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I Know How She Does It: A Book Review

Book Review I Know How She Does It

For National Women in Small Business Month, we teamed up with women business owners and leaders to review books written by women, for women. Below, Brandi Dunagan of See Jane Run This reviews I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam. These opinions are solely those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of Kabbage. Check out the other book reviews we’ve posted, here.

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

Are there really women out there that “have it all?” Is “having it all” even possible? Do I currently “have it all” and I don’t even know it? In Laura Vanderkam’s book, I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, she dives head first into these questions and offers what could be the most positive and refreshing look at balancing a thriving, loving family and successful, upwardly-mobile career.

The choice to read this book for me wasn’t a choice…it was an overwhelming urge. The title, impeccably chosen, draws in the driven, busy, and motivated woman. Of course, the first issue with reading the book was…well, you guessed it, TIME. I stuffed this book into my purse and took it wherever I went. For two weeks I devoured this book in tiny spurts, making notes on whatever I could find within reach. My phone, a church bulletin, a Wendy’s takeout bag, and yes, I even wrote a word on my hand one time, “AWARENESS.” I found myself wishing I was the woman that always read before bed, or each morning with coffee before I ever touched my phone. But, it was as I read, that I realized these self-defeating thoughts were counter-intuitive and didn’t recognize the fact that I was making the time to read. Making the time to read a book on self-improvement and discovery. Making time for myself.

This over-arching theme of positive outlook and empowerment was woven through the book by Vanderkam in a beautiful and poignant way; always falling back on reliable data and research to hold it up. In the book, Laura gathered and analyzed the time logs of over 140 women who fit into society’s pre-conceived mold of “having it all;” mothers earning 6 figures. These women committed to logging their 168 available hours each week in order to give the rest of us the opportunity to have a peek behind the curtain. They attended school activities. They had date nights with their spouse. They read to the children, often logging more hours than the typical stay at home parent. They did all of this while earning 6 figures and advancing in their career.

Sound impossible? Vanderkam appropriately shows her readers it’s not.

She offers a positive perspective on…well, perspective. Perspective and a self-awareness. Through the glimpse of other successful women’s schedules, we the readers find ourselves self-aware of our own mini-accomplishments and overall well being. It truly is about balance. Not sitting down to dinner with your family every night? Well don’t forget about those two breakfasts together, and the time your youngest forgot her lunch giving you an impromptu chance to bond in the elementary cafeteria. Feeling guilty or hiring a housekeeper to come twice a month? Think about the hours saved that gave you a chance to finish that big proposal faster or help one of your kids with their school project.

We are doing MUCH better than we think ladies.


Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at