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“She explained to me that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to be soft on the inside, I had to have a hard shell, and I had to be willing to stick my neck out.” — Nikki Stone

Last week upon returning from The Villages I found a package in my mailbox from Olympic gold medalist, author, motivational/inspirational speaker and fellow-Union grad Nikki Stone. There was no guessing as to what was inside the thick white envelope, and I tore into the package as I made my way down my dirt road. (Note to readers: Don’t try this on your own! I almost ran off the road twice, and hit a mud pit so big I had to have an alignment done on my car this week.) But it was worth it. Inside the package was my much anticipated copy of Nikki’s book “When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out.”

The book is filled with stories of successful people — Tommy Hilfiger, Shaun White, Steve Young, Nadia Comaneci, Prince Albert of Monaco, Lindsey Vonn, Todd English, Summer Sanders, and Stephen Covey, etc. — and documents their paths to success using strategies similar to Nikki’s mom’s “Turtle Effect” philosophy that led to Nikki’s own successes.

My goal is to have this read within the next week so I can schedule my interview with Nikki and bring you all the inspirational story of this fellow Renaissance Mom. So stay tuned!