Five Life Lessons I Learned From My Mom

In the past few years I’ve learned a lot about marketing, and a lot about myself. I switched jobs, got a dog, moved across the river, got married, bought my first new car and launched a podcast and blog. Those are some serious life changes! I believe the kids are calling it “adulting.” But all of those changes have caused me to look back on how I got to this place in life. I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by a-maz-ing family and friends. So on this Mother’s Day, here are the top five marketing lessons I learned from my mom. This one’s for you, Rosie!


1. Make it Yourself.

You know when you have an exact idea of what you want, but can’t find it anywhere? Or don’t have the funds to have it created custom? When I was 5, I wanted to be Cat Woman for Halloween. Now mind you – it would have been simple enough to buy some overpriced, spandex number off the rack at K-Mart. But that’s not what the Erdy’s do. Rosie insisted on making this costume from scratch. So we went to Joann Fabrics, bought a pattern, black fabric, and gold puffy paint. At the time, I would have killed to have the store bought costume like my friends. But nearly 30 years later, I’m still thinking about that awesome costume. It was perfect! (Nevermind the fact that I had to wear it overtop of my snowsuit for a snowy Ohio trick-or-treat). And I find that same sense of pride in my work at the office. A couple of years ago, I was responsible for designing/creating an interview leave-behind for a really large project. I could have sent it off to a printer, but I knew exactly what I wanted and frankly had hit the end of the budget. So that meant staying late, hand cutting and scoring, and quite a few x-acto cuts. But you know what? It looked awesome and I was proud. Oh, and we won the job!


2. Talk to Strangers.

Well maybe not as a kid, but definitely as an adult. My mom will pick up a conversation with anyone – grocery store, church, work, you name it. And she has met some incredible people. Her best friend? They met in the waiting room of the doctors office after she had just moved to a new town. While I can’t say the same about how I’ve met my best friends, I can say that I try to model this open minded attitude and it has greatly impacted my networking skills.


3. Don’t Take Shit.

Ok my mom would never use the word shit, (sorry for cursing mom), but she certainly won’t take it from anyone. No matter your title, salary, car you drive or any other status symbol – we are all human beings and should treat each with the respect we deserve. Treat people right, and stand up for yourself – in and out of the workplace.


4. Be Patient.

Yes, this is one I struggle with every. single. day. But it doesn’t mean I’m not trying! My parents raised three kids, started a construction business, went to college, restored a home room by room and are still madly in love 44 years later. And in the process, my mom watched my dad build a new house for damn near everyone in the neighborhood, except themselves. But her patience paid off. Now they are both retiring, and finally building their dream home – exactly how they want it (notice a theme?). I’m quick to get frustrated when things aren’t on schedule or going my way, but life’s a journey and hard work and patience will absolutely pay off.


5. A Hot Bath Can Fix Anything.

This is quite possibly my mom’s most favorite piece of advice. Bad day at work? Take a hot bath. Feeling under the weather? Take a hot bath. Tired? You guessed it, take a hot bath. And while I don’t even have a bath tub in my tiny apartment, I take that advice to mean that I need to slow down and take some time for myself. And adding in a glass of wine never hurts.

Thanks, Mom – I love you!