Report date
January 2020
Learning Log

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
- Dr. Seuss | Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Oh, the places I've gone physically, mentally, and spiritually...

I can’t believe my Fellowship is coming to an end. Yikes, where did 365 days go!? I’ve stated in several of my monthly reflections that I embarked on this journey seeking to redefine my time, reclaim my voice, and reinvigorate my impact. I’m overjoyed to state that I’m rested, my personal bank account is out of the red, my work on inclusive economic growth is progressing, and each day I work to replenish my reserves. I now have the mindset and methods that I need to “Lead Me” to even greater personal and professional success and to dismantle the systematic barriers in order to propel our communities forward.

I’m 100% sure that without this time to be still to listen to and learn about me and my work, the hamster wheel life would still be in full effect. A life on the go that compromised time with family and friends and put my mental and physical health at risk. It’s no secret that time is both your enemy and your friend. How you manage it will either nourish your goals or drain your dreams. In thinking about my leadership journey over the course of the Fellowship, one word comes to mind – iteration. Iteration is when you try something and it doesn’t work as you planned but you learn from it, decide to try it again and if the answer is yes, you do it the next time differently. This practice is rooted in a commitment to vulnerability, growth, and change. I can truly see my evolution over the last year including the blocks, breakthroughs, and the new beginnings.

I've learned to be even more strategic in my pursuits. I’ve let go of negative narratives such as “I am too busy to do that for me.” I have a clear and unapologetic focus on where and how I spend my time. The goal is intentional and actionable impact geared toward what matters most to me and what will help me achieve my goals. I have a strong desire to show up in spaces that are less transactional and more transformational. Simply put, I’m not doing all the things. Yes, people are and will feel some type of way when you say no. When all else fells, I blame it on the Fellowship. It forced me to value my time and I'm so much better for it!

The Fellowship afforded me with so many opportunities and experiences both big and small. To name a few - speaking at SXSW; attending the Forbes Women in Business Summit; executive coaching that took my businesses to the next level; counseling services that went deep in the hard areas; design thinking education at Stanford University; executive MBA at University of Saint Thomas; launching the Leading Policy Forward leadership pilot; teaching an MIT Inclusive Growth Practicum; speaking at the Women's Entrepreneurship Day; speaking at the Center for Economic Inclusion Summit; attending SOCAP; moderating the Congressional Black Caucus panel; pool workouts that turned into a productive phone-free mind and body restorative practice; guilt-free moments of being still; time to build my businesses; and most importantly – true presence and joy with family and friends.

Life is a humbling and challenging journey of limitless sprints. You can either exhaust yourself on the first run or pace yourself to make it to the finish line. When you invest in yourself, the return is not only great for you, it's even greater for the people you want to assist. You can't give what you don't have. By caring for our physical and mental well-being, we gain the strength and a new opportunities to do great things. It all begins and ends with time - and sometimes money :-).

Finally, too much is giving, much is expected. My commitment to pay it forward is unwavering. I will forever be grateful to the Bush Foundation for investing in my leadership capacity for today and tomorrow. I'm a resilient masterpiece and a mess still becoming. Thank you Bush Foundation!

"Remember that life’s a great balancing act.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go