A Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Written by on March 2, 2015 in Breaking Barriers, Sense of Purpose

Inspiring Blogger Award

Most people who know me understand that I’m far more comfortable doing my thing behind the scenes, which is why I initially attempted to beg off when fellow blogger Julie Gorges contacted me to let me know she’d nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Obviously, I relented, and in large part because Julie herself is such an inspiration. She is the mastermind behind the blog Baby Boomer Bliss and has been writing professionally for more than 20 years.

Julie is the author of three books, has written hundreds of articles and short stories for national and regional magazines, and won three journalism awards.

So, a big thank-you Julie! It is indeed an honor to receive this award.

Inspiring Blogger Award

What does inspiration mean to you?

The basic definition of inspiration is a person, place or experience that makes someone want to do or create something.

But there is no one-size-fits-all formula for inspiration. What inspires you can just as easily leave someone else bored to tears, which is why we all have such different reactions to self-help, motivation and personal development advice.

But for those of us who aspire to make a difference in the lives of others, there really is only one way to measure our effectiveness, and that’s if someone is moved enough to take action.

I want to inspire my readers to reach beyond “comfortable” to become the best possible version of themselves. ~Marquita Herald

Which led me to my first challenge. Recipients are asked to share at least 5 things about themselves that most people don’t know. I’m a pretty private person so there was plenty to work with; the tricky part was choosing tidbits to share that wouldn’t put readers into a coma in the process.

So I decided to answer the most frequently asked questions I receive which have to do with how I ended up where I am and doing what I’m doing.

5 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me

1. How I Came to Focus on Resilience

I grew up a Southern California Introvert obsessed with two things, art and sports – archery, gymnastics, diving and (do NOT laugh please!) synchronized swimming.

Home life was … challenging. There were a variety of issues, including substance abuse. In spite of efforts to keep the family secrets behind closed doors, the trolls were ever present and relentlessly bullied me throughout high school. Collectively, these early experiences spawned my passion for understanding and developing emotional resilience.

2. How I Came to Moved to Hawaii

My #1 most frequently asked question is how I ended up living in Hawaii. The short answer is my ex-husband. We were still newlyweds and I was busy working on a degree in commercial art. His friends had caught Hawaii fever and one-by-one began moving to Maui.

They sent back glowing stories about paradise so he talked me into taking a 2-week vacation to visit them, and then began applying pressure to join the exodus. Eventually, I gave in, quit school and we packed up and moved here. At this point, I’ve lived in Maui much longer than I did on the mainland so I consider it officially to be my home turf.

3. How I “Faked” My Way Into a Career in Travel

A week after moving to the Island I was sitting on the beach in Wailea wondering what I was going to do to make a living when I became fascinated with the construction of what was to be the Inter-Continental Resort.

And just like that, a dream was born, “One day I’m going to work there and maybe even get to travel to the other Islands!”

That I had no experience in either travel or hotels was a minor blip in the plan, I was determined to find a way, so when I saw an ad for a secretary to the resident manager of a resort condo complex I jumped at the chance to get some experience under my belt.

The position required shorthand. I had no clue how to do that, but I wanted the job bad enough I was willing to try and fake it since the manager said there really wouldn’t be a lot of dictation. When I showed up for work just 2 days later I learned the man who’d hired me had been fired and the head of the condo board would be my boss until a new manager was hired.

I knew I was in trouble on the first day because he dictated 8 letters and while I kept up pretty well in the beginning, by the 6th letter I could barely read my scribbles and I struggled half the night trying to transcribe my notes.

And so it went for the next week until one day he called me into his office, closed the door and then proceeded to declare that it was pretty obvious I did not know how to take shorthand. There was a long moment of silence and I thought “Oh, for heaven’s sake just get it over and fire me already!” and began to stand to make my dramatic exit.

Then he did something totally unexpected – he smiled and motioned for me to sit and said, “Here’s the thing. Since you write so much better than I do, how about from now on I just give you the gist of what I want to say and you take it from there?”

And that was the beginning of my 20-year career in the travel industry.

My life motto: You CAN, you SHOULD, and if you’re BRAVE enough … you WILL!

4. How I Became a Road Warrior For the Hawaii Travel Industry

This is another popular question, I suppose because of the romantic lure of being able to travel the world on someone else’s dime.

I worked for the resort condo I referenced above for about 6 months, but my primary mission remained to find a way to work at the Inter-Continental Hotel (IHC) which had just opened on the other end of the Island. When I saw a job posting for secretary to the resident manager at the IHC, even though it paid substantially less, I jumped at the opportunity because that was where I really wanted to be.

I got the job and before long moved up to administrative assistant to the general manager and then assistant to the Vice President of Hotel Development.

Great job and pay, tons of perks, but I wanted a career and to travel so I set my sights on sales.

