Admiration, Inner Success, Outward Success

C is For the Courage

Izzo opens today’s blog with an excerpt from Special.

In case nobody told you today
You’re special
In case nobody made you believe (nobody, no, no)
You’re special
Well, I will always love you the same
You’re special
I’m so glad that you’re still with us (So glad, so glad, so glad)
Broken, but damn, you’re still perfect (you’re perfect)

Could you imagine a world
Where everybody’s the same
And you could cancel a girl
‘Cause she just wanted to change?

In case nobody told you today
You’re special
In case nobody made you believe
You’re special

Let me begin by saying “thank you” to the person who sent me this song last week. Secondly, if you are a regular reader of my posts, you will know this one is a very different tone, but I believe it is important -because it is NOT what you expect for me to share.

The first two weeks of February have been emotionally challenging, one that had very low lows, some moderately high highs and then just a bunch of gunk in the gut that makes you feel alone, isolated, and empty. One morning I woke up, went to the home gym to run on the treadmill and instead just sat on it and cried. Cried and asked, what happened? Where did it go wrong? Why? What is next?

It is very rarely that I share the “bad days” with others – not because I don’t have them – I just don’t spend much time dwelling in them. Probably because 99% of the time, I am unequivocally optimist and content. I generally believe everything is figureoutable, as Marie Forleo says. So in the tough times I retreat, solve, and then resurface with my positive, champion-like attitude for the public.

But how do I do it? How do I go from crying on the treadmill to getting dressed and going to a social event to smile and shake hands with friends and foes in a matter of an hour? That is what I want to talk about.

I want to share today because whether it is the loss of a friend, the abandonment of a spouse, or the separation from a job, sometimes emotions just run hard in directions you don’t expect or want. Sometimes you must show up before you are ready, while the rumors are still swirling, and know that this too shall pass and great things are on the horizon. We all experience this. We all have these moments in our life.

As I force myself to write and reflect on the last couple weeks, I reference a blog posts I wrote in 2016,“Crisis Reveals Character” to remind myself that we must reflect when times are tough. We must recognize that our character is being tested, and we choose how to respond. We can choose contentment over displeasure; character over revenge. We choose.

It is when the emotions are high, the decisions impact peoples lives, and friendships are at stake that our character is revealed. It can be so tempting to get caught up in wrong or right, my side or yours, but we are all better served in the long run if we can face our peers the next day with a clear conscience, free of guilt or regrets.

What I know is that character in action often pivots the plot. So how can you build character (even in crisis) that will help you respond or react in a way that you can be proud of when you look back on it years later.

Building character in crisis:

* Be the best “YOU” you can be. Look within and bring out the very best parts of yourself that are unique and special.

* Let the best parts of yourself be so pervasive they take over your personality, your work, your relationships – and every aspect of your life. Let them become the largest parts of yourself.

* Share the best parts of yourself with others. Be willing to show others who you truly are, and you will become a powerful magnet for likeminded people.

* Surround yourself with people who encourage better character actions. Listen to people with admirable character.

* Focus on what you can do for others, rather than what you stand to gain from others.

* Do only that which you can be proud of.

* Have faith that good will ultimately prevail if you stay the course.

As I work through finding and refining the best me I can be, I give thanks:

  • Thank you friends (for the playlists, the texts, the calls, and the unwavering inspiration)
  • Thank you Jason (my husband)
  • Thank you future partners and employers
  • Thank you for the gratitude others showed towards me

And in my eternal optimist sign off – this week will be a great week and I CANNOT WAIT to share some great announcements soon.

Closing lyrics by Carrie Underwood and Ludacris

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakeable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion, you’re gon’ know my name
You can’t hurt me now, I can’t feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion, oh

Born champion, Luda
The C is for the courage I possess through the trauma
H is for the hurt, but it’s all for the honor
A is for my attitude working through the patience
Money comes and goes, so the M is for motivation
Gotta stay consistent, the P is for persevere
The I is for integrity, innovative career
The O is optimistic, open and never shut
And the N is necessary ’cause I’m never givin’ up
See, they ask me how I did it, I just did it from the heart
Crushin’ the competition, been doing it from the start
They say that every champion is all about his principles

C is for the courage I possess through the trauma.

Admiration, Outward Success, Uncategorized

His Success At My Expense

What a crazy month it has been since the first post and the launch of this site.  Incredibly, each day someone has expressed what this message means to them.  Yesterday it was a seamstress, the day before it was an author, and on Monday it was a stylist. The affirmations and the personal stories are amazing – please keep them coming!

The story that ignited the greatest reflection for me was from my very own stylist in my salon.  This story personally tugs at my heart strings (and my purse strings).

In my salon I have 9 stylist who do hair, and each week they pay a booth rent for their space.  All of the stylists have done hair for decades and they are a great group.  The salon industry in our city is very competitive and we have an amazing salon.  However, stylist don’t tend to have a loyalty to me because I don’t personally cut hair.  It’s okay, I don’t apologize for that.  I try to provide the cleanest, most cost-effective, high end environment for them and then let them run their show.  I think they like it that way.

