Category Archive: Inspiration

Hearing Crickets When You Post on Social Media? Don’t Give Up

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

It feels like it was just yesterday, though it’s actually been a little while, that I first started posting on Facebook and other social media sites and blogs. I remember it all too well. I had this great, if not naive, idea that I’d write fantastic content from my little MBA brain, and people would adore it, and share it, and it would instantly go viral.  

Yeah… that didn’t quite go as planned. What really happened? I wrote blog post after blog post, and the same 3 people viewed the blog or commented on the posts I shared on Facebook and LinkedIn. I tried sharing my posts in Facebook groups… and what happened with that? I got crickets.  

I made the mistake of simply posting on my Facebook Page and then re-sharing that post in Facebook groups. Or I’d just post the link into a group with no introduction or anything.  

I got pretty much nowhere. More crickets. It felt very much like I was invisible.  

don't give upI got smarter and started adding descriptions to the shared posts, and then kept posting, posting, posting. I learned that if you want people to click on a link to read an article, you have to entice them with a few words or sentences. And I’ve been consistently sending out newsletters every Thursday for years now.  

I noticed that things started shifting. People started recognizing me. I went from begging people to sign up for free consultations with me to getting as many of those as I could handle. Then I was finally able to charge for my services. And then I could charge even more for services – an amount that was more in line with what my time and expertise were worth.

I started My Facebook group, Women’s Entrepreneur Network, nearly 2 years ago with a grand total of zero members. And now our membership has surpassed 50,000, and continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

It was a lesson in patience and persistence – about not giving up. You may be hearing crickets like I did, but you just need to keep posting and sticking with it. I’m making more and more money (but no, I don’t share numbers), and each month it continues to get better.  

Even when you think you’re invisible, keep building those relationships and talking to people – lots of people.  

Don’t give up. You can do this!


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - don't give up


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/hearing-crickets-social-media-dont-give-up/

The Relationship Between Boredom and Successful Entrepreneurs

~by Annabelle Smyth~

.

What is one thing that successful entrepreneurs have in common?

While there are many possible responses to this question, this article will be focusing on one shared characteristic: Creativity.

The best entrepreneurs are imaginative, resourceful, creative individuals. The question is, where does this creativity stem from?

Recent studies have demonstrated that boredom can be a powerful precursor to creativity. 

Learn more about these studies, the relationship between boredom and creativity, and how to apply it to your life in the paragraphs below.

successful entrepreneursThe Stimulating Power of Boredom

Think back to your school days, and consider the endless hours of boredom you survived. With the help of the tiny window in the door, the doodles in your notebooks and your fantastic daydreams…

Although boredom can be excruciating, it provides us with a precious opportunity to develop amazing ideas and alternative solutions to our problems. Sadly, in today’s world, we are overloaded with stimulation and have less time to let our minds take advantage of boredom.

So, how does boredom stimulate creativity?

A study at the University of Central Lancashire examined the effects of boredom on creative thought and the results were intriguing. During the rounds of the study, participants were either assigned to the mind-numbing task of copying numbers from a phone book, or they were placed in a control group that skipped this chore. After the task was completed, all the participants were asked to come up with as many uses as they could for a pair of plastic cups. The participants who had been assigned to the boring task generated significantly more uses for the plastic cups than those that had not.

According to the British Psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips, “When we are bored, we begin to wonder about things. And curiosity is the starting point for growth, interest, and creativity.”

Boredom can be a very effective tool for entrepreneurs if they use it strategically. 

Using Boredom as a Creativity “Hack”

successful entrepreneurs“…boredom is the place you create from in self-defense.” – Neil Gaiman

When you’re standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or suffering from a bout of insomnia, how long does it take before you pull out your phone for some entertainment?

The next time you find yourself trying to escape from the horror of boredom, try just letting your mind wander as you embrace the monotony. If you need some help with this strategy, you may want to check out the Bored and Brilliant Project. By signing up, you’ll have access to tech interventions and challenges to help you unlock your creativity.

