27 Years and The Journey Continues

Celebrating 27 Years as a Woman in Business

This month marks the 27th anniversary of the firm I founded in 1993, System Strategies Consulting.  What initially started out as consulting on software development and system implementations ‘on the side’, became a decades-long endeavor that grew and prospered as did my two children.

While not many flexible career options existed in 1993 for new moms, I was determined to continue my professional career and be a strong presence and positive influence in the lives of my two children, then ages 1 and 3. Job sharing, flextime, freelancing and telecommuting were not yet mainstream. Yet I was not willing to give up on being an involved mom and a professional. Having worked myself through graduate school and taking increasingly more complex roles in my career in healthcare technology, I had become the Director of Information Systems in a health system before my children were born.  After my first child, I continued in that role, taking a 3-month maternity leave which was partially paid through my vacation and sick time and unpaid for the remainder.  That was 1990, before legislation to mandate (albeit unpaid) maternity leave with a job guaranteed upon return.  I was fortunate to work for a health system who generously granted me time off and held my job in the meantime.  This employer also provided on-site childcare which enabled me to visit and nurse my son throughout the workday.   Two years later though, with two children under 3, I decided to spend a year of dedicated time with my family and worked only part-time evenings, teaching at a local college.   At the end of that year, I wanted to get more fully back to work, using my experience and education which I had worked hard to attain.

My former health system employer hired me for several projects on a contract basis – a lab system selection and implementation, report design, and a revenue system migration.  I began contacting my colleagues and other health systems in the region, which resulted in a few more opportunities, though several tried vehemently to hire me as an employee, not fully supporting the idea of an independent female contractor.  By then I realized the feasibility and challenges of working for myself, and I fought to preserve this opportunity.  Self-employment surely had its benefits – it was becoming more professionally interesting and more lucrative due to a wide variety of engagements and clients.  I was able to manage my schedule such that I could choose my working hours and thereby minimize childcare demands.  I could for the most part determine when I would be on-site at a client’s location and when to work from my home office, all decades before telecommuting became acceptable.  I proved to myself (and my clients) that I could produce the work and raise my family, on terms that were agreeable to all involved. There was no going back.   I had inadvertently become an entrepreneur and was in business for myself.

There were hurdles that left me questioning my resolve, however.  Early on, an IT manager at a large health system offered me a 2-month exclusive engagement at a sub-standard hourly rate.  Though this was a possible foot-in-the-door opportunity which could have led to much future work, it was tenuous at best.  Its limited duration meant I would have needed to make temporary childcare arrangements, disrupting my children’s lives for a short period of time; its exclusivity requirement meant I would not be free to work simultaneously for other clients; its low compensation meant I would be accepting a rate I knew was not competitive for someone with my skills. I simply couldn’t accept the terms of this engagement. I had already sacrificed job security by going out on my own; maintaining autonomy and openness to additional work was critical.  I had also previously decided I wanted a stable childcare arrangement for my children, with me as the central figure.  I, as did many working mothers, wanted to balance a career and a family, and I had started putting things in place for that to happen.  I was not willing to relinquish those dreams for a ‘try-out’ engagement of limited commitment and sub-standard terms.  I knew what I had to offer.  So, I went back to that manager and confidently expressed my interest in the work – but with a longer-term non-exclusive engagement, flexible hours, and at the competitive rate.   Did it work? Were my presumably bold demands met? Actually, no. That manager did not accept my terms. 

However, he did recommend me to a colleague (a woman director) who proceeded to offer me a 6-month, competitive-rate,  flexible engagement for an exciting new software design and development project, which was the start of continuous engagements with this client for over 20 years.   Over time on occasion, I came to work with the very manager who originally rejected my terms, in mutually respectful collaborations within his organization.  My reputation as a competent professional and trusted partner had been established. That initial rejection experience, for me, provided lessons in confidence, respect, standing up for my values, and assertive negotiation, and from which I have often drawn insights throughout my 27 years in business.  The failed negotiation nonetheless confirmed and validated my aspirations, allowed me to uphold my values and respectfully decline unacceptable terms without compromising my relationship with the individual and his organization.  It cemented in me the idea that assertive behavior is a gift to the self and to others.

Over time, my work expanded to meet client demands, including management consulting, project management, strategic planning, system design, implementations large and small, process engineering, training, technical documentation, policy development and system migrations.  I brought in sub-contractors as needed to supplement projects with specific resource or technical expertise requirements.  Even my kids, as teenagers, helped in the office.

My journey led me through virtually all departments within a hospital, from radiation oncology to perinatal, from bed management to public safety, from OR to ER, from care plans to claims. It allowed me the privilege of shadowing and consulting with physicians, clinicians, C-suite executives, IT professionals, office clerks, other vendors and facilities staff.  The inner workings of the healthcare system, including all its glories, innovations, and challenges, and its growing adoption of technology became ingrained in who I am as a professional and continues to inspire and fascinate me.  

As the business grew, so did my children.  By the time they were in school, I was frequently able to craft my workdays to enable me to catch their afternoon ballgames or musical performances.   This meant carefully planning meeting schedules and setting client expectations to allow for an occasional early departure.  It meant relying on my supportive husband (also a business-owner!) to take on more parenting duties on days when I had an important presentation or critical meeting.  Though there were many late evenings spent catching up on work, the arrangement worked for my family and my clients.  I was fortunate to have support from my extended family, and from phenomenal teachers and child caregivers.  My children benefitted from seeing their mother work hard and enjoy fulfilling and meaningful work, and they learned powerful lessons in compromise, compassion, choices and overcoming challenges. I believe it showed them also that we can all craft our own unique journey and prosper in ways seemingly unimaginable when we first begin.

It wasn’t always easy.  Immediately upon starting the business, I became accountant, COO, CEO, contract negotiator and office janitor all at once.  As an entrepreneur, one must manage all aspects of the business in addition to the deliverables and work product.  Taxes, infrastructure, business development, liability and other business responsibilities were new to me as a software professional.  I became a lifelong learner, as one who owns a business must. There were slow periods and times of seemingly unmanageable overload. I learned to trust and rely on others. I’m grateful to those who serve as my advisors on parts of the business which challenge me.  I have learned so much from my colleagues and clients and am thankful for their participation in my journey so far.

All businesses must adapt to survive.  Through the last decade, changes in healthcare, legislation and technology called for different skills and services.  Seven years ago, I pursued formal training as a coach, furthering my graduate studies in cognitive psychology.  I introduced executive coaching as a new service line in the firm. With the kids finishing college, I was positioned to sustain this risk as I pivoted the business toward supporting leaders in technology and healthcare.  In coaching, I see new and old challenges facing executives and professionals today.   In tech, healthcare and other industries, women and men face mounting demands for leadership skills, fiscal responsibility, and business development.  In growing my firm over the last 27 years, I learned how empathy, communication, values, and resilience are the foundation for a sustainable career and personal fulfillment.  Because these areas have been so crucial to my own success, I created a leadership development program around these behaviors to inspire others.  This program, ‘Skills That Build’, shares evidence-based science and learned behaviors which can improve our lives at work and at home. It is the subject of a book I am writing to reach those who would otherwise have little access to coaching.

I would have hoped that nearly 30 years after starting System Strategies Consulting, I could say it has become easier for women to own a business and rise to the highest levels in the technology industry.  Unfortunately, I cannot yet make that statement unequivocally.  Yes, there are better laws for family leave, more funding for minority and women-owned businesses, and an emphasis on STEM education for girls.  Yet we can do more.  We can and must empower individuals to work toward their full potential, learning behaviors and skills which promote healthy living and fulfilling work.  We can teach and cultivate confidence, self-esteem, assertive communications, autonomy, competence, resilience and, perhaps most importantly, hope, in the young and those who aspire to great things.  And, then, when someone tells these hopeful, aspiring individuals ‘No.’, they will have developed the courage and strength to stand up for their values and look for the next open door.   Or, maybe even knock and open that door for themselves.

The Journey Continues, Photo by Gina M. Wilson
Where Will Your Journey Take You?

More Resilience for Covid-19

We are six months into our pandemic, with a continually changing landscape of restrictions, re-openings, sudden starts and stops to the new normal since Covid-19 began.  While many have adjusted successfully to the continual uncertainty, the sustained period of disruption and loss is taking its toll on even the most resilient among us.    Bracing for what may indeed be a new round of risk in the coming months as we await a vaccine and end to the pandemic, techniques for resilience become paramount for buffering against hardship and restoring our reserves.