Again, no experience, but the company had an executive training program that was a direct path to becoming a sales manager. The problem was that it required a college degree in travel industry management, but I wasn’t going to let that minor technicality stop me so I began hounding everyone from the hotel manager to the area vice president to give me a shot.

They kept saying no, I kept quitting, they kept refusing my resignation, my friends (and then husband) all told me I was crazy, but I kept at it and eventually I got the ear of the V.P. of Human Relations, she pulled a few strings and I was accepted into the training program, with one provision.

I had to keep working my full-time job while I was going through training.

It was grueling and everyone (and I do mean everyone) expected me to quit, but instead, I finished the 12-month program (with honors) in 10 months and was rewarded with a sales manager position and my choice of sales territory.

The best part was that based on my success the company changed their policy and opened the training program to all employees based on their work performance and related experience rather than limiting the opportunity to only those with a travel industry degree.

And that’s how I fulfilled the dream that was born while sitting on the beach in Wailea, except instead of Island hopping, over the next 20 years I traveled to 50 out of 51 states in the U.S., and throughout Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific.

5. How I Made the Transition from Travel Industry to Coaching and Writing

While it was a blessing to have had such a rewarding career in travel, eventually the time came to reinvent myself – again.

I’d lived in Maui for a couple of decades and I was more than ready to stick around and enjoy it for a change. Business management and developing training programs had become a big part of my job toward the end of my time in travel so when the opportunity presented itself to work from home as a small business coach it felt like the logical next step in my life journey.

It didn’t take long before I had hundreds of clients – many first time entrepreneurs – but they were spread across 3 Islands which made providing one-on-one training and support an ongoing challenge. So I developed a variety of training materials, set up my first website and began offering online courses and a forum for people to connect with others on the same journey.

One recurring theme caught my attention, and that was how to manage the stress and strain of building a business while balancing family life. I created a course on developing emotional resilience for entrepreneurs that took off and the positive feedback led to my first book.

That book led to more books and my first blog, and a year ago this month, the launch of Emotionally Resilient Living. But this is only the beginning.


Thanks again Julie, for your kind words, support and for the honor of joining the ranks of those who have received the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

And to those who took the time to read this lengthy post, if there is one thing you take from my experiences, I hope it will be that no matter what your circumstances may be in life, if you want something bad enough – and are willing to work for it – you can make your dreams a reality.

Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click here.


Thank you for sharing!

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21 Reader Comments

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  1. Thank you Lynne, for your kind words and especially for letting me know that my writing has inspired you – can’t tell you how much that means to me. 🙂

  2. lynne says:

    Hi, Congratulations , you deserve it. I’m a regular reader of your blogs and I truly admire how courageous you are, especially now that I’ve learned so much about you. Your post are not only very encouraging but you inspire me a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you Jacs, you’re very kind and I’m glad you enjoyed the article! 🙂

  4. Thanks Laurie, I’m not one to normally share personal information but I do understand that sometimes it helps us to relate to one another on a whole new level. Appreciate your thoughtful insights. 🙂

  5. I love reading your story, Marty! Truly you are an inspiration.

    Your early experiences of on-the-job training remind me of my daughter Vicki. Our oldest daughter attended a local college for training as a nursing assistant, and got a job in the long term care centre in our town. Several years later, Vicki totally bypassed the college training, and got a job doing the same thing as Irene, and learned while working! She still had to study the books and write exams, but she was earning money while doing it, and didn’t have to travel to the city. Vicki has been a valued and well-liked member of the team for 7 years now.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted…Week 22 – Master of My EmotionsMy Profile

  6. What an Absolute Gem this post is Marty! Not only are you resilient… but you don’t give up when you want something, and have the determination of a dog to hang on to a bone 😉
    I love your blog (and the new look!) and your writing, and it’s super to hear more about you and your life on Maui and how you carved your desire to travel into such a fab career.
    You Really Deserved that Bloggers award 🙂
    Jacs Henderson recently posted…Blog Engage… Community… Syndication… ManagementMy Profile

  7. Laurie Hurley

    First of all, I was on the synchronized swim team in high school. I thought I was a rarity, but I guess not. Be proud! That was a tough sport. Second, wear your award proudly, you deserve it! Lastly, I love the personal stuff you share. So many people only write about facts and figures and statistics. So much more interesting know the back story. Fascinating and I truly enjoyed reading this.
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…Don’t Let Your Business Take A Bite Out Of YouMy Profile

  8. Congratulations on your well deserved award from Marty! I always feel inspired by your thoughtful posts. I loved reading your back story. It’s been 25 years since I visited Maui. I can’t even imagine how wonderful it must be living there full time.
    Diane Howell Topkis recently posted…What if you had only 1 year to live?My Profile

  9. Patricia Weber

    Congratulations my introvert friend Marquita.

