One of my favorite artists was and is James Brown. I fondly remember “Its a Man’s World” playing loudly on my parents record player when the family would get together on Saturday nights in our home in Kentucky during the 1970s. I remember listening, grooving, laughing and yet thinking as a girl … “What does my future hold? Is it truly a man’s world? Can I be anything I want to be? Can I truly have it all? Do I have to wait for some man on a white horse to save me put a crown on my head and say it’s all going to be better?” (Although I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice crown I could save the world! 🙂)

[youtube]http://youtu.be/VKPiBeZOkxg[/youtube]

I learned early that the answer is no. If you want it all, you go make it happen. Women have their place in the world, whether cleaning a room or in the boardroom. No, Mr. Brown, it’s NOT a man’s world it’s OUR WORLD for the taking!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/VBmMU_iwe6U[/youtube]

I am proud of the woman I have become. I have learned many lessons from the mentors I have had in my life and from the women such as my mother and grandmother, who always taught me to stand strong and be an example to others.  These lessons coupled with a few I have picked up along the way have enabled me to be the best LEADER I can be and make all steps to have all that I want and to support other women who are also coming up through the ranks.

A few lessons I have learned over the years in building my career I’d like to share with you :

  • Give yourself permission to move from girlhood to womanhood. It’s OK! Trust me!
  • Talk back to the voice inside that sometimes says, “ you can’t do that!” Tell the voice to SHUT UP! Hug yourself tight and say, “I can do it!” Don’t just sit back and wait for life to happen! Make life happen!
  • If you can see it, you can achieve it! Visualize yourself as you want to be. Picture yourself in the corner office! Picture yourself on stage accepting the great award! Picture yourself with the man as YOUR secretary rather than you as his! Lol.
  • Quit trying to be Perfect! Nothing else need be said except, discover your NICHE and become a master at it!
  • Don’t deny the powerful being that you are! It’s OK. You deserve it. Brag a little about it! As Glenda The Good Witch said to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, “You had the Power All Along!”
  • Ask for forgiveness sometimes rather than always asking for permission.  As long as you have done your research and you believe in the outcome you are trying to achieve, inform others of your intentions; don’t ask for permission! Respect they need to know but don’t always try to gain the approval to move forward with your action steps. Believe in yourself!
  • Admit to having fear, but don’t succumb to fear. I get afraid like everyone else, and I have so many people within USANA, in my community organization, religious organizations and my family depending on me to make the best decision. I had to learn to accept that the only bad decision is making NO decision. Fence sitters don’t have much place in business as a successful woman. That is what is often expected of us. Do the unexpected.
  • It’s OK to be tough in business, but let them open your door sometimes! Its OK to be equal to men as a leader, but a little courtesy and a little bling good, too, for a lady! 🙂
  • Love yourself  — no matter what. As Janis Joplin says:  (Besides asking for a Mercedes Benz :)) “Don’t compromise yourself – You are all you’ve got.” This is one of my favorite quotes I live by (also the Mercedes Benz is pretty cool, too!)
  • It’s good to be addressed as a lady, as being classy is a must (I’m sure Coco Chanel would agree). However, as a respected leader and businesswoman in the office and in your business, always make sure you are addressed by your name in all communications. Avoid accepting emails addressed to: “Ladies” or “Girls.” Remember, you’ve moved to womanhood!!

Thank you for letting me share a bit of my lessons with you. Remember, “RUN THE WORLD GIRLS!” Well, until we meet again my friends …

Editor’s note: This is the third in a four-part series in which women from USANA management discuss the strength of women in USANA. 
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46 replies
  1. Liza
    Liza says:

    Michelle,

    Literally I could turn to you for inspiration every single day. With having a dream to become one of Nevada’s top 50 Power Women your words are always encouraging and moving! This is OUR world and let me tell you something.. I AM READY TO TAKE IT!!!!

    Your words are always very much appreciated and of course you are my mentor and who I strive to be much alike 🙂

    Reply
  2. Valerie Kesler
    Valerie Kesler says:

    Thanks Michelle, I hope every woman in USANA reads this.
    I liked this so much I printed it! Now it’s hanging in my office so I can read it often.
    We’ve come along way Baby!

    Reply
  3. Renae Riley- Coleman
    Renae Riley- Coleman says:

    Michelle, this isn’t the first blog that I have read of yours and it certainly won’t be my last. You are truly an inspiration to me and I have made mention of you to my daughters on numerous occasions. It it wonderful to see good things happen for such a deserving person as yourself, and thank you for encouraging those of us who are still on their journey to strive for greatness. As the saying goes, “I continue to believe that the road I’m on will rise to meet me”.

    Reply
  4. Dyann Lyon
    Dyann Lyon says:

    Michelle, I love your style! We are so fortunate to have you as the Bold USANA Leader that you are! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and music with us! 😀

    Reply
  5. patrice
    patrice says:

    Outstanding entry!

    This is a great series. It is fantastic when women share themselves and shine in their world and this series is filled with powerful women leading by example.

    Your list of things is filled with gems of wisdom that need sharing. Brava!

    Reply
  6. Judyann Moore
    Judyann Moore says:

    Michelle,

    I saw you at convention and met you at the H&H in NYC w/ Dr. Oz.
    You came over to eat (like a regular person ha!) I thought in my head, wow she’s really cool. You were so sweet and genuine.
    Thank you for showing us women another woman can lead, be real and for being such an inspiration to look up to. I feel like I could just call you up and ask anything.
    See you in August Convention 2012!

    Reply
    • michelle merriwether
      michelle merriwether says:

      Thanks so much Andie! You have been such a wonderful friend. We have known each other for 30 years so coming from you , that means a lot

      Reply
  7. Elaine Pace
    Elaine Pace says:

    Michelle,
    Brilliantly written. I am so inspired to work alongside you. Thank you for creating the SWEET Retreat; it is the perfect opportunity for women in the USANA family to learn from and inspire each other.

    Reply
  8. Sandra Moody
    Sandra Moody says:

    Amen Sister Girl! (excuse me, Sister Woman!) Continue to inspire and role model for us. We must spread this message generations deep.

    Reply
  9. Elan Felders
    Elan Felders says:

    Michelle as always I have taken away some golden nuggets to share with my circle of influence. You are truly an inspiration in my life and this walk I am on to becoming a successful Business Woman. You Rock.

    Warmest Regards,

    Elan Felders

    Reply
  10. Andrea Equihua
    Andrea Equihua says:

    Dear Michelle… since meeting you last Convention you have set a standard on me. I can see power, desire and leadership all over you. Wanting to work, co-work with you? Absolutely!

    We women have definitely our role and of we are going to make things happen. Examples like you will inspire more and more women around the world and USANA is our vehicle to touch and change more minds and lifes. Please keep on being present, being strong and inspiring… others are following you to eventually create with you.

    Thanks for shaking my head every time I read you or listen to you.
    Andrea

    Reply
  11. Linda Memmesheimer
    Linda Memmesheimer says:

    Michelle-It is so great to see more women leaders emerging in Usana. Can’t wait to see a woman President-USANA and USA!
    Wish I could get to the Sweet Retreat. Are you bringing the show on the road? I would love to see all these wonderful women gathering at the Wentz Center in Naperville. I am going to get you out for a walk along our river someday. But you need to bring something besides those high heels!

    Reply
  12. Michelle Merriwether
    Michelle Merriwether says:

    Linda, soo great to hear from you!Happy to hear you are still talking your walks! Yes, getting me out of the heels will be an issue!! We only have the one site this year, but after the event we will take a look at all variables and make some decisions about next year. will keep you posted. Hope to see you at convention and the 2013 regional conference in chicago. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  13. Greg Williams
    Greg Williams says:

    Nice to see the journalistic side of you Michelle….Nice article and of course, I agree with every thing you so eloquently stated… 🙂

    Reply

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