Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou was a powerful influence in my life. I discovered her when I took an African-American literature class in college. We read, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and her ability to be so eloquent and beautiful; yet, so blunt and real, combined with her unparalleled writing ability, really spoke to me.

Growing up as a lower middle class white ‘bro’ from the Northwest, I’m not sure I’m the demographic that is most associated with her fans, which I think speaks volumes about her talent, appeal and ability to motivate. Since the class, I’ve read most of her incredible work.

In more recent years, she has served as one of my chief sources of inspiration for posts, blogs and motivating myself and others. I would be lying if I didn’t say that there have been more than a few rough days when a Maya Angelou quote, book or appearance was just the thing I needed to make it through.

She will most certainly be missed, but absolutely never forgotten for several reasons, including always reminding myself and everyone else that we are good enough.

You alone are enough.

You alone are enough.

Believe & Act

Never downplay what you are passionate about, especially around others. Making that mistake is easy because we are often not where we plan to be as it pertains to our goals and we want to be “realistic” or too polite.

Making “less” out of what you are trying to accomplish is extremely counter productive. Not only does it put that thought in your head – it puts it in the head of the person checking in on you. If you unsure about what you are doing or lack confidence, they will feel, see and hear it tenfold.

The positivity, passion and belief you create within yourself, what you are doing and what you are about is far more important and powerful than you may realize.


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Be You

When interacting with people in person or virtually, I often find myself encouraging others to harness their power, to believe in themselves and not to worry about what everyone else is doing. It is stunning to think about how many excellent ideas have been squashed because someone simply did not believe in themselves. With so many out there who would benefit from your failure, why would you choose to be your own worst enemy?


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I just received a very rude message on LinkedIn. Here’s the bulk of it:

“I’ve watched who you have attached to in recent weeks, and really, you are just a LinkedIn attachment magnet attempting to go after every connection you can find (quality certainly not being a factor). Since you offer nothing of substance, I’ll be actively informing my friends about the timesync loss that happens when they connect to you. Most have fortunately figured this out for themselves after reviewing the empty nature of your messages and connections in recent times.”

Now, I can admit that I have a wide variety of contacts and that I’m a power networker. But, no substance? Well, that I certainly take offense to. Let me ask you: Would you send an email like this to a new connection? Me neither. I can also admit I’m an acquired taste and that I do things in a more outgoing, aggressive way….but the “empty nature of my messages?” Has this guy ever seen a post of mine? Anyhow, just sharing it with all of you to show two main points: 1) You can’t please everyone; and 2) Maybe we should stop assuming the worst in people.