When it comes to our time in the workplace, leveraging boredom in the right way has the potential to help us tap into the creativity we need to really excel. When you’re struggling to come up with new ideas or are having a difficult time solving a business problem, try taking a break and spend some time working on a task you find boring. After you’ve been sufficiently bored, go back to your brain storming and see how many more ideas you come up with.

If you’ve used boredom to stimulate entrepreneurial creativity, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


share this post - successful entrepreneurs


Annabelle SmythMeet the Author: Annabelle Smyth

Annabelle is a freelance writer who covers everything from HR to technology and leadership skills. Her most recent work involves partnership marketing with BambooHR where she has had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between employee engagement and successful businesses.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/relationship-boredom-successful-entrepreneurs/

Money or Happiness: Which is More Important with Your Career?

~by Jason Galaif~

.

Do I want a job that brings me happiness or a big paycheck? It’s a question we all must ask ourselves at some point, but it’s not one that often brings about good answers or results.

Ideally, a job that can do both would be great, but in today’s economy, getting a job in the first place is an accomplishment. The choice is ultimately up to you, just make sure that it’s one with which you will be satisfied when you are looking back on your life.

money happiness success

What is Success?

Everyone’s personal definition of success changes depending on their values, yet in America, there seems to be a connection between success and wealth. Merriam-Webster defines success as “getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.” While financial success might seem like the mainstream American goal, individuals are no longer associating their success with money.

Surprisingly, most Americans believe success is associated more with happiness than power, possessions or prestige. In fact, according to the “Success Project Survey” performed by Strayer University, 90% of Americans associate success with happiness, and 60% said success is loving what you do for a living. It looks like Webster is going to have to update its definition.

Success is so much more than being fiscally wealthy, and about 90% of Americans would agree. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one definition of success since everyone has his or her own unique experience and personal view. But if I was to suggest an updated definition to Webster that can mold to each person, it would be “finding happiness through your endeavors.” So no matter what you set out to do, if your accomplishment leads to happiness, then you have found success.

But what if your accomplishment is to get rich? A common goal for many, but I think it is important to debunk the myth of money buying happiness.

How Much Happiness can Money Actually Buy?

money happiness successNow I know what you’re thinking — it’s a lot easier to be happy with money. And to some extent, this is true. However, it is more accurate to say that money decreases sadness instead of creating happiness.

According to a thorough study, there’s somewhat of a magic number when it comes to money and happiness. The study concluded that an income beyond $75,000 a year does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness, or stress, but you have to reach that point. Basically, money can help take away the misery that comes with financial stresses, giving you a greater sense of control and opportunity. But, once you exceed the financial level of no stress (which is $75,000/year, according to the study), money can no longer buy a sustainable happiness. Money is a tool better used to reduce sadness. So what can increase happiness?

The Big Picture

So ultimately, the choice is up to you whether you want a career that brings more money or more happiness. Of course the dream is to go to work and do the things you love while knowing you are paid well. There will be some give and take here, but I believe that you should be constantly taking little steps toward a life where you are doing something you love. As you can see, money alone is not going to bring you happiness that will last throughout your life. For that, you will need personal fulfillment.

You can find fulfillment in a number of ways, and as I said before, each person will have their own version of personal success. The worth you feel being in a family, the love you can share with a person, the companionship of a pet, the joy of helping those in need, or the happiness you receive from doing work you are passionate about can bring you happiness that will last over a lifetime. Now that is worth so much more than money. But, making a lot of money to give you the best possible option for all of the above isn’t too bad either!


share this post - success money happiness


Jason Galaif

Meet the Author: Jason Galaif

Jason Galaif, aka The CPA Exam Guy, is an accounting all-star who saw more of the exam than any prodigy would ever want to — he failed several sections and had a couple of passed exams expire. He now uses his extensive experience and knowledge to help people find the best cpa review course for their needs so they can pass the CPA with as little effort and time as possible.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/money-happiness-which-important-career/

You’re Not Going to Be Liked by Everyone – That’s OK

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

I think it’s part of being human to want to be loved and liked by everyone. The reality is that not everyone is going to love you, your business, your message, or your hair color.  There will be people who think you’re too pretty, too ugly, too tall, to short, too fat, too thin, too loud, too boisterous, and the list goes on. It doesn’t matter who you are, they will find a reason to not like you.

liked by everyoneAs your success grows, people will start to have more reasons to not like you. They’ll think you didn’t work for what you have. Or that you don’t deserve it somehow. They will try to throw you under the bus.  

