The long and the short of it!
When I was 22 years old I was given a book by someone who meant a great deal to me. It was a book written by Tony Robbins called Unlimited Power. I’ll be honest, I’ve still not read the book entirely, but I do still have it. It’s been with me for almost 2 decades, a Category 5 Hurricane that literally blew my office away, and 8 moves. It’s weathered, but I still cherish it…because of the inspirational quote in the front. I still remember exactly where I was and how it felt like a lightning bolt hit me when I read it.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Someone had finally answered what puzzled me the most. Why am I here? How do I make my life count? What I also have come to realize is that in every circumstance that doesn’t go in your favor; you now have an experience and understanding that, statistically speaking, others do not. You now can offer compassion, personal knowledge and understanding in a unique, authentic way.
The second quote that I hold dear is by Maya Angelou. She said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” It truly is just that simple, which isn’t to say easy, and with it comes great responsibility. These words and my experiences are what have shaped me and enabled me to have the courage to launch In Good Company Integrated Solutions.
Most of my life I would hear people say “What are the odds?” Odds aren’t always negative. There are both positive and negative consequences. But when you’re on the receiving end of negative, it shapes you.
I was raised in a loving home by two parents who by all measures did it right. My father was a police officer in Warwick Rhode Island and my Mom was a Registered Nurse. In separate incidents both my parents became fully disabled. My father was injured on duty and suffered a broken neck. I was just 7 years old. This is what caused us to move to Florida because of the warmer climate. Years later my mom fell after a surgery that caused severe complications and lead to her becoming fully disabled, I was 14. It’s in these moments that life shapes you and becomes your guide and you build a unique awareness.
After a bit of adjustment time Florida became an amazing place to grow up…especially after we discovered Pine Island when I was about 12 years old. We happened to wander out to this amazing place! I immediately begged my parents to sell our house in Cape Coral. Not to my surprise but delight, they fell in love too, sold our house and we moved out to our paradise. Not too many kids get to say they drove boats before cars and swam with their horse! My playground was a body of water called Jug Creek on the north end of Pine Island.
Life was good! My older sister was about to be married and my parents were just finishing up our custom home when my mom fell. She was only 44 years old. What I quickly learned was life as we knew it was about to change drastically. There had been some poor advice from advisors and a glitch in employee benefits pertaining to short term/long term disability that ultimately determined that my mother would only be able to seek social security disability.
This impacted us beyond words and shaped how I saw things. I couldn’t understand how this was possible. How does life change in an instance? How do people that have done nothing “wrong” have to live with the negative consequence. Or have done everything “right” but it isn’t. Life can be altered in a moment at no fault of your own. This is what shaped me and impacted how I viewed life. I became my very own risk analyst. What I came to realize is that we are not in control of everything. Unforeseen things happen both good and bad. It’s the odds but what I’ve learned is that you can mitigate and reduce exposure to risk while increasing the odds of positive results.
Fast forward to my professional life, these personal experiences and lessons are my compass, they guide me. They forever impacted me, and it was when I put all the pieces together of my personal experiences with my professional knowledge and that I had my “Ah Ha” moment and knew my purpose. I have a unique awareness, understanding, and life experience that many don’t. Now how does this apply to IGC and helping our clients? Because when you know better you do better!
We have all heard the saying Jack of all trades master of none. This resonated with me, and consistently throughout my career I would find myself asking “How do you know this is the best thing for our client?” “Are they really “All set?” An expert has a specific skillset that they have honed so yes when you work with them you are most likely in a very good position…within their scope of work. But does that mean, as a whole, you are in your best position? Have we truly reduced unnecessary risk, created best efficiencies and opportunity for growth in all areas? The answer is no because there is no coordinating of the entire pie. I have the privilege to work with amazing experts…truly, world class and what I know is that someone needs to facilitate and coordinate all the moving parts in order to say, “Best and Highest”. Many of my partners will tell you I’m known for a few sayings:
“Know your lane”
“Because together is better”
“Work down not out”