Fifty sounds old, but boy did it come fast. Some say it is a milestone – I see at it more like a time for reflection. I look back on all the chapters of my life and the people I have met around the world, from childhood to present day, and I am so humbled by the amazing people who have impacted me in ways great and small.
I was born the daughter of an immigrant. I hustled to fulfill the American dream. I spent 10 years living and working abroad. I became a wife and a mother. I built an enviable career. I got disillusioned. I quit. I stopped “living to work.” I joined the PTA and a number of Boards. I started a company. I pursued a more purposeful path.
I took the steps to get where I am, but each was taken with support from family, friends, and, perhaps most notably, mentors.
My father left his country to fight for democracy. He was my first window into the power of advocacy. From childhood, I recognized that while there is always something bigger than you as an individual, you as an individual can create something bigger.
I consider one of my first female mentors to be Marisa Pibulsonggram. She ran a successful ad agency in Thailand. Marisa took me under her wing and taught me the value of understanding cultural differences in business. She showed me how women can be successful despite disadvantages and inequities in the workplace. This phenomenal woman led a business while battling breast cancer, and she did it with heart.
My friend Caroline is a go-getter, a connector, a negotiator and an amazing example of how success is not defined by gender. One night, a few years ago, I noticed a list on her dining table. It included names of all the politicians, diplomats and celebrities that she might run into at an upcoming National Press Club dinner. Next to the names were notes about their work history and personal life. She told me it was important not just to know their professional information, but who they were as people. Caroline taught me the importance of preparation. Success is not given, it’s earned.
Remembering this small grouping of phenomenal people reminds me how lucky I am. To be honest, outside of my father passing, which was and still is the worst thing that has ever happened to me, I have been truly blessed. I would not do over a single day, and I look forward to what the next 50 years bring.
As a way of thanks for all the good things that have happened for me, I promised myself I would pay it forward. So, in my 50th year of life, I am going to try to benefit 50 other people in some way, shape or form. Unfortunately, it cannot be monetarily, but I do have mentorship, internship, counsel and experience to offer someone else who has not had the same good fortune as I.
My goal is to walk with 50 aspiring professionals in the year ahead. I will work to advance their development, growth and capacity for success. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I am inspired. And I am ready.
Who is with me?
Over the next 18 months, I will host a series of gatherings, both physical and virtual. The exact topics will be shaped by the participants, but be sourced from my insights and experiences as an agency professional, a woman, a business owner, and a mom. You – and anyone else who might benefit from professional support and mentorship – are welcome to participant.
Are you an ambitious young colleague who’s ready to make her next move? A woman who’s ready to start a new career as a small business owner? A mom who is ready to get back into the workforce but maybe not full time? I want to meet you, and I want to support you.
Interested? Send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. And please, please, please pass this opportunity along to anyone you know who might benefit.
A few disclaimers:
– I cannot offer financial support or jobs at Montage Marketing Group.
– Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.
– All advice will be based on my personal and professional experiences alone, not that of Montage Marketing Group.
– All mentorship efforts will be conducted outside of business hours so as not to compromise the quality of work provided by Montage Marketing Group to its clients.