‘Tonight, We Stand Here, and It Feels Like We’re Finally Winning,’ Say Sexual Abuse Survivors in Inspiring Speeches at ESPY Awards

More than 140 women, including Aly Raisman, Sarah Klein and Tiffany Thomas Lopez, took the stage to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

5 min read

At the televised ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards Wednesday night, one of the centerpieces of the event was the presentation of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

This year, a group of more than 140 women took the stage to receive the award, all of whom are survivors of sexual abuse. The award honored the hundreds of women who were victims of abuse by former U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar over multiple decades. Nassar was imprisoned on child pornography and sexual abuse charges after The Indianapolis Star reported on a pattern of incidences.

At last night’s ceremony, the survivors spoke about the experiences they endured in a video that played prior to a series of remarks by current and former gymnasts Aly Raisman and Sarah Klein and former Michigan State University softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez. These women were also among those who provided statements at Nassar’s sentencing trial.

Related: These Two Sexual Health Companies Have Responded Differently to the #MeToo Movement

Watch the presentation, and read the complete transcript of Klein’s, Lopez’s and Raisman’s remarks at the 2018 ESPYs, below.


Sarah Klein

“It’s a privilege to stand up here with my sister survivors as we represent hundreds more who are not here tonight. 

“Make no mistake — we’re here on this stage to present an image for the world to see, a portrait of survival, a new vision of courage.

“The abuse of Larry Nassar began 30 years ago with me. For 30 years, people at the United States Olympic Committee, U.S.A. Gymnastics and Michigan State University all placed money and medals above the safety of child athletes. Thirty years, until the work of Detective Lieutenant Andrea Munford of the Michigan State Police Department and Andrea Povilaitis, the assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case, finally putting our abuser away for life. 

“Speaking up and speaking out is not easy. Telling our stories of abuse, over and over and over again, in graphic detail, is not easy. We’re sacrificing privacy, we’re being judged and scrutinized and it’s grueling and it’s painful, but it is time. 

“As a mother, I am here to say that we must start caring about children’s safety more than we care about adults’ reputations. And as a survivor, I’m here to say that if we just give one person the courage to use their voice, this is worth it. If one more victim of sexual abuse feels less alone tonight, then our suffering has meaning.” 

Tiffany Thomas Lopez

“In my sport, softball, we typically measure ourselves with wins and losses. Well, the amount of loss is almost immeasurable. Tonight, we stand here, and it feels like we’re finally winning.

“There are a lot of conversations in our society that we tiptoe around as if they’re something to avoid. I know in my life, people have looked that way at two issues extremely personal to me: race and sexual abuse. Sexual abuse claims victims in every race, showing no discrimination. Just like Arthur Ashe, I stand so very proud representing not only minorities, but all of us as humans, the human race. 

“I encourage those suffering to hold tight to your faith, and stand tall when speaking your truth. I’m here to tell you, you cannot silence the strong forever.”

Aly Raisman

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. These were the years we spoke up about Larry Nassar’s abuse. All those years, we were told, ‘You are wrong. You misunderstood. He’s a doctor. It’s OK. Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered. Be careful. There are risks involved.’ The intention? To silence us in favor of money, medals and reputation. 

“But we persisted, and finally, someone listened and believed us. This past January, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina showed a profound level of understanding by giving us each an opportunity to face our abuser, to speak our truth and feel heard. Thank you, Judge, for honoring our voices. For too long, we were ignored, and you helped us rediscover the power we each possess. You may never meet the hundreds of children you saved, but know they exist. 

“The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous. spanning generations. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided. Predators thrive in silence. It is all too common for people to choose to not get involved. Whether you act or do nothing, you are shaping the world we live in, impacting others. All we needed was one adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nassar. If just one adult had listened, believed and acted, the people standing before you on this stage would have never met him.

“Too often, abusers, and enablers perpetuate suffering by making survivors feel their truth doesn’t matter. To the survivors out there, don’t let anyone write your story. Your truth does matter. You matter. And you are not alone.

“We all face hardships. If we choose to listen and we choose to act with empathy, we can draw strength from each other. We may suffer alone, but we survive together.”

Feeling Stuck? Here Are 10 Amelia Earhart Quotes to Inspire You to Follow Your Dreams.

4 min read

Pilot, women’s right advocate and author Amelia Earhart was the first female air pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. While her disappearance remains a mystery, her impact remains concrete.

