Cheers to women who inspire us!
Let's learn from them, raise them, and celebrate them! Always!
For a while now I've been wanting to feature women on my blog who inspire me and aren't scared to reach down and pull up other women. Have you ever met someone like that? Who, after just a few minutes, you've gleaned something so useful - some nugget of wisdom you can use in life and your viewpoint is forever changed?
I met Kerry in 2001 and we've been tight ever since. I remember the two of us walking arm-in-arm down the stairs of a big corporate building holding each other up so we wouldn't trip in our heels. So funny to think about! We hated corporate life so much but always found ways to make each other laugh and get through it. Now, we're both out of the corporate hold and doing our own things and not even once looking back ... well except to offer up advice.
Put your glasses on honey, we don't want you to miss anything ...
Ok, I wrote that headline in the voice Kerry uses when she's making fun of herself. She cracks me up.
I often go to Kerry for advice. How to grow my business, how to deal with difficult people, all of the above. But also go to Kerry when I'm needing soul-nourishing friend time (or just a night out that I may or may not remember!). She always listens and always has something to share. Which is why I was so excited when she said she'd give advice on my blog! I sent her a few questions and she took it from there ...
Hi there! I’m honored you asked me to participate in your blog! It’s because I’m old right? Ha! Well, I’m proud of my 60 years of life experiences-not that I know everything, but I’ve been there and done some…. Am still doing it, still exploring, reinterpreting and experimenting. And, hopefully, will be for several more years!
I’m grateful to have been born a creative! The downside is I bore easily, my mind is in a constant state of A.D.D.—easily sidetracked--looking for shiny new objects or finding unique ways to entertain myself. (Was that a squirrel?) But to be honest, I wasn’t very creative, or courageous when it came to earning a living. In hindsight, I understand why I became a bit of a thrill junkie and chose the most adrenaline filled hobbies. I flew airplanes, rode horses, and toured cross-country by motorcycle, most likely to balance out the routine that corporate marketing jobs can bring—but it was my safe and easy choice to earn income.
Part of the strategy (or lack thereof) was born from the practical fact that this was where the highest paying jobs were. Back in the day (I know, geez) the people you knew, and the people they knew, were your Internet. That was the extent of your search engine. Today it’s equally difficult because the opposite is true—so many jobs to sift through. Ok, see…nothing has changed! It’s still hard. One thing remains unchanged, your “people internet” is still your best search engine resource. Probably why LinkedIn is such a great platform for job hunting. It allows you to leverage the people and companies you know!
The bottom line, we do what we must to survive and even now with the help of being connected to the world, it’s difficult. Its hardly ever as glamorous as social media makes it look, and if we’re honest, it’s mostly hard. Along the way, most of us will take a less- than- dream job or two just to get by. (I sold tickets to the circus once as a telemarketer!) Sometimes, we just fall into careers/jobs, and sometimes they stick, and even become good ways to earn a living. Adapt. Be flexible. Please believe me when I say that there’s potential to make almost any job interesting and fulfilling. Being observant, and creative, I did everything I could to make corporate marketing exciting and challenging. I became a fixer. I used my creative brain to invent new products, develop solutions to business problems, make processes work better, and as a result, became an asset to my employers (albeit there were some who felt I was less than an asset). I learned to communicate, listen and sell my ideas. These skills are useful and imperative really, in any job or business. I saw new opportunities when things got stagnant. It wasn’t my dream career, but I made the most of it by using my creative brain.
OK, I’m rambling, and I was asked for career advice. So I’ll get on with a few simple things. Looking back, it’s easy to see what was important, and what was fluff. Here are a few things that stand out as important:
1. Be true to yourself. Don’t seek a job for the sole purpose that it might impress someone or because it’s what someone else wants you to do. It’s perfectly fine to choose a job with the main motivation to earn an income. It might not be perfect, but the income might allow you to get to the perfect place. And it’s OK to choose the perfect job even though the income might not be perfect. Do what you need to do. Make decisions that are right for you.
2. If you’re unhappy doing what you’re doing, think carefully about what really turns you on and why the current job doesn’t. What makes you feel amazing? What gives you a sense of accomplishment? Look to those answers to guide you to your next step. Treat this like a project.
3. Don’t panic. Anything is possible, period.
4. Love your people.
5. Be honest.
My path was rather unextraordinary - work hard, save money, enjoy life, make friends, get out of the corporate world early to do what I really love. Some might think that just delayed my soul purpose in life, (art). Ok, it did somewhat, but I have no regrets. Without the path, (and the money) the experiences, the lessons, and all the awesome people collected along the way, I wouldn’t be this artist today. The struggle provided amazing experiences, made me grateful and gave lots of context to produce art that I’m passionate about. It really is about the journey.
You can skip the gravel roads I took and go straight to curating a life you love. Today, anything you imagine and feel is right, is actually possible. Regardless of the path you take, or where you are in life, it’s conceivable to love where you are. Take a breath, spend a moment or two and really explore the possibilities, embrace where you’ve been and what you’ve learned. Dream. Be grateful for what you have and take note of your accomplishments. Draw a picture of it! It will help provide perspective for the future—it will help you paint a bigger picture of yourself.
One thing is certain. You bring your own DNA, a totally unique personality, and a unique perspective, to every task, every job, every situation, and every relationship. Bring it. Observe, learn, move forward. Rinse and repeat.
Jobs and businesses come and go. Nothing is permanent. Change will happen. It’s the people that each job, or business encounter bring you that enrich us, feed our souls and inspire us to be, and do better. Cherish this. It’s the most important benefit any job, business or career brings. It’s what makes life, the journey, and all of us, rich.
Love and peace, because it matters,
Speaking of Kerry's creative brain ...
See what she's been up to? How gorgeous is her work? You can view more of her work here (do it, you'll love it!).
Can't you picture this in your house or office? I L.O.V.E. art, so when I see art that moves me and makes we stop the Internet scrolling for a few minutes to rest my heart and brain - I'm hooked. And that's how Kerry's art makes me feel. It's soul consuming and I love seeing her work from start to finish. I love reading the reviews and comments from those who have her work hanging in their homes.
What inspires you? What are you currently working through? Whatever it is, you can do it! 2020 is your year! You'll learn, grow, give, take, and every thing in between.
Thank you so much for sharing, Kerry! I always always always learn from you and your blog post was no different. Your kindness, wisdom, and bad-assery show through :)
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First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.