Real relationships win


Just getting home from Q 2019 and again, another agenda that is so relevant, compassionate, and inclusive of the conversations that not only need to be taking place in churches—also businesses, communities, etc.

One key take a way was the focus on community…. real life real world real people relationships. The data on loneliness, distractions, and health is too much to capture here— go watch a few Q talks. :-)

But the big thing as we begin this new week— meet/talk to/invest in a real human relationship…. take the steps to do so this week and the next week and the next. Look into the face of a real human and notice what delights him/her, worries, and anything in between.

Goal of the week? Be a real human that talks with real humans in real time because real relationships win.

Also if you’re looking for a conference unlike any other conference, check out Q.

Feedback and Counsel

I heard a great podcast episode this week where the guest shared the difference between feedback and counsel. Smart people get feedback; wise people get counsel. What he meant by that was feedback is something you ask for during and/or after the event/project….. “How is this going?” kind of questions. Counsel is what you seek before any of it and from select people in your life who are wise….“What would you do all over again and what would you change” kind of questions.

I think you could even say wise people seek counsel and feedback. So going into this week as young professionals, how can we seek counsel and feedback…. get out ahead and learn from those with more experience and take a pulse on what’s already in the works. This same podcast guest would also remind you to take in all the feedback and be able to filter it down; when it comes to counsel, don’t seek this broadly, only from those who are consistently wise.

This is one of the reasons I loved a past episode on Sharpen, Intergenerational Friendships. What a great privilege to have friends of different generations to seek wisdom. I think our ability to seek counsel and thus seek wisdom is limited by our ability as young professionals to seek intentional mentoring, friendships, etc. with those of other generations.

One liner to eliminate


“Call me if you need anything.”

We often hear this, don’t we? I use this one liner often— wrapping up a phone call, emailing someone for work, or even if a friend is going through a hard time.

In an attempt to express “I’m here to help”, this one liner goes against our actual intention. What it does is take the intentionality out of the equation. Often when people do need the most help, they don’t want to have to take that extra step to call… sometimes for something that they don’t even need they help with.

Ever been in a hard season of work or life and someone said, “Just call me if you need anything.” Did you? I’m guessing there were several no responses there.

Now this is not to say that in our work lives we don’t own the development piece— if someone has offered to help you, call them. Please reach out and seek input and advice.

But a more helpful and thoughtful approach to work and life would eliminate “just call me if you need anything” to a phone call that expressed “I’m calling to see what I can help with.” Or even specifically to reach out with a “I remember going through this specific season of work and how I wish someone would have told me these three things or offered to help in this way.”

Encoding: Write It Down


Every day, I pull my digital calendar up and begin writing early in the morning- time blocking the day, a few points of gratitude from the day before, dinner plan for the evening, and the big 3 objectives for the day.

I used to not do this. I would keep everything— calendars, to do lists, journals, etc. digitally and would just type away. But I began noticing a disconnect between my brain, that digital space, my fingers typing the words faster than my brain could communicate into the heart space.

And then I realized this is a thing. It’s neuroscience.

“Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.”

You can read more of this article by Forbes here.

I would say we need to take it a step farther— WHAT are we writing down? Writing out fears, mistakes, gratitude, and opportunities can be very helpful. Sometimes I might do that only to rip up the paper and throw it away. But it makes my brain give words to the thoughts in a concise manner.

So write it down…. encode it. Whatever the gap is in your actionables for the day— write it down. There really is something powerful about this process that as young professionals can be day altering.

There's nothing magical about January or Febuary


I was driving past the Planet Fitness in town the other day and noticed that the parking lot traffic had disappeared overnight, it seemed. Now please don’t hear yet another cynical remark about this from me…. social media is full of them! Many gym goers praise the month of March for finally getting the gym all to themselves and boasting something about the tough and focused surviving. (included with a selfie of a flex…ha!)

The narrative of the magical nature of the beginning of the year is not fully a lie— there really is something about starting a new year that can bring out that sigh of relief and a bolt of energy and motivation. But just because progress on a goal isn’t going exactly as planned and now March is approaching doesn’t represent failure. Failure is not a person, it’s an event. Haven’t lost that 5 lbs? Start back up with exercise and nutrition. Didn’t read a book per month? Sit one out on your night stand today.

