"-April-2013-April-2013" Posts

SEE TRUE SUCCESS

   Having breakfast, with my friend Mike Veny, we were laughing over eggs at all the ridiculous obstacles we’ve experienced in our lives.  I told Mike I
believe a bumpier ride in life helps you achieve true success, as opposed to perceived success. Upon Mike’s insistence, I decided to dedicate a blog to the subject. Mike, this one’s for you.

   We live in a voyeuristic world where too much of our time
is eaten up by perceived success.  It chips away at our self esteem and, suddenly, our achievements are no longer good enough. 


  When I started my handbag company, Solas, in 2004 I had one thing on my mind,
"Oprah".   I believed in order to be considered a success, I had to be
on her show.
Oprah-22

I literally had a picture of Oprah in my bedroom. As you see, she is welcoming me with open arms.
My first big press hit was The Today Show.  Katie Couric said, "My friend Kara invented these bags" and my mom was elated! 
If I had Facebook back then, I am sure I would have received 100
"likes" from high school friends who would have thought I was really
cool. 

 The reality was, I only sold 8 bags from that segment.   When a mutual friend of Katie's and I found out I was going to be on The Today Show, she rang her up in hopes that Katie would give us a bigger "shout out". 

   
 In the fun banter of Matt jabbing at Katie, playfully, for saying I was her "friend", Cojo never mentioned where to buy my bags. However, my mom called everyone she knew to say that Katie said my name.

 As time went on, Solas graced the pages of People, Us Weekly, In Touch
etc…  I was on Extra, E! News, Fox, but not Oprah!!!!!  We were
selling thousands and thousands of bags, but I never truly celebrated because the "mothership" refused to answer my calls.  Ok, that's a lie. I might have had a glass of Champagne or two (or three, lol,) but the next day I would always wake up to this little voice in my head saying, "It's not good enough. You're not good enough." 
Harpo-studio-sign-in-chicago-ill-usa

This pic is for the .10 percent of you who didn't know this was the "mothership".
The year Entrepreneur magazine considered doing a feature about me, Solas was finally considered for Oprah's Favorite Things. The article happened. Oprah didn't.  Clearly, I was a loser.  In the end, the closest I ever got to Oprah was when I, embarrassingly, did the "Oprah ugly cry" during my documentary when I went from a potential deal with HSN and Dillards… to almost having to claim bankruptcy.
Kara crying

Come on! You have all done it… you just weren't stupid enough to have the cameras rolling.
My Oprah obsessed journey taught me there are two sides to
the coin of success.  The head is how the world interprets your
achievements and your attachment to that perception. The tail is your
heart string. It is your calling and it’s driven by your soul, not
others'. The key to happiness is finding a way for both sides to live
harmoniously.  I missed the boat on a few things, those years I was chasing
the big "O". First of all, the Katie Couric moment was not a failure. 
My soul knew it was not about selling bags it, was about giving me
credibility so I could achieve my dreams.  Plus, my soul really likes
making my mom happy! 

My head made it a failure by tying it to money. Even when I did start to achieve monetary success, I
never saw myself as successful. So my tail side said, "Grrrlll didn't
you learn anything?!?!? I'm about to wake your ass up!" (Cut to Oprah
ugly cry and having to start all over.)
    Before I wrote this article I asked my friends, "What is the
meaning of success?"  Some people had very specific goals in mind.
However, universally, people wrote about balance.  Whether it was
juggling motherhood and career or work and spirituality, everyone seemed
to want to balance life's mishaps with life's achievements. 
Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 11.30.42 AM

I thought it would be fun to post some of the comments as a reminder to all of us to stay focused on real success.
I think at the core we all know about the two sides of the
coin. We struggle with it. We feel guilty to admit we have a head side
that cares about perception. We wish we always came up tails and lived
our lives 100% driven by our hearts.  I am here to say
both sides are OK.  In fact, you need that balance to achieve happiness. 
Just make sure your perception of things isn't clouded. It's OK to have
lofty goals or aspirations in life. It's OK to be aware of what your
neighbor or children or the world thinks of you, just don't let
it guide you. Keep it in your peripheral vision and make sure you are
always checking in with the "man in the mirror." (or should I say goddess?)
Love and Light- YOU ARE A SUCCESS!!!
KK
Make sure to follow me at @lifebykk on twitter for daily inspiration!

