Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Can Do That!

Some of my readers are probably a bit young to remember the Mary Tyler Moore show. I watched it often when it was on the air. It was really ground breaking at the time, as Mary was a successful woman professional and was an inspiration to girls in my age group around the world.

One of the girls that she inspired, you may know by name, and that is Oprah Winfrey.
I watched a TV special on Oprah recently and she was talking about how she never missed the Mary Tyler Moore show, and how she would watch the opening credits with Mary throwing her hat in the air, and think, " I can do that." She wanted to live in a big city and be a professional news woman.
And guess what? She did do it. In a big big way.

I have created a path in my life simply by saying to myself,
 " I can do that."

When I was applying to the business school at Tulane that took only 110 applicants (from within the University and outside of it), I thought, "I can do that."
I did get into the business program and I graduated with honors and in the top third of my class.

After graduation from Tulane, I decided that I wanted to work in the fashion industry in New York.
Lots of people told me I was crazy and that I would never find a job.
Again, I thought, "I can do that."

I gave myself a week in New York to interview and I returned home with a job offer from Macy's.
I was Telexed (this was of course before email) by Bloomingdales on the Monday I returned to New Orleans and was offered a position in their competitive buying program.

On my first day in the buying program at Bloomingdales we sat in a large auditorium for orientation. 
They asked us to look at the person in front, behind and to both sides of us. Only one of us would make it.
I thought, " I can do this."

Funny story about my early days in the buying program at Bloomies.
I was in the lingerie department, and being New York City, there was hardly any teaching or hand-holding by your superior. You simply had to figure out yourself how to accomplish what they asked.

My senior buyer asked me to track a shipment. Remember this is before cell phones, the internet, before Fed Ex and UPS had a simple website where you could type in a tracking number.
 I had no idea who to call to find this shipment, so I opened my Bloomingdales directory and called a woman in the catalogue department. I told her what I needed and asked if she could help.
She agreed and told me she would make a few phone calls and call me back.
She called back a few minutes later, had found the shipment and I brought the information back to my buyer.

She looked panic stricken when I told her who I had called to get this information.
"You called the HEAD of the Catalogue department?!" she asked, trembling.
I nodded.
"She reports to the CEO!"
I told her she was very nice and had been very willing to help. 

Flash forward to June 2002, almost 20 years later. I had since worked for Bloomingdales also in Dallas, was a manager there and a couple other places and had then signed on to work at The Market Antiques and Home Furnishings in Fort Worth. I had been with them for about 12 years and was getting restless. I had been basically running my own design firm underneath their umbrella but was not being compensated for my efforts. 

I went to Lake Austin Spa for the weekend with a few other moms after we dropped our sons off at camp.
It was in that hotel room that weekend that I made up my mind to go out on my own 
and start Kay Genua Designs.
I thought, " I can do that."

Over the next few months, I made plans to strike out on my own.
I quit the Market in November, and never looked back.
All I knew at the time was that I wanted to be an interior designer with my own business
and that I had no choice but to succeed.

I thought, " I can do this."
And I really did.

This India Carney cover of New York State of Mind has me inspired today. India wanted to be a famous musician and she got herself on The Voice and she did it!

What is something you really want for your life?
Put it out in the universe and say to yourself, "I can do that."
And you will.

I heard a great quote recently on the subject of self-esteem.
"Self Esteem is like a language skill---if you don't use it 
and re-inforce it every day it will slip away."

Last night for dinner I made baked tilapia and steamed broccoli.

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