So start now. Make the move. There is nothing magical about January or February…. or any month for that matter. Young professionals- we have an opportunity to start into March just like January, with energy and expectations for progress to be made.

168 Hours


I stepped out of a banquet just this past week to a phone call from home. When I answered, a 4 year old on the line was crying and in tears said, “Mommy, I want you home. I miss you. Come home now.”

I felt it— heart crushing, my breathe got heavier, and standing in front of a crowd onward looking, I shoved back the tears to comfort my little girl missing Mommy at night time.

We talked about how I would be home the next day, would pick her up early from school, and all the fun things we would do together during that time, including making a heart cake for Daddy for Valentines Day. It seemed to help; she shortly went to sleep and I went back to the banquet.

The next day, I picked her up from school earlier than usual; we got ice cream and chatted all about how music came from the ceiling in Culvers, how we could be welcoming to a new friend at school, and why the words “farting” and “tooting” aren’t the best to use with strangers (LOL… this is a daily conversation so…..)

AND WHY ARE YOU SHARING THIS WITH US? This seems kinda sad, then kinda happy, and not really sure the point.

168 hours, that’s why.

As moms but also as employees, spouses, dads, sisters, volunteers, brothers, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends, sons, friends…. the list goes on…… we go through those moments. Of a searing guilt or maybe shame of what we are doing vs. not doing. Some due to good decisions and some due to poor decisions. Either way, it’s hard. We all know we get 24 hours in a day and that’s it— to make good choices, use time and other resources in the best way, likely make mistakes, and then use the next day to grow. I am learning that while the 24 hour rule is true, it has been more helpful to think in terms of 168 hours. If you looked at Day 1 of the story above, I was rocking my work responsibilities and failing as a parent. If you looked as Day 2, I was rocking mothering and failing to create a new idea or project at work…. or going on a date with my hubby……or volunteering at church…. or……

But by viewing the week with a 168 hours approach, the pendulum does swing more in some directions. Some days are fuller with one particular role in my life or a couple. Or maybe DAYS are full of just one. Then there is a shift to another, then another, then another. 168 hours allows for more creativity, less guilt, and a broader view on life and roles and actions and takes a bit of the sting of a 4 year old calling with sniffles away because you know that those other hours are coming for quality time in that area.

I hope this framework can help encourage you in your roles as a young professional.

For more information on thinking strategically with your 168 hours/week, check out this resource.

Hospitality in the Workplace


This is one of those topics that I’ve mulled on quite a bit lately. Related to the work place? Yes. And not in the sense of the hospitality business.

But that question of, How do I/we practice hospitality in the workplace? Individually? On a team?

Let’s first start with a definition:

the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers

I think for the workplace conversation, the word ‘stranger’ is the best one to focus in on, however if you have customers, the practice of hospitality among guests/visitors is extremely important… or various stakeholders who might be guests in some way.

When I started in my first role with the company I currently work, I remember moving to a new place with new jargon to learn, new roads to master (still didn’t get that one accomplished), and a new group to not only work with but hopefully enjoy working with. To this day, I can vividly recall many memories of those who practiced hospitality in the workplace.

  • Those who called and said, “Hey, I know you’re new to the team and I just wanted to reach out and see how I can be of help.”

  • Those who offered their time and days up for a peer ride along to learn not only about what they do but also general helpful tips (aka how the Boilermaker cheer goes, how the Indiana roads work)

  • Those who called when heading to my area of the state to see if we could get a few minutes to gather and de-brief

When you’re the new kid on the block, like many of us that classify as ‘young professionals’, we can often find ourselves in these new places— transitions to new teams, new towns. We can also find ourselves waiting on the other side of the equation for some good old hospitality. And while it is fully our responsibility to embrace this newness of our lives and initiate, the lesson to seasoned individiuals in an area/function/geography is to practice the art of hospitality. Welcome in a stranger to the workplace. And young professionals— this is not just the ‘role’ of the manager, HR, or anyone else…. it is a part of our role, as well. It can sometimes be intimidating to reach out in this way to someone senior than yourself— do it.

