From a young age, Kendra Brim’s mom told her to always “show up and show out.” Whether on the court playing basketball or building a career with BlueCross BlueShield, through success and failure, June’s BN360 Spotlight Professional has strived to do just that.
[Q] Kendra, what does “show up and show out” mean to you?
Between my basketball career and my current role with BlueCross BlueShield, many people would consider me to be successful. But success hasn’t come easy to me. Like everyone else, I have had my setbacks and bad days. When it comes down to it, it is OK to be tired or to feel like you are less than your best at a particular moment. Regardless of how you feel, you still have to show up. You still have to try. You might not succeed that time, but you are one step closer.
[Q] What has shaped your setbacks and ultimately, success?
My family and discipline have done more than anything else to shape my success.
In my family, there is always a desire to achieve more and to do better. That is one of the reasons I worked so hard to earn my master’s degree. Seeing my family overcome setbacks and still work harder to find success—especially my brother—inspires me through my own trials and triumphs.
Discipline has been foundational to my success today. Growing up, it was setting the expectation and understanding that I was not going to accept anything less than “x.” I’ve shared one piece of advice with my girls during my tenure as basketball coach at Nardin Academy and with those I’ve mentored through the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals: “Don’t accept no.” You will hear the word “no” many times throughout your personal and professional journey. It is how you choose to respond to “no” that makes the difference.
[Q] What have been some “no’s” for you along your own journey?
I wanted to pursue a master’s degree in public health. The problem was that I had not been a tremendous student on paper. I heard “no,” again and again. Words on paper do not define you. Your experiences, those you have had and those you create, your passion and discipline, the person you choose to be every day… that is your story. I worked hard, I took classes at a community college, improved myself, reapplied… and today, I have a master’s degree.
A real turning point for me came in my mid-20s when my sister-in-law dragged me to the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals Soirée. I immediately saw value and opportunity in being engaged with the organization and its mission and vision. It became an influential part of my story.
[Q] What values influence your experiences and story.
Faith. Family. Health. If something doesn’t fit with your values or the story you want to tell, don’t do it. Life will pull you in a number of directions. You will have good times when things are pretty easy and tough times when that isn’t the case. Having a core set of values to guide you is crucial. Let people get to know you, not what you do. Lastly, remember to give yourself a break occasionally… take a minute to just step back and breathe.
BN360 is the young professional and engagement program of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Learn more about BN360 and find out how you can get involved here. BN360 is presented by Alliance Advisory Group. The 2019 Spotlight Professionals series sponsor is Alpine Films.
This content was produced in collaboration between Buffalo Rising and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. The facts and opinions published in Buffalo Rising express solely the thoughts and opinions of our respective authors.