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My four children are my greatest achievement. They fill me with such joy my heart could burst - even when they are testing my patience.
The greatest resource I have is a great mentor. I have been fortunate to have a mentor at every step of my career though my mentors have changed over time as my life and work has evolved. Nothing can take the place of a trusted and experienced confidant who can see what you can't see yourself and give you straight up truth.
One of my early mentors told me that if you do the right thing every time the business will follow. He was right! I would add:
Understand from the beginning that there will always be something new you need to learn.
Be selective before you take on a new client - you won't do good work if you don't like the person you are working with.
There will be ups and downs; figure out what you need to stay positive regardless of the circumstances around you.
When people ask what brought me to this career I always point to my mother. My mom ran a private family office. She managed the legal, real estate, financial, etc. matters for four generations of a family. She didn't handle transactions for clients - she took care of people she cared about. I knew early on that my life's work would look very similar to hers. The fulfillment my career brings me allows me to look at what I do as my purpose rather than as a job.
My biggest challenge is recognizing that there are more things I want to do than there are hours in the day. Every day I work to manage my time so that I can pay attention to the things that really matter and be sure to have quality family time.
In October 2008 my oldest child was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He was only 3 years old. At one point doctors thought there was nothing left to do and that he had maybe 2 more months to live. Lesson #1 - Never give up. My husband pushed and found a doctor at Duke who wanted to try treating our son. Today Noah is 12 years old and has been cancer free almost 9 years. Lesson #2 - God knows more than we do and His plans are better than ours. Trust Him and surrender. Lesson #3 - Don't sweat the small stuff. Surviving a life threatening illness as a family really teaches you what matters and what doesn't.