Now, more than ever, we must exercise self-care and do whatever we can to strengthen our resiliency to stay strong for ourselves and our families.  While so much is outside of our control, several practices   informed by psychological research can be cultivated in our daily lives to strengthen our ability to withstand and overcome adverse circumstances and bounce back for a new day. 

Each of us can develop our own unique strategy for not only coping during these difficult times, but growing in ways that help sustain us going forward.

  1.  Experience Flow

The state of human consciousness, called Flow, in which we are performing optimally while totally immersed in a challenging activity of our own choosing, elicits a sense of immense satisfaction and utter wellbeing that provides an escape from all else.   In the flow state we lose track of time.  We are in ‘the zone’.  We may forget to eat.  We are challenged but not overwhelmed.  We are progressing to an attainable endpoint.  Flow exercises our strengths and abilities and satisfies basic psychological needs for autonomy and competency.  It is sometimes easy to forget what it is that brings us to a Flow state – whether it is playing the guitar, painting, restoring the antique desk from Grandma, fishing in the lake, solving a puzzle or building that doll house with your daughter.  Flow is unique to each of us and our unique interests and abilities.  Identify what activities bring you into a flow state, and increase the frequency of flow opportunities into your life.  Schedule time for this on a regular basis.

  •  Grow Your Play Ethic

When we think of toddlers, who seemingly thrive and live life with endless zeal, their world is full of play.   With working and learning at home during the pandemic, distinct lines of work/home schedules have been blurred.  The open laptop in the dining room ever beckons us to check for that email.  Students’ bedrooms become their classrooms.  There is little visual and physical separateness to isolate work/play so we must consciously choose and enact a virtual separation to foster time for play.    When we grow our play ethic, we become more like that inner toddler!  Cultivate a play ethic by planning to do enjoyable things on a regular basis.  Take mini breaks throughout the day and get up from the screen.   As simple as getting outside for an impromptu game of dodgeball with the kids,  driving along a scenic back road, or taking up a new sport or hobby as a family can develop your play ethic.  Play offers all of us a much-needed respite which restores the body and mind.

  •  Build Yourself

Make you a priority.  Re-examine the sources of positivity in your life, and choose sources of positivity that build you up.  Once you know what builds you, try to incorporate opportunities for these sources to be part of your new routine.  There are many positive emotions which serve to build positivity – joy, hope, love, inspiration, awe, serenity, pride, gratitude, amusement and interest, to name but a few.  Pursue an interest you neglected when you were busy.  Learn something new.  Spend time outside and appreciate the emergence of Fall.  Consider reflecting on gratitude and genuinely thank someone, offer hope or make someone laugh. Go for lots of small boosts.  They add up and accumulate over time to provide an abundant base of enjoyment upon which your resiliency rests.  The magnitude of the elicited positive emotion is less critical than its frequency, so no need to pursue lottery winning joy.  Incremental positive emotion accumulates like pennies in the bank.

  • Meet Your 3 Psychological Needs

Competency, Autonomy and Relatedness are basic psychological needs which, if unmet, hinder our ability to thrive.  We must be able to express our skills and talents, make choices for ourselves, and relate to others.   Consciously decide to develop and use your talents.  Feeling a  loss of autonomy?  Try articulating each and every decision you make every day.  Often, we find hidden choices we’ve made long ago, and upon careful reflection we see those choices influencing our daily lives.   And while connecting with others is physically limited during the pandemic, we are fortunate to have technology available for virtual connectivity, and with some creative physical distancing, can still enjoy the company of others.  Relating to and connecting with others is more challenging during the pandemic but perhaps ever more crucial.  Greeting others as you walk in the park, smiling (from behind your mask) and thanking the clerk at the grocery store, waving to neighbors as they drive by are simple yet impactful ways to increase relatedness in everyday life.

  •  Make Wellness a Strategy

Today people have strategies for all kinds of goals – financial, weight loss, fitness, job search, dating, even acceptance into that competitive pre-school.  One frequently overlooked strategy that has the power to ultimately improve our lives is a wellness strategy.  When we consciously develop and create a sustainable wellness strategy, we make an investment in our overall health which pays dividends over the long term.   We must devise ways to increase opportunities to experience positive emotions and flow into our everyday lives.  We must continue to play, learn new skills, resurrect our old hobbies and develop our selves and deliberately choose to make space for these in our lives.  In doing so, we allow the concrete of our being to cure, laying a solid foundation for sustainable well-being and resilience during these tough times.

