#WomensLives :: In business

059: Hard at workEvery year, I come down to Texas to help my parents in their tax return preparation business. In the past, I would at times meet with clients myself when they’d come in and drop off or pick up their work. The last couple of years, though, I’m happily tucked in the back of the office just putting files in order. My incognito location allows me the freedom to observe human nature, and over the last few days I’ve found myself honing in on fellow women and their demeanor as they come to our office.

And I’ve found something very alarming: I find myself tensing up when another woman walks in the building.

Every job I’ve had out in the workforce, I’ve had a female boss. And its always, on a whole, gone well! So I know I can work with other women. I work better, I think, with women than I do with men. I embrace other women in business. I cheer for them.

I also find myself dreading them. And I absolutely hate that fact.

Many women who walk into our office have no clue what goes into their finances and absolutely no interest in knowing.

They’re women whose husbands have done all the finances for years. Many of these women are widows, and they don’t know which way to turn.  There is the mute wife, who stands by while her husband runs the show. Sometimes I don’t even know the wife was there because they never say a word.

Others are super busy women  that show up with a box full of every receipt they got over the last year, and they want someone else to organize it and make sense of it. They give it to us in chaos and they expect it back in order.

Then… then there’s the women that leave us all beaten down at the end of the day, wondering why we bother to be in business anymore. This is the woman who is always right. This is the woman who knows your job better than you do. This is the women who will speak down to you and belittle you at the drop of a hat. This is the woman who would rather find SOMETHING you did wrong than to admit she might have been wrong herself.

Now, before I go any further, this issue is not really only a woman-thing. We have plenty of men we deal with who will act the same way. I’ve just noticed, though, that this trait tends to be more women-centric.

But its the confident business woman who is a breath of fresh air. She relaxes my tensed up muscles with a smile and respectful conversation. She makes me smile as well and WANT to work with her. She asks questions when she doesn’t know something, and she will happily and respectfully inform you of things you need to know.

I recently read several articles about the traits of successful women. The ones that rang the most true to me:

– Successful women know they aren’t perfect, nor do they expect perfection. But they work to the best of their abilities and ask that of others. They know we all have our strengths and they work those strengths for the betterment of everyone involved.

– They know failure does not mean its the end game. It means its time to change course and try another way. Failure is as much a part of life as success.

– They praise and celebrate others successes. They are just as comfortable taking a backseat to any project as they are taking the lead on it. They say thank you. They nurture and grow relationships — professionally as well as personally.

-They know they aren’t going to please everyone. Ever. They know employees aren’t (necessarily) friends. They aren’t afraid to say, “No.”

– They believe in themselves. We’re our own worst critic, but we should also be our own biggest cheerleader.

– They aren’t afraid to ask questions. They know that sometimes you have to “look dumb” for a minute to become wiser.

I’m sure many women have opinions as to what traits makes a women successful, and I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. Tell me more… lets be part of the conversation empowering women in a positive way.

#womenslives#WomensLives is a media partnership between Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, BlogHer‘s parent company, aiming to change the portrayal and coverage of women in media.

Five on Friday :: February 27, 2015

I wrote a stream of consciousness blog post on my flight on Wednesday. Complete with photos. And my WordPress app on my iPad ate the post. Poof. Gone. No coming back. So here are the five photos that I had for that post, with a little bit of context thrown in so I don’t feel like my time spent writing a few days ago was for nothing.



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Ready for take-off… Skipper, Starbucks and Southwest


Bye Nashville… see ya in a few weeks!



Chasing sunlight... never to catch it.
Chasing sunlight… never to catch it.



See... I really was writing a blog post on the plane. Sipping a Chai Tea Latte. I should have had a double shot of espresso instead...
See… I really was writing a blog post on the plane. Sipping a Chai Tea Latte. I should have had a double shot of espresso instead…



Welcome to ATX!
Welcome to ATX!


Wooly-Hat@LowHave a great weekend!


Five on Friday :: February 20, 2015 (late)

I opted to write on Friday about a topic brought up in the #WomensLives initiative. As such, I’ve bumped last weeks Five on Friday back a couple days so that post could stand on its own for a little while.


I periodically do an “about me” list. Past ones can be found here, here, here, here and here.  Yeah, okay so I’ve done five of them… but I’ve been writing this blog for around 8 years now. So I don’t think that’s too excessive.

1. I have my degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University. (I start with this because it recently came to my attention that some people don’t realize this fact. So since its a pretty big deal to  me I start here.) This statement is two-fold.

One, I actually attended Texas A&M. I’m not a t-shirt fan (does A&M even have those?) and it’s not just about football for me. I got an amazing education there, and the entire experience of being an Aggie is special.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTwo, I have a degree in Journalism. I spent the last 5 years as a bartender, and I’m actively working towards opening my own bar.  I love the bar business more than I EVER thought I would. But this does not change the fact that my formal training is in journalism, and I still use much of that training today. I’m very, very proud of my degree, even if I don’t work in a newspaper or tv station or radio. I often say I walked away from the field, but in reality it never left my heart. I still have a lot of interest in it, and, who knows, I may go back into it some day.

2.  I miss taking photographs for fun. I’ve become so focused on making money doing it, that I’ve forgotten what I love to do. And that is to just take great pictures!  So for Lent this year, I am once again doing a photo-a-day that runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.  I love the challenge of finding something to photograph each day, and its reminding me what I love about this art all over again.

3/47: Red rose in snow

3. I thoroughly enjoy page design. I think if I’d gotten to do more of that when I worked at the newspaper, I’d have been more inclined to stick with the field. I recently made a flyer for an event, and it gave me such a thrill to do. At the end of the day, I didn’t care if the flyer actually got used or not… it just reminded me how much I love doing it. And perhaps I should put forth the effort to do it more, because it left me on such an amazing high.

4. Tequila may make some women’s clothes fall off, but for me it is like taking a sleeping pill for me. OKay, I should clarify. Cheap tequila is like taking a sleeping pill for me. I’ve discovered if I pop for the good stuff, I get to enjoy the taste without the narcolepsy. But if I can’t sleep? One margarita or tequila sunrise and I’m OUT. I know they say alcohol to help you sleep does not result in restful sleep… but sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. And for me its tequila.

299: Margarita Monday

5. I sincerely love helping others. If there’s a way I can reach out a hand and help, I will. I often don’t have the money the give, but if I can give my time or donate things like, well, making flyers, or organizing something, or taking pictures, or bartending a few hours, then I want to do it. I want to help. Seeing someone else be lifted up is like a million dollars in the bank to me. I think if we all just helped each other more, this whole world would be a much better place. And… maybe I can’t change the world, but if I can help make my little piece of the world better? Well. Then I’m going to do that.

That being said, if you’re in the Nashville area, please swing by Tin Roof on Demonbreun tomorrow night from 7 pm – 1 am and give a little love to Tom & Julianne Drennon who lost their home last month to fire.


Have a great week, everyone!

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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