Hospitality in the workplace (and out of the work place) is always appreciated and rarely forgotten.

Recognition vs. Appreciation


A quick note to start your week….

I’ve been reading The 5 Love Languages of Appreciation by Chapman and White. Highly recommended to all but especially young professionals in that first 10 years of a career. I’m not finished with it yet but in the opening, the authors discuss the difference between appreciation and recognition.

Recognition- what’s good for the company or organization

Appreciation- what’s good for the company or organization AND the individual


Authentic appreciation goes beyond just the external performance of an individual to include who they are and their gifts. And it’s offered in a way that really fits that person. (i.e. the love languages discussion)

Authentic appreciation is the goal and requires no status of being a manager or the ‘person in charge’ to carry this out. In fact, the authors have shared that peer to peer appreciation is one of the most valued forms of appreciation.

(Also did you know among our peers as young professionals, “not feeling appreciated” is so stinking common of a reason that someone leaves the company or organization? Not sure of the data on this one but I’m almost betting top 2-3.)

As we make out way into this week, let us seek out opportunities to authentically show appreciation to those in our sphere of influence. Let us be culture creators vs. culture consumers or even worse, deterants.

What fills the space


Email and household tasks. Two things that I’ve found in my life that just always seem to fill the space. And this is what I mean by that— that no matter what you do, they are always there. Catch up on one thing, it just all refills. Create a system for managing it and you can certainly manage it…. but with investing gobs and gobs of time. Imagine a fungus (ew?) that you have growing outside on the drive way, you remove it, and then it’s literally right back there the instant you removed the first round. That’s a space-filler-up’r. (I know you come to to this blog for the vocabulary and level of intellect that goes into this writing.)

Ok, ok we don’t get to dismiss email and household chores (and text messages, for the love of Pete). But we don’t have to let them fill up all the space in our schedules. Because they will. Always. Fill er up.

This time that can be better spent— networking, playing with my kids, reading, working on a special project for work, practicing hospitality in our house, exercising, and other valuable ways to spend time.

So this week, I’m jotting down all the things that seem to fill space like email and household chores. And with that list, I’m going to scrub it to see 1) where I need to create a better system 2) where I need to practice a “good enough” philosophy.

As young professionals, let’s evaluate the space fillers in our schedules.

Also— It’s National Mentoring Month. Wow! I can’t express how thankful I am for the many, many people who have invested their time in me as a professional and on a personal level as a mentor. If you only take away one thing from this blog post, it would be this: find a way to be mentoring the next generation in your sphere of influence. Right here, right now.

I had the chance to recently share with EDGE Mentoring about my experience transitioning from a mentee to mentor in that particular organization. Here is the link to that post if you’d like to check it out!

Measuring Cups and Tablespoons


I’m not really a cook but I do enjoy cooking. I like the whole add-a-little-this and a-little-bit-of-that in the process. With that said, I’m not the best with measurements. Meaning that I know HOW to do that but don’t always do it. And then I wind up with a curry dish that carries so much curry that it’s over powering… or not enough, and its flavor isn’t fully present. I recently made a beef vegetable soup that had so much black pepper in it that we were doing this wiggle of a dance while eating it. Needless to say, it had more than a kick to it. Because flash back in time, I just poured in some black pepper, thinking I was looking like Chef Ina in my kitchen.

So I’m learning about how important measurements are in my cooking. Profound knowledge here today for you.

Oh and timers….. Setting a timer for the first time to check in on the cooking project. IT WILL BURN if I don’t set a timer. I will move on to something else and forget every single darn time. (Mind blown, I know, at this tip in the cooking process.)

Measurements and timers— the same is true of our goals and action steps around those goals. Put the measurements in— 3 workouts per week; read once every single day; write 5 thank you cards per month. Put a timer on its completion or a date to review progress. At the end of the month, this will be complete or I will evaluate the progress.

This all sounds overly simple and really, really basic…. but it works. And the constant, ongoing process of having measuring cups and tablespoons and timers in our lives will create some good stuff. Like a beef vegetable soup with the perfect amount of black pepper.


