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When Dreams Become Reality by Darlene Mahon and Peggy Vasquez

We have two special guests today! Darlene Mahon and Peggy Vasquez, co-authors of Judi Moreo’s motivational self-help anthology, Life Choices: Putting the Pieces Together (Turning Point International) are here to talk about when dreams become reality.

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Darlene: “I’ve been telling stories since the time I could speak!  Just ask my parents!  My sister and I would make up stories and tell them to our cousins.  We would dream of becoming talk show hosts so we could tell the world our stories and hear others’ stories as well.  The dream of becoming an author was always there waiting for a door to open.”

Peggy: “Every since I can remember I wanted to be an author.  While growing up one of my favorite things was “playing school” with my friends and sisters.  Of course I was always the teacher.  I loved leading the class through activities and assignments.  My other favorite activity was writing.  My friend and I would write stories and imagine we were published authors.  I loved writing so much that I kept a journal all through junior high and high school.  I need to get the trunk out of my mother’s garage and dust off those old journals . . . who knows, maybe that will be the catalyst for my next book.”

Darlene & Peggy: “You may call it daydreaming…I call it making plans.”  Peggy Vasquez gave Darlene Mahon a magnet with that phrase on it and it is a perfect vision statement for their partnership.  Ten years ago they became co-workers and office mates and soon discovered they had much in common, including aspirations to become trainers, speakers and authors.  Big dreams for administrative assistants.

Ultimately, their shared passion for teaching, speaking and writing led them to this exact point in their lives.  This year their life-long dreams were realized! They experienced their first speaking engagement and first book signing.  They spoke at the national Administrative Professionals Conference to 100 people.  The session was titled, “Taking the Mystery and Misery out of Partnering with your Manager.”  Their excitement grew as they entered the room to embrace the opportunity they had envisioned for so long.  They examined the room and checked the equipment.  They laid out their notes and tested their microphones.  As they were preparing, the staff began placing more chairs in the room.  There was more interest in the class and they needed to fill the room with chairs!  The sign near the door read “maximum capacity 89” however the room was set for 110!  As they enthusiastically greeted attendees they calmed their nerves by focusing on the attendees instead of themselves.  They set their sights on delivering the material to a hungry audience.  The class began and after 90 minutes concluded.  Everything went so well it seemed as if it were a dream, almost surreal.  The attendee’s response was overwhelming and many approached Peggy and Darlene afterward thanking them for valuable information and asking them to stay in touch by sharing their business cards.

Immediately following the session they experienced their first book signing.  The adrenaline was flowing.  As they walked out of the conference, they paused to pinch themselves just in case!  Yep, they were awake and embracing the moment when dreams become reality.

Peggy Vasquez has been an executive assistant for top executives for more than a decade.  In addition to providing daily support to C-level executives, she is called upon to provide leadership and training. Peggy has led executive assistant teams and together they have designed and implemented many successful programs for administrative staff, including: Award of Administrative Excellence, Annual Office Professionals Seminar, Administrative New Hire Training, Quarterly Administrative Development Forums, National Award Recognition, Personality Profile Training, and a Mentoring Program. Peggy’s belief in the value of the administrative professional inspires her to share her passion, knowledge, and techniques to empower others to succeed.

Peggy Vasquez may be contacted at:

www.ActingOnBehalfOf.com

ActingonBehalfof@hotmail.com

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Follow me on my blog: http://peggyvasquez.blogspot.com/

Darlene Mahon has worked as an administrative assistant for over 25 years.  She has embraced opportunities to provide training to other administrative staff over the years and is currently scheduled to train at two national administrative conferences in the fall of 2010.  She actively participates in community theatre, has performed in local commercials and corporate training videos.  Darlene’s compassionate, empathetic presence resonates with audiences everywhere.

Darlene Mahon may be contacted at:

www.ActingOnBehalfOf.com

ActingonBehalfof@hotmail.com

Join me on Facebook

Connect with me on Linkedin

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Baby boomer Kay Marshall Strom tells us how to go from ordinary to extra-ordinary

We have a special guest blogger today.  Kay Marshall Strom, author of nonfiction baby boomer book, The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire – Use Your Time, Skills & Resources to Change the World (Moody Publishers), is here to tell us how to go from ordinary to extra-ordinary!

