Instead of Worrying about the What-Ifs, Focus on Yourself


Wendy Glavin, Founder & CEO, Wendy Glavin Agency

Daily, we’re inundated with news about COVID-19, fears about our health and that of others, job and income losses, racial injustice, the economy, our children, and the list goes on. Most of us feel comfortable discussing these issues.

But, quietly, under the radar, is our collective mental health. We all like to feel that we have control over our lives. But, during the pandemic, many feel powerless, anxious, stressed, scared, depressed, overwhelmed, stuck and even hopeless. Since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month, take the time to confront your fears, manage uncertainty, and know that if you reach out for help, people will be there for you.

We all deal with stress differently depending on what we’ve experienced throughout our lives. Having overcome significant hardships, I’ve learned the only things I can control are my reactions and my feelings about external events, my relationships and my professional and personal life.

Instead of agonizing about what-if scenarios, use this time to look within yourself to find your purpose, passion and values. Identifying your path to a thriving career and a life full of adventure comes down to the choices you make and being resilient.

Perhaps, you too, have experienced many twists, turns, and unexpected events along the way. Looking back, I can see how my choices created a pattern and the thread to who I am personally and professionally.  This winding journey has led me to launch the Wendy Glavin Agency and focus on the work and activities I love. 

With the help of friends and colleagues, Deirdre Breakenridge and Mark Skrobola, we’ve launched my new website, which reflects a process I’ve coinedDecode Your Value,” to uncover who you are by understanding your choices and what makes up your brand DNA.

What does it mean to Decode Your Value and how do you use the information to move forward? Like many of you, I’ve learned about the differences between working in corporations, agencies and consulting. 

As a consultant, I learned new industries while working with clients in a wide range of sectors. With this knowledge, and feeling inspired to further this path, I decided to create my marcomms agency in 2016.  Then, four months later, after being in a taxi that crashed with a Mack truck, I suffered an MCL tear on my right knee replacement and was bedridden; a real-life twist and turn. 

At the time, I reached out for help and hired Deirdre. She inspired me to further my writing, generate new ideas and identify ways to  solve problems by identifying creative solutions. After, Deirdre recommended me to her colleague, Paule Genest, an agency owner in Montreal. Paule was looking for an agency in New York City to expand this global organic consumer product goods company in North America.

But, I felt I wasn’t qualified as my focus had been on B2B.  But, after looking back, I remembered living in the South of France, buying and eating  organic products, speaking French, and learning the culture. Beyond my professional background, with this sensibility, Paule and I were the perfect fit.

Throughout my life, I never defined myself by the work I did. Instead, I’m a combination of all of my life experiences, not just the work I do. At times we don’t “own” what we do. For example, while technology and writing were the threads throughout my career, I took these skills for granted. After this realization, I became a published writer and a technology columnist, thanks to Fay Shapiro and Equities.

During the past four years, I’ve done what Richard Branson said, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” I’ve learned AI, FinTech, blockchain, cryptocurrency, data privacy, mobile apps, crowdfunding, cloud transformation, and other B2B sectors while working with a broad range of clients. 

If you’re open to learning you will. If you do in-depth research on the sectors in which you work, you can move into new career directions. Now, here’s a question for you … when you look back throughout your life and career, are you able to look at the work you do through a different lens? Instead of thinking of your skills as hard or soft, define yourself by your life skills.

This process is what I’ve defined as Decode Your Value. It’s what I’ve used throughout my 30-year career and want to help other professionals to use. I’m excited about my new website and the choices I’ve made down a circuitous path. 

Thanks to all the people who’ve supported and encouraged me along my journey.

#SXSW - Wendy GlavinAbout the Author: Wendy Glavin is Founder and CEO of Wendy Glavin, a NYC full-service agency. Wendy is a 30-year veteran of corporate, agency, consulting and small business ownership. She specializes in B2B2C marketing communications, executive writing, PR and social media advisory. Her website is: Contact her at:

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