“How To Be A Businesswoman”


You guys might not know this, but I am the host of an amazing podcast series called “My Totally Real Podcast That Is Real.” Every episode features amazing guests, twists, turns, and anything else you would expect from a podcast recorded in a real studio with walls. This week, my guests are comedians and authors, Alison Leiby and Alyssa Wolff. Their new book, written with co-author Cheryl Sandberger, is “Lean Over”, which some are calling a parody of the Sheryl Sandberg book “Lean In”, but I’m just calling incredibly informative for a book written by 2-3 women.  Please tune in to my podcast, which is definitely not just a gchat conversation, by listening to the words below with your eyes.

Alyssa Wolff has joined the conversation.

Alison Leiby has joined the conversation.

Laura Jayne Martin:  Hi guys.

Alison:  Hey!

Alyssa:  Hey hey!

Laura Jayne Martin:  Welcome to my totally real podcast that is definitely not just a gchat conversation! Thanks so much for being here.

Alison:  Happy to be here!

Alyssa:  Thank you for having me! So many exclamation points already!

Laura Jayne Martin:  It’s amazing that you can hear my punctuation, but you guys are pretty talented.  You did, after all, just write the hilarious and informative book called Lean Over: Women, Work, and Woman’s Work.

With that in mind, my first question: As women, and experts on women business experts, what is your favorite word or phrase of business jargon?

Alison:  Great question. I, personally, love the phrase “scope creep.” I heard it once during a meeting and laughed for easily ten minutes about it. I believe it means when a project goes beyond its initial scope, but I like to think of it as another word for a pervert with binoculars.

Alyssa:  I think mine would have to be the phrase “getting your ducks in a row.” Because it’s just so darn cute.

Laura Jayne Martin:  And critical to most thriving duck-related businesses.

Alyssa:  Absolutely.  And it’s not easy.  Lining up ducks, I mean.  They are easily distracted.

Alison:  Lots of waddling around.

Alyssa:  Right.  And I can relate to that.  As a woman.

Laura Jayne Martin:  So true. As a woman, people have a difficult time getting me to assume ANY type of formation, really.

Alison:  Unless it’s a line for PinkBerry!

Laura Jayne Martin:  Brings me to my next question! It’s so hot out. As women, how much PinkBerry have you eaten today and how much obsessing over the calorie count have you done?

Also a follow up: is it as difficult for you guys as it is for me to not begin all of your sentences with “as a woman”?

Alyssa:  As a woman, I do not feel comfortable revealing how much PinkBerry I have consumed in the past 24 hours.

Alison:  Enough to fill the void of my empty womb, since I’m a career woman.

Alyssa:  As a woman, I feel that I should begin all my responses with “As a woman” so that people (ie men) can stop paying attention accordingly. It’s a helpful cue for them.

Alison:  Agreed, it’s very effective.

Laura Jayne Martin:  As a woman myself, I can’t do math or be 100% sure if something is helpful for men, but that sounds right. Again, someone who is a man might want to double-check my percentage on that.

Next question: What are your thoughts on “woman’s work” or the song “A Woman’s Worth” by Alicia Keys? Or the fact that I thought it was called “A Woman’s Work” for all of 2002?

Alison:  Well, you should have known it was not “Woman’s Work” since women shouldn’t have jobs!

Alyssa:  I think that makes a lot of sense, actually.  A woman’s worth is directly related to her work.  Like, do you know how to fold a fitted sheet?

Alison:  Well then only housekeepers are worth anything. They are the only ones who know how to fold a fitted sheet, Alyssa.

Alyssa:  Your worth as a woman should be directly tied to your knowledge of laundry and/or baking. Alison, housekeepers are women, too.  God, be a little more sensitive.

Laura Jayne Martin:  I learned how to fold a fitted sheet from Martha Stewart on an episode of the Oprah show. What does that say about my business acumen?

Alison:  On the one hand, you’re learning about laundry, and thus sticking with what a woman should be doing, which is great. But also, you’re taking advice from other women, which is risky. As we notoriously like to trick each other.

Alyssa:  Yes, I was going to say it shows that you are resourceful, but unfortunately, are still female and will likely be unsuccessful in business.

Laura Jayne Martin:  But how can I be sure that you guys, as women, are not tricking me now?

Alyssa:  You really can’t. We are chock full of feminine wiles and tend to lie excessively.  Just typical girl stuff!

Laura Jayne Martin: Makes sense. Next Question: What is the best color for an office cardigan?

Also a follow-up: How can women, and people, best judge women co-workers based on their office cardigans?

Alison:  On one hand, black is the most slimming color, and the goal of any item of clothing is to make you look as thin as possible. But also it can be a depressing color, and then men may think that you’re sad, and thus are on your period.

Alyssa:  I always wear a black cardigan, but encourage other women to wear loud prints so that I will look thin in comparison.

Alison:  It should be noted that the correct answer to your question, though, is pink. That way you remind everyone you are a woman.

Laura Jayne Martin:  You guys are so good at business!

Alyssa:  No, no. But as women, we are good at finding out other people’s business.

Alison:  I’m getting my M.B.A. with a focus in Office Gossip.

Laura Jayne Martin:  Oh my friend Loretta just got her MBA! But her focus was in Desk Hand Lotion.

Alison:  Scented or Unscented? Those are two very different tracks in business school.

Laura Jayne Martin:  I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask her at our next networking dinner. Speaking of, what is the best dish to serve at networking dinners?

Alyssa:  Sushi! It’s the best way to allow the women in attendance to have an opportunity to pretend to be eating without actually having to consume more than 40 calories.

Alison:  An important part of this is beverage pairing.  For example, sushi pairs best with a bucket of White Zinfandel, at least based on my networking dinners.

That’s a bucket per person. To be clear.

Laura Jayne Martin:  Oh I get it! Plus it’s probably great to have something on hand to throw in other people’s faces in case they say something bitchy.

Alyssa:  Exactly!

Alison:  Exactly.

Laura Jayne Martin:  Oh sorry, by “people” I meant women.

Alison:  As a woman, I knew that’s what you meant.


Alyssa:  Female intuition right there.

Laura Jayne Martin:  Well, I think this is probably a great place to wrap up this very real podcast. Any final thoughts, as women?

Alison:  As a woman (something I cannot reiterate enough) I had a really great time! Talking is the thing at which we excel, so this was perfect. Also thank you for not asking any tough (re: math) questions.

Alyssa:  As a woman, I can honestly say this was truly an honor.  No one ever asks for my opinion, again, because I am a woman, so this was a treat!

A sweet treat!  OMG totally going to be a cheat day!

Alison:  You’re so bad!

Alyssa:  Ugh, I know!

Laura Jayne Martin:  I think most people would agree that, as women, we are all the worst. Thanks so much you guys!!

Alyssa:  Thank you!!!

Alison:  Thank you! Okay, I’m off to PinkBerry!

Alyssa:  See you there!

End Transmission

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image – Tim Wilson