Member Reviews

I wanted to like this. The beginning was interesting, although it was a little melodramatic. The author ignored the advice she was getting because she didn't take her situation seriously. A lot of what happened in the book was because of the author, and she takes responsibility for it, but it just seemed that she was a privileged person who graduated from Harvard Business School and then got a lot of other breaks. It wasn't relatable for me.
It was readable, and it's good that she admitted that she was acting the way she was because of stress and started taking medication.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this.

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First I would like to say I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.

I went into this book sure I'd get bored and end up skimming through most of it. That in no way was how this book ended up going. From start to finish it was absolutely a fantastic read. I found myself pacing to not read large chunks at once so I could really digest what I was reading.

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"Digital Goddess" by Victoria R. Montgomery Brown is a refreshingly candid and empowering memoir that offers invaluable insights into the challenges and triumphs of a female entrepreneur in the modern business world. Montgomery Brown's story is a beacon of inspiration for women striving to make their mark in industries traditionally dominated by men. She fearlessly tackles the gender gap, venture capital disparities, and workplace inequalities, shedding light on the realities that many female founders face. Through her engaging narrative, she imparts practical lessons learned from her entrepreneurial journey, emphasizing the importance of authenticity, resilience, and unwavering honesty in the face of adversity.

One of the book's strengths is its unfiltered honesty. Montgomery Brown doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties she encountered but instead embraces them as part of her entrepreneurial odyssey. Her willingness to share her experiences, including the challenging moments and personal sacrifices, offers aspiring female founders a realistic and relatable perspective on what it takes to build a successful business. Moreover, her insistence on being authentic and true to oneself resonates as a powerful message that transcends gender, encouraging all entrepreneurs to stay grounded in their values and beliefs, regardless of external pressures.

"Digital Goddess" is a compelling read that combines storytelling with actionable advice, making it an invaluable resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals striving to succeed in today's competitive business landscape. Victoria R. Montgomery Brown's journey from startup to success is an empowering testament to the strength, resilience, and determination of women in the business world. Her book is not just a memoir but a call to action for women to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit, navigate the challenges head-on, and unapologetically pursue their dreams. It is a must-read for anyone looking to find inspiration and guidance in their own entrepreneurial pursuits.

5 of 5 stars
Pub Date: 06 Oct 2020
#netgalley #digitalgoddess

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It was such a joyous read and a page-turner. I truly enjoyed reading the author's experience and learned a lot as a fellow entrepreneur. I would have liked to read more on feminism, the men-women inequality, or how to deal with sexual harassment (as the author writes in the book I guess she has been very lucky in this field and not have experienced what some others went through), and a bit disappointed that her tactics seem to be more of "grin and bear it"than "stand up for your right".

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This book was amazing. I got hooked on the first paragraph and couldn’t let it go until I finished it. The writer’s talent to keep up your interest and curiosity is undeniable — I wouldn’t have expected less from the creator of “Big Think”.

Victoria Montgomery-Brown, is the Founding CEO of Big Think, the knowledge company that makes people smarter, faster. She has a BA from McGill University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Under her guidance as CEO, the company has evolved since 2007 into a platform famous for introducing ideas and helping people master soft skills.   

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, but it’s satisfying as hell.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
“Digital Goddess” is an autobiography. I encourage you to read it, devour it and let it teach you everything about creating a big business. Victoria Montgomery Brown talks about all you need to know! From impressing investors to high-conflict employees to dealing with complaints about someone’s “smelly feet”, you are in for a treat!

If you want to get a little taste of what to expect in terms of business advice, these are the lessons I took from it:

1. Transparency at All Costs
When Victoria Montgomery Brown was on the verge of launching “Big Think”, she was also unexpectedly sent to jail.

I’ll leave out the details for the curious (hint: the book is a must-read, you should definitely check it out!), but the most important lesson of this was, in fact, the way she handled the situation with her investors: transparency at all costs!

This is what makes you reliable. This is what actually builds trust. You need to be quick with good news, but even quicker with bad news with investors.

The business idea is key, of course, but it’s true that people invest in people.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
But transparency isn’t only important to investors. It is crucial when dealing with employees as well. You need to set expectations and be direct and clear about everyone meeting them.