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

Since Earhart was a child, science and aviation always fascinated her. Studying science in high school, Earhart went off to Columbia University to pursue a degree in medicine. However, it wasn’t before long that Earhart dropped out, moved to Los Angeles and got involved in flying, attending her first air show and taking flying lessons in 1920. After some financial troubles, Earhart was unable to support her expensive dreams so she settled in Boston as a social worker, managing to fly only in her spare time.

That is, until the opportunity of a lifetime approached her. In 1928, Earhart was chosen by George Palmer Putnam, publisher of WE, to fly across the Atlantic with him and his team. After that first flight, Earhart was officially “the first woman to fly the Atlantic.” Earhart’s fame skyrocketed. She ended up marrying Putnam who served as both her publicist and husband, and she went on to pursue a career as an acclaimed female pilot, a best-selling author, a women’s rights advocate and a lecturer at Purdue University.

Related: 10 Inspirational Quotes from Successful Actress-Turned-Entrepreneur Jessica Alba

Unfortunately, it was in 1937, when a 39-year-old Earhart was on her way circumnavigating the world with her navigator, Fred Noonan. Twenty-two thousand miles into the flight, the world lost signal of Earhart. However, her reputation continued to live on. Today, the decorated female pilot is an inspiration to people worldwide.

Whether you need that extra nudge to follow your dreams or a push to take a risk, here are 10 Amelia Earhart quotes on dreams, leadership, risk, experience and more.

How the Entrepreneurs Behind Text-Based Wellness Brand Shine Find the Biggest Opportunity in Everything They Do

Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey share their strategy for optimizing limited time and resources.

11 min read

Editor’s Note: Entrepreneur’s “20 Questions” series features both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs and asks them a number of questions about what makes them tick, their everyday success strategies and advice for aspiring founders.

Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey shared a realization: so much in the wellness space was incredibly expensive and not something people could incorporate into their own lives. But then, they had a thought: Why not just encourage people to invest in their well-being by reminding them with something they already had on them?

That’s the basis of Shine, a platform that sends subscribers uplifting text messages that include resources to motivate them to make the most of their day. Today, Shine has more than 2 million users in 189 countries, and the company recently closed a $5 million Series A funding round.

Hirabayashi and Lidey met while they were working at the nonprofit organization Do Something. Hirabayashi, 34, was the company’s chief marketing officer, and Lidey, 28, was the director of mobile product and messaging.

At first, they beta tested their idea with 70 people. The positive feedback inspired them to take the entrepreneurial leap. They quit their jobs, and in April of 2016, the friends and first-time founders launched the company.

We chatted with Lidey and Hirabayashi to ask them 20 questions and find out what makes them tick.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

1. How do you start your day?

Lidey: I always start my day with coffee and my favorite podcasts, which range from entertainment and culture to entrepreneurship, to get me in the frame of mind for the day. I’m also reading my Shine of the day and getting a sense of what I want to get out of the day and to set my intentions.

2. How do you end your day?

Hirabayashi: In an ideal world, I like to drink tea with honey, read a little bit before I go to bed to decompress and write out my most important things I want to get to in the morning. While that doesn’t always happen, [I try to] do whatever I actually have time for, catching up with my partner and having a little bit of me-time before I settle in for the night.

3. What’s a book that changed your mind, and why?

Hirabayashi: Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. The book is all about trusting your gut and the power of intuition. That is something as co-founders and leaders of Shine that has been an important lesson: remembering to truly trust our guts with decisions we make, the people that we work with and the team that we hire. Your gut is one of the most powerful tools you have, so use it.

4. What’s a book you always recommend, and why?

Lidey: I always recommend the book Influence, by Robert Cialdini. It was recommended to me by a former boss. It gives you a sense of how people work. He studied a lot of different cultures and focuses on how do you motivate people, what inspires people and what ultimately gets people to go one way or the other

5. What’s a strategy to keep focused?

Lidey: Every meeting we start, every initiative we think about, the assumption is that we’re always going to be running out of time. So if the assumption is that you have limited time and you’re always going to run out of it, we always make sure that we’re starting with the BPO: “What is the biggest possible opportunity?” That means, what is the thing that is going to move the needle most for the company?

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Hirabayashi: I wanted to work with great white sharks. I’ve always loved sharks. I love the ocean, and I’m fascinated by the power of the ocean. Somewhere in the preservation and research on great white sharks was something I thought that would just be so incredibly cool.

7. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?

