Sneak Around Sabotaging Behaviors

By | Mindset | 31 Comments

Have you ever wondered why some people push through obstacles effortlessly? Okay, maybe it’s not all that easy, but to the average person looking in, it may appear so. You can’t help but wonder if some people are born with the ability to glide through trouble spots or gifted with some specialized knowledge on the art of overcoming obstacles. I don’t think we can prove that to be true, but it would be easier if we could somehow show that genetics make us more resilient. I think it makes more sense for us to understand that resiliency is developed much like a muscle in the body. The more experiences we incur, the thought is that we become more resilient. I think it’s also evident that people we deem as mentally tough have most likely learned how to sneak around sabotaging behaviors.

Some of us are strong-willed, and some of us possess an unbelievable amount of tenacity. While it may make sense for us to see someone with those characteristics having increased mental toughness, it doesn’t always guarantee that to be true. There are instances where people go through a crisis, and they pursue along time only to give up, and they don’t rise above it. However, when we do survive a not so perfect experience, our mental muscle strengthens because we learn and enhance our skills. That adversity equips us for more challenges. We can take those skills that we develop and use them, again and again, to help us get through more experiences.

Dawn Grunnagle 3x Olympic Trials Qualifier in the marathon was on my podcast Starter Girlz not too long ago. When asked what she is thinking moments before participating in a big race like the Olympic Trials, she mentioned that she “falls back” on her tool belt. In this case, she was referring to her training. It is intense and requires a lot of commitment from her. She has to overcome many challenges to be able to perform. Still, in doing that, she has become a stronger runner. That has allowed her to participate in many challenging races over and over again. So if fear or negative thoughts surface moments before the start, I imagine Dawn relies on the fact that she has prepared for this day, and she carries on.

How do we strengthen our mental muscle and increase our resiliency? Well, it sounds cliche to say have a bunch of challenges walk into your life. We don’t like problems, but for us to develop into mentally strong individuals, we need them. What I have found in talking to others and through my struggles is that mindset strengthens overtime when we become challenged with mental or physical pain. 

Here are some ideas and practices that have helped me in my journey get through some tough obstacles. The goal is always to be mindful of your sabotaging thoughts and actions so that you can implement new behaviors. I like to think of these tools as sneaking around sabotaging behaviors because rather than focusing on what I don’t want, I focus on what I would like to occur. Use these tools daily, but as mentioned in number nine, when intervention is needed, do so accordingly.

Tools for Sneaking Around Sabotaging Behaviors

  1. Adopt an attitude that there is always another plan. Plan A is not the only definitive route to get to a destination. You are resourceful and creative. You can always find another way, but you must be open to the idea of another option.
  2. It’s not what you know but who you know. If you don’t have the answer, you need to find someone that does. Reach out to a mentor, a peer, or someone that has walked in your shoes. When I get stuck, I immediately conclude that I need to network.
  3. Immerse yourself in positive material. When exposed to positive books, audiobooks, podcasts, and videos, you will become more creative and industrious.
  4. Always recognize that this is a temporary setback, and it’s not permanent. It may seem so right now, but this too shall pass.
  5. Ask yourself, “What can you do right now with what you have from where you are?” that can get you closer to your goal. Sometimes we look at the whole plan and feel like we have bitten off more than we can chew, but what if you take just one action? Doesn’t seem so bad now, right?
  6. Focus on your big picture. This attention will keep you grounded when you hit tight spots. You will encounter them, but you are prepared and can look at the ultimate goal.
  7. Recognize that obstacles are part of the process. You have to have setbacks! 
  8. Have yourself a great affirmation. What’s your superpower?
  9. When intervention is needed, don’t be afraid to do a mantra or slip in some laughing or, more specifically, laughing yoga. This activity will divert your attention and make room for a more positive experience. For more on the benefits of laughing, click here
  10. Celebrate the wins! Finding just one small success in your day makes all the difference. Not to mention, it will boost your confidence.

If you are often late to work and it’s affecting your performance, or you are getting in trouble with your boss, you have to recognize that being late isn’t working out for you. This negative behavior is sabotaging you from having a positive experience on the job. So once you acknowledge that you are doing an adverse action, you can decide to change it and make necessary adjustments. If getting up earlier is uncomfortable for you, this may be a hurdle you have to jump. Hopefully, you see the value in being on time, and you set your alarm clock for an earlier time. In doing so, not only will you have better performance by arriving on time, but you will have a more positive experience. You will have made a small stride in overcoming an obstacle because you managed to jump that hurdle. Congratulations! You just learned what it means to sneak around a sabotaging behavior.


Power of My Happiness Project

By | Mindset | 111 Comments

I have been on a journey for some time now, and it’s what Gretchen Rubin refers to as The Happiness Project. That also happens to be the title of the book I am currently reading. While creating my happiness project for over the last two years, I have become aware of many things. For instance, my thoughts have a profound effect on my actions, and those actions really can affect how I behave and impact how others behave towards me. I am also reasonably sure that many people are living their NOT so happiness project every day, and because of that, they affect not only their lives but also the lives of others. Their unhappiness has a resounding impact far more significant than people can imagine, and I make mention of this in my book Beat the Toughest Obstacles. It is otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect.

