Books, Movies, and Stuff, Inner Success, Outward Success

I Am An Author

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King, WD

Amen to that Larry!

It has taken me almost two years to hear the words, Congratulations, your book is published.  Today, I announce that I am now a published author and books will be available soon.  While I may not have my biography presented on goodreads or Wikipedia, I will now state that I am an author on my resume.  I wrote, rewrote, erased, read more, rewrote, and then rewrote again.  It took time.  It caused tears and it was hard.  It may have been the hardest project I have ever undertaken.  But, it is finished.  I am published!

Those of you who have been reading this blog while I worked on the book, you know some of my story.  You know I want the women of today’s world to be empowered to voice their opinion, to do success their own way, and to stop fearing rejection.  With this book, I am a student of my own advice.  (Though scary), I will not fear rejection.  I will not apologize for my opinions and my vision.  I have laid them out for everyone to criticize or to love, and I am okay with either one.

Thank you to everyone who has helped along the way, and thank you to my girlfriends who gave me the courage to commit my words to writing.   Help me change the world by ordering a book and sharing the message.

 

 

 

 

 

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Inner Success, Outward Success

Mentorship Is My Purpose

The year is 1995, and I, Rachael Row, enter the WMU dorms on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University to begin the pursuit of purpose.  I am a stranger on this campus, unfamiliar with the town or the school, but ready to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Fast forward four years through the track and field career and a Health and Physical Education & Recreation degree, and the entrepreneurial journey begins.  A few career changes, some life experience, and a network of professionals from around the world, and believe it or nor, I am on purpose more than ever!

Because I know who I am and exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life, I will walk back onto the Oklahoma Baptist University campus, this time as a mentor. I am going to share my understanding of my purpose and my personal brand to young women who are finishing the final leg of their college journey.

Tomorrow night I will use and share my gifts and talents. I have been asked to, not only be a mentor for this year, but also to speak at the inaugural kick off dinner of Lydia’s Lamp Mentorship program for young women on campus.  I am very honored to be a leader in the program, which has been titled in honor of Lydia, the influential and successful businesswoman mentioned only two times in the Bible.

Lydia met Paul and Silas while they were in Philippi and she took time out of her busy schedule to listen to them.  After listening and accepting the gospel, she persuaded Paul and Silas to stay in her home, according to Acts 16:15.  Lydia may have been the first Gentile converted to Christianity in Europe and she may also have been the first businesswoman to open her home as a worship center for European Christians.  Lydia, like women of today, was both a domestic and corporate goddesses.

When speaking to the young women who have entered this mentor program, I will challenge them to grow their personal brand and to grow their network – intentionally and without apology.  You see I am so blessed to have had great mentors early in my career who prepared me to live out my purpose.  I am meant to carry that forward and to mentor other women.  Everything I have done, leading up to this day, has been to prepare me for the role of mentor.  Over the last couple weeks, as I prepared for this presentation, I have been so lucky to have heard from a few wonderful women, whom I have mentored, and am abundantly proud of!

Kara, from New York City, made a significant life decision to step away from the corporate chase to raise her child and support her husband.  Fhionna, from Oklahoma, moved half way across the country to pursue her search for meaning and purpose.  And Shannon, now in Chicago, whom I met eight years ago on this same OBU campus, mailed a heart warming thank you note to me. She thanked me for the mentorship I provided her as she progressed through college and later took a leap of faith joining a start up business. I am so blessed by the success of these young women.

Tomorrow I want to do my best, not only for the women listening live, but also to honor those girls who have trusted me for years as their mentor and friend.  As my mentees grow up, take on the world in their own way, my universe of friendship and network expands.  I want to remind women that if you have “made it” be sure you are mentoring others, if you are on the way, bring someone with you, and if are just beginning – find a mentor and build relationships with those that have come before you.

Every mentorship expands your sphere of influence.  And research suggests that one of the largest indicators of a woman’s success is her network.  So you see, mentorship, networking, and success go hand in hand! #GoForthAndMentor

 

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Inner Success, Outward Success

Three Apologies Hillary Clinton Didn’t Make and NEITHER SHOULD YOU.

