On the first day she sat in the first row, and we went back and forth as I did one my impromptu (yes, ever so slightly Miss Cleo-esque) brand predictions on her. I told her I saw pink in her future. She told me I was crazy. And the two of us have been fast friends ever since.
As it turns out, I was more right than either of us could have ever known at the time. And it's one of the very few times in my life, I would have been more than happy to be wrong.
You see, Lauren did end up rebranding later that year and it did, in fact, end up including pink. But that's not the part I wish I was wrong about (her brand is totally killer and you can check it out here). The part that I wish I was wrong about, was when pink took on a whole different meaning in Lauren's life late last year as she found out she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Lauren came to WPPI, just two months into her diagnosis when she still wasn't telling anybody. And while she was there, she came to sit in for support at our Platform class because that's the kind of amazing friend she is. While she was sitting there front and center in the first row, we played the Mary Ann video. And unbeknownst to us at the time, it struck a chord with Lauren perhaps more than anyone else in the room. Later during our talk we had people write down a list of their bHag's (big hairy audacious goals)....and Lauren knew exactly what was going to be first on her list. But I'll let her tell you about that....
A few months after WPPI, Lauren wrote this blog post. Unveiling to the world that she in fact reached that first bHag. She had faced cancer....and beaten it. And she told her story with a humor and a wit that only Lauren could do. I encourage each and every one of you to head over and read the full post in its entirety. But for now, I just wanted to end with these words from her:
'Since the day I started my business I was scared. Scared of doing something wrong. Scared of not being good enough. Scared of failing. Every big idea I had was stuck behind a bigger excuse of why I couldnít do it. Some reason as to why going after something bigger was too scary. But not anymore. I literally faced the scariest thing I can think of and I beat it. So what could I possibly be scared of now? What excuse could I possibly come up with as to why Iím not going after every single thing Iíve ever wanted. Nothing. To anyone out there who is scared. Or has a laundry list of excuses as to why theyíre not going after their dreams. I beg you to let go. Forget about the things youíre afraid of and just do it. Make them happen. I promise that even the scariest things really arenít that scary after all.
And you will come out on top."
Ladies & Gentleman of the blog world, I ask that you please help me thank Miss Lauren Wakefield for having the courage to be here.
And for giving us all the courage to fight a little harder.
For being an inspiration.
And for showing us all that even the hardest of scars, just make us that much stronger.
"A scar does not form on the dying. A scars says 'I survived.'"