You are probably wondering where I am going with all of this. Please stick with me.

Today I was in Sprouts, which is a small chain of stores in Texas that houses healthy goods. I love Sprouts because they have a variety of products that fit with my health niche, and truthfully I get excited every time I go there. I love checking to see if anything new has come out that I can add to my arsenal of healthy products. The other thing that is great about Sprouts is that they provide excellent customer service, and up until today, they have never given me subpar service.

Today was different, though.

Upon reaching the check out lane, I witnessed a situation that resulted in six different people being affected. When I arrived, Cashier1 was checking out Customer1 that was immediately in front of another Customer2 and myself, Customer3. As I walked up to check out, I could hear Cashier1 repeatedly asking Customer1, “you want to purchase this item again?” It was evident by the Cashier1’s tone and the speediness in which she was asking, that she was frustrated. However, Customer1 remained calm.

Another store Cashier2 approached the two ladies and asked an unrecognizable question. Cashier1 repeated multiple times that Customer1 wanted to purchase the item. Once again, you could hear the frustration in Cashier1’s voice, and as Cashier1 and Customer1 finished the transaction, Cashier2 whisked the Customer2 that was in front of me, to another checkout lane. Cashier2’s next action surprised me. She could have quickly taken Customer2 to the counter and continued to check her out as expected. Instead, as she was leading Customer2 to the other lane, she made a negative comment referencing Customer1. By the time I reached the conveyer belt, Cashier1 was anything but pleasant.

It got me thinking about how vital customer service is to the client experience, but also how one small infraction can leave a negative mark in the customer’s eyes. It also got me asking questions. Is this the ongoing environment in this store, or was this a single occurrence? Did the management change? Are these people just miserable that they get so easily frustrated? I get it, they deal with a lot of people daily, and I am sure some of the situations are not always favorable, but this is their job. Isn’t it?

More notably, this situation reminded me that the happiness project is powerful. How easy it would have been for me to get frustrated by all of this. My happiness project, however, focusses on manifesting happiness. So if I want to create that, I am going to display that. In doing so, it allows me to dismiss negative stuff a bit easier.

When it was my turn to check out my goods, there was an additional Customer4 that witnessed the occurrence. She smiled at me after all this transpired, and I would like to think, in some way, she understood what was going through my mind. I am a believer that when we are happy, we exude happiness. We treat ourselves differently, and we treat others differently. Things that may have bothered us before no longer resonate with us. We become less frustrated, and it shows in our work, our personal lives, and ultimately in how we treat others. People that are happier tend to be more productive at work, and they get along better with others.

I don’t presume to know any of these ladies’ circumstances, and I don’t know what led up to this event. I believe you cannot judge someone unless you have walked in their shows. All I know is six people witnessed an unfavorable situation that could have most likely been diverted. There are so many great lessons that came out of this incident. For instance, we should be careful how we treat others, because someone else may be watching. We should treat people the way we would like to be treated. We are always a work in progress, and we can choose to be happy if we want to. We should all smile more, and let’s all try to let the little things go. We can always be more kind and have empathy for others. More importantly, START your own happiness project and see what happens. I dare you!


Change…. Embrace with a New Set of Eyes

By | Mindset | 47 Comments

It’s Thanksgiving week, and today Paige will be returning home for the first time since she left for college in August. I can not believe how quickly time has passed. I remember that day, Friday, the 16th like it was yesterday. It is a day etched in my memories as a celebration of her achievement. It’s also a day I remember experiencing grief because a change was about to occur.

Although I was excited for her to take the next step to college, I recognized her leaving was a significant change in my life. She no longer was going to need me around in her day to day doings. Life has since gone on as it always does. Paige adjusted to her college lifestyle, and we adapted to our way of life. Isn’t that how life goes?

We learn to adapt to the situations presented to us. At the time we are going through them, they may appear monumental, and we might wonder how we are going to carry on once the change takes effect. However, when we look back, we often view the experience differently. It’s almost as if we see it through a different set of eyes.

On a recording of my podcast, my cohost and I were discussing our favorite holidays as a child. That podcast airs today at Starter Girlz if you want to catch the details of that conversation. I mentioned the usual favorites, Christmas and Thanksgiving. I also love Halloween because I love the horror genre, and I have fond memories of watching scary movies with my dad.

I described in the conversation that my parents made our holidays as children fun. Yes, we did the usual things like visit family, but my parents did extra cool things. During Easter, they would hide Easter eggs after we went to bed and tell us the Easter Bunny hid them. When we lost a tooth, they would write us a letter from the Tooth Fairy and leave pixie dust on our dressers. During Christmas, they would wrap presents from Santa and place them under the tree. It was a huge ordeal.

I recounted to my cohost that I was probably one of the last kids to know that it was all make-believe, and when I learned this, I was angry. However, not in the way, you might think. I wasn’t upset because I knew it was a lie; I was sad that it was over. A change occurred, and I didn’t ask for it. As one would predict, I accepted it and moved on with my life. I became an adult.

My kids were never quite impressed with the Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth fairy thing. I am sure that was something to do with the fact that I didn’t play it up quite as well as my parents did. Times have changed. It seems like they found out much earlier through other kids that it was make-believe. I remember not entirely understanding why they didn’t see it the same was as I did, and as they slowly accepted the reality that it was all make-belief, we once again took those changes as they occurred and moved on.

My point here is that we all perceive things about our situations in a certain way while we are experiencing them. Some of those perceptions are good, and some are bad. Change is inevitable. At the moment we are sitting right smack dab in the middle of the situation, we may find our judgment impaired, and our decision making may not be stable. We will most likely experience a flood of emotions. However, we generally come to accept the change, we adapt, and hopefully, we find the positive memory that comes from the experience.

All of these stories I recounted in this blog seemed pretty significant at the time. I know there were conversations about it like; How can Paige be growing up and leaving for college? How can there be no Santa? Why do my kids not get up early in the morning to see what presents are under the tree? Don’t they know about Santa? However, days, months, and years later, I can look back, see those experiences with a new set of eyes, and appreciate those milestones. My view of those circumstances is different now. I found the beauty and the lessons in those experiences.

I am excited to see all of my three not so small children this week. Two of them are adults, and my youngest is learning to drive. Yet, another milestone I am learning to accept.

Enjoy your families this week, and embrace the change.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

The Afterthoughts of the Book

By | Mindset | 40 Comments

It’s been eleven days since my book Beat the Toughest Obstacles hit the Amazon site. That Monday, I remember being excited and proud that I was about to wrap that project up. This piece would be the tool that would allow me to share my story and inspire others. It would also be the project that I couldn’t wait to see finished because I was exhausted. I spent weeks up late at night, making corrections, and I was tired of those evenings sitting at my computer.

As I hit the publish button, I felt this massive sense of relief. Yes, I did write that book, and I did see it through to the finish. There were many days I wanted to throw in the towel and let it go. More edits, more clarification, and more reading tired me out. But I finished, and that meant I now could move on to other endeavors. Yes!!

Isn’t it true that we start a challenge, we get excited, we hit a wall, and then we have to decide what to do. Do we give up, or do we go all in and do whatever it takes to finish? Do we stop at mile 22 in a marathon when we have 4.2 miles to go, or do we toughen up and run those last 4.2 miles and finish? Do we start that project, and in the middle when the first obstacle makes an appearance, let our vision go, or do we put the blinders on and pursue the dream?

I think it all comes down to what it’s important to us and having all or nothing attitude?

If we have a big enough reason to do something, we are more inclined to follow through. If our why is not all that important to us, then we might be less motivated to see something through to the end. Having a purpose or passion can fuel someone’s fire to start a project and holding on tight to that why will be the motivator to see a goal finished.

Knowing we are going to have challenges, and accepting them also allows us to stay the course. For example, if we make a decision to start working out and we recognize that there are going to be days we don’t feel like doing the workout, then it’s no surprise when we encounter one of those days. We know it’s part of the journey, and so we put our big kid pants on, and we work out anyway. We decide to do the thing we have to do despite the challenges that we face before we start the endeavor.

It’s no different for any challenge. For me, getting a crystal clear vision of what I want or I want to accomplish is essential. It helps me get through those rough patches when I am close to giving up. When I stay focused on my purpose somehow, the how manifests itself. I don’t always know how things are going to unfold. Rarely do I know how anything is going to play out. I stay focused on the big picture. Somehow people show up at the right time, and events take place when they are supposed to.

My book was therapeutic for me; more importantly, I put it together because I wanted to inspire others to do big things. I hoped to motivate people to be bolder in their activities, and I wanted to show people that our conditions don’t define us. They make us stronger and more determined to do amazing things. I wanted to share the tools I used to help me get through some rough patches in my life, precisely a nerve condition that ruined my health, well-being, money, vocation, and relationships for the better part of four years. This book had more than one why for me and that’s what kept me going.

I hope that you can find that big why that makes your heart pound with excitement. It’s in the dreaming that you will find your purpose, and when you have that, you can conquer any obstacle that comes your way as long as you are prepared to weather through the challenges. Pair your vision with an I can do attitude, and you will be a winning machine.

You got this!

My Life, My Career, My Happiness!

By | Mindset | 56 Comments

Have you ever found yourself stuck in the middle of the road and you are not sure which way to go? You become caught between what your heart desires and what you have to do. Maybe it’s that steady job you have been at for 10 years that’s not bringing you any peace, but it’s safe. Well, rest assured this happens probably more often than not.

