Welcome to the Forty Over 40 blog. We frequently spotlight one of our honorees and their thoughts on reinvention, mentorship and momentum…plus a peek into what makes them tick.
This Q & A is with Emily McKhann, Co-Founder of The Motherhood. Emily is innovating her field of work by helping lead the way for women online to be seen as experts in their own lives, to be valued for their voices, opinions, diversity, large and loyal audiences, and their impact.
1) What was a pivotal momentum of reinvention for you?
I was in my 30s when my best friend got breast cancer. Erin Kramp did something unusual at the time – she used her cancer diagnosis as a catalyst to rethink her priorities, her life work, her relationships, her spiritual side. We wrote a book together called “Living With the End in Mind” that got a ton of coverage (including numerous appearances by Erin on Oprah). Erin’s friendship and spending her last year writing our book changed my life. Before Erin got sick, I worked all the time and barely came up for air. After losing her, life looked different. I am just keenly aware that life is short, that we need to savor the days. This experience helped me realize that while I want my work to matter, to help people, I also want to prioritize my time with the amazing people in my life.
2) Who has been a valuable mentor or sponsor?
I have to say my women friends. I couldn’t ask for smarter, wiser, funnier, truth-telling, boundary-pushing, glass-ceiling- cracking, cheerleading girlfriends. They’re my brutally honest and ever-encouraging sounding boards who get me to the places that are right for me.
4) What is your biggest goal right now?
Be a good role model in work and life for my two teenage daughters.
5) How did you get your first job? How did you jump to your second job?
I took a job as a receptionist at a DC PR firm and read every piece of work that I was given to file. After six months, they moved me to account work and two years later I was made a VP and opened their Southwest office in Dallas.
6) How do you unplug? How often do you unplug?
With family. I’ve got two girls, ages 16 and 14, who are young feminists with lots to say and who like to laugh and at least for the time being hang out with me. So my go-to unplug zone is with the four of us.
7) What challenge / achievement are you most proud of?
I am incredibly proud of The Motherhood and the many ways our company gives women opportunities to be heard and valued.
8) What cause do you most want to advance?
This month marks the fifth year of Blogust, a program I helped create. Throughout the month of August, influencers post to their social platforms and for every comment, like or share they get, the UN Foundation’s program Shot@Life helps get a vaccine to a child in need around the world. The goal this year is 30,000 vaccines. Please support the #Blogust hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help us get vaccines to kids!
9) What song can’t you get out of your head?
The Hamilton soundtrack!
10) What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Look for the good” Look for the good in people, in situations, in life.
11) What is your keep me going quote?
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou
12) What is your secret indulgence?
13) Who on the list of prior Honorees would you like to meet?
Who wouldn’t I want to meet?! What an incredible group of women.
Check out Emily McKhann’s full 40 Over 40 profile here!