Woman Wednesday Issue #33

The Assist Newsletter
August 17, 2022
Woman Wednesday

Name that Woman Trailblazer: She was an English-born Australian singer, actress and activist. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five number-one hits and another ten top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and two number-one albums on the Billboard 200. She was also an activist for environmental and animal rights causes, and advocated for breast cancer research.

👉 Click here to reveal this woman.


Meet Julie Desjardins 👋


Julie Woman Wednesday

Hi! I’m Julie! I’m a 40-something French-Canadian cis-woman who loves to crochet and drink coffee and wine (separately). I live in a tiny blue house on Montreal’s North Shore with my husband, daughter, 2 dogs and 1 cat. I have a background in Communications and Marketing, and I’m the founder of ACCROchet, a company focused on crochet, crocheters and people with crochet businesses.

🔗 Want to connect with Julie? Say “hi” on LinkedIn.


Swipe This Engagement Calendar


Empuls' Engagement Calendar

We know a lot of you live by calendars, so we’re excited to be partnering with Empuls to get the word out about their Engagement Calendar so you can plan for more fun days at work.

In this calendar, you will find:

  • 🥳 A list of celebratory days for the second half of 2022. (And we don’t just mean known holidays, we mean days like World Managers Day or World Gratitude Day.)
  • 💡 Ideas and cues on how your teams can come together around them.
  • ✨ Inspiration to turn them into unforgettable milestones.

Get your free Engagement Calendar


Julie’s Secrets


Q: How did you get into your current role?
I started crocheting to stop feeling like a potato when I watched TV in the evening after becoming a mom.

At the time, I worked in advertising (which I found super interesting) and being completely bilingual from a young age in a French-speaking province, I often ended up responsible for any translating (corporate or otherwise) needed in my jobs.

Crochet was a side-gig I wanted to turn into a full-time career, but it was hard to see how to make it work… that is until I realized I could have more than one revenue stream.

Diversifying is what worked for me. It’s all related (crochet patterns, crochet classes, translation and editing services to crochet professionals) and it makes for an interesting work day.

I think what I’m saying is that you can leverage all your transverse skills into one satisfying niche that’s all yours and that you can thrive in.

Q: What’s something you do to help boost your productivity?
I use the Pomodoro technique!

Basically, you put on a timer to work 25 minutes non-stop on a specific project. When the timer goes off, you take a mandatory 5 minute break.

That 30-minute sequence is a Pomodoro.

Every 3-5 Pomodoros, you take a longer break. I started using it a LOT in recent weeks (too many close deadlines) and it just works great for me. It’s counterintuitive to think that stopping every 25 minutes will make me more productive, but it really does work.

Q: How do you find work-life balance?
I’ve been working from home for 4 years now, and it’s really easy to work too much.

At the beginning, I would wake up and start working first thing, stopping only to make dinner – and pretty late at that.

In the last year, I’ve made sure to work more regular hours (9 to 5, weekdays) and to not answer emails outside those times.

I also redirect work-related DMs to email in order to maintain a good boundary between work and the rest of my life.

Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received so far?
A: I don’t know who this is from but it is definitely the best advice I’ve gotten – and it’s advice I share liberally!

If no one is telling you your prices are too high, they’re not high enough.

This single piece of advice has enabled me to push send on quotes I was scared to push send on.

Q: What’s your favorite software or app that helps with your workflow?
A: Trello and Google Calendar are how I organize my life and work.

My main deliverables and projects all have their Trello cards that are dated and connected to my Google Calendars – and my daughter, husband and I have shared calendars so we can keep track of who is where when.

Q: What’s a book or podcast you’d recommend to a colleague?
A: Building a Story Brand by Don Miller. It made me think of marketing in a whole new light. I also love Seth Godin’s blog.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?
A: I like to read or listen to audio books. I’m currently listening to The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.

I also have an indoor plants collection, haha. I’m sitting at 60-something plants currently, which will seem like a lot to some, and not that many to others.

Read more about Pomodoro Technique .

📝 Check out these Trello tips.


The #1 Project Management Tool


Mondy.com banner

If you’re old school and keep a notebook and pen handy to write down your to-dos, or use a handful of apps to stay on top of projects, monday.com can either supplement your workflow or become your sole solution to get things done.

The really cool thing about it is that you can manage all your team’s work in one place (oh, and you can get it free if you’re strapped for cash).

No more endless e-mail threads or long meetings. With monday.com you can keep track of everything your team’s working on, communicate in context, and get started in minutes with a super easy set-up.

Yes, I want to manage my work better

P.S. We love their content calendar & event planning templates.


Jack of All Trades


One of my clients trusts me implicitly with her business. We have an amazing working relationship. I’m often the first person she’ll come to if she has a question just about anything.

So, she’d ask me if I knew how to change a certain setting on a social media platform, or how to start a newsletter. And I’d give her the answer. If she asked me if I could do it for her, I’d say of course!

She was also amazing at referring me to others who were looking for help. All kinds of help. Any kinds of help.

So, while my area of expertise was writing, translating, and editing crochet and knitting patterns, people were coming to me looking for a social media manager, or a newsletter content writer. And I would say yes! I knew how to do it, so why not just do it?

Thing is, even I forgot what my business was all about.

When asked, I was unable to answer concisely and clearly. I was getting nowhere with my business because all I was doing was completing a list of tasks for different people.

Those people didn’t need me for what I really wanted to be doing. It took working with two mentors to really come back to a much more manageable 4 core pillars to my business.

Now I know who I am in textile arts: a pattern designer, translator and editor, as well as a mentor for other designers.

I feel so much less scattered now that I’ve done that. Now when people come to me, they do so knowing what I do and how I can help them.


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How to make the most of your 401K Event
We’ve partnered with Capitalize and Tess Waresmith on this Lunch & Learn to help you reach financial independence faster.
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Know any go-getters? Send them our way.


Do you have a mentor, colleague, family member or friend who inspires you on a regular basis?

Give them some much deserved kudos and shout them out to our growing TA community.

Nominate someone here

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