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I recently attended a women’s breakfast and was pretty excited to hear from the keynote speaker Zoe Jackson-Jarra aka Zoe Fashion Plate. This woman is a Houston icon and has done so many great things for the community.

Her credits and accomplishments and the talented people she’s worked with over the years is amazing.

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I was seated near the back and from the corner of my eye saw an event hostess help wheel in a very frail looking woman with dark sunglasses. I thought to myself that it was kind of cool that whoever this woman was, given her physical condition would come to the event.

When they introduced the speaker, the frail woman in the wheelchair was brought to the front. The room grew pretty quiet because the woman in front of us didn’t resemble the woman shown on all the promo material.


We sat attentively as she spoke slowly and softly and shared her story. She shared that she had been diagnosed with Lupus years ago had gone into remission and that the condition returned in a different more aggressive form.

She shared how she wish she could have seen us all which told me the disease had robbed her or at least minimized her sight.

I watched this woman deliver her keynote and share her story.

She shared how she was determined to make good on her commitment and show up and deliver even though she had been in pain up until 4 AM a few mornings prior to the event.

In that moment, I had to repent. I had to repent for flimsy excuses I had given for not showing up in the past and letting the smallest thing derail me. I had no excuse that could stand in the light of what I witnessed that day.

Here was Ms. Zoe, in the throws of a Lupus episode encouraging every woman in that room. I didn’t have any excuses as to why I couldn’t do whatever it was I needed to do. Zilch. Nada. Zippo. Ms. Zoe’s strength, her sheer will and determination inspired me.

Her showing up and delivering in spite of, fulfilled the mandate and purpose for our gathering. Sidebar: that’s exactly what you want your keynote speaker to do, hold to the purpose for the gathering and deliver value. I have no doubt that every woman who attended was indeed inspired.

I know I was.

So what excuses are you allowing yourself to give?

Is it possible you can push past them and deliver?


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