Tarek El Moussa Brings the Pick Me Up Project to the Santa Barbara Humane Society: Here’s What I Learned

Full disclosure: I am apparently the only person who hadn’t heard of Tarek El Moussa. That said, I now have met him in person and I respect him as a hardworking entrepreneur and good human.

There are going to be a ton of news outlets covering what happens in the “Pick Me Up Project”, so I won’t explain everything here. However, I will give a little backstory before I dive into what I learned from Tarek!

The HGTV Flip or Flop star is going in a new direction with his newest endeavor the “Pick Me Up Project”. He asked his over 600,000 Facebook fans to secretly submit friends or family that need a little pick me up. The idea came after struggling with not one, but two cancer diagnosis, and a very public divorce from cohost of Flip or Flop, Christina.

That is where the Santa Barbara Humane Society came in. For the very first episode, Tarek wanted to take the chosen person to have a day full of her favorite things. Anna is a big animal lover, so the Santa Barbara Humane Society was a natural choice to spend an hour.

As a recent college grad, Anna is struggling with finding her career path.

Yo. I’ve been there, girl. We’ve all been there. Literally, everyone ever has struggled with contemplating their future at one point or another, am I right?

I think that this particular sticking point is even more common for intelligent, multidimensional, interesting people. So, Anna, you’re okay.

What I have picked up (pun intended) is that the future is literally impossible to predict. Which brings me to number one.

Tarek Visits SBHS
Adoptable dog Pavlov, Adoption Counselor Erica Jackson, Tarek El Moussa, Anna and myself.

ONE: You cannot know the future. 

I never knew that I would start a business at twenty four, less than six months after graduating college, or that I would be managing PR and everything social for the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

(Or that I’d become a life coach in 2020.)

Tarek told us that he didn’t know that he would get into real estate, and he NEVER thought he would be on TV (emphasis is all his).

Stay stoked about the unknowable. The best laid plans… how does it go? Basically, everything will work in ways you could have never predicted and it’s going to be awesome. Get out of your comfort zone! It’s where the magic happens. (Part One of my three part series on how to get out of your comfort zone here!)

TWO: It’s never too late to change your mind. 

Anna said that she fears going down one career path and then getting stuck in a career that she doesn’t love.

GIRL. It is never too late to walk away. I switched majors (yes, I have suffered with indecision), and I walked out of my first, hellish retail job.

You are a free human being and those boots are made for walking. Everything is a learning experience.

Tarek did it too. He was literally sitting in class in college when he decided that it was not for him. He left, in the middle of lecture, leaving his books, backpack, calculator; everything behind. He said he left his stuff so that coming back wasn’t an option.

If he had a calculator, I am guessing he was in math class so I really really don’t blame him. Sigh. That would have felt so good. #englishmajor #mathinducedanxiety

The worst case scenario for finding that you don’t like something is having to be strong and leave. No matter what your boss or anyone involved says, your life won’t end. It is never too late.

THREE: Use the time you have. 

You know what Tarek’s daily driver is? A Mercedes Benz…. Sprinter Van.

That’s right.

Because not only is it super comfortable, but whenever he is being driven somewhere, he is essentially in his office. The trip from San Diego to Santa Barbara did not go to waste.

As an entrepreneur, I take some inspiration from this. My version requires my fiancé to drive us to work as opposed to a chauffeur, but we all do things our own way.

FOUR: Be ready. 

Tarek is always ready for the next opportunity. Apparently many of his deals come from seeing a property as he drove by, screeching to a halt, hopping out and making an offer.

The same goes for me, and for Anna. I had no idea what opportunities would arise, but I always had my ear to the ground for the next opportunity. When I heard about the PR position opening up, I didn’t just throw my hat in the ring, I proved beyond a shadow of doubt that I was the girl for the job.

I think that if Anna can give herself permission to try something, even if it isn’t exactly what she had imagined for herself, her intuition will kick in and she will either see a path forward or an exit to the next option.

CONCLUSION: Anna is going to do just fine. 

I am excited for Anna as I know that this is a natural fear to have right after graduating. She’s done an amazing, difficult thing and came out the other side. I know that she will be just fine out here in the “Real World”.

The “Pick Me Up Project” is going to add something positive to the world. By having someone like Anna, who so many people can relate to, Tarek can positively affect so many more people than just one individual.

Part of the dream for the “Pick Me Up Project” is to inspire others to do what Tarek just did; offer an ear and understanding to someone in your life who is struggling. So, three cheers for ripple effects and stones tossed in ponds!

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