What Advice Would You Give Your 20-Year-Old-imelf?

You are amazing. To celebrate you and all of the powerful and wonderful women (and men who support them!) this week I published an article in the Huffington Post about the best advice leading PR pros could offer to their 20-year old selves. I was honored to be inducted into the league of Top Women in PR and so reached out to friends, fellow awardees, and even on HARO. The responses were overwhelming with more than 100 responses pouring in in just 3 days. Check out the article and my writing challenge to you, at the bottom of this note! (What Advice Would You Give Your 20-Year-Old-Self?)

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Here’s my favorite pitch of the batch:

Hi Mary,

First off, congratulations to your induction to the league of Top Women in PR! You HARO request caught my eye and I resonated with you in several levels –as a military spouse, a woman entrepreneur, for 2017 my words for the year – Bold and Fierce, and a woman of change.I am NOT in PR but I took the liberty and submit my insight for “The Advice I would Give My 20- Year Old Self”, as a mother to a 5-year-old daughter –I wish for her to know this piece of advice for herself as well. My hope is you find my entry useful and we could connect one way or another.

Rosette Obedoza, Lifestyle and Business Strategist

If I could offer one piece of advice to my 20-year old self, I’d tell myself to always “Practice Radical Gratefulness but Don’t Expect Gratitude Back.” Showing appreciation in unconventional ways benefits everyone and amplifies personal positive energy that everything comes as a blessing. Do not attempt to do things for others because they will be thankful. When we expect others to appreciate everything we do, we set ourselves for resentment and disappointment. Whatever you do, do it with love, a pure intention, and know that the action may not necessarily bring gratitude in return.

Rosette Obedoza, MS Ed, MHR is a U.S. military spouse who won’t take NO for an answer, an international freelance writer, and a Lifestyle & Business Strategist. As a mentor and an online entrepreneur, she is passionate in delivering simple ways for women to create multiple income streams by focusing on their strengths and teaching them time-saving strategies that actually work. Professionally, she is a federal employee leveraging her extensive knowledge and experience in Early Childhood Education, Human Resources Development, Program Management, and Educational Leadership. She currently lives in Manama, Bahrain with her husband and daughter.

Best regards,


Rosette Obedoza, MS Ed, MHR

Lifestyle and Business Strategist

Founder, ZenSavvyMomma

Co-Founder, BahrainMarhaba


Why this pitch stands out.

Rosetta took the time to connect with me and really research what I’m working on. She was also honest about not working in PR, one of the guidelines I shared for the HARO query. Although she wasn’t a perfect fit for this story (because she’s a rockstar biz strategist and not in PR) I really enjoyed her advice, she provided it quickly, and she followed the query instructions to a tee. I actually included her in one version of the story and feel BAD I couldn’t use her! That’s HOW good her pitch was. Even though I didn’t use it for this story, now she’s on my radar and I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to her and know she could be a valuable source for a future feature.

Until next time,

Be Disruptive.

Shape The Conversation.

Leverage Your Voice.




P.S. want to test out your writing skills?! Check out and enjoy my latest article, and add your advice in comments!

Huffington Post: What Advice Would You Give Your 20-Something Self? Top PR Pros Weigh In.

This week I was honored to be inducted into PR News’ League of “Top Women in PR” during a New York City awards ceremony. Too often women are painted as competitors when in reality, most successful women know there’s nothing like the strong sisterhood bond of a good female friend, or mentor. I’m thankful for so many inspirational women who mentored me along my path. As someone fortunate enough to have worked hard in a field I love and found success, I think it’s important to pay it forward. This year’s PR News’ “Top Women in PR” awards ceremony focused on mentoring the next generation of women working in PR.


The PR News’ Top Women in PR awards event included a keynote address from Maya Nussbaum, founder & executive director at Girls Write Now. Nussbaum inspired the awardees to continue to make a difference as mentors for the next generation of women. The mentoring kicked off immediately, with many awardees accepting their award while sharing their best advice for their 20-something versions of themselves.

If I could offer 1 piece of advice to my 20-year old self, I’d tell myself to always be bold. At 21, I enlisted in the U.S Army as a war correspondent to cover a war I didn’t believe in. I was often fearless, worked hard, believed in the importance of selfless service to others and pursued my passion, storytelling. But, even while going confidently in the direction of my dreams and pursuing my passion to highlight human rights issues, too often I wasn’t bold.

Even after life in the military and working on air as a television news reporter for NBC Honolulu, and later as a spokesperson for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in my 20s I often felt intimidated many of the powerful men and women I encountered and had the opportunity to work for, like then U.S. Central Command Commander General John Abazaid, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, or the always inspiring former head of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson. I would often work really hard behind the scenes to coordinate press conferences for powerful principals and although always felt at ease speaking with the media, would meekly hide behind my Blackberry during 1:1 time, intimidated by the principals I was supporting and too shy to speak to them. I grew into my own skin and along the way I’ve learned that being respectful and bold makes all the difference.

In the spirit of paying it forward to the next generation, I decided to reach out bring together voices from top PR Pros across the nation, and asked them the following question:


What’s the best advice you would offer to your 20-year-old-self? Check out this video excerpt of the ceremony with their advice, along with even more advice from 50+ top PR Influencers. It’s absolutely news you can use.

Jennifer Risi, Global Chief Communications Officer, Ogilvy Public Relations: Put experience first.

“Your career is a marathon – not a sprint. Gain experience. The money will come.”

Betsaida Alcantara, former Director of Media Planning, Hillary for America: Build Your Network.

“My one piece of advice to my 20-year old self would be to keep expanding your social network. As much as I absolutely love and cherish going home after work, curling up on my couch and watching the latest Game of Thrones episode—meeting new people who can help you grow, who can mentor and support you is a fundamental part of anyone’s success in life. When I look back at the opportunities I seized during my career, such as becoming a communications director for the Obama administration and later the director of media planning for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, they all started with a phone call, a coffee date or an email seeking my networks’ advice and support. All this to say, get out there and build your network of support!”

Melissa Selcher, Vice President, Brand Marketing and Corporate Communications, LinkedIn: Build Your Board of Directors.

“While I’m fortunate to have had a good education and job experiences, I credit my network, above all else, for pushing and pulling me to increasingly rewarding career opportunities. Several years ago, I codified this realization by creating my own board of directors, those in my network who coach me, challenge me, connect me, and believe in me, even when I don’t. I would encourage my 20-year old self to build a board early, and to evolve it, diversify it, nurture it, and thank it, often.”

Juanita Chang, Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs: Think like a partner.

“Despite what you think of each job that you take, treat them as if your career depends on them and approach them as though you are a partner and invested in the long-term success of the company. Never burn bridges. Always be grateful and humble. Write hand written thank you notes to people. Learn their names. Our industry is small and our networks are essential to success, so nurture them.”

Jenn Scalia, Visibility Strategist & Business Coach: Know Your Money Story.

“At 20 years old, I had such limiting beliefs around money and wealth. I thought money was bad and that rich people were evil. This old belief held me back from making good money in my first few years of business. Essentially, I had created an invisible glass ceiling for myself. Once I was able to understand and release those old money stories, my income skyrocketed 1,400% in one year!”