I feel like a hardworking, determined woman who’s cracked the code on the most important recipe for being a successful professional: Working for a great company, surrounding myself with the best team and peers, pushing myself outside my comfort zone, and striving to always learn new things.
Without any one of these, I wouldn’t have the amazing career I do.
When I’m in the moment, hustling and speaking with you about business and industry trends, I feel like I am exactly where I am meant to be.
I’m in my *zone*.
If I didn’t have this time-tested recipe, when I turned the screens off each night at home and laid my head down on my pillow, it wouldn’t be with the same sense of pride and purpose.
I’d be exhausted-tired. Instead, I’m excited-tired and chase the sunrise up every morning in pursuit of my passions and wanting to make my small part of the world a better place.
…Twenty years ago today I made a birthday wish to change my title and today, as I blow out my birthday candles, I will be smiling ear to ear knowing I am keeping that promise.
So, I’ll be adding a dash more spice and adventure to my recipe for professional success.
Before any of you pass out—no, I’m not leaving Toshiba now, nor do I have any plans to change my status at Toshiba.
It’s quite the opposite.
Toshiba has given me the absolute best runway a woman could ask for.
They’ve cultivated my skills by creating space for me to learn from the best minds in business and executive leaders. As well as lead some of the best teams and projects — that are making a difference by changing the tech landscape and future of work and I love being part of Team Toshiba.
I’ve traveled the world with them. And had the chance to speak on stages in front of thousands of people for over a decade, representing them and the essence of the Toshiba brand.
Plus, we’ve been recognized for some pretty amazing awards and nominations together, Toshiba and I.
Looking at you, Orange County Business Journal Women in Business 2019 and 2020 nominations, 2016 Young Influencer and 2019 Woman of Influence by The Cannata Report.
It’s because of the amazing platform that Toshiba has given me—and the continued support they provide me—that I felt inspired to step up my game on their behalf (and mine) in early 2020, and show up as the digital leader that they’ve cultivated me to be.
I think it would be insulting to the leaders and peers there and in our industry for me not to take this platform and responsibility seriously. So, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to share my personal story and the journey that brought me to where I am today with you, digitally sharing my personal brand.
But, this was not my wish twenty years ago.
Being a Director of anything wasn’t a goal I ever wrote down, until far into my professional career.
Being an influencer was not my dream.
When I envisioned my future, magazine covers and awards were not included in it.
This was never the dream I thought I wanted.
Being an influencer is a role I do not take lightly. It’s holding myself to a higher standard. It’s helping to cultivate the potential in the next generation. It’s being the mentor I wish I had earlier in my career.
Mentor and Influencer. These were never titles I would have thought possible back when I was younger.
But today, they are titles I fully embrace.
People who knew me twenty years ago would never have imagined that I would be considered a thought leader in tech by sharing how grit, curiosity, and hard work took me from a high-risk upbringing in foster care to the role of a high-potential leader and director at Toshiba.
We all face obstacles in our journeys, and we all have the choice of how we respond to them. When we take responsibility for ourselves, we are free to create a NEW path forward and can become the author of our own story.
I am truly a testament to all of the above.
My life, my success, my reality should have been different based on where I came from.
I was a foster kid and experienced everything that went along with that stigma.
Yet here I am, at the top of my game, at a major corporation – successful in ways I never dreamed possible, yet always knew would be in my future.
From early on, I had to get creative to survive. The fact that I did life on my own, that no one was there to lead the way for me, forced me to be resourceful.
I had no backup plan and only two options – be brave and try, or call it quits and give up.
It was on me to make things happen, so, I did. I took the windiest road, learned how to adapt at the drop of a dime, and developed the hacks necessary to make up for my gaps in education. I learned about the world through the pages of books. It turned me into a dreamer and believer that If you are committed to always learning, to staying curious, to putting in the hard work, and to step into every opportunity that presents itself you do have the ability to change the trajectory of your life, defy every single odd, and make a huge impact.
I’m an unlikely candidate. I don’t have the golden touch. I simply have an extreme desire to make this all meaningful – for myself and those in similar situations.
I’ve accomplished a lot in my life. A lot. And while my childhood may appear to be a list of liabilities and things that would stand in my way, I decided early when I made that birthday wish that nothing would stop me from creating a life that looked entirely different than the one I grew up in.
So I took this platform seriously, and over the last year, I found my voice to tell my story and be a beacon of hope for my foster youth brothers and sisters.
I truly believe that our greatest challenges can be the fuel to our biggest successes.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison
Twenty years ago, I had the vision to close a chapter of that predetermined ending and to become the author of a new story….
So, I made a birthday wish to change my title to Author.
And I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’ll be releasing my first book, A Million Little Clicks in September. Get on the waitlist before its release next month, here.
Based on the successful launch of my personal brand and the best practices I used to achieve my success, I wanted to create a resource to help other businesses and professionals, like you, do the same. And so, A Million Little Clicks was born.
I know firsthand that if you want to be successful in today’s world, you need to learn from those who have gone before you. As someone with experience showing up digitally, sharing my journey, and telling my story—all while simultaneously having a corporate brand—I’ve learned quite a few lessons about building a personal brand the right way. This book is my way of helping you avoid millions of clicks by taking you step-by-step through the path to personal branding success.
As this powerful and transformative year glides away with the sunset, and the new 2020 Women Influencers are announced by The Cannata Report, I want to provide my support as we continue to lead, spread our message, and inspire others.
If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that your past truly does not have to define your future. The definition of who you are on paper does not determine your path forward.
So, whatever brought you here—the tech connection, business advice, our work together for nonprofits, or something else—I’m glad you’re here.
Don’t underestimate the power of goal setting. What was once a dream CAN be your reality.