Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review and 2015 New Year Message From the CEO

 As I sit back and reflect on the many amazing things that happened over the last year, I am truly amazed. One year seems so short until you really look at all that you have accomplished in that amount of time. It has truly been a year of ups and downs, but each down has truly been a blessing and has at times stretched me beyond what I thought I could take. But I am still ticking, life has certainly moved forward beautifully and one thing I know for sure, if you don’t stretch outside of your comfort zone, it is impossible to grow. And boy have I grown… personally, professionally, spiritually, academically, and all the other –ally words you can think of.
2014… Wow – The blessings
Almost 10 years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would travel each year to a foreign country. I have yet to break that promise and must give thanks to Gerald Smith, my daughter’s father, for making me get that passport back in 2004. He opened my eyes to living outside of the box and showed me a world much bigger than Atlanta, GA!

This year on the tenth anniversary of my promise, I decided to introduce my 15 year old daughter. I took her on a 3 week trip to Europe where we explored Germany, Switzerland and France! I hope her eyes and world are wide open and she realizes that there are no limits in life, just hard work and a strong desire to just do it!
In planning that trip, I was also able to mend my broken relationship with my sister after not speaking for two years. It is amazing how much time is lost from plain old stubbornness and a dumb misunderstanding. It wasn’t until we talked and spent time together that I realized how much laughter we missed out on… How much of my nieces and nephews lives I missed out on. I am truly blessed to be past it and look forward to spending this summer with my daughters, nieces and possibly nephews.
And the blessings go on and on. This past fall I began a life-long passion of teaching and sharing my passion for Project Management and Information Technology to Master’s degree seeking student’s at Webster University. This experience has been much more rewarding than I could have originally hoped. Not only have I been able to influence the lives of some very smart up and coming business women and men, but I have made a few lasting relationships that will help me in future endeavors.
I have a lot of great things to be grateful for over the last year, but with the good, I must also be grateful for the bad. This year I lost, gained and lost again a couple of friendships and a love. Going through it was painful, but God makes no mistakes. I wish them the best and hope maybe those relationships will one day be mended. Even still I am grateful for the experience because in losing, I have found my passion within and love of self. I read a wonderful saying the other day on a friends Facebook page and it is fitting right now. “I know what I bring to the table… so I’m not afraid to dine alone.”
I also lost a very important contract this past June… For a while, I wasn’t sure if I would have a job, if I would have to relocate for the 3rd time in four years to a different state, or have to take a position in this economy making significantly less money. But again, God makes no mistakes. Those things he has for me are preordained. I am but the receptacle of His will. When one door closes another surely will open. I now work from home, making more money; with more time than I have ever had to spend with my daughter.
All in all, 2014 has been good to me!! So good in fact, that I had to step out on that ubiquitous limb of faith to take The Lipstick Journal from a blog to an international Non-Profit agency. Its corps mission; to be a wealth of knowledge, tools and resources that help women achieve success and fuel their passion, remains the same. The idea to turn it into a non-profit agency was conceived in 2014 and was born of the trials, hurts, disappointments and failures of my yester-years; and the good times, lessons learned, help, mentorship, love, nurturing and support that I have received from my sisters as strength to continue on. The Lipstick Journal, my baby, my way of paying it - everything that the women in my life have given me, forward! This has been a dream a long time in the making. The year 2015 is going to be great and I want each and every one of you to be a part of it.
Tonight, after all my reflections, and as my daughter and I bring in the new year, I will do it enjoying  a glass (or 3) from a $150.00 bottle of Veuve Cliquot and will be trying caviar for the very first time!
Cheers to a New Year, new perspectives, new hopes and many dreams to come true!!

Cherlyn T. McIntee
Founder and CEO
The Lipstick Journal