"A career is what you pursue to advance your interests... a calling is how you use your abilities to impact the lives of others." Monique Waters, Carroll Commencement Address 2019
Two sobering new years ago, I sat in my living room doing what most Type A professionals in Washington, DC do-reflecting on my next steps and asking myself "what the heck have I been doing all this time?"
To my surprise, I found myself curiously googling Legal Zoom and cautiously walked through the process of establishing my own business, H2O Strategies LLC. For many, this is seen as a placeholder until the next "big opportunity" comes their way, but I quickly felt my confidence in this small step growing in permanence.
Now that the idea was officially on paper-quite literally-I had to do the leg work of reflecting over the nearly 20 years of work experience I had amassed and objectively consider what I could offer on my own. It became quickly apparent how massive the industry was, especially when it came to firms and consultancies. So I went back to the basics, and by doing so, I tapped into what made me fall in love with the communications field in the first place.
In 2001, before I could really thoughtfully articulate what public relations was or for that matter even identify a press release, I met an unassuming man who would alter my trajectory forever. For years, public relations guru Ofield Dukes allowed me to intern for his consultancy, Ofield Dukes and Associates. It wasn't until after he passed that I realized the value of the time I spent working in his small home office. I can still hear him reviewing my work and indelibly challenging me to "know thyself." It was those words that laid the foundation and inspired me to turn my career into a calling.
My love for the field never started with the first big name on my resume, it came down to my passion for impacting people. It's now been two years since I received those Legal Zoom incorporation documents. Today, H2O Strategies works with a wide range of clients allowing me to activate my passion for purpose-driven organizations using my keen intuition for storytelling coupled with high-level, action-oriented planning.
It's been a whirlwind, but I can proudly say, H2O Strategies is allowing me to walk in my calling and impact people who are passionate about making a difference.
Grateful for these highlights from an exciting year:
Returned to Capitol Hill orchestrating media engagement and establishing communications infrastructure following Congresswoman Lauren Underwood's (IL-14) historic victory
Guided Archbishop Carroll High School in thoughtfully planning and intentionally communicating their impact, while cultivating their in-house capacity for storytelling
Supported KIPP DC Charter High School to intentionally plan and engage key stakeholders securing buy-in around their community engagement activities
Helped Henson Arts develop and plan their first cultural community engagement event as a part of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce technical assistance program
Joined the podcast "Tall Hungry Girl Talks" to share my journey
Dared high school graduates to embrace their calling
In this new decade, I look forward to challenging my clients, friends and those looking to amplify their impact. Interested in being a part of my journey or know an organization H2O Strategies can help? Let's connect!