Meridian Industrial


2024-06-01 | Payton North


A few years back I read a book by Shonda Rhimes called “Year of Yes.”

Rhimes is an American television producer, screenwriter and founder of her own production company, Shondaland. She’s responsible for likely some of your favorite TV shows: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Bridgerton,” “Station 19,” “Inventing Anna,” “Scandal,” “Private Practice” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” to name a few.

In her book, she shares that she went on a year-long experiment to challenge her introverted nature and step out of her comfort zone by saying yes to every opportunity that came her way. She explained numerous anecdotes of how she found herself passing on great opportunities because she was afraid. As she continued to say yes, she experienced such personal growth, empowerment and confidence.

I have always considered myself an introverted extrovert – someone who can be extroverted when called upon, but then loves to go home and recharge in quiet. When I took on the role with executive editor nearly two years ago, the one task the job comes with that I’ve really had to grapple with is pushing myself out of my comfort zone when opportunities – specifically networking opportunities – come knocking.

And boy have they come knocking.

Well over a year ago at this point, I told myself that I needed to go on my own “year of yes,” but without the specific year constraint. I wanted to push myself to grow and be more comfortable in  networking scenarios.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Association of Community Publisher (ACP’s) annual conference where they focus on collaboration and growth across owners, publishers, managers and more of community publications throughout North America. The conference was in Norfolk, Virginia, and it was my first time attending a conference out of state for work. I was welcomed as a “rising star,” which is an annual award they give to a few people across the nation.

When I found out I was invited to the event, I emphatically said yes.

And as the trip came closer and closer, my excitement only grew. Years ago, a weeklong trip in a city I have never been to where I only know one person (our sales manager Scott Greene was attending as well) would have normally created such apprehension leading up to it.

Instead, it was so energizing.

I met so many wonderful people, learned new ways for our company to potentially make money and gained tips on managing and motivating a staff.

So, as I look forward to the first summer month, my personal theme for June is simple: energy. I’m going to need it, due to all the yesses I’ve been passing out.

As the weather heats up, so does my schedule. I’m “booked and busy,” as my friends like to joke. I have so many opportunities that are coming to fruition in this coming month, and I couldn’t be more excited or energized for them.

Saying “yes” has offered me such significant growth – both professionally, and personally. I now am finding myself looking forward to opportunities to network – a feeling I never thought I would achieve.

What opportunity will you say yes to this month?

As always, thanks for reading,
Payton North, executive editor

Share this: