Support Ricky’s Riders During Cycle for Survival 2022

Supporting rare cancer research is important to me, which is why I’ve joined Cycle for Survival leading Team Ricky’s Riders to raise money to help beat rare cancers.

This year will be my eleventh year of Cycle for Survival taking place in an outdoor event on May 14th and I’m asking for your help to meet our team fundraising goal of $10,000.  If you can contribute, any amount makes a difference.

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Why do I ride? For my father, Richard. 

My father, Richard, was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a few years ago. He’s currently in remission and doing well following a stem cell transplant and extensive treatment.  He was fortunate to benefit from cancer treatment and advances, but not everyone is as lucky. I ride for my father, but also for those who aren’t as lucky as him. 

For those of you who don’t know about the cause, Cycle for Survival is the movement to beat rare cancers. As a community, we ride in support of research discoveries and clinical breakthroughs that benefit people all over the world.

Click this link to visit my fundraising page and make a donation that will truly make a difference. Any amount has an impact because 100% of your gift will fund rare cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Rare cancer research is underfunded, and people who are diagnosed with these cancers are often left with limited treatment options — sometimes none. The generosity of donors helps fill that funding gap, giving people with a rare cancer hope for a better future.

Learn more about the incredible work- and people this community supports.

Please consider making a donation to Ricky’s Riders By visiting my fundraising page.

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JOIN THE BATTLE and support #CycleforSurvival

Thank you in advance for your contribution!

Winter Break Memories

Family vacations are all about making memories. Whether you prefer a ski getaway or relaxing at the beach, you know you’ve had a successful family vacation when everyone leaves the trip remembering something special. This was certainly the case for us last month on our first family vacation in almost TWO years since the beginning of the pandemic. We left the winter weather behind us in New Jersey to welcome the sunshine of Naples, Florida with our two kids.

We had a magical week relaxing and digitally detoxing as much as possible. We spent a lot of time at the beach, playing in the pool, shopping, playing mini golf and more. Towards the end of the trip, we regrouped over our final dinner and asked Lucas (7) and Reid (5) what the most memorable part of the trip was. Both boys shared that the highlight of the trip was beating us in mini golf and getting ice cream as a reward. It’s the little things that bring the most joy to kids, something we should all remember.

For me, being able to put my phone down and be present with the kids was the best part of being away. This is the first trip that our dinners focused on quality conversations, not on what was happening on the kids’ iPads. It was also special to watch my kids entertain themselves and so easily adjust to new surroundings. Whether they were playing with kids they hardly knew around the pool, enjoying a Shirley Temple, or practicing their cannon balls, it was a treat to see them just be boys and take a break from their screens and the hectic pace of our regular routine.

When they returned to school, they both shared the highlights of the trip with their teachers and classmates— the plane ride, endless swims and beautiful sunsets. My older son integrated these experiences into his creative writing and my younger son came home with drawings of sunshine and swimming pools. 

It also reminded me how much I love the beach. Nothing tops the sound of a wave breaking and a clear view of the water.  It’s a place I can really unwind, relax, and tap into my inner most creativity. We watched the waves in the distance and were lucky enough to spot dolphins in the water. We came home with seashells the kids collected. Just this morning, I found beautiful white sand in my purse from another shell my younger son had hidden.

This experience opened my eyes to the need for lasting memories in the workplace as well. It made me think, what if we redefined part of our leadership approach to include Chief Memory Maker?  What if we were able to get under the hood of the people we lead to really learn what memories were made in the workplace last week? On even their most recent project? Wouldn’t it be helpful to find out what memory is burned in their minds from the specific work they did? This is something I’m going to work on with my team and see how this shapes their daily experiences.

Most people have a desire to be a part of a memory. If you don’t believe me just open your phone after a vacation and watch as people come behind your shoulder to take a sneak peek. I shared photos of my trip with my direct reports just last week and the response was authentic interest.

I’m already busy planning our next vacation and I’m eager to make more memories with my family. And I’m just as excited to create more memories at work.

What are some of your biggest travel- or work-related memories? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Reflections on the Past Year During the Jewish Holidays

It seems like the only thing that’s constant these days is change. As the future is increasingly shrouded in uncertainty, it’s clear we must learn to cope with change.  Last year was a year none of us will ever forget.  The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and touched each and every one of us.  The past eighteen months have certainly had its ups and downs, but the one theme I’d like to echo is how grateful and fortunate I am every single day to be alive and healthy.

