Open Letters

An Open Letter to Karen Salmansohn

Dear Karen,

Hello there! My name is Jaimee Newberry, I’m a professional experimenter. I wanted to let you know that you’ve inspired me in some pretty big ways in my life, and I feel like I owe you a great big THANK YOU.

In 2004 I saw you speak at a "HOW Design" conference in San Diego. You talked about your career, sacrifice, bad luck, pushing through, changing direction and owning your life. You told the story of how you got your first book published. It’s been a while, I don’t remember the talk today with incredibly keen detail. What I do remember is that you inspired me. I remember returning to work feeling energized and excited. I remember thinking, “one day I’ll give talks about something at a conference, too!” I was a web designer at the time, I loved my work so much and you inspired me to grow in new directions. 

After a while the energy of the inspiration dissolved into my bloodstream, your books went on book shelves and life propelled forward. I believe that inspiration takes up residence in our brain and leaps out at unsuspecting, but desperately needed times. Earlier this year, eleven years after having seen your talk or touched your books, I started doing some research for some of my own work and I happened across your name. Immediately I ran to my book shelve and there you were. You’d been there all along. Ready to be a source of inspiration once again.

A couple months ago I volunteered for something called AppCampForGirls, and one of the guest speakers there was an amazing woman named Colleen Wainwright. Over breakfast, I mentioned my monthly challenges (sometimes writing, sometimes YouTube, sometimes who knows what) and I mentioned that you’d been the inspiration for me in wanting to do public speaking and Colleen asked, “Have you ever told her that?” I had not. “You should,” she said. (Thank you, Colleen!)

I’ve been actively speaking at conferences of all sizes for the past five years now. I have no idea if I will ever impact anyone the way you impacted me way back in 2004 but I feel like I owe you the biggest expression of gratitude for the inspiration and seed you planted in me so long ago. You demonstrate a beautiful example of following your heart, living boldly and laughing often. You reminded me that the best story to tell is my own. Thank you!

With Gratitude,

Jaimee

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To learn more about Karen Salmansohn, check out her site at: notsalmon.com