That is part of life, and it doesn’t seem fair, but it is something you have to learn to live with. Getting your first “haters” is kind of a rite of passage in business. In a sense, it means that you’ve arrived.  

I’ll never forget getting the first negative review on my book. It may sound kind of crazy, but I actually celebrated that milestone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t even a very convincing negative review. Apparently somehow I hurt their feelings with the book, and they didn’t actually read it.  

Maybe next time I’ll get a better hater?

The reality is that not everyone is going to like you, and that is okay. Not everyone is going to resonate with your message.  

I will flip this on its head and say that I think it’s actually desirable to repel certain people. Those people aren’t your people, your tribe. They aren’t your ideal clients. You do want to repel the people who you aren’t looking for and attract the ones that you are. It’s okay to let go of the ones you don’t really want. Encourage them to be on their merry way and wish them well. The planet is big enough for all of us.  

That is the beauty of the human condition. Some people will love us and some will hate us.  Some will be jealous pains in the butt. It’s all good and it’s all normal. You don’t have to love everyone or be loved by everyone to be your own best self.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - liked by everyone


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/youre-not-liked-by-everyone-thats-ok/

Favorite Business Books – Recommended by Entrepreneurs

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

Being part of a Facebook group geared towards Women Entrepreneurs can offer much needed business information and support as well as plenty of opportunities to learn from and collaborate with others. One great tool for learning more about running a business is business books written by experts in their field.

I wanted to find out what other entrepreneurs were reading and recommending so I could share their favorite business books with you.

So I posted this question in my Facebook group, Women’s Entrepreneur Network:

What are your favorite business books?


We received a variety of book recommendations; here are just a few:

.

Farha Syed: For the Interior Design Business – ‘Business Of Design’ by Kimberley Seldon

Juin Charnell:How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie

  • Tabby Dingler: I second this book! It’s an amazing book!
  • Barbara Nelson Wood: I agree. This book should be read by everyone. It’s the BEST book for a business person, but it’s the BEST book for life in general.

Jenna Mathis:You are a Badass’ by Jen Sincero

favorite business booksLauren Capehart:NOLO The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit’ by Peri Pakroo, J.D.

Lauren Capehart:The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin’ (I doubt anyone would find it listed as a business book, but she’s self employed as a writer and there’s a LOT of useful stuff in that book.)

Gill Fountain:Networking for Dummies’ by Stefan Thomas – it’s on Amazon

Cindy Woo:Brains, Boob’s and Balls

Jaclynn Scribner: I’m loving ‘Profit First’ by Mike Michalowicz

Brandi Lynn Huston Chrispen: Idk how business related but ‘I Am That Girl’ is a great read!!

Kathy Miles Wheeler: Jack Canfield’s ‘The Success Principles’, Michael Gerber’s ‘The E-Myth

Kristyne Campbell Dahl:The Law of Connection’ by Michael Losier

Marissa Frumento:The Big Leap’ by Gay Hendricks and ‘The Prosperous Coach’ (I’m forgetting the authors name at the moment).

Amanda Krom: I just finished ‘Entreleadership’ by Dave Ramsey, and it was a great read!

MaryAnn Shank:Winnie the Pooh’. Yes, it is about Life, but once we’ve got Life conquered, we’ve also got Business conquered.

Brooke Nicole:Eat That Frog!

Anisey Fernandez: This book was a huge eye opener for me. Not exactly a “business book” but it’ll help ANY entrepreneur for sure. ‘Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind’ (The 99U Book Series)

Patti Stevens:The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olsen and ‘Outrageous Openness’ by Tosha Silver.