Our family is Jewish and last week was Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday of the year.  It’s a day when we fast and have a lot of time to look back and reflect upon the year ahead.  I like to think of it as a blank book with 365-pages to celebrate the New Year. Our family has been very fortunate to have the flexibility to work from home for most of the year.  We sent our kids to summer camp and are hopefully returning to school fully for the 2021-2022 school year.  Most importantly we’ve all been fortunate to remain healthy.

The period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is known as the “Ten Days of Teshuvah,” often translated as a time of repentance.  This period is seen as an opportunity for change.  We’re asked to think about the people who we may have harmed over the past year, either intentionally or accidentally, and whether it was by words or actions.  It’s a time when we’re invited to reach out to people and make up for our mistakes.  It allows us an opportunity to directly address anyone we may have wronged, seek forgiveness, and make amends.



The Jewish Holidays always make me feel grateful to be part of my local community.  We were fortunate to attend Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services at our local synagogue outdoors this year and see many of our friends who we haven’t seen throughout the pandemic.  It restored a sense of “normalcy” to be back together sharing Rosh Hashanah dinner with some of our closest friends in town and break the Yom Kippur fast with family and friends.  The Jewish holidays have been a part of the rhythm of time for centuries and many Jewish communities all over the world are gathering and connecting in solidarity.

Building on the idea of leaning into community, last year I was the co-president of a local club in my town, “Newcomers and Neighbors of Short Hills and Millburn.” It was eye opening to see the strength of our community uniting during dark times. Last year our club ran initiatives to give back, which included feeding front-line workers during the peak of the pandemic, sending holiday and Valentine’s Day cards to troops deployed overseas, supporting our local food pantry and other organizations through diaper and food drives, and more.  This experience is one I will cherish and reflect upon with pride as I continue to support the community around me. 

As a business owner myself I’ve certainly felt the bumps in the road throughout the pandemic, but I have adapted and embraced change within my own company, Marissa Pick Consulting.  I’ve learned several lessons, which have helped me to remain agile and hit the ground running this year.

  • Embrace Change.  I’m the first to admit that one of my worst qualities is embracing change.  I’m a self-described “Type A” control freak and I like to plan everything out as far in advance as possible to ensure I have as much control as possible.  Well, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this forced me to tackle my issues with change headfirst.  I really struggled not exactly knowing when and where we could go and what the future would hold for school, camp, life, business, and everything else.  Change is scary.  People crave routine and rely on doing things the way they have always been done.  I like predictability.  I’ve learned to adapt and become more flexible this past year and focus much more on my communication skills.  Routines in our household have become a bit steadier with school, sports and schedules ramping back.  One of my goals for the year ahead is to be more flexible and really embrace and not fight change.  Whatever it will be, will be, so I may as well get onboard.
  • Address Mental Health. I’ve struggled with anxiety over the past few years.  Last spring, when it became apparent that lockdown wasn’t coming and going quickly, I found myself totally overwhelmed.  I reached out to family and friends for support and contacted my doctor to go back on my anxiety medicine.  The pandemic was an unprecedented time when many of us were balancing working, parenting, trying to be a teacher and keep it all together mentally amidst fear.  I was really scared and going back on medicine helped me better take on the world (most days, at least). I’ve found my anxiety to be an ongoing battle as we re-enter this “new normal” world where COVID is still very much a threat.  Since our two young kids aren’t vaccinated, we’ve tried to remain as cautious as possible.  My anxiety still impacts me, but I’m coping better than before.   I encourage you to reach out to your friends, family, or a doctor for help if you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed to get the help you may need.
  • Find an Outlet to Release Energy or Stress. As a college athlete I’ve always tried to stay in shape, workout, and channel my emotions into a healthy outlet.  I’ve always enjoyed cycling and last year we swapped out our bike for a Peloton.  As often as possible, either after the kids finish school or activities, or in between client work, I prioritize time for myself to workout.  I love taking live classes and riding with friends near and far.  I am a competitive person and I love tracking my progress and pushing myself to work harder to understand how far I’ve come and how far I have to go.  If working out isn’t your thing, see if you can find something that helps you stay healthy and regularly releasing the stress we all carry around within ourselves.
  • Smile.  Life is overwhelming, and some days it’s hard to not get lost in the endless media circus of life.  The highlight of my day is having my kids run into my arms after school and telling me about their day.  Kids have a view of the world that is so innocent, pure and refreshing.  My boys are so inquisitive, curious and hopeful about the future.  They inspire my husband and I every day to smile and have fun and remind us that family comes first, no matter what.  Whatever it is that makes you smile, recognize it and make it part of your daily routine.

