Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Day Witnessing Excellence Translated to Business

Decor at Museum Tower
A few days ago I attended an invite-only #DrivenbyDesign event hosted by partners Architectural Digest and Cadillac.  I rsvp'ed because I wanted to have an opportunity to take a break from running my strategic advisory firm.  I am also beginning to develop an amateur interest in architecture.  My expectations were not lofty.

However, those expectations were blown out the water as soon as I pulled up to Museum Tower.

We were greeted by a slew of greeters working the event and upon entering the event space on the 42nd floor of Museum Tower with panoramic views of downtown Dallas, I realized this was not going to be a boring, uninspired event!

Breakfast was served on polished silver service platters and we were treated to a great architectural history of Dallas by architect Bob Borson. It was informative and the historical perspective gave me a new appreciation for the commitment to great architecture in Texas!

Our Rides: 2015 Escalades
We then proceeded to tour a beautifully designed apartment on the 38th floor of Museum Tower followed by a tour of the Urban Reserve and a Brookview residence in Preston Hollow. And we were escorted to each property riding in 2015 Cadillac Escalades...it was an inspiring and truly memorable experience.

But my greatest take away from our half day experience went beyond looking at some houses riding in a nice vehicle.  As I spoke with Signe Smith, Principal with Smitharc Architects, for example, as she described the details and thought processes that went into creating the residence, I realized that the methodical, professional and attention to detail was on another level! The owners stated before building that "they wanted to feel like a vacation home every time they walked in" (because they were hard working entrepreneurs)....right then and there I knew that the reason so many of us are inspired by brands like Architectural Digest and Cadillac is because their primary goal is excellence in all they do!

That day is still inspiring me to assess how I can bring even more excellence to what I do, how I do it and when I do it.  Striving for the most impactful business (quality vs quantity) is what separates those organizations that only meet the needs of its customers and those that exceed the expectations of its target customers.
My Favorite: By Smitharc Architects
So today, look at what you do, how you do it and when you do it and create ways to make your own experience one in which you strive for a new level of excellence that will make your product, service, painting, Board, or new creative project the next Cadillac or Architectural Digest that is talked about for decades!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Blah-Monday Mom on Snack Sensation Graze

Mondays. My least favorite day of the week. The precious weekend is gone and it’s back to the quick-step of the work week. My Monday got off to a sobering start – the 4:30 AM alarm, packing lunches, the carpool lane and Dallas traffic. I arrive at the office (still reminiscing about aforementioned weekend), and learn that there’s a delivery waiting for me at the mail desk. Oh Monday, you’re looking better already.

A few weeks prior, I’d been chatting with a co-worker about a recurring topic – health and weight loss, anyone? We exchanged tips and she shared that she’d signed up for a new healthy snack delivery service called graze. She gave me a coupon for one free box and, since I’m incapable of passing up a good deal, I decided to give it a try.

I signed up for the semi-monthly Nibblebox at $6.99/box. (There are three snack subscription options: once a week, once every two weeks and more than once a week.) My first box arrived at my office on a Monday, which I thought was brilliant because who couldn’t use a lift on a Monday? The box was adorable –Instagram worthy, no doubt – and contained four individually wrapped and sealed snacks. I tried Garden of England first. It was a medley of mini strawberries, black currants and soft apple pieces. Hated it. 

I immediately logged on to graze.com and adjusted my settings to remove the snack from future deliveries. A few days later, I opened Summer Berry Flapjack, which graze describes as a “rustic rolled oat flapjack with berry-infused cranberries.” It was delicious. It was similar to a granola bar, but surprisingly fresh! Although I could’ve eaten more, the portion was just right, satisfying and completely guilt-free.  

I’m now three boxes in and plan to maintain my subscription at its current frequency. It’s freed me from snacking guilt, brightened my Mondays (every other week) and there are so many flavor profiles to choose from. If I don’t like a certain flavor, I just remove it from my preferences and graze knows not to send it to me again. However, I’ve labeled the majority of the snacks I’ve tried as either “like” or “love.”

