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Monday, May 27, 2019

Lessons from my MBA… the kind that are personal and are not taught from a book.


My MBA taught me that I need an outlet such as writing or communication with someone I trust (often that’s myself or my good friends) to get the best understanding of myself and the situations I’m presented with. The team-focus in my MBA and all the writing I did for it helped me to see this about myself. I never knew it until my MBA.

It taught me also that I absolutely love reading. I never read for fun until my MBA… it was reading those Harvard Business Review cases that I grew a fond love for reading, ironically. A lot of people laugh at this when I tell them…

They say, “You grew a passion for reading from HBR Articles? — You’re nuts! haha!”

My classes showed me that I am smarter and more reflective than I ever imagined. My self-confidence grew, and I now understand a lot more about myself than I did with my undergraduate degree alone.

I also noticed that I had a lot to contribute to my MBA teams and classes because I typically have ideas and/or input that is different from maybe what everyone else thinks. Or, maybe I am brave enough to say my thoughts whereas others hold in what they feel if it opposes the mainstream thought.

My MBA helped me to find my own voice. Overall, my MBA helped me dramatically with my own personal growth.

And it’s still and will always be a work-in-progress. This I learned from my MBA too… I thought I knew so much more before my MBA.

My MBA humbled me — it taught me to see the endless things that I didn’t know, and that there are infinite things to learn in this world. It was far more than the lessons you learn from a book or being in class. It was a very personal journey.

The Time I was Trying to be and do Everything with Everyone… And Power of Saying “No”.


It was my junior year of college and I was involved in everything, working a lot, had my first upper-level business classes, and decided to live in the freshman dorm hall because it was cheaper. I found I ended up with horrible grades, and I nearly failed one of my classes.

I had a roommate that took over the whole entire room with the never-ending things she had and upstairs neighbors that played music so loud that my dorm room shook. The next semester of my junior year I realized I needed to make some significant changes otherwise I was going to not do so hot in my college career and might go insane!

So, I took away all of the commitments that were serving me no true value or purpose by taking a closer look at what I really wanted and needed. I moved to another dorm room where I had my own room that enforced quiet hours in an upperclassmen residence hall.

I could breathe again, and soon my sanity came back. I realized from all of this that I needed to learn to be more selective with what I did with my time, who I was around, and again that my environment I was in either was demotivating or motivating. Everything seemed to go to heck that first semester, but it all fell into place again once I made some hard decisions to get back to what I needed.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The High-School Awards Ceremony I never forgot…


…… It was at an end of the year awards ceremony in high school that I realized I was at the top of my class and I was different.

That year each teacher gave out the top three students in their class awards as well as the top 10 for each subject. I found out that I was in the top 3 for every one of my classes and top 3 in my entire class. This was in about 9th grade this occurred. I
found that I was 3rd performing in my class at that point.

I didn’t know this until that exact point. I just simply did my work and didn’t care that I was performing well.

It started with a few awards, and then after about 4 trips up to the podium in front of the entire high school I started to realize that this was both eye-opening, but also I felt sad. My classmates soon realized that I was standing up for nearly every award there was given to be a recipient, and they all started guessing that I was going to be called ahead of time. They did this with all of the 3 of us or so that had numerous awards. They seemed upset that we kept getting the awards and they didn’t.

I was picked on afterward about the awards. They said I didn’t deserve them and that I was just “Miss Smartypants” and that I needed to help them cheat on their homework because I had all of the right answers. Some of the people in my class actually did help them to cheat and they played up the attention while I again got frustrated by everyone and I thought of myself as different for not allowing myself to help my classmates cheat. I offered them the chance for me to teach them, but they didn’t want it. They went to those that would simply give them the answers.

It wasn’t until this awards ceremony and the aftermath that I realized I felt and was different from my classmates in many regards. I went home that night of the awards ceremony with about 10 awards total. I felt sad because I wanted everyone else to be able to feel a sense of achievement and recognition like I had at the ceremony. I felt sad for them that they had to watch me come to the podium again and again and I felt their pain.

I felt so many emotions for the people out in the crowd watching me again get an award, and what was worse was that to me the awards really didn’t mean anything. To me,
they were paper and I didn’t like the attention that came with getting an award.

I didn’t want everyone to think of me as “Miss Smartypants”. I wanted them to see past this and look at me as a good friend or a caring person.

The Change of Friends in 7th Grade…


I mostly have been a person to stick with a close set of friends valuing quality over quantity of friendships. When I find someone that I really like to spend time with and talk to, I really hone in a lot of what makes them unique and yet I am able to see their weaknesses.

