our Newest Editor Mary Agnes Antonopoulos!
When I asked Mary Agnes Antonopoulos if she was interested in serving on our editorial team, she immediately said yes and asked if I would post this article she wrote as way of introduction. Of course I said YES! So here it is:
The most amazing mentor I’ve ever worked with once told me that success is the result of personally defined happiness. I remember asking her to repeat that to me slowly so I could write it down. I wasn’t 100% sure what it meant at the time, but I knew that it rang BIG bells in my brain. Not little bells, like the kind you hang on your door at Christmas, but BIG gonging bells, like the ones in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. (The old one, with Lon Chaney.)
Later, when I’d had some time to digest what that mentor had shared, she offered the second part to that gift – that once happiness was SELF defined, we never had to seek anyone else’s idea of success again. For me, that was INFINITELY freeing. Because success SO often seems to be defined by money. And to the amazement of many of my clients, friends and even total strangers, I don’t care about money.
Did that make your heart stop for a minute? If it did, that’s great. That means that your idea of happiness has some kind of funding involved, and thus, so will your success. It might mean that money is tied to freedom for you – or luxury – and I CELEBRATE that. Often, I go without freedom AND luxury because of my personally-defined happiness, but it’s okay, because I celebrate THAT also. You see, what Dr. Andrea Goeglein (that’s the mentor) offered me was the ability to HONOR myself at a very deep level, and out of that honoring came my mission and my business model … and at the end of a long road, it has given birth to a friendship and a love affair with WE.
I’m no saint, don’t get me wrong when I share this with you, but money didn’t come into my business model until #3 on a list of four vital goals. I humbly share these with you only to inspire maybe ONE of you to unearth your own personally-defined idea of happiness as well – to look past what EVERYONE else has to say about success and to set the stage for your own beautiful life. Here are the four benchmarks to my business model and success.
#1 Support everyone possible in a way that supports me also (so no “giving it all away — it’s too exhausting). #2 The number one commodity to me is TIME. I’ve lost some very dear people in my life, and time with those I still have is paramount to all other ideas of wealth — and time to write, of course. #3 Enough money to not worry — and enough to share in ways that are meaningful to me. #4 I’m embarrassed to say this, but my number four is recognition. I love to be recognized as great at what I do (I write).
So when Heidi Richards Mooney offered me an Editor-at-Large role with WE, well, first I laughed, and then I cried and then my nine-year-old daughter came out, read the email, and we danced around the living room until we fell over. It’s not that great places haven’t embraced me, but there is something amazing about working with great women, and there’s something magical about what Heidi’s building at WE. So thank you, Heidi, for honoring me and for recognizing my gift.
I am setting an intention to write the best material of my life to embrace the handful of you who will actually stumble upon my articles and find them ringing a few bells of your own.
Here’s to your own, personally-defined happiness and successful lives, one day at a time.
Your friend, Mary Agnes Antonopoulos
On behalf of the entire editorial team, WELCOME MARY AGNES! WE are delighted to have you on board and look toward the future with anticipation and excitement knowing how much you will add to our goals and our inspiration.
Heidi Richards Mooney, Publisher