Road to the top – Why does personal development matter?

Tom Brady is arguably one of the best athletes of our time. One of my favorite Brady quotes is: “I’m not a person who defends myself very often. I kind of let my actions speak for me.” Let that sink in for a second. He isn’t concerned with your opinion of him. He isn’t going to tell you what he is going to do, or why he did or didn’t do something. All he is going to do is show you greatness. Rodney Harrison, an NFL hall of famer, tells the story about Brady’s work ethic and explains that they had a bit of teammate rivalry where they would see who would get to the gym first. They both started at 6 am, then would one-up each other and the next day one would get there at 5:30 to workout before the other. Finally after a few days of getting there earlier every day, Rodney got there at 2am and Brady was leaving the gym. He told him to have a nice workout. This is a testament to Brady’s personal brand and work ethic which has earned him the title of one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time. He didn’t expect his coach, the NFL or his teammates to get him up to work, to get him to the weight room or to get to practice. He did it himself, in silence, to show for it in public. 

How does greatness show up in your life? How do you “one-up” yourself every day to show not only yourself, but also your teammates what being great looks like? It is very common for people nowadays to expect their employer, their boss, their team, their friends or whatever external force it is to give them the tools in order to be successful. What people don’t see is that none of the growth that happens in someone’s life is given to them with specific steps or accomplished by others doing the work for them.

I have been in HR for 11 years and hear this on a weekly basis. Managers asking how they can help “Bob” on their team that wants to be promoted to manager. Or I hear Suzy venting about her manager not handing her all the training that is needed in order to become a manager. Now, don’t get me wrong – I 100% believe in training and development at work. I absolutely love facilitating training and believe your employer owes you training not only to make you better, but also to make the organization better. However, that isn’t all it is going to take. Brady going to every single practice and bootcamp put on by the Patriots doesn’t make him the GOAT. All the personal work he does outside of those practices, in ADDITION to all that is provided to him is what does. Every individual needs to do their part and invest in themselves by putting in the work in addition to the resources given to them. 

Not to toot my own horn, but I have to tell you something else that comes up frequently. In addition to being in, arguably, one of the loneliest careers in corporate America (yes, HR people are lonely sometimes), my career has consistently been on a trajectory where I am typically the youngest in the room. Let me tell you – that spot is even LONELIER! I tend to work with higher level professionals and senior executives, advising them on different topics and sometimes telling them the hard, uncomfortable truth. And despite the loneliness, guess what? I am constantly asked by peers or how I made it to where I am. How do I get to work with higher level executives? How did I become a manager at age 24 and advise on serious confidential issues. How do I consistently get promoted, not just in title but in responsibility. My answer to that is: amongst a combination of factors of formal training, amazing mentors, great work environments and others, a huge part of my continued career growth is the amount of time I invest in myself, on my own time, in silence. Many people expect that they will get all the tools that they need for work, at work and that is far from the truth. Or they expect that they will just be able to run a 5k without training or start a business without being educated on basic financial principles.

Point being: if you aren’t spending time on your personal development, you are falling behind. If you are currently working, or want to work for a growing, thriving company (or even build a growing company), you can’t expect to remain stagnant if your company is growing exponentially. You must also grow exponentially to scale with it. How can a stagnant person scale with a growing company? They can’t, right? Imagine you are 18 years old still trying to wear your clothes from when you were 9. Not going to fit, right? You need to be growing at least at the same pace, if not even faster to be able to prepare for what is next. Growing up, your mom likely bought you a ½ or a full size bigger in shoes because she knew you were going to grow out of them quickly. That is how personal and professional growth is. You need to be ½ or 1 full size further ahead than where your company, career or any other desired goal is going. And guess what? Nobody else can do it for you, except yourself.

Worst comes to worst, say  you don’t get what you want in your current role, job, fitness goal, or whatever it is.. it prepares you for the next one. You are a student of life. Just because one thing didn’t work in one area, doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to a ton of other areas in your life. The amount of mental, physical and emotional strength you will get from personal development applies to all areas of your life.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Read. Listen to a Podcast. Watch a YouTube video. Watch a Ted talk. Talk to smart people. Talk to strangers. Do things that scare you. Run. Hike. Sign up for that race. Raise your hand in the meeting. Have the tough conversation. Push yourself to a limit where you are continuing to learn and grow and aren’t stagnant. Because if you don’t do it, nobody else will. Take ownership and you will see your life evolve! 

If you are looking for somewhere to start, here are a few of my favorite tools:

How to get promoted

Hey, friend!

Did you know that, according to Pew Research, Millennials are the largest population in the workforce right now? This is why I decided to write this article because I know that we are all trying to get ahead in the game, but sometimes get stuck on HOW to go about it. I want to start off by saying that the career success and growth I have experienced was not created alone. I have been fortunate enough to have various mentors and advocates that allowed me to grow and learn through them. I am the first person in my family to work in corporate America, so learning how to navigate the job market alone was a huge learning curve for me in and of itself.  It’s tough enough to explain to my parents what I do on a daily basis, imagine explaining office politics.. NOPE!