I had a friend from 3rd grade till 7th grade that was my sole friend. I didn’t see any need to make more friends; she was all I needed for socialization. I did everything with her and I really put a lot of value on our friendship. We were two peas in a pod.

It was great, but over the years as we got older I realized more and more that while she was a great friend she also was discouraging to me and almost held me back from being my best self. I noticed weaknesses in her that I hated over time.

In about the 6th grade, we started to really like the boys…. We would talk about the different men we liked and about our classmates. What I found was that I was actually very brave and curious about everyone while she was shy and talked as though she was afraid of everyone and everything. I was still her friend, but I would suggest we sit with other people at lunch or maybe we could do something that was kind of crazy but could be fun! She resisted. She didn’t want to do anything out of fear for what people would think and she didn’t want to eat lunch with anyone else.

Eventually, I started to feel trapped being her friend even though I clearly could have just went and did the things alone without her. One day it all came to an end, but by my actions. I told her that I was going to eat lunch with my friend I was making in my band class and she was free to come, but I wasn’t going to sit with her anymore and maybe even be her friend. I told her what I thought about her, and she was upset.

We grew apart and I made new friends. Of course, I noticed the same things with my new friends. They were fearful of others and never were curious about other people who they had their negative views of. I wanted to talk to everyone and get to know everyone. I soon felt different and as though my thoughts weren’t appropriate because nobody seemed to be like me.

I showed my bravery and curiosity in other ways though. Sports was one. In sports, I was able to play with multiple of people instead of sticking to the group of friends I was around all of the time. I talked to anyone when I would talk, but I didn’t talk too much in high school. Band was also my outlet. There were in my opinion no social norms in band, I could talk with everyone there about band because we shared that interest. So, I did. I tried to not be distant from anyone in band and I was most myself there than any other place.

Therefore, I found from this experience that I need to feel free and allow my bravery and curiosity to show. I also learned that the environment and again people I’m around has an influence on how I allow myself to be. I find that I cannot be around closed-minded people for too long, otherwise, it internally bothers me or I begin to inhibit their characteristics instead of acting as my true self.

Near Failure of First Grade…


… And the importance of learning that who I am around will either destroy or help me. Realizing how to find a way to create an equilibrium. This was a reflection exercise I did for one of my MBA Leadership Classes.

This class was so profound for me in my MBA. It helped me to learn sooo much about myself and how my life experiences have affected me and thus in-turn as a leader.

My first-grade teacher noticed that I was different from the rest in the class. I either wanted to be extremely close with everyone or extremely distant, self-absorbed in my own thoughts sitting alone.

My teacher had hair that extended to the bottom of her behind. When she would circle us all up for storytime, she took her hair down from a bun and allowed it to be extended in its full capacity. Most of the classmates would play with her hair while she read. They would awe over her long, beautiful hair.

I sat alone away from everyone and watched them. I didn’t say a word. I did touch her hair, but I didn’t want to play with it nor sit with the kids that did. She pointed out that I wasn’t sitting with the rest of the kids and told me I needed to come close with the rest of the kids and partake in story-time. I listened, but I hated every minute of it to the point that I couldn’t focus on the story being told but rather just the situation at hand. I thought the rest of the kids were weird! Ha!

I grew distant from my teacher and the kids in my class so much that I stopped caring about the lessons being taught by my teacher in class. My teacher, of course, told my mom about my behavior and my teacher suggested I see a physiologist and be enrolled in the special education for my school because maybe my behaviors had something to do with my parent's recent divorce or maybe I had a learning disorder.

My behavior just wasn’t appropriate for a 1st grader and I wasn’t doing well in class. My teacher wanted to hold me back a grade because she said I didn’t belong in 2nd grade yet. My mom took my teacher’s advice about having me see a psychologist and I was enrolled in special education.

It was found that I did have a harder time than others with learning, but that with hard work and motivation I learned well with time and actually I picked up on things that other kids didn’t. I wanted to understand, and I was curious about everything. I often asked my special education teacher about how everything worked and I talked about how I felt the rest of the kids were acting weird.

My teacher still wanted to hold me back to repeat 1st grade though. My mom told her and also fought the school principal to negotiate that I be put into 2nd grade still with the stipulation that I show a good performance within so much time and if I didn’t show good performance in 2nd grade then the school could move me back into 1st grade.

Surprisingly, I did outstanding in 2nd grade and continued to be a straight-A student from thereon. I did so well that they took me out of special education after a while in 2nd grade.

