tanya boydTanya Boyd, Tanya Boyd Associates, Dallas

Take chances. By taking chances and stepping way out of my comfort zone, I’ve had some amazing opportunities over the years. Experience is just a continuous classroom.

Own it. When I started my own agency in 2006, I met a lovely lady who quickly became a mentor, and eventually a good friend. I’ll never forget the advice she gave me when I told her how I had screwed something up. I can hear her as if it were yesterday: “Tanya, you just need to own it right now. Call that client and explain what you did.”

All I remember saying is, “Yes, ma’am.” And I did.

I’ve learned that most people are very understanding. The crazy thing is they’ve made a mistake or two themselves. I’m quite fond of fallible people, actually. Mistakes happen. Own them. Learn from them. And keep moving forward.

I’m so glad we met. We all want to be all things to everyone—that one-stop place for all of your client’s solutions. But let’s get real. Early on in my career I learned the value of networking with people in our industry. It benefits to listen to them, learn to identify their strengths and not be afraid to confess my weaknesses. There’s power in surrounding yourself with people who are experts in areas you aren’t. For example, I handle a good amount of Medicare, but when that complicated case comes along, I know I have my person. I simply make an introduction and have peace knowing my client is in great hands. I have a person for just about everything. Like when I need to know about all the cool apps, I spend time with my people, I mean…kids. And sometimes, I even get to be someone’s person. It’s a win-win. Get to know people. Trust people. Be a people person. It helps.

 I am Wonderwoman(but only on Tuesdays). We can’t please everyone no matter how hard we try. Some clients will think you hung the moon. Others will grab your cape and shred it up with a single critical statement. But some people are just going to be unhappy regardless of what you do. It’s important to learn to place your focus on the positive things and the things you can change. Let go of the negative and move on. Have a warm-fuzzy file. Pull it out when you need to. There will always be someone we can’t please. But we can keep them from stealing our energy and inspiration.

Photograph by Justin Clemons