I’m Humbled!

Kathryn Wheat BirthdayIf you know much about me at all, you know how much I love birthdays. My birthday is today, October 9, but I like to call October my birthday month. Yes, I celebrate the whole month!


Kathryn DennenI am honored to share this birthday with many other very special people, most notably, my beautiful Goddaughter and namesake, Kathryn Dennen

Hank Moore



and the famous Hank Moore, who was kind enough to write the most remarkable foreword ever for my recent book, Networking: Naked & Unafraid.


I feel like birthdays are the one day that it’s okay to let it be about me. So many of us are motivators for others. It’s what we love and what we spend our lives doing. We seldom allow others to give to us. It almost feels selfish if we do. I think on our birthday, it’s allowed! It’s our time to be loved on, motivated and inspired.


One of my favorite things that I do every single day is to reach out to others on their birthdays and wish them happiness. It isn’t just an exercise that I go through. I really do think about people on their birthdays and truly wish them the best. Social Media has made it really easy to keep up with people as it has also expanded my circle of “friends”.


On my journey over the last 6 years, I have been honored to connect with so many special people who I now call friend. So many of you have been there for me with kind words, inspiration, advice and motivation just when I needed it. You may not even be aware of  how much you’ve helped me but you have kept me going.


Today I am blown away by all the wishes I have received. I’ve gotten a love note, cards, phone calls with Birthday songs in more than one language, texts, emails, Facebook posts, private messages, LinkedIn messages and tons of love. All the positive vibes and energy coming my way truly overwhelm me.


I am very aware that some of the messages have come from people who are hurting, lost jobs, lost loved ones, are stricken with disease and suffering in so many ways. The fact that they have taken a moment to think about me on my day is so very humbling. It is an honor to have friends like this.


I say, “thank you” to each of you. You have inspired and touched me and all I can hope to do is somehow reciprocate. I sincerely care about all of you and wish you the best of everything in your life! You are INCREDIBLE!

It’s the little things that matter

Ms Janets house

Today, I was just arriving home, when my good neighbor, Grandma Janet, as we call her, called me to take a look at her new curtains. I had plans to go straight to my home office and tackle my “To Do List.” I thought I’d go for just a few minutes. She asked if I wanted something to drink and I said; “why not?” We sat, we talked, we looked at pictures and we enjoyed the moment of a rainy day viewed through her breakfast room window. It was time well spent!

I have to say that I love going to her house! Let me tell you why. I once had a Grandmother who loved me very much. I was the apple of her eyes! The thing is that we lived together and even though I have great memories of her, I never got to experience “going to grandma’s house.” Going to Ms. Janet’s is what “going to grandma’s” is. Every time I go to her house, I’m not particularly thirsty or hungry, but she always has something we can sit at the table with. What I love the most is enjoying her cookie jar collection, her “Gone with the Wind” collection and her nursery rhyme characters collection. All these things are proper of a grandmother.

It is easy to talk to someone when you have time, but sometimes we need to free our time to talk to someone. It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.

Those are the little things that matter! Making time to enjoy someone’s company, a cup of coffee or just a conversation on a rainy day.

Never be too busy for the people you love. Never allow pursuits or possessions to become bigger priorities than our relationships.

Face Value


Look at that precious face! When you look at an infants face you see purity. You see innocence and truth. Babies don’t have ulterior motives. There are no cries without true discomfort. There are no games or politics. When does that begin to change? When do we start telling half-truths and manipulating with our words and actions? Is it just survival for us, a compulsory protection of our hearts and desires that develops into narcissism? I don’t know the answers to these questions but I do know that children start learning manipulation and deception at a pretty young age.


What is “Face Value”? It’s simplicity. It’s when you actually DON’T have to look for the hidden agenda, motive, angle, slant, what’s NOT being said, or the truth. It’s staring you in the face! Face value is purely the truth!


I have gone through much of my life expecting that what others say is the truth. I’ve generally trusted that people are genuine and authentic. I’ve chosen to believe the words that have been spoken were without ulterior motives and that my relationships were real. But along my journey, I’ve become a bit jaded because at times I’ve seen that I was occasionally wrong to trust and allow myself to become vulnerable. Unfortunately, quite often people do have agendas and motives different from what they lead you to believe.