Carrie White: https://books.google.com/…/about/What_the_Dog_Saw.html and really anything Malcolm Gladwell has written. ‘The Tipping Point’ would probably fit the bill for this question better, but generally I like how he gets you thinking about things in a different way and offers really great insights into various topics including business, history, etc…

Tracey Scott: All books that have Jim Rohn attached to them.

.

I hope you’ve found one or more of these book suggestions helpful. Stay tuned for more!


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - favorite business books


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/favorite-business-books-entrepreneurs/

My Top Lessons of the Year and My Resolutions

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

To say that 2016 was a rough year in my life would be an understatement. My oldest daughter sustained a traumatic brain injury at the very end of 2015, and we had her in and out of the hospital for months this year. Now, 12 months later, she still isn’t completely back to being her normal self. And she isn’t back to school yet, either. She is slowly getting better, but requires a lot more love and attention than your average 18 year old. In July, after I suffered a major health scare, I decided to sell two of my businesses. It was clear that to continue with the amount of stress that I was under was not going to be a winning combination. Then, my younger daughter broke a leg in September, causing another round of issues. So, to say that there have been plenty of challenges would just about sum it up.  

Aside from all the challenges, this year also brought me a tremendous number of lessons. I learned a lot about myself and about people around me. I learned who my friends are, and who can be trusted and who can’t.  

Here are my top lessons of the year:

lessons of the year1. I am who I am, and I’m not going to make everyone happy all the time. It’s okay if you like me. It’s okay if you don’t. Not everyone has to love one another, but courtesy, respect and kindness are important.  

2. I learned a lot about who my real friends are and who is part of my support system. As a result, I’m on the hunt for a new church and I’ve made some tremendous new friends. It’s funny how when you find yourself at a point where you can’t give any more, people really show their true colors. One friend who had borrowed a lot of money from me took the opportunity to throw me under the bus, and then went around town badmouthing me when I had the audacity to actually expect to be repaid.  

3. Not everyone is as they appear to be. Some people who come across as being super nice are actually evil incarnate. I believe that Karma has a way of dealing with those people. Sometimes people who don’t seem so nice to start with are actually quite amazing individuals.  

4. Taking care of myself is not simply an option. It’s not a choice. It’s a requirement. If I don’t take care of myself, there won’t be a business, and I won’t be able to take care of my family.

5. I’m worthy of being loved and receiving gifts. Learning to accept gifts from others can be quite difficult, especially if you’re used to always being on the giving end — giving and giving, until it hurts. Gifts aren’t always material; sometimes they’re gifts of time, talent or service. But beware of someone who expects you to believe that a half-baked job counts as a gift.  

My resolutions for the new year are actually around the lessons I’ve learned this past year.  I will continue to focus on growing my business and taking care of myself. I am setting boundaries in my life and in my work. I’m putting myself first and making myself a priority.  I’m also making it a priority to reach out to friends and to continue to nurture relationships.  


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - lessons of the year


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/my-top-lessons-of-year-resolutions/

Let’s All Make the World a Better Place

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

This has been a year in which my life was turned upside down…  and back again.

make the world a better placeI’ve suffered so many losses and so much pain. Yet it’s so much less than what I’m seeing coming out of Aleppo and other countries. We’re coming hot off the heels of an incredibly bitter election in the U.S. Now, we move forward with a president who is controversial to say the least. It would be so very easy to blame him for all of our problems and to expect the government to fix everything for us.

Instead, I ask that each of us take responsibility and focus on doing our part to change the world around us. Don’t like something? Speak up. Focus on changing the little things around you. Do what you can. It won’t be perfect. But you will start making a change.  

I believe that a lot of the racist issues we’ve seen since the elections are a reflection of deeper problems in our society that need to be focused on and healed. We can’t just blame that on the government. We’ve had demonstrations and riots this year. Those are indicative of a deeper problem that each of us is responsible for allowing to exist.  

We have to come together and focus on bringing change to the world. One small step at a time. Even if you don’t think you can, how will you know unless you try? So often we give away our power to “others” because it’s just easier. Yet each of us holds so much power.  Let’s exercise that power and make the world a better place. We can do it.