Had a great time with Ag Grad founder Tim H. during a recent Live event on Facebook. We chatted about the start of the Sharpen podcast, transitions as a young professional (including why to consider re-locating and how to grow where you’re planted). Tim also shares a recap of an episode I had him on for to discuss when to (and not to) get a Masters degree as a young professional.

Ditch the Dish; Read More 📡➡️📚

Last year, my family and I made the decision to ditch the Dish. As in a cable provider. And not so that we could spend more time on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Trust me, a round of The Office or Parenthood sounds fantastic. But to spend less time (and money) on yet another screen and more time with real faces and real things.

One primary reason for my interest in ditching the Dish was to read more. I knew that my mind could veg out on some television series OR I could develop a reading plan and stick to it throughout the year. It’s amazing how much time frees up when the tv goes off. For me, the ease of flipping a switch on rather than digging into a book was easier.

But prior to this golden realization is an odd silence. No tv background noise, no dramatic news station trying to get us all worked up to try to do the same thing in approx. 2 minutes, no family buying a home for 3.8 million dollars on HGTV.

But a year later nearly cable sober, I have read more books than I imagined. I have tuned in vs. tuning out. Do you have a “Dish” in your life that might be worth ditching? (Can I also throw others into this pile for myself? Social Media and Salty snacking (my best friends are lol’ing and agreeing).


I place great emphasis on reading more than anything else. As young professionals, having an active reading lifestyle is significant to our growth and development— not just in our careers but in all other areas of our lives, as well. A few reasons to incorporate more time for reading in your schedule:

  1. Reading saves you time: What? That doesn’t sound correct whatsoever. Imagine that someone was sitting in front of you after living out things like starting or running a business, becoming a better communicator, or any other key topic to your profession. And imagine they were giving you some helpful practical steps to save you time in your own life— to make the same decisions based on principles or to NOT make that same decision. Potentially by-passing YEARS of a certain effort or habit…. what a good deal, right? Bam, that’s a well-written book by a wise author. (And yes, I know there are some terrible, self-help books out there that are worthless. But there are too many good ones to let that hold you back.)

  2. Reading impacts your brain: I won’t try to summarize the many studies that exist on this subject. Go read about it. 😉 The white matter in your brain increases for an active reader. Check out images of a brain while reading and exercising vs. watching tv or using social media. Incorporate fiction as well as non-fiction, too, for added benefits.

  3. Habit Formation: Start the habit now as a young professional and see the fruit of your efforts over the long haul. Don’t let others discourage you, either. Start young, stay consistent, and see the growth.

Word of the Year

I know what you’re thinking. Well, maybe I do.

This sounds like another New Year hokey pokey thing to do… designate a word of the year.

But hear me out.

….. Cause there tends to be a few groups here on the subject of goal setting: The All In’rs (you’ve had yours done since October 2018); the I-don’t-really-care’rs (word of the year?); and the I Don’t Need One’rs (word of the year? Just do it and don’t make a fuss about it all….. hello my hubby….. ha!)


This photo makes it hard to see what is written on this bracelet— steadfast, my 2019 word of the year. This arrived from a dear friend after our 2019 Goal Setting Retreat. Here, we each identified our word of the year and this arrived shortly after with my individual word of the year.

Beauty and a reminder and thoughtfulness— all in one.

But the process of getting to that word was not so easy and pretty and a finished package. And this would be my first reason why a word of the year is very powerful.

1) The Process of Getting There:

For months, we had brainstormed what was being laid on our hearts and minds. We then fine-tooth combed through a year review to get there. The process of getting to a word of the year includes reflection, a deep reflection. That process alone is worth it. It makes you look back on all the goodness, the challenges, and the gaps to see the direction to take in the future, aka the new year.

2) Focus

Having just one word to focus on— visually have out on your desk or bathroom mirror or vehicle windshield— is very key. Each and every day, you can identify your daily top 2-3 priorities and list this as an overarching theme of focus.

3) Accountability

Having a word of the year makes it easier for your people to hold you accountable because they can also remember that one word and ask how you are making progress and what challenges you face.

