Business is About Relationships

friendships

I recently got a FB message from a dear old friend and neighbor letting me know that she’d found me as a consultant when she was wanting to purchase some Arbonne products. It was totally out-of-the-blue and such a neat surprise!! I had not connected with her in a few years, as she moved to California and we’ve been traveling.

I gave her a call, and we were able to catch up for a while. Both of us have two boys and a girl, and it’s been neat to watch each other’s children grow up on social media. But it’s completely different to get to talk in person and have someone fill in the gaps of time for you. It was such a treat!

That is one of the main reasons I love direct sales and business in general. It offers a unique focal point, incentive, and impetus to get in touch and stay in touch with those people you care about. Life is busy and the hours and days pass quickly. As much as we don’t like it, it’s hard to consistently stay in touch with people where there is “just one point of resonance.” (quoting my friend Joyce, here!)

We find ourselves hanging with co-workers or team parents or neighbors just because of convenience. (although, we are pretty lucky to have awesome friendships with our kids’ teams’ parents and have had awesome neighbors in the past, too!)

But imagine if you got to connect regularly with those people you enjoy the most! Those that share same values and goals. Family, health, financial freedom, fun, personal growth, adventure, helping others. That’s what business looks like for me.

People are savvy enough to do a sniff test around manipulation. Business is about bringing real value. And about genuinely caring about someone else’s problems or challenges. If you listen well, you can usually find some place where you can offer help – whether it’s a new contact, a product, or a resource. Sometimes, it’s just a listening and compassionate ear. I try to always be honest, thinking about what would work best for the other person.

If that’s the way you also like to do business, we should talk. Would love to share more about an opportunity that could be meaningful and profitable for you and your family!

Start Your Day Off Well

img_9999

Doesn’t life often feel like the movie Groundhog Day? For most people, we fall asleep and wake up in the same bed, go through the same rhythms, and hit the reset button each day. While our own family has certainly tried to shake up the mundaneness of this routine by long-term traveling, there is still a daily grind inherent to life.

Life should have meaning and purpose, adventure and opportunity. You can make a big impact on those around you when you are clear about what’s most important. But sometimes it’s hard to see above the clouds.

One of the best ways to combat the typical rat-race is to be very intentional with your morning routines. From making your bed to setting up a morning practice as described in the Miracle Morning which includes exercise, reading, meditation, visualization, and affirmations – it has been proven that these simple habits can impact your entire life greatly. High caliber individuals are very protective of their morning hours.

Research shows that we tend to be most creative immediately after we wake up. Our brain is rested and increases its ability to make connections, which is when creativity happens. This is why many authors just begin writing after their basic morning habits.

We’ve liked this rhythm for our mornings over the last couple of years:

  1. Wake up, wash up, make bed
  2. Have an easy breakfast with 20-30 grams of protein
  3. Write and get to work on most important creative projects
  4. Read, answer emails
  5. Take a break to exercise mid-morning

Tim Ferriss suggests to get 30 grams of protein, 30 minutes after you wake up. This keeps your body from feeling those mid-morning crashes. Eggs are a great option for protein, but Don and I have really come to love protein shakes even more. We use Arbonne’s vanilla protein powder and Califia coconut milk as the base and then add frozen berries or green apple, a handful of spinach, chia and flaxseeds, fiber, and Greens Balance. If we need more protein or are working out regularly, we will add the Arbonne Protein Boost or a banana as well.

It is surprisingly filling, easy to make, and gets us off and running for the day without experiencing those typical blood-sugar crashes later. We don’t always know where the rest of the day will lead with meals or social gatherings, but we love knowing that we started the day right with so much great nutrition. It’s one thing that we don’t mind feeling like Groundhog Day with because it’s so delicious and frees us up to be creative and spontaneous in the rest of life.

Is there something you’d like to improve on your morning routine?

 

Staying Flexible

img_2988

If you asked me on Monday morning what I was doing on Wednesday, I would not have known. By mid-afternoon, I had plans to play tennis with my friend, Amy. By Tuesday morning, our plans had changed, and we were going to snowboard/ski together instead at Keystone!

And then Tuesday afternoon, I got a text from the marketing director at Keystone Resort asking if we’d like to join for a powder day photo/video shoot the next morning!! That sent all other plans out the window and me into a barrage of texts to coordinate the special opportunity. I was inviting other kids to join us and asking our friend Vickie who lived at Keystone if we could spend the night at her house so we could easily get to the mountain the next morning.

I’m so grateful for these friends, Amy and Vickie. Vickie was most hospitable (as always!) letting me and three kiddos crash at her place within a few hours notice. And I told Amy that I wouldn’t be able to snowboard with her after all, and she said it was fine! “You can always cancel on me because I totally understand,” she said.

