City from the Dominican Republic when they were barely turning 20 years old. They came to the states hoping to find opportunities that would improve their lives. Once they made the move to the states they started a family giving us a chance to benefit from being born American citizens. We grew up during a time when public school education’s main interests were centered around the student body. The school programs were combined with arts providing an opportunity to take ballet, drama, and music. My mother made sure to encourage our creative side doing what she could to add extracurricular activities that involved using creativity. I began writing at the age of 14, there were songs, journals, anything I could find to express myself on paper.
I attended The City College of New York with a major in Psychology. I enjoyed books, learning as much as I could to better myself. I did not possess the self-awareness or see my gifts. Most importantly, although, deep down I felt a desire for more, something bigger I had no idea of what the “thing” would be to get me to the next level. It is impossible to chase a dream when you don’t know what it is.
Working in the financial industry along with my background has offered exposure to a wide spectrum of individuals from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, levels of education and perspectives. In my opinion, submersing myself in the culture helped me understand and connect with people. Learning about how they think about money, life, and relationships, as well as figure out my own feelings about it all. Money is a means to an end, it is the tool we use to provide for life or dreams. It does not equal happiness, only you can give that to yourself – for free.
There is a lot out there about what a great career freelance writing is. And they make it look so easy. You just hook up with an agency, take gigs from job boards, sign up on “bid to write” sites, and life becomes wonderful – you can sit on the beach, just write, and make boatloads of money. But that’s not true at all.
Granted, freelance writing is in high demand, has a low barrier to entry and is suitable as a side gig for students or 9-to-5 workers. But, becoming a successful freelance writer and making good money involves lots of work and some lean times before you achieve a good income.
What inspired you to start your own business?
(AW) Awakened-Woman.com came about after I found my voice, post-divorce. The business was born from a need to help women who did not have their own voice. Women are forced into stereotypical roles that restrict them from speaking up at times. We accept rules imposed by society then walk in quiet shame for wanting more than is offered to us. I’ve made mistakes, bad choices, suffered from broken heart, felt fearful of so much – I am a woman who has had to learn to understand her worth. Sharing my story to help others during their journey is invaluable. One conversation with a friend dealing with her own demons ignited the fire leading me to a purpose. It reminded me that I have something to offer. Whether it is guidance, support, encouragement with my words, I can assist others during their own journey to a better self. AW was started to engage a worldwide community of women who want to be empowered by fellow women.
What made you want to become a freelance writer?
I have kept journals since the age of 14, writing my first love song at the same age. Writing has been both therapeutic and empowering. It has taken my personal growth to levels I never imagined possible but that feeling became stronger as I began to share. Allowing others to read about my experiences helped me realize that by putting my story out there I’d be encouraging other women to tell their stories too. Simultaneously, it would assist me in letting go of my own guilt, shame, and disappointment. Telling these stories helps women feel like they aren’t the only ones going through something. We share a common thread, we all just want to be loved, valued, respected and made to feel like we matter. Writing empowers me because it provides a platform to tell my stories. Having readers all over the world read AW and send messages about how I inspire them fuels my passion for writing my own articles, short stories, and essays.
In your own words, what do you do?
My hope – is that I change women’s lives by giving them different perspectives, planting a seed that will help them think, ultimately making wiser decisions for themselves. By reading about my experiences, trials, challenges, and accomplishments they will feel connected and know there is someone out there that can relate. I’ve gone through the same pain, despair, confusion, guilt, shame but I am still here – you can get past the bad moment, just as me.
What fulfillment does being a business owner give you?
It’s amazing to be able to help others learn from my experiences so that they can be informed and better decision makers during tough times. Being a business owner allows me to have the independence to do what I love to do which is write and help other women are inspired to seek better for themselves is priceless. The business also gives me a platform, a voice which I never used and now can use for good. Having the autonomy to decide what content I publish is empowering, don’t believe I could have AW work any other way. I write all my content, to date close to 300 articles in less than one year with a book to be released on July 4, 2019. Keeping creative control of AW articles tells you how important it is to me to have the right material for my readers.
What are your goals currently?
For many people going through an emotionally difficult stage in life, I’d like my stories to be a useful beacon to help guide them out of their despair. Their journey to becoming an awakened woman is possible because I am proof of it.
Who or what influences you?
My daughter is an old soul and a tremendous influence in my life. She amazes me with her mature but much less cynical view of the world. She grounds me and is my soulmate. I am proud and excited to see what she does in the future.
Women that have endured the struggle and worked to the bare bones to make their own empires. I’m not easily starstruck but have admired Jennifer Lopez from afar for her incredible will to be the best at everything she does. A Latina who grew up in New York with a dream. It’s sort of what many of us aspire to do. Create something we love, be great at it and find the tremendous success that will lead us to empower others by showing they too can do it.
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite part of being an entrepreneur has to be having complete control of how I can help change lives through my stories. It is early in enough in the inception of AW that my modest investment has helped me get the word out. I write all the content and do all my own marketing. I’ve had to read enormous amounts to learn the business, technology and how to best pivot AW to the next level. It is exciting to learn as I go and figure out what works for the business and what does not – also frustrating and bit scary, sometimes. My goal is to maximize creative freedom, therefore, having sole ownership is truly inspiring.
Describe Awakened Woman:
Awakened Woman is a community for women everywhere who seek empowerment, hope, and inspiration. It is a resource to lift spirits and feel encouragement and support by fellow women. My hope is that by sharing stories and experiences I will help women feel less alone. If I can offer guidance during a woman’s journey by using my stories, I will have fulfilled a purpose. Being an empowered women means empowering others, doing continuous work to be better.
What 5 steps would you advise and give our ladies who start their own business?
- Find something you believe in
- Determine your audience, who do you want to connect with
- Define your strategy and commit to it
- Surround yourself with good advisors who can provide honest feedback
- Embrace pivoting your business model. Don’t be afraid to make quick changes
How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
I write from the heart, a place of conscience and honesty. There were no formal classes for my writing. It’s hard to name the amount of reading I do, reading fills me. It enriches me, in many ways, a teacher. My biggest recommendation, read-write and do it over and over again.
How do you prepare for a writing session?
There is no preparation, I write when I’m inspired. On the bus, in the elevator, and anytime I’m awake.
What is the toughest copywriting challenge that you faced?
I have a newfound appreciation for editing. I write just as much or more for readers than for myself. In the forefront, it is always important to write original content that not only has substance but also speaks to your audience. It is critical to touch the heart of your reader and leave each of them with a message that evokes thought or emotion. It is what I look to do each time I sit to write for AW. My biggest challenge is that I am my worst critic wanting to make sure as a writer and human being I always deliver my best work.
What steps do you take when you want to get through a less of a good business day?
Positive self-talk helps me push through the rough days. Having the mindset of a person that is driven to make it, deliver a dream, create the best self. Remind yourself why do are doing what you are doing and why you love it.
What are the first steps to take when you want to grow a business?
Keep like-minded people around that will encourage you. Read, stay open-minded and never stop learning.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
Outside of having the opportunity to raise a wonderful daughter as a personal achievement; Professionally, creating Awakened-Woman.com as a sole blogger has been monumental for me. As I go through the daily messages from women all over the world, I am inspired and so proud of the work I’m doing. Currently, preparing for Presales of the AW book is a close second on the list of accomplishments.
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