Running to Smell the Roses

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I was running along a trail in Breck today and spotted a beautiful flower, so I stopped to snap a photo of it (and take a breather since I had just come back to life at 10,000 ft!!).

It was a simple act, pretty mundane actually, but when I let myself really pause and admire the flower and focus on capturing the photo at just the right angle, it made me smile big. And then as I was running back, that little act got me thinking about why people say to “stop and smell the roses.”

It changes EVERYTHING.

I started to look around more keenly at all of life passing by. I didn’t just glance at the fairy village on this special trail, but I let myself stop and admire it and notice the intricate details. I smiled big again thinking about the person who took time to create it.

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And as I got back into the main village of Breck, I started to look for beauty, for noteworthy, for special. It was ALL around me. The soothing sound of the Blue River. The afternoon light on all of the flowers. The musicians delighting a crowd. A couple holding hands or smiling at their child.

All the wonderful things that life is made of.

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So what if I had to stop my run for a second to appreciate it? It was totally worth it.

I feel like that happens a lot in life. We are all running towards something. The next event. The next goal. Something better, something easier, something more.

But what is the point? I would argue that one of the “points” of the running is so that we can have the luxury of stopping to smell the roses.

Well, why wait? 

Stop now. Pause now. Live eyes wide open now.

Play that game with your kid.

Smile and say hi to everyone walking by.

Listen. Really listen. To the person in front of you. To nature around you.

Write that postcard to a friend.

Watch the whole sunset or the moon rise.

Take a walk.

Sing, play your instrument, dance to the music playing loudly.

There’s so much good. So much to see and appreciate.

I really do try to live life like this daily. It keeps my heart grateful. It keeps me from taking for granted those little things, and keeps me connected to real life – the people I love and the beautiful world God gave us to enjoy and explore.

So, let’s keep “running.” Let’s keep in shape and keep going after those big dreams and goals in life. But let’s enjoy the roses – the people and the beauty – all along the way!

 

 

 

Managing a Digital Business

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Don and I have worked with business owners around the country for years, helping them to grow their business through strategy and sales and marketing systems. Creating and executing systems around prospecting, nurturing, follow-up, closing and servicing is most important but can be challenging.

However, a few simple habits along with a commitment to a set of basic digital tools can help you be most effective in growing your business. It also affords you the luxury of working from anywhere! We prioritize fun and adventure as a family, and so we like systems that allow us the freedom and efficiency in order to play a lot!

We choose to use Google Apps to manage our business. Here are a few tips you may find helpful:

Google Contacts

Your contact list is your biggest asset, so treat it accordingly. Take some time over a weekend and do a “deep clean,” to make sure it is updated. If you are missing a new cell number, physical address or email and are connected to them via Facebook or Instagram, reach out for the info and make sure to update it right away.  Delete those names of people you just can’t seem to remember.

Keep your contact list useful. One of the best ways to do this is choose a few simple groupings to organize them. I use, “Prospects,” “Clients” and “Consultants” in my Arbonne business. And then each day, spend a few minutes reviewing your lists. Who do you need to reach out to? Who should you add to your Prospect list? Star 5 contacts that you want to connect with today and then reach out with a phone call, a relevant article, a valuable referral, or even a surprise gift. Be creative in the ways you add value to people’s lives.

Google Calendar

The critical piece of any sale is a conversation in person. In Arbonne, we seek to educate prospects on our products and business opportunity, and that is difficult to do over text or email.

Sometimes it works to just pick up the phone and call someone randomly, but most people do not like to be interrupted these days by phone. One young Arbonne consultant from England shared humorously that her first thought when she gets a phone call is, “Is someone dead!? Did someone die?!” That’s the severity of a call to some people!

Better to try and text/email first and then schedule a phone call, Zoom call, or coffee date. Google Calendar works beautifully and syncs with all your devices. You can set it to automatically send a reminder right before the meeting. This keeps your interactions professional and also allows you both to set aside the time and attention to really focus on the product or opportunity at hand.

