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Mental Toughness from LaRae Quy

As an inspirational speaker LaRae Quy was amazing for our women’s group. Her direct, thoughtful, no-nonsense approach took me by surprise. She was clear, accountable and inspired. She teaches skills, and discusses examples that are real and motivating.

Take a look at her blog to learn more about achieving your goals IN A POWERFUL WAY!!!

LaRae Quy was an undercover and counterintelligence FBI agent for 24 years. She exposed foreign spies and recruited them to work for the U.S. Government. As an FBI agent, she developed the mental toughness to survive in environments of risk, uncertainty, and deception. Faced with stressful and fast-moving situations, she needed to move through barriers if she was to succeed.

Mental Toughness is the birthplace of personal leadership development. It is the ability for each person to look inward and find solid ground when the going gets tough. Strong minds identify productive patterns of behavior so they can become successful in areas that are important to them. Once individuals understand their behavioral patterns, they can choose to respond from a place of strength when confronted with risk and uncertainty in unpredictable situations.

Mental toughness is not something you’re born with; it is a quality that you can develop with experience and coaching by:

Saying no to your self-limiting beliefs

Rewiring your brain for new patterns of behavior

Empowering yourself—the opposite of helplessness

Cultivating the attitude of positivity

Surrounding yourself with people who build you up

Leading from the heart

Mover and Shaker: GE

Who do you want to SEE YOUR BRAND? Who do you want to WANT YOUR PRODUCT?

There are few B2B brands rocking new media harder than GE. From staging a robot concert to their Unimpossible Missions video series, they’ve made cool content their mission.

The Unimpossible Missions video really hits the mark …. showing a SNOWBALL’s day in HELL…. I am surprised and it caused me to question what I know about GE. Provider of small appliances, kitchen appliances and some power grid stuff …. or …. innovator, provider of new ideas…. mover and shaker in the topsy-turvey world of machines, technology and cutting edge science. Keep Going! – the editor

Image result for ge logo

Late last year, GE kicked off a new podcast called The Message. It’s a science fiction story that played out over eight episodes. In it, the NSA hires a group of young hackers to decode an alien message, and intrigue ensues.

The brand wisely keeps to the sidelines—there’s no “Quick, Johnny! Grab my GE Electro-Drill by GE!” It’s a surprisingly well-done experiment in old-timey radio drama with a modern sensibility to it.

A study from Ypulse last year showed that 35% of millennials listen to at least one podcast a week. GE seized on the opportunity to reach their audience via unconventional means, making something genuinely entertaining in the process. Their efforts paid off—the podcast stayed on the iTunes top 10 for all eight episodes.

Diversity Top 50 List

Diversity: The uniqueness each of us brings to the table.  It is the unique combination of various diversity dimensions that makes each of us different from and similar to others.
Inclusion: The ability to interact with people in a way that makes them feel as if they belong and are welcome to be themselves.
Do you feel like you belong at your job? Don’t take this as a rating of your performance…. but rather…. do you understand the goals, do you feel the ethics are full of YOUR core values? Does your company strive to incorporate new people, cultures, ideas, ages, races and religions?
If it does you are more likely to have a creative, innovative team ….. rather than a group of employees that are doing a task in a cubicle.
It’s important are you one of the puzzle pieces in the puzzle?  Additional insights and the full article from DIVERSITY INC.




A Dog for Charlie film

Focused on autism and the healing power of the love of a dog, A feature length documentary about a child with autism and his service dog — the film is in production! Will it go to the  next film festival?

Image result for a dog for charlie  Image result for a dog for charlie  Image result for a dog for charlie

Details? Contact

Or check out the FACEBOOK page

August 26 National Dog Day!!

TODAY August 26 is National Dog Day, a celebration of man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Founded in 2004, National Dog Day is intended to be an observance to both honor your pets and remember how many dogs still need to be rescued, according to the holiday’s website.

Between 37 and 47 percent of all households in the United States have a dog, which shakes out to about 80 million dogs total, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The most popular breeds are retrievers, German shepherds and bulldogs.

