10 Things I am Grateful For

I was chatting with my mom last night and was complaining about something and mom said, instead of complaining about things that you don’t have or things that are going wrong, be thankful for things you have.

That really made me think. We get so caught up in things that we don’t have that we forget all the blessings bestowed upon us on a daily basis.
With that in mind, here is my list of 10 things I am grateful for. I’d love to see your list too 🙂

thankful

1. My family
Family is always first. Mom, dad, Hubster, Sisbug…I love you all more than I can ever express and I am extremely thankful to have you in my life.

2. Health – seriously health is everything

3. Good Friends
I am blessed with so many wonderful friends in my life.

4. Love of learning
My parents have instilled a love of learning in me that I am extremely grateful for!

5. Life experiences
I have lived quite the life in my 29 years on earth and I am thankful for every single experience, both good and bad.

6. Books
I mean for real though! Thank the lord for this!

7. The ability to feel
I am an extremely emotional person but I am beginning to realize that is a strength and I am embracing it fully!

8. Career
I have a great work fam and a career I love!

9. Food, Water, Safety

10. Love
I love therefore I am.

P.S: I am back from Vegas! So I will be getting back to my normal blogging schedule – all day errry day!
Should I do a Vegas recap post on here?

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Morning Musings – 3 Things you can do Today to Build your Personal Brand

If you google “how to build your personal brand” you will get tons of articles touting the power of social media, setting up your own blog or even doing speaking gigs. While all of that advice is valid, most of us –
a) don’t have the experience to land constant speaking gigs
and
b) don’t have the time to blog or be on social media 24/7 or , let’s face it, the discipline to do all of the above all the time.

build

but there are some simple things that you can do today to build your brand and no sending out a tweet a day doesn’t count. Yup I have tried all of them out.

  1. Build your brand one connection at a time 
    If you are someone who like to go to events just to network and then get extremely frustrated when people don’t respond to your emails, you are doing it wrong! Stop trying to gather business cards and start building connections. and how exactly do you do that? By figuring out who your tribe is.
  2. Figure out who your tribe is 
    No matter which platform you use – instagram, blog or twitter, you need to figure out what kind of community you want to build.
    For example I want to connect with other community builders and women in STEM so I seek out events where these people will be or follow them on social media platforms.
    Keep in mind that building a connection doesn’t mean that you have to tweet at them every 5 seconds but rather get involved in conversations and add value instead of just taking value.
    P.S: find some good twitter chats – yes they are still a thing
  3. Mix IRL with online
    If you are just starting out your career, I’d recommend finding some events where your tribe will be and make it a point to show up. Because tweeting or sending LinkedIn invites is great but that can’t beat the magic of a real life connection.
    If you are in the startup world, startup digest has a good amount of event listings, you can check meetup.com or certain blog. If all else fails google “events in …..” and you should be on your way to find some!
    Most events have hashtags so follow those and become a part of the conversation even before the event.
    P.S: if you really love an event consider volunteering for it!I hope this helps and rest assured that I won’t dish out any advice that I haven’t tried out myself.

Morning Musings – How to make the most out of your job

Blogging every day – Day 1

I am doing this thing whereby I start my mornings by writing a short blog entry, it could be anything from something I am grateful for to whatever I am planning on accomplishing that day or what’s on my mind.

hustle

For today, I want to chat about how you can start enjoying each day at your job. This is a conversation I had with 4 other people yesterday.

  1. Know what you want in life
    I know this sounds a little cliché but it is also super important. You really need to know what you want in life. I have always wanted to be a writer and becoming a marketing manager means that I do get to write and practice my craft lots.
  2. Set goals for the month
    Try to learn or improve on one thing per month. For example I want to get better at email marketing so for the month of november I have read a shit ton of email marketing books and written draft nurture campaigns. If monthly goals are too much, set smaller weekly goals.
  3. Bring new ideas to the table and implement them to hone your skill set
    When I wanted to get better at running events, I volunteered my time to community organizations but when I wanted to run the show and really learn A-Z of everything, I decided to propose it to work. Thankfully they were open to the idea and the rest is history.
    If your work is not super open to new ideas (MAJOR RED FLAG or a sign that you work in a super corporate environment) then volunteer your time on different teams. Make it your goal to volunteer at least once a month.

That’s it for now! See you tomorrow!

How to find a mentor // The non bullshit edition

sigh

GAAAAAAH! If I hear one more person tell me how they have a rockstar mentor and how it took them just courage and an email to get there, I am going to jump off a cliff.

Mentorship is a topic near and dear to my heart.

I have some incredible mentors who I didn’t establish a relationship with by sending an email nor by being gifted with courage by the Wizard of Oz himself. Here’s what happened: I was at a hackathon once and I was going on and on about how I wasn’t a feminist and a woman asked me, “Do you have a vagina?” to which I replied yes cause yes… yes I do.

She then proceeded to ask me, “Do you want to be in charge of it?” A question that received another resounding yes from me.

“Then you are a feminist!”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I met Karen Schulman Dupuis — a woman I love dearly and who is also one of my mentors. However, we didn’t declare a mentor and mentee relationship there and then. That took three years and lots of opportunities getting to know each other.

So for the love of God, stop trying to perpetuate the myth that you can find a mentor via an email or over a cup of a coffee. The relationship-building aspect of it takes time, oodles of time.

Also, someone doesn’t have to be “officially” your mentor for them to give you valuable advice. Kirstine Stewart, VP Media at Twitter Inc, was once speaking at a Salesforce event and she recounted an incident where someone tried to take credit for her work, a situation many of us are all too familiar with.

She went on to share her experience on how she countered that and took back her power, a strategy that I have used countless times since then in my own life. I have had brief interactions with her and she is absolutely amazing, but I haven’t asked her to be my mentor, however this incident has changed my life.

One of the most common questions I receive regarding mentorship is: who should I look for as a mentor?

Well, in order to receive an answer to that you have to answer a couple more questions. Who do you learn from? Who has changed your life for the better? Who do you turn to when you need advice? Well, those people right there are your mentors. Maybe it is your mum, your dad, your best friend, your boss but there you have it, it is really as simple as that.

I know, I know… “butttt Ria those are not legit mentors, how do I get to have tea with the brightest and finest minds in the industry? Why won’t they reply to my email, ZOMG!”

Patience, my friend, is not a virtue for no reason. Whenever you hear people tell you how they got kick-ass mentors via an email, here’s what they are not telling you:

  1. Getting those kind of mentors took time.
  2. They probably received a hundred rejections before hearing a yes.
  3. They hustled… hard! (Although No One Gives a Sh*T about your hustle.)

Without sounding ultra cocky, I will share a tip with all of you. My work with Vinetta Project, Women Who Code and other organizations has afforded me many opportunities to have conversations with some brilliant people. Getting involved in initiatives like that opens many doors.

If you give, then you generally receive the love from the universe in buckets. So there you have it, my two cents on finding a mentor.