Five Years Ago

Many of you know that five years ago in April, my family was devastated by the murder of my nephew Carl.  As I am sure you have experienced in your own life, it was one of those moments that caused me to take a look at my life and ask, Do I make a difference?  It was a defining moment because I realized that with all the giving that I do to charitable causes (what I had convinced myself was making a difference in this world), wasn’t really coming from the heart.  It wasn’t that I didn’t care, because I did.  I gave a lot to cancer research over the years because almost every member of my family that has passed on, has had cancer.  Even now today, there are seven members of my family either actively in treatment or in remission from some sort of cancer.

Why I say it wasn’t coming from the heart, is because it wasn’t coming from a passionate desire to roll up my sleeves and do anything I could to make that difference.  I wasn’t really fully invested in making a difference for anything.  Carl’s murder however sparked something down deep inside my soul and I knew that no matter what, I was going to find a way to make a difference in our communities  – not just the one that I lived in, but every community, in this nation, and around the world.

This took a lot of meditative thinking – what could I do that would lead to an international impact?  I came up with the idea of creating a company that would work with the individual “mom” charities that we all have in every town, and help them to raise the funds they needed to make an impact in their  communities individual social needs.  I would help them to fundraise; make a celebrity of their charity and raise awareness and get people in their community really involved with them.

So I thought, how do I do this?  I reached out for some coaching with Kim and Vito, the creators of BrandU – and they helped me to expand this vision out to a Reality T.V. show.  They helped me to see the impact that a T.V. could have as it was something that could be seen around the world.  Sage Lee with Small Business, Big Brand helped fill in the vision even further.   I saw that my vision was much bigger than I had dared to dream for myself.  In fact it was so big, that I realized that I needed to step back and start working on a network for myself.  I was a nobody, sure I had achieved success in my career at the bank, but in the world at large, no one knew who I was.

So I put that vision on a back burner and went out to start meeting as many people as I could.  I went to seminars and educated myself with several training programs and started introducing myself to all of these individual networks.  It is probably how I met you.

I became very active in BraveHeart Women and collaborating with the wonderful women I have met there as well as other communities that I joined.  I know that Sage, Kim and Vito probably thought that this was a step backwards and were afraid that this vision was probably going the way of a good idea that never gets expressed.

But here I am two years later from that initial vision and I am still going strong on bringing it into reality.  I call the past two years phase one.  Now I am ready for phase two.  A lot of people have listened to this story and are supporting me in bringing this off of the vision board and into reality.  One of them is Ellie Drake the founder of BraveHeart Women.  With her mentoring I will be unveiling at Rise 2013, a website platform that will give a base for all of those women out there, who are what we are calling Lemonade Makers.  Life gave them a lemon, through a loss – it could have been a death, a devastating illness, the unbearable sadness of children who suffer from lack of food, healthcare, homelessness, drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness – any one of a myriad of things.  These women took that lemon of what seemed like unbearable heartache, and they formed a charitable foundation and have set about helping others.  They are trying from that heartfelt place of passion to make a difference in their community and to the world at large.

This base will help them to educate themselves on the missing pieces they need to bring their visions to the world.  It will provide a place to create a bigger impact and to collaborate with other Lemonade Makers. We will celebrate each others successes, and we will lighten the loads they carry so that they can keep on impacting and changing lives for the better.  We will look at the near misses and see what we can do with out of the box thinking to make a bigger impact on our world.  We will create videos and interviews, and leverage social media to the fullest extent, so that these Lemonade Makers create the positive changes in this world that we all need.

From this platform we will then create the reality T.V. show which will be televised internationally, as these Lemonade Makers show the world what is possible when a female visionary is given the right tools and encouragement to fully expand out their vision and change not only the situation in their own town, but the situations that we all see on the world news every day in our living rooms, into something positive and world altering.  I think that you will all agree with me that this is something that we need in our world – the encouragement to be the difference.

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.