I have noticed that when this has happened, I usually had some kind of intuition warning me, prior to full discovery of the truth, which I chose to ignore. I’ve gotten much better at listening to that intuition, discerning sincerity and seeing beyond what is being said and done. Yes, I’ve been hurt and betrayed by a few but this doesn’t cause me to want to give up. It’s just made me trust my intuitions and instincts and be smarter, braver, and more determined to be different and thrive in spite of the pain and betrayal caused by those who never matured and moved past child like self-absorption.


Wouldn’t it be nice to be known for being smart, kind, authentic, honest and forthcoming? What if every time you spoke people knew, without any doubt, there was no hidden agenda? Think of the growth we could experience in relationships if people just instinctually spoke with kindness, honesty and without expectations attached. What if we all loved like babies do? The deeper connection and trust that would inevitably develop would be incredible! Being known for speaking the truth would be mind-blowing! Your true heart would be known and understood as you speak. Think of the healing you could facilitate. Ah, what power! Power solely for good!


I want others to feel like they can take my words at “Face Value”. This is something that I want to be more conscious of and work on. I’m going to check myself when I speak to determine if my words are sincere and constructive. If I am successful, I can inspire others to do the same.

Peer to Peer Fundraising

woman on computer IBC


Note from the publisher: This information provided by my friend, Terry Arnold, is very valuable as we are all touched by stories we see from our friends on Social Media. I personally know of many instances, some VERY recently, where people have been helped tremendously by fundraising efforts set up by friends in times of need. Social Media is a great way to let people know that help is needed but it also provides an easy way for us to reach out and give. 


There are some popular 3rd party platforms online, making it fast and easy to raise funds for causes. This article is a brief overview of a few things to consider when thinking of using an online funding site, for a personal need or charity, often commonly called “peer to peer” fundraising. We are a very mobile society and sometimes physical distance is a blockade to being able to help a friend or relative. Also with the popularity of online banking, and a check book is a thing of the past, every charity depends on the web to collect funds.   Online peer to peer services allow for a way to help that is very effective.

However, the donor needs to understand that all platforms are not the same with Peer to Peer (Third party) platforms. There are an endless number of services available.   Let’s start with two popular ones: Go Fund Me, (www.gofundme.com), and Give Forward (www.giveforward.com). These services are fast, easy and can be ready to go in just minutes. All you need is a bank account (not necessarily your own), a story, a few pictures and a funding goal.

The cause can be for anything you can imagine. Wish to have your friends donate for a honeymoon instead of buying wedding gifts? Easy, just go on one of the many available sites, set it up and blast it to your peeps and hope they give via the site the $25 that they might have used to buy you a toaster! Or it could be used for more serious needs, like medical expenses. I have personally suggested third party platforms to help fill a sudden need to newly diagnosed patient facing a large deductible or the possibility of needing travel funds for non-local or specialty care.

When in need, a peer to peer platform can be just the ticket to get cash in hand, allow friends and family an easy way to chip in. Sounds too good to be true? No, but there are somethings to consider. It is really free? No, it is free to set up, but there are some small usage fees. Each transaction has a small handling fee, much like a traditional credit card transaction online. The fees cover the services of the platform. This is how it works. You have a need and a goal. You set up a page stating your need, post a few pictures and you have to give a bank account number for the donations to be deposited. For the first few days, (time depends on service used) the funds are held at the service, then after set up, deposits are made in real time into the account, minus a small credit card processing fee. Again, the fees are not usually high, and the convenient factor can far outweigh way the cost.

So what are the drawbacks? Well, there are a few things to think about. Anyone can set up an account. Peer to Peer fundraising is based off the honor system. There is not a qualifying system in peer to peer.   Also one other thing to consider is if your goal is a large one, the IRS might contact you and want their percentage as taxable income. So if you are the one setting up an account, you might need to seek professional financial advice first. Also donations to peer to peer are not tax deductible, as you are not donating to a charity but to an individual.

Remember I mentioned a qualifying system in peer to peer?   General peer to peer platforms do not have a way of qualifying a cause but there are peer to peer sites that are only allowed to be used by an IRS approved charity. One example is FirstGiving (www.firstgiving.com).   What makes FirstGiving different from general peer to peer is Firstgiving only allows 501c3 charities to use their services, giving a level of qualification to the appeal.   The charity has to register with the site, giving proof of their IRS status. Of course a charity can use their own charity site to collect online donations. Since I have outlined some of the differences you might wonder why would a charity use a service like Firstgiving?

