After months of contemplating as to whether or not I would go public with something that I have been wanting to do for over two decades, I decided ultimately to share. I found myself giving a client advice recently and questioning my own teachings, I was focused on ingraining transparency into their marketing department and brand overall. “Transparency is key with the use of social media, don’t hide behind your brand or a brand, come out in front of it and share respectfully”, if done correctly, this, I truly believe is how brands and consumers connect. And, well…it is proven- just Google or Bing it.
Although my outreach today isn’t necessarily “consumer focused”, over the years I have built a readership list into the hundreds of thousands through blogs, columns, articles, email and mobile lists as well as clients. I felt it necessary to communicate openly and stay in touch with my readers, friends and fans. Hence, this blog post.
So here I am typing on a Sunday morning, stepping in front of my own brand that I have spent 25+ years building. Before I begin my transparency journey via blog, share my story, it only makes sense to explain what I am moving into on my path. Here goes- I have decided to return to school and finish what I started as a young teenager…pre-med and medical school. Yep, you read that line correctly- I start back up in a week.
After 20+ years in marketing/PR and leaving Rosetta last year to move into my own global agency with partners, I have found that I have a calling that just will not let up and the pull is getting stronger every single day, something I cannot and will no longer ignore. Medicine is calling, and I am answering…finally. With that said, I’m not leaving you, so no crying allowed- I will still continue forward with LEAD as a senior marketing consultant as well as with several other global agencies and select clients (when giving clients the choice of referral, most opted to stay with me- yeahhh- I am so grateful).
My story in brief-
I had my son Austin, now 23 at the age of 16. Single, scared and yet a child still myself I knew that I had to get a higher education if I wanted to avoid a minimum wage world (at the time minimum wage was $2.25/hr in LA) From a very young age, I have always been intrigued with hospitals, medicine and science (If I had any other lives before this- I swear I was a doctor in a village). I decided that I needed to further my education while still in high school, new baby on the way and began evening classes for medical assisting school, then went on to X-ray school, phlebotomy and eventually LVN training. I started with these trainings and licenses and worked in the medical field until I was 23 years old with hopes of moving onto medical school, however I kept having babies instead. Yes, three of them (now 23, 20 and 14 and now a 4 y.o. step daughter). Healthy, beautiful and so grateful to have kids at a young age, I find myself at the age of 39 (40 is calling my name- just months away) with a stronger pull than ever to finish pre-med and continue on to medical school to pursue a career in medicine.
I, like most, have a story of tragedy and triumph that has brought me here to this place on this very day, ready to change direction….bravely, at the age of huhmmm…39. After a bout with a domestic violence relationship in my early twenties, loss of my father from suicide and my great grandfather Jackson the love of my life, postpartum depression, and being the sole supporter of my children for all of these years (often working 3 jobs in the beginning), not being able to break away for an academic education, my journey has brought me to a much stronger place to where looking back now, I would not have been ready for medical school years ago. However, my real world experiences with people, tragedy, loss, personal growth and my amazing marketing career has prepared me for the journey that I am now about to embark on.
In my medical career I was very fortunate to have worked for two female doctors, one in Manhattan Beach, CA (now retired) Dr. Susan Van Holten and still practicing- Dr. Pamela Kushner in Long Beach, two of the most inspiring females I have ever known. Along my journey, I interned at Long Beach Memorial and South Bay Medical Hospital, these experiences planted a desire in me so deep that little did I know at the time, it was permanently embedded in my life. Even in the medical field, looking back now, marketing has always come natural to me, I found myself also doing the doctor’s marketing, PR and client relations in addition to managing their back offices and patients.
Lessons I have learned along my marketing career journey, these to me are what dreams are made of-
1) Critics have been my highest level of motivation
2) Passion in your belly is key
3) No matter how old or young you are pursue your calling
4) Surround yourself with amazing people, peers, colleagues and mentors
5) Accept challenges, fear and uncertainty as a part and way of life and do it anyways. (Excellent book by Dr. Susan Jeffers- Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway)
In closing, although this is something that I should save for a graduation speech in 6 years or in the acknowledgement section of my next book, I have decided to give thanks to people along the way that have encouraged me, inspired and supported me and continue to do so to this day. My journey started with Dr. Thistlewaite, my son’s pediatrician and his nurse Nancy for encouraging me to go into medicine, so thank you for seeing the spark in me, speaking up, and pushing me out into the world as a teenage mom. Jack Canfield for helping me build my self esteem along this path, helping me deal with and heal from my father’s suicide at the age of 14, an abusive relationship and always reminding me that I am never too old to go back to school, change careers or do anything for that matter, thank you my friend, your voice speaks to me daily (Any of Jack Canfield’s books and I have read them ALL are absolutely inspiring, prompt action and boost self esteem every step of the way).
To all of my marketing clients that have been such as pleasure to work with over the years (Entrepreneur Magazine, Verizon, Jafra Cosmetics,UPS, Sprint, Dell, Disney, Samsung and Microsoft to name a few) and all of the thousands of entrepreneurs I have been so fortunate to work with, thank you for your trust, for the relationships I now cherish and of course for hiring me.
My family and children that have completely jumped on the support train and are now my biggest cheerleaders- Jackson, Savannah and Austin. And last but not least my amazing husband Matthew Jude Egan for telling me to go finish what I started many years ago, allowing me the support both financially and emotionally to do so, I love you! AND I am so thankful for you igniting the fire in me by giving me the amazing writings and books of Atul Gawande, M.D. Wow! PS- Your PhD and Law degree/education…aka nerdness will certainly be a benefit on my academic journey, I thank you in advance for your tutoring…and patience.
I have found it self-inspiring today to share my story via my blog, as this is an important part of my commitment to myself and to my future. I will continue to share marketing tips, stories and my experiences along the way. I hope you stay along for the ride- it is going to be interesting, challenging, scary, fun, fear facing and ultimately…rewarding journey. Will I finish medical school? Who knows! However to me, it is about the journey…not the destination. And for those of you that know me, I am not a “wish I would have” kind of gal.
Here’s to fulfilling our dreams,