According to the hacked emails from campaign chairman John Podesta, Hillary Clinton does not like to apologize.

Win or loss, in this go around, the President of the United States of America stands strong with the statements spoken, emails written, and stands taken, and they have done so without apology.  In an election cycle where we heard things we never thought we would: locker room jock talk played publicly, a candidate being blamed for the death of young military men, and the threat of a physical wall  around our country to keep people out.

And in a society where women apologize to our own demise, if nothing else, Hillary Clinton showed us how to climb the ranks without apology.  I often say we don’t have role models of successful women, and whether Mrs. Clinton is elected the President of the United States of America – she is successful and we can learn from her. Here are three things you shouldn’t apologize for and Hillary didn’t either!

TAKING TIME TO PREPARE.
She did not apologize for preparing – privately.  More than once Mr. Trump accused her of needing rest and she responded quite bluntly and frankly, she was preparing.  In an era where we expect people to be available 24/7, either in person or socially, she took the time for quiet reflection and preparation.

As successful women, preparation is a key daily function. When was the last time you took private, quiet time to prepare?  Do you take quiet time daily? Weekly? Annually? EVER? And what would that look like? Perhaps meditating for 10 minutes to prepare for your day, or waking up a half hour early to prepare for a sales call. You need to turn off the phones and the beeps and have some quiet time on occasion – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.

HOW YOU LOOK.
Hillary Clinton did not apologize for not “looking Presidential.”  On an occasion or two she was accused of not looking the part of a President.  Not once did she back down from that accusation and neither should you. If there is no role model before you that looks like you – it does not mean you don’t belong. You do.

Women, there are going to be times and situations where you are FIRST!  You are the ONLY.  Don’t apologize for not “looking the part.” Look at it positively, if there is no one before you – there is no precedent that you have to adhere to.  Do not apologize for looking differently and presenting yourself just as you are.  Hillary did not apologize and she was running for the top office in all of the world! You have your own unique look and style – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.

NOT YOUR MISTAKE.

Hillary did not apologize for situations that were actually out of her reign, expertise, and control.  When the accusations about her private server were at their peak and their highest, she didn’t apologize.  If you asked most business professionals working for the government (or any midsize or enterprise level company) they generally follow the directives of the IT person. We can’t know everything.

Women, there are times when you hire people to be the experts.  You hire people to do things to protect you and when they step out of line you know that ultimately the buck stops with you.  But when they mess up, it is their mistake, not yours.  When others fail and cause you pain, take action to course correct.  We can take responsibility for the company role in a mishap, but we don’t have to take the fall for others – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.

Whatever the outcome of this election, we can take this quick lesson: Ambition can lead us down a bumpy road, but that doesn’t mean we have to apologize at every pothole. Own what’s yours and play full out.

#successwithoutapology  #PoliticsNOTasUsual MyVote2016 #NeitherShouldYou #iVoted 😳     
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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 successwithoutapology.com 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

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Inner Success, Outward Success, Uncategorized

Beyonce’ Sings My Thoughts

 

Sometimes my thoughts come out in Beyonce’s songs and I am not sure how that happens.  Most recently, her song Flawless, brashly and aggressively paints the picture of our twisted support of successful women.  Here are a few of the lyrics that were PG enough for me to post.

We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girlsImage_woman_shame
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”

Society wants women to be successful, but not so successful they outshine men, hmmm. We all know this.  We may not want to know this – but we do. We, ambitious women, know it before we are able to articulate it. Academic research, to a certain extent, confirms our instincts.  And a great blog post , written by Rebecca Ruiz earlier this year, confirms no one is immune to these cultural barriers, not even world famous celebrities like Taylor Swift.

With the actions of Kanye and other male chauvinist men aside, why are women, like me and you, not taking credit for our day-to-day accomplishments? Why do women not receive the necessary credit for their own success?  In a single word: Judgement.  We want the success, but the judgement is real and it hurts.  So we deflect the success and the credit to avoid the judgement.

