It was actually one of my highest and most rewarding moments as a Fortune 500 Sales Executive.

A little back story first…

I grew up in a man’s world. The corporate world.

With some great men mentors, and a few not-so-great.

I learned to do business the traditional, expected way…initially not bringing too much of my creative, feminine traits to the table for fear of being judged as emotional, soft and not being able to play with the big boys.

This was the talk in my generation.

But over time I proved myself highly valuable as a skilled, successful Sales Executive and Leader with great communication skills, not-too-shabby negotiation skills and the ability to turn negative situations around.

I managed to succeed powerfully and quietly until quiet was off the table.

In came a new CEO who loved being the center of attention. He loved grand events and the opportunity to hold court in a banquet hall filled with hundreds of clients. Although he was likable, his bravado was on full display.

The only problem was that he expected me and my fellow executives around the country to be his starting act…with similar dramatic mastery. I’ll spare you the full details. Bottom line it was mortifying.

The comfortable, quiet achievement I was able to create over and over, now had a new mission…Be Seen, Be Heard, Introduce “The Star” and be a darn good starting act! I was definitely being judged for a whole new role.

When faced with this unintended (by me) but expected (by him) fork in the road, I had a choice to make. It was either to quit [I honestly didn’t think I could do it] or master it. I was wholly inclined to do the former but pushed myself to rise above and master it.

And I did.

After several years, when he was leaving the company and on our final road show, we had our last event in Philadelphia. I had to dress up as Benjamin Franklin, wax poetic about our “Independence Small Business Product” with a presentation I wrote weaving aspects of Ben Franklin and Philadelphia into the talk (which was great, if I may say so myself). I was writer, storyteller, performer, and corporate exec, who with my team made millions for the organization. When I presented him, he came up to the stage and said I was a tough act to follow. When it was all over, he thanked me and told me I was his best presenter and Sales Exec in the country.

At that time it was my biggest personal and professional challenge and my greatest reward.

Thank you Ray, for seeing in me what I couldn’t see in myself and for the many experiences that forever changed me and showed me what I’m made of.

Moral of the story? 

Don’t underestimate what you’re capable of. When faced with a fork in the road, or an entirely new direction, rise to the occasion and take the scary path. As horrifying as it may seem, it will serve you throughout your life as long as you continuously choose growth over comfort.

And when you’re feeling down on yourself, remember that one experience when you were a badass. Harness that golden moment!

To help you do that I’ve attached a quick questionnaire I like to run through that gets me oriented, feeling powerful, and ready to move my business and career forward.

Have fun with it. And have fun out there today as you Dare Forward. Find the new you and climb to new heights!

Quote Of The Week:
“Well done is better than well said.”
~ Ben Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1737

Founder & CEO
Noreen Howard International

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