Sheryl Sandberg’s Timeline: Past, Present – And Future

She’s a blazing star in every sense of the word. At 43, Sheryl Sandberg’s life story reads like a bestselling novel. Now that Sheryl joined the billionaires’ club when Facebook went public earlier this year, what will her future bring?

Timeline, Facebook’s life story feature, received a lot of attention when it debuted in 2012, but it only covers the past and present. Does Sheryl’s own timeline include a future element? If so, how does she plan to invest her time, energy, and passion among the big buckets of work, family, friends, education, and service?

If Sheryl mapped out her work and service lives, from when she graduated from college in 1991 to her future senior years, it might have looked like this:

Life Title: WOMEN LEAD THE WAY

First Twenty Years – Ages 1-20 (1969-1988) – Laying the Groundwork

Grew up in Florida, always at the top of class. Attended Harvard College, majoring in Economics. Met professor Larry Summers, who became mentor and thesis advisor. Graduated from Harvard in 1991 and awarded Phi Beta Kappa.

Second Twenty Years – Ages 21-40 (1989-2008) – Building Public and Private Sector Foundation

Public Sector – Work at World Bank from 1991 to 1993, concentrating on health projects in emerging countries. Work as Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers in Clinton Administration in Washington D.C. from 1996 to 2001.

Private Sector – Graduate from Harvard Business School in 1995 at age 27 as a Baker Scholar, the highest distinction. Work at McKinsey for one year as a management consultant. Leave private sector to work in White House for several years. Return to private sector in 2001 to join Google in Silicon Valley as Vice President of Online Sales and help start Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org. Hired by Mark Zuckerberg to become chief operating officer at social media giant Facebook in 2008. Mentored Mark. Became national spokesperson for women in business.

Third Twenty Years – Ages 41-60 (2009-2028) – Putting It All Together

Help take Facebook public in 2012. Become a billionaire on paper at age 42. Facebook stock tumbles after the IPO. (The facts so far – now for the future imagined… ) Orchestrate a successful online advertising strategy that leads to strong revenue growth and a stock recovery. Leave Facebook in 2014 to create Women in Politics think tank. Write a memoir/activist book about women in business at age 46. Run for U.S. Senate in seat for California vacated by Barbara Boxer in 2016 at age 48.

As U.S. Senator, champion landmark bill to integrate solar panels into rooftops for all new housing construction. Run for President in 2024 at age 56. Become the first woman President of the United States. Pass Equal Pay Act to remove final institutional barriers to equal pay for equal work. Put Elizabeth Warren on the Supreme Court.

Fourth Twenty Years – Ages 61-80 (2029-2048) – Redefining the Post-Presidency

Second term as President of United States from 2029-2033. Pass Education Act to revamp K-12 public education to global leadership standards. After the presidency, start a foundation for encouraging women to campaign for peace in the Middle East. Travel the world to encourage and support women running for political office.

Fifth Twenty Years – Ages 81-100 (2049-2068) – Life Re-Imagined

Become an American Association of Retired Persons advocate for aging well through lifelong learning. Focus on use of virtual classroom training to foster global learning communities.

Graphic of Sheryl Sandberg’s Timeline

For some people, it’s easy to predict what their future will bring based on looking at their past and present. For others, it’s not so clear. One thing’s for sure; people who are able to imagine and articulate a positive future for themselves are far more likely to make it happen. What’s on Sheryl’s private life map? She hasn’t told us, but we bet that if she does put the U.S. Presidency on her life map, she just might get there.

Debt Negotiators, Credit Destroyers

Stay away from debt negotiators if you need to repair your credit. They’ll do more harm than good to your valuable credit rating.

In many cases, debt negotiators could be more accurately dubbed “credit destroyers.” If you don’t know what to watch out for when dealing with debt negotiation companies, that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Debt negotiators often make a very bold claim; that they can get your creditors to agree to accept only a percentage of the amount you owe them. While this may in fact be true, your credit may be destroyed in the process. In a worst case scenario you could also end up owing even more money than the debt negotiator promised you would save.

Avoid debt negotiators who make claims that seem too good to be true. Any debt negotiator who guarantees that your unsecured debt can be removed should be regarded with healthy skepticism. The only thing that’s likely to end up being removed is your good credit rating.

You may also have to pay several expensive fees upfront in order to gain some very questionable advice. Unscrupulous debt negotiators may try to convince you to stop paying your credit card bills altogether. If you follow this advice you’ll regret it.

For each missed credit card payment, you’ll be charged late fees and your credit score will plummet. In the meantime you may be charged hefty monthly fees by your debt negotiator who is claiming to be working to reduce your debt.

In actuality, the negotiator waits for several months and then contacts each of your creditors to tell them that you no longer have the means to pay off your debt. The negotiator will try to convince the creditors that they should forgive some of your debt. If successful, the negotiator may reach a settlement with your creditors to close out your account and require you to pay back somewhere between 10 – 50 percent of the original balance owed. If a creditor is convinced that you’ll default on your debt, they may be willing to forgive some of your debt in as effort to at recoup at least some of their losses.