Yesterday I was telling someone my journey has been enduring for almost 20 years. I am not sure that I have always realized the significance of all the struggles, but I now know their importance and the role they have played in my success. Next month will be the anniversary of my entrepreneurship. I opened my doors as a small business owner in network marketing 19 years and 11 months ago. That’s how long I have been building teams and selling products to consumers.

I have learned much over these years in network marketing. If I have to sum it up on a blog, I would say I gained knowledge on everything and anything about how to create, own, finance, destroy, and win at business. There have been so many great lessons along the way, and they have given me strength and courage to pursue many different projects in both personal and business life.

But here I find myself taking on new endeavors. My heart is pulling me in different directions. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that these experiences will all be new to me. I have been coaching people for many years. It’s been part of my job as a leader developing teams. What is unique about my situation is that I am taking a different approach with my coaching.

The last 18 months have been a journey of exponential growth for me. I received my life coaching certification in 3/18, I am wrapping up the finishing touches of my book due to be released in the next couple of weeks, and I have a podcast due to air on 10/15. When I think of these exciting things playing out my life, I recognize that I am moving towards my big vision. That is to help people on a large scale become winners at their craft.

I enjoy seeing people succeed because I know the importance of a healthy mindset. I also know when you are not healthy in both body and mind, neither are the people around you. Take my nerve condition, for example. When I suffered in that crisis, it affected everyone around me negatively. You ask how? When you suffer from chronic pain, it affects your mental capacity, and when that happens, it can also play a role in those closest to you. When I resolved my condition, it changed everyone around me, for the better. By helping people be healthy, I can help them improve their lives and that in turn, equips them to help others.

I write all this to say, that it hasn’t been this straight forward path. It’s consisted of bumps, falls, crashes, and wins over and over. I have met people that have hurt me, rejected me, and loved me. I have witnessed both proud and exciting moments. And I am not going to lie, there are times that I am confused and experiencing self-doubt. All of these situations can wreak havoc on my decisions. Do I stay true to my course or go with what I know? If I don’t pursue my desires, then I follow the path of least resistance.

Here is what I have learned going through this journey:

  • If there is a pull for something, don’t fight it. As long as it supports your vision and helps others, go for it.
  • Quit worrying about what others think. The only opinion that matters most is yours.
  • Be patient with the process. You are going to wander for a while.
  • Be willing to be criticized. If people are not talking about you, then you are playing safe.
  • You can do anything you want if you want it bad enough.
  • You are stronger than you think.

I am continuing my journey with network marketing, but I am also expanding my reach. I am going to put that life coaching certification to work. My colleague and I will be taking our knowledge to the air with our upcoming podcast, and I will be growing my coaching business. I plan to get some speaking engagements on the books and share my story with others that are open to receive it.

The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. Both the struggles and victories have prepared me for what is about to happen. I now know without a doubt that I am traveling in the right direction. I hope that if you ever find yourself in that position where you have a dream, but you are afraid to pursue it, that you do it anyway. You were put here to make a difference. And, if you need a few more reasons why should jump on the dream train, check out 11 Reasons Why its Important to Follow Your Dreams.

It’s a beautiful thing when people are happy and succeeding.

This is my life, my career, and my happiness!

Golden Girls

By | Mindset | 69 Comments

Earlier this week, as I was thinking of topics for my social media feed, I found myself hitting some roadblocks. Nothing was coming to mind. No inspiration, no ideas, not a single thought, was racing in my head. I seem to encounter this problem when I am not reading near enough, and it often forces me to open a book and start doing some brainstorming. I have mentioned on several occasions that reading for me is like exercising. I need it to function.

After searching page by page, through a book I purchased some time ago, I found my topic. This book isn’t an ordinary book, but it is a simple read. This one has writing prompts and is meant to serve as a journal. I have used it several times for inspiration, and this week it would serve as my tool. On Sunday, I asked the question to my viewers whether or not they want to be successful or happy in life.

What do you want? Do you want to be successful or happy?

I want both, but can we honestly have both? I want to think so. Until recently, I never really understood how the two could be tied together. Ask yourself. If you are successful, does it necessarily mean you are happy? Chances are if you are not successful, you are more than likely, not delighted, but if you are happy, wouldn’t you say that you are successful? I think the latter is true. I believe to be successful; one must be content.

This past week I connected with two separate ladies on two different occasions. One of those gals works at a thriving insurance agency. They opened their doors in May, and when I met with her last week, she mentioned that they had already hired nine employees. They have been in business just shy of four months, and they are rocking that agency. I was impressed and intrigued by their rapid success. The second lady I connected with revolved around her 80th birthday party. Although I met her some time ago in a networking group, we have remained in contact ever since. I attended that birthday party last Saturday and was amazed by how many people came out to celebrate this monumental event.

In my eyes, these ladies appear successful, not only because they are doing things right in life, and they both are successful businesswomen, but more importantly, because they are genuinely happy and happy for others. Yes, my 80-year-old friend is an entrepreneur. She is amazing!

