Everyone is doing a 10-year challenge. I decided to take it all the way back to 1982 (that’s 40 years for quick math 😉
Young Denise didn’t know anything about leadership.
I demanded to dress myself, cut my own hair, basically I had to do it all because I knew it all. Total BOSS in the making 😉
This is one of the few pictures I own of my childhood. What I see is a confident (but equally scared) little girl who didn’t have it easy. I was confident on the inside and full of hope and wonder, but on the outside, I was shy, confused, and misled. She had a hell of a lot to figure out. And I am grateful for her path.
That long arduous journey of self-discovery brought me to a place where I could have only imagined in my dreams. It brought me to a place I thought was reserved for rich and privileged people. Truth be told, I was convinced I was forever stuck in a place I never felt I belonged.
I know chuckle at those unintelligent thoughts because life is fair for all for the simple fact that it isn’t fair for anyone. It does matter who you are, what you have, or how difficult the odds are, it really comes down to how bad do you want it and what are you willing to do to get there.
I once chased money and power.
I thought that having everything I never had would somehow make me happy. The result was far from what I was after, and I ended up hating every second of it.
I finally got sick of my own shit, took a hard long hard look in the mirror, and decided I was going to only chase my passion and do what made me feel alive and excited to walk up to every day. For so many years I did what looked good or what I thought was expected of me with the many titles I own (mom of 5 being the most significant).
I decided I was going to be unapologetically me to the entire world without fail. I decided I was going to show up consistently and invest in people first. My thought process was simple…If I serve them well and love them hard, the money would flow with ease.
Once I started chasing my passion and pouring into people, the rest was history.
It’s really hard to deny yourself something that brings you internal joy like no other. When you find it and feed it….it literally has no limits!
If I could go back and tell that BOSS who obviously had (and still does) some serious fashion impairments, that little girl who thought she knew it all and had to do it all by herself one thing…..it would be this:
Go for it! Your gonna fuck up A LOT! You’ll learn. Knowing your stubborn ass, it may take a while, but you’ll get there. And when you do, your work has only begun.
Because only then can you truly lead with integrity!
I’ll leave you with a quote that inspires me daily.
“Going against the odds to be successful because it’s not in your favor!”