A Friend’s Searching Question

Sometimes people inspire you and they don’t even know that they’ve led you to search your soul and discover something new about yourself.  You can thank, as I will, Kelby of Type A Mom.  Yesterday, we were chatting via email and I mentioned to Kelby that what most people don’t know about me is that I’m shy.  Yes, shy.  Her response was not only hilarious but challenged me.  “You shy? That cracks me UP! You have HEARD of you, right? Do you have any idea who you are? LOL. ”

It made me stop and ponder the question.  The answer is, “Yes, I’ve heard of Maria and I know many others have as well, but how many of those people  really know me?”  Sure people read my bio, they see my Tweets, Avatars and some even read my books. But how many really know who I am?  I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words.  Thus, I’ve hoped that what I do personifies who I am.  But just in case, I’ve decided to open up so you can see some of the soul of Maria Bailey.

  • I am shy.  It used to pain me to go in a room full of strangers but I taught myself a skill that I practice every time I enter a room with people I don’t know. I’m far more comfortable on a stage in front of 1000 people or on TV than I am at a cocktail party of 10.
  • I’m more comfortable in blue jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap than I am in a suit. Not expensive jeans but the kind you throw on when you are going fishing on a chilly day.  Ironically, I got my first fancy pair of jeans last Christmas from the women in my office who bought me a pair of Lucky jeans. I was 44 and for the first time owned a pair of jeans over $50.
  • I’m a country girl at heart who grew up in a high society environment with a tennis court and putt-putt course in our backyard.  I never fit in and was the only one of my friends who worked when I was a teenager. Sometimes it was embarrassing to work at McDonalds, but I did it because I loved to work and I loved to meet the people who came into the store everyday.
  • I believe in handwritten notes, in telling people what they mean to you while you have the opportunity, following Emily Post etiquette, never reclining my seat on an airplane for the sake of the guy behind me and family dinners when I’m not traveling.
  • I want people at my funeral to say I was a loyal friend.
  • I have a passion for empowering mothers.  This is what drives every single thing I do.  Empowerment might come through giving moms a voice via MomTV, Mom Talk Radio, or by providing them good information on BlueSuitMom.com.  But it also comes from making companies realize the economic power we bring to the US economy.
  • I worked very hard to have children. I love being a mom and strive everyday to do the best job I can with the gifts God gave me. I want my children to be independent, global thinkers who care about people and want to leave a mark on life.  I want them to find a job in life that they love as much as I do.
  • I have a hard saying “no” to a mom who needs something, whether it’s help with a business plan, marketing advice or a job.
  • I am very protective of my team at BSM Media.  I don’t like them to work too many overtime hours, I want others to respect them as I do and I want them to have fun when they work.  I’ve been known to turn down work when we aren’t having fun.
  • I LOVE running.  Actually, I love anything that physically challenges my body. It’s one of the few times that you have to rely solely yourself to succeed.  Even when I bike 30+ miles, I feel guilty that I used tires to help me reach the finish line.  Running marathons lets me use my brain and every muscle in my body.
  • My favorite part of what I do is all the friends I have all over the world.  I wish I could spend more time getting to know the women I’ve met along the way of my incredible journey called “Career”.
  • From the early death of my father, I learned that it’s important to live life to its fullest every single day.  Take risks, stop and enjoy small moments, walk on the beach barefoot and feel the sand on your feet, touch other people’s lives and do something you fear every day.
  • Eating is a big thing for me.  My mom had an eating disorder and I later was treated for one after college.  I try to control everything that goes into my body.  I believe in eating to fuel my body rather than to mindlessly eat.  I eat at least 2 superfoods every day and never eat airplane food.  I have a list of foods that I consider wasted calories, that’s why you rarely see me eat white rice.
  • I believe God brings the people you need into your life.
  • I believe that the energy we give out is the energy we get back in our life.  I follow the Dalai Lama’s advice to “Never lose the lesson in life”.  So, from every negative experience I believe there is a positive lesson.
  • Finally, I believe that I’ve been truly blessed in life.  Not only do I know who and what I am, but I have friends like Kelby who remind me to share it with others.

