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Advice to My Younger Self

Women Share Career and Life Lessons in a Heartfelt Note to Themselves

Article by Editorial Staff

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

Meridian Lifestyle asked local business owners to write a note giving their younger selves some advice.  Their responses were as diverse as the women themselves - tender and heartfelt, practical and wise, but all written with kindness and generosity.  Looking back on your life experiences with a healthy perspective can be a great reminder of what led you to where you are today.  Try writing one yourself, and share your note with all of us on #MeridianLifestyle


Suzi Boyle

Branch Manager | Castle & Cooke Mortgage

These are my favorite sayings that have served me well throughout life: *Be the one that comes through life’s fires (adversities) as a diamond not a piece of coal - *Half of life’s success is showing up *Earn it, make it, then move to the next level *Get back up on the horse after a defeat, as it doesn’t matter how many times you fall *Putting yourselves in your client’s shoes(empathy) goes a long way in being able to truly connect - show you actually care about them as a human *Excellence is so much more important than volume-Quality vs Quantity *At the end of the day, how many lives did you touch or change for the better?

Heather Bifulco 

Owner | Tidy Style

In true organizer’s fashion I’ve made a list: 1) Being a hard working, good person is enough; 2) You don’t have to be all things to all people; 3) If someone doesn’t like you, that’s more about them then it is about you; 4) Confidence will come but in the meantime envision how a confident, capable person would handle a specific situation and embody that…soon it will become natural; 5) Surround yourself with people who you want to be like.  You know, those glass half full, life is beautiful kind of people!

Rachelle Kelch

Founder | Sip Idaho

Words of Advice/Wisdom: "I think my biggest piece of advice to myself, or other young ladies, is to work hard and never give up! There were times I was burned out to the max, and still am, but it made me the strong woman I am today. Life is tough. Don't think things will ever be handed to you, ESPECIALLY if you become an entrepreneur. It was always my life goal to own my own business, and now that I am the co-owner of NorthStar Spirits, and the full owner of Sip Idaho, it has totally been worth it. Life is a difficult journey, but don't give up on your dreams! If there's something you want in life, be willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get it!

Marcia Schaumburg

Owner | Ricochet Home Consignment 

Seeing you in Jr High, I know nothing is making sense and you are afraid. When you think no one is seeing you... they are....when you feel unlovable, you are loved.  Love and value yourself, rely on your spirituality. It's ok you're not college bound, don't be embarrassed. Common sense, work ethic and drive will be enough. Take chances. Watch for doors to open, run, squeeze through but always with gratitude, kindness and humility. Your dreams in business come true, but through trials and loss. Your amazing family arrives differently than what you're thinking, but in the way it's suppose to. Five children, lots of grandkids is your ultimate success and joy. Love Your Biggest Cheerleader,

Rachel Brown

Director of Admissions and Marketing | Cole Valley Christian Schools 

Dear Younger Self - Stop. Breathe. Look around. Enjoy the moment and don’t waste them worrying about what might be. Be courageous enough to love deeply and brave enough to say the hard things. Embrace the process and trust that it will be okay. Smile… all the time. You are blessed. Count on it.

April Whitney

Public Relations Manager | Brundage Mountain Resort

Don’t be so terrified to make mistakes. Yes, mistakes will STING. They’ll strike a blow to your self-image and self-confidence, but in the long run, they are priceless. Your missteps, far more than your successes, will teach you important lessons about your world, your choices, and most importantly, your true self. “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”― Leo Buscaglia. One exception: Do NOT make the mistake of skiing too fast in bad visibility. ACL surgery is a painful way to learn a simple lesson. and

Toni L. Sutton

Marketing Director | Access Heating & Air

Wear the hat. Get up and dance. Be silly. Have fun.  People will always be ready to judge you and tell you what you should be doing, but you don’t owe them a place in your life or your head.  The people who are certain they’re experts at everything stopped learning years ago.  Don’t stop challenging yourself, listening, learning, trying new things.  The world will never be short on arm-chair quarterbacks, nor will they ever be the ones who fix problems or create solutions.  Surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid of change because your life will never be as you pictured it—no one’s is.  But the secret really is that sometimes it will be better than you ever imagined.

Keri Kinzel

Owner | Blue Fringe Boutique

Settle for more!  I had always wanted to own my own business but I was scared and not sure how to do it. So I settled for less. When I was 48 years old, I had the opportunity to open my own clothing boutique. I was still scared and not sure how to do it, but I took a chance. Six and a half years later I am going strong and loving it all.  Running a business isn’t always easy but I am thankful for the community that we live in. Their support and kindness has made all the difference in owning a small business. So glad that I finally settled for more.

Jenna Englund

President | Berkeley Building Co.

Professional advice to twenty year old me with big goals and unearned confidence. Don’t focus or worry about being personally successful. Invest early on in relationships, work hard for the greater good and realize your contribution to the world creates abundance. There is room for everyone to win, but the more you look outside yourself to help those around you through support, mentorship or creating opportunity, the greater fulfillment you will feel. No one can accomplish great things alone. Embrace your vulnerability, know your strengths, but better yet, identify your weaknesses early and understand that most great things are accomplished by identifying what you don’t know and reaching out to others for their talents and expertise.

Marlee Drake


Not everything will turn out like you plan!  Be flexible and see opportunities as they come to you. Don’t fall in love too quickly!  Don’t be in love with the idea of being in love...really learn about the person you are spending time with. Travel more!  It boosts your creativity and exposes you to new, amazing people and places.  Work hard but enjoy your time away from work. Learn to be a great communicator!  Public speaking and presentation skills are extremely crucial.  Learn how to express what you are thinking.  This will be important in all aspects of your life. Be brave…. Do things out of your comfort zone!  Pushing yourself will only make you more confident.

Julie Crecelius

Owner | Twinkle Toes Nanny Agency

Stop being afraid. Most of the things you worry about are never going to happen. Find a mentor who is your biggest cheerleader such as FFA teacher Fred Beckman and government teacher/track/football coach John Srholec. Slow down and chill out....Savor your work around your life and not the other way around. LAUGH OFTEN!!! Be happy and productive and choose friends who want the same type of lifestyle. SAVE MONEY!!! Save something out of every paycheck even if it's for shoveling a driveway or babysitting the neighbor kids. Be good to other people. Everyone is different and that is what makes this world glorious. Look in the mirror everyday (really look) and know that you are enough.