As some of you know, I do quite a bit of creative consulting and brand strategizing.
It started 3 years ago, and I don’t promote it because it was not something I ever set out to do.
Rather, it was something that found me – smackdab in the middle of doing what I love – and I answered the call.
After all, much to my mother’s chagrin, I am not a business major. I am just a person who built the brand, and as strange as it sounds the brand just happens to be me. People took notice and started asking for help, and started PAYING me for it.
Yep. Not something I planned or had even attempted to manifest.
I am a creative, not a business person, I always thought.
It was a lovely lesson in avoiding labels, because labels can so easily be peeled off and applied elsewhere.
Recently, I had a growing experience when a friend asked if they could be a client and put me on retainer.
It made me very uncomfortable, so much so that I said I needed to take a day to think about it.
I mean, I love working with brands, charities and personalities, but a close friend who would pay me like they do?
But, then this friend put it beautifully, when addressing my initial hesitation with genuine confusion.
“Why does this make you uncomfortable? You are the best at what you do, and I want to hire the best. If not you, I’ll hire someone else, and why would I hire someone else when I have the budget to pay a friend who would do it better than anyone else?”
That made my decision MUCH easier.
And, it made me really get in touch with my hesitation, and where it stemmed from.
I realized that as confident as I have become as I’ve accrued years and experiences on this here planet and in this here Hollywood town, sometimes I question my value, even when I may not realize that is what I’m doing.
I find this particularly funny because I have no problem whatsoever letting others know what THEIR value is – so much so, that sometimes, I actually think my greatest strength is helping other people understand what their biggest value is on this earth.
Today, as I sat at a brunch meeting at Urth Cafe with a pr maven turned blossoming blogger, who was seeking some guidance and direction, I was reminded of this one area in which I am still growing, and learning…and, then I listened to my words to her as I said them.
“Know your worth. Don’t spend so much time trying to take care of everyone else, that you forget to take time for yourself. Sometimes, we involve ourselves in caring for others, so that we don’t have to be brave and do what we are most scared to do.”
As much as we all have a responsibility to care for one another, our utmost responsibility is to care for ourselves.
And, one way to care for yourself, Dawn McCoy (and you, dear reader) is by recognizing your talents and strengths, making them readily available for other people…and KNOWING YOUR WORTH.
Today on my walk/run, I listened to my dear friend Lynn Chen’s The Actor’s Diet podcast from last year, and her guest was actress, Sandra Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame.
As I saw this perfectly imperfect fallen leaf on the ground, I found it to be no accident that Lynn and Sandra’s conversation about body image and the pressure of a preferred body type in Hollywood was playing in my headphones.
Lynn: “Do you believe the pressure to look a certain way exists…for real?”
Sandra: “The pressure exists, and the pressure cannot exist…at the same time. It comes down to ‘What voice am I going to follow?'”
Lynn: “How do you quiet that voice when it is screaming in your head?”
Sandra: “Sometimes, I give my voices a name, ‘OK, just breathe, Pamela. I can hear you, Pamela. I know you’re angry.”
I’ve heard Pamela in my head a few times too, I think.
Girl gets around.
I met Sandra Oh last spring, when we were both invited to a gifting meeting by a fashion designer, & our appointments were double-booked. So, we basically had to shop together, which some actresses of her caliber might not exactly be comfortable with. She was with her mom, who is beyond adorable, and to see them interact was the sweetest thing ever.
As the designer offered to give her everything, I was amazed at how genuinely grateful and gracious Sandra was.
There was no entitlement.
I realized listening to the podcast today, how we really do have the choice of how we want to be.
Are we going to feel entitled and feel disappointed when life is short of our expectations?Are we going to feel let down by people who don’t live up to who we want them to be? Are we going to see billboards with women with less body fat – or a bigger cup size – than us – and then feel like less, or feel hate for our bodies?
I sure hope not.
And, I hope that more conversations like this can occur between all women and girls, so we can learn to calm those vicious voices in our own heads.
I also hope that when Pamela rears her head in Sandra’s head, she hears my voice of gratitude now.
Thank you for leading by example, lady. And, thank you, Lynn Chen & The Actor’s Diet, for giving us a platform on which that dialogue can occur.
And, you KNOW I brought something sweet!!
Spending this cloudy Monday afternoon, prepping for my Dress For Success talk tomorrow morning in downtown LA.
For 2 hours, I’ll be coaching women in the Going Places Network & talking to them about creating their personal brand, social media profile & professional identity.
I find myself overwhelmed with all of the things I want to say to these women: the experiences I want to share, the struggles we all have as women, and the successes that are often just waiting for us around the corner from those very struggles.
I’m sitting here, pen to paper, asking for guidance – as I always do before a speaking engagement – for the words that will help me improve just one woman’s life or inspire just one woman in that room.
If I am able to do this, I will have done my job.
Here we go, Dress For Success…
Today’s fave? A picture that was captured as I was high-fiving my dream team, also known as Good Carma Studio, after our No Kid Hungry Influencers Brunch on Wednesday. (*Please Note: Blog post to come)
While it was a truly stunningly beautiful affair, I am even more proud that it was an event – full of heart – that accomplished what we set out to do: get out the word about childhood hunger and breakfast in our schools.
