By Elizabeth Roberts
“When you have a passion, it’s like having a relationship.”
Can you imagine writing two books in two years? It seems impossible but Hope Alcocer, author and founder of Wonder Woman Media, did just that. Her first book “Where Hope Lies” is a fictionalized novel, based off of some real events in Hope’s life. Her second book “30 Things Before 30” is a collection of life lessons.
Her chapters explore how she took control of her physical and mental health, as well as purposely stepping outside of her comfort zone – even when that may have been the most painful thing to do. Hope’s hustle led her to self-publish both books and coordinate a college tour for “30 Things Before 30”.
While the title may lead you to think this book is only for women in their late 20s planning for the milestone, it’s actually hitting home for college students too! “This wasn’t really the plan, but it actually makes sense,” Hope said at the SDS event. “I don’t have a big sister so I looked to my peers in college for direction…what this book is really about is sisterhood.” Hope’s strong public relations background has served her well in creating publicity for her upcoming college book tour – which includes schools such as UCLA, NYU and Texas A&M.
After the event, SDS spoke with three attendees to discuss what their goals are – and which lessons they’ve learned along the way to achieve them.
SDS: What do you do and how long have you been involved with SDS?
Nancy Wang: I currently work in business development in the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry, we manage a network of malls throughout the U.S. Malls are undergoing a massive transition with the increase of online stores and Amazon, so it’s been really interesting to be in this industry. I’m a first-timer to SDS! My friends Pinsi and Carolyn have been members for awhile and they speak very highly of the events that they have been to. When they invited me along to this event, I knew I had to come check it out.
Nicole Tremaglio: I work in Retail Operations for a women’s designer brand and am also the founder of FitNic, a platform that unites the fitness and wellness community through speaking panels, workshops, and dance classes. I received a SDS membership for Christmas last year (thanks Mom!) and have been a member ever since.
SDS: “30 Things Before 30” reads as a book of lessons learned as much as it spotlights accomplishments. What is something you’ve accomplished that you’re most proud of?
NW: This is an ongoing challenge, but I’m proud of being able to support myself while going to graduate school. I work full-time but as part of my goal to do better and dream bigger, I am also pursuing an MBA in the evenings. I want to eventually leverage that MBA in my future career ambitions and remain debt-free while doing so.
NT: I’m most proud of moving to New York to follow my dreams! I not only made the challenging transition from retail to corporate fashion, but I fully reconnected to my passion for dance. I pride myself in having successfully integrated both facets of my life, all while creating a community.
AS: Establishing my MastHERmind monthly program that gives women access to professional coaching and a group of connectors. It helps them get professional advice on their most pressing business challenges and real action steps, so there’s no more guessing what to do next.
SDS: Do you think there’s pressure to achieve “bucket list items” by a specific age? What’s an evergreen goal that you have?
NW: Yes, absolutely – I love the people I surround myself with because their success and ambition motivates me to do better and to do more, but at the same time that also translates into more pressure and more stress. I’ve been working hard to celebrate my friend’s successes, as well as setting my own pace at achieving those bucket list items (money, love, and career goals!) An evergreen goal – as cliché as it sounds, I want to make my mark on the world, and make a difference (for the better). I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to do that, but I’m working on it!
NT: I’ve always felt an enormous pressure to achieve in general (Enneagram Type 3 problems!) and the societal expectation to climb up the corporate ladder continues to exist. I do think that the definition of success is being redefined and broadened by career and entrepreneurial minded millennials, which includes workplace equality and flexibility.
AS: I think there are fewer expectations associated with age because the work landscape is changing so quickly. It is easier than ever to have your business evolve as it grows and meets new market needs, so I see less predictive expectations. I see more women with a vision for themselves and just looking for the path to simplify their careers and lives, more focus on being able to do both and enjoy the process than the end result. My evergreen goal is to create an interactive forum where women can get connected to resources that have been vetted and can be trusted as reliable.
SDS: Hope mentioned that her book addresses topics people may be reluctant to talk about – including rejection and failure. How do you think women can benefit from sharing these experiences? How do you personally move forward from mistakes?
NW: Rejection and failure are things that everyone should be talking more about. Our society seems to be set up to only celebrate success and not embrace the failures or challenges that do more to develop our character and our goals. It is especially important for women and minorities in particular to share more about our struggles – the people around us might not necessarily have a solution, but they can listen and help you talk it out. We already face an unequal playing field, so we do ourselves a disservice when we don’t share with one another. I tend to be a fairly private person, so I always try to challenge myself to share more, regardless of whether it’s about a challenge, success, or failure.
NT: Women connect through shared experiences. The more we talk about what’s considered taboo or uncomfortable, the sooner we can unite, move past the resistance, and have culture-changing breakthroughs. When I make mistakes, I try to remember how I feel in that very moment and then going forward, act with intention to yield more positive feelings the next time I face a challenge.
AS: Feeling like you are the only one who feels rejected, under-achieving or not hitting the mark is very isolating. Especially today when you look at social media and see only the best moments of someone, not the hard ones. Entrepreneurs especially need to create their own tribes of supporters who understand their business challenges and can serve as a resource when things are tough. I always say perfection leads to procrastination. I am very honest with my clients, I make mistakes and I fix them as best I can. If you are not making mistakes, then you are not stretching yourself enough. I acknowledge my mistakes and just move on.
SDS: Was there a word or sentence Hope said that resonated with you?
NW: Hope shared a story regarding who she intended her books to be for – she thought her audience was millennials, but it turns out that her audience seemed to be even younger. These unintended results spoke to me – we think what we’re doing is for a certain reason, a certain audience, but it could actually lead us down a different path. I’m curious to see where my decisions in life will lead me to, either intentionally or unintentionally.
NT: She said that each chapter was a lesson, rather than a list. I’ve always been hyper-focused on goals and bullet-pointed lists but reading this book will allow me to really pay attention and learn instead of always firing on all cylinders.
AS: She was encouraging women to not let fear stop them from trying new things, something I see all the time. We need to get more comfortable with feeling afraid, it’s a warning that something really great could be coming.