Focus on Joy

Do you have someone in your life who when you are around them, there is no way you can even think about anything negative? I hope you do, and I did. However, I lost this dear friend to her battle with cancer on December 18, 2017. Her name is Anna Maria Soriano.

We met each other while working at Constant Contact. She was on the sales team, me on the marketing team. When I first met her, I had the feeling I had met her at some other point in my life. We became instant friends. She was also the type of colleague who you could count on. No matter what. She also would always go well beyond delivering in any circumstance, what at Constant Contact we referred to as “Wow”.

Anna Maria grew up in the North End of Boston. For those not familiar with Boston, it is referred to as the Italian section in Boston. It is still considered to be the Italian section, but like other Boston neighborhoods, has become more ethnically diverse in the last 15 years.

Anna Maria took great pride in having grown up in the North End. She loved sharing stories of what it was like to grow up there, including the neighborhood debate about whether Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry was the better bakery. Her favorite was Modern Pastry. Magically every time I visited her home outside of Boston, she seemed to have Modern Pastry’s on the table.

Having a sweet tooth, this was a perfect arrangement for me, and if you have ever had a treat from Modern, you know how hard it is to say no to the offer of one of their confections.

While we worked together at Constant Contact, I learned a number of things from Anna Maria.

One of them was that your voice and its tone could have an influence on people. I also learned from her how people paid attention differently by when you fully leveraged the power of your vocal cords.

Something you might not know, is that Anna Maria was the “voice” of Constant Contact. When you called into the company, it was her voice you heard to direct you to where you were trying to navigate. She also was the lead webinar producer of content for the last five plus years. This included giving live presentations around the country.

Her voice was infectious. She captured your attention and made you want to pay attention to everything she was teaching you. Although you may have thought her voice and the way she presented her material was an act, it wasn’t. It was genuinely who she was. The best part? After talking to her, you could not help but feel better or more enthused.

No one is immune from having a bad day. However, it was not possible to end your day on a negative note if you worked with, or had the fortune of being Anna Maria’s friend. She made every day you worked with her fun and interesting. She also challenged you to see the joy in whatever it was you were working on. Clearly, she had “Positivity” in her Top 5 strengths.

During work breaks, or post work, one of the places she talked about going to included travel. Specifically taking a trip to Italy. This was one of the places on her bucket list. I was thrilled when she told me she was going to take a trip there this past summer. What was significant about this, is that she had stage 4 cancer. This meant she had to time her trip around her cancer treatments. If you saw any of the photos she took on her trip to Italy, you could see the joy on her face of being there.

Attitude plays a large role in whether you can find and have joy in your life. My dear friend Anna Maria was able to accomplish this every day I knew her. How? Because of her amazing attitude.

I wish more people could be like Anna Maria, and I hope to embrace her concept of incorporating joy into every aspect of my life. I hope you do too.

Rest in peace my dear friend. Thank you for teaching me to be able to find the joy in all aspects of my life. I will never forget you, and your memory will live on in my heart and soul for the rest of my life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at or (339) 987-0195.T

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