Well, there are some social aspects that come into play.   Let’s use the American Red Cross for example. They are a well-known charity, with the ability to collect donations on their site. However, if I want to have some ownership in a project or need, I could go to the American Red Cross site on Firstgiving, (www.firstgiving.com/AmericanRedCross) citing a personal example of why I would like to see my friends join them in support. I could set a small (or large) goal and go for it.   The donations are tax deductible and the funds are placed directly to the charity bank account. A page like Firstgiving can give the driver of the cause a voice to share why this is cause is important to them. Also another feature is potential donors can see the mission statement of the charity, address and contact details and even a direct link to donate to that charity, allowing you to bypass the Firstgiving site all together.   This ability only adds to the trust factor of the site.

A page on any of the websites I am discussing all have a meter feature, allowing excitement to grow as the meter hopefully moves to the goal. This excitement factor is powerful reason a charity might use Firstgiving in addition to or even instead of their own website for a campaign.   All donations are tax-deductible.   That is an important feature if you are planning to use this deduction on your taxes or wish to have your employer match your donation.

I personally donate to peer to peer sites, as well as Firstgiving and also directly to my favorite charities. I think peer to peer online fundraising is a great service.   For an individual or for a charity, there is a place and time for each.   I hope this information will be of help to you as you make donation decisions.

Happy donating!

Terry Arnold was diagnosed with IBC in her right breast in August of 2007 after months of misdiagnosis. As if an IBC triple negative diagnosis was not enough of a blow, she discovered her left breast had traditional cancer as well. In treatment for almost a year, six months of chemo, double mastectomy, and daily radiation for 6 weeks. Outside of being the best wife possible to her husband Calvin of 35 years and mother (5), mother in law, (3) and grandmother (6 and one more arriving November 2015), she is focused on educating every person to learn more about IBC, its symptoms, best treatment plans, and funding research. She has her sights set on funding more research by as fast can donations will allow via.The IBC Network Foundation, a 501c3 she founded in August 2011, She looks forward to the day we can all remember than once, long ago, there was a disease called IBC that is now filed under an archive of past diseases because we have a cure. Hope always.

Driving Stick

looking in rearview mirrir

Sometimes, life is like driving stick shift! If you’ve ever driven a manual transmission, you’re really going to grasp what I’m talking about here.


There are times in life when we seem to be coasting, enjoying the scenery and the ride. There are no potholes, speed bumps or uphill climbs. There isn’t a lot of effort required from us to get through each day. Life is good! It’s very good!


Then there are times when it’s not effortless at all. Especially when we are facing mountains. Occasionally, we must come to a stop in order to regroup and gather strength to continue on our journey. It’s in these times that we need to keep our foot on the brake to ensure that we don’t slide backwards and crash into what’s behind us. It’s not good for us to dwell on past drama.


When driving stick, you must keep your foot on the clutch and the brake when you come to a stop on an incline. When it’s time to go, you have to be ready to move forward by simultaneously taking your foot off the brake and give it gas as you release the clutch. If you don’t give it gas, you will slide backwards and possibly crash into what’s behind you. Even if you have a slow start, it’s important to just go. You can’t be afraid to give it some gas!


In life, it’s never wise to focus too long on your past mistakes and drama. Yes, we learn from it but we must keep moving forward because it does us no good to linger or go backwards and crash. It’s okay if you have to take it slow, just drive.





Sometimes we have trouble getting started. We let fear paralyze us. This is why we need people in our lives to encourage us to step outside of our fear. It may even require a gentle push. That’s what good friends and family are for.


We all need people who will be there during the times we stall and have drama. But understand that not everyone wants to see you take off and go because they are drawn to the stall and the drama. It’s what they relate to. It’s where they are comfortable.


More importantly, we need friends who are willing to give us a push. People who have faith in us and genuinely want to see us fly!


If you need a little momentum and encouragement to get going, make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who really want to see you GO! It’s like popping the clutch. If you only hang out with those who want to sit in the car with you and talk about drama, you’ll remain stationary forever. You’ve got to have people who will give you a push and then sincerely celebrate your forward motion when you take off.