Ordinary Second-Half Adventurers

by Kay Marshall Strom

So, what kind of people seek out a Second-Half Adventure?  Who decides simple retirement isn’t for them?  That sleeping late and golf and such is all well and good but they would rather use their lifetime of accumulated skills and resources to change the world?

Well, as it turns out, lots of ordinary people. And some pretty extra-ordinary ones, too.

You would probably consider Charlie extraordinary—unless you also grew up in a mafia family.  Charlie knew two things: power and money.  He learned early how to get what he wanted, often through intimidation. As an adult, he started a financial planning business, and it was hugely profitable. Charlie was a tough guy, he had money, and he had power.  True, at forty-three his third marriage was about to end, but he would see that it ended on his terms.  Then a strange thing happened.  Charlie’s wife went to church. He mocked her and he ridiculed her, but she went anyway. When he saw he wasn’t going to stop her, he grudgingly agreed to attend with her on an Easter Sunday.  And—miracle of miracles—Charlie encountered God.

When Charlie discovered church people have the same money problems as everyone else, he offered to donate his financial services.  He also started teaching classes on financial responsibility.

“Most people are surprised to learn there is more in the Bible about money than any other subject,” Charlie says.

But Charlie did more than just teach; he lived his lessons. Within two years, he and his wife were debt-free.  He sold his business and committed to work full time with Crown Financial Ministries—an interdenominational organization dedicated to teaching biblical financial principles and helping people apply them.

“Christians should model good financial stewardship,” Charlie insists.  “Imagine if we pointed the way in these hard financial times by living without debt!”

Okay, so Charlie isn’t ordinary. But Kathy would certainly describe herself that way.  When her engineer husband, Clint, was tapped to go with a group from their church to Venezuela and make a business presentation to university students, Kathy decided to tag along.  At the last minute, she put together packets of a quilt block she had developed and stuck them in her suitcase.  Fifty of them.

Her husband never got to give his presentation.  But to everyone’s amazement, an entourage met the American group at the airport.  It was there to meet Kathy.  “We heard about the quilt and we’ve got a lot of women who are interested,” they said.  “We hope you have enough supplies for ninety women.”

Kathy didn’t.  So Clint put away his presentation notes, picked up a pair of scissors, and got busy helping Kathy cut out the twenty-five piece sets—each piece representing an element of Jesus’ story of the Woman at the Well.

On second thought, Kathy and Clint aren’t so ordinary either.  Kathy’s self-assurance and Clint’s gentle refusal to insist but-I’m-the-one-with-the-valuable-skills-here! are rare traits indeed.

Now, John, though—he insists no one could be as ordinary as he.

John spent his entire life working as a bread delivery truck driver whose day started at four a.m.  Two years ago, he retired, but a lifetime routine of getting up so early isn’t easy to change.  John is still out of bed at four, but now he sits down immediately at his computer and logs in to his personal site at GMO, an organization that uses cutting-edge technologies to respond to spiritual questions from people around the world.

“I’m never lonely,” John says of his early morning sessions.  “Somewhere in the world, someone with a pressing question is always up at that hour.” And, thanks to the training GMO gave him, John feels comfortable offering answers.  Even to people in Ghana… or Ethiopia… or India…

Come to think of it, second half adventurers are all ordinary people.  They just become extra-ordinary because of the way they choose to define their lives.

Kay Marshall Strom is the author of thirty-six published books, including her most recent, The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire-Use Your Time, Skills & Resources to Change the World.  Her writing credits also include magazine articles, short stories, prize-winning screenplays, booklets for writers, and anything else that will help make the house payments.  Kay is an in demand speaker at events throughout the country.  She and her husband Dan Kline love to travel, so Kay encourages writing and speaking assignments in far flung corners of the globe.  To find out more about Kay, or for contact information, check her website at www.kaystrom.com.

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