Be thorough in your calendar invite description – add the location and address or personalize the Zoom invitation. Sometimes I will attach the “Discover Arbonne” Presentation. Make it easy for your guest to have the info they need for the meeting.

Then deliver a killer presentation that genuinely connects, and make sure to follow up with an email summarizing your main point and next step. This keeps the ball in your court and moves the sale along.

Google Drive

We are paperless as a business and family. I use Google Drive to store all of my important documents, and I have a special folder for resources that I need to share easily with other consultants or prospects. I have the App on my phone for easy access as well.

Google Tasks

You can use Google Tasks as your “brain dump” to remember those random ideas that come to mind or things you’d like to do one day. But it’s best to also have a list or two that is very functional and that you can commit to. I have a “Daily” list for Arbonne that includes –  Look at at Dashboard, Check in with Detoxers, SAVERS (from Miracle Morning), Social Media Post, etc.- and I try to shoot for that each day. I appreciate the “GoTasks” App also that syncs with my phone so I can access my lists from anywhere.

These powerful tools really do work to give you business results. However, your commitment and consistency will be what really determines your success with them. For some people, organizing and maintaining these systems is natural and easy. For others, it’s more challenging because of their personality and bent. We’ve found it very helpful to walk people through a Strength’s Test and Consultation so they can better understand their tendencies, and we can offer creative solutions that fit their style. Would be happy to share more if interested!

 

On the Road With Arbonne

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Last night I shared some ideas with our team about what it’s like to travel with a family while growing your business. We’ve been on a summer road trip from Colorado to DC and back through Chicago and have pretty much slept in a different bed each night! It’s been an awesome mix of visiting family and friends, seeing historic sites, and participating in Nike Sports Camps. It has been both a rewarding and challenging whirlwind!

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But Arbonne is perfect for travel as it is a lifestyle business. Arbonne makes it easy for us with online ordering and convenient packaging! Here are a few tips that we’ve learned from experience that allow travel to be a beneficial way to both grow and enjoy your business!

Be a product of your product

We use Arbonne products every day, so it only makes sense to travel with them. We bring a big bag with us of Chocolate and Vanilla Protein Powder, our Fiber Boost and the Greens Balance into our hotel or home.

Each morning for breakfast we’ll use our Shaker Cup to mix a basic smoothie for ourselves. It’s a great way to get quick nutrition (20 g of Vegan Protein!), get out the door and on the road without worrying about where to find a healthy breakfast.

I also travel with my gold bag of the fabulous RE9 Facial Care Products and love that even with long days of driving, my face doesn’t look as tired thanks to the corrective eye cream and facial day cream!

I also use our awesome big purse from GTC to store the rest of our Arbonne products like full size hair-products, Fizz Sticks, Phytosport, Digestion Plus, catalogues, and samples of RE9 sets, Protein Powder, lipstick/gloss color packets.

Be ready to share

Traveling is fantastic because every time you meet someone new, you have an opportunity to share what you do. Have your 60 second story polished to deliver with authenticity and enthusiasm. I also like to ask questions and really listen to where people are at – it’s amazing what strangers choose to share! I genuinely care about helping people feel better and more healthy, and find it a privilege to be able to help along that journey.

But depending on their needs, you can offer to let them sample products. Ask for their cell number right away so you can text them more info about what they are sampling. And ask their permission to friend them on Facebook or Instagram – an easy way to keep in touch for the long haul. I’ve done this many times on our trip. And let them know you’ll check-in with them soon to follow-up.

Visit friends and family

It’s not always easy to share Arbonne with friends and family when you are long distance, and so try to visit them in your travels! Bring them a gift – something from Arbonne and another from somewhere else like BeWee or My Intent or Mara Mugs.

Offer to make them a shake for breakfast if you stay with them. Share some of the spa products or ask if they’d like to use your RE9 set for the night/morning. Make it comfortable and fun, keeping it real.

I loved being able to be there for a grand opening for a new consultant during our visit to Austin and launch her off in person. If you’d like to be even more strategic, plan your travels around friends who are willing to host a party for you or schedule one-on-one coffee dates in advance!

