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I'm someone who's undergone a complete life/self overhaul. I'm now a professional in my dream job, balancing an amazing relationship, a healthy body, a healthy self image, my passions, my family and surrounding myself with good people. It's hard, not gonna lie. But I'm here to help, to inspire and say "you're not alone."

Me, today: 4.12.12 Shake Firmly, Speak Clearly and Be Concise

What a roller coaster of a day! Woke up a full hour and a half before my alarm, my head filled with the strange dreams of struggle. “Welp, better get to it! “I thought and hopped out of bed, in the shower and over to my laptop. After a day full of meetings, calls and emails I joined one of the best people I know for food and good conversation. Sharing a big hug and a hurried synopsis of the past month spent apart, the conversation took an emotional and surprising turn.

Some of my fellow dancers wanted to start their own studio and wanted me to be part of it. First off, I felt honored that their opinion of me was such that I would be a responsible business partner and an integral part of their life. Second was the little girl in me, jumping up and down shouting “I want it! I want it!” How awesometastically cool would it be to own my own studio!?!? Then my father’s voice came in. “Jennifer, now is this the smart thing to do? You could spend your money doing something else that would bring more return. This wouldn’t work.” Then came a rush of swirling questions: what should I do with my money? investments? where do I want to go in life? did I want to set those kind of roots here? What about starting a family? or getting married soon? Would it interfere with my quest for turning We Are Super Women into a women’s community? As I drove back home it was like going through the tunnel walk way in a fun house – you know, the one where you walk on a platform through a tunnel that’s spinning and you get dizzy even though where you’re walking is solid – yea that. I can only imagine the stop light pointing and giggling that happened at my expense . The only thing worse would be being caught picking your nose.

I got home and did a cartoon head shake where, in my head, my face becomes a blur. “OK, put that away, time to suit up. (It’s going to be legendary) Hehe.” I chuckled to myself. Being able to segment your life mentally makes you more efficient. You can focus on the task at hand without being distracted by other things in your life. Practice mentally drawing lines between activities/emotions. So, I dressed up in cocktail attire, did my hair and went to shake the hands of dozens of big wigs at a company event. The restaurant lounge was dimly lit, elevator music playing as the backdrop to a room filled with chatter. Sharply dressed men and women filled their left hand with cocktails and their right with handshakes and business cards. I took a deep breadth, rolled back my shoulders and walked tall as I breathed out. Being the youngest by at least 10 years and amongst only a handful of women, I knew the drill. Shake firmly, speak clearly and be concise. Listen intently, ask questions that uncover more information and smile, always smile. Time to make an impression, a powerfully intelligent and memorable one. Seems like networking 101, but I’ll tell ya it’s not easy.

The evening went as well as any other, ending in seeing an amazing theater performance – Wicked. People shared a few laughs, some real some polite, talk of the weather and sports – our seemingly go to topics when complete strangers converse. Periodically I exchanged reassuring and “did that really just happen?” glances with a close friend and colleague. With feet starting to protest my fashionably professional shoes, my friend and I sat down exchanging stories of connections made, forced and yet to be found.

Meeting all these high level executives got me thinking. How did they get there? I could tell some by their sheer brilliance in business, some by moving up the ladder, but  most by their “people skills.” So what exactly are people skills? What choices did they make to get where they are? Did they skip out on starting a dance studio or ditch their dream of becoming the world’s foremost pogo stick exert and champion to be an executive? Hm, good topic for my next blog… Yessss, it’s formulating. This will be good… =)


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