Both of them celebrate the people around them. The insurance lady told me she created this team within her agency to build camaraderie. The day we met for lunch, she mentioned to me how she owed a gal lunch for achieving a goal. My recently turned 80-year-old friend had a fantastic group of supportive friends and family attend her party. I could see the bond between her and some of her long-time friends that I later said reminded me of the Golden Girls. They have this fantastic, joyful spirit about them as if they have been celebrating each other for years.

I have spoken to both of the ladies at length about their lives. Both of them have dealt with adversity on some level, and some of that adversity is reasonably significant. However, the one thing they share in common despite their different backgrounds, demographics, career, and age, is their ability to think about possibilities and have a great attitude living out their life. They can recognize the silver lining and therefore expect to win. There can delight in other’s victories and praise others. It’s as though they are creating their life, helping others in the process, and they are happy doing it. It’s a perfect combination.

This subject leads to my final thoughts about what you put into the universe. I have often said that wherever you focus your energy, whether positive or negative, is precisely the type of energy you will receive. If you are always looking for negative results in a situation, you will find negative consequences. Isn’t funny how some people can find a flaw with everything? The opposite is exact for the person that can recognize the silver lining. It doesn’t mean you always look through rose-colored glasses. It merely means you chose to find the win in the situation. What can be learned? What can be taught? What can we share with others from our adversity? These are the silver linings.

When you put positive vibes out there, you raise your frequency. Similar energy attracts like energy. If you don’t believe me, try going on a date where the conversation doesn’t flow. You will be reminded quickly. My point is this; if you expect great things to happen, great things will happen. You will consciously and subconsciously do behaviors that support your thoughts. You will have people and opportunities present themselves, but it will be a result of your outlook. Therefore, if you want to win at your race, you must guard your vision and expect to win that race. Put all of your positive energy into that and let go of the negative. All of a sudden, you will begin to notice small changes occurring.

Maybe you have this goal to run a marathon. You are not entirely sure how you are going to make it happen, but you have the vision in your head of you crossing that finish line. So all of a sudden you get up a tad earlier, and it adds an extra 30 minutes to your day. You can get your work out in. So you feel better. You start making that getting up a tad earlier a habit and you put in more mileage. You are feeling great. Your distance is increasing, and you are building your confidence. So one day you say hi to someone. That someone goes home and treats their spouse a little more positively. That results in a conversation about them going to a counselor. Their marriage is saved. You complete the race, and you helped change a life. In return, your life is changed. That result, my friends is a success!

They win! You win!

Is Talent Enough?

By | Mindset | 8 Comments

You have talent. Why aren’t you winning?

There is a phrase that states, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” If you are in any environment where you are competing on some level, you can probably relate to this. We all know that person that can walk in the room and effortlessly talk or sell anything while the rest of us are struggling to utter a word. Perhaps we have children that are playing sports, and we can spot that one child that can cross the field like a gazelle with such great finesse. Our child, on the other hand, may have to work tirelessly to get better.

When I think of my three children, I recognize they all have their unique talents. My oldest is gifted in music. She can listen to a song on the radio and transfer that tune to a piano with ease. I remember hearing her play a Lincoln Park song for the first time on the piano. She is an amazing artist. My middle is a great runner and athlete. She played soccer for years as a defender and did very well. When she was fifteen, she decided to take up cross country running. She ran her first marathon on her 16th birthday and continues to run today in college. My youngest is exceptionally creative and industrious. He can take an idea and bring it to life. We have seen some interesting projects over the years including most recently a rainwater harvester.

We all have these amazing talents that make us unique, special, or gifted in an area. The problem is that having skills doesn’t always equate to a win. Just because we have exceptional talents, we are not always going to excel. It probably comes to no surprise, but talent without preparation, discipline, and hard work can only take you so far. There will always be someone better than you, more talented than you, or someone willing to work harder than you. If you think about some of the most successful people, you will probably find out their success came from discipline, persistence, and a whole lot of determination. They just worked persistently to create their success.

Grant Cardone, whether you like him or not, has written several books. In a podcast I was listening to today, he mentioned someone was critiquing one of his books because of grammatical issues, spelling to be exact. From the way he described it, it sounded as if the critic went on and on about it. With conviction, Grant reminded the critic that the book is a best seller. You can’t help but think, who cares. Grant’s talent probably isn’t writing grammatically correct papers, but he is clearly successful at writing books. It is a best-seller after all. In that same podcast, he later described himself as having tenacity.

Successful people have to have tenacity. They have to have grit to weather through when they hit mile 22 in a marathon, and they think they can run no further. They need to persist when they continue to talk to people about their vision, and people repeatedly shut them down, criticize them, or refuse to show support. They have to get up another day to plug in another hour, do the uncomfortable, and play another scene in their head of what victory will look like when they finish. Talent may get you inspired and be the motivation to start something, but its what you do going forward that will make the difference.

When we learn to pair our talents with determination, tenacity, and grit, we can create a successful machine. This combination is a perfect match. Think about the marathon runner. Perhaps he is six-minute miler on a short distance run, but if he puts in the work and practices, he may able to carry that six-minute pace for the 26.2 that is required to complete a marathon. Maybe you have a great big vision for your business. If you stay persistent on meeting people, eventually you will make the right connection. It takes one connection to make a difference. Your success relies on you staying the course.

