Home > Articles > Business & Management > Personal Development

This chapter is from the book

Teen Detective Meets Ravishing Reporter

When Jane Bryant Quinn, the money columnist and author of Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People, was growing up, she dreamed of becoming Nancy Drew, the heroic teen detective in the Carolyn Keene novels. This beloved character had been solving mysteries since the time when women weren’t allowed to do that for a living.

But when Quinn ran across comic strip sleuth Brenda Starr, she traded up on her fantasy. As the glamorous journalist for a daily newspaper, unapologetically called The Flash, “Brenda travels the world solving mysteries, unearthing scoops, and stealing the heart of almost every man she meets.”6 Brenda was a career woman before the phrase was even acceptable, let alone fashionable—a smart, competitive, ravishing redhead created by Dale (Dahlia) Messick in 1940 when it wasn’t likely for a woman to get a job like that.

“Sounded like the best job in town when I was a teenager,” Quinn told us, “A life of adventure, boys, and making a difference all at once.” So, when she graduated with a liberal arts degree, she showed up at the doorstep of Newsweek.

“It was still legal at that time not to allow a woman to be a reporter,” she said. Undaunted, Quinn worked at the mail desk. Her ambition was to work in journalism. That’s what mattered to her—to have an extraordinary life and bring the truth to people. “I would live into my dream” even if the world wasn’t ready for it yet, she winked.

Quinn made herself more than useful, working behind the scenes on so many stories that she became indispensable to the reporting staff. Eventually, she took advantage of her growing interests in business and finance with a sort of Brenda Starr sense of righteousness about uncovering the dirt, dangers, and rewards of investing—a mission that makes her eyes shine with passion (and sometimes flash with rage) as much today as it did decades ago. That’s success built to last.

If Quinn had given in to believing that the only thing that had meaning was an egoistic need to be Brenda Starr on her first day at Newsweek—and if she thought that was the only way to turn her dream into action—then that would have been a tough target to hit. Such an attitude would have produced a minimal overlap of the three circles and a small bulls-eye. That would have made it terribly easy to miss the mark, become frustrated, and land in another profession. She might have missed her calling.

That’s not to say that you should settle for less. Quinn would argue that she didn’t settle at all. That’s the point. The toughest thing is to get out of your own way, even if life is incredibly unfair. Things seem to work out better for remarkable people when meaning, thought, and action overlap to create an abundant target for their dreams. Quinn realized that Brenda Starr wasn’t a destination; it was a way of life. She went for a bigger long-term prize. Quinn’s dedication to Starr’s sense of purpose rather than a job title got her on the playing field early, where she could build her skills and demonstrate her talent and creativity.

It didn’t bring her popularity in the beginning. A woman advising you about your money didn’t get much support 30 years ago. But Jane Bryant Quinn’s discipline to trust her head and her heart—to stay wide awake and bring them into alignment without relying on external adulation—freed her to develop passions that inevitably made her successful by her own definition. She worried less about being loved than being what she loved, and that meant many things to her: a fighter who would unearth injustice, a bestselling author, a wife, and a mother of five. In all parts of her life, Quinn brought together the domains of meaning, thought, and action and, as a result, she went from great to lasting and helped change the face of financial journalism in America.

Being what we love means doing what matters on and off the job. When Hector de J. Ruiz was busy starting his career and building a life with his wife in the early days, he found himself deeply troubled by the plight of young Hispanics in east Los Angeles. One of the things that greatly mattered to him was the notion that he “always had somebody that was willing to help [him]. That meant a lot to me,” he said. “So [at one point], I finally kind of grew up,” which to Ruiz meant that he would dedicate himself to helping the disadvantaged go to college despite the personal cost (and even when he had not long ago graduated himself).

“I was making very little money,” Ruiz said. But over time, “my wife and I both realized that it seemed like the more of it we did, the easier it got,” he said. “A lot of people in east L.A. feel like the Hispanic community is not capable of being able to perform well in some of the things that are required to be effective today in technology. You do a survey of people in east L.A. and they tell you that they are afraid of mathematics. And so I go and talk to these high school kids about the fact that the people who invented the zero were the Maya Indians in Mexico. The people who had one of the most sophisticated architectures in the world were the Aztecs. All of a sudden, you can see these kids beginning to develop a sense of self-worth, and that’s what these kids are missing,” said Ruiz, who today is CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, with 2005 net sales of $5.8 billion. (He’s really good at math, too.) “To be able to in some way contribute to that [before even his own traditionally defined success was assured] has been incredibly rewarding for both my wife and I.”

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020