Category Archives: Life

The Time A 40-second Audio Message Taught Me How To Be Vulnerable

The Time A 40-second Audio Message Taught Me How To Be Vulnerable

Besides enrolling in IIN, I’m also taking a course called “A Course About Copy” which, you guessed it, is about copy writing.

I think that learning how to write compelling copy is not only valuable at work, but useful in other ways, like writing blog posts!

The primary vehicle of interaction with everyone in the course is a private Facebook group. (Private Facebook groups are a common benefit with many online courses.) This particular group called “Study Hall” is where we share our copy from the exercises. The idea is to get feedback from the other “classmates.”

Shortly after enrolling in ACAC, I tagged by Nikki Elledge Brown (the course’s creator) in a post welcoming me to the group. Though she does this for every person who enrolls, when I saw myself singled out, I sort of panicked. I think I even slouched down in my chair a little!

You see, back in “real” school, I was one of those kids who sat in the back row, hoping I was never called on. The introvert in me thought it was the worst thing in the world!

And to be honest, I was already feeling intimidated by the group.

You see, 99% of the other students are entrepreneurs working on their business web sites. But that’s not me. I’m not an entrepreneur, so what could I offer? Why would anyone find interest in anything I had to share?

So for a week or two I was silent. Like one of those people who never posts anything but reads everything. You know who I’m talking about. We all have *that* friend on Facebook. I read what everyone shared but there was no way I was sharing my own work. No way, Jose!

That is until I received an email with this audio message from Nikki herself!

Wow! Out of the almost 300 students in ACAC she took the time to send me a personal message.

Now I maybe stating the obvious, but I am not one to be vulnerable. I couldn’t even make it through the Ted Talk by Brene Brown on vulnerability. To open myself up is just too scary. I mean, it took me a couple of years before I even allowed comments here on my blog!

But this 40-second message from Nikki was all it took for me to engage. Shortly after (I mean within minutes of) receiving that message I took a deep breath and posted the copy for my new About page.

Soon after that Likes started to appear with comments like,

  • “I immediately related to this.”
  • “I think its very good.”
  • “Really engaging”

One woman even took the time to wordsmith the copy which made it sound even better!

Full confession: After this I was on a natural high. I felt on top of the world!

I faced my fear of criticism and let myself be vulnerable. And in return my work was praised and I felt validated.

And while I realize that things may not always turn out this way, it felt so good to have taken that chance and put myself out there. The risk was worth the reward and motivates me to face other fears and inhibitions that I have.

Now I’m paying it forward by commenting on other people’s posts and {hopefully} offering value to them the way they offered it to me. And by doing so I’m realizing that I’m not as bad of a writer as I thought I was.

And that’s the impact that taking a few seconds out of your busy schedule to reach out to someone can have.

Its powerful.

Have you ever put yourself out there and have it help you for the better?

Has someone’s small gesture of kindness ever have a big impact on you?

If so, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! Or feel free to shoot me an email telling me all about it!

P.S. When I complete A Course About Copy I’ll write a full review. But spoiler – its awesome and is a worthwhile investment!

A Day In My Life

A Day In My Life

I’m not one to follow blog trends, but I found the “Day in the Life” posts that I read interesting. They allowed me to get to know the blogger better and I picked up a few useful tips. So I thought I’d share what a day in my life is like.

This particular day happened a week ago, Wednesday, February 5th:

7 am: Alarm goes off. I check my emails, both personal and work to see if there’s anything urgent that I need to address. There wasn’t so I peruse social media.

7:20 am: Get up, wash up.

7:40 – 8 am: Walk Coco Pop. I have to drag her out of bed because she’s such a sleepy head in the mornings. We do our usual spin around the neighborhood. Our daily routine is to say hello to the maintenance guy and all the doggies she likes to see (and some that she doesn’t).

8 am: Breakfast – for both of us.

8:30 – 9 am: Work meeting. I work from home so my meetings are via conference call.

9 – 10:30 am: Answer work emails, organize and update projects I’m managing.

{Top Left: Wake-up selfie, Top Right: On our morning walk, Bottom Left: Low FODMAP Breakfast, Bottom Right: Pilates}

10:30 – Noon: More work meetings. We have A LOT of meetings.

Noon – 12:15 pm: Walk Coco Pop. We go for a short walk around our community. Since its gated and quiet in the middle of the day I let her off-leash so she can sniff around. She loves it.

12:15 – 12:30 pm: Fix lunch, clean up breakfast dishes, etc.

12:30 – 2 pm: Eat lunch, answer emails. We also have A LOT of emails, capture meeting notes, follow-up on actions items and prep for Thursday meetings.

2 – 3 pm: Pilates session at the gym

3:15 – 3:30 pm: I make a quick stop at home after the gym to scan of work emails. There’s isn’t anything urgent. So I load Coco Pop into the car and head over to the neighborhood around Jasmine’s school for our afternoon walk.

3:45 – 4:30 pm: Walk Coco Pop. We both appreciate any opportunity to walk somewhere outside of our neighborhood. It gets old.

4:30 – 5 pm: We pick up Jasmine and her friend from school and drop them off at their extra-curricular activities. Their parents commute and aren’t able to pick them up in time so we do this twice a week.

5:15 – 5:45 pm: Dinner (heat up leftovers).

5:45 – 6:30 pm: Wrap-up the work day.

6:30 pm: Groom Coco Pop (teeth-brushing and brush-out).

7 – 10 pm: Core, PT exercises, stretch, shower, watch TV, work on personal projects, wrap up my personal day.

10 pm: Take Coco Pop out for her last potty, then put her in her crate for bed.

10 – 11 pm: Read – currently reading #GirlBoss

11 pm: Lights Out

Working from home gives me a lot of flexibility. I thank God every day that I don’t have to deal with a daily commute. The flexibility allows me to fit in personal chores and errands throughout the day. Some days are busier (and longer) than others. This particular one wasn’t too bad.

What’s a day like in your life?

Digital vs Analog

I’ve worked in the tech industry for most of my career and consider myself a tech nerd. I’m not technical by any means but I geek out about new apps, tech news and the like.

For the past several years I’ve used technology to manage and organize my life. But lately I’ve found myself gravitating back to the analog world.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve obsessed about school supplies. Hello Kitty pencil cases, Trapper Keepers, wide-ruled filler paper and the like gave me a rush.


Through social media I’ve discovered new creative businesses like May Designs and Baum-kuchen. They have me jazzed up about notebooks and journals all over again.

Also through social media I recently discovered people just like me who love paper and pens and stickers and the like. This is the joy of social media – connecting with like-minded people! And to be honest, I didn’t know there were other people who had this same obsession that I did.

My Instagram feed is now filled with images like these:

A photo posted by donna (@umbooba) on

I mean, how can you look at such pretty things and not feel inspired!

Photos like these introduced me to analog tools like the Hobonichi, Midori Travelers Notebook and Roterfaden. I’ve incorporated these items into an analog system that I’ve created for myself for 2015 – which I’ll be sharing next week! Stay tuned!