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Have you ever had someone say something about your work that felt like a punch in the gut? Where you were almost shocked how downright ignorant and mean it was?

While most of us get that learning to deal with criticism is an essential part of the creative game, that intellectual awareness doesn’t always help us emotionally.

Especially when you’re first starting out.

Words sting. And unfortunately, the harshest words often linger in the back corners of our minds longer than we’d like to admit.

That’s why I want to tell you a story about this guy who put me down on an escalator and how I’ve used that experience to lift myself up.

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Have you ever met someone you deeply admired and felt so excited you could barely talk?

Yeah. That was me last week.

Thankfully, the person I admired said nine simple words that put me ease and gave me an insight I’ll never forget.

“You and me — we’re both in the lighting business.”

Translation? When you have a platform (no matter the size), you’re always shining a light. You light things you feel deserve focus and attention.

That’s both a privilege and a responsibility. And one I take very seriously.

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and two extraordinary people I consider some of the best lighting pros in the world.

I could not be more honored to share our interview today, in celebration of their newly released book A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities.

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There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel immensely grateful for my life.

After all, I was born to a middle-class family and have access to clean running water, shelter, food, and education.

In a world where nearly a billion people live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day), I understand how extraordinarily blessed I am, as are many people I interact with.

That’s why I was particularly interested in tackling today’s question. Because it touches upon something that anyone with a heart and global perspective can relate to.

When so many others struggle, is it really OK to be happy and do meaningful work I love?

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I forgot how much I **love** fall until this past weekend.

Josh and I spent some unplugged time in the woods. The temperature dropped just enough to light a fire and bust out some chunky sweaters, but not enough to retire my flip-flops for the season.

It was a cozy weekend that touched my heart and sparked my imagination for other autumn activities I’d like to do with people I love. Which brings me to today’s episode of MarieTV.

Whether you’re a business owner or working within a team, you’ve got to sell. Your ideas, products, services and most often, your point of view.

Being able to effectively communicate the value of what you’re offering (or suggesting) is a vital skill in business and life.

It can mean the difference between success and failure in your career, non-profit, fundraiser and even your most precious relationships.

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When I first saw this woman, I knew I needed to have her on MarieTV.

Naturally, I stalked her on Twitter and Facebook. When we finally connected, and she said yes to an interview, I pumped my fist in true Jersey style.

Courageous, funny, smart and beautiful are just a few of the many adjectives I’d use to describe Maysoon Zayid.

She’s a writer, actor, and comedian whose TED Talk “I got 99 problems… palsy is just one.” has been viewed over 5 million times and translated into 37 languages. You may also recognize her from Adam Sandler’s movie You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

I love Maysoon because she’s blunt and bold, vulnerable and visionary and never afraid to tackle an issue head on.

If you’ve ever felt judged or marginalized because of who you are, hurt by what others say (especially online), or believed that something you can’t change about yourself is holding you back…

Today’s episode of MarieTV is a must watch.

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