Sharing my WHY on being a Business Owner

Recently I had a conversation with Rich about life and purpose and WHY I am passionate about building and growing my business(es). We had never talked about this before in our MILLION AND ONE deep talks we have every day... but I told him my secret WHY.
He asked me why I keep it a secret, and I told him it's purely because of embarrassment, but he said "this is the type of thing you need to share with the world, with people you know and people you don't. It will give them more of a connection to you."

So here goes...

Growing up and all of my life I have been judged (haven't we all?) as being stupid and flaky and countless variations of those. These are all words that have been said to my face by peers and people I lookup to:
STUPID: In 12th grade AP CALCULUS class, a class I wholly struggled to get through and ultimately dropped out of with tears streaming down my face to a teacher that said he would never fail me as long as I kept trying as hard as I was, sitting behind another female student I pushed past my fear of embarrassment and raised my hand to answer a question. The life-changing inspiring teacher I was lucky enough to have called on ME to answer the question since I never raised my hand and I could feel his excitement for me to get this correct. Well, I got it incorrect and the girl sitting in front of me turned around and said, "How did you even get in this class? No offense, but you're too stupid for it."
FLAKY: In My fourth year of College at Emerson College getting my BFA in Acting, I went in to meet with my advisor before each new semester to pick and finalize my next semester class picks that would fulfill my requirement and help me graduate. Before my last semester, I met with her only to realize that somehow, I did not have enough credits to graduate. Devastated and confused (I think she and I both were) we made a plan to get me graduating on time in May and taking two classes over the summer after graduation to finish my credits. Even though everything worked out, I felt confused at how this happened when we talked over the amount of credits I needed and how many I was fulfilling each time we met, and perhaps I put too much trust in those meetings. We had a follow up meeting with my dad there to make sure everything was all good for graduation and when he asked how could this have happened my Advisor simply said, "She's flaky." 

These events and other very similar-feeling events embarrassed me and infuriated me. I knew that I was not stupid OR flaky, and that to prove this to anyone and most importantly to MYSELF I had to work harder than I ever had before, research more, work longer, be smarter, take more chances, never settle, and always push myself further. 

Some people get called stupid. Others get called fake. Others are seen as lucky or given more opportunities. In the end, I push myself so hard to be smarter, work harder, take more chances, and push myself further than I did the day before and for now that's the best I can do

Thank you so much for this photo, Priscilla Howell. You are a huge piece of my heart and I love you.

Thank you so much for this photo, Priscilla Howell. You are a huge piece of my heart and I love you.

See the amazing work we are doing with the women of the Portland local organization supporting women surviving Breast Cancer, Breast Friends of Oregon: