Late last year, I completed the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Education LEAD program. The program itself was life-changing and it still continues to push me further into reaching my highest potential. This past week, I spoke at our annual conference (#me2we2023) at Stanford University to an audience of 450 (which was very different than hosting storytimes with 2nd graders). For the first time, I shared the story behind the story of the Terysa Solves It book series and how it came to fruition, as well as the lessons I learned both in life and through loss. I modeled my slides based on Beyonce’s self-titled album, and shared stories to a few of my favorite songs - Superpower, I Was Here, Break My Soul, and Before I Let Go.
Beyonce has been a huge inspiration to me since 1997, and when she announced the release of her latest album, Renaissance, she stated that “Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world.” Similarly, when the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic I’d personally shut down a few months prior due to the unexpected deaths of my brother-in-law, mother, and sister. While the grief of the untimely passing of all of them within a short amount of time was overwhelmingly painful, it still wasn't enough to break my soul. The silver lining was that it actually brought about a renewed sense of purpose and passion. So, I began to write and it became my escape - and I was able to create a fictional world where all of my family still existed together.
📷: Jacky Cheong