STEP UP TO THE PLATE… FOR BOSTON

Once again, the hustle and bustle of an American work day was brought to a grinding halt by another tragedy.  A day
that should be filled with joy and celebration was literally brought to
its knees by a senseless act of cowardliness. There are very few
traditions left in our culture that bring out the spirit of brotherhood
and humanity, The Boston Marathon is one of those traditions. 

 

Boston-marathon-Carlos-Ar-010

Carlos Arredondo carrying a bloodied US flag at the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions. Photograph: Darren Mccollester/Getty Images

I think we all knew on September 11, 2001 that our lives were changed
forever but I don't think any of us fathomed how deep the penetration
of violence would now be embedded in our culture.  At first we all
banned together. We flew flags. We introduced ourselves to our
neighbors.  We prayed for strangers.  As time went on, however, we
locked our doors.  We closed our shades. We tuned into CNN.  

We drifted farther and farther away from our fellow Americans slowly becoming desensitized to Anthrax scares, heighten security alerts, and
images of war.  Little did we know the score had just become 2 points Terrorist, 0 America.  Americans were oblivious to the fact the terrorists had just turned our living
rooms into a battle field without using a gun.  We were, however, acutely
aware of the media and our quest for justice. We watched the news
religiously.  We spent money and resources to find whoever was
responsible because we thought killing the source of evil
would wash America clean and restore normality.

When I was a kid life certainly was not perfect.  The country had a long
ways to grow in respect and support of equal rights for all Americans.  I am proud to say I have seen that change in my lifetime. However, my school was never a war
zone. My yard was my utopia. And I spent more time interacting with my
neighbors and family than I did a video game.  I felt loved by my
community. I felt safe. My teachers had the resources and support to nurture my
growth.   I honestly remember being excited to say the Pledge Of Allegiance every morning. I would  jump up and down waving my hand in hopes of the
teacher choosing me to lead it. There was support in our
community. People were not only willing to help foster the future of the
children but when something did happen, it happened to all of us, as
Americans.

 

Kara and judy

A simpler time with my mom as a child.

Now as mass shooting after mass shooting occurs we spend hours
debating on television as to where to point the finger.  The
mother?  The teacher?  The law?  Anything to deflect a sense of
responsibility as a community. As more places become unsafe for us to congregate and love one another we deny we are drifting away into a world
where we have abandoned our children and each other.  We no longer need the terrorist to create terror, the seed was
planted and we watered it.  

We find ourselves once again looking for one source of evil to pinpoint the
violent act on so we can wash ourselves clean and move on with our day.
Terrorist 3,  America 0. 

The Boston Marathon had thousands of charity runner participants. People much like myself who run to raise awareness and
money for diseases like Cancer.  And a half a million people lined the
streets to cheer on all the runners.  Many of the participants
were complete strangers to the supporters yet they cheered and yelled,
"You can do it!"  They were selflessly supporting one another to show the younger generation and the world that love is limitless.

Someone or some group tried to destroy that example of community.  As we
see the  injury and casuality reports,  I know it seems impossible to
overcome the anger and not seek revenge. I want justice like we all do.  But if we lose sight of our neighbor I believe we
are doing a disservice to every hero involved.

So what do we do?  How do we turn such soar lemons into lemonade? It
won't be easy but we
could start by doing something different to really start fighting back.  I say we turn off our TVs and ipads and instead find time to volunteer in our community.
If that is not possible, how about we just simply display a random
act of kindness to a stranger everyday this week.   Introduce yourself to that neighbor you have never met or maybe have avoided
because you are "too" busy to talk.  Let's promise not to forget, but let's also promise to not be
afraid.  We can use this tragedy to get motivated to make a difference.   What happened won't
destroy or shadow one of the greatest traditions in American culture–
the Bostonians are too strong for that… but it could inspire us to make more.

My friend Henri's cousins were among the victims severly injured in this tragedy. The family could use your help and support.  Please click on this link to learn more and donate. http://www.gofundme.com/CelesteandSydney

 

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An emergency responder and passerby tend to Sydney Corcoran, a Lowell High School student who was injured by shrapnel in Monday's bomb explosion at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan) Read more:

 

Love and Light to everyone in Boston,

KK

(Kara Kurcz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

edited by J. Perrone