Practicing resiliency techniques now and as part of an ongoing wellness strategy helps to buffer us and stokes the fire in our rainy day toolkit from which we can draw as future challenges arise.

What is Coaching?

Are you struggling with a challenge at work? 

Do you have a goal which you can’t seem to get started on? 

Do you envision something better from your career, relationships or lifestyle? 


Coaching is a strategic partnership between coach and client.  Your coach will help you clearly articulate your goal and establish a path to overcome existing barriers and achieve it.  Your coach will help you develop awareness of your strengths, resources and skills that can be mustered in developing your own unique strategy for success.   An important part of the coaching process is learning to recognize any existing bias, destructive thought patterns, language and behaviors which are working against you.   This is perhaps the most critical discovery among coaching clients.  Removing barriers and learning new ways to think about situations, using constructive language and reinforcing behaviors are also crucial to a successful coaching experience.  Coach and client work together to explore opportunities, create an action plan and carefully monitor progress against that plan, in a relationship built on trust, support and confidentiality.

Unlike counseling, coaching is neither clinical service nor treatment.  It empowers clients to become a better and more fulfilled version of themselves, an upgraded ‘ You, 2.0′ . Coaching can be effective for anyone looking to grow  personally or professionally.  Emphasis is on the process of developing practical thought and behavioral habits that move a client forward.

Coaching also differs from mentoring.  While mentoring involves sharing knowledge and advice, coaching facilitates development of a client’s own solutions and action plans, elicited from the client’s own resources.  Coaches listen, observe, mirror, shadow, guide, provide feedback and support, acting as a sounding board for ideas and as partner in accountability.  The client learns to continuously monitor his or her own progress and adjust course as needed, ultimately developing a sense of self-accountability and sustainable follow-through habits.

The coaching process begins with a holistic exploration of current state of being and articulation of the desired future state.   For example, the client may be a mid-level manager who wants to ’get a C-suite role’.   Coach and client work together to clearly identify and articulate current and end states, then develop a plan to move forward.   In this example, the coach may help the client refine  broad goals into more tangible (and measurable) actions such as becoming comfortable presenting to a large group, establishing expert  credibility among colleagues, regular contribution of leadership and company growth strategies, increasing earnings.   Coaching often involves education and skill-building, and fosters a self-awareness of client perceptions, actions and  beliefs  as a means of taking positive action toward progress toward a specific goal.

As with many other professions, coaches vary in skill and competency.  Look for a coach with academic credentials in psychology, applied positive psychology  or behavioral science, one whose work is grounded in science and employs evidence-based techniques.  Coaches are certified by governing boards and obtain specific coach training and supervised experience.  Executive coaches often have additional  management or business experience; health coaches may have clinical experience.  Good coaches in any specialty are trained and certified in coaching;  it is not enough to be a good listener or people-person.  There are specific competencies, ethics and skills that coaches are required to practice and master.      Above all, be sure your coach is someone you feel comfortable with and trust!


We’ve all said it to friends, coworkers, family, ‘ I’d love to join you at the – fill in the blank —  (gym, party, restaurant …), but I’m just too BUSY’!    Usually followed by a deep sigh, you see your friend shaking their head and rolling their eyes.     How did we all get to be so busy?  Busy is the little black dress of the excuse wardrobe.  What if we refreshed our closet, tossing out busy and replacing it with balance?

Busy seems the fashionable hallmark of today.  Busy families have umpteen kids’ activities, busy professionals have jam-packed schedules of meetings, travel and conference calls, small business owners are busy navigating network events between business hours, and students are busy with extra-curriculars and beefing up their resume with experiences. Let’s face it, the pace of life has outdistanced our capacity to be involved.   While some place the blame on our fascination with screen time, the real culprit is our own lack of prioritizing what is truly important to us.  Setting priorities and articulating a few key values helps us keep balanced when the scale of life starts to tip to one side.