Thank you for taking the time to read my New Year reflections.  On Yom Kippur we say “G’mar chatima tova,” which in English means, “May you be sealed in the Book of Life.”  As the New Year begins in the Jewish world, I hope that all your wishes got sealed this Yom Kippur and wish everyone a sweet, happy and healthy New Year ahead.

I’d love to know what you’ve done to embrace change over the past year or so.  Please leave a comment below or send me a message via email.

Please support Ricky’s Riders in the fight to beat rare cancers during #CycleforSurvival 2021

Cycle for Survival is important to me. This year I’m thrilled to be participating in my decade ride (10th year) of Cycle for Survival on May 2 outside at MetLife Stadium. I’m raising money for Cycle for Survival to support rare cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Every dollar raised by this movement continues to change — and save — lives

Cycle for Survival provides crucial funding to hundreds of doctors and scientists in pursuit of bold ideas. The discoveries made through research and clinical trials powered by this community have led to the FDA approval of new drugs and diagnostic tools that are helping people around the world.

Since the first event in 2007, there have been many great advances in rare cancer research and treatment. But there’s still more work to be done, and we won’t stop fighting until every person facing a rare cancer has a treatment for their disease.

I’m raising money for rare cancer research.

Why? For my father, Richard.

A few years ago my father Richard was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He fought his cancer for years and after several rounds of chemo, immunotherapy and a stem cell transplant he is in remission. Even though he beat cancer, his battle continues every day, which is why I’m participating in my 10th year of Cycle for Survival — the movement to beat rare cancers. http://bit.ly/mpcycle21

My father has been fortunate to benefit from cancer treatment and advances, but not everyone is as lucky. I ride for my father, but also for those who aren’t as lucky as him. I encourage you to visit my fundraising page and make a donation that will truly make a difference.  

Here are three reasons why I hope you will support me:

1. Rare cancer research is underfunded, leaving people who are diagnosed with these cancers few options — sometimes none. Thanks to the generosity of donors, people with a rare cancer have hope for a better future with new and improved treatments.

2. 100% of your gift (yes, every dollar!) will fund research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). All funds are allocated within six months after fundraising ends. Cycle for Survival will share what was funded and continue to keep you updated on the advances you support.

3. Discoveries can benefit people with cancer worldwide. MSK is a world leader in cancer research, treatment, and education, caring for people with over 400 subtypes of cancer each year. They collaborate with institutions around the world to accelerate treatment options for all patients.

Your support makes so much possible. Together we will continue to advance our mission to beat rare cancers.  

Please consider making a donation to Ricky’s Riders By visiting: http://bit.ly/mpcycle21

JOIN THE BATTLE and support #CycleforSurvival.

Support Ricky’s Riders During #CycleforSurvival 2020

Cycle for Survival is important to me. This year I’m participating in my 9th year of Cycle for Survival on February 1, 2020.

I’m raising money for rare cancer research. Why? For my father, Richard.

My father, Richard, was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago. He’s been kicking cancers ass after numerous rounds of chemo, immunotherapy and a stem cell transplant, he is in remission and doing well. He’s been fortunate to benefit from cancer treatment and advances, but not everyone is as lucky. I ride for my dad, but also for those who aren’t as lucky as him.

 

I encourage you to visit my fundraising page and make a donation that will truly make a difference.  Here are three reasons why I hope you will support my ride:

1. Rare cancer research is underfunded, leaving people fighting these cancers with few options — sometimes none. Because of the generosity of people like you, Cycle for Survival is changing that.

2. 100% of your gift (yes, every dollar!) will fund research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to advance new and better treatments. All funds will be allocated within six months of the events. Cycle for Survival will share what was funded and continue to keep us updated on progress.

3. Discoveries will benefit cancer patients everywhere. Memorial Sloan Kettering treats hundreds of subtypes of cancer each year and collaborates with institutions around the world.

