Tuesday, September 15, 2009

18. More Than Meets The Eye

Dear Followers,

Were you able to guess which trait the following women share: Harper's Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey, Cher, actress America Ferrera, and TV chef Rachel Ray ? Each of these high achievers had been - at some point in their lives and/or their careers - been underestimated. Has that ever happened to you? I'm willing to bet that very few (if any) women find themselves " overestimated," so most of us learn from an early age to acknowledge and then accelerate through the condescension that often comes from people who assume that we can't do what we say we can.

Not surprisingly, it seems that stories of women of accomplishment come to my attention on a daily basis. Over the weekend, I learned about Karen Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics. A graduate of Wellesley, she learned at the age of 18 that she had a form of retinitis pigmentosa. By the time she was in her early thirties her vision had deteriorated enough for her to be "significantly disabled." In spite of her challenges she (with the help of her husband) runs her own company in Washington D.C. that examines the impact of legislation on companies. She and her guide dog show up for meetings together and in her spare time she works for Foundation Fighting Blindness and she power walks on weekends.

The closing quote of the day is from Helen Gurley Brown, who transformed Cosmopolitan Magazine into an international juggernaut: "If you have some daily anguish from some cause that's not really your fault - a rotten family, bad health, nowhere looks, serious money problems. nobody to help you, minority background...rejoice! These things are your fuel."

Looking forward to your comments...

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