Whether you’re celebrating your pup with an extra treat, a long walk or an end-of-the-day cuddle session, make time to paws and read these quotes, collected from Goodreads, Dogtime and BrainyQuote:

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ? Charles M. Schulz

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” ? Josh Billings

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” ? Dean Koontz


“Did you know that there are over three hundred words for love in canine?” ? Gabrielle Zevin

French bulldog puppies pose at a press conference at the American Kennel Club in New York on Jan. 31, 2014.  Getty Images

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” ? Charles de Gaulle

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” — Roger Caras

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” ? Andy Rooney

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.” ? Doris Day

It’s hard not to immediately fall in love with a dog who has a good sense of humor.” ? Kate DiCamillo

“You know, a dog can snap you out of any kind of bad mood that you’re in faster than you can think of.” ? Jill Abramson

“To show too much joy in a place such as this would be unseemly but, as he padded toward her, his tail was extended in a manner which would make wagging possible should all go as expected.” ? Eva Ibbotson

“Cry Havoc!  And let slip the dogs of war.” –William Shakespeare

“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’” — Dave Barry

“Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” — Cesar Millan

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” — Ben Williams

“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.” — Gene Hill

“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.” ? Robert Wagner

“Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.” ? Caroline Knapp

“The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.” ? Konrad Lorenz

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill

“Actually, my dog I think is the only person who consistently loves me all the time.” ? H.G. Bissinger

Taking VIRTUAL WORK a few steps Further

You goal may be to work from home 2 days a week. What if you could take your entire business on the road? Take a look at the Nomad List and other possibilities…

One of Pieter Levels’s sites, called Nomad List, ranks cities around the world by how hospitable they are for working travelers, based on factors like cost of living, safety, air quality, and Internet speeds. The site can help aspiring nomads find coworking space in cities from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to Plovdiv, Bulgaria, or find apartments for rent in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It’s sponsored by job ads from Automattic, the company behind WordPress, which is known for its remote workforce. (full article link follows)

Work From Anywhere But Home: Startups Emerge To Turn You Into A Globetrotting Digital Nomad

As for Coworking spaces, they are all over. Some can be life-changing,  inspiring places too. NextSpace  CitzenSpace  Top 7 in SF   The Harvard Business Review article….. “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces”

…unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members who work for a range of different companies, ventures, and projects. Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in. Working amidst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s own work identity stronger. Our respondents were given the opportunity to frequently describe what they do, which can make what they do seem more interesting and distinctive.

Off the Grid?  Heading to the beach to work is possible and can be more than therapeutic. Or you can take your stressed-out job, reduce the hours, make it virtual and move to Felton, CA. Good Vibes. YES!


American business leaders provide paid family leave to just 11% of U.S. workers.


Can this really be true? Still? Only 11% have family leave?

My Story: My kids are grown. I come from that age where many women had kids and stopped working. I had 6 precious weeks of time to recover from “birthing my baby” to back to work at 110%. I DID GO BACK to work after 6 weeks. Yes I did.

I fell asleep at my desk a few times. I collapsed once. I hallucinated from exhaustion once a day, but didn’t tell anyone. I knew the cats, rats and the moving  shadows  weren’t really there.

I lost 50 pounds in that first year. I had no sick leave for 3 months, and caught bronchitis once during that time and came to work everyday.

In the first 6 months back, I did get my projects done, but I cried a few times.  There were looks of concern from the other engineers (mostly men and all very kind and caring). Once an experienced mom was asked to come talk to me… my baby had just taken her first drink from a cup, and I wasn’t there.  I was in tears and making that “hiccupy” sound, like when you can’t catch your breath. My team wasn’t sure what to do. They called Jean and she came. Actually, that worked, having an “experienced mom” give me a hug and hold my hand …. Jean’s kind words have stayed with me forever.

It wasn’t easy for me and certainly not for my  co-workers. I needed my job (health care! and my husband was in grad school so I was the sole-bread winner).  It wasn’t easy for my team, to find that their energetic coder was sometimes head down and asleep. But we got through it.