Tan and her daughter
If you’re a busy professional, busy mom or a busy woman mutli-tasking but are looking to make better and healthier snack choices, give graze a try!  

Tan Ward


Tan Ward resides in Dallas, TX. She is a wife, mom of two, and marketing professional for an insurance consulting firm. Tan is passionate about food and enjoys reading, laughing, and collecting life hacks and other interesting knowledge.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Untold Value of Focused Interests

Today, as I watched a "Leading Women" story on CNN, I was reminded about how rewarding it is to have an interest or hobby that you focus on for years.

In college, it was a requirement to read and subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Financial Times, etc if you were a business major like I was.  So at 19, I begrudgingly spent part of my spending money and signed up at the student subscription rate to the WSJ, Fortune and Forbes.

I have known since I was very young that I had a passion for business.  I literally breathe, eat and observe business news like it's candy.  And even though I did not like my internal auditing path in corporate, I stayed longer than I wanted because it was one of the only professions that allowed me the opportunity to know what goes on in the bowels of a publicly traded company from the janitor to the board room...from compliance, to the financials to operations.

Untold Value
When people normally talk about having a passion for an interest or career, it is normally in the vein of an athlete that practices for years before competing in the Olympics (like what Geoff Colvin chronicled in "Talent is Overrated") or it is someone who is a professional motivator who's life calling is motivating the masses.

My example is connected to my 20 year passion reading, following and observing business...trends, highlights, lows, stock crashes, new inventions, game changers, etc.

The value in my business knowledge is that I get the pleasure of seeing the many cycles of how our world is impacted by business....not as just a casual reader, but as someone who studies and practices it as an obsession.

L'Oreal Acquisition and CNN's Leading Ladies
Carol's Daughter 200x200Yesterday a friend tagged me on a Facebook post about L'Oreal's acquisition of Carol's Daughter.  I couldn't be more happier for Founder Lisa Price.  The reason I'm so happy is that I literally remember a small blurb in Essence magazine about a new women's hair care line debuting amongst stiff competition. I have kept up with her over the years through celebrity endorsements, near bankruptcy and yesterday we get the pleasure of seeing the fruit of her 21 years (since she mixed potions in her kitchen) of building and believing.  I am so pleased to say I remember and utilize her story in connecting my own dots as an entrepreneur.

CNN has a 15 minute show on their international channel called "Leading Women".  I love it because it highlights women leaders from all over the world who are normally pioneers and who exhibit great character in leading at such a global level.

Today I saw the recorded story of Jo Malone.  This is another great business story I can say I've had the pleasure of seeing their great evolution.  Jo Malone, as she says, didn't decide to become an entrepreneur.  She didn't have a choice.  It was either create something (especially something where her dyslexia wouldn't be a hinderance) or literally not eat.  She started creating great perfumes in the United Kingdom and after years of selling to luxury boutique retailers, she was able to generate a global following for her perfumes and candles.  Her company was sold to the Estee Lauder companies in 2011.

Focused Interests and the Pleasure of Seeing It Evolve
One of the greatest pleasures of having a focused interest is you not only get to do it and contribute to the dialogue when you become great at it, but you also get to connect the dots that a novice will never be able to do.  I do believe we live in times where it is "normal" to have many interests and participate in activities where you get to use multiple giftings.  But there is something uniquely special about following the thread of an interest that is 20, 30, 40 years in the making.

I really believe that when you see and observe a connective thread over years, it creates a deep sense and satisfaction that makes you feel like you are "touching God".  It's truly indescribable.

I think Jo Malone's husband said it best when she was in the process of making the decision to start a new company, Jo Loves:

  Find the track you run fastest on and run it!

Be great and be obsessed and find your interest...your greatness at it has the potential to change the world.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tips for Creating a Great Vision Board

Picture #1 of My Vision Board (See Below)
Since I am an extremely visual person, I love vision boards.  Some people are more wired to journal because words have more meanings but for me, it's all about the visual (although I do journal periodically).

As I have been consistent in having a Vision Board that inspires me to be my best I thought it would be helpful to share some of the best tips (and ooopsies) of what I have learned over the years.