However, there was one difference and my mom noticed it too….. my 2nd-grade teacher was a lovely woman that encouraged me to do well and was very nice to me. I still think extremely highly of my 2nd-grade teacher.

The impact of this event on my values and direction in life…

I learned that I had large control over my success or failure. I can either fail or succeed depending on the environment and my awareness and control of the situations at hand. I can also let things bother me to a point that I become extremely distant and essentially fail if I allow myself. I learned to point out my frustrations with people and situations and distance myself from them or take care of them in a way that can be useful and to my advantage.

Inner Harmony — I learned that I must value inner harmony.

I must have time to reflect and a place to voice or get rid of my frustrations. Otherwise, I may not succeed and I may start to think about things other than what I need to be at that moment to achieve success.

I have to be able to have my own thoughts under control about “things going on that I cannot control”, otherwise I cannot do well.

Affiliation — I learned that I need to feel somewhat a part of the group. Respected at the very least.

My 1st-grade teacher focused on my weird behavior and always pointed out my weaknesses. Whereas my 2nd-grade teacher showed a sincere appreciation for me as an individual absent of my flaws and when she did talk about my flaws she always talked about what I did that was also good and made me feel very special.

I’ve noticed this even as an adult, and it has been somewhat of an inner battle with my value for independence because I sometimes view the need to be affiliated as a weakness instead of something that helps me find inner peace.

I need to feel a sense of belonging.

I secretly hated that special education took me away from the rest of the class. I wanted to be in the class with everyone else enjoying the Spanish lessons! I always had my special education time when everyone else studied fun Spanish in 2nd grade. I felt awful about it that I never got to learn Spanish like the rest of the kids. Haha.

Instead, I felt like an outsider and a freak.

However, I enjoyed my 2nd-grade teacher pointing out what made me an asset making me feel like I belonged in my class and I made a contribution.

I still struggle with this one, I feel as though that I shouldn’t require to feel belonging. That independence and self-control should take more precedent. So, this is something I’ll need to continue to work on to be an effective leader.


The Mom Files…

My Mom and I.

My mom’s birthday would have been last Tuesday, May 21st if she were still alive.

I pulled a few old pieces of writing I did about her and us in honor of her.

Hope you enjoy it.

Old Writing #1: My mother’s death and the value of living life to the fullest and showing a sincere sense of respect and happiness for those who are meaningful in my life. “Life is short, live it to the fullest.”


My mom died when I was in my freshman year of college. We didn’t have the best of relationship and we never hugged or showed affection for each other.

She made me hug her before I left for college, and it was the last hug I ever got from my mom while she was in good health. It was a very emotional yet eye-opening experience that has shaped my thoughts about life and showing affection/sharing what someone truly means to you in your life. I never did really until after my mom’s death show affection to anyone nor let them know what they meant to me.

After my mom’s death and to this day, I make it a point to let my friends and those I value know that they mean something to me if they do. I enjoy showing affection to those I most care about.

I also learned that you have to forgive people and move on from things in life a lot more than what I did previous to this life event. I learned that life is short and you must live life the best way possible being appreciative and showing others what they mean to you because they may never know without you saying or showing how you feel.

Old Writing #2: My Hero — My Mom


My mom is my hero. While we didn’t have a good relationship for many years, now thinking back to how she raised me, never failed to share her harsh opinions and observations, and put up with my bullheaded nature growing up which wouldn’t be easy for nearly anyone — she’s my hero.

She taught me many lessons in life and I still live by many of them. She had the perseverance to put up with a child-like me that questioned everything and was extremely curious and always standing my ground with my opinions on a wide-range of things that may or may not have been grounded.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wouldn’t be the person I am without her personality of speaking back to me in opposition to what I thought, making me question my thoughts and beliefs even though I became frustrated many of times.

All along she believed in me and the success I could have in life. She was the one that motivated me and pushed me to get things done and never give up when I wanted to stop.

She was my punching bag but also my rock. I needed her more than I ever wanted to let onto, and when I lost her in my freshman year of college I realized so much. My mom is my hero.

However, it’s too bad I never realized this until she died because I would have liked to have seen her in this light while she was alive and I could tell her.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The turtle wins… Do something, not nothing.


Last Sunday, I did a 5k run/walk for the first time in over 6 years. I was the turtle…. Slow. I walked a few times but I mostly tried to jog it however slow I was. And… I did it.

Now, you don’t have to do a 5k like I did. We all have our own races we choose or challenges that we face. Our own goals. Our own lives. We can do nothing or we can do something. The choice is ours. No matter how slow or how small, if we do something then we’re ahead of choosing nothing.

