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5 Differences Between Fans and Personal Board of Directors

Here 5 ways to tell the difference between a bunch of fans and a personal board of directors:

  1. History and Understanding:
    • Board of Directors: They have a history with you and understand the nuances of your life, including how you handle challenges, your work habits, and personal aspirations.
    • Fans: They see the highlight reels and may not understand the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of your life. They often have unrealistic expectations.
  2. Honesty and Feedback:
    • Board of Directors: They provide constructive criticism and honest feedback, even if it means telling you that you’re wrong or need improvement. They are not afraid to challenge you.
    • Fans: They tend to shower you with praise and may not give you genuine feedback, especially when you make mistakes or face challenges.
  3. Long-Term vs. Short-Term:
    • Board of Directors: They have a long-term perspective and are invested in your overall well-being and success.  
    • Fans: They often have a short-term, opportunistic view, showing up when you are successful and popular but disappearing during tough times.
  4. Support and Guidance:
    • Board of Directors: They offer guidance and support in critical decisions, such as career choices, financial planning, and personal development. They are SMEs who don’t mind sharing their expertise to help you get to the next level.
    • Fans: They may offer superficial support but lack the expertise or willingness to help with important life decisions.
  5. Realistic vs. Superficial:
    • Board of Directors: They provide realistic, practical advice and support your growth and development, even if it’s not always comfortable. Truth be told, they don’t care if you get uncomfortable as long as you are growing and making progress towards your goals.
    • Fans: They may offer superficial admiration and support but they are not equipped to provide the depth of guidance and assistance that a board of directors can offer.

Please don’t confuse likes and double taps with real connections. A personal board of directors offers a deeper and more meaningful level of support and guidance compared to fans who are often attracted to surface-level success.

Until next time,


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The Power of Everyday Wins

Grab a seat and get comfy because we’re diving into a topic that is close to my heart – celebrating yourself.

More than half of the year is over. At the beginning of the year, you had goals, plans, and dreams. But here’s the thing – are you stopping to smell the roses along the way? Are you celebrating the small wins?

I get it, life can be a whirlwind. We’re constantly moving, doing, achieving. But let me ask you this: Have you ever taken a moment to cheer for yourself? I mean, really cheer, not just a polite golf clap.

What does a small win look like? The moment when you chose the stairs over the elevator. Finishing that book you’ve been wanting to read but could never find the time. The presentation you aced at work. Keeping your cool and using the coping skills you learned in therapy. They may seem small but they all deserve a standing ovation…even if it’s just from you to you.

It’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others or waiting for the big milestones to feel accomplished (thanks a lot, social media). But guess what? Your life is happening right now, in these small moments. Remember, celebrating yourself isn’t bragging; it’s acknowledging your efforts and embracing your journey.

So, here’s my challenge: When you accomplish something, whether it’s a minor task or a significant achievement, give yourself credit. You are a masterpiece in progress. Life’s a collection of these everyday wins that shape who you are. So, let’s make a pact – let’s celebrate ourselves along the way.

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Hump Day Vibes: Embracing the Wins, Big and Small

Hey there, Mavens! How’s the week treating you so far? It’s that middle-of-the-week moment, and you know what that means – it’s Work Your Package Wednesday!

I’ve got something on my mind today (well, every day) – celebrating wins. Yep, those victories, big and small, that make life oh-so-interesting. We’re all about chasing those goals and dreams, but are we taking time to appreciate the journey? Let’s get into it.

Picture this: You set some scary goals for 2023, right? And here you are, hustling hard to make things happen. But let me ask you – have you stopped to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back? I’m talking about celebrating those little victories that pave the way to your big wins.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and overlook the small stuff. We are quick to cheer for others but hesitate to celebrate ourselves. Well honey, it’s time to change that narrative! Every step you take, every hurdle you overcome – they ALL deserve your applause.

Whether you conquered a task at work, resisted that tempting dessert, or aced your morning workout – those are your wins. They’re proof that you’re moving forward, making progress, and becoming the best version of yourself. So, why not revel in them?

Here’s my challenge for you: Celebrate yourself. When you accomplish something, no matter how seemingly insignificant, do a little happy dance, give yourself a high-five, or even just smile and say, “Heck yeah, I did that!” You’ve earned it.