Tried and True Tips For Creating Vision Boards:
Keep it simple:  I once had a really big office so I thought it made since to have two vision boards side by side...wrong!  Your vision board is meant to be a high level/highlight of what inspires and motivates you...not a laundry list of everything you think is inspiring.  And it is even better when you keep it simple and nailed down to the things that most directly connect to your goals or upcoming important events.  Those two boards were cluttered with things that were all over the place and so I rarely referred to it instead of making it a point of constant inspiration.

Also in keeping it simple, make a separate vision board that's intended for you personally and one that's intended to be for your family, book club, nonprofit team, etc.

Make it an evolving place and expect changes:  I always thought that a vision board was strictly for goals only and that once I achieved the goal, I could take down the item.  While you will have items on your vision board related to a goal (as noted above), not everything on there needs to be some systematic, check list event or thing.  Think of it as something that evolves as you find out more information, as your goals change, as what inspires you change, etc.  It's for you so make it reflect where you are.

No new years resolutions:  I used to only work on my vision board when it was the new year and it was time to make resolutions. I still laugh about that...like most people, goals and inspirations only determined when it is a new year tend to be short winded and not well thought out.  It's okay if it's important to you to add something that is a new year's resolution but put it on a sticky note or connect it to a long term goal that's important to you...just don't make your whole vision board about new years resolutions only.

Keep it someplace where you have to see it frequently:  This by far is something that I wish someone would have told me when I made my first vision board.  My first one was on an 8 1/2 x 12 glass frame and a couple weeks after making it I put it on a bookshelf that was in a corner.  I wouldn't see it again for weeks at a time!  If you spend as much self-love, thought and genuine time creating your vision board, then it's obviously filled with things you care about...make sure you see it daily or weekly!

Picture #2 of My Vision Board (See Below)
I have found that what people end up putting on Vision Boards falls into a few categories:

  • Aspirational: some thing they aspire to get, some event they aspire to attend or someone they aspire to be (characteristics)
  • Inspirational: a celebrity, family member, friend or other key figure that inspires them to want to be a better person in what they say, do, don't do, activities they are involved in, etc.
  • Motivational: someone or something that has been especially motivating to them; it can be a poem (such as the "Our Deepest Fear" poem put in video), a concert ticket, a motivational guru such as Les Brown, Wayne Dyer or Tony Robbins
  • Key Phrases, Words or Quotes: words are very powerful and so if there is word, quote or phrase that you know will be a constant source or reminder to be great, then type it up, write it out or clip it from a magazine! 
  • Visual Reminders: this can be anything that, when you look at it, brings you to a place of hope, courage or just makes you happy.  Color does that for me so whenever I see a pretty ribbon, tie, cord or ornament that makes me smile, I add that to my vision board
  • Visual "Candy":  this can be anything that visually emotes a positive reaction in you.  I know people who will put something from a memorable vacation, an event or anything that causes them to know what is possible in life and to live to the fullest.
  • Goals/Mission Statements: I only put (and would suggest putting) a summarized version of your goals and notes from your Mission Statement.  Depending on how big your vision board is, space is of the essence so use it wisely. Sometimes I will only put short term goals on post-it notes with the longer term goals captured in another way as mentioned above.
  • Reminders of Promises to Yourself:  I especially recommend this when you are someone who needs a reminder or reason why you are saying "no" to an obligation or commitment.  I only started putting this on my vision board as I got older and boy does it work!  For example, if you have a picture of the Eiffel Tower (like I do) on your vision board as a reminder that you are saving up for a five-star Paris experience with our besties, then constantly seeing that picture on your vision board will help you say "no" to invites where you know will require you to spend over your budget.

So what's on my vision board?
I purchased my all black vision board a while back from The Container Store and I love it because you can use tacs to put up photos, clippings, etc.  I found a similar one here.

Picture #3 of My Vision Board (See Below)
Picture #1: the meeting agenda from my life changing White House Business Council visit, a satin bold pink ribbon that I think is gorgeous, a picture of the Eiffel Tower because it is on my bucket list, pictures of two people that I think are elegant and beautiful (my mother and Aerin Lauder), and the fabric ribbon used at Carolina Herrera's CH store that inspires me to strive for quality over quantity.