35 Responses

  1. Maria, it’s good to let people in and I’m glad you have. Posts like these are what draw me to people and in your case will allow people to see you for who you are rather than what you can do for them.

    P.S. I had no idea that white rice was wasted calories…does pork fried rice count in that category too? 🙂

  2. This is so awesome Maria…thanks for letting us “in”…I feel as if no one knows me either, but alas…those who matter most do and will in time. I thought you were pretty great, after reading this, I am still thinking, “Yeah, cool Maria…she’s awesome. Even without all the “fame” I would like her as a friend.” You rock girl…from one shy girl to another. ; )

    • Carol, I think you are way cool and if I lived in NYC, i would definitely hang out with you. I told someone today you have the biggest smile I know.

  3. Hi Maria, you crack me up! I totally get the less nervous on front of 1000’s than 10’s. You’re super mom!

  4. What a great post! You sound like someone I would have coffee with and it is always nice to know the person behind the avatar =)

  5. Wonderful insight and I think it’s an inspirational list! Well done!

  6. I dont think your shy maria. I think your exactly right. You can be kinda reserved, but I think you adjust to whom your speaking with. I mean…we got you to use the F word, which goes down in BlogHer history for those that were there. LOL!

    You left out that you are funny, caring, and straight forward. I like how honest you are.

    I like who YOU are.


    • Trisha, What I love about us is that we each have strong views but respect each other for traveling to shared goals even when we take different roads. Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it.
      I guess I did okay to make history at my very first BlogHer. What will I do next year?

  7. Maria,

    I must say I admire you so much and want to thank you for this post!

  8. We got the magnificent chance to spend time together at Disney, getting to know each other better, and I am so grateful for that! This post is just one of the many things I love about you, (I love finding out we have even more in common!) I appreciate getting to know even more, and I cannot wait to see you again and spend more time with you! You truly are one-in-a-million, and someone I am so glad to call my friend.

    • Lisa,
      You are very special and I value our friendship more than you know. Aren’t you happy we didn’t want to go on the race track?

  9. I totally get what you mean about people not knowing who you are. I just wrote a post about that recently. I can totally understand about the being shy thing too! I don’t mind being the center of attention in a big crowd, but I hate walking into a group of women and not feeling a part of it! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only that feels like that.

  10. It’s nice to get to know a little about the person behind all the big projects. I don’t know you well, but I appreciate you sharing a bit of yourself with all of us.

    I can totally relate to your country girl trapped in the wrong social scene. I’m a country girl, but due to my husband’s job I need to be “on” at functions and out in public. I need to be the put together wife more often than I’d like. I’d much rather wear my jeans too.

  11. I have to laugh at Kelby asking you if you knew who you were. 🙂 What an honest, powerful post. I appreciate getting to “know” you better through what you wrote here. I follow your tweets and have often wished you were in the market to adopt a 35yo daughter – it’s so clear how much your family means to you and you seem to have such grand adventures with them! 🙂 Aside from all you have accomplished in business and online, I think I have the greatest amount of respect for (and draw the greatest amount of inspiration from ) the commitment you’ve made to motherhood.

  12. That was a really great post Maria! I knew some of those things from just getting to know you but I love finding out the little things that make you… well… you!

    I thought I was the only overly courteous person who didn’t recline on an airplane!

  13. Thanks for letting us get to know you better. My favorite was the part about “Never lose the lesson in life” I’m a firm believer in this saying.

  14. Can I have a job?

    Ok kidding.

    But no, really….(did you ever see the movie Dodgeball?)


    I always thought of you as a “speak softly and carry a big stick” person (from Peanuts or Teddy Roosevelt, although in Peanuts I think it was ‘carry a Beagle’).

