Reflection, Doodads, & Beauty

December 19, 2023

photo of a record player

Dear Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Dreamers, and Creators of Great Things: I write these Love Letters each month with the hope of bringing you a little encouragement, some marketing help, and a few minutes of joy. Whether we are already friends or have yet to meet, I hope you’ll enjoy my stories from the road and some awesomely random takeaways, tools, tips, and updates.


It’s been years since I’ve had an employee performance review.

I remember stressing about them this time of year – wondering if I had done enough to warrant a pay increase or some positive feedback. Later in my career, I was the one who had to prepare performance reviews for the people on my team, and I found that even more stressful. I worried about whether I was being constructive with my comments or sufficiently effective with my suggestions. To be honest, I generally hated the idea of smushing a year’s worth of feedback onto one template. It felt impersonal and heavy, and I was a little relieved when I didn’t have to do it anymore.

Recently, I was going through some old files and I found my past performance reviews. I sat and read through all of the comments – marking decades of growth and lessons, mistakes and accomplishments. Some of them were super cringe and made me flush with embarrassment. Some of them reminded me of successes I had forgotten. But the best ones were the reviews where I was part of the process. When I did some self-assessment and self-reflection, I was much more likely to participate in the exercise and take steps toward positive change.

Most of you reading this are self-employed or are leaders of others. Many of you probably don’t have a performance review to stress about (or dread) this season. But, hear me out, what if you did one for yourself? We spend a lot of time planning ahead, but a little self-reflection can be one of the most powerful tools we have in our business toolbox.
Here are some questions to noodle on:

What one thing would help me be more successful next year?
What is one thing I need to learn?
What three things am I most proud of?
Who can I help?
How can I help them?
Who can help me?
Did I make time to dream?
Do I have regrets?
Did I show gratitude?
What did I learn about myself?
Did I live out my business values?

I hope, as you wind down your year, that you take some time to reflect, friends. I know it can feel hectic this time of year, but give yourself the gift of reflection. We spend a lot of time planning ahead, but a little self-reflection can be one of the most powerful tools we have in our business toolbox.

image with the words In the Rearview, lessons learned and stories from the road


A few weeks ago, my friend LeeAnn made a video that went viral. LeeAnn is the sweetest woman you’ll ever meet. She is the cooking show lady on her local news channel. She loves butter. She gives amazing hugs. She isn’t afraid to show up messy. And her video went viral because people hated it.

They didn’t just hate it, y’all. They hated ON it. They showed up by the tens of thousands to post mean, nasty, rude comments. It was kind of shocking to watch. But you know what LeeAnn did? She laughed. She didn’t make her account private and cower. She responded to the haters with love and laughter. And y’all… I know how hard that is. I know it must have still hurt. I know it hurts when I get haters too! (Just last month someone told me that this love letter is “long-winded nonsense.”) We are not for everyone, friends. We can’t possibly please everyone. That would be exhausting!

My friend Brad sends out one of my favorite newsletters each month. Today, when I opened his email, I read the story of George and Bob, songwriters who had the opportunity to work with the legendary Louis Armstrong to create a song that would change the world. I’ll let you read the story for yourself – it’s a good one! – but I want to share this one quote with you:

“George and Bob looked at the social and political upheaval around them. They looked at Louis. They looked at the state of things and saw this as an opportunity to meet the moment with beauty.”

Meet the moment with beauty.

Y’all. That line. It’s like a whole poem. A song. A ray of sunshine.

We are in the midst of tough times. We look at the news and it hurts. The world is messy and it hurts. People are unkind and it hurts. There are a lot of opportunities for us to close the doors and cower.

Or… we can meet the moment with beauty. We can share a smile, some laughter, a kind word, a compliment, a hug, a phone call. It doesn’t take a grand gesture this season (or any season) to brighten someone’s day.

image of a record player with words saying rockstars, awesome ideas, people, and tools

This is where I share the good stuff.

… the latest websites, books, & tools that are inspiring me, the people who are making me smile, and the stuff I have been writing on sticky notes.

  • I can’t stop thinking about this castle for sale. Anyone else think I should move to France and film an HGTV show of me fixing this up?
  • I saw a quote recently that said, “All of Western medicine is built on getting rid of pain, which is not the same as healing. Healing is actually the capacity to hold pain.”  I can’t stop thinking about that in terms of leadership or coaching. As leaders, our job isn’t to get rid of their pain. Our job is to help them find a way to approach their own pain and solve their own feelings about the pain, so they can take action despite it.
  • A tiny story about stop signs.
  • A new friend who is brilliant with simple tech tools that will improve your biz & life. Give her a follow! (Still not using Canva or sending a regular newsletter? This will be the kickinthepants you need!)
  • Books that you should add to your list for 2024:
    This one about creativity
    This one about speaking
    This one for anyone who feels like they are drowning in noise
    This one about customer service
    (And, of course, MY book… coming in 2024! 😉
  • If you are a self-employed entrepreneur and you struggle with managing the money, taxes, and financial side of your biz – you are not alone. This company might be just what you need. Their blog and guides are full of helpful advice.


Thanks for reading, friends! If you want to get these in your inbox every month, be sure to get on the mailing list. And if you are looking for a speaker who will motivate your organization to get up, get moving, and face change head-on, I would love to chat.