Rebecca was born just a couple of years shy of being a baby boomer, and was raised on depression-era values. The youngest of eight kids, she inherited a true-grit work ethic from her single mom who lost her husband to a heart attack when Rebecca was 9 years old. Her mother and siblings made their living working together on a 4-acre micro farm in Salt Lake City, Utah.
When Rebecca was 17 years old, she finished her senior year of high school at night school so she could work full-time as a secretary during the day to help support herself and her mother. “I actually enjoyed that,” said Rebecca. “I felt like I was accomplishing a lot. I knew I was earning the money to help at home, yet I was still finishing high school too, and I paid for my first car! I had to do that; the only way I could get a job was if I drove myself to work and my mother couldn’t drive, so I had to find a way to do it.”
Rebecca received an art scholarship for college, but didn’t pursue it to continue helping her mother. She says her confidence came from having to work hard from an early age. “I picked raspberries to buy my own school clothes, but nobody gave it a second thought about kids working back then – that’s what they did, that’s how they grew up. It taught them responsibility and gave them a sense of worth.”
Charles R. Kennedy, Rebecca’s husband of 25 years, taught her entrepreneurship and encouraged her to conceive and pursue her own business dream, The Silver Lining News, at a time when women were not predominately in the workplace. Together, they raised two children until Charles’ death when Rebecca ventured into the insurance field.
Rebecca still lives in Salt Lake and is now 26 years into her second marriage with Leonard McConnell, and shares her ongoing SLN dream with him. Leonard was instrumental in building SLN’s initial presence on the Web, and now, he serves as the daily quote editor.
Rebecca believes the key to success is accomplishing one little extra thing every day in some area of your life. “That’s not to say you don’t have those days when you pull out all stops to work yourself to the bone. But the important thing is that you do something a little more each day to move forward rather than just tread water.”