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Here’s Where #AllTheRedSparkLadies Find Inspiration

Red Spark’s team of creative go-getters, problem solvers, and tech trailblazers is always striving to do their best in and out of the office. But when you’re always on the move, a little extra fuel for the brain can go a long way. That’s why we sat down for another #AllTheRedSparkLadies Lunch N’ Learn to share what inspires and pushes us to always stay on top of our game.

Everyone has a personal hero. For Red Spark general counsel Linda Shi, it’s Shonda Rhimes.

“Not only is she a female showrunner who has an entire night of primetime television to her name, her casting decisions opened the door for a lot of amazing diverse actors in a way that was unprecedented,” she says.

When Linda feels afraid or hesitant, she refers to Rhimes’ TED Talk, “My Year of Saying Yes to Everything.” The Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal titan vowed to say “yes” to everything that scared her or struck a nerve for one year.

“The very act of doing the thing that scared me undid the fear,” Rhimes says. “It’s amazing the power of one word. ‘Yes’ changed my life. ‘Yes’ changed me.”

If you want to learn and grow, stepping outside of your comfort zone is the first move you need to make. Inside and outside of Red Spark, we’re always jumping head-first into daunting tasks with a can-do attitude.

“I like to say ‘yes’ to new opportunities or challenges even when they’re outside of the legal function because I find those to be the best learning experiences,” Linda says.


Another one of the most inspiring of our heroes who never lets a challenge put her down is Bella Picard, a St. Joseph’s University softball player whose life was drastically changed after an aggressive slide fractured her vertebrae and left her paralyzed.

“She’s unique and strong and the only person I know who could overcome a neck injury with the amount of grace that she has,” says operations specialist Maria Ficca, a friend and former teammate of Bella’s.

Doctors thought it would take two to three years for Bella to walk again, but to everyone’s surprise, she prevailed and was back on her feet less than a year later.

Whether Maria is stuck in a rut while pulling data or running discrepancy reports, she thinks of Bella to fuel her motivation and power through her tasks.

“If I’m having a bad day, I just look down at my wrist and see ‘Bella Strong, ’ and it motivates me to work as hard as she does,” she says.

Working hard is something we’re all familiar with at Red Spark, and we never settle for less than our best work.

To keep herself motivated, director of marketing and communications Leah Kauffman reads productivity blog Zen Habits. It reminds her to stay true to her word, maintain her focus, and complete her to-do lists. For inspiration, she utilizes “8 Experiments in Motivation.”

“Everyone at Red Spark has a million projects going on – inside and outside of work,” she says. “This article helps me self-motivate and work on all of my projects after work when I just want to watch Empire in bed.”

It’s all about focusing on a sense of achievement, finding a group with similar goals, and starting each day with excitement. That’s why at Red Spark our co-workers are always lending helping hands and lifting each other’s spirits from the moment we walk in the door.

When content writer Angel Lawrynkiewicz feels like her motivation is slipping away, she channels her favorite author, J.K. Rowling, and thinks of her “Top 10 Rules for Success.”

“Sometimes stress can get you down, and all you want to do is give up, but you have to remember that the moment will pass,” Angel says.

How does she fuel her ability to move from one project to the next at the drop of a hat? Perseverance. She knows that life is not a checklist of achievements, but when you have the power to imagine better and take action on your ideas, dreams can happen.

Sometimes finding motivation can be as simple as taking the time to enjoy life between endless projects. For someone like IT administrator Nikki White, who’s constantly looking for her next adventure, Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY Awards speech is the most powerful piece of advice.

“He’s telling you to slow down,” she says. “You don’t always have to push yourself to complete something. You should enjoy the in-betweens, the journey before the end.”

Jimmy V, whose body was riddled with cancer, laid out a blueprint for living a full and satisfying life.

There are three things we all should do every day,” he says. “We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.”

Say ‘yes’ whenever possible, always tell yourself you can do something even when you’re told you cannot, find a group of like-minded people to support you, persevere, and never give up on your goals!

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