10 Must Read Quotes from the ‘Year of Yes’ Book by Shonda Rhimes

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10 Must Read Quotes from ‘Year of Yes’ book by Shonda Rhimes


I am so happy that Year of Yes is on my reading list this year. I just finished reading Chapter Five of this amazing book by Shonda Rhimes and I felt that the entire chapter needs to be a book on its on. It evoked so much raw emotion within me and it felt as if it was written just for me, well if I take a step further and dream a little, it felt as if it is an extract from my life!


Just in case you have no idea who Shonda Rhimes is, She is the TV writer responsible for Thursday Nights on ABC. She has 3 shows Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. She also created Private Practice, which is no longer airing. Its safe to say I have been a fan of ShondaLand since the very beginning and I am an absolute fan of her work. It’s only a natural fit that I am thoroughly enjoying her book. And getting to know her on what seems a personal level. I’m just going to dream that we are the best of friends.

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Allow me a moment to dream a little and imagine Shonda and I discussing her book. You are a great writer Shonda Rhimes.

If you still have not yet read the book, and simple cannot find time to add reading the book to your list of things to do. Nevertheless this is a worthy read for you. This chapter is her Dartmouth Commencement Speech that she delivered for the first time at Dartmouth University.  A speech she feared giving, but am I so glad she did!


Join me as I share my favorite quotes from Chapter 5:


1. ‘Keeping up with 3 Children, sleeping, working and trying to do it all well has been kicking my ass lately’ – Shonda Rhimes


This feels like an extract from my life.

I have 2 children under the age of 5 and my business to run. This takes up a lot of time. I have to make conscious decisions, so that neither suffer too much but in the end there is always a choice to be made. Either I miss bedtime story telling while I am at a networking event on a weeknight or I miss the networking event and read the bedtime story and miss the opportunity to network with Montreal Business Owners. You see without networking not much business would come my way. And without reading that Frozen story to my kids for the 400th time, I am missing out on my imaginary prestigious mummy of the year award. As you can tell it is a double edged sword.

Why must having a family and a business be so hard?! Why must there be choices?!

Sometimes the decisions are hard. Last week, I cleared my entire day to attend my daughter’s first day on the ice and sit and cheer her on, as she tried skating with her classmates. I am so happy I cleared my calendar to be there for her. She was so happy I was there and was even happier I did not tell her I had to go to work. The reality is, I scored ten points here and maybe a  few more for bonus. As you can imagine that means I lost points elsewhere.  You see, clearing my entire calendar to be there means, the dishwasher did not get loaded, no beds were made, there was no income generated, I did not write a blog post, I did not post anything to Social Media. I left it all for another day, just because as a female business owner, those are choices that can be made. Finding the happy medium is what I strive for as I continue to build an empire that my children’s children will inherit.


2. ‘The Mommy scorecard is a thing I keep in my head, on it is an imaginary series of zeros and tens that gets dished out by some imaginary judge-y bitch who looks an awful lot like me.’ – Shonda Rhimes



Yes! This surely made me laugh at 12 midnight – it’s so true. Why do we judge ourselves so much as mothers? Why does the scorecard matter so much? Why do these little people thug at our feelings so much. They are my ultimate reason everyday. And sometimes I must score myself a fail or a pass. I get a lot of fails. I’m gunning for the tens. How to attain those tens and not lose revenue? That is the true question of the day. I have found writing it all down helps. Mapping it out, creating a plan. When it is written down I can see it all clearly in black and white what needs to be done. The reality is, there are only 24 hours in a day. Of those 24 hours I must sleep too. So this is when my to do list gets a reality check. This is when the ish hits the fan.

What’s most important?

What brings in the money?

What can wait one more day?


3. ‘The only mommy I am ever at war with is me.’ – Shonda Rhimes


Thank you Shonda. I needed this gentle reminder. Forget everyone else. If there is one thing I know, I am their only mother, Stop scoring yourself Thabi and start mothering the best way that you can. Don’t look over the hedge or fence to see how the mother next door is doing, or the one posting their ever so perfect family life on Facebook. Make yourself the best mommy you can only be. And don’t be so hard on yourself. You only live once. Enjoy every memory you make with them. So you got home after they fell asleep yesterday. But did they not just wake up to your smile and warm embrace?! It is not always greener on the other side. Get up, put on your lipstick and do this the best way you know how. That’s all you can do really.