For some of us, our schedules are too packed to even think about what is important to us, yet doing so actually helps us realize we are spending time doing everything but those things!  By thinking about and, (gasp!) actually listing out what is really important to us, the top 5, we can then use our stated values as a litmus test for those pesky timewasters and commitments which constantly battle for our attention.   That litmus test is the start of going from busy to balanced.   For example, say my list was:


Family time

Training for the half-marathon

Working extra to save for that vacation

Weekly lunch with girlfriends

Planting my garden

Then my friend asks me to start a new cooking class with her on Wednesdays.  The BUSY me would impulsively accept (it does sound fun) and then scramble to make it there every week, darting out of  work early, leaving the kids sour, wallet lighter, and garden full of weeds.  The busy me would not consult ‘the list’, responding quickly without considering the implications.  The busy me has not posted that infamous ‘list’ on computer screen, calendar, bathroom mirror and refrigerator, as constant reminders of what I value and keeping me on the track I set for myself.

The new balanced me, however, would first check the list, which acts as a continuous reminder as my screensaver, phone wallpaper, and fridge note.  I see that ‘develop cooking skills’ is not there!  The balanced me would decline, saying something like ‘ Thanks, that sounds fun if I were free. Wednesdays are my distance run days and in March I’m using Wednesdays for starting the garden.  I definitely want to hear all about it when we have lunch together though.’  (Notice no buts about it).

What is the impact of that response?

  1. a) your friend feels validated,
  2. b) your priorities (the half-marathon and garden) are maintained
  3. c) you have allowed yourself flexibility to work late or help with homework those nights if needed, by not adding another thing
  4. d) you remind her (and yourself) that you’ll see each other at the weekly lunch,
  5. e) you realize you can control how you spend your time!

With this newly exercised freedom of choice and values mindset, we see that it is possible to make better choices with our time, for ourselves, to allow us to really live the kind of life we envision.  By intentionally choosing what we do, we empower ourselves to be less busy and yet more productive, in a way that brings less stress and more satisfaction, and in this case, more flowers!

Interviewing for the First Time (In Years)

Feeling a bit rusty when it comes to Interviewing?  Days of the 3-piece-suit and hard-sided briefcase filled with 10 crisp copies of your resume are gone.  Today’s interviews are a whole lot different from those of even five years ago.  Many people are now finding themselves scrambling to freshen up their interview skills due to sudden job loss in a Covid-19 economy.


What hasn’t changed in the job interview world, however, is the need for preparation!  Still as important today as ever, is your knowledge of the company.  It’s even easier to find the inside scoop about an organization, its market reach and revenues so you know perhaps more about them than they do about you.  Take 15 minutes — do a google search, check out their website, leadership, and products; visit their social media pages; look at employee feedback, earnings, and press releases.    Become familiar with the latest challenges the company is facing and bring to the interview your insight and solutions. Show how you can contribute on day one.   Use this company knowledge to formulate interesting questions targeted to the specific interviewer(s) you will face.  Your interest and motivation will shine through.


And for Pete’s sake, master the virtual meeting landscape.  Chances are at least one of your interviews these days will be online.  Nothing is worse than an interviewer seeing a candidate’s lips moving without hearing the thoughtful solutions you put forth.  Precious time is lost fumbling with the mic, adjusting screen settings, and making the virtual connection.  Practice the virtual technology beforehand, literally, with a friend or family member, before the big day.  ‘Arrive’ early to the online interview and wait patiently – your host will see you once they are ready to join.

Ensure they see you in the frame!  In months of online sessions, it is unimaginable what chaotic scenes I’ve seen behind colleagues, clients, and friends.  Remove the dirty dishes from the countertop behind you, put the kids’ toys away, make your bed – make your virtual interview space calm and inviting.   If possible, position your screen in front of a neutral wall in a well-lit space free of distractions.  No interviewer wants to take a chance on a candidate who, while otherwise well-qualified with loads of experience, has not made the leap to become comfortable using the technology of 2020.

Why You

The purpose of a job interview has not changed over the years.  The interviewer wants to know why they should hire you.  Yes, they may have a better understanding of your experience because your resume matched on keywords they had identified as critical.  Yes, they know you are basically qualified because their applicant tracking system screened out 247 others who didn’t make the cut.  It is still up to you to sell yourself and convince the powers that be that you are the best candidate to hire.  Be ready to explain how your experience prepared you for this role.  Come with examples of problems you’ve solved and challenges you’ve overcome, and interactions with colleagues which demonstrate your leadership potential, empathy, and team player attitude.  Avoid repeating verbiage from your resume.  Stories personalized as only you could author are what will set you apart from the competition. This, too, is not a new player on the interviewing stage.

