The following is an outstanding guest post from Ruth Thoes Vivrett. It seems she has seen and done just about everything, and I know just about everyone could learn a thing or two from this post. Enter Ruth:


My father always used to say I had my daddy’s good looks and my mama’s disposition. Guess that is what set me up to believe that anything was possible. I was also blessed with intelligence and the capacity to look for solutions – not bragging since this was God given and just was. In school, my intelligence was both blessing and curse – The blessing came from recognition from scholastic awards and the curse came from an inherent shyness thinking something was wrong with me since my studies seemed to come more easily to me than to my friends.

I held various positions in corporate America, before being assigned to help develop Electronic Funds Transfer capabilities for our bank – I was chosen to do this since the management team didn’t see much value in a bright young woman. The reality was that by being willing to do whatever was necessary this formed the basis for an expertise that became very lucrative in position and financial rewards.

I eventually was chosen to manage the creation of an Automated Teller network in the late 70’s (MPACT which became CIRRUS which became MasterCard Debit capability). I worked for a very difficult CEO who gave me hard jobs because he knew I would never give up – I would somehow figure out the world that was the marriage of banking and telecommunications and systems. What I really learned was how to be a good translator – just kept learning new languages as needed. A wonderful executive at the company told me that being shy did not mean I had to accept unacceptable things – I just needed to learn to be an actor. I could become who I needed to be (daughter, sister, best friend’s wife, etc.) to get the deal done without ever giving up myself. From that point I began to develop the social skills that goes with being an effective corporate executive.

When my time in corporate America was over, I spent several years traveling the world as a management consultant. From Brazil to Japan to England and France, the opportunities were awesome and taught me respect for other cultures and points of view that I had not experienced as fully just with travels in the United States. This also taught me new languages – both from the country as well as the many different business models I worked with. All good. As the consulting time completed, I actually thought about retiring and not being on a plane again. However, my husband changed that thought when he said that he and the dog could not take my full attention – I was making them nuts. And so, a new skill/language was born.

I built my own business in the financial planning arena. Consulting one on one with my clients was very rewarding and also the business was complex enough to keep me intellectually engaged. But the best lesson I discovered about myself was I really never wanted to “report” to a manager again. No one would be in the position to “lay me off” again. Finding this level of control in my professional life was the hardest work I ever did but also it is what will take me forward. My more recent challenge was physical in nature – I was diagnosed with breast cancer and am thankfully recovered after quite an experience (double mastectomy, chemo, itching, etc.). I am lving a much fuller, more grateful life and know that each experience has just been another reason to learn and to help others.

Key lessons:

  • Never give up – if it hasn’t been invented yet, figure it out. If it has been invented, don’t be afraid to use what is there.
  • Become an actor – don’t let you nature or shyness keep you from being what you can be.
  • Be a lady – compassion and manners still count. I found a way to be “one of the guys” and still be a “one of the girls”.
  • Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer – learn from everyone – what to repeat and what to never do again.
  • Enjoy the thrill of re-inventing yourself – don’t let a hurdle keep you down.


To connect with Ruth Thoes Vivrett call her at 214-674-5495 or email her at  20*****@gm***.com

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