I am so thankful to have a team that works as hard as I do. Trust is EVERYTHING to me and I trust these women implicitly.
Chrissy Kling & Melissa Wallace, you are gifts—and you produce the best events to boot!!!
Have I mentioned how much I love Step Up? I know, I know. I have – and have again.
But it’s just because that’s how deeply it lives in my heart, and impacts my everyday life. I was introduced to Step Up by my best friend, actress Sarah Jane Morris 3 years ago, and I quickly became a member, changing my life – and my heart – for the better.
This past Friday, June 5th, 2015 was my second year to attend the Step Up Inspiration Awards – and their 12th year of hosting this awards luncheon, so full of heart.
But this year, I didn’t just attend as a guest, I was also honored to be the announcer of the show – or as they call it – their “Voice of God.”
And yes, you can call me that from now on. I’m kidding. Kinda.
No, it really was a dream come true, and not just because it was the first time I had been the announcer at an awards show.
As I sat there with 850 others in the room, feeling my own dream come to life, I got to hear the stories of dreams coming true for so many others, including Julie Bowen…
honoree Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans…
and honoree, actress & director, Elizabeth Banks.
But, I also got to see the girls of Step Up, whose dreams are coming true – like honoree Maria – simply by being able to graduate high school and attend college, thanks to Step Up, so that they can pursue their dreams.
Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and the Inspiration Awards raises 55% of the funds Step Up needs to serve its Los Angeles community for one year. Know how much we raised this year? Over $400,000!! We went well past our goal of $75,000!
Speaking of raising money, I have never seen anyone in entertainment work so hard (while being SO adorable and full of heart) as Modern Family’s Julie Bowen did, while trying to raise that money. I wish I could say every celebrity put this much heart into their work with charities!
It was a day that I will always will remember, not just because I was surrounded by the most talented people with the most generous of hearts, but because for the first time, I actually could count myself as one of them. Thank you for letting me be a very small part of the magic, Step Up.
Memories like those never die.
Happy Thursday, friends!
Today is one of the many days that I’m feeling miiiiiighty grateful. The reason? I am so privileged to be the “Voice of God” for the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards tomorrow, June 5th, 2015, at the Beverly Hilton, presented by Hudson Jeans.
What’s the “Voice of God”? Well, it’s basically the announcer. But, doesn’t “Voice of God” sound waaaay cooler? Don’t give me the credit. Step Up wrote it right into the script! As you know, Step Up is one of my FAVORITE organizations and when they asked me to be a part of their annual awards show, I was ecstatic! There’s more about Step Up – and the Inspiration Awards – below.
But first, can we just talk for a minute about Hudson Jeans? I mean, how much do we loooove them? And not just because they fit like a glove, fit all sorts of sizes and body types, and feel delicious on our bodies, but also because they’re a huge sponsor of my beloved Step Up.
So much so, that Hudson Jeans CEO, Peter Kim, is their 2015 Inspiration Awards Honoree, along with actress Elizabeth Banks. Peter is being honored as Step Up’s Corporate Honoree because as a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, he continues to use his resources to raise awareness and funding for nonprofits and various programs in the Los Angeles area. An added bonus? He loves some adventure, this guy! Just like the adventure that so many girls seek out each year, when they head off to college or to a new city. He’s our kind of people, y’all.
Well, since Hudson Jeans is a proud sponsor of Step Up, I am a very proud wearer of Hudson. Here are two of my Hudson picks for Summer, that I am loving. And I mean, looooooving!!!
1) Caught rehearsing at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday in my Skylar Relax Slim Straights – Smoke & Mirrors by Hudson Jeans ($220): The perfect boyfriend jean, that can turn into girlfriend jeans real fast, that’s how cute and versatile they are!
2) All I wanted in my teens was to look like Cindy Crawford. It’s ALL I WANTED. I wanted her beauty mark (which I kind of got, although it was a little up and to the left), prayed for her height of 5’9″ (which I got and totally believe that I manifested), and worked my little butt off to attempt to have her body (by watching – and exercising to – that Cindy Crawford workout video every day after school).
Well, I never got her body, exactly, but y’all…I finally manifested those jean cutoffs that she wore in that video, that I’ve been craving since 1992!
Thank you, Hudson, for making my dream come true with your Tori Slouch Short by Hudson Jeans ($165), which can be worn low on the hips for some Cindy-circa-1992 attitude, or high on the waist, all high-rise style, while seriously flattering any body type.
I finally feel like Cindy Crawford; although, I doubt that I’ll be doing squats and pushups in these beauties!
And, what is Step Up?
Step Up propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become
confident, college-bound, career-focused,
and ready to join the next generation of professional women.
Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Step Up is a special place where we all propel the fulfillment of potential. We take pride in our core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our impact strategies.
You can buy your tickets here!
Hope to see y’all there tomorrow!
I‘ll be the voice of God you’re hearing.