A Gratitude Response

If you listen to anyone speak on the topic of mornings— how to maximize them, structure them etc.— you’ll hear one key component in each speaker’s content, I’m assuming.

Write down X number of things you are grateful for to start the day.

Somebody far better qualified than me will tell you the science behind this. I can tell you what it does is focus your mind on the goodness of the day before or the day ahead. It trains you to have a response of gratitude…. rather than a response of anxiousness, entitlement, burden, etc.

I’m having to train myself throughout the day, though, to go through the same process. A gratitude response, if you will.


Not in a fake way of “spinning the situation” (hello my fellow 3’s on the Enneagram… I see you, I get you). A mindset of gratitude can be displayed by genuinely expressing thanks to the many, many people you interact with throughout the day. Run through a drive thru? Be legit thankful and add in some detail around that. Have a meeting? Call out the work you know was done for folks to be there and thank them. Eating dinner with your family? Tell them something maybe small that you appreciate about them.

I can think of some people right now that when I think of a ‘spirit of gratitude’ they come to mind. And I so enjoy being in their presence. As young professionals, I can imagine these are the people we want to be around and be like, yes?

Anyone else gratitude training themselves? How’s that going?

Awe and Wonder

Flying home this week from Denver, CO, I found myself caught in the trap. You know- get on the airplane, put ear buds in, talk to no one, send emails— aka avoid all living creatures around me.

Because I forgot to shut the window during the flight, the lighting was messing with my reading. So as I went to shut the window….


Blue skies, mountains below (can’t see here exactly), awe and wonder hit.

May we as young professionals never lose our wonder of the living and breathing creation around us. We don’t have to settle for the trap. (Ok, we do have to get our work done and plane rides are great for this.)

This also happened:


Have you ever told a parent of young child, especially those stressed in a moment of chaos and such, “hey you’re doing a great job as a parent.” You might get a quick “thanks” as they get on with a crying baby on an airplane and you might get tears. How do I know this? Because an 80 year old woman stopped me in the grocery store a few weeks ago and said that— plus “you have beautiful children… enjoy them”… and she smiled with a deep joy on her face.

Awe and wonder in the mountains, blue skies, crying babies on airplanes, and 80 year old ladies in Meijer.

Let us not miss it. There can be so much awe and wonder in what’s going on around us.

Also, this post is a bit of a ramble today. I recently have heard some interviews with writers talking about their recently launched books… how they wrote it for themselves. They needed it above all. Same here, y'all. Same. So in writing about something like awe and wonder, just assume it’s probably for myself to not forget a topic, embrace a topic, or change for a topic. Just had to mention that as someone who keeps this small little blog…. I never want the message to come across as all knowing, I’ve-figured-it-out-so-read-this, or anything that the lady sitting next to me on the plane might be writing on. HA- ok that’s terrible and assuming and I need to let it go.

(Letting it go…. kinda…..)

Time and Priorities


Someone was telling me about a friend that had been working on beautiful scrapbooks for her children through the years.... the journaling and photography that went into these books sounds amazing and like it should be in an art gallery some where. 

My response at the end of the sharing of these cool idea was-- Oh that must be nice. I just don't have the time for that. 

To which this friend responded-- Well, everyone decides how to spend her time. You just don't want to spend yours on that... is what you're trying to say.

Mic drop, friend. 

I've fallen into the trap of saying some version of the "I just don't have time for that" when in all actuality it's more "That is not one of my priorities right now." Which in some cases is great-- essentialism at its best, right?! But in other areas, I had to work through where that was friction against what were my true, deep down priorities. Things like health and early mornings. I make time for them; they get the time because they matter. 

Young professionals near and far: When do we use the "I don't have time for that" as an excuse? The first ten years into the world of jobs and families and everything else can feel like we're are everywhere but no where. So what really matters? 

And when it is a great declaration of our priorities, maybe better said, "It's just not a priority for me." 

Do something practically

The past few months, I have chatted with future podcast guests and friends who have been walking through a season of pain and suffering. Each and every time I ask them what they wish their co-workers, friends, and family knew..... or something that stands out to them as a time they've felt cared for during this difficult season-- each and every time I have heard this response...

