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90 in 90: Tynetta Brown, Philanthropy Delaware

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Building a blueprint for life with integrity, accountability

 Don’t shrink or play yourself small.
Playing yourself small or minimizing who you are is never a good thing. Know that you do belong in the room. You were given those gifts and talents for a reason. If you are confident in who you are, and what you know, why should you worry about the insecurities or opinions of others and minimize who you are just to make them feel comfortable? 

“No.” is a complete sentence.
Don’t always feel obligated to be present, assist or volunteer when you just don’t have it to give. Protect your time-it’s a precious commodity. When you spread yourself too thin, you aren’t performing at your peak, or giving your best. 

Different is not deficient.
Diverse thought or approaches to a project, or problem is not an implication of deficiency in intellect or ability to perform; especially if it gets you to the same intended solution but just through a different path; that in some instances, may be a better alternative. 

Your life. Your timeline.
You are not wedded to one path to accomplish your goals. Especially those defined by society — when you should marry, have children, acquire certain credentials, buy a house, or start a business. Ultimately, you decide how and when you want to build out your place in the world. And along the way, it’s OK to course correct. 

Always be “appropriately” curious.
Be nosey. Be a sponge. Stay curious about the world around you and continually have a thirst for knowledge. Know what you don’t know.   

Never burn a bridge…
…or take a relationship for granted. You just never know when you will need to re-engage with that individual, company or community — It’s not always what you know — but who you know. Build strong relationships and steward/protect them accordingly. 

Don’t assume. You could be wrong. Get the facts.
Operate in truth. In my view, people who operate on limited knowledge cause a pause for me and one would wonder how they manage their personal life by not operating with facts vs inaccurate assumptions. 

Be honest.
It truly is the best policy. You insult an individual’s intelligence when you conscientiously choose to lie or misrepresent fact-especially face to face. Dishonesty serves no purpose and ultimately could contribute to your demise or have a major negative impact that may not be reversible.   

Life can literally change in the blink of an eye — be ready!
A cancer diagnosis three and a half years ago did it for me. My new normal now as a cancer patient began long before COVID-19 arrived. See that challenge as an opportunity to propel you forward and as best you can, try not to be paralyzed by changes that you have no control over. The Serenity Prayer really comes in handy when the unexpected happens.   

Manage your expectations and you’ll never be disappointed.
Sometimes predetermined notions of the way things ought to be or how people should behave can throw you off and shake your perspective. Maneuver through and let things shake out as the universe intended.  

Tynetta Brown is president and CEO of Philanthropy Delaware.

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