The following is a guest blog post by the extremely talented Marieanna Dulas, a new colleague and  creator of Healthy-Desires.com. For more info about Marieanne and her work, please see her bio & info at the bottom of the post.

IMG_1683

I have learned that one of the most empowering things in life is getting a room full of motivated, passionate women and letting them talk about life, families, experiences and how to be successful.

At the end of August, I was blessed to have the opportunity to go with my mother to the Voya Women’s Forum in Baltimore. Being surrounded by so many successful and inspiring women was a life-changing event. Each and every woman there taught me there are a million different ways to get to the same goal you just have to want it bad enough.

The two and a half day conference was absolutely amazing. I came to the conference not knowing what to expect and left with a notebook full of inspiring quotes, tips, to-do’s and email addresses of some very prominent and inspiring women. Voya (once known as ING) is definitely doing things right. The financial world is packed full of many successful men and that can be intimidating for women. Yet, Voya has made it a priority to hold women networking events to bring all of their women together to collaborate about how they are finding success at work, at home and in life!

Meridith was our first keynote speaker so you can only imagine the boom this forum started with! Her positivity and excitement put me in a my friends VOYAtrance. You know that feeling when someone’s words really touch your soul? You forget where you are and it feels like it’s just you and that person in the room? That’s how Meridith made me feel and I realized success is as easy or as difficult as you make it. At that time I realized there was nothing I cannot do. Here is some of her advice that made success a reality for me:

“Don’t be focused on what you don’t know. Focus on what you do. Make the choice to thrive. It’s that simple. Simply make the choice.”

When Meridith stated this I wish I had a mirror to see my reaction. Who would have thought it would be that simple. We all get caught up in making everything so challenging because we feel that to be successful it must be difficult. Which it can be don’t get me wrong, success is difficult because you have to be determined, you have to be focused and you have to make a choice. You also have to decide what success means to you. Does it mean you make a lot of money, you love your job, or you are changing lives?

Let me tell you a little story about myself. I worked in the marketing world where I was tied behind a desk answering emails to clients all day long. I hadn’t actually met one client, yet had a very good relationship with many of them. I was good at what I did and loved building the rapport with someone half way across the U.S., but I didn’t feel successful. I felt the relationships were based around making sure their marketing materials were being printed and shipped on time, but I didn’t feel I was making a difference in anyone’s life. For me, although I was good at what I did, success meant having real relationships with people face-to-face while making a difference. I was determined to find that success.

IMG_1714Two days after I got back from the forum, I started a coaching job for a small university in Wisconsin. The choice to take the job was a very difficult one since the money and relationships at my marketing firm were holding me back. But once I focused on what success meant to me, I made the choice to follow my dreams and took the risk to thrive, it was that simple. I just simply needed to make the choice. Now I feel more success than I have in my entire life!

“Be determined you are going to make it.”

We all feel the pressure of the society to get everything done yesterday. And many times we get caught wondering and searching how successful people in our job line do their job well, when really the answer lies within us. Be determined that you are going to make it and you will. There is no right or wrong way of getting to where you want to be, so don’t look for answers through other people. This is the case in the financial business, in the marketing business, in absolutely any business you are in.

“Focus on HOW you do it, not WHAT you do.

Every single woman at this forum lived the motto, “Focus on HOW you do it, not WHAT you do.” They all are advisors, leading others into a better financial future. With so many ways to be successful, no two women were alike in HOW they do their jobs. How inspiring is it to know that we can draw the road map for our own destiny??

“Celebrate every single moment.”

Take 10 minutes every day to celebrate every moment. Be thankful for what you have and focus on the positive. For when we focus on the good, we see the good that happens in every day!

“Life is a choice. It’s the choices you make that decide how happy and successful you will be!”

I would like to thank Voya and Meridith for the amazing opportunity and the life lessons they have taught me at this forum. Life is all about choices, it’s that simple!

MarieAnna-DulasMarieanna Dulas is a Division III Golf and Basketball Coach at Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI. She worked in a small marketing firm right out of college before she took the risk and followed her dreams into the coaching world where she found success in helping college students through the challenges of college life every single day. You can read more about Marieanna on her blog at http://healthy-desires.com/. Connect with Marieanna through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.