Top 10 Things I am Thankful For, This Year

Top 10 Things I am Thankful For, This Year

Happy New Year! On the news recently, the anchors were talking about something set to occur in 2024. I laughed, thinking about how far away that date sounds. Then, I realized how close it really is. Is time really moving this quickly? That’s definitely how I feel about the last ten years as CEO of Vivo, which seemed to have flown by in a blink.

 

This is one of the reasons why we decided to go big with our holiday party this year, treating our corporate team, and their significant others to a weekend in Napa.  As you can see from the pictures,  there is something truly magical about Napa. Taking time to enjoy colleagues, family member, and our beautiful Northern California landscape seemed especially fitting as we mark the end of 2016, and for me, the end of a decade of growing Vivo. If you’ll indulge my sap, I’ll do my first ever, “top 10” list. If sap’s not your game, please scroll down to the pictures, and enjoy putting some faces to the names of the tireless folks with whom many of you interact, weekly.

 

Top 10 Things I am Thankful For, This Year (In No Particular Order):

 

(1)    The reminder that life is short. After the deaths of folks like Prince and Princess Leia, it struck me that I had not yet seen Elton John perform live. Since I had always planned to see Prince on his next tour, or the next one, I immediately booked my trip to see him perform in Vegas. I am making sure to postpone fewer things until, “tomorrow”.

(2)    The ability to learn alongside my children. Up until my kids reached the tween and teen ages, they only knew or experienced what their father and I, or their teachers and friends, taught them. But, parenting young adults in the 2010’s is unchartered for us all. They learn a new technology? I learn a new technology. They snap, I snap. They make mistakes, I learn along with them, how to deal with the consequences. There is no longer a feeling of being knowledgeable, well-read, or “correct”. So, I’m reengaged in a learning process, instead of where I probably would otherwise have been, blissfully content.

(3)    The excitement of the unknown. Irrespective of your political views, each of us went to bed on November 7, 2016, being told by the pundits that it was mathematically impossible for Trump to be elected. Each of us went to bed on November 8, 2016, with Trump having been elected. Be you a supporter or foe, Democrat or Republican, pro-Hillary, or pro-Trump, it is really hard to disagree on one point: Every day is new. Nothing is predictable. Each of us has an opportunity to deal with the information at the same time, as there’s no real benefit to relying on assumptions as to what will be.

(4)    Brand Loyalty remains the most important asset we have as a company. As we close out a decade, we continue to be rewarded by our loyal clients, who respond well to our brand, and appreciate what we offer. Change may be exciting (see #2) but it is expensive, and difficult. How lucky are we to instead be rewarded for consistency. Thank you!

(5)    That we work with such amazing companies, who are quite literally saving lives.  Every year, I get emotional thinking of how grateful I am to each of our amazing managers. But, when I also step back and think of all of the amazing work these companies do, I am continually blown away. From stopping HPV to curing cancer, to keeping the Detroit auto industry thriving. From protecting the world’s assets and fighting cyber crime, to developing the technology that makes America as great as it is, our clients are amazing, and we are in awe.

(6)     Goal setting and goal achievement.   In 2015, we revamped how we set and managed goals and expectations. One year later, I don’t know whether to smile and bask in the glow of success, or kick myself for not simplifying and making this process more meaningful, previously. I’ll bask.

(7)    Disappointment. Something about the 10-year milestone afforded me the opportunity to review past failures, and learn and grow from disappointment. I’m so lucky to be on this journey, but I know now, more than ever, that Vivo embodies the concept that you have to fail at least somewhat, to succeed.

(8)    Humor. We are silly and zany, vivacious and irreverent. We laugh at ourselves, and we welcome good-natured pranks. I am so thankful to have built a company with these nutty work-hard/play-hard teammates at my side. Life is serious enough. Work is hard. But, when it’s silly time? Vivoers never disappoint.

(9)    Common Core, Online Dating and Kim Kardashian. For being three examples of things that remind me to stop fighting the aging process. I am thankful to have “grown up” before any of these three were in vogue.

(10)    Botox, hair dye, cute shoes, and barre class. For allowing me to fight the aging process, kicking and screaming.

 

Check us out at facebook.com/vivoinc to see all the crazy fun we had at our 10 year holiday party.

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Marilyn
Marilyn

Marilyn Weinstein is Vivo’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, responsible for overall strategy and business growth and development. Prior to starting iTalent Solutions in 2006—the successful effort which paved the way for Vivo’s launch in 2009—Marilyn was Vice President and General Counsel for AlphaSoft Services Corp., where she served on the company’s Executive Team for over seven years. She helped AlphaSoft grow from a start up to a $50 million per year, multi-office success story.