• Ala-Dean R. Naghmoush

4 Lessons Learned From The Women In My Life.

In 26 years, I have been extremely fortunate to have had some incredible women in my life. From my mother, friends, coworkers, and bosses, each and every one of these women have shaped my perspective on life in ways I will forever be grateful for.

Here are 4 lessons I have learned from the women in my life:

Lesson #1

The Women: My Mother

The Lesson: You can get what you want by gentle pressure, relentlessly applied.

A weekend activity that my mother and I still do to this day, is frequent garage sales and thrift stores on Saturday mornings in search of the next great deal.

My mother comes from a culture where everything was negotiable, and you would be foolish to not try and negotiate the best deal possible. Her secret: “You can get what you want by gentle pressure, relentlessly applied”.

It would take some time for me to grasp this concept growing up, but once I did, it changed my approach to negotiation. Looking back, it has helped me:

  • As a child, convincing my parents to buy me a pack of Dunkaroos while shopping.

  • As a teen, working my way to a later curfew.

  • As an adult, negotiating a better job offer and salary.

Lesson #2

The Women: A Marketing & Communications Manager

The Lesson: Slow down and take your time.

I was 22, and as part of my schooling I had the opportunity to take part in multiple internships to gain experience in the marketing world prior to graduating.

One experience in particular will always stick with me.

I was working as an intern where a large part of the job was content development (emails, newsletters, blogs). I did not mind the work, but it was not what I was passionate about. I was always in a rush to get the “busy work” done, that it lead to making ridiculous mistakes that a 9th grader would have caught.

Eventually, it lead to a chat where the lesson of “Slow down and take your time. Your work is not going to be any more impressive if it’s done in an hour and riddled with mistakes” came to light. It made me realize that no one is going to die if I take a little bit longer to do the work properly.

That struck a cord. Every job since, I have taped a post-it on my keyboard with that lesson. It has made a world of a difference.

Lesson #3

The Women: A pair of Brand Specialists

The Lesson: Learn to check your emotions.

Everyone deals with stress and emotions, it is inevitable. The key becomes how you remain composed when dealing with it.

Not too long ago I found myself in a situation where my work stress was finding it’s way home and visa versa. It was creating a toxic pool of emotions in my brain that I was not connected too at all.

Through an impromptu lunch and an early morning coffee chat, that quickly turned around. A pair of Brand Specialists I worked with at the time quickly made me realize that I was projecting what I was feeling and that I needed to “Learn how to check my emotions” to avoid feeling out of control.

I was about to make huge emotionally driven mistakes in my personal and work life. Without these two, I would be living in a world of regret right now.

Lesson #4

The Women: The Best Friend

The Lesson: A spirit of jealousy and comparison will be poison.

There is a story here that is not ready to be told yet. I will save that for another day. The lesson here can be captured in one line:

We are meant to do life with people, not against them.

It is human nature to compare ourselves to others, often it is what causes us to be motivated and take action. However, it is when this comparison becomes bitter and resentful that it becomes a serious issue.

Take the time to collaborate and celebrate with others all while enjoy thing your life journey.

Through 26 years of learning from my mother, growing with my sister, developing with my co-workers and forming lifelong friendships, I am forever grateful for each and every single one of the women in my life now and in the future.

Ntozake Shange once said “Where there is a women, there is magic”, and I could not agree more.



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