I was sitting around visiting with friends when a woman shared with me that she does not ever mention the fact that she earned a law degree around her work peers because in her experience if she has mentioned it, she felt judged and almost shunned her for her higher education.  #ItsRealPeople #WomenJudgeWomen

How do we stop the judgement?  It starts with us! We must stop judging each other.  Here are two scenarios and I want you to see yourself listening in each conversation.

Scenario 1: You are in town for a couple days and decide to catch up with an old college girlfriend. When she talks about her career and the travel required for her job, how do you respond?  What questions come to mind to ask her or to further the conversation?  Admit it, you want to ask if she ever sees her children, or how her husband handles being home alone so much.  You may even ask, how do possibly get any rest?

Scenario 2: Have you ever sat across from a man who talked of his success and thought to ask him how his wife felt about having to be the sole parent while he traveled?   No, more likely, you thought, wow he must make great money.  I bet his wife and kids are set and don’t have to work.  That’s more “normal.”

I have been guilty of this for decades, and I am committed to stop judging.  I know women can succeed and they can accept the credit for their hard work, without feeling guilty.  Can you accept the credit for your accomplishments, degrees or salary?

When your children show great respect, take credit for great parenting!  When you are told what a great teacher you are, say thank you.  When you lead a team through the execution of a project that earns the company millions of dollars, accept the accolades.  When you earn a huge bonus – gloat.  🙂 Do not shrink yourself.

For our children and for all women who want to succeed after you, please take credit for your success. Little girls and young women need to see women who receive credit for their accomplishments.  Accept the credit, and the judgement for the evolution of our society.

Do it now.  Change begins with you and your time is now.  Steve Jobs has a quote I’d like to use to encourage an urgency. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Follow your heart.  Expect the judgement. Accept the credit. Create a legacy.  #successwithoutapology

 

 

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Inner Success, Outward Success

Are You Unfairly Labeled Bossy?

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“I think putting labels on people is just an easy way of marketing something you don’t understand.”  Adam Jones

Speaking of marketing, check out Pantene’s  commercial about labels on men and women. Pantene brings to life the quote of Mr. Jones by demonstrating how quickly we label women unfairly.  We are guilty of unfairly labeling women in leadership roles because we are ignorant of the complexity of their work, emotions, and vulnerability.   Have you ever been mislabeled bossy, when only being a stern boss?  I have for sure!

The best thing I have learned over the years is to be honest with yourself about your personality quirks and other peoples’ perceptions/labels of you, even if you feel they are incorrect. Recognize how others label you and more importantly be able to communicate how you would like to be described.  If you can label yourself properly, it will often help others understand you better.  For example, in brainstorming sessions I remind stakeholders in the room, “Hey I am in sales – sometimes I don’t know how to have a conversation without selling my ideas or thoughts.  It doesn’t mean I am right or that I am absolutely sold on my own idea, I just can’t help but sell you when it comes out of my mouth.”  So the next thing I tell them is, “Don’t let me SELL you on a policy or an idea if you know I am wrong.”  And I mean it.  By stating this up front, I may not appear as pushy or dominant as we contemplate the various ideas.

This video is a reminder to me that some labels are accurate and some just wrong!  So regardless of the label, be aware of the fact that you are being labeled.  Don’t hide from the labels, but rather face them and choose to own them, correct them, or live up to them.

I used to be labeled as bossy, but over the years I have learned to change people’s perception to think of me more as a delegator.   🙂 No really it is true, friends say  I delegate better than anyone they know.  I figured out how to change what I say from: “Mike – go get the rental car for our trip” to something like “Mike, since you are arriving earlier would you mind picking up the rental car for us?”  Ahhhh – all in the delivery ladies, all in the delivery.

So let me encourage you to make note of the labels people have on you.  Decide whether you like those labels or want to change them; decide if they are within your control to change or not.  I didn’t like being bossy, so I worked on my delivery.  I own the fact that I am salesy, so I educate those around me to not let that get us in trouble.

How do you handle the labels?  Please – take the time to tell me about a label that has been placed on you.  Tell me – how did you handle it?  Did you own it, fight it, or work to change it?  I truly want to know!

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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.

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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.

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