Hirabayashi: One of the things that I learned is actually something that Susan Cain talks a lot about in the book Quiet. It’s this idea that so much of these old versions of leadership are built around having a team that’s intrinsically motivated. If you have a team that’s intrinsically motivated, collaboration and trust over fear or rigidity is much more powerful. It’s something as leaders that we are incredibly mindful of, and knowing that everyone that works on our team is coming to work every morning with a deep sense of purpose and mission around what we do. Fear is not the right motivator. It is about being partners in building a business and a company that you believe in.

8. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

Lidey: The most influential people [in our careers] were the ones that saw us [clearly] when we didn’t always see ourselves. For me Naomi’s been the most influential person because I’ve now gotten to work with her for seven years and I’ve just gotten a great sense of myself and who I want to be. I also have an inspirational peer that I can look up to and learn from them. We see each other as the people that have affected our work style the most.

9. What’s a trip that changed you?

Hirabayashi: We both had an opportunity to take a month off and volunteer anywhere in the world at our old job. It was something that for both of us was incredibly powerful in terms of being pushed out of our comfort zone, experiencing other cultures and getting purposeful solo time. I went and lived with the Samburu Tribe in Kenya doing volunteer work with this organization called the Thorn Tree Project. The Samburu people have a beautiful culture and it was a fantastic experience.

Lidey: I was in Barcelona and had an incredible opportunity to work with a group of youth leaders in the community on the [youth] unemployment crisis. I also joined an improv group when I was there. The big takeaway for both of us was it is important to get some solid time outside of our comfort zones and contemplate who were are in a completely new setting.

10. What inspires you?

Hirabayashi: What inspires us is the next generation. We are both big sisters and thinking about what [our sisters’] world is going to look like, what issues they’re facing and asking how can we as co-founders, as leaders, as women, use our time on Earth and our talents to help shape the world to become better for them.

11. What was your first business idea, and what did you do with it?

Lidey: Growing up, [I know] we didn’t always see ourselves as entrepreneurs. But we tended to be the people that were starting identity-based communities or communities of service that were focused on connecting people around a common belief.

12. What was an early job that taught you something important or useful?

Lidey: Naomi and I both worked in the service industry as waitresses. Those are hands down the most useful jobs that you could have in your life because you’re getting a sense of how to work with different types of people. You are serving people, which is a very humbling experience. You see how others react to that. And most importantly, you have to do a little bit of everything. So there’s no feeling of, “Hey, this isn’t my job,” or “I don’t do that.” That was a valuable lesson for both of us.

13. What’s the best advice you ever took?

Hirabayashi: The best piece of advice I got was actually from Marah. Collect as much information as you can as founders about leadership best practices. But ultimately, the best thing you can do for yourself is filter that through what feels most natural to you. Finding your own style in leadership is the most important thing especially when you’re trying to do things in a different way for a different type of company that’s never been built before.

14. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?

Lidey: The worst advice we got was the idea that entrepreneurs don’t stress and that if we outwardly express what’s going on with us or we’re vulnerable about the things that we struggle with, that would portray us as bad leaders. We’ve now learned so much about our own leadership style and really embraced the idea of compassionate and transparent leadership. We use good judgment in what’s best to share with the team and with each other. But we very much are of a belief that it’s important to embrace and show the highs and lows in this world.

15. What’s a productivity tip you swear by?

Hirabayashi: We’re obsessed with the concept of act over react. What that looks like is, when you get up in the morning, what so many people often do is just jump into their email. As a result, how they’re starting their day is often just a response to other people’s needs. What we do is we focus on the three most important tasks we want to get through during the day. That way every day we’re leading with what we want to get done versus just responding to the stuff that can pop up and distract from the highest-impact thing.

16. Is there an app or tool you use in a surprising way to get things done or stay on track?

Lidey: I find myself instead of reading the news on social media or interacting with others, I actually go there for inspirational content. It’s a big part of [how I recover from stress], just making sure that I make time for the memes. There can be so much joy that comes through it.

17. What does work-life balance mean to you?

Hirabayashi: Work-life balance is a moving target, and it’s something that can be really hard to understand because it assumes that your personal life is an antidote to how you are spending your time at work. We go for a feeling of alignment. How can I feel aligned with my values by how I’m spending my day at work, spending my time in my personal space and investing in relationships that matter?

18. How do you prevent burnout?

Hirabayashi: We understand and recognize that there’s a need for a recovery period, working in a high pressure, fast-paced startup environment. There’s no way to sustain yourself, your team and momentum without taking a purposeful recovery period. That might be Self-Care Saturday, which is something that Lidey and I practice. We just take a day to spend time with our partners, get brunch, bike around Brooklyn, whatever it may be — but try to stay offline. And we take recovery periods after aggressive product launches. As a well-being company, we believe in the long haul. So how are you optimizing yourself and your team to sustain over time to avoid that kind of heavy burnout?