And if the timing is right, be ready to pull out your laptop and help them sign up and order right away. If not, have fun growing your relationship with them virtually, continuing to follow-up regularly and making a difference in their lives.

No doubt about it, traveling is fun and memorable, and what a treat to be able to grow a business while doing it! Will share more in another article about the digital systems we use to manage it all efficiently on the road!

 

 

 

How You Do One Thing…

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Last month, I had the privilege of listening to an amazing speaker Cecilia Stoll at Arbonne’s Global Training Conference. She said many things that impacted my heart and mind, but one of the most memorable to me was, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

It was a call to be excellent in ALL things. The little and the big. But especially the little. Because the standards we have for ourselves in those seemingly unimportant tasks somehow carry over into the more meaningful, impactful ones.

I think a lot of it has to do with how we see ourselves. And as humans, we are wired to be congruent. If we believe we are kind, hard-working, excellent, and courageous, when faced with opportunities that demand those things, we step into them without question. But if we know ourselves to be a person who cuts a corner every now and then either out of laziness or lack of character, then we can’t trust that inconsistency. And sometimes that inconsistency can be costly.

It’s not worth it. May as well work on being vigilant in all the little day-to-day decisions. Here are just a few:

  1. Flossing 🙂
  2. Responding timely and respectfully to emails or texts
  3. Being kind and gracious, never gossiping
  4. Reading every day
  5. Exercising each day
  6. Keeping the counters clean and ready
  7. Saying yes to opportunities, even when nervous
  8. Always giving more value
  9. Making your bed every morning

I, myself, am trying to repeat this mantra each day and becoming aware of all the little ways I can step it up. But we have also been repeating it a lot to our kids these last few weeks as we want them to have the same awareness and standards of excellence for themselves. In our home, on the field, with their friends. It’s a great reality to live into!

 

 

Take Them Hiking

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Our family has always enjoyed hiking. Since the kids were toddlers, we took them exploring on trails and jumping in rivers, lakes, and streams all over Texas. As they’ve grown, the distances of our hikes have also grown. Over the last four years, we’ve chased popular trails all around the Western US, hiking through most of the National Parks. We even backpacked in the Sierra Nevadas for 3 nights, hiking about 8 miles each day.

There are so many benefits to hiking with your kids when they are small:

  1. Balance and coordination – Trails are not flat and predictable like sidewalks. While walking along trails is very natural for a kid, it’s not easy the first times if they’ve only walked on sidewalks. It takes another level of focus when hiking over roots, or *around* puddles or on rocks. I feel like it keeps both their minds and limbs sharp. Falling is never fun, but if they do, it’s best to just check their hands and scraped knees, compliment them, and send them on their way again. No biggie.
  2. Observation and appreciation – Kids naturally notice things. And nature affords countless opportunities to notice the intricacies and complexity of plants and animals. I loved it when our kids would pause to observe an insect or stop to listen for bird calls. It’s never a waste of time to take as long as a kid wants to really study something new on a trail.
  3. Inner Peace – I can’t say this without thinking of Kung Fu Panda! But get any hyperactive kid on a trail, and watch them gradually relax minute by minute. It’s fascinating for me to watch. The first few minutes are sometimes harried making sure you have everything you need for the hike and figuring out the way to go, but then……once everyone is in their groove, it’s like magic.You only have one task in front of you: walk. It makes everything in life simple. Your mind starts forgetting the silly distractions of regular life (for both adults and kids). And everyone just has to focus on each step in front of them, listening to the sounds of nature, and then, the best part, enjoying each other. There’s an inner peace that naturally occurs as you enter another world with trees and beauty and family/friends all around.

All that being said, hiking with tweens and teens is MUCH different! They have opinions. They have attitudes. They are unpredictable. They could have uber energy and want to blaze ahead independently or feel lazy and want to just lag behind moping. They have friends and other activities they’d usually prefer over a “boring walk” with family. They think they know what’s better.