It’s easy and can feel comfortable to do nothing, but we don’t overcome, challenge ourselves, or change if we don’t do something. Don’t choose nothing.

The turtle wins. Do something, not nothing. Live by the famous line by Nike… Just do it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Stay

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash
Note: This is not a picture of the actual room from the stay. I didn’t take any pictures to keep, unfortunately. This was the best I could do to portray the comfort, simplicity, and vintage-like style of the stay based on my memories. Oh, it was divine!

  • The smells of old wood and an old home are the first I notice.
  • A family keepsake and strong heritage.
  • A family tree in the hall hung with pride.
  • Beautiful memories and strong, close-knit loved ones.
  • A beautiful bedspread, so soft and fluffed… Then I get in and the sheets feel so crisp and clean… Flowered and old feeling… so refreshing and calming. So nice for a nap. They smell like the outdoors with fresh flowers just picked. Sheets were hung on a line outdoors to dry, I’ll bet.
  • Beautiful lamp — Very classic yet minimal.
  • The pillows feel amazing & divine. Feathered.
  • The walls wallpapered.
  • The bathroom is even more beautiful. White porcelain sink with hot & cold water that comes out at the most extremes in temperatures on either end. Can’t keep the hot on too long. Love the mix of temperatures… refreshing to feel.
  • The soap — so luxurious and feels and smells divine.
  • The bathroom walls are covered in pretty floral old style wallpaper.
  • Metal baskets & decor.
  • A perfect lotion and soap of the bar type that smells so refreshing in a basket on top of the metal toilet stand.
  • Q-tips in a glass jar.
  • A white framed mirror.
  • Old style windows with white blinds.
  • White cotton sheets… white, thick, comforting cotton towels.
  • The meal in the morning was crafted and delicious, served on the very best china.
Memories from my overnight stay at Peaches Bed And Breakfast — http://peachesinn.com/

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Time to smell the reality flowers and stop smelling the turds of imperfections… my people.


For many years now, when it came to starting a business of my own and creating action towards the entrepreneurial passion I’ve had since high school, I have sat in my own head creating endless loops of thinking and overthinking. Downing myself and putting away this passion as something that’s just not for me. Literally any excuse I can create for myself or hear from others, I’ve allowed it to dictate my movement forward. I’ve finally decided…. I can do this and be this and I don’t care what my former self told me as true or anyone else for that matter, and I need to get out of my own head and move forward.

For years, I have sat around and thought and thought and thought and thought and thought about business ideas and written endless business plans and gotten excited and then, sadly, torched my own beautiful fires.

Mostly, it’s been me entirely… my own insecurities not allowing myself to move forward with my own thoughts of myself. But, it has also been the people I’ve told my thoughts to over the years who have helped me to add to my list of endless excuses and crutches with moving forward.

There have been VERY FEW people in my life that have encouraged me and I mean really encouraged me to go after my entrepreneurial passions. They say, “Take the safe road, you’re not ready, you don’t understand the work involved, you’re an accountant — you aren’t going to be good at sales & marketing — why do you think you’d make it? just wait — you’re young, laughing at me for my creativity for my business ideas because apparently, they think this is just some funny shit to add to their entertainment and not something serious, that’s not good enough of a career for you, etc, etc, etc. Mostly, I haven’t thought I actually WAS listening to them and taking those things to heart, but I was indirectly as much as I wanted to think I wasn’t. I figured, hey great they want to say what they think and offer me little golden nuggets that I can choose or not choose to use in my life. (Yea, I still think that’s true…. but what the bad part is about it is coming…)

What listening to everyone with all these crutches concerning moving forward did to me was that it slowly crept into accepting those truths about myself and they gave me endless excuses for myself even in ways my own mind couldn’t….. it just added to all the misery that kept me away from passionately and positively pursuing my own gems in my life.

I’ve been stuck in my own head… examining those worries or allowing them to be truths for too long. So, recently I decided…. you know, nobody — including myself — can stop me. I don’t care if I fail at this or not — I’m doing it. And I don’t care about perfection anymore.

People, including myself if I let myself, can hold onto every imperfection they see or think, or even smell from afar as a turd even if it truly smells like a beautiful flower in reality. Time to smell the reality flowers and stop smelling the turds of imperfections… my people. Go forth and get out of that head and everyone else's head too!… GO FORTH!

(Yeppp… Got into my real crazy, nutty writer’s head here on that last paragraph! LOL!!)