Boost Your Power

Interviewing can be stressful.  Nothing new there.  However, that stress can empower or diminish your ability to project your best self.   One empowering thing that you can do is work on your confidence.  Practice stating your strengths, sharing your stories in a concise and compelling manner, using open effective body language (Smile!) and pausing comfortably to collect your thought before blurting out an unpolished response.  Learn the Power Pose stance (like Wonder Woman) and do this for two minutes privately before the interview starts.  The hormonal changes in your brain and body will give you a sudden boost of confidence to carry you through those first few awkward moments and into a meaningful exchange.

So, there you have it. Get back on the bike. While some things have changed in today’s interviewing landscape, a lot has not.  Go confidently forward.  You got this!




Come on Now…Focus!

Being told to ‘Focus!’ is an external cue which tells us that someone else has noticed we are not fully engaged. Hearing those words however, does not magically restore our focus, but  it does offer a gentle reminder to ‘come back’ to the conversation. When you hear that cue, take notice of what it is that was stealing your attention — was it the lawn mower outside your window, the sudden outburst of a co-worker or classmate, your empty stomach growling?

Awareness is the first step toward making a change in behavior.  Window seat derailing you with too many distractions?  Sit with your back to it, choose another seat or physically move your chair to avoid the distractions.  DONE.   Hunger pangs?  Reach into that small Ziploc of almonds in your pocket.  DONE.    Loud surroundings?  Headphones with low music (or none!) can be your white noise.  DONE.     


For students, approach the teacher outside of class and let them know you attend better when you are — fill in the blanks — sitting in the first row, doodling/taking notes, standing in the back of the classroom, etc.  For working adults, speak privately with the boss about optimizing your work environment, such as moving to an office at the end of the hallway away from coffee station traffic, closing the door for quiet work time, sitting close to the phone during conference calls.  Sometimes a tiny tweak can make a big difference in your attention.

Many people with ADD have a ‘sidebar activity’.  The sidebar is a secondary activity which is done simultaneously with the main activity, and whose primary function is to engage some aspect of body or mind in order to ‘free-up’ attention to important tasks.  Doing their ‘sidebar’ allows people to focus better on the task at hand.  Sidebars are as varied as their owners —  doodling, listening to music, standing or pacing, chewing gum, fiddling with jewelry, humming softly – whatever yours is, it must be relatively unobtrusive to be acceptable to those around you.  Your job is to figure out what your sidebar is and let your coworkers/boss/teacher know.  This allows them to have a better understanding of how you work best, and they will be more willing and likely to accommodate you.  

If you need to move around, how about wiggling your toes inside your shoes? No one will know you are doing so, and this harmless movement may be just enough to get your mind back on track.   Interrupting the speaker or blurting out responses? Try writing that thought down in a small notebook, or raising your hand to contribute respectfully, or punch it into an app like Evernote on your smartphone, instead, to be contributed at the appropriate time. 

In the workplace, a good option is to take notes in a business meeting just to stay alert and focused.  The listening and writing allows multi-sensory engagement which also improves memory!    Another added bonus of this practice is that others perceive you as being especially interested in what they are saying!  Students, the teachers will see you taking notes and credit you for active listening.  Employers will notice the engaged employee.

I once coached a college student client who sat in a yoga pose in the back of a classroom (unobtrusively).  Her yoga sidebar allowed her mind to focus more acutely on the lecture while her body quietly attended to the muscular demands of the pose.   An adult client handled a smooth ‘rubbing stone’ in his left hand while doing repetitive paperwork with the other.  Many people like to squeeze the widely available ‘stress balls’, with the added benefit of strengthening the wrist and hand!  Others wear a wristwatch with a barely audible ticking sound whose cadence sets a rhythm to work by.  Put your creativity to work and imagine the myriad possibilities for your sidebars.

Once you know how you learn or work best,  you can discover and practice your own sidebar activities that help hone your attention and improve your focus!  Armed with this insight, you can begin to ask others to accommodate your needs.   Many teachers and bosses will respect your self-awareness and try to accommodate you once they know what works best for you.  They want you to succeed, especially if you show that you are taking steps to improve your performance.   Self-awareness goes a long way and will help you overcome challenges with focus.   Take some time to discover what works for you and let others know.  What’s your sidebar?