Picture #2: Two butterflies that remind me to be free and do what honors who I am, a magazine clipping of "New Year, New You" that inspired this blog post, another magazine clipping from the Hermes advertisement that says "Sporting Life" that reminds me to workout!

Picture #3:  The Post Office commemorative gold stamp and holder of Madame CJ Walker, America's first female self-made millionaire that reminds me that there are no limits to what you can do!

So what inspires you and what will your vision board look like after reading these tips?


Ebola, ISIS and Dealing with Uncertainty

I have noticed the amount of additional social media postings related to world events that often deal with uncertain events that none of us could have guessed.  This is especially true for me because I live in Texas where the first United States case of Ebola has originated.  And before this event, there was/is talks about what to do with the ongoing threat of ISIS.  And before that, you can name a number of things that fought for your attention on the news, social media and gossip from your neighbors.
This made me wonder how best to keep my mind positive and engaged with what I could control and let go of the worries and fears that are sure to come when you don't know how to react to uncertain events.  It's not that we should place our head in the sand and ignore that ebola, etc isn't a real threat.  They are.  But I also know that you can't halt your life for every tragedy, news of disease, terrorist threat, etc.

Below are some tips that I personally use to stay positively motivated no matter what is going on:

Accept That Our Times Are Always Going to Be Uncertain
The brilliance that I learned in Nassim Taleb's book "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" was that Black Swans (defined as those positive or negative things that lie outside the realm of regular expectations, carry a potentially extreme impact and that is hard to predict) should be our new normal. We live in a complex, crowded and fast paced information age.  Instead of us reacting to uncertainty as if it's an outlier, we should react to uncertainty knowing that these are the times we live in.

And that's okay!

Develop a Way to Stop Worrying
In the classic life changing book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie, he provides some practical and useful tips to stop worrying:

  • Fundamental Tips
    • If you want to avoid worry, live in "day-tight compartments".  Don't stew about the future.  Just live each day (fully) until bedtime.
    • The next time Trouble backs you up in a corner, try the formula: 1. Ask yourself, "What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can't solve my problems?"; 2. Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst--if necessary.; 3. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst--which you have already mentally agreed to accept.
    • Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of your health.  
  • Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry
    • Get the facts: "...half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision." (Like news outlets!)
    • After carefully weighing all the facts, come to a decision.
    • Once a decision is carefully reached, ACT! Get busy carrying out your decision--and dismiss all anxiety about the outcome.
    • When you are tempted to worry about a problem, write out and answer the following questions: What is the problem?  What is the cause of the problem?  What are all possible solutions?  What is the best solution?
Be Mindful of Your Triggers
It depends on what you fear but be mindful that we all have triggers that can catapult us into a state of panic that bleeds over into other parts of our lives.  For example, I fear calls out the blue telling me unexpected bad news since that is the way I found out my mother had passed in 2007. So, today, I rely on my voicemail more and I've stopped watching local news (full of bad news) and horror movies since those two things create thoughts of bad things.  It's my way of controlling one of my "triggers".

Focus on What Makes You Happy/Grateful
Making gratitude a daily life practice is one of the best ways to overcome fear and uncertainty.  Practicing gratitude forces you to focus on the good things, people and events that create a sense of peace, courage, hope, joy and happiness in your life.  No matter what local or world event that is going on, always make a practice of gratitude by calling a friend you haven't spoken with in ages and talking about that fun party, celebrating the small things with your children/family, constantly updating your vision board with things that you know make you  hopeful and forward looking.

One of the things I do that makes me happy is watch slap-stick comedy that doesn't require me to have to think!  My favorite is "Dumb and Dumber" (don't judge this choice, lol!)! I will also watch a Beyonce' concert!  Going to church or walking at the lake are also other things I do.

Keep a Positive Attitude
Whether there is uncertainty in the world or not, your perception of the world will always be impacted by your attitude.  I have seen people in the most blessed environments perceive it to be filled with problems or headaches because they approach it with a bad attitude.  Your attitude directly impacts your ability to have the faith and hope it takes to overcome any situation, filter information from any event and focus your energies on the best potential outcomes of any challenge.

