I believe you should always be on a journey of discovery. You only get one chance to explore and experience this world and there are so many things to do. Now, I don’t officially have a bucket list, but I am always open to opportunities to expand my horizons and even take me out of my comfort zone. Last fall, I agreed to participate in the Dancing with the Local Stars event that supports Carefree Medical and Dental. I’ve attended the event for years and have always been so impressed with the dancers. When you agree to do this event, it seems so far away. Then, when you’re about eight weeks out, the reality starts to sink in. There will be hundreds of people watching YOU dance. Oh boy … what was I thinking? There’s so much to think about. You have to pick a song, determine the type of dance, find shoes and choose a dress style. Wait there’s more. Once you pick a dress, you have to find the perfect sparkly jewelry. I had to make a run to the dancer’s store and pick up “dance pants.” Don’t ask. Then I picked up professional fishnet stockings and then I took them back for the right color. As the time gets closer, it’s time to consider hairstyle, makeup and fake eyelashes (something I had not tried before). And, of course, there’s the time investment. If you want to learn the steps, you have to put in the time. There’s no doubt about it. I certainly have gained a large amount of respect for dancers. It definitely has its own culture. I was surprised and impressed to find many business leaders in the community who take dance lessons and also compete in dance competitions around the country — amazing. The day of the event, the nervous energy was exhilarating. It was so much fun watching all of the other dancers perform their routines. They were all so different but equally wonderful. I have to admit, I was nervous. I was out of my comfort zone and it was way too late to turn back. And, for the record, I’m glad I didn’t. It was an experience that I know I’ve personally grown from. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone will help me to take risks in the future. It was a great evening for all — especially Carefree Medical and Dental — the event had a record amount of people and raised a record amount of funds. Oh, you might want to know who won the “dancing competition.” Well, WLNS news anchor Sheri Jones took the top spot and Paula Cunningham, president of Capital National Bank, took the people’s choice award. They were sensational. I was a winner too. I stayed on my feet through the whole dance. Yay! Our cover story this month showcases a couple of winners as well. Drs. Portnoy and Tu are two amazing dentists in our community with a story right out of the movies. It’s hard to image the journey these two took as small children. Their parents risked it all to make sure their children and their children’s children had a great education and a great life. The doctors’ tales are just some of the truly interesting stories and great information in this month’s issue. I especially loved Shelley Davis Mielock’s Image Focus column on confidence. It’s so important and difficult to attain for so many of us. Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to thank my mom for always encouraging me to dowhatever I wanted to do in life and for always being my biggest cheerleader and fan. Thanks for making me a confident woman mom, and happy Mother’s Day to you and all those moms out there. Be confident and happy, Tiffany
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.