JOIN THE BATTLE and support #CycleforSurvival

Please consider making a donation to Ricky’s Riders By visiting: http://bit.ly/mpcycle20

Thank you in advance for your contribution!

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Lessons Learned from 365 Days of Consulting

Yesterday was my birthday! Not my actual birthday, but the birth of my business. One year ago, I was hired by my first client and officially became a consultant.

It was the scariest, yet most exciting and satisfying decision I’ve ever made.  Would this work? Could I really make a living being my own boss? Luckily for me, the answer has been yes. Early on, I took a number of interviews and phone screens and drove myself crazy, but after I turned down a great job offer early into my venture and made the decision to fully commit and haven’t looked back since.

Throughout my career, I’ve led global teams, traveled the world and managed numerous agencies and consultants.  To this day, I continue to learn from my mistakes and re-calibrating for ongoing success. I’m constantly learning how to figure out what I don’t like doing or where I struggle so I’m able to get help.

Below are some takeaways from the year that was, I hope you find these helpful!

“You must learn from your past mistakes, but not lean on your past successes.” – Denis Waitley

  • Small successes feel absolutely incredible.When I worked for other people, achievements in the business were exciting, but they never really felt like my successes since they were part of a greater organization. Now, every time something exciting happens, I feel like an owner. Every step forward motivates me and pushes me to work harder since I know what it took to achieve.  It feels good to know that anything I’ve achieved is well earned.
  • Set Goals. If you start a business with some success, your offerings and mind may shift. It’s like a little alarm telling you that you did something you once thought impossible, and now nothing really seems very impossible. It’s exhilarating however it can open up the flood gates allowing a million ideas that you may way to do roll in. I recommend that you set a quarterly goal for your business. Make it specific and set up an action plan to help you achieve it. It’s easy to get sidetracked and over promise to clients but staying true to myself and the goals I set for this past year has worked (so far!).
  • People don’t understand what I do, and that’s okay. Friends and family may not always understand or consider my job “a real job” since it’s outside the normal “full-time” description.  I don’t work 9-5 in an office or a traditional setting. Others perception has been one of my major frustrations over the last year. My business is important to me and it makes me happy.  I try to share what I do in a way that people understand.  I’ve learned there are ways of having productive conversations and getting what you want out of an interaction.  It’s been helpful for me to be honest with my friends and family about where I’m at with my business and letting go of any frustrations I maybe holding onto.
  • Support is key. I’ve always loved having alone time, but I get a bit stir-crazy being home all day. Building a great business means you need a great network of people to help you. Getting out of the house and doing work from a coffee shop or a friend’s couch has been a lifesaver.  I’d describe myself as a creative soul and often I get ideas from my friends within other industries and outside of my house.  I encourage people to build relationships with the people who can help to get your business idea off the ground. Connect with individuals who will give expert advice and save you from making startup mistakes and take a break to network and get out!
  • If you’re thinking about it – do it! I’m a firm believer that things always work out the way they should.  It they don’t at first, you have to keep fighting through.  Too many small businesses fail because they were never started in the first place, if you have an idea then give it a shot. I’ve been able to eliminate hours of commuting, travel, busy work for others and so much more.  And what’s the best part? Having the ability to spend more quality time with my children and family.  Until this past year, I never had time to join my children’s activities at school, meet friends for coffee whenever I wanted too, visit my parents in the middle of the day, or have breakfast with my children.  My life was a state of constant rush, drop the kids, rush to make a train or an early call, work and hustle to catch another train home to grab the kids from daycare to get home in time to put them to bed. After my second son was born, I had a harder time spending 11+ hours away from my boys in daycare every day even though I was only in the city a few times a week.  I wasn’t happy and it was really taking a toll on me and my husband realized.  He pushed me to follow my dream of setting up my own business and has been my constant cheerleader over the past 365 days.  He believed in me and kept me going, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

It’s been a wild ride this past year, but one I plan to stay on for some time! I’d love to hear any advice you may have for a small business owner or someone new to entrepreneurship.  Please leave a comment below or reach to me directly!

 

How Can You Work More Effectively? 9 Women Experts Lean In.

