Lately, I’ve been reading quite a bit about Nellie Bly. Now there was a woman ahead of her time. Let me tell you why.
First of all, she was determined. She wanted to become a journalist. Her first assignment was to go undercover in an asylum. Most people – man or woman – would run away screaming from such a daunting task.
Not Nellie Bly. She took the assignment and completed it. Due to her expose on the deplorable conditions in the asylum, a grand jury began an investigation of the asylum. The grand jury recommended that funds should be awarded to improve the care of the patients.
To put this into context, the year was 1887. It was not as common for women to work outside of the home, much less do investigative reporting.
She also went around the world in 72 days. Take that Phileas Fogg.
Did you know that Nellie Bly holds two patents (US patents 703,711 and 697,553)? One if for a milk can and the other one is for a stacking garbage can. Fascinating.
P.S. She was not a pirate, a sailor or related to Captain Bligh, just in case you were wondering. Of course, she probably would have been leading the mutiny, if she had been a sailor on the HMS Bounty.
What is the biggest obstacle facing women today from reaching their goals?
Self-doubt is a dream killer. The biggest thing keeping women from reaching their goals is doubt and lack of confidence. If you don’t believe that you can do it, then it’s already a losing battle.
Sure, there are other things that get in the way, like a lack of education or motivation. There are so many women that didn’t let anything get in the way of their dreams and were successful. Women, like Oprah and J.K. Rowling, didn’t have success immediately. The odds weren’t in their favor.
They got up every morning. They worked hard. They hustled.
They did not listen to that voice that said, “You can’t. Maybe you shouldn’t.” They didn’t listen to anyone who didn’t believe in what they were doing.
This is an interesting topic that I heard on NPR or a local radio show. Did you know that most of the farmers in the entire world are women? Why does that seem so odd? It’s not strange to think of women in the garden. Women have been helping their husbands run farms for eons. So why is it that when we think of farmers, the picture in our minds is a male figure?
The number of female farm operators has increased dramatically. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the number of female operators is 969,672. So the 30 % of female farmers are running the farm, while the male figure goes off to a separate job or helps out on the farm.
If you get a chance, check out this photography of female farmers by FarmHer. It really is fabulous!