Saturday, February 14, 2009

Penny Pearlman on the Importance of Showing Up

For the past two years, I've been watching my dear friend Penny Pearlman conceive, gestate and birth her first book: Pretty Smart: Lessons from Our Miss Americas.

After traveling all across the country interviewing 22 former Miss Americas (including Phyllis George and Gretchen Carlson of Fox & Friends), Penny has much wisdom to share about going for a dream. In a future posting, I'll tell her wonderful story in greater depth, but here's a quick taste from her own blog:
Earlier this week I gave a talk before a group called the Passion Project here in Connecticut. Each month the moderator (my dear friend and fellow author, Prill Boyle) invites a woman to share her journey and her passion.

As I thought about what I would say and listed the seminal moments in my life, I realized that the thread that ran through my various travels towards achievement, around obstacles and through my own self doubts is that I showed up. I showed up when opportunity presented itself. I showed up when I was looking for a new path. I showed up even though my knees were quaking.

And more than showing up, when you’re just a face in the crowd, I raised my hand and said, “here I am” to that opportunity, to facing adversity, to struggling with my own limiting beliefs.

There is no secret to fulfilling a passion or a dream. The ingredients are the same, though the mix may be different for each of us. Persistence, discipline, focus, courage and vision are the drivers in our soul that keep us moving forward.

More important than saying to no to distractions, other’s negative opinions or potential barriers, is saying YES! to our dreams. When you show up and raise your hands, your are saying Yes to yourself. There is no more powerful engine of success than that.
To read more about Penny, order her book, and/or access her blog, visit


  1. I am so happy I made it to the Passion Project gathering to hear Penny speak. Her advice about showing up and raising your hand is so right on...going after our passions can be so hard sometimes but oh so possible! Penny is a terrific example of this.

  2. She knows how to overcome with SPUNK!

    Yes, showing up is most of the battle - taking that step of faith.

    L. Diane Wolfe

  3. In November, I was one of the speakers at an event for Girl Scouts in my area. One of the other featured guests was Lauren Nelson, Miss Oklahoma...and Miss America 2007.

    Her story was inspiring and was all about going for the dream.

    Allyn Evans

  4. Reminds me of my mother's saying, "If you don't try, you won't know if you could have won!"

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  5. Anonymous11:42 AM

    I love how Penny says saying yes to yourself! This was so good for me to read today as I just submitted my 2nd children's book manuscript to an editor and I was SO SCARED. But I am so passionate about my message that I just had to take this leap of faith.
    Reading this post today made me so HAPPY I took the leap once again!