    I always love knowing how people got to be where they are in life and business. It’s been years since my husband and I last visited Maui – we’ve been there twice. You live in a beautiful part of our world.

    It sounds like you are quite the planner and so likely that’s one of your foundational pieces in your success!
    Patricia Weber recently posted…A Metaphor as a Secret Ingredient for IntrovertsMy Profile

  10. What a great story, Marquita. I didn’t know you lived in Hawaii. I’ve never been but hope to before I die!! I admire your tenacity. Most people wouldn’t even attempt to get into the training program without a degree. But that’s a silly requirement when an employee has already shown her intelligence and drive. How easy you make it seem to slip right from a travel career into coaching but I’m sure you had a plan and did what you had to do to have a second very successful career. Congratulations!
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Maybe Social Media Isn’t the Way to Promote Your BusinessMy Profile

  11. Arleen

    I love this expression “if you want something bad enough – and are willing to work for it – you can make your dreams a reality.” Just visualize, think it, and dream of it and I will tell you by golly it does work. Your perseverance has paid off.
    Arleen recently posted…What is the magic of Branding?My Profile

  12. Thank you so much for your kind words Doreen! So glad to hear you’ll be visiting our beautiful Island in October – much better then. Right now we’re up to our eyeballs in rain and flooding. 🙂

  13. I loved reading your post, Marquita. I have always dreamed of living on Maui. At least I will have the opportunity to visit in Oct. It’s been far too long!

    Congrats on the well-deserved award.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…the importance of trustMy Profile

  14. Hey thanks Donna! Obviously not an area I’m comfortable with, but I do appreciate the show of support. 🙂

  15. Thank you Dave, I sincerely appreciate your kind words. 🙂

  16. Thank you so much Marla for your kind words – very much appreciated. 🙂

  17. You are always so kind Mark, and thank you for the congrats. I was more than a little reluctant to do this, in part because of my preference for privacy, but also because this was the 4th time I’d been nominated and I’d politely turned down the other invites so I was concerned someone might get their feelings hurt. But in the end I thought well, maybe is like the chicken pox, might as well just get it over with and not have to keep worrying about it. 🙂

  18. Donna Merrill

    Congratulations my dear friend. You deserve it!

    I loved reading your story about yourself. I can resonate with your younger years so well. I think it is a blessing in disguise because here you are helping others all the time.

    I sure got a kick of how you entered the travel business. And loved the way just the time you thought you would be fired because you didn’t do shorthand, your boss had recognized you were a better writer than he was.

    So here you are, and have a few books under your belt and also always helping with your blog posts. You are one special gal!

    Donna Merrill recently posted…3 Ways To Pump Up Your BlogMy Profile

  19. Dave

    Congratulations Marty, I could not think of a more deserving individual in my sphere of blogging “friends” to receive this award. Of course, I am slightly biased since your inspiring, motivating, and encouraging words are what helped get me started on my own writing endeavors 🙂

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Your determination, perseverance, and I-will-not-take-no-for-an-answer attitude gets my own adrenaline flowing, so thank you once again! You talk the talk on resilience, and you live it even better! 🙂
    Dave recently posted…Young heartMy Profile

  20. Marla

    Congrats Marty – a well deserved honour indeed! Thanks for sharing your back-story – both interesting & inspiring.
    Marla recently posted…Introverts, Are We Too Serious?My Profile

  21. Mark

    First of all, congratulations on receiving such an outstanding and much deserved award M!

    And I’ve gotta tell you, (even though) you are an extremely shy and closely guarded person!

    Each time that you share certain parts of your life and your various experiences and adventures etc!

    I find myself even more fascinated and in total awe of some of the things that, you’ve been through and accomplished thus far!

    Just having the heart to go after a job that initially required you to have a particular skill, that you hadn’t acquired just yet and not letting that deter you in the least, in your pursuit of your ultimate goal(s!)

    That type of tenacity and true determination is simply too priceless!

    And then persisting until you found a way to be included in that training program!

    Wow M! I’ve gotta say, as much as you may think that lady (Julie) dragged you kicking and screaming I’m sure!LOL!

    That ward is so very much deserved! And I’m so glad you finally relented and decided to accept it!

    Because without a doubt, your talents, gifts and truly inspirational and therapeutic writings and courses etc!

    Have helped (and will) most certainly continue to do so, more lives than you can possibly imagine and or truly appreciate!

    And I most definitely consider myself one of them! You’re leading and are living such a fabulous life!LOL!

    Thank you so much for periodically give us a small glimpse into it! I so love reading about it!

    Each juicy tid bit you share, just fuels my curiosity to know more!LOL!
    Mark recently posted…Three Incredibly Simple Reasons Why All Serious Entrepreneurs Need To Get Out Of Debt Fast!My Profile

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