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Where Did You Start?

This is me before my high school graduation.

The photos are fuzzy.

Yes, that’s a Marborlo light in my mouth. I started smoking when I was fourteen years old, and it took me until my mid-thirties to stop completely.

I used one of the photos during a presentation I gave over the summer about executive presence (let’s call it presence, not everyone I work with is an executive).

Now one of the photos is featured on a podcast episode my friend Rebecca recorded.

(check it out here)

Even though I knew she was going to share the photo,  I cringed a little inside when it popped up in my LinkedIn feed.

What will people think?

Who do you think you are, talking about presence?”


My mind flashed to a recent conversation with another consultant here in town. I told her that I am writing a book about presence.

Her reply?

Didn’t someone already write the book on that?


Many people write about presence, no doubt.  I won’t be the first or the last, nor should I be.

There can’t be enough of us sharing about what we’ve learned about getting to where we want to be in an open, honest and (dare I say it) vulnerable way.

It’s easy to get sucked into the idea that presence is a state you can achieve and maintain permanently if you “do all the right things.”

If you do “just one more thing”, then you’ll have it “right.”

That’s not the way it works for me, for my clients, or for you.

Mastering the set of skills required for “presence,” heck, determining what skills you want to develop your version of presence, takes time, practice, failure and the willingness to get up and try again.

Presence is a process, not a destination.

I share my stories, struggles, my wins, and my pictures because we all start somewhere.

Wherever that somewhere is or was for you, is exactly what it was meant to be.






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