And that’s why we’re friends! We love living in this beautiful place with a boatload of amazing adventures and options EVERY SINGLE DAY, so I think everyone is generally loose about plans because new things pop up each day. I also think it’s unique living here in this area, because we inherently know that things can change at any moment…the weather forces us to live that reality of life. It can change here within the hour. A bus delay, or getting stuck in the snow, or just even taking the wrong turn down a ski run and ending up at the wrong lift can quickly alter plans. And we learn that that’s totally ok. We learn to roll with it, to look for the good in it all, to be patient and understanding. All the time.

Staying flexible this week allowed us to coordinate an amazing photo/video shoot with a fun crew of these awesome young snowboarders and friends. Here are a couple photos that we’ve seen published to Instagram so far, and we can’t wait to see what else Keystone puts together with some of the video footage they captured!

I realize that people who really are naturally flexible don’t necessarily need to talk about it (or write about it! ;)) They just live it, without even thinking about it.

So, the fact that it is something notable may say something about me! Ha! I feel like I’ve been on a long journey of becoming more flexible in life. And so, if there are any others out there on this similar journey, here are my best two cents to embrace it:

  1. Life is more fun when you are flexible. Plain and simple. You don’t get disappointed as much because you don’t hold on as tightly to expectations of plans or people.
  2. You live life more “eyes wide open” looking for the surprises and opportunities instead of trying to control the fun and plan everything out.
  3. You learn to be more patient and gracious with others and with yourself. And relationships are just more meaningful and long-lasting with patience and grace.

And I’ll just end with some favorite quotes I found on flexibility:

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. -Michael McGriffy, MD

Flexibility is the key to stability. – John Wooden

Problems disappear when we become willing to be flexible. – Roxana Jones

Before and After

Fun to think about our family’s health journey before and after Arbonne!

Before

One of the things I’ve always cared about throughout my adult years was eating healthy foods, especially as we started raising our own family. When I was pregnant with my first child, my mom sent me some cassette tapes on healthy eating (yes, cassette tapes, and our car actually could play them!). We listened to them as we drove cross-country from Texas to South Carolina for business in 2001.

That information on eating organic foods and staying away from processed foods really helped start our family on a good path. We read box labels to stay away from the big dangers like “partially hydrogenated soybean oil,” and “high fructose corn syrup.” But somehow sugar still remained, especially for little treats and celebrations.

We’re a very active family. My husband ran cross-country and track in college, and I’ve always loved running as a means to stay in shape. I would use it as a way to monitor my weight. But needless to say, having three kids within 4.5 years took my body through a roller coaster in weight gain and loss. And because of my plantar fascitis, it was hard to run long enough to keep the weight off!

We have three kids who all have various food allergies and sensitivities. My husband is half-Korean, and I’m Hispanic, so I feel like some of it is genetic, some of it environmental, but their allergies helped me further explore other dairy-free, gluten-free options throughout their younger years. But it was difficult to find recipes and consistent food options and really stick it out.

Fast-forward now about 10 years.


After

I heard about Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living Program from a dear friend of mine a couple years ago. It is a clean eating program that helps start great habits of removing dairy, gluten, and sugar from our regular diet; eat fresh, fruits and vegetables and healthy proteins often; and gently cleanse some of the toxins from our system. They offer an online support system, and a 4 week meal plan, complete with recipes and even grocery lists!

I’d always wanted to try something like this, and so just jumped in for a month by myself. The family enjoyed most of the dinner meals. We watched documentaries together like FedUp which talks about the dangers of refined sugar in America, and that changed our sugar habits forever! I really stuck to the program religiously and got to see great results in weight loss and muscle tone, and overall just felt great!

My husband jumped in with me for a second month, and he followed the program diligently as well, and lucky duck, he lost 15+ pounds! With him on board, it made it much easier going forward to maintain a GF/DF/SF (sugar free) diet as a whole family since we could choose recipes and restaurants that would suit those needs together.

My son, Isaac is the one who has the most allergies, and so he was independently motivated to start removing gluten and dairy for himself. He said it made his stomach feel better. And just by doing that (in addition to the sugar of course), he lost 20 pounds of extra weight. He looks like a new kid, and like us, has been able to keep off that weight for over a year!


I’m so grateful for the education and habits that this program offered our family. I feel like we are different from the inside-out and are never going back. It’s catalyzed us in a new direction forever. We continue to use and love Arbonne’s products and share them with other friends and family members. They’ve also come to love them and see the benefits for their family for the long-haul. We all appreciate Arbonne’s commitment to products that are pure, safe, and beneficial.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this program, want to lose some extra weight, decrease bloating and inflammation, sleep better, and have extra energy for our busy days, please contact me, and I’d love to connect with you to share more.

A Reward

fullsizerender-2Today we got a little treat. It felt like a reward for 13 hard-earned years of parenting a very passionate child.

I had planned to take this middle son of ours out to dinner for his monumental 13th birthday, some special time with just Don and me. We had gifts to shower on him.