But all those same benefits above are still why it’s just as important to take your older kids hiking, too!!! It’s just a little harder emotionally to make it all happen. But don’t let that stop you, parents! 😉

Our kids are now 15, 13, and 11. Over the last year, we hadn’t been pushing them as much to hike with us. Ultimately, we want them to choose it for themselves. They are always invited, but we’d rather not make it a “battle.” But yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I just wanted to do my favorite thing in the world (hike). Our kids were willing to oblige, so I took advantage of the gift.

While there was a slight bit of “hemming and hawing,” I just stayed upbeat and positive and patiently waited for them to just shed their subpar attitudes. One of my “tricks” is to make them go ahead of me. They get to lead and control the pace which always makes a difference. They get to notice things first like a beautiful waterfall or hoary marmot! We sometimes play games like “GOAT” or “I Spy” if they need it or I’ll mention something to look forward to at the end of the hike (like mochi ice cream from Whole Foods 🙂 ) Whatever works and helps them to embrace the hiking experience! Good snacks and plenty of water is always a must as well.

Yesterday, we hiked up about 1.4 miles to see Hanging Lake at the top of Glenwood Canyon. We walked up along a rushing stream which offered us countless waterfalls and photo opps. The evening sun was perfect for lighting and temperature. It really was gorgeous and serene.

And within 10-15 minutes I noticed that inner peace magic start to happen. We got lost in our thoughts and also appreciated the amazing scenery around us. We had great conversations about school and our summer ahead. And we just enjoyed each other, which is the best gift any parent could ask for. It will definitely be a memory to look back on as a family, and makes me so glad we made the effort to get them on trails with us!

 

Seasons Change

As we near the end of our active winter season, I gave myself a treat and holed up in our snowglobe of a home to put together our family fall slideshow.

It evoked so many different emotions I wasn’t anticipating. This was the first year our boys went full-time to public school, and their absence hit me when scrolling through our fall hike photos and videos. They weren’t in them! It was just me and Jadyn! It made me appreciate those special hikes and memories with her, as it may well have been my last fall with Jadyn, too! She’ll be jumping into middle school next year herself.

This was also a big year for Isaac as he turned 13! I loved reliving his celebration week through the pics and thinking about how deeply he is loved. He’s grown so much this year, attacking his studies like a boss, and mostly just realizing for himself how much he has to offer the world with his ideas and strength. He is thoughtful and insightful and leads others well.

The songs I chose for this slideshow were mostly for him. The first one reminds him so much of our first year of Freejourner travel, as he’d replay it often, “Far from home…but we’re so happy.” And the second song, Something Wild by Lindsey Stirling was more of a hope and wish for him, and one we listened to hundreds of times this fall:

You’ve got a big heart
The way you see the world
It got you this far
You might have some bruises
And a few of scars
But you know you’re gonna be okay
And even though you’re scared
You’re stronger than you know
If you’re lost out where the lights are blinding
Caught in all, the stars are hiding
That’s when something wild calls you home, home
If you face the fear that keeps you frozen
Chase the sky into the ocean
That’s when something wild calls you home, home
I think the outdoors will always be “home” to our family. We can always hit a trail to find that peace and clarity. It’s familiar and comforting. It’s a gift we intentionally wanted to give our kids. Ironically, there’s a security in the unknown and the wild that will be a constant for them.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons because of the colors. Here in Colorado, the Aspen yellow is the brightest. The golden leaves just sparkle and shine in the sunlight. It’s magical.

Fall also represents change, and I guess it’s just hitting me more strongly these days as a parent. Our kids are big now. I’m not spending as much time in the daily grind of academics with them, and I miss our down-time hours together playing games or watching movies as a family. We cherish car rides now and meal hours to catch up and connect.

When I was in high school, I memorized a poem by Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” It’s about change, and it’s a bit pessimistic, honestly, but I loved how one of the main characters in the movie, The Outsiders turned it positively and told Ponyboy, “Stay Gold, Stay Gold.”

That message was a great way to end our slideshow, as a neat reminder to our family to hold onto those experiences and memories that are treasures that shape us, even as we push ahead to new seasons and adventures that await.

Business is About Relationships

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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!