46 Girls Changed My View in 46 Seconds

3 Powerful Moments

I drove along a rocky and winding trail to a series of cute white cabins and a larger building that I would later discover is the dining hall. Though I have done a million presentations and workshops before, the butterflies were there reminding me that I will always be 10 at heart.

Moment 1 – The Energy

As I stepped into the dining hall, I could feel the energy coming from this group of powerful young women. Smiles, waves and friendly glances in my direction as I walked through the space – that’s all it took to pull me into their energy.

Moment 2 – The Sound

The chanting began. Without instruction or request, the girls began to sing a song. It sounded like nonsense words at first, but a song book was quickly offered so that I could follow along. They simply love to sing and chant fun songs with empowering lyrics.

Moment 3 – The Fearlessness

Suddenly it was my turn to stand up. We went around the room offering up what we want to be one day. There was a ton of honesty in the “I don’t knows” and confidence in those who said multiple careers at once. No fear in this group.

Camp Lantern Creek

46 Girls Changed My View

Last weekend I had the pleasure of being the Bright Lights Speaker at Camp Lantern Creek (also called CLC) in Montgomery, Texas. CLC is the camp that you send your incredible daughter to so that she can try a little bit of everything with other awesome girls while surrounded by the beautiful outdoors. They coin the camp’s focus as developing renaissance girls, but it is so much more than that.

For a while, I thought that it was most important for me to be working with women in college and in their twenties. Those are the women who need the most help with understanding business, finance and how to succeed – right? No! If you delay learning or thinking about these things, then it is much harder to develop the critical skills related to being successful.

Tweens and teens – that’s where it’s at.

During the hour and a half that I spent with these 46 powerful young women, I could see that today’s girls are the risk takers, creative thinkers, and collaborative workers of tomorrow. It was in the small moments throughout the day that I saw glimpses of powerful leaders and entrepreneurs. I could see more potential in a 12 year old girl than I’ve seen in most any adult that I’ve met.

If you want to shape the world in a positive image, then start with the girls.

 

Life Distractions

We all dread the first day back at the office after a vacation. Your mindset at work following a vacation should be relaxed and focused, yet it rarely works out that way. Upon entry to the office we are bombarded with information and it is difficult to catch up. The only time you don’t feel this way is if you kept up with work while on vacation. I am most definitely the fool who falls victim to both of these situations.

This is when I need to take a close look at all of the roles that I plan and my list of responsibilities. How do I spend my time and what amount of energy does it take? Right now my list is fairly long:

  • I am a sister, a daughter and an aunt to my family
  • I am a girlfriend and a friendfocus, distractions
  • I have a full time job
  • I have some part-time work
  • I volunteer with Club GEN
  • I’m working on my business plan
  • I’m a Toastmaster
  • I’m a Delta Zeta alumnae

This is a decent size list for one person to be doing on a regular basis, but it is manageable. Now I just need to focus on my responsibilities and figure out how to meet all of my various goals & deadlines. What are some things I can do?

  • Make a Vision Board and place it where I can see it everyday
  • Write down in detail why I have these roles and goals
  • Get with my business coach or a friend to create a realistic action plan for me to reach my various goals
  • Use my planner ALL the time
  • Wake up earlier and better plan for that poorly utlized time, like transit or my morning routine
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Do you have any other suggestions for me?

The Concrete Jungle of Dreams

I love New York City. I don’t like the cold or the noise, but I love the people and the energy. New York is filled with creative and passionate people. It may be because of the abundance of cultures represented or the history of the city, or even the mixture of economic statuses. I believe it is all of these things plus the lights – how can anyone not be inspired by this skyline?

New York, the concrete jungle

People make a city the buildings, businesses, art, culture, food, transportation, style. All of this comes from the creative class of people who make a city great. The people of New York City are a unique mixture of styles, interests and passions. While riding the train you can meet a recently relocated South African wearing every color of the rainbow who wants to be a fashion designer; or you may sit next to the 32 year old mother of 2 who donates her few hours of free time to a small neighborhood museum. All of the possibilities are exciting and interesting to me. The energy that these unique people bring to the city is what makes it so magical.

During my little vacation back to the homeland, I met up with old friends, coworkers, my family and even a few awesome strangers. One gentleman told me all about his talented daughter, and asked if I could help her out. She is a composer and performer in Brooklyn who is struggling to get noticed. I met with Dana Carmel at a little coffee shop in Union Square. She gave me some faith – in her, in music, in me, and of course in the future. Hopefully I can help her to make a few changes and get some attention.

As the third month of this year comes to a close, I have looked back on my search and writings. This incredible search for a career, a path, my goals, etc means nothing without the people who I want to help and influence. Rather than trying to search for the perfect dream in a concrete jungle like New York, I want to explore all of my possibilities right here among the Texas hills.

Goals Update

 

January 2013 is over, so how am I doing so far?

  • Post 2 blogs per week – This is good, but I think it is okay to reduce to once per week. Instead, I will promise to journal about my professional growth and accomplishments 2-3 times per week.
  • Create a daily to-do list and follow it – Hit or miss. I am definitely improving though. Each Sunday night I look at my printed calendar and add reminders for the week into my phone.
  • Find a suitable mentor – I think this goal has changed. I may just need a voice teacher…not sure.
  • Become a dedicated volunteer – I LOVE going to clubGEN every week. The girls are amazing and inspiring.

CeoCandi, taking care of business

  • Connect with one new person each month – This month I connected with 4 new people! Follow-up to happen next week 🙂
  • Establish a communications plan to keep up with all of my professional contacts – I need to get this started.
  • Join a brain trust – I have spoken with a new prospects about developing a new group. This will continue to grow and develop in February. I think it will come to fruition in March.
  • Formulate a flexible career plan – This is a difficult one. First I needed some clairty on what my end goal was. Now that I have it, I can begin to create a plan. More to come.
  • Accountability – Blogging, journaling and making specific appointments have helped tremendously.
  • Blocking the negative thoughts about my own abilities – I’m improving on this forefront. There is a definitely pink and happy chi going on with me more recently.
  • 10 minutes of vocal practice each morning – This week I practiced 3 out of the 5 days. I’ll continue to create reminders around the importance of practice to build it into my routine.

I’m open to suggestions. Let me know if you think there are other things I should be doing to reach these goals.

Everything starts from needs or desires

Everything starts from needs or desires that become goals. In order to achieve their goals people frame intentions that lead to actions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Empowering Young Women

One of my goals for 2013 is to dedicate time toward an organization with a mission I really believe in. I chose GENaustin (the girls empowerment network) and it is such an incredible organization. Thursday was my first day with clubGEN – the after school program for girls in grades 4 through 12. It was also the first meeting of the new year/semester for the girls. There were three sixth grade girls at club, and we had a blast together. We played a series of “getting to know you” type of games. As expected, we all took a little while to open up to each other. However, we eventually felt comfortable and the girls were sharing.

Too many young women lack confidence or do not stand up for themselves. As a gender we accept lower pay, less respect and yet we work twice as hard for it. “Women remain hugely underrepresented at positions of power in every single sector across this country,” said Barnard College president Debora Spar at a White House conference on urban economic development.

My hope is that my time and influence with the young ladies in clubGen will help them to make good decisions and see themselves as I do -beautiful, smart and capable. I challenge myself and other women out there to stand up for what we want.

You are Beautiful

Finding My Authentic Career – Know Yourself

 

Earlier this week I took a series of personality tests with hope that I may find a career to match me. My values, interests and passions are the driving forces behind finding my match.

My entire career has been all about marketing. Everything from using barter, events, street teams, print pieces, radio spots, digital ads, mobile, and integrated strategies. I’m a creative problem-solver, which makes me a great addition to any marketing team. However, I feel like I can do so much more and give back to my community.  And yet, I’m not in a rush to figure it all out. “I would rather wait a week for the right answer than hours for the wrong one” – Downton Abbey.

In order for me to be true to myself I must begin to admit some things:

  • I am highly driven and achieve the goals I set 90% of the time. However, I do not always set the most logical goals.
  • I absolutely love music, but I am not talented enough to truly make something of it.
  • Time after time I have been praised for my honesty, but I am still learning to be an effective communicator with those who My Name My Careerprefer things more sugar coated.
  • Though I’m a hard worker, I become lost in my work and lose sight of larger goals. 
  • At the office I am highly organized and know how to prioritize, but in my personal life and with my personal goals I am terrible at keeping up.
  • Working with children gives me such joy, but I know that I do not want to be a teacher – at least not a traditional classroom teacher.

Taking all of this into consideration along with my strengths (leadership, helping people and relationship building) leads me to believe that I need to make some changes in my life…and not just say that I will.

Change #1 – This week I begin volunteering with GEN Austin – The Girls Empowerment Network. – in the clubGEN program. My instincts tell me that a group of middle school girls are going to change my perspective on many things.

 

My Goals for 2013

My name is Candice, but family and close friends call me Candi. I will post on this blog each week about my professional development.

Here are my Goals for 2013:

  • Post 2 blogs per week
  • Create a daily to-do list and follow it
  • Find a suitable mentor
  • Become a dedicated volunteer
  • Connect with one new person each month
  • Establish a communications plan to keep up with all of my professional contacts
  • Join a brain trust
  • Formulate a flexible career plan