Last week Eloquor lost one of its team members. By my measure she was young. She was an amazing writer. More importantly, she was an amazing strategic thinker. She was one of only a very few people I’ve worked with in my more than three decades to whom I felt comfortable handing things off knowing it would get done right.

It was sudden.

So, for the second time in just over three years I am reminded how important it is to make every day count. Whether in your work, your family, your play, every day is another opportunity to make a difference, build a memory, or grow.

  • Take time to hang out with your kids and let them know how proud you are of them
  • Tell the people you respect at work that you appreciate them
  • Volunteer for something you believe in; give your time and expertise
  • Go for a hike with your dog
  • Invest in the recharge – even if you have to fund yourself – by immersing yourself in a rejuvenating professional experience

Some of you are rolling your eyes at me for that last one, but I’ve been self-funded for IABC since the late 90s. The reason I’ve been to IABC’s World Conference so many times is because it recharges me, reloads my courage and enthusiasm, my energy for growth.

World conference is about learning, expanding, growing, mentoring, supporting, giving and relationship building. It’s what I need right now, this week. Pity I’ll have to wait a few weeks for my big recharge.

More about giving

Giving time and expertise is much harder than writing a check. Sometimes it doesn’t work out; like the time I helped a child welfare not-for-profit overhaul their website and a staff member took credit for my work. Other times it’s awesome like my role on the Patient and Family Advisory Council for St. Anthony’s Hospital, the facility that saved my husband’s life. My work on IABC’s Program Advisory Committee also has been highly rewarding.

IABC will explore individual and corporate giving behavior and strategies at this year’s Foundation event (Tuesday, 7 June) with an amazing panel of givers and giving experts. It will be eye-opening I’m sure.

Making it count

In case you make it to New Orleans, I have several suggestions for how to make it count:

  • Skip one session period to have coffee or tea with a long-time acquaintance or a newly met colleague; talk about cool ideas
  • Send at least one note back to those with whom you work about something amazing and exciting you’ve learned
  • Go to dine-around; listen and share
  • Absorb a little bit of New Orleans culture (walking some of the Quarter will get you there)
  • Seek out a mentor, or mentor an up-and-coming communicator
  • Communicate with your family back home

I’d like to dedicate this post to Lesley Welch, mom, wife, communicator and strategist. She’ll be well-remembered.