Hillary's Hacks: 11 Magical Life Lessons From Our Co-Founder

Updated 10/09/18

Ever wonder why we weren’t all given a guide book to help us get through life and all its dilemmas? You know—one that contains the kind of wise advice we actually need (versus all those over-the-top warnings from our overprotective parents)? Well, you will after watching The CW’s show Charmed, premiering October 14th at 9/8c. The new series follows the journey of three sisters who must learn how to work together when they discover that they’re witches (casual).

They got a magic spellbook to help them along, but since we’re unlikely to stumble across one of our own, we tend to rely on advice from people we admire. Enter: Hillary Kerr, our incredibly knowledgeable, hilarious, career-savvy, supremely stylish co-founder who always seems to have been through all of the things we want advice on. In preparation for the Charmed premiere, we’ve asked Hillary for her best life spells (aka hacks) every woman should know. Trust us: Commit these to memory and you’ll live a magical life.

hillary kerr family

1. Reframe your workout: It's for your mind, not your body

“I’ve struggled with working out my whole life. Namely, I need to do it, but I don’t want to. While I can’t say I’ve perfected my motivation technique, once I stopped thinking about it as punishment or vindication for food (I have to go because I ate that pizza or I need to go so I can eat pizza) and started thinking about it as something I get to do for my brain/lowering my stress levels, suddenly it became a lot more attractive. Working out is beneficial in so many ways: It can make your skin happier, help you sleep better, give you a dose of endorphins—figure out which one is most important to you, and use that as your reason.”

2. Be the CEO of your career

“To be frank, no one is going to care about your career as much as you do. Period. Mentors are great, but ultimately you’re the one who has to navigate your own career, and you need to take responsibility for that as soon as possible. That means having a plan about what you want your future employment path to look like and a real understanding of what’s important to you. Consider what you value most—money, flexibility, rewarding work, new challenges—and remember those priorities can change as your career progresses, so keep checking in with yourself.

The point is simple: You need to actively shape your career into the one you want. You are not a passenger. Your career is not something that happens to you. You are in charge.”

3. Your instincts are there for a reason

“In my mid-20s, I spent a lot of time wondering if I was making the right choices at work and in relationships, and I often ignored what my gut was telling me. I just assumed my ‘logical’ brain was right and that my ‘emotional’ instincts couldn’t be trusted. The older I got, the more I realized that my brain can justify just about anything, but when something really resonates with my heart and mind—or makes my internal alarm bells go off—that’s when I should be paying attention.”

hillary kerr home

4. Automate your life

“This might not sound sexy, but if you want to reduce your stress levels, make your life as automatic as possible. There are obvious things—like setting up payment plans for your recurring bills or having your moisturizer delivered from Amazon every two months—but it also helps to automate things like beauty appointments. Rather than waking up one morning and realizing you haven’t gotten a haircut in nine months (and thus you now have the crazy split ends of a wildebeest), only to call and find out you can’t get in with your preferred stylist for another six weeks, think ahead and book that next appointment every time you go in.

You’ll know it’s on the calendar, you won’t have to worry about getting a last-minute spot, and you’ll never have wildebeest hair again. Which is kind of the dream, right?”

5. Fight for yourself the way you'd fight for a friend

“One of the keys to having great friendships and relationships is simple: Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to fight for what you deserve. (This is true for your career, too.) If you know what you bring to a relationship, it becomes obvious when you’re not getting back what you’re putting into it. And you deserve more than crumbs; you deserve reciprocity. Think of it this way: If your best friend was in the exact situation you’re in, would you tell them they deserve more? If you’re not giving yourself the same advice, it might be time to reconsider.”

6. You never regret being prepared (aka always bring snacks)

“As a new mom, I’m constantly being reminded anew that ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. Taking the time to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the day ahead is invaluable. In terms of parenting, that means making sure I always have the essentials packed before leaving the house (diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, snacks, an outfit change… and yes, I learned all of this the hard way). In terms of my life, that means taking 10 minutes before bed to organize the next day’s workout outfit, pack my bag, and pick out my clothes for work.

In terms of work, that means setting aside 30 minutes in the beginning of my day to go over my schedule and get caught up on everything pressing before diving into meetings. The point is: Take a beat and get yourself organized. You won’t be mad at the results.”

hillary kerr motherhood

7. Master one fast, healthy meal, and always have those ingredients on hand

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from work, flung open the fridge, and then immediately defaulted to Postmates because I either a) have nothing to make or b) everything feels too complicated to make. It’s an expensive habit (and not always healthy), so I’ve been trying to keep my delivery orders to a minimum. One way I’ve been able to stick to the plan is to always have spicy chicken sausage, prewashed baby spinach, and garlic in the house. I’ll mince garlic while I’m browning the chicken sausage; sauté garlic, red chili flakes, and baby spinach in olive oil; and in 12 minutes or less, I have a healthy, filling, nutritious meal.”

8. Alway remember the power of a third piece

“At WhoWhatWear.com, we talk about the wardrobe-boosting power of a third piece all the time. By that, we mean an additional item you add to your basic pants-and-top or skirt-and-top outfit to make it more visually interesting. That can be a jacket, kimono, blazer, moto, robe coat, duster, vest, sweater, cardigan, scarf, or statement accessory. The point is, by adding third piece to your essentials, the result will ALWAYS be more compelling and stylish.”

9. You will make friends all your life

“In my early 20s, my personal mantra was #NoNewFriends. I was lucky enough to meet most of my BFFs as a kid, and I figured I had enough. Also, how could any new friend compete with the decades of memories I had with my oldest ones? Thankfully I was wildly wrong about this. In fact, while my childhood best friend is still my number one—love you, Kelly!—some of my best, most rewarding friendships are ones I’ve made as an adult. Making friends in your 30s is hard—you have more distractions and less free time than ever—so when you do meet someone you really click with, it’s special.”

hillary kerr career

10. Never drive behind a truck with a ladder in it

“This saying came from a VIE (very important ex), and it’s true on so many levels. He meant it literally—don’t drive behind a truck with a ladder in it, because it’s often not fully secured, and if the ladder falls out, it will cause lots of damage to everyone and everything around it—and I’ve seen it happen enough times to know he spoke the truth. But it’s also true on a metaphorical level: People who are trouble tend to show or tell you that very early on, and it’s up to you to get out of their lane or turn down a different street.

Thanks for the important life lesson, Mr. Ex.”

11. Start a gift-ideas folder for friends and family

“Surely I’m not the only one who has woken up one morning, realized it was my mom’s birthday in three days, and then panicked because I don’t have the slightest clue about what to get her. (Sorry, Mom.) My trick for avoiding a gift-giving freak-out is simple: Keep an ongoing list of great ideas for presents. I have a general gift-ideas folder on my phone where I add cool things I find randomly, and then I have specific ones for my husband, family members, and best friends. When my BFF Kelly lamented the fact that she couldn’t find a cool work bag, I made a note of it.

Guess who got a really awesome work bag for her birthday two months later? Yes, Kelly did. I looked like the most thoughtful human ever, and I wasn’t running around trying to find something amazing at the last second. Talk about a win-win situation.”

the cw show charmed

Now that you’re prepared to live your own charmed life, don’t forget to tune in to The CW on Sunday, October 14, to watch the series premiere of Charmed.

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