Sign Up for the Get It Together Girl Newsletter

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mistakes will be Made

For the month of September, every Monday I'll be sharing some reflections of forty something years of living!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

So Far, So Good

Tonight will mark my fourth show on Get It Together Girl Radio. After a rocky start, I can see an improvement with every episode. I've realized that I really love doing a radio show. I love the actual show. I love recording promos. I love working with guests. I have found my passion.

But passion is nothing without commitment. And I am committed to growing my show, making it the best that it can be. What does this mean? It means that when I come home from my day job, I am working on my show in the evenings and on the weekends. It means that I am willing to invest what cash I have into promotion, advertising and what is needed to make my show better.

Commitment means seeking out the opinions of others and really listening to them, even if it means hearing something I don't like or agree with. Commitment means getting out of my comfort zone for the sake of my dream.

So ask yourself, what are you passionate about? Are you committed to doing what it takes to transform that passion from a nice idea to a tangible reality?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are You a Victim or a Victor? The Choice is Yours

Guest blogger Carol Graham is the author of Battered Hope, a memoir on her extraordinary life. She will also be the featured guest on Get It Together Girl Radio on Thursday, September 26 at 8:00 PM (EST)

The definition of Victor is: One who defeats an adversary; the winner in a fight, battle, contest, or struggle.

The definition of Victim is: a person who is deceived or cheated, by his or her own emotions or ignorance, or by the dishonesty of others.

I certainly was cheated and abused and hurt and taken advantage of by the dishonesty of others but I determined not to allow my emotions to overrule my intelligence. A wise man once told me "When you buy the thought, you buy the lie!" I learned how to say NO to negative thoughts, to defeatist ideas, to martyr attitudes. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

You can't be a Victor without going through a battle. The question is whether or not you choose to win or lose.

"V is for Victory!" That was what the doctor said when my daughter was delivered. "You got what you wanted!" All I ever wanted was a baby and I wasn't sure what the doctor meant. Did he think I might get something other than a baby? My 5 year old son said "I don't think she's cooked yet, mommy. She's all purple and shriveled and stuff." The doctor showed her to me. She had a birthmark on her forehead in the shape of a "V." She was born six weeks early and the pregnancy was touch and go from the start. I spent most of my pregnancy in the hospital and was told almost everyday - "We need to prepare you for the worst. The chance of you both surviving this pregnancy is doubtful." These doctors had no idea who they were dealing with.

By the time my daughter was born, I had already lived a life of trauma. This was just one more hurdle to overcome. It was sheer determination to keep a positive attitude that got me through. Not only did I get through, but my little bundle of joy registered a 10 on the Apgar score for newborns - the highest possible - a perfect 10!

When I decided to finally put pen to paper and write my memoir, Battered Hope, it took a great deal of courage. But I was familiar with courage - it had become second nature to me. I learned how to cope, how to thrive, how to overcome. Don't get me wrong, it was never easy. Just because you have had a bad experience doesn't make the next one easier - stronger, yes - easier, no. My memoir has 12 chapters and there is a minimum of one traumatic event in each chapter, oft times, more than one.

I had always regarded myself as a winner. I maintained that attitude no matter what happened. When I would throw a pity party, no one showed up because I never invited anyone. It was easier that way. I discovered that even if you thought you were a winner, if people knew all the trauma you were going through, they would label you a loser and let's face it, people don't want to be around a loser.

After my memoir was published, a lot of people who thought they knew me, including family, were amazed at what I had survived. I was always the rock that people depended on; the shoulder to cry on when they had problems. Little did they know that when I cried with them, I was also crying for myself.

I determined at a very young age, that if I made people laugh, it helped me to forget what I was going through. I maintained that attitude throughout my life. I have been married to the same man for 41 years and when asked what has kept our marriage together my answer is "I keep him laughing."

I have received countless positive reviews for Battered Hope, but the ones I find most interesting are the four negative ones. They all say the same thing "I don't believe it. It is a bunch of lies. No woman could have that much happen to her and still thrive." I would rather be called a liar than a bad writer so I accepted those reviews easily and one person that had the gall to say it to my face was met with a response she did not expect. I told her, "You are right. It was actually a lot worse than what I wrote, but I knew people like you wouldn't have been able to handle the whole truth!"

My question to you is: Are you a victim or a victor? The answer lies in how you look at it. Finding good in every situation may not be easy but it certainly helps you survive. It helps you maintain the attitude that you are a winner and not a loser. It helps you keep things in perspective.

It has been said that the definition of Success is "Getting up one more time after you have been knocked down." Never stop getting up, success is within reach but if you don't try, you become the victim.

My daughter is now in her late twenties and when she gets upset her "V" flares up. Whenever I see that, I am elated that I never gave up, but rose to victory in many arenas.

My name is Carol Graham and I recently published Battered Hope. Battered Hope is my true story of a strong, courageous woman overcoming insurmountable obstacles including cancer, rape, marital abuse, suicide attempt, jail, loss of a child and huge financial losses. A gripping, captivating novel.

