A little over a month ago I was listening to public radio when I came across my now favorite quote of all time. It was spoken by the leader of the wildly successful all female brass band, the Pinettes, who have recently been named “Street Queens” by beating out all of the male dominated bands in the Street Kings brass band competition. Members of the group collaboratively spoke of their journey to build and keep the group together. At one point, they got to a part about when the group almost fell apart. Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath had struck the group hard, and many members were forced to move away, including band leaders. Those who remained were determined to keep their band going, so with new leadership, they recruited, rehearsed, and rebuilt. Continue reading
The weather indecisively alternates between swirling snow and diagonal sleet as I make my way down the last stretch of my 3 mile run to the brewery. Usually I’m surrounded by other runners from our Tuesday night running club at this point. However, because of the inclement weather and my late start, this run is a solo effort, except for the motivation coming from not wanting to be the wimp in my new group of buddies. The lights in the brewery glow ahead, and I feel myself start to smile in anticipation of meeting the group inside. When I open the doors and walk inside, I’m happy to find my lofty expectations validated. A chorus of “hi!” “look who made it!” “how was the run?” welcome me right away, in Cheers fashion. “What are you drinking?” Dave asks immediately as he walks toward the bar. I sit down at our table, ready to catch up with the guys on what’s been going on since Saturday. Of course, since we’ve just known each other for a little over a month, we have a little more to catch up on. Continue reading
Getting ahead and showing your best self in the working world is more important now than ever before. Not only is it a mark of your self worth and good character, going the extra mile is now necessary for job security. In a fiercely competitive job market, doing the bare minimum is a wish for a pink slip, but knowing how to present yourself as an invaluable asset can secure your future.
I am fortunate enough to work with a personal training client who has a wealth of experience and skills for being successful in both corporate and volunteer work environments. This woman, Tess, exudes strength in everything she does. From grinding out workouts, to supporting her friends and family, to volunteering at hospitals and shelters, she demands excellence from herself and knows how to tap in and find it.
The other day she mentioned some advice she had given her daughter who is currently volunteering for a local political candidate’s campaign. Her brief snippet of wisdom stuck with me, and Friday, after a grueling interval workout (where she once again earned her nickname, “Warrior”), Tess was gracious enough to elaborate on the topic. Listed below as methodically as she drew them out for me, are keys to securing your good reputation and to finding opportunities you didn’t know would be there. Continue reading
Sitting at the corner coffee shop in Burbank, I sip my iced tea, open a book, and inch closer to the pair at the sidewalk table beside me. I’m not reading a word on the page, and no music is coming through the speaker sitting loosely in my ear, but it’s still frustratingly difficult to follow along with the conversation going on just a few feet away. Cars zip by, baristas call out coffee orders, and the clientele talk in hushed voices, as if they don’t want strangers hearing their private conversations.
While I have no real investment in this particular conversation, as a rule, I generally make it my business to nose my way into other people’s affairs, spy style. Technically, I’m not a spy. What I mean is that I have no formal training or professional interest. However, I more than make up for it with extensive life experience and independent study in the sleuthing field. Continue reading
Last month I entered a column writing contest which I didn’t win, but I’m kind of glad because I wanted it to be a part of Cheating June anyway. There are so many great little lessons I pick up just walking along the sidewalk. Some of the most fascinating stories and information come from the truths individuals take for granted in their lives. Now I’ll post these under ‘Best Thing I Overheard All Week.’ Let me know what you think and feel free to add your own! The column entry is the first post, Amateur Spy Report.
Thanks to everyone who encouraged me and helped edit!