One of the questions I get often is, “what do you attribute to your success?” Usually, without pause I lead with, “I’m consistent.” I’ve learned that being someone people can always count on and are able to trust has opened up many doors for me. It has also helped me in my personal and professional relationships.

In my personal relationships, I’ve found being consistent has helped me build strong, lasting friendships - some that I’ve had over twenty years. Recently while chatting with a friend, they made it a point to say that they feel they can always count on me. I didn’t tell them, but their words meant a lot. Reflecting on why, I realized it was because it matters to me that others see me as a reliable person - someone that’s consistent.

Just like in my personal life, In business I also strive to be consistent. One of the ways I achieve this is by making it a point to manage my clients’ expectations. When I communicate clearly what should be expected and then follow up with measured results, a solid track record follows. Being a business owner for 8 years now, consistency has proven to be key.

There certainly are areas where I seek to be more consistent. One example is flossing. However, even with the places where I recognize there is room for improvement, I am quick to give myself credit in the areas where I hit the mark. The most important thing is the recognition and once you have that, it’s just about doing it…just being consistent.

I believe that one’s capacity to grow is directly associated with one's openness to grow. The opportunity to do so can be presented in a number of ways; broadening your network, formulating new thoughts through reading and research, and continued education, training or certification.

Growth can come in different forms. One of the ways this can happen is through broadening your network. This could be joining an organization focused in an industry or area of interest or joining a meet-up with like minded enthusiasts - opening the door to conversations that can expand your views. It could also be attending a social or networking event that could help grow your business or your contact list.

Another way that growth can be achieved is through focused reading on a subject. Learning through reading and even note taking can be a valuable way to retain information. Taking this a step further and doing research using a number of different sources can allow you to cross reference what you’ve learned and allows for a more comprehensive approach in using reading to grow in an area. With the convenience of books on audio, this is a great way to gain more understanding of a topic on the go. It’s also true that some retain information better by hearing it, then reading it.

If you find that your time and schedule can accommodate, going back for additional education or training can be a great way to grow. In doing so you can benefit from meeting new people. And, what many are seeking, an increase in salary, revenue or promotion. Certifications can also be a great way to advance in an area. Generally, the time frame of completion is in a matter of weeks but the end results can yield significant value.

If you're living, it’s likely you're also learning and growing whether directly or indirectly. Having an openness to growing through networking, reading or additional education can produce unlimited benefits. Consider taking some time over the next couple of months to evaluate ways you can continue to grow. I’m certain you’ll find the reward will be invaluable.

I don’t know about you, but my happiness meter seems to naturally go up the moment the season of Summer steps on the scene. It could be because I’m more intentional about my work-life balance, or because it stays daylight for a longer period during the day, or because I get to enjoy some of my favorite foods on the grill. It could also be because my birthday is in the Summer and I tend to always be super happy around that time of year!

I’m very dedicated to my work, but nothing makes me more happy than having time to experience life. I’m always game for a trip and I still get excited to take plane rides. Shopping is at the top of the list for my favorite things to do and I’m the happiest when I’m shopping at some of my favorite boutiques. Among my other favorite things, recently, I’ve started finding enjoyment attending live concerts. It’s always a vibe hearing your favorite artist live.

If you know me, you know I love food…good food to be exact! I don’t cook as much as I used to, but I’m happily content eating at my favorite restaurants. It doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! In the Summer I’m always game for backyard cookouts and I find that there is nothing like well cooked meats and veggies off the grill! My favorites are ribs, chicken, corn, zucchini, and squash.

I also love birthdays! Having a Summer birthday is likely a part of the reason I find myself noticeably more happy during this time of year. I tend to reflect on how thankful I am. I generally always celebrate in a big way, whether that’s taking a trip, having a party, or having a more intimate dinner party with a small gathering of family and friends. I’m so blessed to see another year and I like to celebrate with those around me.

It’s easy with everything going on around us, socially, politically, personally and even professionally to question whether we deserve to be happy. I say you do! Life is too short and regardless of what’s going on around you, find time to express and enjoy the things that fulfill you and make you HAPPY!!