Introducing Irma

I could write about the day I met Irma. It’s a funny, and entertaining story, and I hate to tease you, but that’s a saga for another time. Today I’m going to reveal the Irma I know up close and personal. If you can relate to reinventions, creating a successful second chapter of your career life or if you just plain love motivational stories about dynamic women, then read on.

Recently my friend contributed a chapter to an international bestselling book, “Voices of the 21st Century,” a tome about gutsy women who carved out their own path leaving education, inspiration and a blueprint for other females in their wake.

As the book jacket proclaims, Irma Parone is a “sought-after leadership consultant, speaker and author.” Buy the book and read more of her back story. She writes of her career with authenticity, embracing all she is, displaying her kick ass talent of dealing with what life throws at her and coming out on top no matter the odds.

But there is so much more to the CEO of Parone Group.  She’s the gal you want to sit next to at one of those conferences for women. She will engage you and have you laughing from your first bite of the mixed green salad to the last morsel of the ever-present rubber chicken. During that luncheon, it won’t be all about Irma. She will pepper you with questions and quickly have you declaring your future dreams with confidence. Why? Because she is really, really good at getting women like us to believe in ourselves. My advice is lean in close, and listen intently because you will learn from her.

Parone is a fighter. Yep, she’s a badass who worked her way to the top in a male dominated industry without the help of any fairy godmother or female movement. I suppose the secret sauce to her success is a four- letter word: grit. She is persistent, never gives up and having discovered long ago that success and failure go hand-in-hand, is constantly learning. Irma is not shy about telling you what failure feels like, but she is the kind of woman who looks a problem in the face with a wink along with her trademark mischievous smile.  

Another factor key to Parone’s success is passion. Experiencing any employee issues? Just ask her about creating high-value service levels and trusting relationships that earn the support and loyalty of your staff. She excels at this and is passionate about creating organizational effectiveness.

Lastly my friend is never timid about seeking and receiving support and forever grateful as evidenced by the lines she wrote in the book:

I think we can all agree that much of the emotional and mental strength we possess often comes from the strong bonds we have with our amazing female friends. A trusted ally is a lifeline. Much of the time our female friends know and understand us better than our partners. A recent study done at UCLA revealed what we already knew. Friendships between women are special on so many levels. Yep, that’s the call we make when we need a listening ear, some wise counsel or a night out with a good glass of wine and some meaningful conversation.

I hope you all have a friend like Irma in your life. A lunch or dinner with Irma is better than any therapy session. Her wise advice and sincere caring come directly from the heart and there is always a pinch of spice that leaves me laughing.

It’s The Little Things

    For weeks I prepared for a very big move. I traded in life in the Golden State for my next chapter in the Sunshine State. If you’ve ever moved across the country, or across the street, you know when it comes to your personal belongings, there are many decisions to be made.

For me, the big stuff was a cake walk. Selling my furniture, giving away clothing, kitchen ware and electronics, all a no-brainer. It’s the little things that gave me pause. Articles like a mug, a shawl, a tray, a Christmas ornament, a selection of amazing spices,  all gifted to me by friends that I did not leave behind.

     That’s the way it is in life, right? The small items or happenings make your heart sing and bring you joy. A mother’s smile, a first kiss, the smell of coffee brewing in the morning, your fourth grader’s first home run, the list is infinite. It may have been Pooh who said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Well said dear Pooh. And for all of life’s little things, we should express gratitude.

For the small things that bring me joy, I am grateful

      We can also view this “little thing” concept from a goal achievement perspective. Obviously scoring small wins count when working toward the big goal. As Van Gogh stated, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” He certainly proved it with each tiny little brushstroke. 

Something Small Goes BIG

Sometimes something small inadvertently turns into a big accomplishment. I once read that Dale Carnegie’s mega-best-seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” started with a short speech that expanded to a workshop, soon after became a course and eventually, the book. According to Wikipedia, over 15 million copies of this book have been sold worldwide.

So maybe the life lesson here is dream big, but start small.

Stop for a moment and consider the possibility of something you started as a minor project. Is there promise is broadening the outcome? (Note to self: Listen to your own advice. Turn your career columns and motivational blogs into two separate books. )     

Two Take-Aways

Based on the experience, my advice is twofold. Take notice of, and delight in the small things.  Show appreciation to the guy who let you cut into traffic, the barista who made you the perfect Tall Flat White and the sound of your loved one’s laughter. At the same time, review your catalog of small projects and determine if you’ve created a diamond in the rough. The possibilities are limitless!!

Dear Readers,

My husband and I have now been in our South Palm Beach condo for a month. Our transition has been an amazing experience. Takes a bit of moxie to step out in faith, but well worth it.

Now that we are settled in, I am returning to blogging on a regular basis. Thank you for reading and I hope you will continue to subscribe to “Life on the Sunny Side.”

Love,

Sunny

It’s About Time ...the clock is ticking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have fond memories regarding my formative years. For one, I never missed a meal. Due to my father’s excellent cooking, I looked forward to gathering at the dinner table.  Dad made the best fried chicken in town. It was his claim to fame. Neighbors enlisted him to cook his special dish for every party on the block.

One day I breezed through our kitchen as he worked on a batch of golden fried poultry. My father looked up from his task and asked me to stay so that he could teach me this culinary art.

I smiled, and politely declined thinking there was plenty of time to learn trade secrets from this home chef. As it turned out, the clock ran out. I did not respect time.

I have a friend, let’s call her Kelsey. She never arrives anywhere on time but comes prepared with an excuse, sometimes creative, sometimes reasonable, often quite lame. Kelsey does not respect time.

My cousin Jimmy has been known to totally blank out on appointments. He claims he practices calendar management, but on occasion admits to losing track of the moments that lead to hours. Jimmy  clearly lacks a respect for time.

 

 

 

Valuing Time

What’s my point? My friends and I are guilty of disrespecting the one thing that stops for no one, time. The late author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, aptly sums it up for us:

“Time is of more value than money. You can get more money, you cannot get more time.”

At some level, we can all gauge of how much time is worth. If this article were about time management, or work life balance, I would direct you to a website to help you track and gain productivity. But, today, that is not my message. I’m talking about respecting time.

Time Analysis 

Right now, do a deep dive on your treatment of time. In fact, it might be helpful to drop down to the bottom line. How much time do you think you have left on this earth? Perhaps, 20, 30 or 40 years? Maybe more, maybe less?

As you contemplate time, quiz yourself. What exactly do you want to accomplish in the years remaining? Are you on the right path? Given the limited supply of your banked hours, how can you manage your time to live life filled with happiness and peace while adding value to those around you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are personal questions only you can answer.

Time to Change

I will never have the opportunity to learn the art of frying chicken from my favorite chef. Life dealt a difficult lesson, but it taught me to revere the clock.  Value your time and the time of others. Remember, it’s a limited commodity.

 

Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments. I love hearing from you!