Stronger (what doesn’t kill you)


Kelly Clarkson once sang:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller” 

It might have been meant to be a love song but I look at it as a really great career lesson from this year.Because don’t you think that the most important career lessons are the ones you learn from your so called failures or mistakes? Most of us have a fear of failure or a fear of making mistakes. But instead of being embarrassed by your mistakes, look at them your investment paid for valuable lessons.Don’t get me wrong I don’t like the feeling of making a mistake, but throughout this year I have seen how they have helped me to make bigger steps in my career. So now I see them as opportunities to grow and improve. 

So how have they helped my career?

1. Every failure or mistake was an opportunity to re-examine my career goals.
Am I on the right path? Am I doing the right things with the right intentions? Why did I do this? All these questions are so important to ask when you feel like you’ve failed or made a mistake. It makes you think about your true goals, passions and motivations. So in this way they are a good career guide. So… This year I launched a training program but then when it didn’t get the response I wanted, I re-examined it and realized it wasn’t part of where I was going anyway.  

2. They can make you stronger.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Yes ladies…..but only if you learn from your mistakes.
I noticed with every mistake a lesson learned. What are my insecurities for instance? What was revealed? Sometimes you think things were put in the past but you repeat the same mistake until you learn from them. For instance, I can get overly enthusiastic about stuff and can’t keep my mouth shut. This year I learned you can’t always say everything to everyone. Haha I am 46 and still learning. So I decided to make some lifestyle changes so that I will be sharper and more efficient next year. Guess I will be even stronger, now that I know my weakness ;-). 

3. Avoid bigger mistakes.
As a kid my little brother got too close to the iron board and was burned badly. After that we were always extra careful near iron boards. And this incident thought us as kids a really big lesson. For me getting burned by one organization meant being more authentically myself for the others. It was a humbling experience but without this setback I would never have realized not every organization was meant for me to work with. 

As the famous basketball player Michael Jordan once said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

So tell me, what are your top 3 mistakes or failures this year and what have you learned from them? 



So Dionne Warwick was Whitney Houston’s godmother and this song is one of my favorites. She sings it together with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. It is just the best! 

I mean where would we be without our friends? Our support group, the people who lift us up when we feel down and stick with us no matter what. 
The ones that believe in us when we have lost confidence. And the ones who talk us up to people who need to see us.  

Well, I have just been so lucky to have had those kinds of friends this last year. I have to admit I have gotten better over the years with finding those women (and men) who are authentic and also very supportive. Ones who aren’t jealous but actually cheer you on when you become successful. You need those kinds of people in your life. 

Daphne Feller to my right on this picture is one of those friends, We became acquainted in 2016 and have been growing our businesses together in the most supportive way. As it should be with women. Daphne’s expertise and passion on how the brain works has made me enthusiastic about a subject I never thought I’d be. What I love about her is that she is always in for all my crazy ideas. It is so nice when people just go for it because they believe in you.  

Go find yourself those kind of friends to work with or at work, You need them, they are like oxygen when you are having difficulty breathing.  


p.s. the picture was taken at the Board of Believers in Female Leadership Mentorship Breakfast on the 28th of November at TomTom’s. We brought 80 mentees and mentors together to connect and learn from each other.


So did this title annoy you or excite you? Well, it is what it is. And this is my 2nd lesson learned this year : you have to know your worth. And yes I was inspired by Rihanna because I love how she is such a disruptor right now in both the women’s undergarment business and make-up business. Her businesses are based on just one thought: everybody counts! So her make-up consists of all kinds of shades and colors and her lingerie is for all body types not just one kind of woman like Victoria Secret showed for years. And furthermore she is making LOADS of money and is successful! She is not afraid to go against the grain and follow her intuition and ask for what she is worth. I have struggled with asking my worth for years. And I even used to say: I am not good with money. Until this year when a client that I had given a huge discount made me feel less worthy. Well actually I allowed them to do this. I was not asking my worth. Maybe because I really wanted them (my ego did) as a client, they seemed so prestigious. Or maybe because I just didn’t think I was good enough for them. Any case it made me think of this: I need to start thinking differently of money and what I felt I was worth. Listen, this is still very hard for me, but I am getting there. I just sing Rihanna whenever I get uncomfortable in negotiations. And I think of this: women still make so much less than men, so whenever I think of a price I need to add at least another 10% on top of that because I am probably under valuing myself. How about you? Are you getting paid what you are worth? It’s like what  Oprah says: You teach people how to treat you.



This is a 2 minute read 

So this has been my most uncomfortable year and it was full of teachable moments. So many moments that it took me a while to gather my thoughts so I could actually put them on paper for you. Like I said last week, I will be sharing my biggest lessons learned with you week by week up until Christmas.
But don’t worry, I know you are busy and as you know…. I like to go straight to the point, so here it goes.

My first event of the year was organizing the Board of Believers in Female Leadership breakfast, and it was in the 2nd week of January. So I worked all of December on getting it sorted and set up the way I wanted. It was a bit of a gamble because I invited top women and men and I had made a big investment. And it was only the beginning of the year. So I had a lot of scary moments. Were they going to show up? How was I going to get them to even register for this event? Was I going to be able to engage them with my story about female leadership?  Lots of thoughts right? I was so used to organizing events for their employees, it felt weird organizing an event for the leaders. I felt like an imposter, who was I to do this? But then I realized: if not me then who, and if not now then when?  

In the end taking this leap of faith meant only one thing: Having faith in myself, believing in myself. Believing that in the end even if this would be a failure at least I would have a lesson learned. And I would still be able to recover. Because guess what, if you jump into the unknown the only thing that is certain is you. So you have to discover who you truly are, what excites you and what you want to achieve. 

And you have to be fearless if you want to become successful. It’s like a famous hockey player once said:“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” ― Wayne Gretzky

So my sweet, how have you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone this year? There are still 6 weeks left so no excuses! It’s like the New Radicals sang years ago:

“But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light
You feel your dreams are dying
Hold tight
You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget
We only get what we give”