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Wildflower Philosophy “Knowing Your No”

THIS WEEK’S QUOTE: “Go to hell,” Samatha Baker, Sixteen Candles to Farmer Ted when he was testing her boundaries on the bus. 

How do you feel about the word “no?” I feel conflicted.

There’s a whole list of things I say “yes” to that I really want to say “no” to. 

But sometimes I’m scared to speak my truth.

Then there are things I say “no” to that I really want to say “yes” to. 

But sometimes I’m scared to speak my truth.

Sound familiar?

In the past few years, I’ve been working on both. I’ve had to say “no” to people and situations that are just too draining for me to be connected to any longer but I felt guilt cutting ties. And I’ve had to say “yes” to things that terrified me to do but I felt insecure that I could actually pull it off.

In both cases, I’ve really examined how I’m spending my time on earth and — to my surprise — have pushed my own limits and challenged my own disbeliefs to see what I’m really made of.

At this moment, I can honestly say I’ve never felt so happy, safe, free and powerful. I wish the same for you.

We are told at a young age to do something “because it’s the right thing to do” even if that leads to guilt, shame, resentment or anger because it’s the opposite of what your gut is telling you to do.

And often we are told “you can’t do that” because the authoritive figure is worried you’ll get hurt or fail. Once again wiring your brain to ignore your intuition of whether or not you CAN actually do it.

A “NO” can take you down two different paths (depending if the “no” should be a yes or if the yes should be a “no”).

Life is not a dress rehearsal. How are you spending your time on earth?


You know to treat others the way you’d like to be treated. But how about treating yourself the way you’d like others to treat you.

For List #1, write down what you say “yes” to that you’d really like to say “no” to and the emotion you’d feel if you did say “no.” Then ask yourself, if this is how you’d like to feel for the rest of your life? Because nothing changes if nothing changes. As always, start small with tiny turtle steps and slowly add in your “no” response as you can. 

Build upon it until it’s just non-negotiable and you can really release yourself from being all tied up. You hold the key. YOU hold the key.

For List #2, write down what you say “no” to that you’d really like to say “yes” to and the emotion you’d feel if you did say “yes.” Then ask yourself, if THIS is how you’d like to feel for the rest of your life? Because nothing changes if nothing changes. As always, start small with tiny turtle steps and slowly add in your “yes” response as you can. 

Build upon it until it’s just non-negotiable and you become the wind in your sails not the speed bump in your road.

THIS WEEK’S RECOMMENDATION: Your Practical Magic “Knowing Your No” (I’m one of the hosts). 

When you speak your truth despite the guilt of saying “no” or in the face of the vulnerability in saying “yes” it elevates you to a whole new level. A total game changer.

Love, Gennifer

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5 Tips to Navigate Your Career Path from the Starting Line

Launching a career can feel overwhelming especially if this is your very first time. That’s why I’m sharing 5 tips I’ve followed for over 30+ years which still ring true today. I hope you find these inspiring and helpful.

#1 – “There is no such thing as no,” my parents. 

Your wishes, goals and dreams are your fire. They may be a slow burn or they may feel urgent. You’ll discover speed bumps and traffic jams in your way. Whether someone says no to hiring you or another type of “no” pops up, it is YOUR job to find a “yes.” 

Use your internal WAZE to find another route to get there. Be open and allow the information to come to you intuitively (the way WAZE relies on messages from everywhere to help guide you on the best route). 

When I interviewed for my first internship, I met with the HR person from MTV Networks (with hopes of accomplishing my dream of working for Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite). She told me “you’re not MTV Networks materials” and dismissed me right there. I landed an internship another way, at Comedy Central (sister network to Nickelodeon) and from there I met someone at the xerox machine and he began to mentor me. He also knew someone in Nickelodeon Animation and helped me get in for an interview. I got the internship, stayed in the company for 17 years and won Runner Up for Employee of the Year in my first few years. You must find an alternative route to get where you are going if you hit a traffic jam, an idiot cross guard or anything else that tries to stand in your way.

MOTTO: I am receiving the guidance I need to find my yes.

#2 – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” Maya Angelou.

I’d say about 40% of my career, I was hired based on how I made someone feel. I am skilled, experienced and can figure things out too but really I cannot tell you how many times I was told that I was needed because of my ability to work with difficult people.

You do not have to be a pushover and you most certainly should have boundaries. But the way you communicate and your actions are something that will be a top reason why someone does (or does not) work with you.

I treated everyone (regardless of title) the exact same way. 

“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” A Golden Rule.

MOTTO: I am surrounded by unconditional love + return that energy to everyone I meet.

#3 – “Don’t Dream It, Be It,” Frank N Furter, Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I like this version of “fake it until you make it” much better because it feels less like you are scamming people and more like you are practicing to be your greatness.

