What a kick it is to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, a friendly designation by a fellow blogger!
The Versatile Blogger Award
My warmest thanks go out to Veronica Solomon of No Naked Windows for nominating me to the world of Versatile Bloggers.
The rules to receive the award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Provide a link to the person’s blog.
3. Write 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 bloggers of your own and tell them.
My Seven Facts
In deciding what “seven facts” about myself to share, I thought I’d link them to some of my greater life lessons, if that’s okay.
- I’m the youngest of four children, so I had to learn real early how to negotiate (and maybe even manipulate a little). That meant paying attention to what was important to each person involved. That approach, called “stakeholder analysis” in business, became the topic of my MBA thesis and today is probably my most valuable skill when it comes to my international business deals.
- When I was 11, my Dad lost all his money in a business venture in Brazil, where we grew up. Suddenly the lovely house, servants, private school, clubs, and throngs of so-called “friends” were gone. We packed up a few suitcases and crept off to the U.S. where my Mom would struggle to support us while Dad rebuilt something in Brazil. That was when I learned what money was and how it worked in our lives. (So does it surprise you that I help other women understand the role of money today?)
- In my early 20s, I spent a couple of years documenting a huge iron ore project (called the Carajás Project) in the Amazon, doing lots of aerial photography. There were no women at the mine, just 300 men, a hundred kilometers through the jungle to the nearest town, no roads. (We flew in by DC-3.) Needless to say, while I was at the mine on assignment I felt like a queen. But when I flew back home to Rio, where the women are gorgeous, I found my ego dragged back to a different reality. I learned to enjoy every compliment, wherever it comes from.
- At 25 I met a guy on the train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu who wore great cowboy boots and tight jeans. I returned home to Rio after that vacation, sold everything and followed him to “the ends of the earth.” In our case, that meant going to buy and run a restaurant (and live in a thatched-roof hut) on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, as Cancun was just being built across the water. Now that I’m older, I’ve learned that following our heart and dreams early on is what makes that still feel like a possibility in our later years.
- I have an MBA from The Wharton School, but I have no undergraduate degree. By 27, I had built several businesses. Yet when I came to the U.S., since I had no degree, the only job I could get was as a secretary. Getting an undergrad degree seemed like a waste of time, so I applied to masters programs at several big name schools and, based on life experience, got into nearly all of them. (I chose Wharton because it was a “numbers” school and I knew I couldn’t BS my way through …) I learned that sometimes you can bend the rules, if you’ll just ask.
- When I lived in Europe after Wharton, people would ask what my parents had left me. (They both died when I was in my early 20s.) It seemed like a crazy question, because “inheritance” wasn’t part of our culture. But my answer was “Something no one can take away from me: good brains, a good education, a good work ethic and the belief that I can do anything I set my mind to.” And that has turned out to be true.
- When I lost my home and my business in 2001, right after 9/11, I knew I had to shrink down to the smallest footprint possible (while still staying safe) so I could rebuild my life quickly. I walked away from the perfect house with perfect gardens in the perfect neighborhood. (AKA the American Dream) With the little money I had, I bought a double-wide mobile home on a Florida lake and spent the next year tearing it apart and rebuilding it myself, using everything I had learned watching HGTV. But to make that move okay in my head, I had to let go of what “they” would think or say. One day I realized “they” would not be paying any of my bills or supporting me in retirement. Suddenly, that made letting go of the “they” real easy in every aspect of my life.
My 15 Bloggers
It was so hard to name just 15 bloggers, because I am surrounded by so many great ones. So I decided to choose those whose topics and/or talents inspire me or make me think. (And to remove any perceived ranking, I’ve listed them alphabetically.)
* Carolyn Hughes of The Hurt Healer for reminding us of the power of healing and redemption when it comes to addictions.
* Caryl and Maryl of Second Lives Club for providing women with a place to tell their stories of reinvention.
* Claudia Looi of Travel Writing Pro for sharing the sights and tastes of every country she and her family visit.
* Danielle LaPorte of Danielle LaPorte for always giving me another reason to light little fires deep in my soul.
* Danny Brown of Danny Brown for the “human-ness” he brings to everything he looks at.
* David and Veronica of The Gypsy Nester for sharing their worldly “Celebrating Life after Kids” adventures.
* Dianna Bonny of Living On the Fault Lines for being brave enough to share the after effects of suicide in the family.
* Gina Homolka of Skinny Taste for keeping my taste buds excited.
* Glenda Watson Hyatt of Do It Myself for insisting that life is normal, even when it isn’t. And for having so much courage and grace.
* Jonathan Mead of Paid to Exist for his take-no-prisoners commitment to authenticity (warning: can sometimes be pretty “in-your-face”).
* Kim Garst of Kim Garst for being my ultimate “go to” expert on social media.
* Marvia Davidson of The Human Impulse for her unique word choices when her poetry looks at life.
* Nancy Tierney of Firecracker Communications for the vibrant (and motivating) way she approaches content creation.
* Rob Schultz of Profit Seduction for being one of the brightest marketers I know.
* Stanley Kahng of Remixto for always reminding me of why I need to move to somewhere South of the Border real soon.
So there they are: my 15 named bloggers. I hope you’ll click through to their blogs to see what’s so special.
And be sure to let me know in the Comments section below if you discovered any bloggers who inspire you or make you think!
Bio: Sharon O’Day fixes financial lives. She is a tell-it-like-it-is money expert with a successful career in global finance, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in getting entrepreneurial women over 50 back on their game so they can have more money, less stress and more joy. With her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” strategies, they take actions that lead to their ultimate goal: financial peace of mind.