4. ‘Dreams are for Losers.’ – Shonda Rhimes


I think I literally just woke the entire neighborhood up with my ‘laugh out loud’ to this. This was simply hilarious. Shonda is such a genius with her words. You never know what you are going to read next and she just keeps going. The reason this made me laugh is yes, I am a dreamer. I have so many dreams written down in my planners. Some I have accomplished. Some are on the ‘to-do’ list from whenever I have extra time. I have banked millions of dollars in these dreams. I even have balance sheets to prove it. But after reading this, it was a knock on the head. Stop dreaming and start doing. Stop it with the excuses. Time to execute. The best time to get started is now. Send out that proposal, go for that lunch date, launch that product, the best time is NOW! Everything is else will fall into place surely.

5. ‘Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.’ – Shonda Rhimes


There, did you hear that, Shonda just popped my balloon. Pop! Bye bye dreamer. What are you doing about your dream?


6. ‘Lesson one: Ditch the dream, be a doer, not a dreamer.’ – Shonda Rhimes


Easier said than done. How can I become more of a doer. How can I become more productive each day. How can I stop dreaming of all the wonderful things I want to accomplish. Simple. Visioning the end result and going after it. Yes there are going to be failures along the way, but the lesson here is to start and adjust the dream as you go along. How can you achieve your dream with two children? Work out a plan and a schedule and oh goodness me try to stick to it. That snow day will come along and they will be home so you will get no work done. Allow yourself moments to just go of schedule and enjoy their laughter and the mess they make too.


7. ‘Focus on something outside yourself.’ – Shonda Rhimes


Don’t be that person who wakes up one day and wonders where time went. How can you spend your time making a change? How can you help improve other people’s lives?


8. ‘Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I’m failing in another area in my life’ – Shonda Rhimes


Argggggghhhhh, this made my heart heavy, OMG she is a real person, she can pay countless people to help her succeed, but did she really just say she is …’failing in another area in my life.’ Wow. Such honestly. How many of us mums can say this out loud right now? We fear being laughed and judged more than confessing to this truth. I taking Shonda Rhimes lead and saying out loud.


9. ‘If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other.’ – Shonda Rhimes


 ‘You can still wake up every single morning and go “I have three amazing kids and I have created work that I am proud of and I absolutely love my life and I would not trade it for anyone else’s life ever.’ – Shonda Rhimes



We must always look within and praise ourselves. Look at your life and see what makes you smile. I am smiling. I am blessed. I will continue to work hard and watch my dreams come to life.


10. ‘My dreams did not come true, but I worked really hard, And I ended up building and empire out of my imagination.’ – Shonda Rhimes.

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Wow moment here. Insert explosive fireworks and an audience applauding her. Yes, Shonda you did. Created a whole Shondaland. A whole Day dedicated to you each and every week – Thursday Nights. Ok, can I confess Shonda if I may. I am an epic fan of all your shows. But I am 2 seasons behind on Scandal. I can’t even believe I just typed that. How can I, Thabi is 2 seasons behind. 2 whole seasons? Not 2 whole episodes but seasons. What have I been doing.  I need to catch up. But you keep going and not stopping. Now I need to take a vacation just to watch Netflix and binge watch your greatness. I am feeling left out. I am trying to build my empire. So for now that means bye bye TV shows and movies. I can’t watch you and dream at the same time and hope everything aligns itself. You see, Shonda, I am your perfect viewer. I get you? You make me laugh and cry.


Bonus Quote – ‘Be Brave. Be amazing. Be Worthy.’ – Shonda Rhimes


Yes we have to be brave, there are days that the tears and mascara will drip down, pick yourself up, be amazing and worthy. Live each day the best way you can.

How can you make it all work. It’s time to review your processes and see what can you automate? What can be delegated? Where do I start? You simply cannot do it all yourself. I have learnt this over and over again. There is just no way to teach all of this in a blog post, which is why I offer One on One Pick My brain Sessions, to help you get started on our journey of becoming a doer and ditching the dream!


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