It might seem like a great idea to enlist the services of a debt negotiator if you owe $9,000 and can get your debt reduced to $5,000, for example. The $4,000 you save will be considered taxable income by the IRS, however. Come tax time you could end up losing your yearly refund and even owe money. The IRS is not as forgiving of debts as some creditors may be.

Although a debt negotiator may convince many creditors to forgive some of your debt, there’s no guarantee your creditors will agree to any settlement. In the meantime you could be sued for nonpayment, have your wages garnished and put your assets at risk. Your credit rating will also end up in much worse shape than before you consulted with a debt negotiator.

No “quick fix” solutions offered by debt negotiators will improve your credit score. Only time and a commitment to pay off your debts will truly help you in the long run. Remember, the choices you make today will have a profound influence on all of your possible financial futures.

Top 5 Toys Presented at the Australian Toy Fair for 2013

We recently spent 4 days at the 2013 Australian Toy Fair, an opportunity for local Australian and international toy manufacturers to present their new toys for 2013 to the Australian retail industry. Unfortunately not open to the public, the Australian Toy Fair is where major toy launches are announced by multinationals such as LEGO, Mattel and Hasbro and where young, innovative toy companies can showcase their latest ranges.

When compiling this list of out Top 5 Toys for 2013,we looked for excellent play value, which we define as toys that can be played with again and again rather than tossed aside after the first or second outing. We also sought out toys that have educational value and assist in various stages of development at a price point which would be affordable for the majority of parents.

After much deliberation, as there were hundreds of toys to choose from our Top 5 list includes:

1. Aqua Dragons

Aqua Dragons are a slightly different take on the more traditional Sea Monkeys, however with the ever popular Sea Monkeys no longer on the market the Aqua Dragons are a sure hit with children from the ago of 3 years.

Aqua Dragons are simply sea dragons which are present in the oceans and look a little like a fish crossed with a piece of seaweed. They hatch from eggs and are easy to look after so as a first pet are ideal for young children who will love watching them grow. Aqua Dragons come with their own small aquariums.

Aqua Dragons will fascinate children as they grow as well as teaching responsibility. Aqua Dragons are due for release in Australia in June 2013.

2. Eurotrike Ultima Canopy Plus Trike

New for 2013 the Eurotrike Ultima Canopy Plus improves on the older designs making the trike suitable for children from 10 months of age until at least 5 years through the many innovative design changes incorporated into this latest model.

This trike allows parents to purchase for their baby from 10 months of age, with a three point harness, a laid back seat, parental steering and brake control a baby remains super safe. As the child grows up, the trike converts to a toddler trike then later into a young child trike quickly and easily.

We loved this Eurotrike for the enormous play value and broad age range.

3. Combat Creatures – Attacknid

The Combat Creatures Attacknid has been called the Greatest Toy in the Universe by many, and whilst we see enormous play potential in this robot, the price point of around $150 will make it inaccessible to many Australian families. The Attacknid won Boys Toy of the Year at the Australian Toy Fair.

We had an opportunity to play with the Attacknid whilst at the Toy Fair and the robot is a highly entertaining and very intuitive toy that combines remote control and robot technology with shooting discs. One of the more fun aspects of the Attacknid is the fact that it’s armour flies off if hit by a disc, which makes having two of them and engaging in battles so much more fun.

This toy won our vote, despite it’s price point, as it’s a great toy for older children that require co-ordination and can be quite interactive if played in a group.

4. Lil Fairy Doors

Lil Fairy Doors are the brain child of an enterprising Australian mum who wanted to offer high quality fairy products around which children could build their own fairy worlds and enjoy the make believe.

Lil Fairy Doors are not only gorgeous but come supplied with fairy dust and special notes which the fairies can leave for their young charges. The play value of these is excellent with the doors attaching to walls, cupboards or any flat household surface with accessories such as fairy footprints, fairy toadstools and fairy grass. The products engage the child’s imagination and foster their creativity and we love them for the uniqueness.

5. My Studio Girl Sew Your Own

The My Studio Girl range is developed in Australia and focuses on developing dexterity and creativity through the Sew Your Own range. The range is terrific value, and teaches the lost art of sewing whilst ensuring that children still produce a quality product at the end which increases their confidence.

The clever kids safe needle that comes in each kit makes the projects simple and reduces the need for parent assistance. The range is well designed with smaller kits for beginners and larger kits with more complex sewing tasks for more experienced children.

Amazing play value for an Aussie home grown product range.

I hope you enjoyed our Top 5 Toys for 2013, there are many more toys with excellent play value on the market and as always buying toys that work well with your children’s interests whilst at the same time broadening their horizons will result in a terrific toy purchase.