Want to read more? Carol's blog Battered Hope can be found at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Put Yourself First

For the month of September, every Monday I'll be sharing some reflections of forty something years of living!

Last week, I spoke about my people-pleasing nature and how important it was for everyone to like me. I usually put other people first. I didn't want people to dislike me and I didn't like a lot of drama or friction, so I would sacrifice my happiness to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Over ten years ago, I was up late, working on a freelance project. I had accepted a ridiculous deadline and charged way below what the project was worth. I was tired. No, I was beyond tired. It was at this point that I had an epiphany. I realized that the only person struggling right now was me. The person who had hired me was probably fast asleep knowing that she was getting high-quality work for a fraction of the cost.

That brief, fleeting concept changed a lot of things. It was the beginning of me developing a backbone. I completed the assignment but when I turned it in I explained that the next time, with a deadline so close I would have to charge more ... or just say no. To my surprise, I wasn't met with anger or hostility. I actually got an apology.

I realized that when people ask for something, they realize that the answer might be 'no' and normally, that is okay with them. Denying a request wasn't a relationship ender. No one would hate me. I wasn't burning bridges. However, I was taking care of myself. People said no to me and I didn't have such extreme reactions.

So now when people ask me for something and I cannot accommodate their request, I can say no or counter with an offer that I can accomplish.

I've realized the importance of putting myself first. I know now that if I don't no one else will.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Buried in Debt? Here's your Shovel???

Author and financial planner Mark Wingo stopped by Get It Together Girl Radio to talk to us about changing your mindset and your bottom line when it comes to finances. Money is never just about money, there is a strong emotional component to managing your finances. Using money to address your personal issues or to keep up with the Joneses is always a recipe for disaster. As Mark, says in the interview, "I know the Joneses and trust me, you don't want to be like them!" LOL!

Looking wealthy and being wealthy are two different things. In addition to changing your money mindset, you also need to change how you handle money. It starts with a budget. Writing down what you spend and where that money will go is critical. Burying your head in the sand is not a sound financial plan! LOL!

Three things Mark talked about that will help you Get It Together:

1. Understand where your money is going.
Track what you are spending so you know where your money is going.Get a small notebook and write down what you are spending. Keep your receipts or review your bank account for debit transactions. Regardless of how you do it, get clear on what you are spending right now. Once you know what you are spending, you can start making different choices.

2. Develop a budget.
You have got to have a plan, a spending plan. Write out your expenses and plan on how you will be spending your money. There are tons of templates and samples out there to get you started. Just google budget template or spending plan template and you should find something to help you get going.

3. Change your thinking.
 Why is it important to have that $400 bag or drive that luxury car? If you are motivated by what others think or if you need to convince people that you are doing well, that's a red flag. It you are surrounded by things you have purchased because you 'deserve' it, you are also sliding quickly down a slippery slope. You do work hard and you do deserve nice things. But you also deserve the piece of mind that comes when you aren't stressed by financial worries and plagued by debt. Be less concerned about looking like wealth and start building wealth!

Click the player to the right to hear the entire interview!

For more information about Mark, his book and his financial literacy program, visit him at

Bullying in the Boardroom

Charmaine Hammond is a former corrections officer and mediator who speaks extensively on workplace violence. I spoke to her on Get It Together Radio to talk about the all-too-common phenomenon of ault bullying.

According the the Workplace Bullying Institute, fully 35% of American workers feel that they have been bullied at some point or another. Adult bullies are targeted for different reasons. While kids pick on other children who are different or weaker, adult bullies target people who do well in their positions, who are creative or who speak up for themselves.

Here are some things Charmaine suggested for dealing with bullies on the job.

1. Create a paper trail.
Get a notebook and record the date, time and details of each incident. Save emails and other documentation as well. If this were an episode of Law & Order, we'd be talking about 'preserving the evidence.'

2. Speak up.
First start by trying to speak to the bully directly. In several instances, especially if the person is naturally gruff and assertive, they may not even know how their behavior is being perceived. If speaking to the bully doesn't work, try speaking to the boss or Human Resources.

3. Help Out
If you see someone being bullied, offer your help. Don't let this co-worker suffer in silence. Dealing with bullies is essential to creating a positive workplace and even if you are not being targeted, you should work with others to create the kind of work environment where everyone can succeed.

My interview with Charmaine is available by clicking on the player to the right.

For more information about Charmaine, workplace violence, or even the memoir on her pet Toby, visit her online at

Monday, September 16, 2013

Everyone Doesn't Have to Like Me

For the month of September, every Monday I'll be sharing some reflections of forty something years of living!

I half-jokingly tell people that I am 'naturally popular'. I am an extrovert and have never had a problem meeting people and making friends. It's always been this way. Yet when I was younger, I'd say until my early 30's, I needed everyone to like me. When someone didn't, I'd wreck my brain trying to figure out why.

