Life Is Short. Enjoy What You Do and Who You Do it With

Growing up, I was the youngest of seven kids. I came from a large Irish Catholic family, and that experience shaped me into the person and professional I am today. I had to speak up to be heard. I was forced to fight for what I wanted—attention, food, and time on the court. I had to learn how to stand up for myself, develop a thick skin, and persevere. My siblings were bigger, stronger, and smarter than me (if only due to life experiences) and I had to learn to compensate in different ways.

Fast forward to my first job out of college …. I started as an entry-level sales person for a small staffing and recruiting firm in the suburbs of Chicago. My dad was in sales, and I thought it would be a good fit. Because the company was a small startup, the founder & CEO was extremely involved. He knew sales would be crucial to the growth of his business, and he was tough.

I sat next to him and made cold calls all day long. He listened to my calls, talked in my ear, and coached me on what to say to the prospect on the other end of the line. I would hang up the phone, and he would say, “pick up the phone, call again.” He was relentless. Many times, I thought I would quit, but I knew even if I wanted to, my family wouldn’t let me.

Sixteen years later, I’m really glad I stuck it out. I grew my career, expanded my horizons, made incredible friends, and helped build a business. I love what I do, and I’ve learned so many lessons along the way.

You have to be true to yourself. You have to enjoy what you do. You have to stick with it through the tough times to see the good times. You have to laugh. And most important, you have to work hard.

If you want something, speak up and ask for it. Surround yourself with people who challenge you, support you, and push you to be your best self. Life is short. Enjoy what you do and who you do it with.