Interview With Linda Rendleman, Coach, Radio Host, Author, Founder of Women Like Us Foundation

Please share a little bit about yourself. What was your journey like and how did it lead you to where you are now?

I was born in the Bible Belt in the Midwest, Illinois - the middle of 3 daughters. It’s a long story, of course, but we moved around a lot as a family because of my Father’s work. I watched my Mother work hard to live a life that was authentic, which was difficult in the 50’s and 60’s and, of course this changed a little over time. But, as we all know, this is still a struggle today for women. She was definitely the inspiration for my work as an adult.

What inspired you to create What's Next For Women Like Us in support of women 55+, and when did you launch it?

Another long story. I married young as did many girls in the small Indiana town where I went to high school. It was the norm really. Many of my girlfriends were engaged by the time we graduated from high school. I had one year of college at Indiana University under my belt when I married, much to the dismay of my mother. Ten years later I was divorced, 29 years old, and a single mother with 2 children. I really do believe that between watching my mother struggle for her place as a woman, my life of “When Peggy Sue Got Married”, the beginning of the NOW movement and more, that when my husband and I parted, I felt betrayed and confused. I BEGAN AGAIN and set out to live my life on my own terms.

I now had my bachelor’s degree in Public Speaking and English and my master’s degree in Counseling. I began working with women’s counseling. That led me to creating the first women’s magazine for women in Indianapolis, Indiana and I moved on to create Business Women Connect, a membership group for women and the first of 6 local websites when the first of the internet was available.

Fast forward to today my nonprofit, Women Like Us Foundation, is almost 20 years old and we currently have established a women’s center in Kenya - the Women Like Us Center. We bring women out of the slums of Nakuru and into our center where they have psycho-social support, learn skills, and become economically stable.

The impetus for the name Women Like Us came from my first book, Women Like Us - Real Stories and Strategies for Living Your Best Life. This turned into the Women Like Us Book Series with a total of 3 of titles.

What’s Next for Women Like Us is a project that is one year old. This is a relatively new enterprise that fits with my life long legacy of supporting women to live their most authentic life.

Mentoring a teen.

Just looking at your website, one can see this has expanded to include many different ways of offering support. Can you share a little bit about each?

I guide women to create meaningful, easy ways to chronicle their life experiences to leave a lasting legacy for their loved ones and a guiding light for other women.

Whether it’s through writing, images, video, audio, gardening, music, their essence comes through to tell their personal history. Whether this becomes a legacy for family, a slice of their life for clarity and healing, or recounting a time in their lives that needs clarity and healing through a time of difficulty, her sharing can be a guiding light for herself and other women.  

Women Like Us Books available through their website.

As I will be a guest on your podcast on Feb. 4th (also available as a recording), I'd love to hear more about it. How long has it been running? What is the focus and what kind of women do you interview on it? 

The What’s Next for Women Like Us podcast gives the listener the opportunity to meet women who have found their most authentic self and the stories and strategies that got her there. Also on the show, I share ideas and views from me in a segment called Linda’s Views.

While I know there is all kinds of wisdom offered in the podcast episodes, what is the one thing you most hope women 55+ will take away from listening?

“It’s never too late to actualize your goals and live your life on your own terms.”

I would love to hear what you have personally gained from creating and running What's Next For Women Like Us? How has it changed your life?

What’s Next for Women Like Us is a continuation of my life’s work of supporting and empowering women. In the past I have produced a television show and radio show, and I have experienced the joy of talking with women and creating awareness of their stories.

Speaking at a fundraiser on what the foundation stands for,
why they do what they do and the documentary Women Like Us

Do you have a favourite quote - one that inspires you personally? Any exciting news you'd like to share about what's coming up for What's Next For Women Like Us?

I live by this quote: “When I get to the end of my life, I not only want to have lived the length of it, but I also want to have lived the width of it, as well.”

One thing I'd like to share is I was honored in Washington, DC, for my work of perseverance and my personal life story in support of women. Other women also honored at this time were Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton and 18 other women. HEAR HER SONG is the initiative. Each woman selected had a professional poet write her life in poem, Then the process moved to a songwriter and composer who put our personal story into song. 

Click on image to listen to this recording on SoundCloud!

ONE MORE DAY is the name of my song. In March 2021, an album is being released of 11 of these songs including my own.

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