This also made me a people pleaser. I didn't want to have anyone upset with me. I became the girl who couldn't say no. If a friend was in a bind or needed something, I would be there ... even if it set me back. As a freelance writer, I would undercharge and accept unrealistic deadlines.

Then, one night when I was up late working on a project where I had agreed to do too much work for too little money and with not enough time that I came to a realization, actually two.

  1. The only person suffering with these unrealistic expectations was me. Everyone else was getting what they wanted.
  2. The world wouldn't end if I pushed back a little. Other people said no, so why couldn't I?
So I started doing a better job of setting boundaries. I was shocked to realize that I didn't lose friends and people didn't hate me if I said I couldn't do something. I also realized the power of the counter-offer. I can't do what you asked but this is what I can do. 

Because people pleasing is in my nature, I occasionally find myself doing too much for the people in my life but it doesn't happen as frequently (i.e. all the time).

I also realized that it is okay if people don't like me. Maybe it is me and maybe it's them. Either way, it is nothing to lose sleep over.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Relationships End

For the month of September, every Monday I'll be sharing some reflections of forty something years of living!

In high school, I thought I'd have the same friends for life. I had four girlfriends and I imagined us growing old together a la The Golden Girls. Today, I am only good friends with one of them. The rest of us just grew apart. It used to make me sad. Now I just accept it as a part of life.

Even with my best friend, the only relationship from that gang of four that lasted, things have changed. I've moved a bajillion times and haven't lived in my hometown for decades now. She's gotten married and had kids. Things have changed. Yet, at the same time, we've grown and matured along a similar path. This has allowed us to remain close as zip codes, careers and marital statuses have changed.

Over the years, people have come into my life and left just as quickly. Others have forged a strong bond with me similar to that I'd had back in my high school days. I've realized that there is a lot of truth to that saying that some people are only in your life for a reason and some for a season.

Another thing I've realized about relationships is that water truly does seek its own level. No matter where I've lived - Ohio, Maryland, California, Arizona or North Carolina, my friends have always shared a set of similar characteristics. It seems odd but I seem to attract the same kinds of people. And the amazing thing is that they are all good people!

Still some of us briefly crossed paths and a few of them have remained in my life. For all of them, I am grateful.

Even when a relationship runs its course, it doesn't mean that it is a bad thing. Some things just end and there is no judgement to it, it's just life.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's Here: Get It Together Girl Radio!

Tonight is the night.  After months of planning and preparation, I am launching my own BlogTalkRadio show with Get It Together Girl Radio! Like the workbooks, the show will focus on the little things you can do and changes you can make that will make a major difference in your life.

We'll talk about organization and time management (but I promise you it won't be boring!). We'll talk about relationships (not just romantic ones but family, friends and workplace relationships too). We'll talk about health and wealth. We'll talk about setting and achieving goals and living your dreams!

This is sort of like coming full circle for me. My degree is in broadcast journalism and I worked in radio for several years after college. However, eating shouldn't be optional and cars run better on gas than fumes so I made a career change. People who know me know that this project makes sense for me and the person that I am. A radio show is definitely within my wheelhouse. For me, it is living a dream.

I am truly excited about this. I'm lining up great guest, covering amazing topics and looking forward to calls from listeners and chatting with them.

The live show airs Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. (EST). If you miss the live show, you can always visit the archive and replay the show when it is convenient by going to

I hope you share even a little bit of the my enthusiasm. I would love to hear your voices on the show. Call in! Chat with me!

Also if you or anyone you know would be interested in being a guest, email me at karyn

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Get It Together Girl Radio

Tomorrow is the day. It is the debut of my weekly talk show, Get It Together Girl Radio, airing Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on BlogTalkRadio.

Like my workbooks, Get It Together Girl Radio, is about starting where you are and using what you have to get what you want. If it's something you need to get together, we'll talk about it. So far the show is structured to cover several major areas over the course of a month

  • 1st Week - Saving Time and Organizing Your Space: This is one of the quickest ways to reduce stress so we'll talk about organizing the various rooms and spaces in the home, saving time at work, with the kids... Sure  organization isn't the sexiest of subjects, but we'll make it fun!
  • 2nd Week - Relationships: Sure we'll delve into romantic relationships but we'll also explore friendships, family relationships, interacting with co-workers. Heck, we'll even talk about your relationship with yourself.
  • 3rd Week - Wealth and Health: You need enough wealth and good health if you want to truly enjoy your life. We'll talk about repairing your credit, ways to save, changing your outlook at money. We'll talk about ways to eat more veggies, workouts/exercise, and swap favorite recipes.
  • 4th Week - Live Your Dreams: The last week in every month is devoted to goal-setting and living your dreams. We'll discuss ways to make achieving your goals more realistic, we'll also hear from people who have achieved their goals and those who are living their dreams.
  • 5th Week - If there is a fifth week in the month it will be either devoted to callers or to a topic I've selected.
You can listen to the show at If you listen live, you can call-in to the show. However, if you can't catch the live show visit the link above to listen to an archived version of the show.
I hope you'll listen and I hope you'll call in!