Whatever your talent is and wherever your greatness lies, remember you have the ability to determine your success. Talent will never beat hard work in the long haul. You persisting, on the other hand, will make a difference. That middle child of mine that I referenced earlier earned a full scholarship to college in both academics and athletics. I was thinking yesterday about how incredibly blessed we are. She is attending college for free. She is not the most gifted child that was in my house when it came to schooling. She hates school and still does to this day. Just yesterday, she was telling me about how she despises school. I remember while she was a sophomore in high school, taking an American Sign Language class, she was taking tutoring. She was nowhere near failing, but she didn’t feel as though she was mastering the course. So during her lunch period, several days a week, she would go to tutoring. Before she left for college, she was worried because she hadn’t taken math her senior year in high school, and because she enrolled in calculus. Days before she left, she was reviewing algebra two and some of the notes in previous math classes. My point is that she put in the work. Her education didn’t come easy for her. She studied, did the uncomfortable, and in the end, it awarded her a scholarship. Her tenacity has continued to serve her well.

Always remember you are special. You possess many gifts and talents that are unique to you. If you can learn to partner that with an unshakeable and unwavering belief in your ability to conquer anything, you too can be a master of your craft. Stay persistent, have incredible tenacity, and never give up on the goal that is important to you. You can win and you deserve to win. Be the best version of you that you can be!

Relative Transactions

By | Mindset | 189 Comments

One of the many things I do to build my business is network, and like any other business, I rely heavily on my ability to convince others to want what I have to offer. I have often said that no one cares what you sell until they know why you do what you do. I also think there is more to building a business than storytelling. It’s also about getting to know the people you engage with daily.

Last week, I met a gal that does personal branding. What makes this entrepreneur unique is that she claims she can use the natal birth chart to determine each person’s branding down to the color and type of font you should use on your website. I found this topic interesting, and the more I listened to her speak, the more I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about her and her subject.

Whether any of us chose to believe in natal birth charts or zodiac signs are beside the point. What I gathered from meeting with this lady solidified my thoughts surrounding the idea of being relational versus transactional. What does that mean? Are you relational or are you transactional? Let’s dive into this.

When I think of being relational, I think of the art of getting to know someone. In my business, my job is to get to know my prospects, my customers, and those I work with daily. That means I have to learn about each of the people that I am dealing with on some level other than just their name. I have to find out about their family life, their hobbies, their occupation, their goals, and their dreams. If it’s a business prospect, I may inquire about their why. What is their reason for selling that particular product? My goal is to learn everything I can about them as long as they are willing to share.

For many of the years that I have been in business, I have operated from a transactional mindset. Being relational didn’t always come easy to me. I work on this continually. It’s not necessarily always a negative thing being transactional. Sometimes it’s beneficial to remind yourself that you need to get to the results. If you are in a profession like many where you need to close something like a sale, then it can serve you well in some ways. You have the mindset that you need to make things happen, and therefore, you will subconsciously direct your activities to whatever you are thinking. If you are aways only relational, then you may never close. You have to have balance.

However, when we become so laser-focused on the result and all we do is think in terms of transactions, It takes away from the focus of the person we are engaging. It then becomes a one-sided position to sell what we are offering. That doesn’t always go well. People do not like to be sold. They want to be heard, and it’s our job to find out where we can fill a need for them.

Mary Kay Ash once said, pretend every person you meet has a sign around their neck that says, “make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.

I like to follow an acronym I once heard from a colleague called, FROG and this is how I remember it.

OCCUPATION                                                                                                                                                    GOALS

When I meet someone, whether, in business or other relations, my goal is to find out as much information I can by using this acronym. In doing this, I get to know the person I am talking to better as well as it gives me a perfect opportunity to see how I can serve them. I don’t always know that I will be able to help someone directly or even at that moment. However, I do believe there is still something to be gained by engaging with someone, and most often, when we look for the silver lining, we can find a mutual benefit. Perhaps they refer you or send you a referral. Maybe someday they are in a position where your product or service fits a need, and because you cared early on, they remember you and call you. Maybe they need a friend, or perhaps you need one.

The gal I referenced in the opening of this blog did a great job at being relational when we first met at a networking event. Otherwise, I would have never agreed to sit down and listen to what she had to offer. She asked me enough questions to intrigue me to want to connect with her and learn more.

People want to feel important and whether you are serving on a board, coaching children, working in sales, or managing your household, the best way to get people to engage and subscribe to your thoughts, ideas, or products, is to become relational with them. Get to know them. Ask them questions. Get them involved. Find out what’s important them. Find out why they do what they do and see if you can fill a void. If we spend more time asking questions and listening, we can learn everything we need to know about how to serve someone else. The beautiful thing is, when we help others, we are rewarded immensely in all areas of our lives.

