Sparked by Charlie Bleecker’s blog post

This picture was taken at a LadyDrinks event several years ago. It was a mother-daughter event at Dylan’s Candy Bar in midtown. I don’t know what the kids were looking at, but I still marvel at how much joy was captured in this one click.


I read a blog post by Charlie Bleecker called “100 days of joy.” In it, he challenged himself to do something for 100 days. Something that didn’t make him money. Something that didn’t get him a job or a promotion. Something that just gave him joy.



Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jenna Fagnan of Teremana Tequila discuss production
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jenna Fagnan of Teremana Tequila discuss production


Jenna Fagnan was born in a small Inuit village in Alaska. The daughter of parents working in non-profit organizations, she grew up in Oregon and Swaziland. Following a career as account manager at ad agency Weiden + Kennedy, handling their Nike and Coca Cola accounts, she moved to LVMH and worked in their wine and spirits division, as well as with Tag Heuer watches.

Launching a new Tequila Brand with Dwayne Johnson

In 2010 Fagnan co-founded Avion Tequila with Ken Austin. In 2020, they launched a joint project with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who had always wanted to develop a tequila brand. …

Executive Coach and Consultant Liz Bentley here describes her six-step method for personal growth, leading towards that elusive seven-figure salary. Much of what Bentley describes as holding women back is centered on the different ways in which boys and girls are brought up, the expectations put upon them, and the behaviors that are considered appropriate.

Barriers exist both within women and in society, but both can be overcome with the right mindset and approach.

Step One: See Your Truth.

The first stage is a process of self-examination. Female executives need to investigate their upbringing and understand how it shaped their present-day expectations. …

Photo credit: Mandar Parab-Photography

Thursday June 7th, LadyDrinks founder Joya Dass hosted a fireside chat with Shilpa Shah, Chief Experience Officer and Co-Founder of the direct to consumer luxury goods brand Cuyana.

Shilpa spoke candidly about being an Indian female entrepreneur and the headwinds she faced from her own family when she was launching her business to the challenges of fundraising to being a mother and a wife.

Takeaways from her talk:

— It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. She went back to business school after ten years as a UI designer, and a young child. …

Alain Sylvain

Becoming fully invested, obsessed even, with one’s purpose is the hallmark of many successful companies. It can also help brands to differentiate themselves in competitive marketplaces. Sylvain enables companies to find their corporate purpose, align all their activities and departments with it, and grow.

Replacing the outmoded concept of a “mission statement”, a purpose statement must be deeply entrenched within how a brand sees itself.

Dangers of Paying Lip Service

Sylvain explains what a true purpose is NOT:

· Arbitrary or token since it should define corporate direction.

· Misaligned, not fitting with what the company is or does.

· For show only — it’s…

In this talk, leadership coach Tracey Ward talks to Joya Dass about her seven-step process for building greater self-confidence and combating one’s internal critic.

Like many women, Ward was told by her mother “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything”. Although well-meaning advice, this tendency, when internalized as an adult, can lead to women being afraid to assert themselves in business. Women can become conditioned to being “givers”.

Ward’s Seven Step Process for Building a Self-Confident Mindset STEP ONE: Acknowledge your Self-Talk’s Existence

We all have this little voice inside us that is brutally self-critical and full of…

Tara Mohr presents valuable insights into how to “unhook” yourself from praise or criticism, and more effectively handle feedback. This is based on a chapter in her book — “Playing Big”.

The first important realisation when receiving feedback, especially criticism, is to remember that it says more about the person giving the feedback than it does about you. If a senior manager says, “you’re a great manager but your organizational skills could be improved”, then this statement contains a subjective opinion but no concrete facts about your performance.

However, you can choose to take it as potentially valuable information about…

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Changing Mindset

How a ‘no’ become a ‘yes’

Divya Tandon said anytime, anyone asked her to do something, the answer was ‘no’

Saying ‘no’ kept her from the unfamiliar. It was better in the comfort zone. It was safe.

Over time, a niggling voice inside her head began to sound. Maybe. Just maybe, she was missing out on something good with all the ‘no’s.’

June 2018 a skydiving retreat was planned for LadyDrinks. Seven women were going to jump out of a perfectly good plane under the watchful eye of member and pro skydiver @MelanieCurtis11. Before the jump, we sat in a…

The CEO of Seramount, Subha Barry here presents the business case of diversity, offering tips and insights into how to bring greater diversity into the workplace, in a way that is beneficial to all.

Barry begins by contrasting the situation in 2021 with how it was ten years ago, when she was a senior executive at investment bank Merrill Lynch. Then, diversity was a governmentally mandated program, with EEOC Requirements forming a basis for a lot of the DE&I work. Much of the focus was on the market side — targeting more diverse groups of customers and clients.

In 2021…

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

And what it taught me as a leader

A woman once wrote me, “I don’t appreciate your style of communication.” This was in the early years of LadyDrinks. She attended a recent event, asked me a question. I answered. She was hoping for a lengthier response.

I’ve spent a career broadcasting from a trading floor. “Speak!” was considered ‘communication’ on the phone. Brevity was key when on the air.

That brevity transferred over to my email.

Standard responses from me were:
‘copy that.’
‘got it.’
‘on it.’

I was getting shit done.

Seema wrote me to tell me…

Joya Dass

I am the founder of LadyDrinks, teaching South Asian executive women & founders how to market their most important asset — themselves

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