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The Voice Of Reason

be the reason for the conversation

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Guess what movie I just saw?

Hint: Maverick (Top Gun) with

Tom Cruise.

I walked into the theater with full-on buttered popcorn and no expectations. The exhilarating story of a cutting-edge fighter pilot took me on a ride where I felt that I was the co-pilot. Maverik was a leader in terms of getting in the cock pit and doing what he demanded of his team. Maverick led his crew with integrity and took calculated risks. His roguish precision was a nail-biting tribute to his training and authority. Maverick embodied his purpose, passion, and love for living on the edge.

How does Maverick's flair for pushing the envelope translate to our ambition to be successful as professionals? Simply put, we need to push our limits and also stay grounded in our personal morals and mission. With a broad stroke for gravitas, I will suggest that we are all bombarded with shiny object syndrome. We chase what is new and the blind promise of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

When we chase shiny objects we are distracted from our core mission and goals.

Definition of Shiny Object Syndrome:

Shiny object syndrome, also called "SOS" is a pop-cultural, psychological concept where people focus on a shiny, new object, in other words, whatever is most current, trendy, or the latest concept, regardless of how valuable or helpful it may ultimately be. While at the moment it seems to be something worth focusing one's attention upon, it is ultimately a distraction, either a personal distraction or something that is done intentionally to distract others.

Social Media and Chasing Shiny Objects

We are told that we need followers on social media to be relevant. We are told that we need have our perfect images splashed on YouTube and TikTok. Yet the return on investment is minimal. When we take a look at buyer behaviors it is clear that intimacy is what buyers, listeners, and readers crave. Typically a buyer, client, or audience needs to have an intimate attachment to our messaging. The polished, slick and often filtered snapshots on social media are not connectable messages.

Humans, as a collective want to protect themselves from judgment, pain, and disillusionment. We want to be liked. We strive to be adored. I hypothesize that the constructs of social media and the pursuit of instant gratification are a great distractor in building influence and real relationships.

The human experience is one of protection. When we are frightened we tell ourselves to self-protect. We do everything we can to armor ourselves up and protect ourselves from negative experiences.

This is where Brene Brown jumps in.

Brene Brown (if you have been hiding under a rock), is an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership. A long-time researcher and academic, Brown became famous following a widely viewed TEDx talk in 2010. Since then she has written six number-one New York Times bestselling books, hosts two podcasts, and has filmed a lecture for Netflix as well as a series about her latest book, Atlas Of The Heart on HBO Max.

Take it over Brene:

When we’re afraid, even our neurobiology screams ARMOR UP. Everything screams, “Self protect!” As Brown says, if we want to be consciously daring, we need to say no armor. We have to double down on being both transparent and vulnerable. If you’re feeling beat up right now, you’re in good company. The easy thing is to self-protect, but if you want to keep moving toward your mission, you’ve got to refuel.

The hybrid of Maverick and Brene:

How can we, as professionals up our game with emotional integrity? Quite simply it is to take calculated risks and be authentic. Ask yourself- are feeling burnout from doing everything and nothing is happening? If the answer is yes, read on. Personal and professional satisfaction starts with self-awareness.

Building your personal or professional brand begins on a journey of discovery.

The Maverick-Inspired tips to holistic growth:

Tip #1: The Mission

First and foremost, my favorite tool is writing a mission statement. There is profound power in seeing the foundation of your vision and values scrawled on paper. A mission statement cannot simply be written and read.

Your mission statement needs to be lived.

A mission statement needs to articulate why you exist, what you stand for and the goals you strive for. On paper, your mission statement is powerful. However, inaction nullifies your mission. A mission statement is only powerful when you take inspired action.

I am obsessed with the power of a mission statement. It can be a confusing exercise in putting pen to paper-so I often recommend Franklin Covey's Mission Statement Builder. This mission statement builder is easy to follow and prompts you with questions to curate a statement that reflects where you are and where you want to go.

Tip #2: Take Inspired Action

Once you have taken a moment to articulate a purpose-driven mission the journey begins. When you soak in the profound reflection of your earthly existence, you are called to action. Take inspired action. Nothing happens when you are complacent in your life. A real-life maverick takes inspired action in alignment with their purpose. A maverick is unorthodox and edgy. A maverick lives life on the edge.

Be a maverick.

A maverick: An unorthodox or independent-minded person

Be vulnerable, yet do not overshare. Audiences crave the hero story. Audiences crave someone they connect with who took a leap of faith. Audiences adore the hero story and kicking fear in the face.

  • What is your hero story?

  • What can you do differently?

  • How can you take calculated risks to share your story and brand?

I am obsessed with sharing my story on podcasts. My story weaves tales of low self-esteem, people-pleasing, perfectionism, divorce, trials in parenting, and the search to leave my legacy on earth. These are the stories that connect me with my audience.

Tip #3: Pitch Yourself

Get out there. Pitch yourself on different mediums. Write a blog. Write a book. Get creative with the story you need to tell. I know blogging is something I am passionate about. I understand the power of SEOs. (I love KEYWORDS EVERYWHERE for SEO boosts).

Court Google with reckless abandon. Once you understand the mission that you are firmly rooted in-start creating. Send out press releases (I love EIN Presswire). Pitch yourself to podcasts. After all, guesting on a podcast is essentially free marketing.

Pitch yourself to media outlets. Your story needs to be heard. Building relationships through the vehicle of media expedites your overall mission. Get your voice heard the right way. Take calculated risks that disseminate your message. Be unabashedly you and build authentic relationships through your story.

Just like Maverick.

