The Women Who Shaped Me: 10 Life Lessons from my 85-Year-Old Mom & 35-Year-Old Daughter

May 08, 2022


As we approach Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking about the two most impactful women in my life—my mom and my daughter. 


While my mom and daughter are separated by a few generations (mom is 85 and my daughter is 35), they have a lot in common. They’re both…


  • mothers to three daughters 
  • fearlessly brave
  • relentless in pursuing their passions 


They’re also incredibly unique. 


Mom was a pioneer as a corporate star and working mom in her generation, and my daughter is a thriving millennial, running her own dream business (+ caring for her 3 girls) from home. 


And me? I’m a blend of both. A corporate gal and working mom turned entrepreneur. Here’s a glimpse into our wild ride together… 


It’s Never Too Late

My mom worked her way up from secretary to VP Broadcast in the “Mad Men” era days at Bloom Agency in Dallas. She even produced some of the first Southwest Airlines commercials–  such as the one with the stewardess in “hot pants” on the runway. 


Mom is in the striped shirt above, producing one of the first Southwest Airlines commercials.


She then went on to be the founder of her own film production, and casting company. 


Throughout her career, she also believed in and connected countless people to help them discover their version of success, including me. You can likely guess that Connectedness® and Developer® are in her Top 5 CliftonStrengths®


I credit much of my marketing career to my mom’s willingness to give me chances when new opportunities arose. 


Next week, my mom will walk across the stage at Southern Methodist University (SMU) to receive her first bachelor’s degree at age 85.  


Mom taught me it’s never, ever too late to change your life or try again. 


Let Passion Guide You


When Whitney joined our family, we knew we were in for an adventure. By the time she was 7 years old, she was an entrepreneur, specializing in lemonade stands.

By her 20s, she was featured in Inc. Magazine for a jewelry business she launched at age 15. And eventually, she raised enough money to move to NYC and work in Public Relations.  

A few years later, after her second daughter was born, she launched a cookie business out of her home that helps new moms make more breast milk. Are you surprised she has Belief® and Self-Assurance® in her Top 5 CliftonStrengths®?

Her company, Miracle Milkookies is now THRIVING and serves mothers across the world.


Whitney taught me to follow my passions, and to let them lead me to problems only I can solve.  


Countless lessons are woven throughout our story together. But for Mother’s Day, I asked Whitney and my mom to share their advice on 10 of life’s most-visited topics. Read below to soak in their wisdom! As you’ll see—they really are the same kind of different…


10 Life Lessons from my 85-Year-Old Mom & 35-Year-Old Daughter



  • On bridges


Mom:  Never burn a bridge; you may need to cross it again someday.

Whitney: There’s no bridge you can’t learn to cross; there’s always a way.



  • On people


Mom: Don’t gossip unless you want to be gossiped about.

Whitney: Don’t waste time worrying about what others think.



  • On being a working mom


Mom: You can do whatever you want, just find great childcare. 

Whitney: You can do whatever you want and be home with your kids.



  • On cooking


Mom: Don’t learn to cook anything you never want to cook again.

Whitney: Make it fun and accessible for everyone in the family. 



  • On facing adversity 


Mom: It’s character building; just watch and learn.

Whitney: It’s an opportunity for growth. 



  • On friendship


Mom: Make efforts to stay connected.

Whitney: Be thoughtful and invest in the relationships that matter to you. 



  • On exercise


Mom: Always dress up, even when you exercise.

Whitney: Challenge yourself to do something active every day. 



  • On time


Mom: Don’t waste a minute.

Whitney: Schedule everything. Especially ‘me’ time. 



  • On learning


Mom: Stay sharp by doing crosswords daily (especially Wordle!).

Whitney: Always ask questions; it’s okay to not know the answer. 



  • On hospitality


Mom: Always serve others before yourself.

Whitney: Keep your doors open.

I always advise my clients to have both a mentor and reverse-mentor. Maybe that’s because of how much my mom and daughter have shaped my life, from cooking to business strategies. 


It was tough to make plans for Mother’s Day this weekend, as both my mentor-mom and reverse-mentor daughter are busy working on themselves and serving others. Mom is wrapping up final assignments for her SMU graduation, and Whitney is preparing a “pop-up” shop for other moms in DFW.

Nonetheless—it’s my mission to remind them both to celebrate the roles they play as influential women and mothers in our community


I’m so thankful to God for these two women—they model for me every day what it means to dream a dream and live it out.


These are the women who shaped me. 


Who are the women who shaped you? Share & tag them in the comments below! 

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