Fearless Fridays: I Get Paid to Speak at Colleges & I Didn’t Even Go

5 April 2019

I’m wearing an outfit from Anthropologie with Summit White Mountain heels

Glam by Blo Blow Dry Bar in West Hartford

Photography by Sarah Harrigan  

Earlier this year I contacted Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, about 1.5 hours from where I grew up to pitch them my standard college talk that I was hoping to present. After a few weeks of back and forth chatter about what I’d present on and the value I could potentially bring to the business students, the Dean of the college accepted my idea and hired me to present! They were interested in having me present 2 talks: one to a larger crowd and one to a smaller, more intimate crowd. Since I don’t usually get asked to present two different talks, I decided to switch it up a bit and test out a different talk.

I love speaking to larger and smaller groups, but usually I most enjoy speaking to a smaller crowd because it’s always a more intimate experience. I decided to make a set of questions to hand out to students prior to the talk to get them thinking about the balance between working for a corporate company or running your own company while maintaining a level of happiness. That’s crucial in your success. I encourage you to answer the questions below…

Most questions are meant to be open-ended: fill in what YOU think the answer is. There is no correct answer and there is no prize at the end of this quiz. The prize is you digging a little deeper to define your path and overcome the obstacles that will get in the way to deter you from being ultimately content with your life and career.   

Think of yourself in the most uncomfortable situation you’ve been in: say a networking event, a frat party or a public speaking class.

 Question 1: What’s the absolute worst outcome of this fear? What’s the absolute worst that could happen in any situation like the above? 

 Think of a movie similar to “Wolf on Wall Street” or “The Devil Wears Prada” 

Question 2: In your opinion, what did the main character do correctly when landing their dream job? 

Imagine yourself 5 years from now.

 Question 3: So, what’s your dream job? 

In between now & 1-5 years from now… 

Question 4: What could you be doing differently that would land you that dream job quicker than someone who is sitting next to you in class with the same degree? 

We certainly all have fears, myself included, and sometimes an utter fear of being ultimately successful… 

Question 5: What’s your biggest fear in between now and landing your dream job?


  1. Feeling unfulfilled until you get your dream job
  2. Feeling unfulfilled or confused when you land your dream job
  3. Not knowing what you truly want to do
  4. Comparing yourself to someone else who may have an advantage (for example, have more connections than you) that will give them the job that you want
  5. None of the above 


 Question 6: How invested in your happiness are you?

  1. Incredibly invested. Happiness is everything!
  2. Not sure what to define happiness as
  3. I’d rather make more money than be happy
  4. I feel like I’m already happy & don’t think there’s anything I’d change 

Most of us are good at rationalizing why things we fear aren’t worth doing. 

Question 7: What scares you in life right here, right now?

Question 8: What could you start tomorrow to reach your fullest potential?

  1. I could start voicing my opinions more to the people around me
  2. I could remove some toxic people from my life to feel happier!
  3. I could start networking more or introducing myself to people on LinkedIn whom I may want to work for in the future

I think it’s very common for young people to feel so frustrated and anxious when they don’t know what they want to pursue for a living after college. I have some surprising words for you: most people who even run their own company don’t know what they want to do for the rest of their life. Life is about exploring and consistently finding new ways to grow. You have to find your purpose. Keep exploring until you do, and don’t get frustrated with the journey because that’s the only way you’ll find that purpose.

I’ll be speaking at USC later this month: RSVP here! https://bit.ly/2Iclojc


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