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Give it Back and Pay it Forward!

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

I just recently celebrated another birthday. I have noticed that the older I get, the more retrospective I have become in looking back over the years and really considering all that I deemed as being a priority on my life journey.

During all of this serious consideration and thought, it is clear that Work versus Life got way out of balance for me. One definitely took priority over the other, and I bet you can guess which one that was. I have heard the opinon that you really cannot effectively balance both to a 50/50 split. Not sure I believe that?

Can you relate? Why do we allow that to happen? Perhaps when we are younger we are focused on achieving, getting recognition, getting that next promotion and wanting that big title. We tell ourselves that once we have all of that – and of course the money that goes along with it – we will finally have ‘arrived’ and will be so blissfully happy. Just like those we watch and want to emulate because they appear to have it all.

Well here's a news flash coming from MANY years now of experience: no matter how good someone looks from the outside, there are always challenges and issues they are dealing with on the inside.

In my case, I have spent my entire professional career in the Home Furnishings Industry. When I entered in the late 1980’s, it was dominated by men in all of the senior management and executive positions. They had the exact roles that I wanted someday. As a result, I told myself that I had to work twice as hard and be psychotically prepared for every possible opportunity, presentation and conversation that I might ever find my way in for. That adds long hours, stress and time away from home and family to keep that up.

All of that hard work did give me so many wonderful opportunities with some exceptional companies throughout my career. I encountered some extraordinary men who saw something special in me to give me that shot – even though at the time I did not have the pedigree, education or extensive experience to warrant it.

That did come at a cost however. I missed a lot of time at home with my family, and lost out on attending many activities and events that my sons were involved in. Thankfully for me, I have a wonderfully supportive husband, incredible dad and my partner-in-life who has always been my biggest fan. He made certain nothing missed a beat at home on all fronts while I was off conquering the world.

The good news to this story is that it's not too late to change your priorities and focus on what is really important. This is the reason that I started my own company: Lorri Kelley Advisors. I did it with the purpose and vision to use my many years of experience to help people and companies be better at what they do in business. I have LOTS to draw upon from my wonderful career and exploits over the years to bring knowledge, credibility and humility to those I have the privilege to work with . So while this next chapter in my life continues to be authored, I am excited about the opportunity and balance it will bring to me for the first time in over 30 years. Oh, and it will keep me closer to home so that I can spend time with my precious grandchildren who are gifts directly from Heaven. My priorities are finally coming into the right balance!

I am also so honored to be included in the list of those named as one of the Top 20 Executives in the Home Furnishings Industry to Watch. What a blessing that is! Now my responsibility is to make certain I do all I can to ensure others can be successful too. I can’t think of anything more exciting or purpose-driven than that!

My focus exclusively is to Give Back and Pay it Forward. God-willing I will be able to successfully do that and enjoy my life with my spectacular family.

Lorri Kelley Advisors is a consulting firm dedicated to helping companies continue to be better at what they do. Lorri is passionate about working closely with her clients to ignite strategies for growth and business excellence through collaboration, team building and leadership development for those inspired to become exceptional. Connect directly with Lorri at

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