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Life is a series of moments, and each one is worth cherishing. So, let’s keep hustling, keep embracing those wins, and keep celebrating. You’re doing awesome, and I can’t wait to see all the incredible things you’ll achieve. Keep shining!

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Let’s Talk About Packages. No, I’m Not Talking About Amazon

So, let’s talk about packages. No, not Amazon kind, but your own personal package. You know, the one that makes you uniquely you. How’s that package shaping up this week? Are you giving it the attention it deserves?

I know life can get crazy, and in the midst of all that crazy, we can forget to check in on ourselves. It’s the package that gets lost in the shuffle of to-do lists and meetings. But guess what? You’re worth more than just checking boxes and getting through the day. Your package – your dreams, goals, quirks, and talents – deserves some MAJOR love and care.

If you ever had one of those days where you feel like your package is all over the place whether it’s the midweek blues or a rough start to the day…fear not. You’ve got the power to turn things around.

Here’s my challenge to you: Take a moment today to give yourself a virtual high-five. Celebrate a small victory, no matter how tiny. Maybe you made a killer cup of coffee this morning, nailed a presentation, or simply managed to survive rush hour traffic without losing your cool. Those are all wins.

So, let’s make this Work Your Package Wednesday count. Give yourself permission to shine, to celebrate the wins, and to work that package with pride.

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Just A Few Reminders

Long time, no post! I know, I know. I’ve been negligent with my weekly post. I won’t make excuses (they are the tools of incompetence) but I will ask for some leniency. This morning, I went live on Facebook and shared a few reminders. I’ve talked about this stuff before but it seemed like a good day to share them again.

What People Think About it Is None Of Your Business – What people think can’t propel you towards greatness or push you further in your journey. Everyone has thoughts, but the thoughts of others should not impede your progress towards extraordinary success.

It is Not Your Responsibility To Explain – It is not your responsibility to explain your hustle, your grind or your purpose. You do not owe anyone an explanation for any decision that you make for your growth. When you are clear on what you have to do in order to achieve your goals, you do not have to explain the “why” or the “how” behind your hustle.

Stop Being Scared – Stop being afraid of pursuing that dream that will not let you rest at night. You know the dream I’m talking about. The one that is constantly with you. Fear will keep you in a mediocre place. You were created for more. You used the same amount of energy that you use to say “I can’t” and “I don’t know” to say “I can” and “I will”, I’m pretty sure you will surprise yourself with what you accomplish.

With love,





View the Work Your Package Wednesday FB Live post

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WYP Summer Reading List

We are six days into summer! Summer is the time for vacations, extended weekends and trips to the ice cream parlor. But summer is also the time to feed your brain and spark creativity with a good book. I asked for recommendations from my friends for books they were either currently reading or will be reading this summer. This list has everything from non-fiction to business to self-help to romance.

  • From Panic to Empowerment Series by Dr. Stephanie Reid (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
  • 5 Steps to Rapid Employment by Jay Block (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
  • Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
  • Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Recommended by Michelle W. Russell)
  • Chasing Waterfalls by Takoma Washington (Recommended by James Lewis)
  • The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown (Recommended by Debbie Shaffer)
  • Impact! What Every Woman Needs to Know to Go From Invisible to Invincible by Nancy D. Solomon (Recommended by Debbie Shaffer)

A few weeks ago I did an FB Live where I shared three of the books that I will be reading over the summer by Shawn Achor. I read one over the weekend and WOW! I can’t wait to get to the other two books. I’m intrigued by positive psychology and Shawn Achor has a style of writing that is not only humorous, it is backed by scientific research.

  • The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor
  • Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Achor
  • Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being by Shawn Achor

What books are you reading this summer? Share them in the comments below.

With love,

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Lessons From London

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to London as one of the speakers for Executive Secretary LIVE hosted by Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing, specialist publishers of Executive Secretary Magazine – a global training magazine dedicated to the professional development needs of senior and aspiring administrative professionals. The experience was, in one word, PHENOMENAL! From the moment I was greeted by my driver at Heathrow until I was dropped back off at the airport six days later, I soaked in every minute. Did it rain? Yes, it was raining when I landed. Did it snow? Yes, it snowed the night before I left. Did I have jetlag? You bet! I think I’m still battling the residuals of the time difference two weeks later. Oh, but what about the good stuff? There’s plenty! Here are some of the lessons I learned from my trip:

  1. Transparency and sharing your journey can inspire others. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, being transparent can be scary and downright terrifying when you are surrounded by people you know. Now imagine being transparent with people you just met 48 hours prior. Talk about a leap of faith. But here’s what happened. I became relatable. The attendees at the conference saw themselves in me and vice versa.
  2. You never know who is watching you. There I was minding my own business (after eating a delicious cheeseburger) and from across the room, I hear a woman calling my name. She tells me that she’s an Ayanna Castro fan. Excuse me? A fan? The woman’s name is Melissa Esquibel, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with more than 25 years in business application technology. She proceeds to tell me that she thought that one of the FB live videos I posted for Work Your Package Wednesday was epic. (Insert a big fat HOLY COW right here). Then it happened again when a conference delegate told me how much she looks forward to my post. I had no idea they were watching, I was just delivering on a promise to myself to show up consistently every Wednesday. Be true to who you are and let your light speak for itself.
  3. Never stop practicing your craft. Do you know that some of the most world-renowned singers have vocal coaches? When I learned that little tidbit, I decided that I would never stop practicing my craft. It wasn’t my first time giving my signature presentation but it was the first time I was delivering it in front of an international audience and I wanted to make sure I gave the delegates my best effort. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done something a thousand times, practice is part of growth.
  4. Check your ego at the door. When you do something with the intention to serve and not be served, leaving your ego at the door (or better at home) is an easy thing to do. Once you realize that your gifts and talents are to be given away, it is harder for your ego to show up.

Here’s the bonus…adding this amazing presenters and speakers to my network. Someone asked me if they were my family from London. My response was very simple, “They are my family now.”

Pictured Left to Right: (back row) Dinah Liversidge, Lucy Brazier, Chrissy Scivicque, Cynthia Thomsen, RoseMarie Terenzio, Geoff Richards, Vickie Sokol Evans; (front row) Kemetia Foley, Colette Carlson, Shelagh DonnellyAndrea Macarie, Ayanna Castro, Marie Herman


I’m excited to be part of the Executive Secretary LIVE speaker family and a contributor to the Executive Secretary Magazine. Check out my articles:

With love,


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Are You Overreacting?

Situations continue to resurface until the lesson is learned. Learning how not to overreact is one of those lessons I believe we continuously learn.

Respect + Asking Question + Seeking Correction = Not Overacting

Lack of Respect + Assuming the Worse + Seeking Crucifixion = Overacting

A Proportional Response…And Other Lessons Learned from TV


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Self-Care Is Not Selfish


It seems like everyone is running on full tilt these days. Between home, work and civic responsibilities and interests, it has almost become commonplace to be left without time for yourself. Here’s a roundup of some self-care tips:

The Self-Care Tips You Need to Add to Your To-Do List

15 Ways to Add Self-Care to Your Workout Routine

Treat Yo’ Self: Self Care in the Workplace

How To Practice Self-Care In 2018 For A Happier You

How do you practice self-care? Share your tips in the comments.

With love,

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You Deserve More

I read a quote that said if you have to wonder if you deserve better you already know the answer. If you have to wonder whether or not you’re being fully supported to go toward your hopes and your dreams, you’re not getting the support that you need. So what happens when you’re faced with an opportunity to receive the support that you need? Do you think it’s too good to be true? Do you wonder whether not you actually deserve it? Are you willing to accept the fact that you deserve to have the support that you’ve been giving to everybody else? Are able to accept the fact that you finally have the support you need as you grow into the person that will achieve your wildly ambitious dreams?

I often talk about my board of directors and how invaluable their support is to me. There are key members of my board of directors who I know will push me when I’m ready to throw in the towel. Then there’s another level within that board who will not only not let me throw in the towel, they will carry me the last mile if they need to. Why? Because they believe that I deserve better. They believe that I can do better.

Being a superhero is overrated. I mean honestly, it is a thankless job when you think about it. You go around saving people all day and at the end of the day you are battered and scarred and waking up with bruises in the morning. And I’m not talking about physical bruises, I’m talking about the emotional bruises left over from someone else’s emotional baggage. Far too often we try to pick up somebody else’s broken pieces ended up getting cut in the process. Are you ready for someone else to bandage you up so that you can heal? Stop being so damn strong and let someone support you.

With love,