Be kind to one another and be the best version of you that you can be!

She Goes to University and I Learn

By | Mindset | 143 Comments

Yesterday I participated in the filming of a documentary about mental illness. The production company was looking for everyday individuals to get their input on the subject. We were not given any indication before arriving as to what our topic would be or the types of questions we would be asked. We were merely given the address and advised on what we could wear.

My scheduled time was about 24 hours after I had dropped my middle daughter Paige off at the university. I was not at all excited to take part in this project for several reasons. I didn’t know what I was going to be discussing, nor did I know what they would be asking me. I didn’t have time to prepare since I didn’t know anything, and I was worried about what I might or might not say. Will I say the wrong things? Will this be a topic I know very little about, and because of that, will I make a fool of myself? Lastly, I was still dealing with the mixed emotions of dropping my daughter off at college.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am excited for her. In my last blog, I discussed the ongoing issues she had been facing before leaving and my concern. Despite all of that, I know this will be an experience quite like no other for her. I want her to succeed and enjoy her time there. With that said, I am not going to lie; I was selfishly sad about it. It meant change was happening. Change I did not initiate, at least in a direct way.

I went through with the project as I promised. I arrived at the scheduled time, and four other ladies were waiting in a small room. None of us knew each other, and we all had the same information about the project. It was very little. We sat in the room speculating as to what the topic could be. I couldn’t help but be apprehensive, but the more we started talking about the possibilities that could arise from this, the more I found myself becoming excited.

If I told you that nothing significant happened in participating, I would not get to share with you the incredible wins that came from this. Not only was the topic something vital to me, but it was something I experienced previously within my household. That meant I had plenty of input to offer. Besides, it gave me the perfect opportunity to talk with the lead organizer about my book and how it may benefit his project. The thought of that was enough to get me fired up. That conversation allowed me to focus on the possibilities rather than getting wrapped up in the negative emotions I was feeling about my daughter leaving.

I have often said in my live feeds, that my brain can travel down a negative rabbit hole very quickly. At the same time, I can recognize this and take action to reverse my thinking. I joke that this is one of my superpowers. I have found techniques although I know are not new, that have given me some control over my emotions and have allowed me to process change with more success.

Some people adapt to change very quickly. Others struggle with it. There are always underlying factors that can affect one’s ability to adapt to change, and there is also the severity of the change that can affect someones ability to accept change. One change for someone else may seem trivial, while another person may view it as significant. Nonetheless, we know change is inevitable, and the better we can become at adapting, the more resilient we become and the quicker we return to normalcy without lives.

So what do I when I feel out of control with change?

The first thing I do is accept the change. I may or may not be able to do anything about the situation, but what I can do is accept it and take ownership of how I handle it. I am not going to tell you I accept it without a fight. I can’t change the fact that my daughter is going to college. It would be unfair to expect her not to. What I can do is accept it and figure out methods to resolve my negative feelings. In doing this, I can learn to change my perspective. I like everyone else need time to process things, but in doing so, it gives me time to heal. It varies from person to person. The quicker you learn to accept change and move forward, the sooner you can make peace.

Sticking to my routine is something that I feel like I can have complete control over. The closer I stay to doing my usual routine, the better. What does that look like for me? Continuing my exercise routine, eating my typical diet, reading, making my checklists, doing my affirmations, and anything else that I feel like is a part of my daily life is helpful for me. What do you do regularly? Continue that if possible.

When I know significant change is coming, I get myself booked. For me, that may mean more network meetings, more lunch dates, more client appointment, prospects calls, more meetings, and more engagements. The busier I get during those difficult times, the better. For me, positive interaction keeps me excited. When I am engaged in activities with others, I am learning, and I am thrilled. I often say when you are busy doing positive things, you don’t have time to fixate on the negative. Join a group or call a friend.

One of the best ways to heal or adapt is to find people that are going through similar situations as you or people that have successfully resolved their situation. These people can give you hope. Something is comforting about grieving with others that are traveling down the same path. There is also something comforting when those same people come through the adversity together. Those who run together through the trouble, win together.

I once heard in a sermon. You are doing one of three things; going through a crisis, about to go through one, or you are coming out of one. I think the same about change. I don’t know where you are in that cycle. I know that change is inevitable, and my goal is always to figure out how to successfully and quickly adapt to it. I know I am successful in doing so when I can find the silver lining.

In close, my daughter had her first timed trial yesterday. This race was the very event she was worried about running. She messaged me yesterday to inform me not only did she place first place out of the freshmen, but she also placed second overall. She finished the run given the ongoing injuries she has been dealing with, and she ran a great race. She was pleased. As for me, I am happy for her. She is going to make her way in this world. Letting her go to college is a necessary change.

As for the documentary I participated in, I am hopeful it will make a difference in the lives of others. If my book can somehow play a role in that, then my story will also make a difference. All the struggle, pain, and the changes endured will have been the price paid for a huge silver lining.