Recently my colleague Tom Pick published an insightful article for G2 Planet, How Can You Work More Effectively? 9 Women Experts Lean In.” I’m thrilled that Tom included my insight within the post along with such dynamic and brilliant industry thought leaders.  

Tom reached out to me over the summer asking for my advice regarding what would help me to do my job more effectively.  I thought for a few days before sharing my feedback with him.   After receiving responses from several other thought leaders he found that several of us mentioned things like needing more hours within our day, many expressed a desire for more support and understanding from management and clients.  All of us featured provided an array of answers and I shared the below advice:

“More hours in my day!

Seriously, sometimes days fly by and some days drag on, but when it comes to events it’s always that last minute rush of things coming together which can prove challenging at time.

I often find myself in a last-minute crunch and having to prioritize what really needs to get done at any given time.  With two kids and my own consulting business, I’d say I’m a multi-tasking Momma, and working smarter and not necessary harder at all times is what’s helped me to get ahead over the years.”

What do you think? What would help you work more effectively? As my children are both back to school and settling into new routines I’m reflecting on my advice and enjoying reading other’s insight and commentary.   The photo below was taken after my older son’s Lucas first day at his new school.  We walked down the path to my car together as he told me all about his day and he reflected upon his day within a new environment with new teachers and friends.    As he described his day it was refreshing to hear a fresh perspective from someone taking it all in, a sponge if you will.   I constantly try to work more effectively and clean in and reflect, prioritize and improve and as I settle into my new routine I hope to continue to do so into the end of the year.

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As a reminder please check out Tom’s post How Can You Work More Effectively? 9 Women Experts Lean In.”

I’d love to hear your feedback, please leave a comment below or send me a tweet @marissapick.

 

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! Whether you’re shopping at a women owned-business, sending flowers to some of your female role models or simply taking a moment to recognize the women within your life or around the world there are plenty of meaningful ways to embrace today.

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Today’s a special way to share the voices and photos of women that we are able to know, admire and support.  Last year was rough for for me but into 2019 I’ve really focused on finding a balance between family, work and life.  It’s not an easy task as a working mother but one which is necessary for me to make time for myself and be happy as a woman, a mother, a wife, a co-worker a daughter and so many of the roles I play in life.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

Not only celebrating for just one day will do, we must try out to make every woman in our life feel special.  It’s very important to understand that it is women who complete the society.  I hope you take a moment to reach out to a friend, a mother, a colleague and wish them a very happy International Women’s Day!

 

2019 New Years Greetings

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”- Sarah Ban Breathnach

a444d1d64d116d61194deea7f6a02c54.pngRinging in the New Year is a cause for celebration.  This holiday break allowed me to spend time with family, friends and time to reflect on the past year.  Any time of new beginnings also goes hand in hand with time of reflection.

Whatever your personal resolutions include they will take work and it can make the difference to put these hopes into words as I believe seeing is believing. I find all of the New Years messages, cards, well wishes and quotes as a reflective moment to remind us to uphold our new years desires and share joy with others into the new year.

Wishing you a very happy 2019!

Support Ricky’s Riders During #CycleForSurvival

#CycleForSurvival is important to me. This year I’m participating in my seventh year of Cycle for Survival on February 2, 2019.

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I’m raising money for rare cancer research. Why? For my father, Richard.

My father, Richard, was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago. He’s been kicking cancers ass. Now, he’s recovering from a stem cell transplant, in remission and doing well. He’s been fortunate to benefit from cancer treatment and advances, but not everyone is as lucky. I ride for my dad, but also for those who aren’t as fortunate as him.

Click the following link to visit my fundraising page and make a donation that will truly make a difference: https://bit.ly/2PqJruF

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Below are three reasons why I hope you will support Team Ricky’s Riders: 

1. Rare cancer research is underfunded, leaving people fighting these cancers with few options — sometimes none. Because of the generosity of people like you, Cycle for Survival is changing that.

2. 100% of your gift (yes, every dollar!) will fund research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to advance new and better treatments. All funds will be allocated within six months of the events. Cycle for Survival will share what was funded and continue to keep us updated on progress.

3. Discoveries will benefit cancer patients everywhere. Memorial Sloan Kettering treats over 400 subtypes of cancer each year and collaborates with institutions around the world.

JOIN THE BATTLE and support #CycleforSurvival

Thank you in advance for your contribution!

XOXO

Marissa