an open letter

[insert your name here]

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Dear You,

As our relationship has progressed you have noticed one motif about my life: go big, or go home. You’re right, I don’t take things lightly and I don’t do them small. If I am going to do something, I commit. With all that being said, my birthday is never a different story. Every few years, the Super Bowl will try to overshadow my special day but I never allow it to do so.

This year, my birthday was wonderful because of you. Celebrating this 24th year is something I will ever forget. Being surrounded by loved ones, receiving phone calls and even the simple smiles truly made the day something special.

Over the years we’ve shared many stories, laughter, drinks and celebrations, but this one was different. This particular birthday celebration encompassed many wonderful aspects of my life. The celebrations this year allowed me to join in all of the tom foolery and showering of love that a birthday should have.

For you, I am grateful. Without you, my birthday would not have been the same. Thank you for the memories we made this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing what my 24th year has in store. I am lucky to have you along for the journey. Once again, thank you. I am so touched and thankful to be blessed by such awesome family and friends!

All My Love,

Kendal Ann

 

 

be thankful

even though it’s not thanksgiving

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Sure, the month of November reminds us to be thankful for what we have, but being thankful isn’t 111608-thankfula motif that stays with us for the rest of the year. Personally, I believe that every day you should give thanks for one thing. This one thing can be small. Being thankful shouldn’t be a chore; please don’t view it like that. We are all lucky in our own ways and I am certain everyone has just one thing to be thankful for. Today, I challenge you to say thank you to someone or to recognize that one thing which you appreciate.

Today, I am thankful for the nights that turned into mornings. The friends who turned into family and all my dreams that turned into reality.

Remember: it’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy.

a mentor

Matt is a very lucky guy in many aspects. One in particular he’s been blessed with having not one, but two exceptional mentors in his short lived career. I’ve heard countless stories of both mentors and they not only are mentors to Matt while he was working with them, but they still contact one another. To me, an awesome mentor is someone who is trusted and someone you can talk about about more than your career and professional life. I want a mentor who I trust and can go to for advice across many subjects. One day, I hope we all have an opportunity to have mentors (or be mentors) like the one Matt writes about in his guest blog post below.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

what makes a mentor

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

By definition, a mentor is “an experienced or trusted adviser” or even more descriptive, a “an experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.”

In my short 23 years, I’ve had two different types of mentors, both of whom were bosses of mine at one point in my career.

Both of these individuals, who shall remain nameless, are mentors of mine for different reasons. I think that aspect of this story is very important because I think there are some very important criteria that must be met in order to be considered someone’s “mentor.”

The biggest thing for me is that a person must trust you to do your job correctly just as much as you trust them to be fair to you when being your superior. It means relying on you to do not only the miniscule tasks, but the hard and challenging tasks as well. At the same time, it means that this person doesn’t act like a boss, they act as a friend until you screw up and they need to lay the hammer down, which they don’t have any problem doing. Another important thing that a “mentor” has in my opinion is that they trust your judgment, 100%, no questions asked.

One of the other important things that I find to be a characteristic of both of my mentors is that they bring out good qualities, the ones that you were hired for, in you to use them to not only help you grow, but to help the organization/company grow as well. They take all of your strengths and help you make them grow even stronger while taking your weaknesses and help you grow them into strengths. This person also always wants you to succeed no matter what, even if it’s for a different company. In turn, that desire for success applies to them from you, too.

Finally, this person always has time for you, no matter if it’s on the clock or off the clock. Whether it be sitting in their office after hours for 15 minutes extra or going out for a dinner to discuss not only work-related things, but to discuss life in general. That’s the type of mentor I want.

I’ve been lucky this far in my career where I’ve had two people who have fulfilled all of those things and more for me. They’ve allowed me to grow, to harness my talents, help pinpoint my weaknesses and teach me how to fix them, all while not being afraid to keep me informed on the things that I need to work on or call me out when I screw up. People like this are irreplaceable in both life and the workplace. If you’ve met someone like this, a person that you can really call a “mentor,” you’re lucky. Those friendships will last a lifetime. If you haven’t yet, keep your head up because you’re bound to meet someone like this.

veterans

thank a Veteran

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Every November 11th we celebrate our Veterans. Veterans Day is about taking time to recognize all US service personnel from all wars.  For a little history, Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day.  This day takes the place on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, which was when the armistice that ended World War I took effect.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service,” said President Wilson.

As an American I have so much to be thankful for everyday. Yesterday I made it a point to thank every Veteran that I saw at the airport. Why do we need a specific day set aside to show our appreciation? Next time you see a service member be sure to thank them.  Your appreciation and gratitude will go a long way.

To all of those who serve this beautiful country, thank you for serving and protecting our freedom.