Just do it. Just find a way to serve a practical need and do it. Everyone says "let us know if you need anything". When you're in the midst of it, you don't know what you need and if you do, you don't have the time or space to request that of others. So just do something that helps practically. 

This has been on my mind lately. How can we as young professionals seek to serve our co-workers, neighbors, and others practically? And just do it without request or specifics? Sometimes I think that those specifics would help me serve better but I've come to realize that it's the thinking on behalf of that person and his/her needs is what generates love. Even if they hate cheese pizza, the way their car was washed and is now water spotted, or the invite to go to something that they don't really enjoy, the response is always signaling that they feel cared for and loved. The goal. 

Grab a post-it note or your phone to-do list: Who is someone walking through pain and suffering in your life? Send a meal or a gift card for one; wash a car or mow a lawn; take a car for an oil change or grab the laundry and return it clean and folded; whatever practically meets a need, just do it. 

The power of an invite


A follow up to last week's post on Creating more than you consume would be the power of an invite. 

Think back to a time when someone invited you to go somewhere, to join a conversation, or be a part of something that without that invite, you would have never experienced. And maybe that event or conversation led to a major moment of change in your life-- an idea, a job, a new friend, meeting your spouse for the first time, you name it. 

I wrote a post one day about the power of an invite from a co-worker named Telynda. 

Wow. The power of an invite. I can only imagine the stories we'd all share if we were sitting down together. 

(Speaking of which, if you have a story on the power of an invite, I would love to hear it. You can share it here!)

Leadership books often leave this one out. Who do you need to invite? Do you have a lunch meeting, conference, favorite dinner spot, or a sports team? Do you have an interest or a group of amazing people you're a part of or the ability to make popcorn or salsa? Then you have the means to extend an invite. 

I think as young professionals if we become people that invite others along and into our worlds we can change the trajectory of lives, even our own lives. Creating vs. consuming more invites seems like a great choice to make for some game changer moments. 

Create more than you consume


Recently, I attended a session at our church for "technology and families". The speaker (who I hope to have on the Sharpen podcast soon!) offered great insight and practical tips to help families think through technology better in their home lives. The one thing that stood out to me that day was....

Create more than you consume. 

Her comments were around creating more, rather than consuming technology and being entertained and thought for. So I went home and began pondering how we might create more than we consume when it comes to technology. (I also went home and when my hubby turned on Netflix for the girls to watch while we prepared lunch, I yelled "NOOOOO!" as he grabbed the remote. Haha-- ZERO Technology today, man!) 

And as I thought more about this idea, I found it translating to so many other areas of my life. Things like....

- Create more friendships by initiating rather than sulk and wait for someone to initiate to me

- Create healthy meals by investing resources rather than consume what I want, when I want it

- Create moments to reflect and plan rather than just consume the days and their events

- Create order in a household of littles rather than consume the messes as a victim of toddler destruction (haha!) 

Creating more than we consume enriches lives and the speaker of the family tech. session emphasized this-- this is the joy of creating. We stretch our minds, our bodies, and our hearts to a greater extent for greater impact. 

I'll keep reflecting on this idea and ask for you to join me-- what can I create vs. consume in my life? 

Be a Telynda

Last week, I attended my company's National Sales Meeting. And it was actually my 6th NSM with the company. So as I walked in for this event, I ran into familiar faces, knew the general format of the agenda, and was excited to keep running into more people from across that nation that have become great friends. 

I couldn't help but think back to my very first NSM. I knew hardly anyone but the people on the local team. But as I started thinking back to that first event, I found myself extremely grateful. I had two team mates that reached out and let me ride with them to Chicago instead of driving alone (Mike and Del!). I didn't have to make the first step into the meeting not knowing a soul because I had two team mates to walk in with that knew many of the people we passed. 

And then were was my room mate- Telynda. Telynda was in a role with the company that she actually could have been in a room by herself but guess what she did? She gave that up and offered to be my room mate that week. I went to networking receptions with her, to the general sessions, and the evening social outings. Telynda would introduce me to everyone she knew (She knows everyone, btw) and was so kind in her introductions. She probably barely remembers the details of this NSM, but I certainly remember them all well.