Do not let “not knowing how” stop you. You are a smart and capable individual who absolutely can figure it out. Here are some ideas to build you confidence:

  1. Study and emulate someone you admire and want to be like. Choose an area or two that you’d like to improve and model their actions until it’s your own natural behavior. When I was in college heading to my first interviews I was scared. I chose to emulate Erika Kane (a character from the soap opera, All My Children) because she was confident, unshakable and really went for what she wanted. I entered many interviews and eventually meetings at my first job until my version was ready to let go of her.
  2. Volunteer! If you want to gain new skills and experience, you can often get that chance in volunteer situations. Organizations such as non-profits or networking groups are often low on budget and in desperate need of more hands to get their work done. Your willingness to take something on and figure it out as you go can really level up your abilities, confidence and future. You will also meet many mentors or future colleagues who will remember their experience working with you. You are planting the seeds for your success garden!
  3. Create your own curriculum. Search for books, podcasts,videos, bootcamps and workshops that offer intel and guidance but also feel like the right voice for you. I’m not a cook (my family can back me up on this) but I can make dinner if I find a recipe or watch a tutorial video. And with practice I occasionally make something that people actually like. Also replace the word “can’t” with “can” and continue until it’s not even a question if you can or can’t.

MOTTO: I am safe to show up as my authentic self and capable of achieving my goals.

#4 “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein

Stay relevant by always learning. You don’t need to be an expert, just be open to new ideas, new data or even new areas of interest that you have absolutely no interest in. For example, I could read Popular Mechanics Magazine. Other than being an amazing parallel parker, I have zero interest in cars. I don’t even care what kind of car I drive (although I do love heated seats). But an article in that magazine might spark a new idea for me or give me some intel that will help me later in something unrelated. 

So watch a documentary, read a book, take a class or just go to a hobby store one day and pick up something you’ve never tried. I remember having such an engaging conversation with my grandmother’s 90-something year old boyfriend about the Comcast purchase of NBC. He knew more than me and he never worked in TV. He just paid attention to things and enjoyed knowing stuff. And his questions and thoughts made me grow just from that one conversation. What a gift for both of us.

#5 – “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great,” Zig Zigler.

Sometimes the enormity of what you want to do can take your breath away. But analysis paralysis is not your friend. Just take tiny turtle steps each day. 

Here are examples of tiny turtle steps:

  • Organize and declutter your workspace
  • Spend 10 min on LinkedIn following some companies or leaders you’d want to work with
  • Create a vision board
  • Go for a walk and listen to a business audiobook 
  • Just showing up to a free talk counts

And now for your homework:  Once a month, reach out to 1 person for an informational interview. Ask if they have 20-30 min for a phone call, zoom or in-person coffee (your treat) to share their career journey with you as you explore what you’d like to do. 

This is one of the most important things. It helps you get clarity and at the same time builds your network. Be sure to thank them afterwards with a few takeaways you got from their story and even update them as you progress in your career.

When I asked one of my first mentors how I could ever thank him, he just said “pay it forward.” And I continue to do so 30+ years later.

MOTTO: I have the knowledge I need to create the future I want.

And you do!

What I #ChooseToChallenge on International Women’s Day #IWD2021

Today is International Women’s Day and I #ChooseToChallenge believing, repeating and perpetuating that once we are over 40 or 50 or 60 or 70, we are nearing the end of our career.

I recently attended a networking group I’ve belonged to for many years. It’s all women in one industry who are connecting each other to job leads, supporting one another and so on. Many in the group had been laid off over the past few years and were fully blaming it on age. They seemed like they were ready to throw in the towel and just shrink into non-existence (that might not be what they intended but that is how they came across to me). 

These 3 photos of me were taken in my 20s, my 40s and on my 50th birthday. My interior has not changed. I am still the same person with the same hunger to play and have fun and to learn new skills and achieve new goals. And I will not take “no” for an answer. If we choose to believe, repeat and perpetuate that people of a certain age are no longer valuable then we block ourselves from continuing ahead with growth. Learn something new, forge your own path. 

I have forged my own path many times and will continue to do so until my body is donated to science (or just put out with the trash with my hat on as Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show once requested).

Most of my clients right now are people ages 45-77 (you heard that right) who are on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th career. And they are killing it! They didn’t wait for permission. They do not believe they are done. And guess, what? Not only do they know how to open a PDF and use google drive but they are perfectly capable of signing into a zoom and are familiar with Clubhouse and how to use Instagram. Believe me, they are alive and well.

So today, on International Women’s Day I #ChooseToChallenge believing, then repeating and then perpetuating the ridiculous idea that you can no longer be what you want, who you want, however you want. Now, if you’ll excuse me,  I need to use a 14 point font and change my screen view to 150% to see what I just wrote.