What is the meaning behind our experience?

I was recently asked to write my own CV. I have to tell you, I have probably 100 different resumes floating around my dropbox, random job application emails and on LinkedIn. I have spent my career trying to summarize my career. I understand that this is important. I read the “top ten things to put on your resume” posts and “how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out”. I respect these articles and they have been very helpful. But, where is my soul in all of this? Where is the actual description of who I am? How will you actually know me from one piece of paper full of accomplishments and buzz words? I don’t think you will. Most opportunities that have come my way have been through a personal connection—because I am great in the room. I am a people person. I am a positive force who believes anything is possible. So in light of my recent effort to write a professional CV I have written the following. I hope it gives you some insight into who I am and perhaps permission to put a little soul in your own CV or bio. I am all of the parts and experiences that brought me here—including my heritage, the cities I have lived in and the way I behave in private.


I am a daughter of a psychologist and a political philosopher.  I come from academia, Italian immigrants and Irish descent. I am a city girl’s daughter and a thinking man’s child.  At a very young age I looked death in the face as it washed over my mother’s eyes. I have experienced trauma and pain and loss. I watched my mother work to save lives, to inspire and create light for those that were lost. I watched my father work 9-7 and sometimes travel for weeks to work to put food on our table all while fighting an autoimmune disease.  At that dinner table we talked about right and wrong and how to have integrity.  We bowed our heads in prayer, reached out our hands to those in need and fought with fire and passion.  We stood up for what we believed in and were asked to stand up for those that didn’t have a voice.

I am a show choir singer and a theater major and once was a page at The Late Show with David Letterman. I have lived all over the country—with money and without money.  I have worked three jobs to pay the rent and invited others to stay in my home even when I barely had enough, and in return they have done the same. I’ve never met a stranger and I am afraid that I can’t protect myself from my own empathy and so I try to do work that allows me to lean on that empathy as a strength.  I believe stories change lives, that is why I spent my twenties trying to get really good at telling stories—traveling all over to learn from the best.  From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to Seattle to Portland, and to Indianapolis; I have lived in 6 of the major cities in the United States, this means I have a deep understanding of those cultures and how that influences business. It also means I have been given the greatest gift; a personal and professional network that is diverse and full of generous characters. 

I was never afraid enough to stop.  Fear has always been a friend of mine, but she has not kept me from trying anyway. The loss of my mom has traveled with me, on my shoulders, in my heart and in the work that I do with the people that I love.  And oh, how I love the people.  I am invigorated when someone opens up a part of themselves that they never thought they could access.  Because isn’t that what is at the heart of all business? Believing we can, seeing possibility, opening up to change and then making things happen. When we work with fear as our friend, we carry on anyway.  When death and loss, bankruptcy and depression still aren’t enough to stop someone from carrying on, this is where we shine.  Life happens and when it does, when the walls come closing in on you it is then that you have a choice; do I run, or do I fight? I teach people how to fight—fight through the fear and pain and sorrow and doubt.  And when they finally understand that they truly can do anything they want to, when they finally get out of their own way in order to; start a business, make a movie, beat cancer, raise a family, close a deal, fall in love--that is when the real work begins.  

And the work, well that is very personal. I bring all of me to the workplace and sometimes that means tears of joy and tears of fear. It means putting myself out there and challenging the things that don’t feel right—including my own self when she finds herself stalled. I love progress, I love forward momentum and if you bring me into your organization or hire me as your coach expect us to move mountains. If things are too slow or the team is too afraid I will do the work to get them ready for the progress or change, and when we are done and the work is finished and the mountain is moved it will be time for me to head to the next project. I am efficient and I do not linger; I do the work that needs to be done, help you get where you want to go and build the system that enables scale and sustainability.

So am I the right match for you and your mission? Are you really ready to do the work? To face the things you are most afraid of within yourself? To inspire your team to work harder and more authentically? Are you ready for the change you know is necessary and the success that comes with that? Wonderful. Then we might just be a perfect fit, I can’t wait to hear from you!

Teresa SabatineComment