In our salon, one particular man, Michael is infamous.  To some he is infamously great with hair, infamously boisterous or just down-right interesting to watch.  People like Michael. I like Michael.  Michael’s big frame and loud laugh exudes confidence and strength, but each woman who sits in his chair knows his story and understands his tenderness.

Michael’s ladies love how he dotes on them and calls them sweety.  I also felt welcomed by him when I became the new owner.  He publicly encouraged me and thanked me (for doing my best, not necessarily for doing THE best) and I appreciated his accolades.

This week; however, his compliments were a double edged sword.  Michael met with me privately and expressed his appreciation for and my attitude of unapologetic success – and failure.  He told me he had really thought about the recent post, It Can’t Be Just About You, and had discussed it with his wife.  He was finally going to take a big giant step of faith and I had encouraged him to do so without the fear of failing.

You may have guessed it, but at nearly 60 years old he was inspired to go out on his own.  He wanted to try and own his own salon. He quoted my blog post to me, thanked me for the hard work over the last year, and then through scared eyes he gave me his notice.  (Insert ohNOOOOO here)

I am not sure if I was slightly misty-eyed or he was, but the moment was gratifying, yet painful.  In a month, Michael will have his own salon.  He will be my friendly “competition” in the market and he will try this thing we call small business ownership for the very first time. It is exciting for him.  It is sad for my salon. #InspireLeadersDaily #ItStartsAtHome #MyPainHisFutureGain

As I told him, I believe my mission and purpose is to encourage all people to succeed at the highest level they desire and to strive to use all of their God-given potential.   The salon I own is not just a brick and mortar building for earning money, it is a facade for mentorship.  If I cannot be happy and supportive for one of my own, then I can’t spread this message around the country with clear conscience.  I believe Michael can do great things and I know I will invite a new “michael” into our salon to mentor and encourage.

So today’s message is one for the mentors. If you are a great mentor, remember your goal is for your people to succeed as their very best self.  Sometimes when they do, they may even become a competitor.  #AndThatsOkay

Tom Peters, an American writer on business management practices is quoted as saying, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

Today a new leader is born and for that I am encouraged.  #GoMichaelGo  Thank you and keep reading the blog.  My audience will love hearing from you in a year from now.  You can tell us about your success, without apology.


@Attitude’s Salon

Admiration, Inner Success, Outward Success

You Never Know Who is Watching

“Always do the right thing.  Then hope the right person is watching you at the right time when you are doing the right thing.”  This is something I tell people who are hoping to be noticed or promoted.  It is great business advice, and I coined this phrase in my officiating profession, but use most often in the business arena. Throughout my posts I will share business lessons and mentoring take-aways gained both on the basketball court and in my businesses. Today’s illustration highlights why you should always assume someone is watching you.


A few summers ago I was at an officiating camp, working too many games in too few days. During a full time-out, I was standing midway up the lane line. According to our CCA Manual, that’s not where I should have been standing, and I knew this. My partner was an older woman who was not a great official, but I had heard she continued to come to camp each year to learn.  This year I was at camp to be hired, but I missed an opportunity because I was not doing the right thing during a time out.

After the time out, a clinician informed me the older official went to her end of the court during the time-out and then she kind of stalled and waited to see where I stood along the lane line and then she stood at the exact same place on her end of the court. (DangItJim!) Now we had a game of Monkey-see Monkey-do and this monkey was in the wrong stinkin’ spot!!

I was so disappointed in myself.  Not for being caught, but because I was not doing what I knew to be right!  Thomas Jefferson is quoted for saying, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” As if the World were watching, WOW!  For those who don’t know, in the world of officiating I have learned that someone is ALWAYS watching and they may very well TELL THE WORLD if they feel it will effect your career. In this camp scenario my positioning didn’t hurt anything, but I still got caught taking a short cut and not being a model official.

As I was reflecting on this, I read a blog written for high school athletes, coaches, players, and fans. He wrote a blog after sitting with several college coaches as they evaluated talent at a very good high school baseball tournament. He ended his post with this:

If you think that college coaches and professional scouts do not notice the “little things” you are mistaken. As one coach told me …. “We have to pay attention to each of the intangibles, it is the only real separator between some of these guys.” He went on to explain that each recruiting year they will have several players on their board that are essentially equal in athletic skills and ability. What then makes the difference is the “Little Things.”

So the next time you think that it doesn’t matter how you hustle or present yourself maybe you should revisit that part of your game. As another coach told me … “A player can hustle and give his maximum effort even on a day when he and/or his team is not playing their best game. It doesn’t take any athletic ability to hustle.”

You Never Know Who Is Watching

As the time comes at the end of the year we may be doing personnel reviews or we may be spending our holiday time and we must remember there is always someone watching! It will be the little things that separate us from the average. Go ahead commit to do the right thing – ALL THE TIME.

I am going to referee every game with the attitude “as if all the world were watching.” And as I mentor my young business partner, I don’t want to let him down.  If you are caught doing one of the “little things” this year, post it. Tell me about it.  I will be proud of you.