Several months ago I heard an encouraging speech by motivational speaker, Andy Andrews. He suggested we need to have our own board of directors. These are people we can look to who can help us achieve whatever goal it is we are trying to reach.
The interesting thing, to me anyway, was these people don’t have to know they are on a board of directors. They don’t even have to know me. They are just people who are a little further along the road I’m traveling that I can follow. I can read their books, or books about them, follow them on social media, listen to them if they have a YouTube channel, even talk to them if I happen to know them.
I gave his idea some thought and decided it was worth a try. After all who better to lead than someone who has been there. I looked around at what I want to do, and looked for someone already successful in that area. On my board of directors I have people who excel at speaking, traveling the widow journey, are successful writers.
My speaking advisors include two men, Ryan Avery and Joe Shaw as well as a female speaker, Mary Rogers. Ryan Avery is or was the youngest person to win the Toastmaster International speech contest. He went on to set a goal of speaking on every continent in one year, which he achieved. He has other speaking goals now and I watch his progress as he sets and reaches goals. Joe Shaw is another Toastmaster. I met him on Ryan’s site. Joe has competed at the International level and has had years when he didn’t make it to the International contest. He keeps speaking, and creating new goals. Mary Rogers is also a Toastmaster, I met her at a real, honest-to-goodness Toastmaster meeting. She has won several state championships, but has fallen short on the International one. She currently sells jewelry and gives training for different businessess.
All three of these speakers have something to offer and I learn from each of them. Luckily Mary is local, so she’s able to help me improve my speaking in person.
When I feel like the world is caving in around me I look at some of the widows who have been on this journey longer, Helen Hartsfield, Mrs. Blasengame, Lela Mae Beshear, Betty White, and Laura Warfel
Helen Hartsfield and Mrs. Blasengame are two ladies from my hometown. In the early days of widowhood I often looked at them in awe of all they did after their husbands died. They inspired me to keep going. Lela Mae is/was my mother-in-law, she’s gone now, the the lessons she taught about putting one foot in front of the other continue to help me. Betty White continued with her career and made the decision to embrace life after the death of her husband Alan Luden. Laura Warfel is a widow I met online, her website encourages and comforts me. These are my ladies, my champions on my board of directors.
Since I’m a member of a couple of writing organizations, there is no shortage of writers to inspire me. My favorite two “mentors” at the moment are Jennifer McMurrain and Amy Shojai. These are two of my “board members” that I know in real life
Jennifer is new to my board of directors. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI) and her local group the Bartlesville Wordweavers. She has written several books, and is a mom to a seven year old, and a newborn. Jennifer inspires me with her dedication to writing, and her determination to carve out some writing time, even after the birth of her son. If she can find time to write, so can I.
Amy and I have known each other for a lot of years. We met at an OWFI conference. Amy started out writing about pets, which she still does. However, she has also re-invented herself as a fiction writer and playwright. Reinventing ourselves is something many of us have to do and Amy did it flawlessly, at least from my perspective.
I have a few other members on my board, but you get the idea. I try to find people who are successful at something I want to succeed at and follow their lead. A board of directors for our life journey is a good idea. All CEO’s need a team.
Do you have a board of directors?
What is one aspect of your life that could benefit from a mentor?