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» Dream Big, Don't Fret About Things You Can't Change And 18 Other Gems

A crowdsourced question to a LinkedIn group recently spurred an outpouring of inspiration and practical strategies.

Sonia Gray, new to the job as associate director of business development at Net@Work in Portland, OR, started the conversation on June 12 with a query to the 18,000+ members of the Connect: Professional Women’s Network. “Finish this sentence: The best advice I ever received was. . .” she wrote.

To prime the pump, she candidly shared a lesson from a former boss: “During an especially trying time, he said something to me that gave me startling insight into why I’m challenged by certain things,” Gray wrote. “He said, ‘Sonia, once you stop looking for ways to be offended, there’ll be no stopping you.’”

Group members quickly added their voices to the conversation and within 10 days there were nearly 300 responses from women all over the country in many different occupations. Most of the advice they offered is equally helpful to men, and applies whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. Here are some of the gems.

Lisa McMurtrie, educational consultant/tutor (Baltimore, MD): 

1. “People break down into two groups, motors and anchors. You always want to surround yourself by people who push you forward, not hold you down.”

Amy Less, recruiting manager, Jupiter Medical Center (West Palm Beach, Fla.):

2. “There are things in life that you can’t control. . .so don’t waste your time, energy or sanity on them. You can only control your reaction to them. . .so make your reaction worthy, smart and sane.”

Gala DeJong, administrative coordinator, ASI | Signage Innovations (Des Moines, Iowa):

3. “You have to work with your co-workers but you do not have to be best friends.”

Sherlynn Lauture Vernon, independent marketing representative (Tampa, Fla.):

4. “If you don’t build YOUR dream, someone will hire you to build THEIRS!”

Rosita Weller,  training and personal development manager (Corwen, Denbighshire, United Kingdom):

5. ” I was about to venture out of my comfort zone. I was offered a position as training officer in the company I worked for. I felt daunted by the offer. I doubted whether I could do this as I was not a good communicator and did not feel comfortable speaking with strangers. My husband’s advice to me was, ‘Just be your nutty self.’ I took him literally, and my confidence grew with each training session.”

Mary Barnes, vice president, business and operation, Userplane (Washington, D.C.):

6. “When I took on my first management role someone told me I would go through three phases: the honeymoon period, the test and how it’s actually going to be. I have kept that advice in mind over the years. It has helped frame many transition periods for me.”

Danielle Leone, administrative dispatch assistant, Publix (Sarasota, Fla.):

7. “You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Observe and listen twice before speaking once.”


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