Summer shares a lesson learned from her memoir on how to make a difference.
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7 Simple Ways to Make a Difference at Work

Your work, no matter how small, can make a difference. At this point in the story from my memoir, Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, I was volunteering at the mental hospital where my mother worked. I was doing simple things like filing and shredding papers and delivering mail across the campus. Sometimes, it felt like my work didn’t matter. But my supervisor showed me that there are other simple ways to make a difference at work. She pointed out how I took the burden of filing, shredding, and delivering mail from her and my co-workers. She also helped me realize my smile and positive attitude can make a difference at work.

Moral of the story: small projects can make a difference. Your small task contributes to the bigger picture. Perhaps like me, you aren’t giving yourself enough credit. The question then is what simple things do you need to be doing to make a difference at work? You can borrow from my experience: 

  1. Smile 
  2. Have a positive attitude which reflects in your willingness to do simple work
  3. Take time to talk to a co-worker or two
  4. Appreciate others and their work
  5. Go for lunch with a co-worker
  6. Keep your word – every single time
  7. Find joy in the work you do and spread your joy

In an earlier lesson learned, I shared how people go through many challenges which no one else knows about. Talk to them and let them know you see them and hear them. It could be the one thing they need more than anything that day.

Remember, your simple work counts. You may not see it or feel like it, but when you take on those small tasks, they make a difference to the other person. You free up their time and energy so they can focus on the things only they can do.



I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges.  provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.

Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker?  I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.