Interview with Author Robin Hesselgesser
Robin Hesselgesser’s new book has a bold title – and a bold mission to empower women in search of a renewed American dream — ‘Miss To Bitch To MA’AM’ explores the monikers of womanhood; from miss, when women aren’t taken as seriously as they should be, to bitch, when they are working hard at being taken seriously, to ma’am, which most women don’t enjoy being referred to (but when women can be the most empowered). As an authenticator and entrepreneurial coach, Robin has spent years uncovering what holds many women back from pursuing their dreams. What she discovered was that far too many women harbor a broken dream that can be rescued and brought back to life. ‘Miss To Bitch To MA’AM’ is a goldmine of relatable stories from the women she's coached over the years who were facing insecurities, including ageism and sexism. Gutsy and thought provoking the book offers strategies to help women break out of debilitating ruts and turn corners.
Hello Author Robin Hesselgesser, thank you for joining us today! When did you start writing, and what inspired you to write, Miss To Bitch To MA’AM?
I have always been a writer to some extent. Words have such power but when they are written down, they become witness to ideas, feelings, and purpose. I was inspired to write this book because I didn’t want women to feel alone or insignificant. I believe every woman has a secret and very often it is that secret that hinders her from having what she genuinely wants and needs. Through the stories shared by the extraordinary women in the book, it is my hope that women will give themselves permission to discover what they want and find a way to ask for it.
The title of your book is so intriguing, what’s the background on how you came up with it?
Thank you! When we are young, we are just trying to figure it out, but we might be trying to be what the influencers in our life tell us we should be. At some point, the memory of who we thought we could be fades and a routine of trying to fit in so we feel accepted sets in. We all grow and evolve, but the path is quite different for women than it is for men. Men are assertive while women are aggressive or, gasp, a bitch. When disagreements happen with men, subjects stay on topic. But when they happen with women, they tend to get off-topic, personal and judgmental. Then there’s the age thing…older men are woodsy, full-bodied, aged, classic, refined, appreciated, and dating younger women. Women are curdled, gravity-ridden, older, bitter, devalued and sex-less. But are we? That would be a no. However, women not only fight external perceptions, but internal ones as well. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, and do not excel at standing up and for ourselves or one another.
How did you choose the women you feature in the book?
I had an advantage. These women came to me. However, I wanted to illustrate that there is more that connects us than separates us. Therefore, I chose the stories that I felt women I have never even met would read those stories, be inspired by their bravery, and feel empowered to follow the steps in the book to create the life they want…the one they deserve.
From your experiences coaching, what are some of the most common ruts women get stuck in, and what are some strategies to overcome them?
You are correct…women get stuck in ruts. We all do. From my coaching experience I have found that fear and guilt are two of the most powerful limitations that a woman feels and experiences. It is easy to advise someone to feel or think differently. However, those words show an abundance of ignorance, and make it sound so easy. We must understand why the fear, or the guilt is there. Let’s face it, we are conditioned to avoid pain. We will do almost anything to avoid it or mask it. But if a woman genuinely wants to live authentically, and she has gotten to the point in life where she knows what she wants then it is time to design a path to get there. Hoping and wishing is not a plan. Goals require effort, determination, and consistency. Very often, designing that path means we must look at the path we’ve already been on and that can be painful and uncomfortable. But at the end of comfort is where we change by choice instead of just reacting to it.
What you are the most passionate about sharing with women?
When I perform workshops, do speaking engagements, or talk to a woman one-on-one, I hear women. I see them. I invite them to share their story and I promise them they will not be judged. I am passionate about creating a community where women can feel inspired, be supported, and take actions of empowerment in their own lives. Every woman has a purpose and a dream. It is said that we should chase our dreams but that implies we never had them to begin with. Dreams become ours the moment they enter our heart, thoughts, and minds. The purpose is in the execution. We have the right and the responsibility to live our best, authentic life unapologetically. Add to that, as a woman ages, she may feel disregarded and unnecessary because society treats her differently. That is unacceptable and I want every woman over the age of ‘everything will be alright’ to embrace who she is and the path she is on!
Will you be working on another installment of Miss To Bitch To MA’AM?
I am currently working on another book that I am excited about. I don’t have the name yet…there is some pressure attached to a name…but I can tell you that it is raw, powerful, and a true story although you might not believe it!