It is with optimism-crushing horror that I read this article from Fast Company, that despite knowing it is better for the new mom, for the team, for the company….. that it still isn’t high enough on the priority list to have family leave available.  (<click this link for the full article)

Patagonia gets it! Thank you.

So the story isn’t over. If you want devotion, teamwork and retention of the team you love, try loving them back. Paid family leave is a good deal for everyone.


Speak your Mind – Talking so that People want to Listen

Talking with Meaning

The first step: Create content that is “speakable”. Know what it says, and be able to understand the message. Speak as if you are talking to one person, add inflection and nuance through your voice. Keep your tone appropriate to the message.  Read it through BEFORE you read it to a group.

Writing that will sound good while you read aloud will also be good writing.

There is a style that works better for speaking. Keep the sentences a little shorter, make sure that your words don’t begin with the same sound or rhyme, which is very distracting to the audience, and often hard to say aloud. Vary your sentence length, to something that is easy to say in one breath. Keep it simple, make your message clear.

Record and Listen!

Practice then  do a voice memo on your phone. Often people don’t like their recorded voice or listening to themselves. Relax, it is part of the way we hear, and our voices can be pleasing but sound different. Ask a friend!

Take a deep breath. Talk out loud for a few sentences before you record. By recording and listening, you’ll get used to your phrasing, breathing and pace. End the sentence on a slight down note.



Pace yourself! Breathing  is so important in conveying your thought and staying calm! Speakers may tend to tense up and NOT  breathe from their diaphragm. A few deep belly breaths can help.  Yoga can help, singing out loud can help a lot. Breathing and phrasing is something you can practice and everyone can improve.

Slow Down, even if you think you are Slow already

Nervous people tend to speed up. Your audience is dragged along at a furious pace, missing half of your points and not understanding your speech.  Slowing down gives you a chance to articulate your words.  Slightly emphasize the words that matter most. Try for shorter sentences, spoken at a measured pace.

Prepare & Practice

The more times you read it out loud to yourself, the better you’ll be, visualize someone else in the room. I have given many speeches standing and delivering to my stapler, waste basket and computer monitor. They are my “pretend audience”.

Scan a few sentences ahead while conveying the meaning of what they are saying at the moment. This forward reading helps your smooth delivery. This will  eliminate missed words, UMs / AHs and pauses.

You can see this technique in action by watching a really good children’s librarian read to a group of kids. She can show the storybook pictures around without unnatural breaks in the story, because she’s read a sentence ahead and is repeating it back from memory.

Practice with Kids?!!

Librarians read to a group of kids and they are enthralled. She can show the storybook pictures around without unnatural breaks in the story, because she’s read a sentence ahead. It is fun to read to kids and they love the stories, you’ll have an excited audience and while you are doing a good deed (at home or volunteering at the local school) you become a better speaker.



Get Control of your Communication

A few easy steps and a few references with additional coaching:

  1. If you tend to ramble, make an outline. When you are almost finished go through and delete 30%.
  2. Have a goal, a focus for what you want to say and what you want the listener to retain.
  3. If you have writer’s block, and nothing is coming, try drawing your presentation in bubbles or a chart or a storyboard.
  4. Set expectations: what are you doing to talk about 5-7 items:Like an executive summary but for a high school student.
  5. It doesn’t have to flow – readers and viewers can make connections. Have you watched Sesame Street lately?
  6. Hemmingway or Poe – who will you write like? Pick less.
  7. If it is a presentation – one idea per slide. Use graphics to convey more, and don’t ever read your slides when you present to your audience.

References with additional ideas:

We Must Continue to Explore!

This was the real and original  MOON-WALKING that Michael Jackson made famous. Different walk, both are innovative, don’t you think?

Buz Aldrin was the second man to set foot on the Moon. He is now 86 and is still exploring. This is a great testament to the power of curiosity to keep us young! He has even appeared on TV – yes, on The Big Bang Theory and Dancing With The Stars!

Advice for us? Oh Yes!

When asked “What has held us back?”:

A variety of things, including aging astronauts, public apathy, the lack of exciting activities in space, budget constraints, and leaders who underappreciate such aspirations.  says Buz Aldrin.

He has a new book:  No Dream Is Too High