I hope you find these tips helpful and they are ones that I practice repeatedly on a personal level so that I can be a blessing without internalizing all the bad things that are sure to come no matter what...I stay updated on what's going on in the world but I also choose to live the most positive life I can while recognizing how valuable it is to live in peace, love and with joy.

I pray for all the people who are directly impacted by any of the current crisis.


Friday, October 17, 2014

My Road to a Comeback

I felt compelled to write this post because I just don't see more information out there of people who are on a journey of a comeback.  I normally read about either extreme: someone who is at their bottom fighting off depression, sickness or other tragedy OR I read about people who are at their epitome...winning in everything they do.

Well, what about the folks like me who are in the midst of a comeback?

Quick Recap
I texted a friend this morning because after a three year hiatus, I am starting to accept invitations to  events again.  Starting at the age of 29, I was always about town, going to fabulous dinner parties, sitting on great boards/committees for the Dallas Opera, etc, etc.
Me (Left) and My Beloved Mother (Right)

And then my world started crashing all around me...

I don't technically recall when it started but in the five year time span between 31-36 years of age, I kept having loss after loss after loss.  Some of those losses included the death of both my biological parents (within two years of each other), loss of possessions, loss of friends, loss of my wholehearted innocence (a truly hard loss), loss of a friendship to a man that I thought I was destined to be married to...and I was doing my best to balance this all while being responsible for a $2MM compliance budget for the company I worked for that went through six mergers/acquisitions within this same five year time frame. I knew that the SEC and company shareholders would not understand it if I told them I needed a break from the 12 hour days because I was hurting and needed a break...the day I was driving home from work at midnight and almost crashed my car because I fell asleep at the wheel was my breaking my point.

My Bold Choice
And so then at 36 years old, I did a 360 and told the world "No".  The company I worked at was shocked at my resignation, I stopped accepting any and all invitations...I said "No" more times in a month (back then) than I recall ever saying in my entire life time up until that point...literally everyone was shocked.
  • I said no to bad friends.
  • I said no to one-sided relationships.
  • I said no to commitments.
  • I said no, no, no.
The hardest thing about this bold choice is that I lived off my frugal ways of saving all those years but the money was running out fast.

In a panic, I started reaching out to some folks to get connections for work, etc and to my utter amazement, people who I had helped stopped answering my calls, returning emails, etc.

My Comeback
You would think that after all of this I'd be some bitter, cynical, hard heart person today...actually, that couldn't be more from the truth.

During the period of my panic towards trying to recover, some pretty awesome things have occurred that helped me know that my faith was real:
Me at the White House Business Council Meeting
  • I chaired the 26,000 strong alumni association of INROADS.
  • I went to the White House as apart of their Business Council meeting.
  • I have a stronger bond with my family and friends who are left...I won't ever forget what they have done for me.  Sometimes it was as simple as feeding me for Sunday family dinners!
  • I was able to grieve and let go of all those losses I experienced in such a short period of time.
  • I am solid and at peace with who I am and what I can do. No more expending effort on people who will never get me or be a genuine friend.
  • I still wholeheartedly believe in people but the difference is that I accept people for who they are...I'm not trying to change no one.  I have my hands full being myself!
I could go on and on but you get the idea.

The Truth Speaks
What's interesting is that more recently, invitations have started pouring in again.  The invitations don't determine my worth, I just think it's very interesting that when I have decided it's time to move boldly forward with where my life is now (CEO of my strategic advisory firm and creator of this great blog), the truth is speaking and confirming.

The only difference between the invitations and my life now versus then is I'm no longer the innocent, believe anyone, put others first before myself woman.  I am now the firm, bold, secure, put myself first, hopeful, don't care how many likes I get on social media and wise woman that I know my mother always knew I'd be. I'm a force and I know it.