As We Prepare for College

By | Mindset | 48 Comments

As we approach, the last seven days before Paige leaves for college, I can not help but be flooded with a wave of emotions. I am thrilled for her. I am excited for her. I am happy that she gets to do the very thing she loves most, and that is to compete in cross country at the college level. At the same time, I am not going to lie. I am a bit sad. I feel like my world is about to change again, and I have no control of that. I jokingly told someone recently that I thought after Cara left home, I would be a pro at this moving closer to empty nest way of life. I haven’t mastered it yet. Maybe by the time Sean is ready to leave, I will have it perfected.

I am also not happy that we haven’t healed her body 100%.

This year has been tough for Paige. She has wrestled with stress fractures in her shins, shin splits, and a myriad of nutritional issues. We have worked with chiropractors and specialists, including nutritionists. We have done therapy and home care. Despite our efforts, we have not entirely solved the puzzle yet.

As she prepares to leave on Friday, the pressure to perform is weighing heavy on her. She has a timed trial a week from tomorrow, and I know she is concerned about her performance. The added stressors of new situations and surroundings in her future is more than likely also affecting her health in some way.

The situation reminds me of so many things. I see Paige’s struggle, and it brings back memories of a time when I was so desperately trying to restore my health from a nerve condition. It went on for so long that often I could see no hope. I was seeking this and trying that. The pressure to get better was weighing heavy on me. It also reminds me that stress has an impact on the restoration of your health, and it can rob you from living a healthy life. When you feel like you are in a vicious cycle, what do you do? You worry about everything.

Despite all that we have done, Paige continues to struggle. Sure running might add a bit of stress to an existing injury, but the more significant factor that I believe is affecting her right now is the kind of stress you can not see. It’s the unnecessary stress we put on ourselves to get it right — the pressure to perform. The stress to feel okay in an uncertain situation. She has to get better because she knows she has to perform. She won’t have access to all the usual things she has at home. She won’t have mom and dad around at close fingertips.

As her mom, it breaks my heart. I want her to be healthy. I want her to enjoy this time in college. She worked so hard her entire school career not because we forced her to, but because she is Paige and that is what Paige does. She never starts anything that she doesn’t intend to excel at or see through til the end. She earned a full academic scholarship as well as an athletic scholarship. I am proud of her.

I talk in my upcoming book, about letting go of the unnecessary. I refer to a situation that occurred when my three kids were younger, and we were running from activity to activity. While during my health crisis, I forced them to make decisions about what activities they wanted to continue pursuing. Paige was trying to decide between soccer, karate, and piano. She loved them all, and she did well, but we were at a time in our lives where I was struggling with my health, and she was struggling to perform in all of them while being happy. We had to let some of it go. I remember it took her two weeks to make a decision. She knew that whatever she decided to stick with, is what she would continue with, and she would put her heart into it. She chose soccer.

There are so many lessons that can come from that story, but the biggest one to me is the importance of letting go of the unnecessary. It’s easier said than done. Right?

I wish I could help Paige know it’s going to be alright. She is going to be okay. If she doesn’t run her best race next Saturday, it’s okay. I wish I could wave a wand over her, and she would somehow have everything right. Her leg pain would be gone. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. Paige will have to fight this battle, and she will have to figure out what she is and isn’t capable of doing. What I know is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. She has unbelievable grit, tenacity, strength, resilience, and persistence. She is a fighter, and she will solve this. She will, at some point, let some of it go. I am not suggesting she will stop running, but I do believe once she gets settled and things become familiar to her, some of the worries will subside and quite possibly some of these issues will resolve on their own. I think she is going to have a great time in college.

Letting go of the unnecessary can be difficult, but it is necessary. It might mean securing a job that is closer to you. Maybe it means taking less responsibility or duties at work. Perhaps it means allowing your body and your mind time to recover. I don’t know what letting go of the unnecessary means to you, and I also recognize it isn’t always easy. I think with persistence and dedication to your well being; you can work through whatever is troubling you to find some peace. You may have to make some adjustments in different areas of your life.

Doing activities like reading, exercise, meditation, and affirmations have helped me tremendously. They help me reduce stress. They help me to focus on things I can control. They also get me focused on more significant vision ideas. It’s hard to stay focused on negative thoughts when we are excited about something. If you are scared to run your first marathon, think how excited you are going to be when you cross that finish line. It will help you let go of the unnecessary fear.

Whatever battle you are fighting, know you will get through it if you stay committed. Let go of what isn’t necessary for your life and focus on the big picture. Where do you see yourself? Where do you want to go? Put your energy into positive stuff. Everything else will work itself out eventually.

I know Paige has hope. Otherwise, she would have given up. I keep encouraging her that it’s all going to be okay. I did put my nerve pain back into remission. It wasn’t easy, but I came through. I genuinely believe some of Paige’s best years are ahead of her. This dilemma is temporary, and it’s a time where adjustments are being made. She will survive. She will run her best race. She will meet knew people and make incredible memories.

Love you, Paige. You are going to do great and be great. I am proud of you.