But I didn’t expect to get a few gifts myself. Before dinner, we went to his school for parent-teacher conferences. He was so happy and eager to introduce us to all his teachers. He has told us how much he loves them all. But I was still unsure of what he was like in class and how exactly was this school experience panning out for him.

They totally loved him! I could tell they just genuinely enjoyed him. One teacher said he’s the best gentleman. His art teacher made sure that we knew he had a very special talent and eye. He earned the MVP in PE for the whole 7th grade class, for both his character and performance. His Language Arts teachers said they can always count on him for great questions and responses and are impressed with his writing.His grades are fantastic. They all said he’s a wonderful role model and leader in class and just needs to keep up the great work he’s doing.

I really was blown away and very proud of this crazy kid.

Parenting is not easy. There are many days when it feels like we lose, and it’s hard to see if the effort pays off. But on days like today, the reward is sweet.

The one-on-one time with him was icing on the cake, hearing all of his stories and reflections. I blinked back tears when he told us what he wrote in warm-ups today when asked what he was thankful for: My parents. They love me and want the best for me.

He gets it! That’s what we always wanted – for him to know that he is loved.

That love sure goes deep! And that’s what I celebrate today.

The Mystery and Magic of Copywork

A friend recently asked me about any resources to help her daughter with spelling. I was eager to share all about Copywork with her!

I feel like Copywork has been the biggest secret withheld from the traditional school system today. It’s really like gold. I must admit, that as a high school English teacher in my past life, a grammar/word girl, and a person generally drawn to lists and workbooks, Copywork seemed like a shot in the dark. Or like jumping off a cliff and trusting that we would land all in one piece. I dropped all the other workbooks we used and committed to Copywork early on.

What exactly is copywork? Basically, it is a daily discipline and habit of finding and selecting a special sentence from what you read and copying it down exactly in your own special journal. That’s it. In our adult-world, digital version, it’s like clicking the highlight button on your Kindle. But actually, it’s so different, and its rewards are so vast. By copying a well-written sentence each day, a child is learning spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. all in one fell swoop!! In just a 10 minute exercise!

Now that to me is magic! And it actually really and truly works. From 1st – 4th grade, in addition to reading great works and having your child orally narrate them, you really do not need to do much more around those early years of Language Arts. In 4th-5th grade, you can up the game a little more with adding dictation. And in middle school, they should begin writing their narrations.

But spelling, unless there are other deeper learning issues involved with your child, should be a non-issue if you are able to commit to the fun habit of Copywork. Stay committed to it. Don’t compromise on it daily. Let your child really own it. You’ll see an eagerness and focus grow in them while reading to seek out worthy sentences and great ideas to capture as they compile them in their special book.

Here are a few definitions and ideas about Copywork to leave you with. Let me know if you have any questions about how to make this happen practically!

“Children should transcribe favorite passages. ––A certain sense of possession and delight may be added to this exercise if children are allowed to choose for transcription their favorite verse in one poem or another…   But a book of their own, made up of their own chosen verses, should give them pleasure.”  ~ Charlotte Mason (1842-1923)

“The purpose of copywork is to get into the child’s visual (and motor) memory the look and feel of a sentence that is corrrectly composed, and properly spelled, spaced, and punctuated.” Jessie Wise Bauer, The Well Trained Mind

“It is a method, that when used consistently in your homeschooling studies, will improve your child’s penmanship, grammar, and punctuation skills as well as expose him to a variety of writing styles, structures, and techniques.” Debra Reed, {affiliate link} NotebookingPages.com

“Its purpose is to improve the child’s handwriting, expose them to noble thoughts, good sentence structure, rich vocabulary and introduce basic punctuation and capitalization rules. Even grammar is incidentally taught but this is just an added benefit and not the purpose for copywork.” Linda Johnson,Charlotte Mason Help

Work is Good

Several years ago, I thought of a mantra to share with my middle child:

Work Is Hard.

Work Is Good.

Work Takes Time

He would repeatedly get frustrated when his schoolwork or chores were more challenging or time-consuming. I felt like it was because he had wrong expectations and beliefs. Most of our frustrations in life come from missed expectations.

Therefore, if he believed that work is inherently good (not bad), hard (not easy), and that it takes time (not always completed immediately and that there are trade-offs), he would be able to embrace life for what it really is. He could tackle the task at hand without adding the burden of an extra emotional layer of frustration.

Today, I ran up against this same myth with my youngest and was able to share this mantra. I heard her repeat it a few times and could really see a shift in her mindset throughout the day.

And then I knew it really sunk in when she wrote it out on her own as I was reading Little Women to her.

fullsizerender-10

Ironically, this applies to the hard work of parenting as much as it does to our kids! It sure isn’t easy, but it is so good, and such a treat to see the reward of the commitment, love, leadership, and patience that was hard-fought and learned through it all!