I hope you find inspiration and know that whether you are in the midst of a challenging time or orchestrating your own comeback, you will always find an honest commentary from me and our other Curva-Lish Ambassadors here.  That's the only way I know to truly live an authentic life of style, grace and purpose...


Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Antique Adventure: Round Top, Texas

I am a Texan and one of our pride and joys is the Round Top antiques gathering that has gone from annual to three times a year featuring antiques, dealers and fans!

Round Top, TX, has a population of 90. But twice a year, tens of thousand of antiques sellers, vintage hunters, and bargain seekers descend for the spring and fall Antique Weekends. It is the best of food, fun and shopping rolled into one weekend!

Interesting Facts


When it launched 47 years ago, The Original Round Top Antiques Fair specialized in early American and Texas antiques. There’s still plenty of those, plus Mid-Century Modern, fine silver, rare books, and more—even an entire tent dedicated to Continental treasures.


Don’t forget the sunscreen—and the umbrella too.
Texas weather can be changeable. And becausethe fair encompasses a gargantuan barn,two immense tents, and a dance hall one town over, comfy shoes are a must.

Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic fame restored a 46-acre
Round Top property to create The Prairie, a b-and-b
spread out over five buildings. Designer Wendy Haworth
and country music star Miranda Lambert have been
known to source some fab finds at the flea.

Lunch at Royers (Photo Credit)

The 40-seat Royers Café is renowned for its handmade pies:
buttermilk, cherry, blueberry with lemon cream, chocolate
chip with pecans… It sells via mail order too, so you can
savor the flavor of Round Top long after the fair is over.

Can't swing a Texas trip? These picks from partner One Kings Lane will tide you over!

CountryOutfitter.com - Free Shipping over $99Also, the next show is their Winter Roundup happening January 23-24, 2015 (admission only $5 at the  door)...hope to see you there!


Friday, October 10, 2014

What Can Be Achieved by Someone on a Mission? A Nobel Peace Prize

I was just notified that education advocate Malala Yousafzai has just been acknowledged as one of the recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize...I am overjoyed!

I am overjoyed because she is a 17-year old girl who almost lost her life to extremists because of their fear that her message and insistence on educating girls would be adopted.  And she did this with no resources other than the will to see things change so that she is not denied the right to get the education that she knew was the root of any freedom!

I also am overjoyed because just think about the amount of single-minded focus you must exhibit to not be deterred from your goal even when you are almost killed for it and yet you continue.  Malala's continuation of her mission to get educated has inspired the world.

Let her story inspire you right where you are with what you are believe you can achieve.  Get single-minded about impacting children, changing the impact of your company, serving the poor, building a business that creates a new innovation that will disrupt an entire industry (and potentially make you a billionaire in the process)...or your single-minded goal can be as simple as being such a great Mom that your children become our next generation's world leader who operates ethically and with compassion to all that they serve!

Malala has inspired me to keep moving forward in my single-mindedness to empower women to be leaders (we need your voice!) and live a life of authenticity.

Your single-minded mission may not be Nobel Prize worthy but I promise you, when Malala set about to get educated, she had no earthly idea what impact her brave and courageous actions would have inspiring our world.

Be brave. Be single-minded. Adopt a mission. Help and heal the world.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Power of the Girl that Becomes the Woman

Sexist T-Shirts sold by Walmart (Left) and Target (Right)
I have been absolutely dis-heartened by the decision of such big, well respected community retailers such as Walmart and Target to sell t-shirts that most news outlets are reporting as the most sexist messages to young girls to date.

Walmart T-shirt Message: "Score!  Superman does it again!"

Target T-shirt Message: "Training to be Batman's Wife"

My shock over the t-shirts have related to the fact that the t-shirts are subliminal messages to our young girls that only boys can become leaders, that girls are only good as cheerleader sidekicks and that their life can only be fulfilled based on how well they support a male leader while not aspiring to lead.

Visit Girls Can't What?
What were they thinking?

Instead of adding fuel to the fire and contributing further to the negativity, I have decided to do something positive. Through our supplier, I have created a t-shirt that gives a counter-narrative about the potential of girls and their ability to lead!

