Maverick Minute, Out! 3 Lessons I Learned While Writing for SUCCESS

How long is a Maverick Minute? Apparently it lasts three years. That’s how long I’ve been writing my SUCCESS magazine column. Now it’s time for me to move on.

What a journey it has been.

I’ve shared my successes, failures and inability to use vowels in text messages. We’ve talked about how to quickly become an expert, give a fabulous speech and when to say thank you.

This is one of those times.

Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for motivating me to sit down and type whether I was on an airplane, up late at a hotel or walking to my next speech. (I know; typing while walking—how millennial—but at least I wasn’t driving!) Your comments, tweets and virtual high-fives gave me way more energy than Red Bull ever could, and with fewer calories.

As this is my last column (at least for now), I want to share the three things I’ve learned while expanding this Maverick Minute into three fun years:

1. Grammar is overrated when you have a great editor.

2. Everyone skims to the bullet points in the story—even writers do it. Getting to the key takeaways quickly makes whatever you’re doing—writing, giving a speech, posting on social media, talking with your kid—more engaging.

3. Don’t be afraid to get personal. We’re all human underneath our avatars and LinkedIn titles. We all cry. We all laugh. We all want to belong. We all like getting to that place where we can share a vulnerable moment with someone and courageously say, “Me, too.”

My “Me, too” moment was the first and only time I had a column sent back for a rewrite. It was tough because when I sent the column I thought it was good. When I received it back and reread it, I was embarrassed I sent it in the first place.

Fortunately my great editor said, “It happens to all of us. Step back and then put your voice into it.” So I did. The result was one of my favorite columns: “Got a Problem? Most People Would Say to Push Forward— I Say Retreat!”

The experience taught me that we are all in this great journey together. Our titles, accolades, setbacks and breakthroughs are all moments in time. Our aches, pains and celebratory dances in the elevator come and go. But what we learn sticks with us and allows us to share the bounty with someone else.

As a millennial who doesn’t own a watch, it’s funny to sign off on a column I named Maverick Minute. It’s been my honor and privilege to share my research and learning with you.

One of my best takeaways from this experience: The more you contribute, the more you take away. Thanks for helping me to take away great memories, better grammar and tremendous gratitude.

Want to reminisce? Check out some of my best Maverick Minutes on  

This article appears in the July 2015 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


Leave a Comment