I have worked in Human Resources for 11 years at various size companies, industries and cultures and been promoted consistently across my career. I have been fortunate enough to work for companies that place high importance on their company culture, are employee-centric and revolutionary in their operating approaches. Throughout my various experiences, I have worked with all levels of the company, from entry-level employees to executives and have the opportunity to both coach and learn from them. I tend to be a partner in my role, therefore work alongside people to be their advocate, advisor and sometimes therapist (I really need a couch in my office). Hearing the various perspectives, I have come to understand why and how those that are at the top of the organization get there. I hope that some of the things I have learned along the way will help you on your journey to success.

Real talk .. What does it take?

  1. Learn what that company cares about – AKA, how do they make money and how do you contribute to that larger picture? You are working for a BUSINESS that needs to make money. However, the business’ largest (for the most part) line item on their P&L is their people! SO it ends up being a two-way street. In order to grow in your company you must learn how they make money and how you add value to the bottom line. For example, if you are a sales rep, it is pretty clear. Your sales add up to the net gains of the company. Another example is, if you are a receptionist – what are the duties that you are doing on a daily basis to make the office run smoother? The core of your job is to create efficiencies and organization to save money. Therefore the better you get at that, the more likely you are to get promoted. You slowly make yourself a more valuable player in your field and they want to keep you happy and want you to stay, therefore they promote you.
  2. Learn what your boss cares about – Your boss hired YOU. Why? That is your challenge. What unique talent, skill, ability, characteristic, behavior(s) makes you unique in your role? There is something about the way you do your job that makes their life easier and you need to hone in on that. Maybe it’s your overarching positive attitude, maybe it is how much of an aggressive sales person you are, maybe it is organizing their lives so that they have to think less, or maybe it’s because you are a problem solver and come to them with more options to solve their problems rather than asking them to solve them for you. Whatever your niche is, find it and capitalize on it. Don’t think this is a guessing game. You can ask them how and why you are valuable to them and the company. A few examples of questions are:
    • What would you consider to be my biggest strengths?
    • In what area do I add value to the team that others may not?
    • Why did you hire me over others in the interview process? What did you see in me?
    • What is keeping you up at night about work? How can I help?
  3. Learn the culture – I learned this one the hard way. What it takes to be successful at one company doesn’t always meet cultural standards at your next company. You may be doing the same job, but the acceptable norms are not the same. You need to take time to learn the culture. What are your peers doing? What are they not doing? Why? What is the next level above you doing and how did they get there? Being able to understand the cultural differences between companies is crucial to your growth because if you cross the boundaries, that will put you in a very negative light which is hard to come back from. However, understanding the culture and staying within the boundaries and adding your talent into it will only make you shine brighter and allow you to thrive.
  4. Perfect your execution – In other words, after you have figured out why you are there, how the company makes money, how you play into the bigger picture, what is accepted and what isn’t – GRIND! How do you become the BEST at what you do? If you don’t know, look around you and find someone you admire. Why do you admire them? How are they the best? What are the behaviors/actions/habits you should adopt to make you the best? What are their flaws and things you should avoid? We are all human and make mistakes, but learning from other’s as much as possible is to our benefit. Maybe you can ask that person to mentor you. Maybe the best person in your field is outside your company and you need to follow them on social media or read their books. Whatever it may be, work on perfecting your craft every day.
  5. Work hard – This is a given, but hard work and consistency go a long way. If you are consistently a hard worker, who has all the points above aligned and are in the right job that meets your strengths, you will go places.. Very far places!
  6. Realize you are still in corporate America – Hate to break it to you, but there are these things called “politics” and “time”. Why do you care? There are certain boundaries you cannot break within a company structure because that just is what it is. These will require you to go through certain hoops, and you will have to be patient. There are also certain things that you can’t accomplish until you are in your field, or in your company long enough because the scenarios just haven’t happened. Remember that good things take time and you need to embrace the journey.

If you feel like you are in a position where you think you need to take the next step and haven’t been able to, I suggest you set a meeting with your boss to review the points above. If you have any other questions or want to chat further, leave a comment below or reach out to me in Instagram. I am more than happy to chat!




The Art of Patience

“Patience is a virtue” .. the phrase I tell myself several times a day. I am a very high energy person, and somewhat a perfectionist, which causes me to sometimes be controlling over things or get anxiety because things in my life aren’t done quickly. It also causes HUGE DOUBTS! I think, “If I am not getting the outcome that I want, when I want it, then I must be doing something wrong.”… WRONG THOUGHTS! Let’s talk more about the balance between impatience and patience.

Why it’s great to be impatient

To get -ISH DONE! It’s proven that people with a sense of urgency will get more things done, be more effective and always be thinking of ways to do things more efficiently to get even MORE done. It also allows you to be more successful in life because you are looking for results quicker, so you are trying everything in your power to achievement, quicker.  Ed Mylett talks about time management and impatience in his Podcast episode “The Secret on How I get 21 days a week”.

Why you still need to learn patience

There is a learning theory by Ken Blanchard called “Situational Leadership Model”. This model teaches that there are 4 development levels that every person goes through when learning something new. Level 1 is someone with high commitment and low competence. Meaning, when you are really excited (highly committed) to take on a new task, hobby or skill but you don’t know how to do it because you have never done it before (low competence). Level 2 is when this really excited person realizes that the task is a lot harder than they thought, so their commitment level (motivation/confidence) on this task goes WAY down and decide they want to quit. They still don’t know how to do the task (low competence) and are deflated. THIS is the phase where my impatience starts to kick in. THIS is the time when I start telling myself that I am doing something wrong, that I suck, that I want to quit because this new thing is so hard. BUT I forget that I haven’t allowed myself to get to the final development level. It is key to remember that with every new thing, there will be a dip in your confidence and competence, it is NORMAL. So, if you push through and really try to master the skill, you will end up at development level 3. This is when you finally CAN do the task, but you are lacking the commitment. Maybe you can finally swim laps in a pool, but you need that extra reassurance and confident booster from others to tell you that you are doing a great job so you have the confidence to continue to work on perfecting your technique. FINALLY, after much practice and hard-earned work, you get to level 4. You become the pro that you thought you were supposed to be so long ago when you were pushing yourself so hard and doubting yourself. You can actually do the task alone, and are confident in it.. You are a BADA$$!

The amount of patience needed to get to the final mastery level is so high that most of us aren’t willing to wait that long, so we give up on ourselves or become anxious instead of continuing to work at what we want. Gary Vee is the #1 preacher about how patience is key to the success of anything that you do and he is SO right. Why? Because you have a whole learning cycle to go through EVERY TIME you try a new task, goal or hobby. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying to procrastinate because things take time. I am saying that you should put in the work over a period of time, but also know that the results will take consistent, conscious action towards your goal and with time, and lots of patience, you will achieve your desired outcome.

And the most important reason to be patient, is because you love yourself. As the bible reads in 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient. Love is kind..” Regardless of your faith, the definition of love includes patience. Primarily in this case, love for YOURSELF should be a priority. Giving yourself grace for going through the steps and going through the process of becoming a better version of yourself requires love and patience… so do yourself a favor and CHILL on the crazy deadlines that you put on yourself! 

Hard work + consistency + self-love + patience = formula for success






Tips to stay organized

Hey boss babe!

Do you struggle with like a million things going on in your day and you think.. “Oh my goodness! How am I going to get it all done?” My corporate life and personal life demands me to be able to juggle a million things at once and I am able to do this through a variety of techniques that I wanted to share with you that can likely help you out if you find yourself in the same situation I am in:

  1. Plan my week on Sundays: {mostly} Every Sunday I sit down and plan my week. I plan my workouts, chores, meal prepping, social commitments, dates with my hubby, blog writing and other tasks that need to get done. This helps me visualize what my week will look like. It also gives me a chance to look at where I stand with my monthly and annual goals. Reconnecting with them is so important to ensure I am going in the direction I want to take my life. 
  2. Daily to-do lists: YUP, I said DAILY. These tend to be at work. Although it takes time “away” from my productivity, it actually allows me to be most productive in the areas where I need to be. If you are paying attention to your A priorities and getting those done, then none of the others really matter. When I write my to-do list, I list the top things at top, then the ones that can potentially wait on the bottom. Then, I prioritize the things at the top and literally write 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. This leaves no question in my mind where I should start. If I get through those top ones, then I move to the items at the bottom. As the day progresses, more things come up and I write them in and decide.. do these need to be a 2a, or is it on my B list and can wait until tomorrow? This practice allows me to realign everyday and check things off.. literally! It gives me such a sense of accomplishment and that also makes me happy. 
  3. Use my calendar: I have a personal and a work calendar. Why? Because both areas of my life need to be balanced and planned out. In my work calendar, I use Outlook and block off time for things that need my 100% attention. I also use the “follow up” reminder function in Outlook a lot so that rather than me having to remember everything, it pops up and reminds me instead. My personal calendar is in my iPhone and it keeps track of every activity going on in my life so that I am not double booked.
  4. Color-coding: I am a visual learner and will ALWAYS prefer a visual and a flow chart. I use colors for my calendar and email so I can sort emails, see in a quick snapshot where I am spending my time that day/week and prepare accordingly. I also use colored pens to allow me to track where I am with things (I am a total sucker for school supplies!). 
  5. Break things down into bite-sized items: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! That holds true for larger, multi-step projects and items. If your goal is to complete a triathlon, you’re not going to jump in and do all three sports every day, right? Set a realistic completion date of your project/goal and work backwards. What are the small steps you need to take in order to reach it? Who are the people that need to be involved in helping you reach that project/goal? What does their schedule look like? What are the other variables that could interfere with you achieving success? How do you plan for that and ensure that you have incorporated that into your small steps? By taking these small steps, you are avoiding overwhelming yourself and can plan for a successful outcome.

Hope this helped, boo! Interested in hearing about your tactics to stay organized and on track!