My challenge to you as 2016 comes to an end is to find one way that you can make the world a better place.  


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - make the world a better place


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/lets-make-the-world-a-better-place/

Mindset and Problem Solving in Your Business

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

Mindset isn’t just the latest buzz in the entrepreneurial world; it’s a real thing. It’s a series of techniques and skills you need to build your business. Mindset is a beautiful and important thing when you’re growing your business. Just talk to my dear friend Nathalie Guerrin, or head over to her blog and learn more about mindset.

But mindset is only part of the equation. One of the most important and frequently overlooked things that you desperately need in your business is problem solving skills. It would be nice if you could just buy your business process from another person and set it up in your business. Just make a copy of their business and do it over and over again. Kind of like stamping out chocolates from a mold.  

MindsetUnfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way. I see too many entrepreneurs, especially in the online space, who think that if they sit on their couch and decide that if they’re worth a certain amount of money, people are going to magically sign up and pay that amount without having to do the work to go out and find clients.

Business is about numbers and about relationships. Particularly at the higher dollar values, people need to feel a rapport and a connection with you. They need to feel like they’re getting something of serious value from you. It takes time, effort and energy to build those relationships, especially if you’re an introvert. That’s not to say that it’s not fun, but rather that it takes real, concerted effort to build your funnel and, ultimately, followers for your business.  

The more people you build meaningful, real, authentic relationships with, the better your business is going to do over time. That’s just the reality of it.

The tricky part is figuring out HOW to build the right relationships with the right people at the right time. That’s where the problem solving comes in. You need to figure out what works for YOU as an entrepreneur and as a person. That requires some introspection. It also requires looking into the mirror and figuring out exactly who that person is looking back. You can’t just sit there hoping and praying that someone is going to come along and buy your $15K package. You need to actively go out and beat the bushes and cut a path so that those people can show up on your doorstep.  

Mindset is critical, but it doesn’t exist without solid problem solving in your business.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - mindset


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/mindset-problem-solving-your-business/

My Thanks for a Year of Blessings

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

.

blessingsNovember is inevitably that month every year when people start gratitude journals and make charitable contributions. It’s also that time of year when I look over the previous year and start to count my many blessings. This year has certainly been a year of so many blessings.

From my family’s perspective, we’ve seen my oldest daughter continue to steadily recover after a traumatic brain injury last December. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year, but she has made so much progress in that time. I’m so grateful that she is healthy and continues to improve each day.  

I’m so grateful for all of my clients this year. I’ve seen such tremendous growth in my business and I’m grateful for each and every client who I have been able to serve.

I’m grateful to the readers of my blog, the members of my Women’s Entrepreneur Network group on Facebook and my other social media followers, for they have enabled me to realize this explosive growth. For that, I am beyond grateful.

There are so many things in my life to be grateful for that it’s hard to list them all. I am grateful to you for reading this message, and I hope that you will continue to see massive growth in your life and in your business.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - blessings


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/my-thanks-for-year-blessings/

Traumatic Brain Injury: The Ugly, the Bad & the Good

~by Laura Gray~

.

It’s been almost a year since I sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling off of a horse. I landed directly onto my head, which resulted in a disproportionately bad injury and permanent brain damage. With this kind of injury comes a variety of symptoms and complications that must be dealt with on a daily basis as one’s brain heals. Considering that a traumatic brain injury can involve several areas of the brain, every system in a person’s body can be messed up temporarily. Symptoms will slowly subside as my brain heals.

traumatic brain injury

As far as my brain injury goes, I have to deal with headaches, orthostatic blood pressure, memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Headaches

Headaches are common in concussions. And I was no exception. Falling onto my head inevitably resulted in killer headaches, though initially I had no headache. It took two days for me to become symptomatic, and a week for it to become apparent that there was a serious problem. The headaches grew significantly worse; ibuprofen was not strong enough to subdue my pain. The pain was constant and lasted for months. It was not until I was in the hospital that I was put on stronger medication (for migraines) for my headaches. Once I was on the migraine meds, I took ibuprofen to nip my headaches in the bud. Still, for a couple of months after being released from the hospital, my headaches were a daily occurrence. During this time I was taking 600 to 800 milligrams of ibuprofen every few hours, almost around the clock – unless I was asleep.

