I met the most amazing woman yesterday! Her name is Dr. Joyce Knudsen. She is a 72-year-old imaging consultant who has made it one of her goals to let women over 60 know that they still have a lot of living to do. Contrary to popular belief, once we reach retirement age we can still accomplish our dreams. We still have a valuable presence in the workplace. We are still leading ladies! She recently released a book entitled “Refusing to Quit: True Stories of Women Over Sixty.” It was an honor to meet her. I’d like to give a special thank you to local media personality Mary Beth Conley for giving me the opportunity to help interview her on the Marybeth Conley Show. I felt the best way to introduce you to Dr. Knudsen is through her own words so I am featuring one of her blogs. I humbly introduce to you Dr. Joyce Knudsen. She wants you to DARE TO DREAM AND GO FOR IT!
Hello. My name is Dr. Joyce Knudsen and from the time I was small, people in my life were very negative towards me. I wasn’t a good student and I was “labeled” as lazy, stupid, and “she just doesn’t try.” I didn’t know why I could not see the board but I wanted to be popular and be like the other children at my schools. So, I pretended to be like everyone else. If someone showed me something, I would look at it and say, “Oh, how lovely.” But, I couldn’t see it –not unless it was right in front of my viewing area –straight in front of me. I knew I could see depth or to the side. For years, I felt different but, at the same time, I always knew there was a purpose to my life and I needed to follow it, no matter what someone else was telling me about myself.
When I married over forty seven years ago, I told my husband about my eye challenges. At the age of thirty-two, I went in for eye surgery to see if the doctor could make my eyes straight. They had a tendency to move to the right and that made me self-conscious. The doctor said it wouldn’t help my vision, but I may be able to look like my eyes were in the middle. The operation made my eyes look perfect so now it was even easier to “fool” the people I knew by pretending to see.
It is a challenge daily for me to look at steps so I don’t fall; it is a challenge to read a menu or a newspaper, but I can see and decided at an early age to follow my dreams. It was frustrating because I wanted so much to learn and was highly theoretical and everyone was always discouraging me.
At the encouragement of a wonderful school counselor, at the age of 23, I was able to earn an Associates Degree from a Community College with a college grant. There were nine people in my family and money for college just was not “in the cards.” At this point in time, I proved to myself that I was not stupid or lazy. I just had to find a way to communicate with instructors about how I could learn.
Ever since I was young, I always enjoyed putting clothing together, doing people’s makeup, and cleaning out their closets. From there, I worked as a model and actress and then taught modeling and acting. I decided in l985, after working in many facets of the Image Industry to join an association devoted to Image. I joined AFIC at this time. In l988, AIC and AFIC combined to form The Association of Image Consultants, International (AICI) and I have worked my way up to becoming the very first AICI-CIM (Certified Image Master). It is the highest level of achievement in the Image Industry.
Oh, and did I tell you that when I was thirty-six, I went back to school to get a bachelors degree in communications, then a masters degree in business administration and then a Ph.D. in Human Services (Psychology). All this and I was already 52!
Who were these people who told me “I couldn’t do it!” These were just their “opinions.” I learned that “opinions” are not fact. When someone says something to us, we need to ask the questions, “Is this accurate?” “Is this validated?” If not, we need to ignore these types of comments. What right did they have to take away my dream? NEVER allow anyone to take away your dreams. You can be anything you want to be. You just have to believe in yourself.
About the Blogger
Visit Dr. Joyce Knudsen at www.drjoyceknudsen.com and learn more about her company The ImageMaker, Inc®. Also, get some great branding tips.