19. When you’re faced with a creativity block, what’s your strategy to get innovating?

Lidey: It’s something called the 1, 2, 3 strategy. The first thing we do is something we have to do and the hardest thing. Secondly, we do something we want to do, so that is an intermediate reward. Third, we do something for someone else. Getting outside of your own head allows you to just be more productive because you’re not obsessing doing the thing right. It motivates you to do something good for someone else.

20. What are you learning now? Why is that important?

Hirabayashi: We’re in this exciting stage of the company. We just closed our Series A. We’re in this critical growth stage for Shine. There is this energy when you’re in the early stages, of “be lean, be scrappy,” which is what we’ve always done because our background is from the nonprofit world. What we’re trying to figure out is how do we continually stay lean to be capital-efficient and also make purposeful and meaningful investments in the company that help take things to the next level. That balance is something that has been helpful for us to experience, two years in and something that we’re figuring out what that looks like day to day from an investment standpoint.

How to Write a Business Plan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Now that you understand why you need a business plan and you’ve spent some time doing your homework gathering the information you need to create one, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper. The following pages will describe in detail the seven essential sections of a business plan: what you should include, what you shouldn’t include, how to work the numbers and additional resources you can turn to for help. With that in mind, jump right in.

Within the overall outline of the business plan, the executive summary will follow the title page. The summary should tell the reader what you want. This is very important. All too often, what the business owner desires is buried on page eight. Clearly state what you’re asking for in the summary.

Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No Money

The business description usually begins with a short description of the industry. When describing the industry, discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. You should also provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including any new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business.

Business Plan Guide »
Before Writing Your Plan
Writing Your Business Plan
Business Plan Tools

Market strategies are the result of a meticulous market analysis. A market analysis forces the entrepreneur to become familiar with all aspects of the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be positioned in order to garner its share of sales.

The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.

The purpose of the design and development plan section is to provide investors with a description of the product’s design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing and the company itself, and create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its goals.

The operations and management plan is designed to describe just how the business functions on a continuing basis. The operations plan will highlight the logistics of the organization such as the various responsibilities of the management team, the tasks assigned to each division within the company, and capital and expense requirements related to the operations of the business.

Financial data is always at the back of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than up-front material such as the business concept and the management team.

50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Great quotes can be inspirational and motivational. You can use quotes to help guide your decisions in life, work and love. Here are 50 of the best inspirational quotes to motivate you:

  1. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! —Audrey Hepburn
  2. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou
  3. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. —Henry Ford
  4. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. —Vince Lombardi
  5. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. —Charles Swindoll
  6. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. —Oprah Winfrey
  7. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. —Eleanor Roosevelt
  8. I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. —Jimmy Dean
  9. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. —Theodore Roosevelt
  10. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. —Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. —Les Brown
  12. Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda
  13. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. —Napoleon Hill
  14. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. —Mark Twain
  15. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. —Michael Jordan
  16. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. —Albert Einstein
  17. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey
  18. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. —Henry Ford
  19. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. —Alice Walker
  20. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. —Amelia Earhart
  21. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. —Aristotle Onassis
  22. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. —Robert Louis Stevenson
  23. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. —Steve Jobs
  24. Change your thoughts and you change your world. —Norman Vincent Peale
  25. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. —Ayn Rand
  26. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. —Vincent Van Gogh
  27. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. —Farrah Gray
  28. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. —Dalai Lama
  29. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. —Maya Angelou
  30. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. —Rosa Parks
  31. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. —Vincent van Gogh
  32. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. —Unknown
  33. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.——Albert Einstein
  34. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. —Bob Dylan
  35. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. —Leonardo da Vinci
  36. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. —Booker T. Washington
  37. Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. —Jamie Paolinetti
  38. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. —Sheryl Sandberg
  39. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. —Ancient Indian Proverb
  40. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. —Helen Keller
  41. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. —Confucius
  42. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. —Anne Frank
  43. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
  44. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  45. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. —Ronald Reagan
  46. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. —George Addair
  47. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. —Plato
  48. Nothing will work unless you do. —Maya Angelou
  49. I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples. —Mother Teresa
  50. What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. —Plutarch

A version of this article first appeared at TalentSmart.com.

Related: 12 Things Successful People Never Reveal About Themselves at Work