I grew up as an almost-only child, with one brother 10 years younger and another brother 20 years younger (he was born 9 months after I got married.  I’ve never really gotten over the weirdness of that).

I think my mother wanted me to be pretty, popular and graceful.  Like her. Instead, I was a big, gangly kid with a few close friends, who jokingly called me “Grace.”   I liked being alone with my books–lots and lots of books–as many as I could carry home from the library every week.  I studied hard.  I got good grades.  I went to college,  and got a good job as an engineer.  And, I hated it.  I felt like a little part of me died every day I went to work.  I wondered, at 22, looking at all the older engineers around me stooped over their desks, if this was as good as it got.

So, then I did something completely different.  My husband and I built a large direct-selling business.  I learned a lot about people!  I learned that I actually liked interacting with people.  I just wasn’t very good at it.  Several books, seminars and “No’s” later, I started to figure people out.

Then the kids came along and all my energies went into kid-related activities.  Playgroup, sports, homeschooling, etc.  I was a happy stay-at-home mom for many years until one day my husband called to say he had been let-go.  This just happened to be a few days after my terminally ill mother had come to live with us.  We also had 3 teenagers.

We bought a business and I started attending networking meetings.  I even started giving short talks on business networking.  The business floundered with the poor economy, so I took on some odd jobs with the census bureau and as a cognitive skills trainer.  I expanded my ability to communicate.

In the fall of 2009, through the encouragement of friends and Toastmasters, I decided to look into becoming a professional speaker.  I realized that the area in which I had seen the most personal growth in my life was communication, specifically, the day-to-day small talk.

One year later, I published my first book, Small Talk Big Results: Chit Chat Your Way to Success!


3 Responses to About

  1. Janie Jasin says:

    Working out of the lake.. away from your address/ One more time please. Came to WI then to Milw for Dad’s brother’s funeral.
    Great reading your web stuff! WOW. Janie

  2. Liza Vassallo says:

    I am a toastmaster’s member, I am half-way through my first manual. Reading you has been inspirational and motivational! Thank you for sharing of yourself.

  3. Marie–I think you are referring to this post: https://smalltalkbigresults.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/the-respect-virus-7-ways-to-spread-it-at-work/

    Send me the link and I’ll see if it makes sense to add it in (no donation needed).

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