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Talk about Making Lemonade

February 26, 2010

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.  ~Winston Churchill

Anyone over the age of five or so knows that life isn’t always sunshine and cupcakes.  Personally I believe the cliché that it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you respond to it that defines you as a person, for better or for worse.  Clearly, Sue Scheff is cut from the same cloth.

Sue’s struggles with her teenage daughter (a “good teen making bad choices”) inspired her to found an organization dedicated to helping other parents navigate the overwhelming internet world of resources and residential treatment facilities.  “When you are at your wit’s end you are more likely to make rash decisions which can lead to bad choices.  Entering the “teen help” industry is a business, and if you are not careful you can get stung.”

Sue and her daughter had a rocky road to walk before Sue found the right combination of resources.  Fortunately their story has a happy ending, and her daughter is now a successful adult happily raising her own family.  What I really admire about Sue is her passion for putting her tough experiences and mistakes to good use.  Over the past decade Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, an organization she created, has helped thousands of people.  She has written several books, and is recognized as a parenting expert and advocate by numerous local and national media outlets.

The funny thing is, had she known from the beginning where her desire to help other parents and teens would take her, she might not have even taken that first step.  “If I had known ahead of time how many people would be depending on me – on my organization – I may not have gone forward out of fear of failure.  But I believe that if you can find a cause you are passionate about and have experience with, you have so much to offer other parents.”

In this case, one person’s ignorance has meant bliss for many families.  And I’ll bet her daughter is pretty darn proud of her, too.

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