#maverik #topgun #brenebrown #daringtolead #googleyourself #calculatedrisks #franklincovey #missionstatement #keywordseverywhere #garryehall #usnavy

You got this- Jules

P.S. I just had the opportunity to interview the original Maverick, helicopter pilot, and really nice human and family man, Rear Admiral Garry E. Hall. Garry served as the national security advisor to the president and has a podcast called Admiral's Almanac. Garry embodies the gusto of Maverick and stays rooted in his mission.

Watch it here!

And do not forget to share your voice. Share your stories on podcasts!

Find out here how to guest on podcasts! (I am a little obsessed)

For more information about creating a powerful brand check out some of my other articles!

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Updated: Nov 17, 2022

This is an age-old conundrum. Should you stay at home or should you pursue a career? Momhood is hard. Let's put all our cards on the table. Being a parent is the hardest thing we will ever do. There is no definitive manual when we are gifted these new, shiny humans and how hard the road ahead will be.

To be frank, many of us need to work. We have mouths to feed. We have bills to pay. Unemployment is not an option. I honor those mommas who are fighting for a better life for their babies. Yet, I often wonder, who is happier? Is the working mother happier because she is fulfilled outside of the home? Or is the stay-at-home momma happier because she has the ability to be with her babies every single moment?

“Just as there is no warning for childbirth, there is no preparation for the sight of a first child. There should be a song for women to sing at this moment or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name the moment.”Anita Diamant

I often tell the tale that pre-momhood I would think to myself that I will be the coolest mom in the universe. This narrative came to a screeching halt when I was reminded that I am mean, unfair, or brutal in my course corrections. Each teenager that wafts into my life (meaning my boys) reminds me daily that I have screwed something up as a parent. Bottom line, whatever choice we make as a parent will eventually be challenged by someone, somewhere.

My gentle entry into being a working mom was facilitated by the need to be around adults and foster my creativity. During this 20-year span of motherhood, I graduated from law school, graduated with a master's certification in life coaching, worked at an international Aupair agency and launched two businesses. I immersed myself in a career trajectory on the notion that my children come first. I always worked from home and I always had help.

According to the American Psychological Association: Mothers with jobs tend to be healthier and happier than moms who stay at home during their children’s infancy and pre-school years, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers analyzed the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development data, beginning in 1991 with interviews of 1,364 mothers shortly after their child’s birth and including subsequent interviews and observations spanning more than 10 years. The findings were published in the December issue of APA’s Journal of Family Psychology®.

“In all cases with significant differences in maternal well-being, such as the conflict between work and family or parenting, the comparison favored part-time work over full-time or not working,” said lead author Cheryl Buehler, Ph.D., professor of human development and family studies, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “However, in many cases, the well-being of moms working part-time was no different from moms working full time.”

Mom guilt is a real thing. We are tested by our own perception of what we should be doing and what we are doing wrong. We are tested with every choice we make and are put under a microscope that analyzes every choice. The most important thing is to have a deep awareness of your needs and your family's needs. It is important that when you make the decision to work or be a stay-at-home mom, you are very firm in your stance. If you are grounded in your purpose, naysayers have no power.

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The marriage of routine and predictability is the armor many of us wear to protect ourselves from disruption. Our brains love habits. Our brains adore routines. When we are jarred out of an existing routine or habit our instinct directs us to flee. This fight or flight mechanism, while necessary to avoid harm, has been conditioned to alert us when things get a bit uncomfortable.

The place of comfort and routine is not a bad place to live because not all people are called to live on the brink. However, those who have heard a subtle cry that they are meant to live a big life understand that residing in the status quo is not enough.

If you are an entrepreneur or creative, you know the status quo is your worst enemy. This can be more of a challenge if you are an introvert. According to Very Well Mind, the word introvert is used to describe someone who tends to turn inward, meaning they focus more on internal thoughts, feelings, and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation. You might hear people use the words withdrawn or introspective as synonyms for an introvert.

I know this for a fact. I know that I have been tickled by the voice in the back of my head for years. This powerful voice has no name, shape, or quantitative algorithm. As mysterious as this message is, it is so familiar because it is my voice. It is the voice that knows I am not living in alignment with my purpose. It is my voice that tells me that I am not seeking fame or fortune. It is my voice telling me that I am destined to take inspired action. It is my voice reminding me of my finite existence here on earth.


Living on the brink is where we prepare for change. I made a vow this year that I would do things that really scare me. For example, public speaking is something I have avoided for the past decade. The idea of having a captive audience-focused solely on my words is frightening. Truth be told, I decidedly chose not to speak publicly after I blacked out arguing a case in front of a federal judge. I did not pass out, I did not make a spectacle, but I literally have no memory of my passionate plea for justice. I created a narrative of fear and protected myself from the dark cloud of anxiety.


This is how you kick fear in the face and live on the verge of change.

  • Attack your fears weakness. Fear loves isolation. Fear loves when you do not have anyone to talk to. Be proactive in changing fear's narrative and reach out to friends, online or offline communities, and family members.

  • Scare your fear away. Remind your brain that by not tacking your fear of _________________ (insert your fear here), you will be living a small life. Remind yourself that residing in your comfort zone will lead you to a lifetime of woulda, coulda, shouldas.

  • Take the leap, messy and all. Record a video, jump out of a plane, speak on a stage, start a side hustle and do it with gusto. Do the thing that scares you the most with the eye of a tiger. Do that thing and do it like no one is watching. After all, the moment you take your final breath don't regret that fear was the director of your life.

You've Got This--Jules

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