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Brad, Chad, Thad, and DAD.

I am a strong believer that people come into our lives for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. There are key defining moments - even ones that seem SO small at the time - that shape and define us for the rest of our lives.

I’m here to tell you about 3 temporary moments and 1 long-lasting consistent one through 4 pivotal people.

Brad, Chad, Thad, and DAD.

**Names changed for anonymity & alliteration**

First, there’s....

BRAD - the southern Georgia high school teacher who gave me detention for being the sole person in the class for speaking my mind about women’s reproductive rights.

Then, there’s...

CHAD - the college fraternity guy who told me the idea for my company was plain stupid. That no one needed a personal website or digital branding. That I was too young to start a business.

And can’t forget...

THAD - the man in my career who asked me what guy builds my websites, told me to smile more when I’m working, said the key is to marry rich, and really needed to know where the man was that did the engineering and repairs for my studio?

Meredith Dean & her father walter hugging and looking at the city of Charlotte

But then, there’s...

DAD - the man who has consistently supported me and made me believe anything was possible as a strong, smart woman as long as I had unrelenting passion. A man who has uplifted women globally since before I was born. The man who instead of buying me clothes for Christmas - helped me incorporate my business at 22 years old - and whose profits now go to helping our family build girls schools, clinics, and wells in Western Kenya.

So sometimes as humans, we don’t know the full effect or lasting impact of an interaction until years later.

Think right now about the conversations and people who have built you into who you are today.

Remember, YOUR words matter - Especially in the moments that maybe YOU can’t recall, but can mean everything to the other person and their future.

Who have you not thanked enough for changing the entire course of your life?

Today, you have the superpower to build up others and #EmpowerEveryone. Don’t wait.

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