Telynda and I went to a Cubs game... And if Del Brinson is reading this he is about to make some comment about Cubs and Cards and I just can't tolerate that kind of hate mail, buddy! 

Telynda and I went to a Cubs game... And if Del Brinson is reading this he is about to make some comment about Cubs and Cards and I just can't tolerate that kind of hate mail, buddy! 

For a newbie, it goes beyond words for someone to spend a week doing this, to take you in as a colleague and friend. I know it required some sacrifices-- giving up that private room, communicating to everyone that her tag-along was new, etc. etc. But I bet many of you can think back to a moment like this when a veteran like T took your newbie self into his/her world and showed kindness and the type of person you wanted to be. 

Especially in a world that stereotypes women (and sometimes its the reality, too) as each other's competitor... there is only so much pie to go around so gotta get your full....

Not Telynda. Not that week nor throughout the time I had the pleasure to work with her. The example was set-- women champion other women. You make introductions, you invite along for opportunities to develop business acumen, you encourage when it's a rough day. 

After this year's GROW gathering at our National Sales Meeting, I couldn't help but be full of gratitude yet again for this "Telynda factor" playing out. GROW is for women in the company to grow relationships, opportunities, and their network. We had a TED-talk like event in which peer-to-peer speakers shared some really creative and inspirational stories. Some of you may have attended and are rolling your eyes thinking, "Kirby you were one of the speakers, how kind of you to mention how great the talks were." Ha! I am describing the 3 other individuals who shared their stories in this way. And then the coolest part? The Telynda factor happened-- as a speaker, I saw the other speakers high fiving each other, taking notes, and smiling the biggest smiles. The women in the room were listening intently, sending texts to champion the talks of the day, and nodding along during each speaker's time. 


I left that day with abiding gratitude. So if you were at the event, keep being a Telynda. This is the good stuff, y'all. 

Champion, encourage, call out the good stuff. Be a Telynda. 

Lessons from the rogue Schnauzer

I posted this photo in my Instagram story a few weeks ago.


5:58 am in Kentucky before the heat amps up for the day: A sweet moment in the early part of the day, drinking coffee as my little one is waking up to join me… such sweetness.

But what I didn’t follow up with was a video series on the remainder of that Monday morning. This gal came outside to call her puppy, Ozzie the-rogue-Schnauzer, back into the house from his potty break. But the thing is that he didn’t come…. So we shouted some more. (I’m sure the neighbors loved this at 6 am.)

So obviously his wireless collar had failed us. Also it’s a Monday morning… With a conference call about to begin. So the oldest and the hubby took off driving around the neighborhood looking for Ozzie because she says, “Sissy will be really sad if he ran away”. (Sweet sister, rotten dog) The youngest starts waking up moments later and then the door bell rings. Oz man is now at the front of the house and our neighbor had come over to tell us. (Did she hear us yelling at 6 am? Whoops.)

Where has he been? He has ruined my peace and quiet of a Monday morning. That stinkin’ dog.

So we walked outside with Trix (you gotta do what you gotta do). Ozzie can tell I’m ticked and runs over… but straight to the baby (who is now 20 months so not so much a baby). She greets him with a hug, a happy squeal, a handful of cereal, and the biggest smile. She didn’t even know he had taken off; that’s just the way she greets him each morning.

Can you blame Ozzie? He had gone down the wrong path, partly because his owner (yours truly) let him get there. He knew he was in trouble. And when the one Green stood with open arms and a snack vs. the other one with an angry face, he knew exactly what to do. 

Driving the girls into town that morning, I laughed to myself thinking about the events of the morning and also began to reflect on the two characters displayed. No wonder Ozzie or any person for that matter would go to the youngest Green. A scowl on the face, posture of anger, and clinched fist of Trix doesn't sound like someone I want to process a mishap with.... obviously, Oz man wasn't up for much processing (but rather a long nap after his eventful morning adventure). But our different reactions reminded me of the kind of person I want to be if someone is coming to me with an issue, concern, or a mistake.