Orthostatic Blood Pressure

Another common symptom of more severe head injuries is orthostatic blood pressure. In my case, my blood pressure dropped drastically whenever I stood up first thing in the morning, causing me to almost pass out. To prevent this, I had to stand up slowly and carefully, sitting up first and remain sitting for a few seconds before attempting to stand up. At first, I was allowed to walk about the unit freely. It escalated to the point where the nurses had to keep me in bed because I would inherently become a fall risk, passing out and risk hitting my head again. After consuming some fluids, I was usually well enough to stand up and move around the unit.

Memory Loss

With traumatic brain injuries, memory loss is also common, and I did experience short-term memory loss. It was the simplest things that I’d forget. One time I was standing in the kitchen and had a thought to get grapes from the fridge. By the time I walked across the kitchen to the fridge, I forgot what I wanted to get out of the fridge. However, as my brain began to heal, my memory gradually improved. Eventually I was able to go into a grocery store, and with verbal directions from my mother, successfully purchase a few items. I also lost chunks of memory from my ninth and tenth grade subjects, namely Algebra and Geometry. I will need to go back and relearn the material for these classes prior to returning to school.

traumatic brain injuryInsomnia

My brain injury triggered insomnia. While I was in the hospital the first time around just before Christmas, I had a sleep EEG, from which they concluded that I was sleeping some, when in reality I wasn’t sleeping at all. I asked one of the nurses one morning if I had slept, and her response was “oh, you slept some.” From the time I fell off the horse until about mid-march, I hardly slept at all. I’d toss and turn throughout the night, look at the clock, then toss and turn some more. It was not until I was in the hospital again for five weeks and prescribed four more medications that we finally got my sleep under control. I am currently on eleven different medications, including prescriptions and supplements. Some of these make me drowsy, which helps me sleep.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression also became part of my life. Or at least, it made any pre-existing anxiety and depression about twenty times worse, and to the point where I couldn’t manage without medication. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. Taking this into consideration, as my brain heals, I should be able to leave behind the depression and anxiety diagnoses. At the least, within a couple years, it hopefully will no longer be debilitating. In the mean time, I take medication to help manage my depression and anxiety, which seems to be improving. And I feel a lot calmer.

As you may imagine, these symptoms can be difficult and annoying to deal with. Hopefully, as my brain heals, most of these symptoms will diminish. However, my memory issues may be permanent; I still need to write everything down. I like to joke that though I am only 18 years old, I know what it is like to be 55 in terms of my memory. These are only a few of the symptoms someone with a brain injury may deal with, and they are the most major symptoms I deal with on a daily basis.

But there are some positive outcomes:

  • I am now more determined in everything I do.
  • I have a stronger appreciation for what I do have – both materialistic or otherwise.
  • I have more appreciation for, and confidence in, my abilities.
  • I have had experiences and career opportunities that I otherwise would not have had or considered. For example, I have been immersing myself in Taekwondo and taking a Reiki Master Series training. These are now a major focus in my life.

I know I’ve painted a fairly grim picture. With any tragic event, there are always difficult times, challenges, physical pain, emotional pain and/or stress. I’ve certainly had my share, as I’ve just described. But as humans, we always have an opportunity to learn and grow from our experiences, good or bad. I believe that keeping a positive outlook about all this, as much as I can, plays a big part in my healing abilities. All in all, I am growing into a much wiser young woman and slowly regaining my independence.


share this post - traumatic brain injury

Meet the Author: Laura Gray

Laura GrayLaura Gray, while still a High School junior, started her own business selling her paintings and drawings. She also earned the highest achievement in Girl Scouting: The Girl Scout Gold Award. In her spare time, she enjoys art, archery and horseback riding.

You can check out Laura’s artwork here:
www.redbubble.com/people/artworkbylaurag


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/traumatic-brain-injury-ugly-bad-good/

Older posts «