P.S. If you’re a mom, you know this already about your children! They need to be told exactly what you expect of them, the consequences of not listening to you and you definitely need to enforce those consequences if it comes to it.

2. Optics Matter
It’s difficult to get the first investor. No one wants to be the first to risk their money, but if you get the first, and it’s someone anyone would want to be associated with, it’s all easy from there. Prestige matters, sometimes even more than monetary value.

A big part of starting a business is wrangling things without any resources to prove that you can get stuff done with very limited means.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
3. Quit the Day Job
People believe in you if you have something big to lose. Committing full-time is what gives you credibility. If you’re a woman, this is all the more important.

A day job keeps you comfortable. It doesn’t push you enough. You need to be desperate for the thing to work. You need to leap and just start.

4. Purpose and Deadlines
Believing in your purpose is essential. Being able to talk about it succinctly and passionately drives others to participate when you need it. Creating strict deadlines for yourself will determine if and when you achieve them.

You need to have a goal for each day, make it achievable and don’t stop until you’ve done it.

When you’re getting a start-up off the ground, you do whatever you have to do and wear whatever hat needs wearing.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
5. Get Help
If you need to make decisions and are surrounded by “yes men”, you need to get mentors that get what you go through as a founder and can tell you all the hard truths you don’t want to hear. You risk making big mistakes if you don’t get these kinds of people around you.

How you interact with your team and your people actually impacts them as humans. You can increase or decrease someone’s dignity in an instant. Think of that before you speak — whether it’s a matter of seeming insignificance or great consequence.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
6. The Power of Being the Only Woman in the Room
Dress in the suit that makes you feel your best self. Often, that isn’t your sexiest self; it’s your attractive, engaging, powerful self.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
Being a woman in business comes with unique challenges. You may stumble upon old men that don’t see you as a decision-maker or worse, objectify you, perhaps treat you as a child. They are unimportant as long as you treat every situation as doing what is best for your company without compromising your integrity.

Your purpose is you business, so you need to use everything you have. Being a woman can be empowering. From the clothes you wear to the tone you use, you have more freedom than you think.

If you can be truly comfortable with who you are and be bold when the time is right, then you can harness a confidence and power that can truly work to your advantage.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
At the same party a couple of years earlier, I spotted Vikram Pandit, the former CEO of Citi. […] I walked up to him while he was in the midst of conversation with a few others. I waited patiently and smiled and when there was a pause, introduced myself and gave him the thirty second elevator pitch — and was charming about it. Here’s another benefit about being a woman —most men aren’t used to women doing this type of introduction, and while they might be annoyed when other men do it, they are more likely to listen to a woman.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
Even more, as a woman in a room full of men, you provide a different perspective. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities can arise from that, as everyone wants more interesting conversations than those that can be provided by people who are the same.

7. Change Is Inevitable
Understanding this and being mentally prepared for it are two different things. There will be ups and downs in your business, as there are ups and downs in your life. Acknowledge that and act accordingly: learn to love the journey wherever it takes you.

For your business to thrive and for you to thrive with it, it’s essential for you to address your issues. Seek mental well-being first and foremost: face shortcomings, have those difficult conversations, and confront anxiety or trauma! The more you grow as a person, the more you allow your business to grow.

My softness, kindness, and compassion are not what hold me back in life. They’re the characteristics that make me stronger. And make us all stronger. Softness in times of duress is strength.

“Digital Goddess”, Victoria R. Montgomery Brown
Victoria Montgomery Brown created an impressive enterprise, mission-driven, determined to make people “smarter, faster”. Her journey has been full of ups and downs and she talks candidly about all of them in this book.

“Digital Goddess” is a must-read if you seek inspiration and honesty about the joys and difficulties of being a founder.

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Digital Goddess: The Unfiltered Lessons of a Female Entrepreneur by Victoria R. Montgomery Brown

231 Pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Release Date: October 6, 2020

Nonfiction, Business, Leadership, Finance, Business Start Up, Empowerment, Self-Help, Mental Illness

The book is divided into the following chapters.