We have partnered with "Girls Can't What?" to offer a t-shirt that we hope will encourage girls that they can do anything they set their minds to and aspiring to lead is not just a boy thing, it is a girl thing too!

We Believe Girls Are Superheroes! 

100% of Net Proceeds from the sale of our counter-narrative t-shirts will be donated to Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School!

Why Irma Rangel?
From their website: "Our mission is to provide young ladies in grades six through 12 with a global education that emphasizes mathematics, science and technology...Rangel school ensures our young ladies have the skills and knowledge needed to graduate from a four-year college institution.  Leadership makes the difference as students give back to their communities through required volunteer service and summer institute program.

Our staff is dedicated to preparing our young ladies to compete in a global society.  Our Motto: Girls Today. Women Tomorrow. Leaders Forever"

So tell your Mom, sister, cousin, girlfriends and neighbors to join us as we spread the word of empowerment to girls to lead and become superheroes!

Order here:


Non-refundable.  Your shirt will arrive within three weeks and total amount donated to Irma Rangel will be updated on main home page monthly.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Can You Be Talked Out of Your Dream?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of women leaders at a Leadership Institute on the topic of Brene Brown's "Daring Greatly".  I was inspired to write this post because several events that have occurred over the past few weeks are great examples of how when you make the decision to dare greatly (and thus, be in a vulnerable position of potential failure, being judged, etc.), your very life and dreams and hopes are exposed in a way that will either cause you to retreat or go boldly forward even in the midst of the judgement, potential failure, etc.

My main job is CEO of a strategic advisory firm.  Recently, we launched a video highlight reel service because I was so pleased with how ours came out after searching endlessly for a way to standout and reach clients.  Our goal is to bring the success of video in other industries to the world of business as a communications tool. (You can send an email to thesupagroup@gmail.com for more information)

It just so happens that one of our very first clients was one of the Directors of the Leadership Institute.  We had just finished her video about a week before and I asked her how she liked her results.  She sought us out because she was in the commercial real estate sector and cold calling is a way of life.  She wanted a video to be able to stand out, reach clients and make it easy to get referrals by giving happy clients a way to share her bio.

The first thing she said was, "I was so happy to get the video but when I showed it to a couple male colleagues, they told me it was cheesy and didn't get it so she decided to table it..."  I was so shocked!  She had completely back tracked on her goal to become one of the best commercial real estate negotiators and sales persons in our city!

So I then encouraged her to send the video to a few clients that she trusts and ask their opinion because I had used her video as an example to a few potential clients and they all loved it! Besides, the whole point is to personalize business and get clients...not whether a colleague thinks you are doing something too out of the box!

Interestingly enough, I emailed a few LinkedIn contacts to launch our video service and one reply in particular stood out to me.  The reply basically said that "Quenita, I know plenty of people who do this and so I don't need  your services.  If you ever need my help using LinkedIn, let me know." (FYI: none of the people he mentioned does video highlights specifically for business)

Why Am I Telling You All of This?
I wanted to share the stories above to point out that anytime you do anything that is daring, un-heard of, different or just doing something to expand your current world, you will always get naysayers or people who don't have the vision of what you are striving for...and that's okay!  The key is, you can not let them talk you out of what you SEE!

You have to believe in yourself enough and believe you are worthy enough that even one comment from a colleague will not cause you to abandon that goal, that dream, that desire.

I have yet to hear of any visionary that has ever not been told in the beginning that what they were planning on doing made sense, was a good idea, was possible, etc.  You don't get to a life of success, peace, happiness or greatness without some type of comment, data or opinion from someone else telling you that it's not a possibility.  Believe anyway.

So my question to you is: what have you allowed someone to tell you, say to you or try to prove to you that what you believe, are hoping for, dreaming for or desiring is not possible?  Go back to it.  Pick it up again!

Go back through why you believed it was possible.

Go back to why you believed it was for you to do.

Go back to why you believed it was going to solve a problem and help people.

Don't be talked out of your dreams...you are worth the effort to at least dare to believe it's possible.


P.S. You can see the video produced for this blog here....don't forget to email us to get yours at thesupagroup@gmail.com.