Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Giving Guide -- Dare, Dream, Do by Whitney Johnson (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Do I have the perfect book to give your mom this Mother's Day.  Rich with real stories of women who have dared to dream, DARE DREAM DO offers a practical framework to realize one's true potential. In DARE DREAM DO, Johnson directs her attention to teaching women, in particular, a three-step model for personal advancement and happiness. She encourages us to first: •  DARE to boldly step out, and disrupt life as we know it
•  DREAM to give life to the many possibilities available
•  DO: Execute those dreams

I had the opportunity to interview Whitney about her book.  In addition, Whitney is offering one lucky reader a chance to win a copy of her book.  So, when you are done reading my interview with her, please enter the giveaway, for a chance to win this great book. 

First, a little background on Whitney:

Whitney Johnson began her job on Wall Street as a secretary. Through determination, hard work and a desire to reach her dreams, she became an investment banker at Merrill Lunch. She now is the president and co-founder of the investment firm Rose Park Advisors, and is a regular contributor for the Harvard Business Review. She is a frequent panelist and speaker, and often appears in media outlets like the "New York Times" and the "Boston Globe."

Interview with Whitney Johnson,
Author of DARE, DREAM, DO

Q:  What prompted you to write this book?

A:  In 2005, I took a sabbatical from Wall Street.  Having started out as a secretary 15 years earlier and eventually rising to become a top-ranked stock analyst, I was full of optimism.  If I, as a middle class girl with no more than a music degree, could go to New York and achieve my dream, other women could too.  But, as I began to talk to women, I discovered that many didn’t have a dream, or didn’t know how to accomplish their dreams.  Often, there was an unspoken belief that it wasn’t their privilege to dream.  It was because of these conversations that I started my Dare to Dream blog in 2006, which became the inspiration for this book.

Q:  Why has dreaming taken the backseat for so many women? What prevents women from recognizing their dream potential?

A:  When life hands us unexpected challenges or circumstances, and the harsh realities of economic necessity often whittle away at our energy and hopes, dreaming truly becomes a dare.  And for women, daring on our own behalf is discouraged, often in subtle ways, from a very young age.  Research indicates that a woman is considered feminine only within the context of a relationship or when she is giving something to someone.  This creates a double bind.  If we get in the doing game, we are seen as not feminine and vice versa, and this discourages women from taking that step.     

Q:  You weave stories of real women and the pursuit of their dreams throughout the book. What is it about these histories that you feel is cohesive for someone reading Dare, Dream, Do?

A:  It takes courage to share the stories of our dreams.  Each woman, in telling her story, has given us the gift of helping to put a face on our own dreams.  Further, as one reader, Jen Thomas commented, “Reading this manuscript (somewhere over Missouri) magically changed the solitary seat of 22B into a room full of intelligent and inspiring women, all sharing their dreams and ideas.”  Though each of us has different dreams, we dream best when we dream together; this book is the story of us daring and dreaming together.  

Q:  You discuss the importance of helping loved ones achieve their dreams as well. Why does this matter?

A:  One of the reasons we dream, is to truly grow up.  For women, this involves claiming a central place in our lives, what I call “throwing down our pom-poms,” believing we can act and that what we have to offer is valuable.  At the same time, if we do this at the expense of relatedness and nurturing and our ability to again pick up our pom-poms to cheer on others, we lose an irreplaceable piece of ourselves.  It’s a balance. The myth of Psyche, one of the few stories that focuses on feminine psychological development illustrates this beautifully, and I talk about this in the book.  Psyche undertakes a hero’s journey of completing four tasks – but she never would have undertaken this journey, risking everything had it not been for someone she loves.  I think this is true for most women – some of our best dreams come as a consequence of attending to those we love.

Q:  You place a great deal of emphasis on feminine strengths and the myth of Psyche.  What about so-called or perceived “masculine” strengths (bull-headedness, stoicism, etc.)?  Is there a balance?

A:  This isn’t an either-or, but rather a both-and paradigm. Note that Psyche’s journey is about obtaining qualities that are traditionally masculine:  sifting through competing priorities, obtaining power, achieving goals, and learning to say no.  According to Jungian psychology, our individual psyches are made of both masculine and feminine components.  To become a complete woman we must develop both sides.

Q:  Who should read Dare, Dream, Do?

A:  Any woman who has begun to discover that life is not linear, possibly been punched-in-the-stomach by reality, or is grappling with competing dreams – and wants to be reminded that she can dream her very own dream – and that it can come true.  The reason I wrote the book in three parts is that some woman are indeed good with dreaming and creating a wish list but are lacking in the execution piece.  It seems few books focus on making dreams a reality, and that’s what I most wanted to offer to readers.  

Q:  If readers take away one thing from your book, what do you hope it would be?

A:  Remarkable things happen when you dare to dream. 


Click here to order a copy of Whitney's book directly from, for only $16.47.


One lucky reader will win a copy of Whitney Johnson's book, Dare, Dream Do.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

1 comment :

  1. I want to win this book, because I really want to read it. It sounds interesting.

    anjathisandthat at yahoo dot com