Chapter 1: Never Lie to Your Investors (Even When You Just Got Arrested)
Chapter 2. Who Goes First? Raising Capital Before You Have Any
Chapter 3: Grow a Pair – What It (Really) Takes to Get a Business Off the Ground
Chapter 4: Get Personal: Working with People You Like and Saying Goodbye (Fast) To Those You don’t
Chapter 5: Boss Not B*tch – Notes on Transitioning from Founder to CEO
Chapter 6: Work It – The Advantages of Being the Only Woman in the Room
Chapter 7: Ah, the Romance, The Complicated Dating Life of a Woman in Power
Chapter 8: Your Other Marriage – How Not to Divorce Your Business Partner
Chapter 9: Don’t Panic! Running a Startup without Having a Breakdown
Chapter 10: Trying Harder to be Softer – Finding Joy at Work

The author discusses hiring and firing, taking disciplinary actions and working through issues with partners. She also talks about how you can be feminine and strong at the same time. She receives great advice from mentors which she shares with readers. Her writing style is a no-nonsense style and she shares the good and bad. What can I say about this book? It is a must read for any woman in business, especially in leadership positions.

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Digital Goddess shares advice for entrepreneurial women from a Harvard Grad and founder of Big Think.
She shares her personal journey of setting up a startup, getting investors and shares tips on how to build a business from the scratch and survive. Shares the importance of forming relationships and friendships that last as well. Helpful at places.

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Okay, here it goes. I know zilch about starting a business. Honestly, I read this to possibly boss-up my digital presence. That is not this book. But then I got to thinking that if my ideas are on the internet, that is a business and brand.

So readers not around in the '80s or '90s could get lost in the earlier memoir aspect of the book but don't let the dates or references fool you. These are the classic problems we all deal with-money, connections, and power.

Yes, it is mainly the author's stories. At the end of her personal examples, she gives reflections. They are like summaries at the end of the chapters and are good advice. The author's clearly been there and done that so she's trying to save you the trip.

I liked that she was honest about power dynamics and how she worked around them. Sometimes it is being lucky or born into the right circumstances. For the rest of us, it is about putting the bulldozer in drive and going for it.

Now I want to see her how-to book on becoming an actual Digital Goddess.

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I didn’t expect a book on entrepreneurship to read like a gripping page-turner that’s also packed with good advice, but this one actually does. I appreciated the no-BS tone of the book as well; it’s not trying to sell you on some online leadership program, it’s just one (impressive and successful) woman entrepreneur relating her story of how she got a start-up off the ground, overcame obstacles, and what she learned along the way. Interesting read if you want to hear how women experience and can excel in entrepreneurship.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

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Victorias book is absolutely amazing. She has a down to earth style and is transparent and honest about the experiences she had when things did not go well for her. Her encounter with mental health made her endearing to me, as I know how bad a struggle it can be when a person is not at peak performance. Her successes and triumphs are an encouragement to any one who has a dream and who can reach for the stars. Victoria is a success because she knows how to skilfully weave the highs with the lows and to reach the stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be assured that dreams can come true. Ms Montgomery Brown is indeed a digital goddess!

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Digital Goddess is a book about and for entrepreneurial women. It doesn't matter at what stage of life you are if want to know what it actually takes to build a business, in a world that’s not always fair, predictable, or politically correct. In the world where you are in many cases the only woman in the room or when your words and/or professional skills are not perceived trully. This is a very interesting personal story of a woman entrepreneur.

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Interesting read. I wish I was still in school because I would use this as a topic of discussion in my women's studies classes.

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Powerful yet compassionate book of advice for women in leadership and business.

Even though it's a fairly short book, it took me a long time to finish it because I wanted to fully absorb the information Montgomery Brown shares. "Digital Goddess" is basically an essential reading about how to be a female leader or professional in the digital age - a time when the gender gap is said to have nearly evaporated compared to the previous century, though it clearly continues to prevent many women from succeeding in the business world. Montgomery Brown outlines various problems a woman would face in the business and leadership settings concerning investment, being the only female at the table, or interpersonal relationships with investors. Not only that, but she also talks about personal issues such as romance when putting all of your cards into your career.

As an aspiring female entrepreneur, I think this book is absolutely packed with advice I'm planning to put into a good use. The word "aspiring" is key here - I can't tell if all the advice is one hundred percent accurate or correct since I don't have this experience. Nonetheless, the author has effectively drawn my attention to lots of aspects of developing my career, and I'm willing to bet money that this is priceless.

*Thank you to the Publisher for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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