    I enjoying reading about your soul, thank you for sharing!

  15. Wow! Great post.

    I am the same way. I can speak in front of 5000 people (used to do this regularly in college) but fumble through talking to 10 people in person.

  16. Thank you for lending some insight on who “Maria Bailey” is! It’s nice to know that we have several things in common and that’s not things you learn outside on the surface. Like you, I can be very reserved and sometimes it’s hard to convey that to others without coming off a bit snobbish or stuck up. Hand written notes are the best and it’s sad to see such a good tradition like that disappearing from our culture. Thank you for being you and letting us all in to know you on a more deeper level! (((hugs)))

  17. HI Maria! your post is so soft and yet so strong as you really let us all in.
    I can totally relate to be shy. I am completely until I start to get to know people. I also have many friends, not really all of the world but the US, and it is so frustrating to not be able to share more life with them.

    never lose a life lesson. I am taping that up on my computer.

    if you need a new pair of running shoes, I have a pair of Brooks up for grabs at my site, I would love it if you stopped by and entered!

  18. It’s nice to get to know you better. I never would’ve guessed you are shy. And I totally agree with you on the running thing. 🙂

  19. Because of blogging and social media, we all think we know each other so well, and sometimes we do. But, speaking for myself, everyone knows the me I want them to know. I don’t put myself “out there” as much as I should, but maybe one day that will change. Thanks for giving us the chance to know you better!

    • You are one of those friends I mention that I am so blessed to have in my life Thank you. And i’m coming to San Diego in Sept so get ready.

  20. It’s wonderful to read a post this genuine about someone you admire. Thanks for putting it out there.

  21. I love this post and some of the new insight it gives in to Maria Bailey. You are a rockin’ super mompreneur/social media guru in my book. I did get the pleasure of meeting you in person – so my opinion isn’t based on what you present through social media. I think there’s only so much people can get to know a person through social media. But it’s all good.

  22. What a great post. So many lessons. I’m lucky to have had you as my mentor for the last 10 years.

  23. Hi Maria,

    I can truly relate to the shy factor. Although many may think that I’m not because I love to meet new people…however put me in a crowd and I tend to get lost..but I have been working on that:)

    I am honored to have met you in person and hope that you consider me your friend and I do you.

    Keep up the great work you are doing touching the lives of many…

  24. This inspired me w/o pretense. I, too, had always been shy & of which I considered it as a handicap. I think it is true when they say your “weakness” is your strength! I have to learn how to overcome this too. Look @ what you’ve achieved! I hope to do the same thing. I hope I don’t clam up during the mom mixer on Thursday @ Cary NC. If I do, please break the ice for me! 🙂

  25. Well, since I didn’t get to spend much time getting to know you at Bowlher OR Blogher, I’m happy to read this post. It’s nice that you’ve spent the time to share, I know how long it takes to make a list like this. Look forward to getting to know you more in person!

  26. It was wonderful “getting to know you” a bit better through this post, Maria.

    You really are a wonderful person and I love how much you think about others, about the world.

    I’d love to hear the “skill” that you taught yourself when entering a group of strangers. I bet it could help us all.

    I believe in handwritten notes too. I try to write one at least once a week. 🙂

  27. You inspire me, Maria, because I do see you living your life as blessed and KNOWING you are blessed. You have awesome kids and let people know about it, and like I always say, you are the first person to ever show me that having teens doesn’t have to be so scary someday. And I know you are passionate about making sure that the RIGHT voice of Moms is heard, and heard correctly.


  28. Maria…I also love reading your posts, and in particular, this one. As a working mom, it is so worth it to take a few minutes out to read this and feel good about things again. I also can relate to so much of your list. Thanks for sharing a part of you that I’m sure so many can say “hey, I get that”..or “that’s just like me”. I’d love to know more about the skill you taught yourself when you enter a room with people. Best!

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